Saturday, January 16, 2010

Saturday Agility Match in Duxbury and catch up

So once again I am behind on stuff.  First Thanks to Kim for making my new header! 

This past week it has been pretty cold - so we haven't been doing much.  Wednesday nights agility class went well.  Though I think Steeler was cold.  We are also working on hard stuff and I think that I really should have upped my rate of reinforcement much more than I did.  BAD HANDLER!  But Steeler continues to do pretty well.

Today we were at the barn for an agility match and Steeler was GREAT!  Usually I am so nervous at these events that I end up doing restrained recalls with Steeler across the barn and then working in the back corner away from all the people and dogs.  Well I didn't feel to nervous (that doesn't always mean much) and I started at the begining of the novice course.  I didn't fuss too much since the first obstacle was a tunnel, and damn if Steeler didn't just do the course for me.  Of course I completely messed up the novice course the first time through and ended up just making my own course.  I don't think that Steeler realized I was lost though.  :-)  The second run I tried the harder course (It could have been an excellent or open level course) since we had been working on that opening sequence in class on Wednesday.  That was a bit too much for Steeler though.  Not sure if it was the people and dogs behind him or me ... I went back to running with him and we did get through the opening sequence (4 jumps to the tunnel which was the first novice obstacle) and then we just continued with the novice course.  The first two courses I ran at 20 inches then ran the last one at 24 inches.  Since I was changing the jump height I decided to go back to the novice course once again.  And I have to say I was really pleased with how well we did today.  He hit all his contacts and had really nice weave poles!  Not to mention that his behavior was just wonderful!  Now how much of that was related to me not panicing every time a dog went by and generally being more comfortable with the people around me now that I know them from classes and stuff and how much was related to Steeler  growing up..... who knows!  LOL it is probably a combination of things.  But it was really nice to be so calm instead of worrying about every possible encounter. 

Catie had things set up so that the small dogs (8 and 12) ran all of their runs first and then the big dogs were scheduled to start at 11:45.  So I took Logan over at 9:30 to help set up.  The barn is about 10 minutes from my house and I figured that doing something was better than getting worked up (however subconsiously) about the run thru's waiting for our turn.  Logan got to come in and play with one of Catie's border collie's while we were setting up.  I am glad that she could - she has been really moping around the house lately.  It's been too cold to take her with me when I take Steeler to class.  But today we had a New England heat wave (I think it got into the mid 40's or maybe even up to 50 degrees today) so even if she couldn't have come in to play at least she would have gotten out of the house.  Plus we stopped at my favorite pet store to say hi and check out Dianes new puppy (what a cutie!)

So that is what has been going on today for Steeler.  His favorite liver pal Jenna from Maine got her last three points at the breed show in Fitchburg today as well so Congratulations to Dawn and Jenna!!!!

Tomorrow we are off to an Obedience Show N Go.  Oh boy!


  1. Sounds like a great day! Have fun tomorrow at the Obedience Show N Go. Wish we had more of those things around here, because it's a little too far of a drive to join you!!

  2. Yay Jenn and Steeler! Sounds like you guys had an awesome day! And clicks to you for being so calm...did you hang out on your mat? :)

    Glad you're enjoying some warmer weather...we are too!

  3. Lisa - you are more than welcome to come for a long weekend! I have an extra bed room and lots of crates, baby gates and ex-pens. :-)

    Kim - I forgot my mat (bad handler!) But it wasn't a huge crowd and I am getting better at asking for what I need. Plus I had met most of the dogs before and Steeler really didn't seem at all interested in any of them!!!!

  4. Hey that's awesome!! Sounds like you had a great time!

  5. Thanks Katrin ... we still need to work on running naked (that would be steeler running naked!) For some reason that really brings my anxiety up a couple of notches. We're getting there though!