Saturday, November 21, 2009

The weekend!

Well we made it to the weekend! YAY! Just a quick note as I am headed out to Springfield to do a little bit of window shopping and see some friends. No way I was going to make the 8AM ring time for the dals today though - so hopefully some will be hanging around for a while.

Steeler had a totally awesome agility class on Wednesday. I am in a new class (same instructor) in a horse barn maybe 10 minutes from home! How awesome is that! When I got to class Catie had said to me - Let's see how he does, but maybe the earlier 7PM class might be a better fit for Steeler. I was a bit nervous (haha go figure) since it is 6 or 7 people and they are all competing many of them in Excellent, and new dogs for Steeler. And really I don't care if he is in the 7 or 8 PM class - either would be fine. But Steeler did AWESOME! It helped I think that I knew most of the people - at least in passing, and most of the dogs were crated when not running. I only had one minor panic attack when we had to do a straight row of jumps towards all the people watching and right towards an aussie that was watching - and then Steeler had to turn 180 degrees into the poles. I am not sure that he realized we were turning after the 3rd jump and I paniced and turned into a Lunatic yelling "come come come" because he was headed right at the Aussie (I thought). The panic only lasted a couple of seconds before Steeler turned and nailed his weave pole entry. And Steeler was able to to complete the whole course of 22 obstacles instead of the half a course at a time that we were doing previously. I did notice that his enthusiasm was starting to decrease a bit - and i realized that I had probably decreased the rate of reinforcement too fast. I get into the feeling of not wanting to hold up the class and forget to stop and give the dog a cookie sometimes. So next week I am going to try to remember to break things down a little bit more for him!

Thursday was shaping class night and I went up a little bit early to get a run thru in before class. He did pretty well - I am trying to get the food out of my hand since I feel like I have been using it as a crutch lately. Shaping class was good - though Steeler had a bit of trouble with a golden when we started moving around. So I just moved him away and we played Look at the Golden for a while. And Jane was kind enough to let us do some work around her new Toller puppy (OMG how cute!) and her Golden retriever as well - so it was a hard working night for Steeler. But he did really well! Oh and we did stays after class as well - and I have to say - those are coming along extremely well!

So today Steeler and I are headed to Springfield so we can practice going in and out of the building politely. Yes - that is why we are going, definitely not going to shop. :-)

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