Well Steeler and I have had a very busy weekend! On Friday we got together with Ann and Brandy and worked on some individual agility stuff and then on some control unleashed exercises together. Brandy and Steeler make pretty good play partners. Then I met Lisa with Brew and Winnie and we worked on obedience stuff. We did stays, stand for exam, some heeling, drop on recall .... the usual stuff. It was nice to be playing in the AC instead of the heat!
Then Saturday morning I got up early threw some boxes of books in the car and headed over to Ann's where they were having a neighborhood yard sale. Didn't sell anything, but Steeler got to play meet and greet with the people that stopped by. He was VERY good with a timid boy that really wanted to pet him - but flinched if Steeler moved. He did eventually pet Steeler for a second. We let Steeler and Brandy play in the back yard for a while, while Paul tried to get some actual work done on the computer inside. We packed stuff up sometime after noon, and tried Steeler and Nico in the back yard. Not such a good idea. Nico is 12 ish and his back legs don't work quite as well as they used to. Nico got just a little bit to forward for Steeler and then couldn't back away when Steeler let him know that he was not happy. :-) No harm done - but probably they will just be walking buddies. Steeler and Brandy got to practice Mat work while we had lunch - then we took Steeler to the barn!
Last time we were at the barn, Steeler was a bit anxious about the horses. But at the end of our session when he saw Ann hand out treats to the horses he seemed to relax quite a bit. I was really happy to see that had carried over to this session - almost 6 weeks after the first session. Something clicked in his brain and we were working within a couple of feet of Ann's horses while she gave them a bath. We spent about 2.5 hours at the barn! Add that to the morning spent hanging out and playing with Brandy - well I had one very very tired puppy last night.
This morning we got up and headed to an Agility Games Seminar with Catie. So, most people know I get a bit anxious doing agility around other dogs with Steeler. I actually had a dream last night that I was at a seminar and the instructor told everyone that Steeler was a bad dog. LOL That is not something that Catie would say at all but still - I woke up nervous. The seminar was geared towards dogs that were novice competitors already and Steeler is not quite ready for a whole course without some reinforcement. There were 12 working spots - so that is 11 other handlers and dogs ... plus there were a few auditors that had dogs with them as well. ACK!!! Actually - everyone was really nice - I think several of them are in classes together, and I did know one woman that was there with her BC, Trixie. Trixie is a sweet little BC girl that I already know Steeler is comfortable with. She doesn't have that strong stare that some of the BC's have.
First we worked on Snooker! Lots and Lots of questions about snooker. When I first started agility years and years ago, we started in USDAA, and the snooker rules haven't changed much. Steeler did really well on the first course we ran. He did drift a little bit - ok actually he drifted right out the back door. Good thing there were no horses out there. So we closed the doors and started again. Second time around was much better. I was reallly pleased with how well he stuck with me and when he did drift because the smells were too enticing he did come back when I called him. That in itself is a big improvement. He is hitting his Aframe contact at full height which is just amazing to me, since we really just started working on that a couple of months ago.
Here is his second snooker run. This course was a bit harder than the first one.
We spent so much time on Snooker that we decided to skip discussing Gamblers and instead focus on Pairs and FAST. And yes I did run Steeler in Pairs!!!! He was wonderful. I ran with Trixie and her mom whose name I can't remember. Steeler never even looked at her when we handed off the baton and he was jumping into the crowd as well. He didn't even become "spazzy boy" while watching Trixie run! By the time we got to FAST, Steeler was pretty much done for the day. It was HOT HOT HOT today and I don't think he napped in his crate at all in between his runs. I can't tell you how pleased I was with the spotty boy today! He was hanging out in the hallway letting dogs pass him by within inches with nothing more than an occassional glance to see who it was. I think it helped that there were only 3 other "big" dogs. Two BC's and a Chessie. We had 3 or 4 Caveliers, a poodle, an ACD, a Havanese I think, and I don't know what else. Steeler is one tired puppy tonight.