Yesterday Catie had another agility match at the barn in Duxbury. Logan got to come with me to help set up again. It was a bit chilly in the barn for her - but she enjoyed hanging out for a little while and exploring the empty horse stalls. The little (8 - 16 inch) dogs ran first. We got to see some friends from CT that came up for the match and their dal Abby. Some other old classmates were there as well that we hadn't seen in a while. I had Steeler out several times and he was totally unfazed by the dogs around him. Even dogs that were barking at him. I had him hanging out in the middle of things to watch a couple of friends run - and yeah he had a couple of barky dog moments while other dogs were running the course - but for the most part he was happy to watch. And lot of dogs bark while other dogs do agility and their owners don't seem to care - so I know I am expecting a lot from Steeler. Catie was nice enough to let me run him at 20 in first and then with the big dogs at 24 so I could get two runs in and then head out to noseworks class in Franklin.
His first run I did get on video. I ran him at 20 inches first and then at 24. The first time he missed the entry to the weaves - I don't know if he just didn't see them or if I was out of position. So that is something to remember to try this spring with the jumps angled like that. I sent him back over the second jump and he had no problem with the weaves the second time - the next group of obstacles was no problem. Tunnel - front cross - jump - Tire - tunnel - dog walk! From the dog walk - there was a jump which I want him to turn tightly - he didn't the first time, so I think I had too much forward momentum? The second time was no problem - possibly because he knew where we were going. :-) From the teeter there were two jumps that he was supposed to take and I kept sending him to the tunnel. I think I didn't drop my arm soon enough - but we worked through it. We missed one jump at the end - but clearly I didn't cue it and I was seriously running out of steam! Two minutes in the ring is a long time - especially when you forget the dratted inhaler that is supposed to help you breath!
So there were a few things that I was especially pleased about - first he kept working with me even when we were repeating things. He didn't get distracted and wander off. Second - Jumping into the crowd with people and dogs watching - he didn't get very distracted by that. And third when I took my attention off of him for a moment - he stayed on the table! In the past if I took my attention off of him (and he was off leash) he would wander off to do his own thing. I spend a lot of time working on this and trying to set him up for success by not allowing him to wander - and this is really starting to pay off!
In between his runs Steeler hung out behind the orange fence among the other dogs and even with a BC tugging crazily a foot or two away - Steeler was calm and pretty relaxed! His run at 24 inches was great! It had the same focus and attention as the first run. I was able to practice jumping into the crowd and calling him back to me as well as some of the pieces of the open and excellent level courses. I find there are somethings where my timing matters a lot more when he is jumping 24 inches compared to 20. For example if there are two jumps side by side (so a 180?) and we are working on tight turns - my timing is a lot more important to Steeler.
I was so pleased with the spotty boy today! Things are really starting to come together!