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:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.