The dogs and I went to an agility trainer for a private lesson today. It was lots and lots of fun! We went to work with Justine who has an outstanding reputation as an agility trainer. I decided to start with Diva, as she can be the most tricky to deal with. I was impressed with the fact that we were able to engage Diva in play. This is a milestone for us and so very exciting! We worked on playing. We worked on turning tight circles in both directions. We worked on a sit/stay/release and sit/stay with distraction. This is something Diva struggles with (and because she struggles - so do I.) We worked on going around an obstacle (jump standard) with speed and enthusiasm. What left me thrilled was how happy she was. Her little tail flagged in the air, and her mouth seemed to smile. She was relaxed, not stressed as we worked through the activities. She even engaged in play with Justine. (Diva's not one for strangers.)
Putting her back in the truck I grabbed Ryder. Justine broke into a smile when I grabbed the flying squirrel and Ryder enthusiastically went chasing after it. We started out with some play. Next we worked on big circles and tacked on a "here" command. Ryder also worked on the jump standard exercise. One that he found hard was to stand on a Rubbermaid tub. We wanted to help him become more aware of his space and body. Right now I'm using treats to lure him onto it, but that'll be extinguished as time goes on. We also did an activity where only his hind feet stayed on tub and his front feet stayed on the ground. We did ready set go with him which he was quite good at. And the icing on the cake was he got to do the tunnel. He cracked me up because once he figured out what to do he'd retrieve his toy and come back through the tunnel. Too funny! The next step is to chain a circle onto the end of the tunnel.
Overall I'm thrilled with how are day went. I'm happy to have some exercises we can easily do at home to help keep them busy mentally. I even play to teach this stuff to Tessa.
Doesn't Ryder look happy with himself?
(Sorry his eyes look strange - I tried to remove the crazy glow look and this is what I ended up with...)