Tonight was our second class and mom didn't like this week's class nearly as much as last week's. First of all, we went early so we could hear about how to train a running contact on the a-frame. We had to start with trying to get me to run up and over the a-frame as fast as possible. So with my leash on mom ran and I ran up and over, but not fast enough. We tried again and I started jumping from the top of the contact zone to the floor. We lowered the a-frame height and tried again. But I still didn't want to run very fast. (Mom told our instructor that I had not been on an a-frame very many times in my life). Apparently, after a dog starts running fast, you put something like a swimming noodle across the apex and as the dog runs up you tell him to jump and then he lands halfway down the other side and then his stride takes him into the contact zone. Then you move the noodle a little ways down from the apex (on the landing side) and the dog jumps a little farther and then really increases his chances of hitting the contact zone. We tried having the noodle up there but I wasn't running fast enough to make a difference. This may be impossible to do without a full-size a-frame at home or access to one frequently. Any way, mom thinks she tried to get me to do it too many times (similar to my introduction to the chute) because I started refusing to go up the frame. Not again!!!
Then the class started. Today there were only eight dogs so 2 in a group. We started at the teeter again but it was up higher than last week. I was surprised by the sound and by how fast and heavy the board is compared to mine at home. So I couldn't control a 2o2o at first. I got better at it the more I did it. The chute was also in this section and I went in without coming back out and mom would run and hold up the end so I could see her waiting there for me and I went through. So at least there is a little progress!
Next we did jumps working on front crosses and pulls (when it looks like you might do a front cross but you don't and there is no side change for the dog). This went ok except mom still sometimes gets confused about how she is turning. I think she gets so excited and forgets to think about what she is doing. Front crosses seem to speed me up. That's a good thing!
Then we went to weaves. This was one of the parts mom didn't like. There were wires for the entry and for the exit. The instructor said we had to do the weaves with the wires because in the next level class, those two wires would be on so we could practice entries - apparently if the wires are off, too many entries are wrong and then the dog is just learning wrong. Mom said I had never seen wires and she didn't want to mess me up. The instructor told her to try it and that I probably wouldn't even notice them! (Doesn't she realize I notice EVERYTHING!) Mom told me to weave but the wire freaked me out and I skipped the first two poles and the last two poles. When the wire was taken off, I got all my entries right, but did the slowest weaves ever (well, I was worried about where that wire thing was!). Now mom doesn't know whether she is going to have to re-teach me with wires or what in order to be able to go to the next class! It looks like it is difficult to come into a class where everyone else has been learning the same way and we haven't. We don't really fit in any where.
The last part of the class was contacts. I did really slow dog walks but stayed really well in my 2o2o position. I also refused to do the a-frame. I guess I figured I had already done enough of those and mom didn't push me to do it this time.
It seems like we still have a lot to learn about classes. Mom fears that she is being labeled as "difficult". I was easily distracted and slow tonight. The instructors think I lack confidence. And that the noises and activity in the building will take some getting used to. It's strange but I was never leery about any equipment until that class in beginning agility with the chute. Some how I apparently lost a lot of confidence that night. And that night made me not enjoy agility classes all that much. Mom thought we got some of the joy back with the private lesson and last week's class, but I don't know. I am much faster and better in my own yard. Too bad trials can't be held in the privacy of your own home!
We came home and went outside and I did speedy weaves with 90 degree entries. Tomorrow we're going to take the day off from agility....supposed to rain any way. We'll see what happens in class next week.
Safety and Sideguards
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