Friday, April 24, 2009

Agility update

I haven't been talking about Wall-e's agility classes very much, so here goes:

1st novice agility class: Well he was a lot slower than usual this class in the Susan Salo jump exercise that we did, I don't know why, one of his off days I guess. His weaves were really nice, they were open at around 8". I think a big reason he was slowing down (in the jump exercise, not the weaves, the weaves were pretty fast) was that he was confused. He slows down when he's confused. We've worked on LOTS of Susan Salo exercises, especially when he was younger, but we never ended up working to the advanced ones.

2nd class: A lot faster this class! The mini A-frame (his very very favourite obstacle, he just loves that A-frame) was in this class so I think that perked him up lots. He was really flying over that A-frame. I thought at first that he was missing contacts, but then my instructor pointed out that the contact zone was smaller than a regulation A-frame because it was a mini A-frame, and that if he'd been working a regulation A-frame he would have hit the contact nicely. Oops, my fault, sorry Wall-e! He did miss one contact that he would have missed on a regulation A-frame, but all the other repetitions were perfect.

3rd place: For the full class, we ran jumping sequences, working on front crosses. It was lots of fun! Wall-e, like most very green dogs, still needed me to babysit him a bit over most of the jumps, but he was getting some good distance in a few parts. Since I had to babysit him, we had a couple near-collisions when I tried to front cross. When he gets more experience I'll be able to get more lateral distance, and I should be able to make more front crosses. We practiced some rear crosses in this class too. We'll have to practice more rear crosses over jumps at home, because we're not too great at them, yet!

Great news!: the agility field is open!! We went for the first time yesterday, and set up an easy, very fun sequence that both dogs could run. I set up six 6" jumps and a tunnel all along the perimeter of the fence in a huge circle. Then both dogs ran it, starting and ending at the tunnel. It was really a blast, and boy was I tired after from all that sprinting! It was a nice break for Mika to just open up her stride and run (she LOVES straight lines), and Wall-e had amazing speed. After running the sequence, I took out the new Soft Bite Floppy Disc, Wall-e's new favourite toy, and threw it for them. I always throw it low so that Wall-e doesn't have to jump up and catch it (he's still pretty much a puppy), but the strong winds lifted up the disc once really high in the air, and Wall-e actually leaped up in mid-air and tried to catch it!! I was so happy! He got a nice tug session for that! I'm really looking forward to teaching him a bit of disc dog when he's older. We're not going to compete or anything, but disc looks like something he'll enjoy.

Okay, last paragraph. Promise. Today I did some linear sending with Mika, setting up the four 10" jumps at sharp angles to each other, almost in a straight line (so she would jump them almost like a serpentine). I thought she would run around at least one of the jumps to get to the loaded target, but no, she jumped them all! We did 4 reps and she got it perfect each time. She's really a fantastic little dog.

Oh, and -- I've registered for Wall-e's herding instinct test, at the end of June!

(That wasn't a paragraph so I didn't break my promise ;)



  1. Very cool nat! The dogs are doing great! I'm glad to hear! Keep it up and keep me updated!

  2. Thanks Alyssa! :) Thanks for reading! Wall-e's weaves were soo awesome today, you'll see 'em in a vid tomorrow prob :D