Hope we do well!
Still haven’t gotten our CD but it was an interesting couple of days. He was very nervous on Saturday. The judge was very nice but he was a large man with a big voice who was very talkative which really bothered Thor. The other person who was in Novice A with us was in an electric wheelchair and having that near him made him nervous too. I know that is part of obedience to ignore those issues but we are working very hard on that and hopefully someday he will overcome those fears.
Heel on leash was OK, weaves were OK, he got through his stand for exam, off lead he lagged (watching the judge) and on the recall he followed me so we NQ’d. Sits and downs he came back to me, never has done that before in any trial.
Sunday, he was still a bit nervous but better, the lady in the wheelchair was not entered so we were the only Novice A team. Started out pretty well with heel on leash, on the weaves he saw something or heard something and was very distracted. Stand for exam he didn’t so we NQ’d there but the judge let us finish. Off leash heeling he stayed right with me, I was really pleased at how well he did. No following me on recall but sat sideways and no finish. Sits and downs were perfect.
As we finished the judge talked to me, said he thought Thor was looking in the other ring at the other judge and asked what the judge had done to make him so he watched him so carefully??? Then as we were walking out, he said our heel off leash was one of the best he had seen in Novice in a while!!!!!! much better actually then our heel on leash. We do all of our practicing at home off leash, I guess we should do more of both.
It was a great trial, really had fun. Thor had some brilliant runs, several were very close to qualifying and we did get his first leg in Standard. Usually he does much better in Jumpers but for this trial it was standard. So happy, he appears to have gotten over the teeter thing, no hesitation in all 3 standard runs. I think I am pulling him out of the weaves, from the video it looks like he came out as I said “good boy” so I will be quiet and just clap.
What a great day, his seminar was wonderful and would love to do another one with him. We took the Novice one but the courses were from parts of his international courses so they had some very challenging parts.
I was so proud of Thor, he did really well, no real zooms just a few off course tunnels. They just draw him in. One of my biggest problems is getting his attention at the start line, he is so distracted by what is going on around him. Once I do get his attention, his mind is not in the game so I lose him almost right away. John showed me a few things to work on so I could keep his attention on me at the start line.
We also worked on timing of when to verbally give information to your dog. Verbal commands are so important especially if you are unable to be there to give a physical que. I plan on teaching Thor a wrap or switch command maybe even a left or right. Not sure if in the heat of a run I will actually say left when I mean left. I can do right so I think I will do a wrap when I want him to come to me and a switch when I want him to go away from me. He does know what my “back” command means and when I tell him “out” jump, tunnel, etc.
Have to brag about our last run, my friend brought out her puppy, he is so fascinated by that puppy I had a hard time getting him to the start line. I figured once we started he would run right back to the puppy but he stayed with me the whole run. So very, very proud of him for staying with me.
This week’s topic is fun, any kind of fun we want to talk about so there will be a good amount of variety, please visit the other blogs listed at: https://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/fun/
I love agility I love most everything about it, the people, watching the teams run, seeing the companionship with their dogs. I love being able to visit with people and talk dogs, training, issues and everything that goes with it. For me that is having fun!
Is my dog having fun, I say he is but is he really? He is very environmentally shy, very nervous in loud, busy places with lots of strange people. He often shakes as we are getting ready to get on the start line but much better when we are waiting to go in. Once we are in the ring he is still very easily distracted by outside events but clearly he is ready to run the course. He is still very young and immature plus we have not become a true team yet. He does have fun during training but he is more comfortable there and I am more confident.
I plan to do everything in my power to help him have fun doing things with me no matter what they are. I will be retiring soon so will be able to spend more quality time with all 3 of my Boxers and am really looking forward to it. If it ends up that he can never be comfortable in a trial environment and has no fun at all then I can deal with that and accept it. If he always has a hard time at a trial but loves running with me then we can deal with that too.
The most important aspect is that we both have fun, do the best we can and enjoy to doing this together.
I had Thor entered on Saturday in Novice A Obedience and another Rally Advanced class (still haven’t practiced any of the Excellent stations). WooHoo, we got our first leg in Novice A with a third place and the best thing, no points off on the stand for exam!!!! Such an accomplishment for him.
On Sunday we were entered both the Novice A trials. Thor got his second leg with a first place, again no points off for his stand for exam. The second trail of the day, he was a bit more nervous and when one of the people who came out to do the figure 8’s clomped really loud when she walked it freaked him out a bit but he didn’t have any issues with his stand again. On the recall, he decided that I was getting too far away from him for comfort so he followed me. I have to admit I was disappointed at first but then I think of the progress he has made and that makes me happy. On all three of his sits and downs, I never once felt he would get up to leave even with a twitchy dog next to him. I did hear later from someone else that that same women freaked some other dogs out too when she clomped in and out of the ring.
We won’t be able to make another obedience trial until either late March or April so we have some more time to practice our recalls and continue to work on off lead healing.
1/27/2016 – Already end of the month, where has time gone. Started classes last week with one of my trainers. Too cold to be in her barn or outside so we are renting a facility for an hour and a half. We will all take turns running our dogs and she will just give us tips and pay 1/3 of the cost of the rental. What a deal!
The first week was terrible distractions, not minding me and running off. Very discouraging but in a way I can understand it. Thor has been cooped up and not able to get much exercise and is full it energy. This past Tuesday was much better and the Wednesday class was also. Have had to work a lot on Wednesday’s so haven’t been able to get to class much.
Obedience trial this coming weekend and agility the following weekend. Always so nervous about obedience way more than agility. This may be the last time we try to do obedience trials unless we do much better than we have. Really trying hard to make it fun for him but he also gets so nervous and wants to stare at what is going on.
1/6/2016: I entered an Obedience/rally trial at the end of January so I am trying to work Thor a bit each day in obedience. Hopefully that will help and we can get some qualification in Novice Obedience. Still keeping him in Rally advanced, have to work on some of the rally excellent stations we don’t know before we move on to Excellent.
We are also working on distance on weaves and blind crosses as much as I can in my basement training area. For blind crosses I am switching hands with treats as he is running behind me, once we are really good at that I will reduce the treats to see if he watches me and moves to the other side.
The distance with weaves is going slow, he wants to be with me so as i move away he pops out of the weaves. We will see how things go with practice.