September 9, 2010

Raising the Bar

Today was the hardest agility class yet! But the funnest!

Last week we started to run some sequences, ie. tire, a-frame, jump. We are just doing 3 at a time. But last week all obstacles were in a straight line. This week they pushed us harder.

We still did the sequence of 3 obstacles, but this time with turns! We just did all right hand turns but DAMN it was HARD, but super fun! Riley did pretty good. The station that he had the most trouble (as did all the dogs) was the 3 jumps in a pinwheel shape.

Riley and the other dogs wanted to skip the second jump and go to the third one haha. After a couple times through each dog got it, with the help of one of our instructors waving a toy at the second jump :) It was clear here (and at the teeter) that I really need to work on Riley's come command, it's kinda sloppy.

The one sequence we did, that Riley decided to try his attempt flying again, was the dog walk. Sequence was, tunnel, dog walk, jump, each with a right hand turn. First time was perfect, he lined himself up nicely out of the tunnel and was across the dog walk. Well.... the second time, I sent Riley though the tunnel and as he came out, I guess I didn't "push the path" hard enough and he was a little crooked going onto the dog walk.

Up the incline = SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE trying to keep balance!

Half way across the top = SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE, SCRAMBLE! Riley decides "screw the scrambling, I'll just jump!"

Well thankfully for this reason, our instructor stays on the other side and follows the dog as he runs across. So when Riley jumped, my instructor caught him in the air! *Insert sigh of relief here*

So I attempted again, pushing the path harder this time. He lined himself up better, but once again scrambled across the dog walk, but he made it without baling. 

Riley and I are both learning what works and what doesn't, and I am learning how my body language is very important in telling Riley what to do. But my teachers say when I harness Riley's speed and enthusiasm, he is going to do great things!

Riley's new nickname = Kamikaze dog!

(Next week I promise to post  video from class)


  1. I wonder if your instructor would try to catch a great dane:)
    Sounds like you are both having a lot of fun, which is what it is all about!

  2. OH, Riley is having a blast! That is what it is all about.

  3. Way to go, Riley!

    You're wonderful!!!

  4. I'm always astonished at the difficulty students have when we introduce turns. It's easy for me to forget what it's like to be a newbie, though, especially if your training up to this point has been done in straight lines. It gets easier! :o)

    Your instructors seem very "involved" in everything... I'm not against assisting for safety, but they seem to do an awful lot of luring in the place of teaching you to handle obstacles properly on your own.

    I hope they are giving you a good foundation in distance training to work with that super fast dog of yours. :o)

  5. We have such a blast doing it! It is the highlight of our week :)

    Karissa: Our instructors only stepped in after 3 or so times the dog missed/didn't understand the obstacle. I'm glad it gets easier :) B/c both Riley and I had to use our brains super hard that day haha and we were both tired when we got home :)