Change Is Hard

…but change is certain.

Agility update


Katie, her Daddy and I went to our second beginning agility class tonight.  Katie has been wound up like a top all day and I didn’t have high expectations for class.  I wasn’t wrong, at least at first.  They started out with the dogwalk and she was having none of that.  There were only three of in the class at first, and three instructors, so one of them took us aside and wanted to work with her on the wobble board.

This is when I had a memory flash of Dianna’s blog where she said she should have listened to herself rather than let an instructor tell her what to make Miley do on the table.  I know that the wobble board was what got Katie totally freaked out last week.  So when the instructor tonight suggested we use it to get Katie desensitized to the dogwalk I said NO.  I told her it had caused Katie to shut down last week.  So the very nice instructor went and got a blue board that sat flat on the floor and a lower table, and I worked with Katie to first touch and then get on those.  It took awhile and a lot of chicken, but eventually she would sit on the blue board, then on the low table.  By the end of the class she’d jump on the taller table.

She never did walk the dogwalk, but she’ll put her front feet on the yellow part.  And she’ll do the same for the A-frame.   She just won’t put her back feet on anything!   The teeter?  Well, she’ll quickly put ONE paw on it and then take it right back off then look to me for a treat.  She’s so funny!  I guess she’s right, she did touch it! LOL!

They also introduced a longer tunnel, the tire and the chute.  She loves tunnel and jumps and only balked at the tire a few times.  I think that was more me than her, she wasn’t always sure where she was supposed to jump with it.  I was worried that she wouldn’t do the chute, but she was on a roll running through stuff, so even when they dropped the chute on her she ran through.  I don’t think she’s ready to just charge through it without someone holding it open yet, but she sure didn’t show any fear.

In fact, I think she had a blast today.  We made sure to make it all fun and not force her to do anything.  We’re going to be working on our board in the driveway.  This past week I got her to walk it a couple times, mostly though she’d rather avoid it.  I did use Marie’s suggestion with the board that if she touched it I threw the treat away from the board to alleviate stress.  She doesn’t seem as afraid of it as she used to be.   If I can get her to run it regularly this week I’ll raise it up a tiny bit see how that goes.

Tomorrow is our rally class.  I used obedience/rally stuff tonight to warm Katie up and she was spot on.  Maybe tomorrow will be a great class too!  After that husband and I are going to the North American Auto Show.  We haven’t been in years.  Should be fun.

Katie 2231

Author: dawnkinster

I'm a long time banker having worked in banks since the age of 17. I took a break when I turned 50 and went back to school. I graduated right when the economy took a turn for the worst and after a year of library work found myself unemployed. I was lucky that my previous bank employer wanted me back. So here I am again, a long time banker. Change is hard.

6 thoughts on “Agility update

  1. Katie made huge progress this week! That is wonderful. Putting just one paw on the scary teeter is SUPER. Two feet on the dogwalk! Fabulous! You did a great job easing her fears and keeping it positive. Good for you standing up for your dog and saying no to the wobble board.

    If I had been at your class, I would have been clapping, cheering and saying “Yea Katie!”


  2. Good job at sticking up for what your own dog needs and telling the instructor no! We really admire that!

    Sounds like Katie did really well and had fun doing agility! See – she might surprise you and become an agility dog yet!

    Good luck at rally class!


  3. Sara – actually there were several people cheering for Katie everytime she had a break through. Especially when she finally jumped up on the tall table and went “DOWN!” when I told her too, then rolled over on a hip and grinned at me.

    Ricky-I don’t know if she’ll be doing anything but jumpers! LOL! If her life could be filled with jumps and tunnels she’d be one happy puppy!


  4. Yay! I’m really glad you stuck up for what Katie needed at class! That is so hard sometimes. Good for you. Sounds like it paid off in her having an enjoyable class too. 🙂 Just keep it fun and you might be surprised at how she’ll start to enjoy other obstacles besides just the jumps and tunnels.

    I usually find that with my own dogs the contacts often switch from something they are unsure of, to being their favorite obstacles because we spend so much time working on them and they are rewarded so much for doing them.

    I like that the instructor got out a flat board for Katie to work on. We use either a flat board or a slightly inclined one to start working the end contact performance anyway. It’s called backchaining. Rather than making Katie do the entire dogwalk, you start at the bottom end, and work backwards. I hope that makes sense to you. Getting her comfortable with the flat board and the table is a great way to do this. When she is comfortable jumping on the table it can be placed next to the down side of the dogwalk and she can step off the table onto the dogwalk and walk down the foot or so to the bottom, then gradually increase the height of the table and the distance she is going down the dogwalk. Have fun!!!


  5. Oh, I’m so glad you have supportive classmates that cheer:)


  6. WhooHoo, good for you and sticking up for your dog. It sounds like she is really doing well. Diana


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