My GoPro came in last week and I immediately strapped it onto Belle. Just for the record: She hates the GoPro Fetch harness. But she’s getting more used to it each time I put it on her. I almost always have Belle on a leash so I mount the camera on her front so that it’s not constantly getting smacked by the leash.
Without further ado: I give you Belle-O-Vision (BTV)
Wow, Vlog #6? I don’t believe myself. I must be lying. I think the third class is a great time to reflect on what I’ve learned so far.
- Bring poop baggies. Belle likes to start class that way.
- One bag of treats is not enough.
- I must work with her everyday in order to see results.
- Don’t tell Belle “no” when she messes up.
- Be more energetic when training her.
The first two things might sound funny, but I’m tired of cleaning up after Belle even though I take her outside before class starts, and she eats a lot of treats.
Belle and I had our second agility class. I’d love to say that it went smoothly but a certain furry four legged friend of was a giant pain in the rear. On the plus side, Belle didn’t poop or pee on the floor this week, so silver lining.
When I got to WonderDogs I immediately took Belle out to go to the bathroom. After last week when she decided to show her whole class what going inside means, I wanted to be on the safe non-stinky side. But Belle wouldn’t go! She just kept sniffing all the new smells! Walk her to the left away from smells, NEW SMELLS, walk back to the other smells that she already smelled, SAME SMELLS!
As promised, I recorded some training with Belle in the backyard. She decided to show me up while the camera was running and actually listened. I feel like the cable lead had something to do with it.
Belle and I had our first class last night at WonderDogs, in Berlin, NJ. The class has mixed levels, meaning some people have taken agility classes before and some have not. I thought Belle might stand out and be the only large dog but she wasn’t.
One thing that surprised me was that we were not allowed to let our dogs socialize while we were there. It makes sense though, because as my teacher said, “You don’t want to be at a competition and then have your dog hop the fence in order to go say ‘hi’ to a friend.” And considering Belle is already so easily distracted, I spent a lot of time getting her attention back from dog butts to focus on me.
And with all the bacon treats in my pockets you would think I’d be the better choice.
Our first class is tonight! Here is a brief vlog about Belle (and her sister Luka) getting their shots. Belle needs hers for class, but they were both due to get them. Don’t worry, their big ol’ Lab butts don’t feel a thing.
Agility is an athletic event which demonstrates a dog’s willingness to work with its handler in varying situations. It requires conditioning, concentration, training, and (most importantly) teamwork. Handlers and their dogs traverse an obstacle course against a clock.
As I mentioned in a previous post, I hadn’t found out much about the classes.
BUT NOW I HAVE!
Since my Agility Class at Wonderdogs does not start until March 2nd (I’m going to have some late Mondays), I thought I’d look up some details about Agility Trials. I found the AKC (American Kennel Club) Beginner’s Guide to Companion Events. Unlike other competitions I have been in, Classes are not defined by their level of difficulty. For example, I won’t be competing in the Novice Class, I will compete at the Novice Level. But let’s start at the beginning and answer “what is agility?”
Agility is when “a dog demonstrates its agile nature and versatility by following cues from the handler through a timed obstacle course of jumps, tunnels, weave poles and other objects. It’s an activity that strengthens the bond between dog and handler and provides fun and exercise for both…” (source)
There are many obstacles, some of which have contact zones, on which the dogs are required to make place at least one paw before moving through or over the obstacle.
As part of my Core 2 research project, I am training my Labernard, Belle, to compete in AKC Agility Trials. I start classes on March 2nd, 2015, at Wonderdogs in Berlin, NJ and I just wanted to make a quick post about where I am at the start of all this and also to introduce you to Belle!
Click here to check out the whole project: Woofing It