Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Terrible Twos, Handler Error...Or Both?!

We took Gilda to the AU Building on Sunday for a practice session/video session. It was another cold, snowy day and she and Mike had walked 6 miles that morning so I thought she'd settle right in for some agility. Notsomuch...

It's always a challenge to 'loose leash walk' to the building so that was no surprise. Once inside, Gilda was hyper during the warm up repeatedly nipping my fingers while taking treats and more intent on sniffing the dirt than following directions!

We started with some low Teeter work. She will now enter the Teeter from the "high" side (only a few inches) which was a good thing. She seemed very hyper and scattered performing her 2o/2o sporadically at each end, leaving the Teeter from the center, holding her 2o/2o even after the release at times...

I thought that maybe she needed to move to something more high energy at this point. With Mike available, I decided to work on the Chute again to get her revved up. Mike held Gilda at the open end and I called her through from the partially opened chute side using her tug toy as a reward. She was willing to go through three times so we closed the chute, cued her through from the open side and got success a few times!

We then mapped out a course using the equipment that was already set up. I attempted a few Jump Recall exercises as a warm up but had a very difficult time getting Gilda to sit and stay on one side of the jump while I moved the short distance to the other side. Once I had a couple good recalls, we moved on...

After a few walk-throughs, we ran our course a few times: Jump (45 degree left turn), Jump, A-Frame, Tunnel, Jump, Jump, Jump. After a few miscues on my part and many start line issues on Gilda's part, she was willing and able to complete all 7 obstacles! (Still sniffing and distracted in between runs though)

Next, we attempted: Jump, Jump, Jump, Chute, Tunnel. The Chute was hit or miss as was the Tunnel when she did come out of the Chute. We ended that little run on a good note.

I was so happy with the success she had on the Channel Weaves during our last practice session and was excited for Mike to see her 'weave'. We pulled the Channel Weaves out to an open area and opened them wide. I attempted the same exercise we did solo at the last session: Gilda sits and stays at one end of the 6 Weave Poles, I walk to the other end of the Weave Poles and call her through and treat at the end if she is successful. Gilda was completely unable/unwilling to sit and or stay while I walked to the other side.

I had Mike stop filming so that he could hold her collar while I called her through. She was then able to go through the wide-open Weaves in both directions but completely fell apart when we closed them halfway!

I am sure that much of our issues were Handler Error! Needless to say, while I have learned a lot from the video of this day, there isn't any of it I'm willing to post on this little blog!

I am looking forward to class with Linda tonight and to our next practice on Friday morning...

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