Nell's Agility Class......

Discussion in 'Dog Sports' started by lonewolfblue, Feb 14, 2009.

  1. lonewolfblue New Member

    We just got back from another class, and boy did we have fun. Nell completely amazed me tonight. Just so you all know, the book 'In Focus' really has done wonders for Nell. All the targeting we've done, as well as working with direction, and shaping, she's really blossoming a lot faster than I had anticipated. For the first part of class she was really wanting to go to the other dogs to play, but she's getting better at focusing on me. After working for about 20 minutes, she's almost completely focused on my 100%, and after about 40 minutes, we were working with her off leash, staying at my side and doing the obsticles that I direct her to. It is so awsome. We had to do the first half of the class on leash, but then as her focus was becoming near perfection, I was letting her go off leash more, and she stayed with me and not run off to the other dogs.

    We started the evening doing our warmups with her running along my side, switching directions with her turning towards me. Then the Asst. Trainer said she was doing very well, and was ready for the next step, doing the same thing but with the dog turning away from me. So we were going back and forth, but it took a little for her to understand that when we switched directions, she was to turn away from me instead of towards me. She finally caught on, so it's a new thing we get to practice.

    Then we got to start on the weave poles. We started with 2 poles, just to get the dogs used to going through a couple poles. And we were using shaping to do it. Nell did very well, and the Asst. Trainer was really commenting on how well Nell was learning everything, and at how fast she was learning. She was amazing tonight.

    After the weave poles, we then moved onto the Dog Walk. Nell was asked again to be the demo dog, lol. She was the demo dog all night, lol. She did great on the dog walk, we walked over it slower, as she was a little unsure, but did well. Then on the 2nd time, she wanted to fly over it, lol. She knew there was a treat waiting for her on the other end, lol. We did the Dog Walk 3 times.

    After the Dog Walk, we then moved onto the Teeter. Nell again was unsure the first time over it, but then had no problems the next 2 times. It was great. By this time, she was working for the most part off leash and under full control. I was really happy with her performance.

    After the Teeter, the Trainer then gave us all a challenge. We had 3 obsticles to do. We would do 1 obsticle 3 times each. Then moved to 2 obsticles 3 times each, and then 3 obsticles 3 times each. The first obsticle was the Shoot. We all did the Shoot 3 times, on both sides. I did it on the right first, then the left on the second time, then back to the right. We could do it any way we wanted, just had to do it at least one time on each side. Then we were to do the Tire and then the Shoot. So we all did it 3 times, again on both sides. Then she added the Tunnel. It went Tunnel, Tire, then Shoot. Nell did excellent. She did miss the Tire once, she snuck under the tire, lol. But we corrected it. And the next 2 times she did it perfect.

    Overall, she did wonderful tonight. I was really happy. And the trainer really had a lot of good things to say about her. Then when the class was done, instead of taking her to the car and then go back in to help pick up, I just clipped her to the clips they have to hold the dogs, and I had her lay down and stay. She got up now and then, but then finally just layed down and stayed, watching us pick up all the equipment. I could never do this before, as she would always want to pull on the clip and bark. But she's come so far. Now I just have to figure out some other ways to work with her on her on/off switch, especially towards the beginning of the class.

    Then, as we completed the obsticles, we would walk around the dog walk and back to the end of the line, with Nell at my side. She was actually at my side looking up at me, with a smile on her face. It was a good feeling, and she was off leash. When I stopped, she stopped. When I moved, she moved. This was a first for her, and just blew me away. So I highly recommend others read the book 'In Focus'. There's just so much good information in there. And fun things to work on to gain more focus. And best of all, it's not one of those expensive training books either, it's actually pretty cheap.

    Because of my work hours, and a change in the kennel clubs schedules and the trainer adding another class to her training, I can't do the Agility I. So not sure what I'm going to do next. She added a class called Focus First!, which I'm thinking of maybe taking Chloe to. But I don't want to take anything away from Nell either, and with the hours at work being cut, it's getting really tough on me as well. But we'll see.

    Last thing, they are having some Agility Trials coming up over in Moses Lake. They are having their trials on Friday and Saturday, then Sunday is for the Wenatchee Kennel Club. And I've been asked if I would like to go and help out. Nell wouldn't be able to compete, but they would like me to go to see how things go, as well as helping with different things, like changing jump heights, or being the leash runner where you take the leash at the start line and run to the finnish where the dog will complete the course and give it back to the handler, and another thing is keeping scores. She said the hardest one is the keeping the scores, she said it can be a real headache, lol. So it's another thing I have to think about, and try to figure out what to do with Betty if I decide to go. Will let you know what happens......

  2. snooks Experienced Member

    Who wrote In Focus? I need to pick it up. I need to sit down and watch my new I Cue DVD too.

    Nell is the belle of class again. Sorry to hear about the schedule crimp. Weren't you going to start Chloe in a class too?? No fair when work and life interferes with dog fun. :dogwacko: In your free time I have extra dog training to do too since you train such great focus now. I need the Focus book. Kudos to u and the girls.
  3. ozjen Well-Known Member
    This is an Australian link to the book "In Focus" but should be available through Amazon and the likes I should imagine. Think I might have to add it to my collection with that glowing report, Nell sounds like she is an impressive student. It's always nice to hear how people find particular books as I always hate buying books online only to find that they don't meet my expectations or they don't have anything new to offer. Never much in our bookstores here so most of my books these day are bought online, with limited funds its nice to go with recommendations.
  4. lonewolfblue New Member

    Yup, that's the book, and you can get it here as well....

    As for the I Cue DVD set, I loved it. It is excellent. So much stuff in it....

    As for Chloe, I've been training her in Rally and Obedience. Mostly Rally though, as I think that's the direction we are going to go. And with training Betty already in Rally, I'm pretty much able to do Rally on my own now. But we do see a trainer with Chloe, but am going to start cutting back on those classes due to a decrease in hours at work.
  5. lynund Well-Known Member

    Hi Lonewolfblue,l
    It was great to read your post. It brought back lots of memories of when I used to try and do agility with Ben before Arthritis set in. He also loved the dog walk but his best thing was the A frame.. He used to run away from the "Boring" Jumps and you would find him up the A fram.. sometimes just balancing on the top watching what was going on elsewhere.
    I wish you all the luck in the world with this activity just hope you are a bit fitter than I was..(Good dog..shame about the handler..) must admit I found it very hard to keep running and breathing all at the same time.
    Good luck again

  6. snooks Experienced Member

    Tunnels are a gravitational force for my big girl. She uses our home tunnel to peel off the puppy. Thanks for the book info to every one. I too hate buying books online without a good rec.

    Can't wait for more video of ur three. Chloe needs her first feature film when she gets ready. Betty and Nell are doing so awesome on that FOCUS.
  7. lonewolfblue New Member

    Nell's favorite is the tunnels as well, and she really likes the A-frame as well. As for Chloe, haven't been doing much lately. Has been a bad winter for me, I've been sicker than most years. I just wish this weather would go away, lol.
  8. lonewolfblue New Member

    New update......

    Well, Friday we went through another class. Nell did very well. We even got to try the shoot with the sock on it. She wouldn't go through it, lol. So the trainer held the sock open, and she finally went through. Then she tried dropping the sock when she started going through and she would turn around and go back out the entrance. Ah well, something she needs practice with, but for a first time, I'm proud of what she did do.

    We also did a little with the teeter as well. But she got a little spooked from the movement. It's interesting how one week she does just fine, and the next she acts a little like she's spooked by it, lol. We didn't push it though, just tried it a couple times and then started working with something else, didn't want her to start shutting down on it.

    As for her focus, she did really good. She's really come a long ways in a short period of time due to the new training we've been doing from the book In Focus. We have been having a blast with the class, and she loves getting out.

    Today I took Chloe to her Rally class, and I was talking to the trainer about Nell, and she suggested that I talk to the trainer and ask if Nell is far enough ahead to just skip Agility I and go on to Agility II, as that class is on a different night and is later in the evening, so work wouldn't be an issue. So I'm hoping that maybe she can do that for us. But if not, then we may not do any classes this next go around, and will just work with Nell's focus more at the park, now that the weather is getting better. Also thinking of slowly getting some Agility equipment off Ebay, like the Tunnels, and then make some jumps and other things using PVC that I can get at Lowe's. I borrowed a book from my other trainer on building Agility Equipment from scratch. So I'll start working on that. I found a nice 18' tunnel on Ebay for 49.95 with free shipping, includes the stakes to hold it in place as well as a carrying case for the tunnel for storage. So I got a couple things I can start working on this spring for building.
  9. lonewolfblue New Member

    Well, it's been a while, Nell took a break from classes as we couldn't go because of my work. Well now we can, they changed the class times, so we now can go on to Agility 1. It starts May 7. ;)
  10. lonewolfblue New Member

    Does my new sig work?
  11. pamperedpups Well-Known Member

    What new sig? :)
  12. lonewolfblue New Member

    I thought they had sigs here on the forum, but have noticed they have been moved into your profile. It's in my profile, it's a smaller version of the one on the other forum. I added Sonny to the sig image.
  13. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    Sonny??? I didn't know you added to the family. Congrats!
  14. lonewolfblue New Member

    Yup, I'm currently fostering him, but may decide to keep him. Haven't decided yet. He's way underweight and didn't have much exercise at his previous home. So I'm going to bring him back to full health and do some basic training with him, as well as housetraining, and then will make the decision later. But for now, he's a foster. He's about 7 months old.
  15. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    He's a looker; I love his face. ^^
  16. lonewolfblue New Member


    We had our class tonight, and it went excellent. I was really impressed with Nell's progress. We started out with warmups, working on front and rear crosses, etc. It's always tough for Nell in the beginning because she is more focused on trying to meet and greet the trainer, or the other handler and her JRT. And the A-Frame and the tunnel are like magnets to her, lol.

    After the warm up, we started working a little with jumps. We were working more on the proper way to have your jump. It went great. Nell does very well with it. There's a couple different exercises that we do with the jumps as well, and we worked on that as well.

    Once we were done with that, we tried the Shoot again, and Nell treated it like a pro again, lol. She absolutely loved it, but really likes the A-frame, lol. She kept trying to go up and over the A-frame every time I took my eyes off her, lol. Then we worked on the A-Frame, and she was perfect with it. After the A-Frame, we then went to the Teeter to practice a little. Nell was a little freaked at first, but after a few tries, she was going over it with perfection. But it was at one of the lowest settings, so it's a good start. Next week we may raise it a couple notches and work with it some more.

    After this practice, then we started working on some sequences. We started with 2 jumps, Nell did perfect. I let the trainer that Nell does well with up to 4 items, as that's what we did in the Foundations class, we did up to 4 or 5 items. So we worked up to 7 items tonight, and with Nell starting to get a little tired, 5-6 items is where she is for now. And with only 2 dogs in the class, she got lots of runs, and was getting tired, so we stopped and let her have a break and a drink of water. Then we tried a couple more sequences, then class was over. The last sequences we did was 2 jumps, the tunnel, 2 more jumps, the shoot, and the teeter. Because the shoot wasn't in a good spot, she nearly missed the teeter, but I got her redirected, and she went over the teeter. So that was 7 items, lol.

    The only problem I'm having is to have her work at a distance. Each time we do a jump, she feels she has to come right to my side, and if I say Jump for the 2nd jump, she bypasses it, as she's come to my side, lol. So that's one thing we will be working on next week, just doing a couple obsticles at a time.

    Another good thing about having 2 dogs, we are pretty much doing the entire class off leash. The other handler has pretty good control of the JRT, and Nell minds me pretty well. I only have her on leash at the beginning, until she starts focusing more on her job. Once we get that, then she's with me and rarely wanders. It's great.

    Oh, Nell is turning 2 tomorrow (Thursday). Happy Birthday Nell........
  17. maven New Member

    Happy Birthday Nell!

    It sounds like she's doing great and you're both having lots of fun. A 2 dog agility class would be heaven :)
  18. tx_cowgirl Honored Member

    A very happy birthday to Nell. :)

    Sounds like y'all are doing wonderful. Have fun!!!
  19. sarhaspups New Member

    Sounds like you and Nell are enjoying agility!! WTG! Have fun! Happy Birthday Nell!
  20. seabastian New Member


    You know all of that is way confusing, but i'm thirteen and just got my puppy. I have no idea where to take him for classes, and even if my dad will allow me to take him to classes. He says it's too expensive, and i wouldn't have time. I'll always have time for my puppy. I'm working with my dad. How old must they be to get into any class, and what is the cost range? I have a 4 month old Shiba Inu that absolutely adores me, but hates my dad. He deserves it though. Where should i begin in his training? He knows a couple of tricks, but doesn't respond to his name at all. I have wanted a dog for a year, after my 10 year old dog died. I don't want to mess up.:msnsad:

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