Our first agility class was tonight
Our first class as a family, anyway. Me and Angus, Kevin and Simon. :)
Simon and I have taken a few agility classes together, but it's been a couple of years, so we thought we'd all start a beginner class together. I let Kevin have the "good dog." :p
The place we took before was on a big farm in a grass field. This class is in a covered structure on dirt. Wow, what a lot of dirt was there. On our clothes, on the leashes, in our mouths. Ack! We made the decision tonight that we are going to have to get special agility clothes, shoes, leashes, maybe even a dedicated car for this. Holy smokes!
Anyway. It was a big class, so they split us into two groups. We decided to go in different groups to reduce distractions for the boys. Simon has a bit of a tendency to think he's missing out on something if I'm working with Angus and run to mommy, so being in different groups cut back on that.
Both boys did pretty well. At this point they seem on equal footing, as it is very, very very basic right now. Simon is already capable of running several obstacles in a row, but there are still quite a few he doesn't do (teeter, weaves, dog walk).
There was one family there with some Weimeraners. They were getting out of the car at the same time as us, and I kid you not, from the time they got their dogs out of the car, throughout the entire class, it was almost constant manhandling. There is no other way to describe it. Yes, they were puppies and kind of all over the place, but good grief. The mother was throwing her dog around like a sack of meat, hanging her on the leash, forcing her into sits, etc.
It evidently showed all over my face how I felt about this (a curse of mine...can't hide feelings). Another lady caught my eye as I looked away from them, and said, "Well, maybe it's good that they are here...maybe they will learn something." I hope so. The daughter (about 9) was handling their other dog, in just about the same way her mom did. No, no no no no!!!!! I am going to find it very hard to watch this for seven weeks.
Our previous agility instructor would never, ever have put up with that. I was a little disappointed that someone didn't call them out about it.
Other people in the class seem OK. Still not sure about the instructors, though. I guess I am just really attached to our first instructor. She is truly a "salt of the earth" kind of person. But since we moved we are even further away from her, and it was an hour's drive already. This place is half an hour from us.
So, I dunno. We had an OK time. It was fun to go as a family. We'll stick it out a while and see how it goes. It's going to be a bit confusing, as I'm training them both for Open now too.
I decided to take both classes as a sort of tie-breaker, to see which direction I wanted to go next. So far, I am enjoying the Open classes much more. Open is at the club. We have an awesome instructor who has been doing it for 30 years. She has been showing us how to teach dumbbells, and I swear I never thought I could see Angus being able to do this, but after just a couple of weeks I can see so much progress! And OMG, he LOVES the dumbbell! Uber-excitement whenever it appears.
We have an agility class at the club too, but I think it's not starting up until mid-September. Maybe we'll go to that one too (I can go to those for free) and see if we like it any better there.