Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Keep moving forward

Class today was about forward motion front crosses which are way better for me and Ricky than rear crosses. However, my problem continues to be that I get too far ahead of Ricky. So in one case, I was already rotated and finished with my FC before Ricky even got to the jump, and I presented him with complete collection cues. This does not work for my sensitive boy - he basically comes to a dead stop before jumping. I was told to try again and to send him to the jump and keep moving and this helped to motivate him a lot.

I watch the demonstrations of the "right" way to handle a sequence, but most of the time the "right" way doesn't apply to my team. My instructor has offered to let me run one of her dogs in class but I want to do agility with Ricky. So when will I finally get it in my head that I have to make my own handling decisions (often on the fly) to do what works best for us? I am lucky to have a teacher who will help me to look for those options!

We had fun though! And I really enjoy watching classmates and their dogs who have made significant progress. Class is my escape from reality - hard to think of anything else when doing agility!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Rules were made to be broken

It was a picture perfect day today so we took Ricky to the Alum Creek beach. It is the closest thing we can get to a real beach any where near us. Ricky loves it! For a dog that does not like to swim, he sure enjoys himself every time we take him there. Pets are prohibited on the beach. It is a rule I don't mind breaking considering another rule is "littering is prohibited" and plenty of people seem to be breaking that one. What are people thinking?

Any way, Ricky ran right down to the lake and started biting at the little waves.

He was not sure about the buoy but only barked a couple times.

He loves to run!

He came charging back for a treat of course!

Sandy dirty feet.

He somehow got into some big burrs but was good about having them pulled out.

We had a really good and fun and relaxing time! Hope to get out there again soon!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Rear crossing Ricky

Not an easy task in class. But today was all about rears - at the jump, on the flat, parallel. I understand them and so does Ricky but in class we do forced rears - I slow way down and keep telling him to go ahead and jump. He is more willing to do them at home. For anyone who is working on them, lateral motion into the dog is very important and also keeping your dog-side arm straight out in front of you to send the dog ahead is also important. And timing. Just like all of agility, I guess.

After one sequence with rears, Ricky and I went back to motivational handling (with the blessing of the instructor). I really like that she will encourage me to handle Ricky in ways that are best for us rather than making us stick to the class plan.

Agility handling seems so confusing sometimes. But isn't it really simple in the end? I'm sure I will feel differently one day if I have a super-fast driven dog. :)

Sunday, June 16, 2013


So I have been incredibly lazy and unmotivated these days. Poor Ricky. But when we do train something, he has an extra little spring in his step. He is very enthusiastic. Last night we reviewed retrieving. I put out quite a few objects - plastic ice cream scoop, little bowl, nerf ball, basket, dumbbell, sock, etc. in one room and then go into another room and send Ricky to get items and bring them to me. He loves this. Awesome since it was so difficult to teach him to walk with something in his mouth. :)

Any way, one of the things he retrieves is an old tv remote with the batteries removed. He brought that to me and I said, "Go get another one" and he trotted off. He came back with the little battery compartment cover that had apparently fallen off the remote. It was too cute.

Ricky is such a good boy!