Thursday, March 11, 2010

Intro to Agility class: Fuzzbutt impresses me!

A few weeks ago we signed up for a Sports Sampler class at the San Francisco SPCA consisting of two classes of Rally, and two classes of Agility. Zuko's strengths are NOT heeling and being off leash. So, I figured this would be a good experience to see just how much we could accomplish.

Rally was pretty fun! Since it could be done on leash, Zuko was pretty good as long as I held bits of turkey pepperoni behind my leg so he'd stay in heel position. His biggest challenge was me not being able to read the sign, figure out what I needed to be doing and then interpret that for him. Poor guy. Handicapped by his handler.

We had our first Agility class this week - Zuko posted a video already showing his awesomeness. I was nervous about the "off-leash" part, but he was great! He was so focused on me and the pepperoni in my hand, that he never strayed. It was a small class, so there were only two other dogs, but I was still impressed. Granted, a warehouse sized room is much less distracting that a wide-open field, but he was focused and with me the whole time.

The first piece of equipment we tried was the jump. This was FUN for me! Zuko is a smart dog, so as long as I backed over the jump and called him to me, he sailed over without issue. When I tried to stand to the side and lure him over, he wanted to take the shortest and easiest route (around the jump) to the pepperoni. We worked on that and he and I both got better!

Next came the tunnels - weird textures and sounds - scary, right? Nope. After checking his footing on things, he raced through the tunnels (to turkey pepperoni) at the end. Our trainer, Diane, even added a bend to the tunnel, making it an elbow macaroni shape - still no issue (give me pepperoni).

Then came the A-Frame. Wow, OK - I'm even scared of this one. The height in the center was about five feet! Zuko charged up the ramp (give me pepperoni, give me, give me) and after checking his footing on the downslope, came right down and stopped on target (because the pepperoni stopped moving) with his two back feet on the target and his two front feet off.

I'm so excited about the next class and ready to sign up for the full course! I'd better stock up on pepperoni....

--- Posted by Zuko's treat dispenser 

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