Sunday, June 30, 2019

Eine Kleine Agility Training

SUMMARY: New dog, new handler, new class, some pondering


Today Zorro and I started with the first session of a 4-week class of agility-for-fun, Jumps and Tunnels. I felt so clumsy with even basic things, and it occurs to me: It has been 14 years since I last started a new dog in agility. (Discounting a very few previous class sessions with Zorro.)

New agility dog in 1995, 1997, 2001, 2005... I sort of figured it would keep going on like that. But nooooo--  Even had I been healthier, Chip arrived in 2014, so a big gap there. And Zorro in 2015. It should be time for me to be thinking about a new agility dog because my current ones would be getting up there in age!

Funny how things work out.  Instead, today I fumbled over how to get a leashed dog over a jump, how to use treats to lure a dog to turn with me, and how to do anything without bending over and waking up my back or my knee.

Today's lesson was nose touches to your hand (we had that down already), following your hand to circle with you as you move and turn into you as you turn (ditto), standing perpendicular to a jump and having your dog go over and back while tossing treats, then the same thing at an angle, then "around the world" from different angles. Then going through a very short tunnel, then a gradually longer tunnel, then jump-tunnel. Whooo!

I had to jam a treat in front of his nose as he blasted out of the tunnels to get him to not just keep going. Toy, even filled with treats, didn't cut it.

Zorro still won't play with toys anywhere but here at home, where he's crazy about them. Have known this for 4 years. No good excuse for not having worked on it. Should do so. Because it's a very fun feature to have in a dog.

BUT other than being super-excited to start with, he was really a Good Boy, willing to do All The Things for Zukes Minis and never running after any of the other dogs. And it all wore him out, which is really what I had in mind all along.


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