It had rained all week, but by the time we headed to agility this week, the clouds started breaking up. Thus, once again we had a pretty decent outing! And Rain welcomed the sun.
We left for class a bit early, and managed to avoid all four of the active school zones (aka congested slow areas) along our route, meaning we arrived at the park with a fair amount of time for Rain to blow off some steam.
She soon discovered the beauty of an extra-rainy week: an extra-deep puddle to play in!
Rain splooshed around the enormous puddle, which in certain locations now reached past the the bottom of her chest. She stuck her face in to bite at the ripples she made, then stared at me with water streaming down her mouth. She was quite proud of her work.
Once class began, we discovered that Rudy the papillon was missing and it was just going to be Rain and Poppy working on their skills.
We worked on two different short courses during class. The first started with two parallel tunnels—the dog would take both tunnels as we (hopefully) continued standing at one end. Then, a couple of jumps before a quiet finish at the pause table with a countdown.
I wasn’t familiar with the agility countdown, so Molly explained. It’s fairly obvious, except that the dog is not allowed to move along until the end of the “O” in the word “go.” In this particular instance then, the countdown sounded like “and five, and four, and three, and two, and one, and go.” At which point Rain would be free to move to her next obstacle, if we hadn’t ended this course with the countdown at the end.
Rain’s issue? Well, when she hasn’t done the tunnels for a while, her natural inclination is to do this!
So it took a couple of times to get her through both tunnels with minimal assistance at the far end from me. She did it though! Then the rest of that course was a piece of cake.
She did a pretty good job on the second course too, which was set up along the perimeter of the arena. It started with a jump or two, then the A-frame, the weave pole channel, dog walk, and one final jump. I’ve been pretty impressed by how Rain has gone from almost no sequences to several obstacles in a row without issue. We’re still working on getting her feet command, but instead of requiring a regular food reward, being released to do the next obstacle seems to be reward enough for her when we’re going through these courses.
However, Rain didn’t get this course perfectly either—just like the tunnels, she needed some reminding about what the weave pole channel was all about. Molly took a little extra time and did some refresher training with us and by the end Rain was zooming through the channel like a natural.
The weather was improving as the day wore on, and the sun was out in full force after class was over. We spent a good half-hour playing in the pens out back before heading home.