December 01, 2008

Watching Agility

Sorry, no photos in this post either. Scroll down the page to the previous posts for lots of photos :-)

We went to a CPE Agility trial this morning way on the other side of town to watch and socialize. I only knew a few people there, but enjoyed talking with them. Dazzle did great, keeping focus on me amidst dogs and people walking and running past us, dogs barking, dogs on course, dog's in crates barking, getting run over by a sheltie :-) and the general show noises. He was much better with applause today and by the end wasn't even tensing or reacting in any way. He met several nice dogs and people and did polite, proper greetings. Overall, a good association with a show as far as I could tell.

After the show, we went to Walmart so I could get a new belt clip for my phone. I put his new cape on him, but he didn't like it. He hardly had his ears up the whole time we were in there and he kept stopping to chew at it. I'll need to do some classical conditioning with it. The belly strap needed adjusting because it kept sliding backwards to the narrow part of his waist. I shortened the chest strap to bring it forward once he was back in the van and I could work on it without bending over. But I didn't walk him around to see if it fixed the problem or not. I hope it did.

I used his breakfast as treats during the show this morning, but did a training session with his dinner. I worked on stand for exam using cement blocks for him to stand on. He seemed to have a LOT of trouble getting into the stand position from a sit when he was on the block. I moved him off the block and tried it that way and he did much better. So I skipped the block idea.

I also had his collar and leash on him, which I don't usually do in the basement. But I was thinking of using the dropped leash as a stay signal (like ground tying a horse.) I just don't recall what happens with the leash in a novice stand for exam, so I don't know if that would be a useful signal. I'll have to look that up. Other than the rocky start, he did well in the session this evening. I also worked on heeling a bit and let him run through the weaves a couple times. We haven't done any weaves for awhile, but he remembered just what to do. He found a ball and wanted to play, so I threw it several times and had him practice "front" and a "hold till I take it" behavior before I would toss it again.

He fetches things with such enthusiasm I'm afraid he will hurt himself! He crashes into things, gets his legs going several different directions, it's scary to watch. I try really hard to throw it in a way that reduces the chances of him hurting himself, but somehow on an empty floor, he can manage to do something dangerous looking. I haven't been tugging with him because of him losing his puppy teeth, so fetch is a good exercise alternative- if he doesn't hurt himself. :-) He does seem to really like the small Orbee ball I got him yesterday. It surprized me to find that it is strongly mint scented, but he doesn't seem to mind.

Mike laid face down on the floor a few minutes ago to see what Dazzle would do. He was really curious. He tried to lick his hidden face, then went about trying to stand on him, paw at him, lay on him, tunnel under his hidden face, dig on the back of his legs... It was very cute because he was being gentle. His ears were back, tail wagging, whole body wagging and loose. He wanted to play, but wasn't sure what to do with the "big lump" that wasn't playing back :-) When Mike lifted his head, he gave him lots of kisses and tunneled under his chin and rolled on his back to wiggle around in front of him.