Our first agility class was tonight
Results 1 to 10 of 10

Thread: Our first agility class was tonight

  1. #1
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12,586

    DefaultOur 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."

    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.

  2. Remove Advertisements
    JustLabradors.com
    Advertisements
     

  3. #2
    dweck's Avatar
    dweck is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    SePA
    Posts
    10,257

    Default

    Congrats for taking this next step in training the boyz. You've got my admiration on two fronts, as Open and Agility were both MAJOR stumbling blocks for Wesley.

    He HATED Agility. Just despised it. He's too big/clumsy for all of the intricacies. He'd knock over the weave poles, bark at the teeter, pee on the tunnel. It was just a mess, and although I appreciate that he tried it -- for me -- I quickly decided it wasn't for us.

    And Open, well, the DB became a HUGE point of argument between the two of us. He'd take it and carry it to next doomsday. He'd jump with it allright. And come front. And present it. And let me take it, just as handsome as can be.

    But do you think that boy would retrieve it?

    I don't know what his issue was -- he deemed it 'unworthy' to pick the thing up off the grass? -- but whatever it was, I couldn't work through it.

    So.... We retired from competing. I got his Therapy Dog designation and let him be happy having kids fawn over him at the library and read books......

    As to the Weim owner/handlers: Grrrrr.... May I suggest a pinch collar. And not for the dogs, btw.

    Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]

    "Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)

  4. #3
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12,586

    Default

    Does Wes like to retrieve other things besides dumbbells? The way this instructor had us start out was just to put the dumbbell on the floor and wait. Forever, if necessary. As soon as they showed interest, eg sniffing or nosing, reward. Then it was rewarding for putting their mouth on it. Then for picking it up. Now we are to the picking it up and putting it in hand part. It's dozens of tiny little baby steps, but it's really fun to do it this way because there is nothing to training it except for waiting for them to do it right, then rewarding.

    I got a little lecture the other night about being "too helpful." We were stuck at the picking it up and dropping it hurriedly for a treat part, and I couldn't figure out how to get past it. She said to stop killing myself leaning over to catch it, and start waiting for him to put it in my hand. I countered, "But I don't want him to feel confused..." She promised that he would not be confused for long, and that suddenly the light would go off and he would realize that the new standard for getting a treat was making sure the dumbbell was in my hand.

    Well, I tried it at class, and poor Angus looked so bumfuzzled. But we tried it again when we got home and, lo and behold, all of the sudden he just GOT it. Then he was absolutely adorable, overcompensating with this veeeeery exaggerated neck-stretch to make absolutely certain it got into Mom's hand. LOL! LOL! Oh my gosh, if he was any cuter I couldn't stand it.

    Sorry that got so long! I'm just having a good time in Open, and I really thought I was going to hate it.

    As for the prong collar for the other owners, +1. But they have a "no prong or choke" rule. This rule made it lots of fun for me with Angus last night. My arms are sore. LOL

  5. Remove Advertisements
    JustLabradors.com
    Advertisements
     

  6. #4
    luke from georgia is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Posts
    5,915

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AngusFangus View Post
    Then he was absolutely adorable, overcompensating with this veeeeery exaggerated neck-stretch to make absolutely certain it got into Mom's hand. LOL! LOL! Oh my gosh, if he was any cuter I couldn't stand it.
    i bet you were tickled and likely giggling out loud seeing this. so cute! it's moments like these that make is worth all the time spent on teaching and waiting, waiting for that lightbulb to turn on.

    "Properly trained, a man can be dog's best friend." ~ Corey Ford

  7. #5
    dweck's Avatar
    dweck is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    SePA
    Posts
    10,257

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by AngusFangus View Post
    Does Wes like to retrieve other things besides dumbbells?
    At one point he would. Unfortunately, it was early on (he'd retrieve toys that DW#3 would toss out of her playpen -- DW#3 is now eight years old, btw, so you can see how long ago THIS was...).

    If I were to try it now, I can just imagine the look I'd get from him:

    "Retrieve. THAT? Are you joking? YOU threw it out there, chucklehead. YOU go get it."

    Kelrobin Cleveland Street Denizen, CGC, RN [Parker]

    "Dear George: Remember, no man is a failure who has friends. Thanks for the wings. Love, Clarence" -- IAWL Screenplay (1946)

  8. #6
    Clanceycanuck is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Location
    Barrie, Ontario
    Posts
    21,482

    Default

    Connie so glad you are making progress and continuing to stimulate Angus and Simon.

    Dan - your conversations w/ Wes just make me laugh.

  9. #7
    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    10,258

    Default

    Well if I lived closer, ya'll could come do agility with me

    What did you work on in class? Are the folks with the Weims repeaters?

    I really enjoy agility, a lot more than obedience. I like obedience, but I LOVE agility, it's never boring, courses always are different and challenging. I love walking new courses and figuring out how I'll run my dogs on it, and when you have more than one dog, you get to figure how to run it for each dog!

    Hang in there with the agility, I think you'll like it

  10. #8
    AngusFangus is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Apr 2009
    Posts
    12,586

    Default

    [email protected]"you get it, chucklehead!"

    Linda, we spent a few minutes working on basic obedience. Then we did tunnels and tire with the assistant. After half the class we switched to the main instructor.

    She spent a lot of time having us walk the dogs through a ladder lying on the ground. I guess it's supposed to teach rear-end awareness? Also spent some time teaching them to walk on a plank on the ground...this was maybe the one thing I actually did like better in this class, as our other class went straight to the dog walk at full height. We finished up with going over the A-frame, also at a reduced pitch/height/whatever.

    If you move to Murfreesboro, I'll come take agility from you.

  11. #9
    YellowJakesMom's Avatar
    YellowJakesMom is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    5,276

    Default

    Glad you all got to have fun together! One thing I love about agility is seeing the dogs that enjoy it really get into it I bet you and Kevin can make a lot of the equipment to practice with too (weave polls, jumps, table, etc.).

    It's funny to see how different clubs handle reinforcement and punishment in agility training. We first took lessons at an "agility only" club. They were very clear that ZERO punishment would be tolerated, right down to flat collars only. Their opinion was that agility was to be fun for the dog and handler, not a job, not something they were forced to do. The club we take lessons at now is a "training club" that offers flyball, rally, obedience, puppy, agility, TDI, etc. Numerous times the instructor has used the phrase "Punish her, she's ignoring you!" to a classmate and it really makes me cringe. I guess I just adopted more of the first club's mentality - if the dog doesn't like agility, don't force it, find something else to do!

    Oh, and we did the ladder for.ev.er. Jake crashed through every time. Charlotte's doing it now, she also doesn't care one bit about hitting the bars, stepping on them, tripping, etc. Hope you guys keep on having fun!

    Only after the last tree has been cut down, only after the last river has been poisoned, only after the last fish has been caught, only then will you find that money cannot be eaten. - Cree prophecy

  12. #10
    3TailsWaggin's Avatar
    3TailsWaggin is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    10,258

    Default

    Oddly enough, the adult dogs need to start with low contacts and a lot of on the ground training... which is why I really like starting puppies, the earlier the better. When puppies get on the equipment they have no fear, it makes their transition to adult training on the equipment so much easier. Every pup that has started with me is fearless on the equipment. Some adult dogs we take weeks just to get them over the A-frame, etc.

Similar Threads

  1. Obedience class three!
    By kdryan in forum Lab Chat
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 07-19-2009, 09:05 PM
  2. Obefience class...
    By kdryan in forum Lab Chat
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-05-2009, 05:56 AM

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
 

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25