Sunday, September 6, 2009

Finally an agility dog

Hello everyone! Sorry I haven't updated in so long- something called 'school' took my time away from the computer, can you believe that?

So far classes are going well..but I know that in a few weeks I'll be loaded with work and studying, eek! Thankfully, I have been able to arrange playdates 1-3 times a week with Hansel and his mom. Sometimes we go to the dog park, other times we let them run around the Arts Quad...

Aw, jeez, Mom..seriously?

...and Winnie and I started agility classes today, YAY! I'm so happy to have finally started, since the summer classes got canceled and I had to wait an extra 1-2 months.

Needless to say, Winnie totally ROCKED at the first class. The instructor introduced us to the basic equipment- standard bar jump, tire jump, pause table, shortened tunnel, chute (without the actual chute), and a dog walk (only the flat part). Winnie did each obstacle without any hesitation while some of the other dogs struggled to go through the tunnel or get up on the dog walk. Our homework for this week is to work on getting them to follow our hands as well as teach them how to target- both of which we already happen to know, hehe. But I suppose there's always room to practice more!


If anything, I spent more time (and treats) getting her to focus on me. She has had issues before with getting overexcited and overstimulated around dogs, but to my pleasant surprise she did an amazing job today! Before the class started I did some short heeling patterns with her (mostly going straight and doing a lot of left turns) to get her attention on me, which she did really well. She was very focused on me when there were dogs in front and behind her (we were in a line taking turns to use the obstacles). Most of the time, I managed to keep her in the heel position while walking around the ring. Only during the middle of the class did she start getting distracted by the treats that had fallen on the floor. Towards the end I managed to keep her mind off the floor by running around and asking her to go through the obstacles, LOL!


I'm super proud of what we accomplished today. She has gotten so much more confident around other dogs, and only rarely does she get overstimulated by them (e.g. if she saw another dog, she would rush toward them (WITHOUT any aggression) and sniff/meet and greet).

We stopped by a small pond for a quick drink on the way back to my apartment.

We have agility on Sundays and beginner obedience on Thursday nights. I don't doubt that she already knows basic obedience, but I signed up for the class in order to get her used to working around an overstimulating environment (e.g. hyper puppies). I'm hopeful that each class will benefit the other!

Snoozing after a hard day in class.

6 comments:

JulieandCaleb said...

I love your blog and photos of Winnie! Yaay for agility classes! I can't wait to hear more about them!

Caleb has the same problem around dogs, he wants to go see them RIGHT NOW, MOM! No aggression, but sometimes his exuberance is...startling to the yappy dogs we live around. Hahaha. Must be a corgi thing!!

Our obedience classes worked wonders for Caleb's over excitement...mostly...now he knows when we're in class it's time to work and pay attention and is a rock star...when we're not in that environment then it's more difficult, but much better than it was. Gotta love our little contextual learners! I'm sure Winnie will figure out when it's time to get to work and kick major agility behind!

Ricky the Sheltie said...

It all sounds great! We are really looking forward to hearing about your experiences learning agility! You and Winnie will love it!

Cute sleeping place, btw!

a corgi said...

loved the picture of her halfway under the piece of furniture; they do find the most interesting places to sleep

good for Winnie doing so well in agility! I bet you guys will enjoy that special time together!

betty

BluAussieGal said...

I love that Winnie is going to be an agility corgi! Winnie is just too cute for her own good.

Chase is another one to get overexcited by either enviroment or by the thought of meeting new doggie friends,have you looked into the book Control Unleashed? I have both the book and the dvd and they have both really help Chase and his focus issues

Esther said...

BluAussieGal,

I love Leslie McDevitt! CU is one of my favorite training books, actually :) I haven't seen the DVD but I trust it to be an excellent tool. My favorite CU exercise is the "Look At That" game.

Dances with Corgis said...

The pic of her getting a drink is the cutest.

Good girl, Winnie!