Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A Real Agility Course

And a (Thankfully) Closed Ring

So.  Due to the Labor Day Holiday coming up, McKenzie had her last agility class on Monday.  BTW, they also skipped the week of the July 4th Holiday, so in the end, she's 2 classes behind Malcolm.  I've been working with her a lot on the teeter totter.  She got spooked on it early on, and hasn't recovered very well.  I finally got her to walk onto it with all four paws and stand there, but she still won't move forward without a lot of patience and coaxing.  Since there is only one other dog in that class, the class has moved a lot further than Malcolm's class.  That is probably why she got spooked on the teeter.  She was asked to do it without help and Malcolm's class is still putting a table at the other end so it doesn't go down all the way.  Kenz just wasn't ready for the full teeter experience yet.

She also wasn't ready to run an actual course either.  But that is exactly what the teacher wanted on the last day.  So she closed the course, taught us how to walk it and then let us take our dog on it with the leash.  She then put one handler, one dog, a judge and a ring steward in the ring and told us to run it off leash.  (I was allowed to skip the teeter completely).   I mean really?  No leash?  You've got to be joking, right?

So here goes..........McKenzie sit.  Stay.  (so far, so good).  Ready?  Go! Hup! ...First jump, 2nd A-Frame, 3rd jump, 4th hoop-tunnel, 5th jump........hey!  We're doing good!  
Out! Here! (I've got to line her up for the Dog Walk).........oops, too far out.  What's that? 
Oh. Crap!  I just saw a light bulb go on in her head...............She just realized the leash was not attatched.  Butt tuck, ears back, shoulders hunched.........................RUN!  and run, and run and run.  What a happy look on her face.  (Not mine).  McKenzieeeeee, Here...rrrrr!  Chick-ennnnn!  Nothing.  Run, run, run.  The ring steward finally caught her.  Then the instructor said, "You don't have a recall".  What gave you the first clue?  
"May I please do this with the leash on?"
"Sure, no problem.  I just wanted you to see you were'nt ready for trials".
"Dang.  I know we're not ready for trials.  We don't even want to do trials.  Forget about trials and just get me through this class."

So I put the leash on her and she did really well.  We did the course front ways and back ways and had a great time.  She likes everything but the teeter which I'm not pushing her on.  We will continue to practice both the agility obstacles and our recall and I'll get her enrolled in another class soon.  It will be Beginner Agility again, I'm sure.

This picture was taken in the beginning part of the class so most of the walks and teeters are flat on the floor.

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