Monday, June 30, 2008

When to start our next agility class?

Mom has been debating about whether to switch to another training club for agility and if we do, start next week or wait until September 4. We emailed the director of training at the new place and she said she thought we could start in their beginning intermediate class (so skip their beginner's and advanced beginner's classes). We like the idea of starting at the intermediate level, but mom is wondering if we should take two months and work together to try to become a better team (ie. get me to pay more attention and be more focused and not blow her off). If we don't wait, we would start the class on July 10. Our trainer Deb offered to have us take her obedience class again (it's also on Thursday nights so we can't do both) and when we went last week, I did really well. It's an off-leash class and if we really get it this time, it could help cement a bond that mom and I have been working to develop since I met mom! I am 16 months old now and will be a little over a year and a half if we wait until September for agility class. One thing for sure - mom does not want to get us into that intermediate class and have us fail! We can't afford to pay for a class again and again until we pass it.

Last evening mom tried to get me to practice some agility with her - just a little jumping with lateral sends to the tunnel and I wasn't interested at all. I wanted to run to the gate to see cars and people go by, and I wanted to be on the look out for squirrels, etc. in the yard. Mom got pretty bummed out although she tried to hide it from me. So this morning, since it was cool and cloudy out, mom thought it would be a good time to practice. She got out a secret weapon - BilJac liver treats (I had never had one - Mom doesn't give me those kinds of things because of all the less-than-good ingredients in them. We got them as a present from our last agility instructor.) Well, I had no trouble getting excited about agility after one wiff of that liver! We didn't do anything too fancy but did jump, tire, table, weaves (mom put all 12 of my weave poles into the ground so now I do 12 at once!) - I did weaves three times - perfect each time. Wish we had a video of that! So mom just needs to find something that will motivate me like that liver does!

Gotta zoom!


1 comment:

Pacco de Mongrel said...

yeah, finding the right motivation tool is crucial, i know some friends who are crazy with toys, but i prefer food.

my owner made me eat boring dry kibble everyday... while during training we use canned food, and all sort of treats... but we found out that home cooked treats work best. chicken liver was my favourite.

as i aged, we faded off those wonderful treats during training and only use it for important day like obedience or agility trial.