Monday, April 18, 2011

Foundations and Grown-up Agility

Zig's foundation class:

Did a better job of being motivating. A new schnauzer in class necessitated me working harder at being fun and keeping Zig with me. We've got two on two off phone book. We've got good jump drive over the standards. We've got the beginnings of circle work. We're getting very good stays even in front of the jump (which he desperately wants to take). We've got tug! We get distracto-pants during the last minutes esp when he's waiting to run his mini courses.

Grown up agility

The class I'm in is not challenging enough for us right now. Tried to spice it up by adding some distance practice but the course really wasn't set up for it, didn't work too well. I think most of the people in the class run AKC novice which is much different than where we are. Which is who knows? I know I want more distance work, I wish I'd done more foundation work with Griff-especially jump work. Need to start puppy jump grids more vigorously with Zigster. Weaves and contacts were especially good tonight. Not a bobble at the startline. Why only when I can least afford it (ie, colors run that he blew) does he break his stay???

I want an incredibly toy driven dog for my next puppy. I've decided.

Monday, April 11, 2011

My puppy hates shaping

We have been having a devil of a time with the "phone book" exercise in Agility Foundations, namely, get two back feet on the phone book. We had little trouble with two front feet but 1. changing the game 2. expecting back feet when dogs have much less control/awareness of them and 3. trying to increase criteria have left me with a very frustrated puppy! He's started vocalizing when I get the phone book out. I feel this exercise is kind of dumb but my instructor insists this is the way I should do it (no luring, no teaching to back up first without the phone book). Today after finally (sort of ) nailing two back feet on, she wanted us to do a sit on the phone book. This just about broke my puppy (although , or maybe because, he was frequently offering a sit on the phone book when two front feet stopped working).

He's also having some difficulties with focus/motivation right now. I hope it's just an adolescence thing, but I suspect it might have something to do with his handler :(. I am afraid somehow I'm dampening his motivation, by not making it fun enough, decreasing frequency of rewards, or being too predictable.

I'd really like to find a rally class we can take, but my schedule is so busy none of them are fitting in, sad.

Wedding planning is taking over many spare moments as well.

engagement shots and dogs