I didn’t post for class #5 and we couldn’t go to class #6 because Belle was in heat but lemme tell you about class #7.
We were a small class this week and one of my instructors was not there. We had an addition to our class this week, a corgi named Max.
We started with the chute (closed tunnel) which Belle notoriously does not like. But we made some big progress tonight. At first she went half way in, backed out, then followed me around the tunnel. So my instructor folded up the chute and fed her treats while she went in the tunnel, but after every treat Belle backed out. She did eventually go through the whole chute but only once I was at the end.
I am beginning to wonder how long it will take her to run through the tunnel without me at the end of it.
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)
Just a funny side note: No one asked me why I was recording/taking pictures of class until I put a GoPro on Belle.
But now that everyone knows, people have been staying out of my camera shots! Hooray!
On to class:
We started with a low jump. Normally, Belle goes over these fine. I mean, she hesitates some but it’s not like she’s terrified to jump over anything… or on anything… or anyone… but she wouldn’t go over the jump at the beginning of class. As it turns out, someone had to poop.
At the end of this semester I must present all the research I am doing. I’ve been meditating on that since I’ve involved so much media in my project. If I start recording some video diary entries now, I could do a lengthy vlogumentary, but I’m not sure how I would query that.
I also thought about making a picture book. I mean, I have so many pictures I’m sure I could just sue those and some Photoshop filters in order to make it all look like sketches, or I could color-pop Belle and I out… But would I make it a non-fiction picture book? or maybe write a fictional story based on my research?
I also think it would work as a short story or a novel, but writing about my experience would require it to be a little further along. In my proposal, I stated that I wanted the piece to end with Belle’s first competition and I just don’t think I’ll be able to do that. I didn’t realize that there would be so many obstacles to learn at the beginner level.
Honestly, I’d like to either write the novel length experience about it or do the vlogumentary. I’m just not sure that the vlogumentary would fly.
What do you think I should do?
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!