Thursday, February 14, 2013

Happy Marley Day!

Wow it feels like just yesterday when I brought Marley home.  Happy Gotcha Day Marley!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Match

We attended our first fun match over the weekend. I signed us up for three runs in jumpers and I was very excited.  I woke up before dawn to get us there with enough time to find a good spot to set-up.  The day was simply beautiful, bright and sunny with a cooling breeze. 

Upon seeing the course I had only one thought, "Easy Peasy!"  We've done more complex course work in practice.  I was totally sure this would be a piece of cake and Marley would be looking for a challenge. I actually started to become concerned it might be too easy.  You can probably see where this is going, right?

Our three fun runs went like this:
  1. Marley got into the ring and thought, "woohoo, dirt!" and she took off running in circles.  She took a few jumps only because they were in her way while she was running around.  
  2. Marley goes over the first jump just fine and starts to sniff the ground in front of the tunnel.  I call her name...nothing.  I call her name again...she smells some straw.  I call her again...she looks like she wants to claim that spot on the course.  I end up picking her up and taking her outside.  
  3. I have a firm talk with Marley before our third run.  I look deep into her eyes and I say, "Girl, you need to find your inner border collie!"  I set her up at the start line and release her, she stops and the fascinating spot in front of the tunnel.  I call her name and she looks at me for a moment and decides it might be best to go into the tunnel.  As soon as she comes out I call her to me and praise her.  I then take off running like a crazy person, hoping my dog is following me along the course.  She did and it was fun!
Yep, three runs and she only actually ran one.  I have to say, she had a fantastic time.  I learned a valuable lesson:  The fun run is not about completing the course, but of letting the dog run a course in a new environment.  

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Spring Already!

Wow, I can't believe its already February.  We have pretty much hibernated all winter;  Marley has enjoyed watching Doctor Who and playing indoor games.  The ground was saturated by huge storms that arrived in December, making outdoor training difficult.  Today was the first day I was able to wander about without  a coat and the ground wasn't squishy.
Marley enjoying a good roll in the warm grass. 

This week was our first week of agility class after our winter (weather) break.  Marley totally rocked the 270 turns, wrapping was smooth and clean.  She followed my cues and was right where I needed her to be, it was awesome!  So incredible...I signed us up for a fun match.  I have high hopes!

I also have high hopes that this is the year we conquer the dog walk.  We have worked on her end behavior and I believe she has finally figured out what I want when I scream TARGET!

I'm very excited about the fun match.  A couple of our agility friends will also be there and hopefully, I can find somebody to video our runs.  I only have two goals for this event the first is for Marley to ignore the distractions and not try to make friends with the pole setters.  The second is for me to plan our strategy and not forget it in the ring.  I'm so excited!