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.
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.
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.