Saturday, August 30, 2008

Enough glum stuff....TIME FOR SOME AGILITY!!!

Out from the chaos and back on track!!!!  I went for a trail walk to Edward Crowley park with Alice and Rita and all our dogs,  lots of them, 7 in total.  I now have renewed inspiration and focus. After the walk I got my agility fix in class with Nicole the master trickster instructor/ course designer ( switchbacks & tight turns were yesterday's challenge). I found out there's a fun match Sept 28th!!!!  YAHOOOOOO!!!!  This should be a HOOT! 

I've got more work to do with weave poles!!!! Nicole suggested to get 6 plungers to use indoors to practice :)  space them 20inches apart from pole to pole and suction them to the floor!
I never thought of that!  Darrell just shook his head at me :P

I also realized after watching more Sylvia Trkman's videos (add more fuel to the fire) of her and dogs hiking that I'm sooooo blessed with a similar backdrop and also use the forest and ocean as a jungle gym for my guys to help with body awareness and find that it makes life that much more interesting too!  Come to think if it, even in town we find things to use as jumps or contacts.  Benches, trees, anything to jump over, run along, under,  or go around.  Incorporating something fun in the walk also comes in handy when I can tell George is puffing up and thinking of barking at another dog ;)   Does anyone else goof around on walks?  If so, what sort of funny stuff have you done?  I love finding new things to incorporate!

I've actually been stopped by people who get a kick of the tricks we do on our walks (a woman asked to take a picture of Daizy for her blog doing a trick) or they'll say that it's nice to see someone letting their dog enjoy the walk.  I let them sniff as a reward (it's a cue) for doing something for me.   Sometimes,  when I see that they're eyeing something up, I'll give them the go ahead to explore.  They don't have the luxury of coming and going like I do, so I think it's important to let them stop, enjoy and explore.  I even get in there and act all excited, it gets them even more pumped and happy to focus back on me.  One guy went on to say, "...some owners just drag the dog along."  WHAT? 

I had it the opposite where I used to be dragged around by my pups.  Once I learnt from puppy class the red light green light game, and combining it with practicing indoors off /on leash while hand feeding the dogs when they shadow me again in short bursts (10 sec at a time), remembering to stop before they're bored.  I always leaving them wanting to play more of the games, makes them very excited when you initiate playing the games again.  

Dragging me around stopped when I got my act together and made walking fun.  I'm not sure I've ever met a dog that didn't want to have fun, or a tasty treat!  I also laugh a lot more, a side effect that I can live with.  They never have to worry that there's a punishment coming their way, only opportunities to try again, while I figure out how to better communicate what I'm asking.   What games do you incorporate into your walks?

I didn't hike this trail yesterday.  I've posted it as one of the mountain bike trails as an example, of the obstacles my guys are attracted to like magnets. I think they see something similar to agility equipment and they go nuts!  Time to let loose!   Here's one Daizy enjoyed, it's called Joint Error.

Nice fast downhill then along a wooden ramp and jump at the end.

Daizy is walking it.  Her agility cue we use for contact obstacles is "walk it."
I love being rewarded by a beautiful view after a long hike!

1 comment:

River said...

Amazing views! It would certainly make a hike worthwhile.

love & wags,