December 09, 2006

Following directions

In class today we ran a course that was based on the exercises of the past month, given that Dusty hasn't done any agility for the past month our first run was a bit of a disaster. She was fast and happy but was too excited to get any directions from me - she did the obstacles as they caught her eye. By our third run she had settled down, and I knew the course well enough to give clear early directions too.

We stayed for the next class of beginners, where they were practicing following handler direction despite distractions - which was just what we needed. Le was waiting at the table with treats, but the dogs had to do the jumps the handler asked for before they got the treats. (The diagram shows half of the exercise, with the dogs on our right.)
It was great to see Dusty's mind working. She was good at the game, so Le would increase the level of distraction, calling her and waving the treat bag. Dusty would check behind her a couple of times before the "Go" signal to make sure Le was still there with the treats, but she did the jumps as she was asked.
It was a good exercise for developing drive and tight turns too.