Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Weekend and Monday

I headed down to Hamden with Chandler on Saturday, to visit my friend Jenn.
She let us tag along for her youngest dog's agility class, because I wanted to work on Chan's focus.
Her class is held in a covered riding arena on a farm.
It was COOOOOOOOOOOLD, and the temperature was dropping.
Chan was fine in his new coat, and I spent some time standing near some heat-throwing propane torches that they had.
Chan did great, with hardly any whimpering; he's shown tendencies to get overexcited in class.
After we left, we decided it was so cold that we didn't want to head out again, so we picked up dinner fixings on the way home, and tossed together a nice salad and some slow berry cobbler when we got back to her house.

Jen had been getting Chandler's cousin Nixie therapy for whatever issue has been causing her to become very sore whenever she does agility, and apparently Nixie was feeling better. She used to like Chandler, but since having bad experiences with other dogs, and feeling so bad, she's hated his guts. She wasn't totally happy about having him around, but she didn't nail him this time around. They actually ended up crashed on the floor about six feet from each other for part of the evening. Nixie may never be thrilled at having "outsider" dogs around, but this visit made me hopeful that she'll tolerate Chan.

Monday was Chan's 5th agility class, and it looks like the two hours of freezing during Libby's class on Saturday practicing attention paid off.
Chandler was very focused on me (and my cheese), so we only had a few difficulties in class.

The biggest hurdle still seems to be the OCD border collie in class.
We were in line next to him at first...the dog lunged out when the havanese started her run on the other side of the room,
and Chan lunged toward the BC. I caught him and told him that HE WAS NOT TO TRY TO TELL THE BC WHAT TO DO!
(Which I think was what he was doing.)

The BC moved out of line-he was getting majorly stimulated, so things calmed down, except when the BC was running.
Chan gets stimulated by the sound of a dog running through tunnels, but the BC seems to send him straight over for some reason.
Chan lunged out once with his tail slightly raised and a semi-deep bark-but that was the worst of the evening.

The instructor had three tunnels curved and set up in a triangular pattern with a jump in the middle.
Chan's enthusiasm and ability to refocus on me were great, but we need to work on the steering.
He'd pop out of a tunnel raring to go and get confused about what the next obstacle was...
...and then get there after a false start or two and sometimes a twirl to look at me.
I need to get better at signaling him.

However, I was very proud of him for IGNORING the BC on his last tunnel run, as it was bouncing around onleash in the area just past the last tunnel.
(Ok, he might have considered going over there, but he decided working with me on the obstacles was more fun.)


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