Thursday, January 21, 2010

Wednesday night agility class

Steeler had a great night!  And so did I....  We spent our hour working a single course this time.  I really should see if I can get the course maps to share.  I crated Steeler in the tack room (I think that is what it is called) It is warmer in there than it is in the barn  - I think it is heated a little bit at least.  And since the car is having heat issues (possibly a thermostat stuck open??) I didn't have the option of blasting the heat and working out of the car which I have been doing the last few weeks.  Steeler does not handle the cold very well if he is just sitting around in his crate.  The first time thru - we walked the course and then ran without any discussion.  The opening sequence was 2 jumps to the weave poles.  The jumps were angled and I was able to lead out to the 2nd jump.  From the weaves we reversed  direction into the shoot and then did a semi circle of jumps.  I chose to do a front cross after jump number seven. Then one more jump to the teeter. (now headed towards the front of the barn again).  From the teeter (A frame discrimination) to the tunnel to a jump facing the wall, and then reversing direction again to the A frame (A frame/tunnel discrimination).  From the A frame there was a series of three jumps down to the far end of the barn.  I am going to have to draw out the course I think!   At any rate - Catie said that she thought that was the smoothest she has seen Steeler and I run - and the run FELT good!!!!  We talked about where we were putting front crosses and we discussed how to tighten up the jump after the tunnel and then ran it again ... and again! Catie had us working to get our front cross in between 8 and 9 (instead of between 7 and 8) and then another front cross in before the teeter!  The second time through Steeler had a little bit of trouble sending from the tire to jump number 7 - I am still working out timing with him for things like that - and I know we will get there eventually. 

So one thing that I have been trying to work on (in addition to all the other stuff) is my attitude when we get ready to run.  I suspect that my attitude was better last night because the beginning of the course was at the far end of the barn - so Steeler and I ran to our starting position.  And even though I asked him for a stay at the start line - I was confident that the opening was something he could handle easily - and he did!  I have also been trying not to chatter at him while we run - I did that pretty well last night and discovered that he LIKES it when I talk to him in the weave poles - but other than that he prefers to only hear from me when it is important.  :-)  It was a good night!

OK I downloaded the trial version of course designer....  here is a rough estimation of the course to give you an idea.  the spacing is probably not quite right - but you get the idea.  :-)


  1. The teeter to tunnel looks like it would be a tough discrimination issue - although hopefully your dog would know just by the angle that the a-frame was not where they were going - unless you took them wide.

    Interesting that Steeler likes chatter during the weaves!

  2. I actually didn't have any trouble with the discrimination from the teeter to the tunnel until I started trying to put the front cross in before the teeter! The first time thru I crossed in front of the teeter since Steeler has a pretty good 2 on 2 off. I thought for sure we would have trouble with him taking the tunnel instead of the Aframe - but he handled that just fine! But class is for trying new things - so we do what we can. :-)

    The first time I ran the course I ran it pretty quietly ... the second time at the weaves I think I kept repeating "get em" ... or "go go go" ... now I don't remember - but Catie said he was much happier - I thought he was a bit faster, and he was.... we are using the 24 inch spacing for the poles. Took Steeler a couple of times thru to get used to them.