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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Agility Class

We are back in full swing at our indoor/barn agility classes.  I train both Maggie and Bosley in the same class, switching back and forth between them.  I wanted to do separate classes with them, but the late class, which Bosley would have been in, goes until 9:00.  By the time we put away the equipment and pack up, I don't get home until after 9:30, then I still need to shower, feed the dogs and get ready for bed which means I wouldn't get to sleep until around 10:30.  Wednesday is my early (earlier) day at work, so I need to get up at 3:30, so . . .  Maggie and Bosley have to share a class.  It is not too bad, the class is small so both dogs still get in plenty of work time.

Last night we had a great class.  There are usually 3 stations set up and we divide up into 3 groups and rotate through the stations.  This gives everyone a chance to work on specific things with their dogs.  At the first station, which was jumps, a tunnel and the table, I worked a bit of distance (sending to the tunnel).  Bosley had a hard time with this because the tunnel was curved with the table in the middle of the curve - he loves the table, so he would just go there instead.  I worked lots on lead out pivots with both dogs.  I tend not to use LOPs too much as my dogs are not super fast so I usually do not need that lead out advantage, but sometimes it is just a better handling choice.  Both dogs did great, as long as I wasn't late cueing the turn.

The second station was super fun.  It include the teeter, 12 weaves, a few jumps and lots of opportunity for distance work.  I was very happy with both dogs.  Both Maggie and Bosley took the teeter with me behind them as well as laterally away.  Bosley loves the teeter anyway so he usually has few teeter committment issues, but Maggie does not always like the teeter.  She did great last night - no hesitation and did great with the distance.  I really pushed the distance on the weaves and both dogs rocked it!  I was was moving away from the dogs as they were weaving and ended up on the other side of a jump and about 15 feet laterally away.  Both dogs fully committed to the weaves right to the end.  I think they each popped the last pole once, but neither missed an entrance even when I stayed behind them.

The last station we worked on quickly as we only had a few minutes left in class.  It had dogwalk/tunnel discrimination,  6 weaves and jumps.  Since we only had a few minutes, I worked on "turn" off the dogwalk into the tunnel - I am trying to do this on a verbal signal only.  Maggie did awesome with this.  The first time I thought it was a fluke (her "turn" on flatwork is not always great), but she did it a second time with no physical cue from me at all.  Bosley is great doing the "turn" on the flat over jumps or to the weaves, but is still confused turing away from me off contact equipment.  He has to come right off the contact, take a few steps and then turn - I guess we will keep working on this.  I also worked my decel cue and wraps on this station and neither dog had issues with that.

Overall, a great night.  Bosley only tried to leave me once to go eat horse poop, so already an improvement over last years barn nights.  Both dogs were focused all night and we all had fun.


  1. Sounds like a lot of fun!!! I can't wait to start classes with Mya.

  2. Sounds like they both did well!

  3. from what i saw it looked great kim- Maggies weaves were amazing last night. if only she would weave that fast in a trial setting!

  4. You had a great night Kim, I was super impressed with the distance you were getting with both dogs!!!