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Thread: Frosty's First Agility Class Feb 2010

  1. #11
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    ooh im looking forward to reading this thread!!! It sounds like a good one... how often do you have your classes??

  2. #12
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    Agility is once a week, Wednesday nights.

    So you've got a bit of a wait, and I have to remember to find the thread and put something in it. And next week's forecast isn't much better than this weeks.

  3. #13
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    Default Frosty's second agility class

    Frosty's second agility class (maybe I should change the thread title)

    Weather was good for Agility class last night so off we went.

    Looked like a huge class of beginners, so it was divided into tall dogs and medium dogs. Frosty was in the medium dogs with the same dogs and instructor as last time.

    We started with the same equipment as last time - hoop, long jump, hurdles, weave and a short floppy tunnel - which some dogs had lot of trouble with it, and in the end it had to be pegged and then one of the dogs tripped on the tent peg at the front and hurt itself, sigh. I hammered the peg in a bit more while waiting my turn when the other dog was at the other end of "the course". Frosty went through it like she had been crawling under sheets and towels and flappy things all her life. Um. Maybe she has.

    Weaves were a fun game of tug for Frosty and embarrasing for me, until the instructor suggested we stop playing tug and get on with doing the obstacle ie no proceeding until Frosty had "leave it" let go the lead rope (horse lead rope) and then she was able to do the weave - almost properly and the jumps without standing on the poles.

    And in no time at all it was time to swap course with the other group of beginners. New course was table, plank walk (no idea what it's actual name is yet), some more hurdles around in a circle and back to a long tunnel.

    Frosty made table and plank walk look easy. She just loves getting a bit of height. So all my work was about slowing her down, making sure she went steady and touched the yellow bit, instead of leaping off early. The ridgeback x from last week absolutely refused to go on the plank. I think a fair bit of the trouble was that her natural feet placement was wider than the plank so she'd be doing the doggy equivalent of tight rope walking, ie placing her feet closer to a centre line than her doggy balance was used to. We tried getting her to follow Frosty up, but as soon as she noticed she was on the plank she got off it.

    The other fun bit, at the end of the hurdles on the return bit of the course, was a proper long tunnel. The first time I tried to point Frosty through it, and I tried to race up the end to look at her through the tunnel, only to look up and find she'd followed me around the outside of it. But at least she followed me and didn't take the opportunity to nick off and greet all her friends. So much improvement there. So we went back to the beginning of the tunnel and the instructor held her at the start of it until I could call her from the other end. And she came straight through - again like she'd always known how to do that. And we did that a couple more times with no help from the instructor.

    I just need to get/make a weave and a few jump poles for practicing at home I think.

    Frosty and I are thoroughly loving doing the classes. And I think she will be fine off lead. Ms very experienced handler with her kelpie x again made everything look easy, so she's been promoted to a later class. She will have to be careful to make sure she doesn't end up in two classes with two different dogs at the same time.

    There was another kelpie x last night, not there from the time before. That kelpie x was very excited and kept overtaking her handler. But she did all her stuff off lead, even when she went to say hello to barking dog from the other group of beginners. There was one dog in the other group that barked continuously while going around the course. I guess in Agility there are no points off for that, unlike CCD (obedience competition).

    Dogs were in all sizes, the bull terrier was back, and the staffie - in the experienced classes, some mini schnauzers, the cocker spaniel, and some Shelties, and a gorgeous little sheltie puppy - not for class - can't start until it is 1yo but I think one of its parents was there. And the noisy BCs though they only seemed to care about their mum.

    In the beginner group there were some more ridge backs, a bitsa x bull terrier type bark a lot dog, a doberman?, hmm I really wasn't paying attention to the other class.

    Only one slightly annoying thing happened. Kelpie x the newbie - her mum seemed to think it was a good idea for her dog to play with Frosty between runs. I thought that between runs might be a good time to practice being a calm sit-stay dog, not mad wrestling dog. So I kept Frosty away after the initial hello greeting sniff.

  4. #14
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    Sounds like you are having fun!!! I wish they did this in my town.. I would love to take Boss along to it

  5. #15
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    Last wednesday's agility was like one step forward and two steps back.

    I had a good supply of roast beef treats - and I needed them.

    Class was dividing up and I was reminded we needed to sign the book - which I had forgotten. When I came back from doing that, the bloke instructor had only one team in his class so I joined that one - and left my old instructor with 6 dogs. Then two more teams came over to us.

    A new one from last time - I thought I could talk a lot but this lady could talk more. And her dog was so obedient it had won competition obedience classes - but it would not do what it was told in the agility class. And I didn't like her methods of correction much either. Scolding dog after it had done wrong like minutes not seconds after or during (best) - how she got anywhere with obedience I have no idea. I tried to stay away from her.

    And there was a lady with a Lab x that kept lining up 1m behind the first obstacle whether it was her turn or not. I asked the instructor to get her to give the rest of us some room.

    And when it came my turn - our instructor says "off lead" - I'm thinking "oh dear" but we give it a go - I figure Frosty can't play tug of war - but she still tries - cos I still have the lead in my hand. And she knocks the jump down. And she won't go in the tunnel. I try to get the instructor to hold her at one end while I go down the other and Frosty doesn't want to know. Mainly because the tunnel has a bend in the middle and is a bit squished flat there. Eventually we shorten up the tunnel and then straighten it. And she does it but not as enthusiastically as last week.

    Weaves were crap but at least my technique has been cleaned up. Always start here, go this way ie dog always takes first pole to port (on the dog's left, going forward), and guide the dog with the hand on the same side as the poles and hold the lead in the hand on the other side and stand next to your dog not ahead - how to get tangled up.

    And she walked on the spread jump the first time but did it properly the next time. All the hurdles were high this week and she knocked a lot of them down. It was difficult to get her to pay attention to the jump. Where as the previous week she looked for them and jumped extras.

    So everything we did well last week - not so well done this week. But she did spend a bit of time off lead and me and our friends from the morning obedience class were able to catch her every time. Not like last year where she'd be off to greet everybody while carefully staying out of grab range - so a huge unexpected improvement there.
    Last edited by Hyacinth; 02-27-2010 at 03:59 PM. Reason: you think one thing and your fingers type something else

  6. #16
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    sounds like organised chaos lol

    Im glad you are able to see the positives from the night

  7. #17
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    I feel a bit sorry for the dog club committee and instructors at the moment. One of their key people has quit, so that takes away one of the key organisers to do that job. And agility wise - I was there early enough to help set up but our Festival people for the froggy fireworks display tonight (Saturday) had fenced off half the dog club area and channelled everybody off Victoria Park Racecourse through our remaining dog club area because that was the only way to get from A to B for the public since council blocked all the usual paths. Hopefully it will be all back to normal by next class (Tuesday) or I'm doing some fence relocating of my own. One shifting spanner and one pair of heavy duty scissors ought to cover it.

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