Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Agility class after all

Yesterday we went to a new agility class at our dog club. I don't know if you remember, but we belong to a dog club where you pay annual dues and then you can take all the classes you want and also go to practices and stuff (like our Wed. morning agility practice). The classes are all taught by volunteers. Any way we found out that there is a Monday morning agility class - well, two classes actually. One at 11:00 and one at 12:15. So we signed up to check it out. There were 8 dogs in our class - so kind of a big group for just one instructor. The building was split into two rings - one side had jumps and weaves and the other side had the contact obstacles plus tunnels and some jumps. The instructor is a very nice man who fed me salmon treats!!!! I liked him right away. He had some sequences for us to run. He didn't really tell us how to do it but would give advice if he saw something we might want to consider doing. It went ok but the wait for your turn to run was very long. It was hard to stay motivated. And it was hard for mom to focus on me and on thinking about what we were going to do because everybody wanted to talk while they waited for their turn. Any way, this was just our first class so we'll see how it goes next week.

And mom decided to try to sign me up for another class at the training center where we have been taking the really good agility classes (you know, the ones we pay for!). She checked her schedule and thought we should try a Wednesday night class - it's called novice competition and it's to help prepare for trials. But we turned in our application and money late so we will have to wait to see if we get in to the class or not.

Today in the backyard we set up a speed circle and mom worked to get me going fast from the beginning to the end. We are still having trouble coming up with a start line routine that excites me. At first we were going to try having me sit between mom's legs - we call that move "danger" because we learned about it from Johann and that's what he calls it. That used to get my attention but it doesn't much any more. "Ready!" doesn't do it for me either. Today mom didn't make me sit - she just tried to line me up on one side of her or the other and she said "OK, GO!" One problem with the classes is that mom wants to work on stuff like getting me excited at the start, but she always feels hurried to get going when it's our turn - she doesn't want to hold the class up. So it seems like we can't work on it in places where motivating me is a challenge.

I am doing ok on my diet - I think I have lost some weight already but mom is still not sure that she can feel my ribs - maybe almost! Do you think if I lose a little weight, it will make a difference when I get measured at my next trial? I really want to measure 14" or less - and now that I'm two, the next two measurements really count (I think). No way am I big enough to jump 16" all the time.

Well, I'm tired - I helped mom teach her music lessons today and that is exhausting for me! Hope everyone is having a good week so far! Tomorrow we go to practice in the morning and on Thursday I think I heard mom say we are going to visit cousin Wilson! Yay!!!

Gotta zoom!



Diana said...

This is something you can try. If you working on start line excitment, dont run the whole course. Tell the insturctor what you need to work on. Then use your time to do that. So get Ricky really excieted and then just take the first one or two jumps. (I hope that make sense) Does Ricky like any toys that you can take to the start line in class? Any games you play that get him excietd. Miley likes it when we play, "Im gona get you". Its just a phrase , but she knows that Im going to chase her . There are also some songs that get her excietd. "Whip it " is one of them. Diana

Dawn said...

Ok...I'm trying to imagine either of you singing "Whip It" at the beginning of a trial! That's too cute! But I like the idea of practicing the start over and over rather than running the course. I know what it's like to wait with a bunch of people while one at a time run the whole thing. It does seem a waste of time/money/excitement etc.

The class I liked best was one that was split in three and each group had 3 things in a row to run, we practiced for a while and then switched. That way we were moving more. And Katie didn't get bored.

Bree/Reilly said...

You are just such a busy little dude. With all that practice you are doing you will loose that tiny bit of weight in no time.

Ludo van puppy said...

Sounds like you was very busy. hm, i don't know how you could get excited more cos I am excited all the time if there is toys and treats. BOL!
~lickies, Ludo

Sara said...

Maybe instead of singing "Whip It", you could sing another catchy 80's song, "Ricky"

~awww Ricky you're so fine, you're so fine you blow my mind, hey Ricky, hey Ricky.....

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Guess you guys don't know it, but mom can't sing!!! Hey maybe that would get me excited to move faster because it would make her stop singing!

Seriously, though, thanks for all the advice - we'll give your ideas a try!

Amber-Mae said...

Hope you had a great time at Agility class. My Mommy makes me bark a few times & then do the 'Flip' trick to get me excitered.

Butt sniffs,
Solid Gold Dancer

Irish Hill Shelties said...

Hi Ricky I get mine excited with just a voice change and a hide the bait after they see it (in pocket,
toy, etc. Also if we are doing something regularly and it is outside the jacket I wear gets them al fired up because they know we are doing a jump and run play they associate my outfit with the activity. just a thought hope it helps.

Morgan in Pittsburgh said...

I have to do a sit-stay cause I'm fast and mom is fat and old and she needs a good lead-out BOL, BOL.I crack myself up sometimes..Anyhow, once i get started mom yells happy word at me like "yes" "Whoo-hoo" "good job" those words really get me going and motivated to pay attention.
your pal, Morgan