Grace and I had a great agility lesson last night.We wound up having a half hour private, since the other gal did not make it. You can accomplish quite a bit in a half hour. I am so glad I started us back at the very beginning. We are getting much better at our teamwork. She is paying a bit more attention, and I am able to read her needs better. Clicks for both of us!
I am sure you are all tired of hearing me talk about how different this girl is, but last night even her instructor got a good picture of just how different she can be. Many dogs do have a working side preference, and a left or right turn that is the natural movement for them. Grace apparently is pretty ambidexterous, in both a good and bad way. She will turn equally either way so far. Where it gets odd is that in some exercises, she prefers to work on my left, and on others she prefers to work on my right. For example. last night was our first exposure to the teeter with this instructor. She wanted Grace to approach from the side and slam the end. When we approached the teeter on the left with Grace on my left, she would hit it with both feet. When we approach it from the right with her on my right, she avoids it, hops over. I was able to get her to put one foot on it from that side. Ok, most of her obedience work was on the left so maybe that makes sense. But then we go to the weave poles. In Grace's prior class, we were starting weaves, but she was teaching channels, so in the 16 weeks we had, we really hadn't got the weaves closed down, so really not much weaving. With this instructor we are starting with 4 poles, and just small barriers in the path of the poles to suggest the weave. The barriers suggest that the dog should weave back the other way, but do not stop the dog. Last week we guided the dos through on leash and helped them be successful. Tonight we worked off leash. In the weave exercise, with Grace on my left, she will go through the first and second poles correctly but couldnt find the space between 2 and 3 to come back to me. But on my right side she was able to figure out all 4 poles successfully Then we tried going back to Grace on the left, ans she still did not want to turn back toward me, until I put her back on leash, helped her and then she got it on the left side.
What we need to work on- Attention! Grace does get easily distracted. At the end of our time, a gal came in with a dog Grace is not familiar with and she was so focused on the other dog I couldnt get her to even look at me. She wasnt barking or lunging, just watching them walk in and sit down. Yes I know staring is not good either, but she was off leash and didnt move, just watch. I need to work on focus and attention in distracting places. Hopefully tomorrow at the show we can do some practice since we will have lots of time between breed (8 am) and pre-novice(last obedience class of the day).
Tomorrow Grace is entered in breed. Even though she is not pretty right now, I am leaving her in conformation. She loves showing and while winning is always nice, I entered her so David could show her, so ugly or not I am letting them play together. I am also hoping that since she loves showing, going into breed will help her be calmer for pre novice. Less excitement the second time she gets to work. I am hoping its a fun day for her.