Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Agility is working in the real world

Who knew I would be able to use our agility training in the "real world?"

I usually have to be careful on our walks because Marley wants to go around trees and get us all tangled up. I have been using "ThisWay" and she will stop and walk towards me and around the tree. This is great and prevents us from running around trees all morning.

However this doesn't seem to work around poles especially if Marley's already around the pole. She gets confused if she can see me and the leash is pulling away from me. Usually, I have to stop her and walk around the pole.

Today I had the brilliant idea (ok, in reality I was tired and didn't want to walk around the pole), I sighed and said "Marley Go" while I pushed my palm out and pulled slightly on the leash. She looked slightly confused but walked away from me around the pole. I was so surprised it worked, I started to praise her lavishly and she grinned.

Who new this stuff would come in handy? I sense a whole new world is opening up for us on our walks.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Agility 3.6

Marley was in total BRAT mode during class. She totally tricked me by impersonating a good dog at the beginning of class.

We started class with the Chute, which was simple and Marley did really well.

Teeter - Tire - The teeter being Marley's favorite also went well. She didn't even have any problems with the tire.

Dog Walk - Hoop - Weave poles (guide) - Crossover (me) - Tire - We started with the Dog walk and hoop and added the other parts each turn. Marley did very well, I was impressed with her tolerance of my crossover. I was so proud of her.

Jump - Jump - Jump - Tunnel - Marley had a blast, I did not.

We started at jump 3 and I sent her to the tunnel, Marley did fine.

Jump 2 and 3 followed by the tunnel went fine.

Marley did Jump 1 ran around Jump 2 and 3 and into the tunnel. I called her back and she jumped over 2 and 3 to get back. I tried again, Marley ran even faster over jump 1 and around jumps 2 and 3 into the tunnel where she turned around and sat at the entrance grinning at me.

I called her back and this time I used the leash to guide her over all three jumps. She was grinning the entire time.

Our trainer suggested I set up some jumps at home and practice, practice and practice.

Our final exercise was Tire - Weave poles, Marley did fine the first time and she totally became confused the second. At this point I figured she was tired from all the running around the jumps and we ended class.

I'm glad she had fun, however I hope she listens better during our next class.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Who was bad?

Marley met me at the door when I came home from work. "Marley, were you bad?"
"No, I slept ALL day long"

As I wandered inside I noticed somebody had TP'd my living room. "Marley who came inside and vandalized our home with tissue?"

"Umm...maybe the cat?"

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Spoiled dog? A teenager's opinion

I recently went to the movies with a 14 year old friend. She was speachless while she watched me move Marley's things from the front seat to the trunk. This included Marley's mat (keeps my seats clean), towel, dog park bag (which includes some balls, poop bags and a leash), a ball, bowl and water bottle.

She said, "Marley is soo SPOILED!"

I gasped in horror, "No She Isn't" I had to take a deep breath and calm myself, "Marley just gets anything she wants"

Huge eye roll from a teenager, "She gets anything she wants...and she's not spoiled"

I'm slightly defensive at this point, "Well, she is such a good girl...most of the time"

Because I wanted to avoid another eye roll I quickly changed the topic. It made me think, at which point is a dog considered spoiled?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Agility 3.5

otherwise known as Human Agility class!

Yep, Marley is doing great. Actually she is doing fabulous in spite of my goofy guidance. We have upgraded from using the leash to using a tab, which she loves.

This class consisted of sequences where we kept adding equipment to each sequence. We did 4 different sequences.

Weave poles (with guides) - dogwalk - crossover - hoop - hoop - Pause table- This was fine, except I kept tripping over my own feet while trying to do a crossover.

Teeter - tire - hoop - we did well, except Marley thought we should add a jump.

A-frame - hoop - hoop - Tunnel - This would have been fine if I had remembered the name of the A-Frame and our word for contact. We started and I was thinking climb it but my mouth was saying Tunnel. I think Marley might have ESP because she did fine.

Tunnel - Weave poles (cage) - hoop - hoop - hoop - pause table - Marley was fine transitioning from each piece of equipment. I had to work on guiding her away from me towards the weave poles. I think this might be more coordination than I'm capable of doing.

Good Grief this is so much harder than it looks like on TV.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Agility 3.4

Marley loves agility. I'm working at setting her up to succeed instead of confusing her in class. I'm having trouble remembering our word for contact. Most people in class use touch, except we use that word for something else. I've been using target, except I keep forgetting. I seem to be a work in progress.

This week we did the following:

A-frame - This was the first time we tried this and Marley had no qualms about climbing the A-frame.

Hoop - Teeter - Tire - Tunnel - Marley didn't want to go through the tire. I think this may be because we have not done this in a while. I ended up having the assistant trainer hold a treat on the other side in order to encourage her to jump through the tire. She is getting better at the tunnel, as long as I'm there when she reaches the end. If I'm not there she'll turn around and run around the tunnel to meet me.

Weave poles - Dog Walk - Marley meanders through the weave poles. She does them correctly however she does not feel the need to hurry. A classmate asked us if we practiced at home, I thought this was a nice complement because we don't.

While waiting for our turn we did some jumps and tried the tire a few times. We also took a break on the pause table.

The funniest thing is I think Marley expects a command prior to entering the doggy pool. While in class, we'll go to the doggy pool and she'll wait and look at me. Crazy dog.

I think Marley has decided to practice contacts at home. When ever she's on my lap, she'll have her butt will be on my lap but her paws will be on another surface. Usually the couch or the floor. Crazy dog.