Saturday, December 4, 2010

Wall-e's fifth rally class

At class today, we learned the last of the Novice exercises. Next week we'll spend the hour running a full course. (Do you say "running" a course in rally? I don't know the terminology!)

The exercises:

Halt - Side Step Right - Halt
Halt - 1, 2, 3 Steps Forward
Halt - 1, 2, 3 Steps Backward (only in CKC Novice rally)
Halt - Turn Right - 1 Step - Halt

The least difficult exercise for us was the last one. We didn't really have any problems with that, but the other exercises were tough for me! I found it hard to concentrate on my shoulders, arms, and feet all at the same time. It's like starting agility all over again.

The instructor had a good suggestion of using both hands to reward for the front in the Halt -
1, 2, 3 Steps Backward exercise (holding the treat in both hands to reward, instead of one hand). Since the dog is supposed to be in the middle of the handler in the front position, using both hands to reward will prevent the dog from sitting towards any one particular hand (because dogs orient to where they're getting their rewards).

The sequence (or rather a course, because there were a lot of stations) was Start, Fast Pace, Normal Pace, 270 Degree Right, Halt - Sit - Walk Around, 360 Degree Left, Straight Figure 8, Spiral Right - Dog Outside, Halt - Call Front - Finish Right, and Finish. Even though Wall-e was a bit tired because we'd done a lot of training this class, he was happy and eager to do the course.

Looking back over all the exercises we've learned, I think the cone/pylon exercises are our best exercises. (And of course, the stationary exercises are our worst :)

Next week we'll spend the hour running a full course. (Do you say "running" a course in rally? I don't know the terminology!)

Note: I should mention that when I talked about Wall-e's crooked sits at our last class, I didn't mean that he actually sits crooked, but rather than he sits at an angle to me instead of parallel to my body. He sits with his butt far away from me instead of tucked in. Sorry for the confusion! Again, I don't know obedience terminology :)


  1. It seems both of you had a good class today. Two of you did so well, I like the feeling whenever I work well with my dogs and I think they feel the same as I do too.

  2. doing the full course next week will be a blast I bet! It sounds like the class has gone really great and that is a great tip about keeping the treat in both hands, that makes really good sense! I cant wait to hear how the full course goes!

  3. Sounds like you will have a nice course for next week. Good luck! :)

  4. Sounds like things are progressing nicely. Diana

  5. Both my dogs used to have totally crooked sits too. Lucy's sits improved tremendously once she learned the left pivot, which I found really helped her understand heel position. Walter on the other hand I have had no luck whatsoever in teaching him heel position / pivoting left and not surprisingly his sits continue to be as angled as ever.

    Have fun training! Wall-e looks like such a fun dog to work with.