Monday, June 13, 2011


We have our second agility class tonight with Toe and Keenan!

I thought Keenan might be a bit of a spazoid being 7 mos old but she was good ... there are 4 other people besides Furry Husband and myself... nice, small class.  A dachshund named Bear (love it!), a Golden Retriever and my tracking buddy J with her husband and their two English Cockers....

The instructor was great - knowledgeable and fun.  She taught us about target training using the lid from margarine type containers... starting out with a treat on the target and working toward treating our dogs whenever they nosed the target... moving it further away so they had to go to the target to touch it.  It's teaching them to work away from us because they will have to go out to jumps and obstacles in agility vs. staying close to us like obedience work.  (heh - not that Toe stays close to me in obedience work like he's supposed to anyway!  grin.) 

We also learned the 2 on, 2 off concept.  The dogs have to have 2 paws on and 2 paws off the yellow contact areas on the end of the obstacles when running an agility course.  We practiced using the Aframe. 

There was a short table next to the Aframe, letting them jump up on the table to get onto the lower third of the Aframe.  Our targets were at the bottom.  When they reached the end they were treated, told wait with 2 feet on and 2 feet off... released with a happy OK! and treated again.

We let them run thru a weave pole set up... at this point the weave poles are far apart with pole standing on the right and left while the dog runs through the open middle... the poles will get closer and closer as the training progresses. 

Last thing we did was introduce them to the teeter... the instructor held the teeter just a few inches from the ground while our dogs put their front paws on to get used to the drop and sound it makes when it hits the ground.

All exercises were done from the right and left sides so we get used to working with our dogs on either side.  Different from obedience when dogs are always on your left.  A harder concept for ME vs. the dogs ... isn't that always the way it is?

It was great fun - our dogs were happy to work for food and seemed to enjoy figuring out the agility equipment and what we wanted them to do. 

I'm looking forward to tonight!

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