Saturday, April 11, 2009

Agility Run Thru's with Steeler

Today I took Steeler to agility run thrus at the barn in Duxbury organized by Catie Williams of WonderDogs. This is the second time that we have gone and Steeler and I were MUCH better this time around. It helped that it was less crowded this time. The first time we went to run thrus about a month ago Steeler did great hanging out and being focused on me until it was time for us to actually go in the ring. When I get anxious Steeler tends to bail on me. I need to work on being less nervous! Last time on his last run my friend Laurie helped me with some restrained recalls with Steeler. The last run was definitely his best. So this time I decided to do restrained recalls right from the beginning! Luckily Laurie and my friend Nancy were there to help today. We ran 24 inch dogs first - there were only 3 I think and then Steeler was the 3rd 20 in dog in. Nancy took one look at me when I brought him in and took him away from me! LOL I think that was a good thing. When it was our turn to go in the ring Nancy took Steeler to the opposite end of the barn and we did a couple of recalls and then started our course. All I can say is WOW ... it was like running a different dog compared to last time. He nailed his weave poles and was very focused. He was running so fast he almost bounced off the teeter - but he did manage to hold onto his 2 on 2off contact position. We repeated the recalls the next run but with the second recall I didn't stop to feed but went directly into our run - Jump to the weave poles and then cookies. We then continued on and Steeler continued to be focused on the job at hand. I am so pleased that he is nailing his contact behavior on the teeter and dog walk! He even downed on the table! I was even able to work in some front crosses! We do have things to work on as well. I still need to spend some time working on his A frame and discrimination exercises, and I need to build some tug drive in places other than the back yard, but overall I am really pleased with my little boy today! Steeler is now sacked out under the covers on the bed. He really doesn't care for this cold rainy weather we are having today!

And a big THANK YOU to Laurie and Nancy today for helping me relax!!!!!


  1. Awesome Jenn and Steeler!!! Sounds like you had a great plan today. Oh, and I'm so excited to have another spotty blog to follow! :)

  2. Hooray! I am glad the restrained recalls were so helpful. It sounds like you had a super day.

    I'm ooking forward to reading your blog.

  3. Jenn -

    Looking forward to following Steeler's training on your blog! Maybe I can pick up some good ideas, too :)

    Glad you had such a good day at run-throughs. We find it to be very helpful. Be sure to also give Steeler some experience of being at an agility trial, even when you're not entered. We're at a trial in WV right now, and it's a completely different environment from training.
    We're fortunate that Jazz has gotten so much trial experience while Tess runs. I hope it will help us in the long run.

    Happy training!

  4. Hi Jennifer,

    Great to hear about your agility story with Steeler. I've been training with my 8 year old Dal, Joey, off an on for several years and we're ready to trial. The restained recall is a great idea. He loves agility and most mistakes are handler errors. He just completed his rally advance title and we are going for the excellent title, but can't wait for the agility. Good luck with Steeler and looking forward to seeing more on your blog.

    Kathy Wetzel, Joey, Annie and Lilly