Thursday, October 15, 2009

Wednesday class, cold weather, tRicky T-Day, and a Friday trial

What happened to October - blue skies, pretty leaves, indian summer, dry air? We have skipped October this year and gone straight to November - rainy, cold, windy, gray. I don't mind it that much although we don't go outside like we used to. But mom is whining about the bad weather all day long!

Last night we went to our Wednesday agility class (we missed last week because mom had to rehearse Beethoven #9 - whatever that means). We ran a full course last night - and it included the chute which is always very good practice for me. Since our last real post we have been practicing with the target and getting me to take off at the start. And we have been practicing short sequences (three or four obstacles). Mom is trying to keep practices short and fun and not daily and she tries not to let me know I did anything wrong (that's the hardest thing for her - she STILL catches herself making me redo something from time to time)! It seems to have paid off because I ran pretty fast and happy last night. I even did my fastest away- from- home chute! By the end of the course, mom forgot where she was supposed to go but we just kept running fast and she let me do whatever jumps I wanted. I was super excited when we finished and I got lots of chicken to prove how well I did!

After the run-thru we split up into two groups and did smaller portions of the course. I was still happy until my second-to- last go - I came out of a tunnel really fast and caught sight of another dog out of the corner of my eye. I took my mind off what I was doing for a second and flew at a jump and slipped and knocked the bar. It spooked me a little - mom checked to see that I was ok and then put me back in the tunnel and I finished the sequence. Then when we tried our last little exercise, I refused the aframe and mom stopped me and had me do it again (see, I told you she forgets and makes me redo stuff!!!) I did it the second time. But mom, always the worrier, is hoping that getting spooked won't have a lasting effect on me.

Today is tRicky T-Day so we put together a little video showing my new cane tricks! And there is bonus footage of my stand in the corner trick - mom stands farther away from me now and just says, "Corner" and off I go. We are trying to generalize the behavior to other corners but it's not working yet!

Tomorrow we are traveling a little more than an hour to a trial at a new location for us. It's another artificial turf surface place. Since the barn where we used to trial is still not usable, we are forced to seek out other opportunities. Well, an hour is not a very long drive. Grandma is going to go with us to keep mom company. She has never been to an agility trial but she loves dogs and we think she's going to have a great time! The schedule looks good for us too - I run my Open JWW at 10:00 and then just have to wait for Open STD but we think I may get to run that around noon. That would be great!! So our goal for tomorrow is to blast off from the start line and to run happy (with no sniffing before obstacles!!).

Gotta zoom!



Diana said...

A big congrats to you! Your hard work is paying off. WHooHoo. Good luck this weekend. Diana

Lian said...

Lovely video!

Good Luck this weekend!

Khyra The Siberian Husky And Sometimes Her Mom said...

Oh yes!

November weather it is!

I keep waiting to see some white stuff in the rain we are having but not yet!

Furry khlever trikhks again!

Good lukhk tomorrow - have fun - and I hope your mom doesn't furget too much!


Sara said...

Good luck at your trial tomorrow! We're rooting for you!

Love your cane tricks. Very cute. You are doing great with your corner trick. Oreo is still working on his "stand in the corner". Maybe we'll post his progress next week.

Honey the Great Dane said...

Hey - those are COOL cane tricks, Ricky!! I know the one where you circle around it and also the jumping over but I haven't learnt the holding it with your paws've inspired me to try that next! :-)

Nicki said...

Good luck. We are missing out on fall here too.

Dawn said...

GOOD LUCK RICKY! I hope you have fun at your trial tomorrow. Can't wait to hear all about. Make sure you just run happy. That always works for you!

Marie said...

Your tricks look great as usual. You and your mom do a really good job of coming up with fun things to try next.

Nice to hear that you're having fun trying to do shorter sequences. Have fun at the trial, and I can't wait to hear how it goes!

We rarely run anywhere with artificial turf. In fact, the only time was when we drove all the way back to St. Louis for the Sheltie Nationals, and Zoe ran on it there. She hated it! I've never seen her balk at any surface before, but it was definintely not to her liking. LOL

Nat said...

It's really hard to remember to keep going when your dog makes a mistake at the beginning, but it does get easier with practice, don't worry! You're doing such a GREAT job with Ricky!!

Good luck at the trial tomorrow!


Johann The Dog said...

Oh great practice!!! I hope your trial goes just as well....sounds like your having super fun!

Love the cane tricks, may have to tackle those :)

We'll stop back for trial info!

Nat said...

Thanks for the comment on my blog Ricky! Mika is actually a lot better with muscle memory than Wall-e. Just running over the DW a few times with the pool noodle 30" away from the end will get her to hit the yellow at our next trial, whereas if she hasn't used the pool noodle in a couple weeks she'll leap over the yellow at the next trial.

Wall-e doesn't do as well with muscle memory, so if I want to use this hoop method I'll probably run him over the dog walk 30 or so times a week for the whole agility season next year, and very gradually fade the hoop by bringing it farther and farther away from the DW. Same with the AF, if the hoop works for it too. Different dogs learn differently, so I don't have a problem with spending so much time on his running contacts. I'm sure it'll be worth it in the end! :)