Last night was our second agility class and it went even better than the first class! I think Dahlia is enjoying this. She looks bright-eyed and happy, spends most of class grinning. I know I'm enjoying it, even though I can't get the smell of freeze-dried chicken liver out of my nose! lol
We started off class with a new obstacle: the tunnel. I had been concerned about Dahlia going through the tunnel because she sometimes seems to have issues with going into darker enclosed spaces. Last weekend when we were at the dog park, I decided to take her through the tunnel they have there. At the park it's a short tunnel, just a few feet long and plastic. The one we used at class was a similar length (only a few feet long) and looks like the same material that ones in competition are made out of. They must be staked down in competition though as this one would roll all over when a dog went through it unless you held it. No big deal though as we're just learning and just getting the dogs to go through and onto the equipment.
While the instructor was talking, a new member of the class was standing nearby with their young yellow lab. The dog got up and ran through the tunnel a few times. It turns out they have a tunnel at home and have been taking him through it so he thinks it's a blast. The dog was really quite a natural as he took to all of the the equipment quickly.
Next up was Dahlia, mostly because the instructor thought it would take her a little while to go through it. I did too! She wouldn't with me standing next to her, but then the instructor held her while I went to the other side with a treat and she went right through the tunnel to me! Good dog. The next few times we did it, all I had to do was toss a treat into the tunnel and she went through. She wasn't hesitating much and I was pretty pleased (and surprised!).
Then we worked on the weaves. She was trying a different set of weave poles this time. These were ones where they have to step over some of the plastic a bit and she had them set in such a way that they had to weave slightly to get through them, rather than just walk between the poles. I was, again, amazed she took to it pretty easily. We had a couple false starts but I was able to get her to weave in between the poles pretty well. Like the tunnel, we practiced a little bit of that this past weekend. At Barry Park, they have these wooden stakes that are spaced further apart than weaves, but still seemed to be a good place to get her to weave in and out. She did well then and she did well in class.
After we had worked on those elements and taken a break, we practiced going over a single jump and Dahlia was much less hesitant. As long as I got her in the right position she jumped right over it. She didn't even walk over it! She jumped. I was really happy.
And then we did things in sequence. First sequence: pause box, jump, weaves, tunnel. She did pretty well. The pause box is nothing to her now. She steps right in and sits down. We had a little trouble getting to the jump because there was a pole in the way but once I got her over to it and heading straight on, she went over pretty easily. The weaves and tunnel went well. We did that a few times, each time she did pretty well.
Then the second sequence was: weaves, tunnel, pause box, jump, and a second set of weaves. It was hard to remember but we did ok. The hardest part was still getting her around the pole and in a proper position for the jump but I managed to do it ok. It was good working on the sequences because it makes you think about getting yourself into proper position, how to get your dog from one to the other, how to get them set up to go through and obstacle properly.
Dahlia did well, except she's slow. Seriously slow. Especially by the end of class. The instructor was amused and said something like "She's so energetic, how do you handle her?" *sigh* Sometimes I worry about my girl. She's only 3, maybe 4 years old. Should she be this laid back? She seems to have energy, but she just doesn't do anything fast most of the time. I don't know if it's the floors and if she'd be faster on grass. But still I worry that she seems so slow sometimes. I don't know how to get more energy out of her! If that's even possible.
One woman in the class swears Dahlia is an Aussie. I had no idea they can come in black (self black or minimal black bi). She kept saying that she looks JUST like an Aussie but with a tail. I have no idea, but she does sort of look like the dog on this page
, except with a tail. I'm not sure the ear set is quite right though, but I thought that was interesting.
Next week they're bringing out the teeter. This is NOT going to go well. lol