Thursday, April 29, 2010

A hard workout...Follow our dog agility class Mon. night

We have been doing dog agility classes with our furbaby Inu for over a year now - she is almost two and what a difference it has made in her.  More confidence, and becoming a thinking dog, if you can imagine that....So I thought I would share one of her classes with you.  This past Monday was an especially challenging workout for her and her handler - "daddy."  The teeter (aka seesaw) has always been one of her difficult obstacles, especially since it makes a loud "bang" when the end of it hits the floor.  We take classes at an awesome indoor dog training site, with special floor padding (feels good on everyone's paws & feet!), and don't have to worry about the rain, sun, heat....and lots of run room, and sitting areas for both dogs to rest in a crate, as well as me!  Class was set up when we arrived - looks like we are going to be running two courses - see the one on the left, and the angled diagonal one on the right?
In the back of these runs, you can see we will be working on the A-frame (looks like a peaked roof) and the teeter (seesaw) - Inu's favorite....NOT.  We check out the crates and choose the one we usually put Inu into to get ready for class - I set up our notebook, water bottle, Inu's treats/tug toys, etc. and our chairs.  There  are 3 other dogs in this class.

Inu starts off well running the 2 courses...
See she is running so fast she is just a blur - Impressive huh?  What do you expect from pictures from a cell phone?!
The dogs in this class work well alongside each other too - see the other dog sitting on the left watching?  That's really good to just sit and not move - just try it sometime when there are more exciting things going on that you want to check out...that's called "proofing" the behavior, so the dog will do it NO MATTER WHAT until you tell him/her otherwise. 

The handlers work in team, helping their other assigned partner and dog while their own dog rests, so Daddy helps his partner and dog:And Inu gets to rest and wait patiently for her next workout, the next time to come out and "play" (work) and get more treats - she loves the low-fat string cheese bits - they have high value for her so she will really work for them, so only gets them for class....little does she know what is coming up.

Now the real work begins - it's Teeter Time....
Now Inu has done teeter before and has made significant improvement with the noisy teeter, but always had a table on one end of it so it didn't move up/down and free fall much.  She even pulls it down to get on it because she knows there are treats if she does....

Inu does quite well, and does what she is suppose to...

And Inu does what she usually does on the teeter, and goes back and forth on it from end to end, getting those treats, yum - what fun!

But after a couple times, Inu realizes that something is different - there is no board at the end and the teeter is moving differently than before - that's the freefalling aspect of it.  Inu decides she doesn't want to do any more of This - it's getting scary and not doing what it has in the past:

Now the teacher steps in and doesn't let Inu decide that she can stop yet - more treats and some fast talking
Well of course Inu REALLY loves those cheese bits, so stays for that....and stays and works, and works, and works

Now this is going over Inu's usual time to work - her maximum time before she has to take a mental break is 3 minutes, and we are way past that....Quick, we need more treats!
Come on Inu, just one last time and end on a positive really successful note!
Woot, we did it!!  Back to the crate for a well-deserved rest...and that was the end of Inu's night because she was just too tired to even want to do the dog A-frame, which she usually loves and hauls over...not tonight.  So Daddy helps out again (and he's tired now too with all that mental concentration)  And teacher goes through this again with another dog on the A-frame:
Tonight the equipment wasn't set as high as it would be for a tournament/competition - gee, that should have been a clue that something different was going to be done in class tonight!
Isn't this amazing how the dogs train right alongside each other?
What a great team, dogs, handlers and teacher(s)!  We love this place....We go home exhausted, but know that Inu has achieved another milestone.  BTW, Inu slept most of the next day, she was dog-tired lol.

1 comment:

  1. Good Job INU! Now if you could only figure out how to get Mom and Dad to work for treats!

    Fur hugs from Wicketcat and her pet Jean.



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