Last night Katie, her dad and I went to agility. She missed last week because she was sick, but we’ve been working almost every day on her makeshift dog walk in the driveway. I was anxious to see if the fact that she’d run back and forth, up and down her home grown dogwalk would translate to running on the dogwalk at school. I got a bit anxious as I realized they were setting up for school with the full size, high up in the air, dog walk. She’s never walked on anything that high before.
Then class began and the instructor announced we were starting with teeter. Great. Katie hasn’t practiced teeter! I didn’t want her to get all weirded out right at the beginning of class. So I was hesitant the first time we approached it, and Katie picked up on that. They had one end of the teeter propped up on the table, and they were lowering the teeter as the dog walked across it. Katie has never walked across it in class. Ever. So she jumps up on the table right away, then balks at the board. Nothing doing. We gave up and went back to the line. Husband says, “Just run her like it’s her board at home; get excited.” Good point. So when it was our turn again I ask Katie….”are you READY?!” Then we take off at a dead run, I yell “TABLE!” and she jumps on it, and I’m already yelling “WALK IT! WALK IT! WALK IT!” and she just runs down the teeter board like it’s nothing and surprises the instructor so much they never lower the board and Katie jumps off the board and laughs at all of us. Everyone cheers. We get back in line and I’m hugging her and giving her treats and she’s loving it. So after that she had no trouble with the teeter, though she’s not thrilled when they lower it.
Next we’re going to do dogwalk, then tunnel, then jump then table. Sigh. I have no idea how she’s going to respond to the tall dogwalk. Turns out she’s not going up there. No way. No how. Not happening. So they got out a piece of dogwalk and laid it flat on the floor. Katie was not the only dog not doing the dogwalk, there as a big ole 10 month old lab that wasn’t ready to climb it either. Katie had no problem with the flat on the floor dogwalk, and successful flew full tilt down the flat dogwalk, ran through the tunnel, did the jump and landed on the table with a flourish every time. Husband said she looked beautiful. I don’t know, I never actually saw her jump I was always calling the next obstacle and running toward the next thing!
Quick break and then the instructor added A-frame and a jump to the dogwalk, then tunnel, then jump then table. Sigh again. She HATES the A-frame. She won’t do more than put her front feet on it…and streeeeetch out for a treat. So after some of that I ask if it’s OK to pick her up and put her on the frame. They said OK, so I did that all evening. Putting her about 2/3 of the way up and she runs over the top and creeeeeps down the other side, then springs over the jump, races over the flat dogwalk, flings herself through the tunnel, does the jump and lands triumphantly on the table grinning the whole way. Over the evening we added more jumps before the Aframe, including the tire, and she did everything except run the Aframe and the tall dogwalk. I was really pleased.
This morning she and I had a Rally class at the same place and the agility stuff was still up in one of the rings. So I got there early and we worked on A-frame. A little bit of treat when she stretched up for it…picking her up and helping her walk up the A-frame, then she was over the top and trotting down. Then putting her a little further down, helping her walk up it and then she was running down. Then suddenly, after about three attempts I put her on the yellow at the bottom of one side and she raced up and over! Then the next time we ran toward the A-frame and she just went up and over, then turned right around and went up and over it again on her own! SUCCESS! You go Katie girl! She started laughing and running back and forth over it even without treats!
Of course she was a bit wild for Rally class after all that excitement. But I was so proud of her I didn’t care. After Rally we went back to the agility ring just to see if she still felt good about it. I took off her leash and she RAN over to the A-frame and up and over it on her own! Well! I said enough of this, let’s work on the high dog walk. With me putting her low on the walk and holding her until she reached the top she was fine. She trotted across the top and down the other side, raced to the tunnel, took a jump and landed on the table. Silly girl. Eventually she ran up the dog walk, across and down it by herself. Only once, then she got a bit scared, so we quit and did a few tunnels and jumps just for fun. I gave her lots of treats and hugs and we went home to tell Dad all about it!
I hope she remembers how fun this was when we go back to class next Wednesday. I think she will, she really seemed to enjoy running full tilt. That’s something that is surprising everyone, but not me. Once she gets something she goes full speed. I have a hard time keeping up with her now that she’s running full out. Husband says she’s definitely looking at me for instruction, though I’m too busy to notice WHERE she’s looking. Such a girl. Who knew?
February 11, 2010 at 3:16 pm
WhooHoo!!! Congrats on your success! Maybe you should be the teacher for your class. Diana
February 11, 2010 at 4:00 pm
That’s fantastic news!!!! Katie just needed some time to get used to the equipment and having her little dogwalk at home is making a huge difference! I know having a dogwalk to practice on really helped me too. It’s too bad we don’t all have all of the agility stuff at our disposal all the time. It would be a lot easier to learn to be comfortable with it all.
Can’t wait to hear how next week’s class goes! Do you have a video camera? Can Katie’s dad video a little of her class? Would love to see her!
February 11, 2010 at 4:43 pm
Yay Katie! I’m so proud of you! I think your mom is going to have to go back training for marathons to keep up with you! Sounds like there is no stopping you now.
Great job on keeping it fun. It really paid off.
February 12, 2010 at 8:05 am
Ricky, we don’t have a video camera. I know my digital point and shoot camera will do video..but I don’t know how to store it on my laptop or put it into the blog. Sigh. We’ll try, but I don’t know if we’ll end up with anything!
February 12, 2010 at 4:37 pm
Well done Katie! Us shelties just need a little bit of special treatment and then we get our own confidence. Lots of trainers don’t get that, good job you got your Mom to help you out!
February 17, 2010 at 7:58 pm
Dawn that is such great news! I know I’m a little late in catching up on everyone’s blogs, but I’m so happy for you too! 🙂 I can’t wait to hear how class goes this week.
February 24, 2010 at 3:11 pm
Oh Man!!!!! She is having Fun! This is great! Dawn, you are going to have to find a way to video. If she is looking for instruction you have to see the video too. This is so-o-o-o-0 great!!!!!
You go girls! 🙂