Another Thursday…another agility class for Katie and me. Again this week I skipped the Rally class held on Thursday mornings so that I didn’t overtax the Sheltie brain. Plus I had a ton of garden related stuff to do and it was a beautiful day. But I’ll blame the Sheltie brain for the missed class just the same.
Again our class was split into two groups, those with more experience (not us!) went over to the other side and worked on contacts. The rest of us got to start with teeter first. UGH. Last time we started with teeter Katie got tired of the game and shut down. Of course the Sheltie brain had forgotten that, while the human brain tends to dwell on the potential negative outcomes. So I looked at my dog and decided to assume she’d do whatever I asked. And when it was our turn she trotted right up that teeter, instructor holding her leash, right out to the end as it gently landed on a couple of stacked up milk crates and got her “Good GIRL!” and treat, then stayed there while I walked a step or two and then jumped off when I released her. YEA KATIE!! And it was like that every time, she was pulling on her leash to head up that teeter whenever it was our turn.
But the chute? What the heck is that Mom? I’m not going in there! It’s RED! MY chute is BLUE! This is an EVIL CHUTE! OK. I’ll go in the tunnel part, but as soon as you’re not looking I’m getting back out of it! Yes siree! I am NOT GOING IN THERE AND YOU CAN’T MAKE ME!
In fact when we tried to put together a string of stuff, double jump, send to tunnel, weaves, chute, she bypassed the chute and as I was talking to the instructor about how to get her to do the chute she ran off and did the teeter by herself, with NO MILK CRATES to break the teeter’s fall!! Behind my back! I ran over there and rewarded her, she was standing 2o2o looking over her shoulder wondering where the heck I was. Silly girl, you wear me out!
Then we switched sides and our group did contacts. We started with them jumping on the table to get to the downside of the dogwalk, then tossed a treat onto a paper plate at the bottoms so the dogs would pause, eat the treat, and then get released. She did it perfectly every time. “Don’t need no stinking table mom, I LOVE the dogwalk!” When we finally got to run the whole dogwalk she was thrilled, charging up and over it, and even stopping at the bottom for her praise and treat! I was so proud of her.
Her reward, at least in her mind, was that we did A-Frame next and she LOOOOOVES the A-Frame! Though it wasn’t always this way, now whenever she sees it she tugs to run up and over it, so when we got to actually run it a couple of times she was in heaven. Contacts? No problem as long as she got a treat.
So at the end we put the two sides together. Tire, dogwalk, weaves, curved tunnel, A-Frame, jump, double jump, tunnel, weaves, chute, teeter. Piece of cake, right? Well, we haven’t practiced tire in a long time. It was hot. We’d been there almost an hour. Katie was getting squirrely. We had to wait for all the big dogs to go first. Enough excuses. She refused to do tire. It was already after the class hour, and the next class was waiting to start, so after three attempts I just kept going. She charged for the dogwalk, ran through the weaves, shot through the tunnel, flung herself up and over the A-frame, stopped at the bottom, I said good girl! and kept running, yelling “JUMP.!” She did not. I turned to see where she was and she was SITTING at the bottom of the A-Frame looking at me. “Treat Mom? Where’s my TREAT!?!?! I am NOT MOVING until you give me my TREAT!” So I did (probably the wrong thing to do) and we moved on to jumps and tunnel and weaves and were running full tilt at the chute! She ran into it! She got 3/4 of the way through it, I’m yelling “CHUTE! GOOD GIRL KATIE! CHUTE!” and she turns around and runs out of it, runs all the way across the ring and out the ring and into the kitchen.
I went and got her and told her she was a good girl and we tried chute once more, no go, then we did teeter for the treats and that was the end of class.
For the most part she had a really good time and so did I. In the end that’s all that matters. The fact that she has a chute at home that she runs through with no problem is something I won’t think about right now.
June 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm
Wow, it sounds like you guys did great!! Im so happy about your teeter. Dont worry about the chute , that will come too! Diana
June 18, 2010 at 2:33 pm
Oh, the dreaded alien, the unfamiliar chute.
You got the teeter figured out, she’ll get the chute too. Sounds like katie had fun, and thats all that matters.
June 18, 2010 at 2:40 pm
Awesome news on the teeter front and almost all of the class! But the chute – of course I can’t give any advice on that one! What the heck is it about us Shelties and the chute? Mom echoes your last sentence with a change of pronoun – “The fact that he has a chute at home that he runs through with no problem is something I won’t think about right now.” – LOL!
June 18, 2010 at 8:45 pm
Obviously Katie has a mind of her own, Mom. She has her priorities and today the red chute wasn’t it. She’ll do it when she’s ready, and when you least expect it she’ll be perfect.
June 19, 2010 at 1:19 pm
The two of you sound like you are having fun. As for the chute, maybe if you could get some sheep to go in the chute Katie would follow them. How do you get sheep to do the chute? Gesh, you’ll have to solve that one, we were just working on getting Katie to do the chute.
Essex & Deacon
June 19, 2010 at 8:21 pm
Essex & Deacon….I think she’d run into the chute if we got a tiny little CHIPMUNK to run in there first! LOL
Carol…she definitely has a mind of her own, which she exercises frequently!
Ricky, if I get the chute thing figured out I’ll give you some tips…that sheep/chipmunk idea might work for you too!
Sara, yes it was an evil chute…but we had fun and you’re right, that’s all that matters!
Diana, who knows what goes through her mind. Maybe all that work on the tiny teeter at home helped. Maybe she just decided she’d do it for chicken!
June 19, 2010 at 9:56 pm
I think it sounds like a very successful class really. I know the chute might be baffling to you right now, but I’m just thrilled to hear her progress on all the other pieces of equipment. It really sounds like it’s all coming together. 🙂