Agility was quite pleasant this week! Rain got to run plenty that morning and she got some exercise before we left that afternoon. We also got a chance to check out an undeveloped park not too far away from where our class is held—a big grassy field where we played ball even more before heading to class.
We also had a guest joining us in class this week: my Mom!
Last week we got a new classmate—Peaches, who also has challenges with reactivity. This week Peaches and Rain were the only two dogs in class and it was surprisingly quiet.
We started the hour by walking around the arena conducting an exercise where we stop dead in our tracks the moment our dog “checks out,” meaning when they get more interested in something else and aren’t in tune with what we’re doing. Rain and I have been doing this one for Reactive Rover for months. On this day, Molly had me vary my speed—and Rain was attentive to me pretty much the whole time.
(She does tend to be on her best behavior when we’re in class. When we’re out on our morning walk at the park, she certainly gets more intent on sniffing, watching birds, etc., than when she’s “performing.”)
Once we were all warmed up, Molly asked if Rain had worked with the wobble board in previous classes. She hadn’t, so we took a few minutes and got her working with it. The point is to introduce the dog to something that moves under their feet, not only getting them acclimated to it, but to enjoy controlling the movement. This is all in preparation for the teeter totter. Rain was soon happy moving the board to receive her cookie reward. Molly said it takes most dogs about three weeks to get where we had in about five minutes. 🙂
Afterward, we spent more time reviewing the tunnel. If you recall, last week Rain ended up jumping ON the tunnel a few times instead of going through it. This week we did better, although Rain could clearly use a little more exposure.
Once again after class we hung out for a while in the pens behind the arena to play a little ball before heading home. The neighbor’s horses were near the fence this time, so we walked Rain as close to them as we left to gauge her reaction. It appears that she, like her Uncle Atticus, has a healthy respect for animals that are larger than she is. (Smart cookie, eh?)
Then we hopped in the car and headed home for the evening. Soon we were both dreaming about our next big event—Saturday’s Doggie Dash!