This week we started Living Room Agility! The book from the library said to use anything laying around the house to make a jump in a hallway that Star can't go around. (The book literally said Star - good book!) So I tipped over the bar stools and voila! - our first piece of Agility equipment. Laundry day was a lot more fun this week!
Our second piece of agility equipment is at the dog park that we love - a pipe tunnel. The first time I had her there, I did it all wrong - tossing the treat into the tunnel. Later I read that that's a good way to teach them to stop in the middle of the tunnel and hunt for treats. Oops!
The second time we went, I couldn't exactly follow the book's advice since I didn't want to ask a stranger to help, but by putting her on a stay on one end, I was able to get to the other end and then call her through. After a while, we were running together and she would go through while I went past - she really got the hang of it quickly!
Our third piece of agility equipment was even more creative than the first. Getting ready to head up to Idaho for the weekend, I looked around the garage for things I could use to make another jump - one that I could use outside in the woods.
Water ski and 2 packing boxes!
A word about distractions - we are getting them in spades. The dog park was pretty quiet when we stopped there on our way out of town Friday, but it was still distracting to have Sunny chasing his ball and one other lab running around out there. And then in Idaho - OMG the stuff that needed sniffing! Our first day practicing on the waterski, we would do one jump (on leash), she'd hastily collect her treat and try to head off immediately to check out something in the woods. Up here there are deer, elk, wild turkeys, chipmunks, birds, the dogs next door... All and more have left their marks, and it was just too tempting. But we went back out again later because these are such good distractions to train in the midst of. I do believe she was more focused this morning on our third workout with the birds and bees and water skis.
In other excitement today, Star got the correction of a lifetime, and man I hope she remembers it for a long, long time. After our morning walk, she jumped in the back of the Pilot and I hooked her leash to one of the tie-downs in the back. Then I got the chuck-it and proceeded to play ball with Sunny. When we do this at home, if I haven't gotten Star sufficiently distracted, she will chase him down, plow into him, and then ride him all the way back, hanging onto his ear or his neck with her teeth. No fun for him, but he does it to her in the house so I let them be to work it out.
This time she was attached to the car, so when she took off after him on the first throw, there was about 2 tons of metal holding her back. She hit 90 miles an hour within 6 feet of leash and during the split second when I realized what was going to happen, I just about had a heart attack expecting her neck to snap. But, alas, she wasn't visibly hurt, and on successive throws, she sat perty and watched him go. I saw her body tense up and react as instinct drew her to chase, but that lesson was very fresh in her mind, and she didn't move her pretty little butt off that spot. Just smiled and collected her treat and some pats on her top of her cute little head.
Also in Idaho this weekend, there was a pot of gold at the end of the road between my parents' house and my property ...