Sunday, May 31, 2009

My obsession with dog behavior.....

OK - Anyone who really knows me knows how obsessed I can be over my dogs behavior. This weekend my friend Dawn was supposed to come down Friday night for the AKC trial in Westford. Just minutes from my parents house - so no getting up at the crack of dawn. But between car troubles and her grandmother being ill, she decided not to tempt fate. :-) Probably a good idea to stay home for the weekend. So - even though Dawn couldn't make it down I decided to go to the Tunneler fun runs that were happening in Wrentham.

Note to self - Steeler with no exercise outlet for the day is not good planning! Logan had a chiro adjustment scheduled - so I worked half a day and basically came home, played with the pups for 30 mintues outside and put Logan and Steeler in the car to drive to Framingham. The traffic was awful - which made me a few minutes late. Fortunately that wasn't a problem .... but then I left there later than planned and it took forever to drive the 15 miles to Wrentham. EVERYONE was driving about 10 miles under the limit. So I got to Wrentham later than I wanted to. And Steeler had been in the car for 2.5 hours.

I got him out of the car for our first run and he was a wild boy. Wild boy took the first tunnel and then proceeded to make up his own course. Then saw a barking sheltie on the side lines and jumped the FENCE. ARGH!!!!! Looked at the sheltie and decided not to mess with him but the big black lab also hanging out looked like and easier target. I am sure most of you can imagine how fast this happened. Well all I can say is Thank Goodness for Mark. Somehow he was able to catch Steeler mid stride and pick him up before he connected with the lab. He carried him back out to me and said - take a deep breath - he didn't connect, everything is fine, just get him working with you again. Talk about an adrenaline rush. Fortunately Steeler recovered quicker than I did and ran the course just fine. I of course was shaking. Not wanting to end on that note - I did do two more runs with him, for which he was much more focused and never thought of jumping the fence again, even though the barking sheltie was still there. (I had asked them not to move to far away so Steeler could work through the barking- because after all barking happens A LOT at agility trials)

I am really disappointed that Steeler jumped the fence ... I had thought I could count on that being the one thing that he would not do. Generally he is very respectful of ring gates and has never jumped a ring gate in obedience settings. Some days I wonder whether I should even think about competing in agility with him. I know that I tend to panic and obsess over everything that he does - which doesn't make things any better. On the other hand - Mark's timing was impeccable and the total calm and unemotional manner in which he grabbed Steeler was just amazing. And the look on Steelers face as he was carried back to me was priceless.

On the plus side, we stayed to hang out with Julie, Carmie and Bug for a while, and Logan got to do a Tunnelers run too. Of course at 11 she just trotted through the course - but I think she had a good time. I also took the opportunity to practice our moving stays with Steeler. And yes Katrin - I did actually drop the leash for this. Steeler was totally focused on me while we were working and charging forward full speed to get his cookie when I released him. :-)

And yes I am still obsessing over the fence jumping and subsequent behavior!

1 comment:

  1. I think it was AWESOME that he was able to get his head straight and gte back to work with you. Good boy! good mama! It was nice to hang with you too. Hopefully they will offer more classes on Friday evenings!