Sorry for the lapse in posting. We didn't go to class this past week because we had tickets to a Red Sox game instead. The game was fun, but didn't turn out well for the Sox, who lost 5-14. Oops.
As for Jonah, he has been doing great. Our homework hasn't been very challenging--it's just working on sit/down stays, lead outs, recalls, targeting, and contact positioning. We've had to work some on the contact positioning, but it's going really well. I just have a board elevated about 6" and I ask him to do the two on/two off. He totally understands, which is great. Sometimes he still gets excited and jumps fully off, but if I manage him to wait as he's getting on the board, he's good about planting right into the two on/two off. Now, it seems like people usually do this with a target, which I've done, but when I was using the target he often swung his butt around off the plank. He was focused on the target and not on his legs. Since I'm usually alone when I'm training, I thought it would be easier to train the actual positioning rather than asking him to target and having the positioning be the by-product of where I placed the target. There won't be a target in competition, anyway. I have found this to be really helpful for him and he knows what he's supposed to do. good boy.
As for the rest of his homework and our other playing around, he's doing great. He jumps, we do turns and crosses, he loves our makeshift tunnel, he does the 'tire,' and, he even is weaving fantastically! Some days he'll pop out on the first time through, but once he's done it, he's golden. The bases are now in a straight line and the poles have a slight angle mostly because I can't get them fully upright. It's not a perfect solution for the long term, but I'm sure he has a HUGE step over his classmates and will be a star when we get to weave poles. He generally does the small dog hop rather than the one leg each side, but he's moving through them quickly and efficiently and he really seems to enjoy it.
We've also started working on sending him over obstacles ahead of us. He's definitely more confident when we're right with him, but he's doing well. I can send him to jumps, the tunnel and the board, but I still try to show him the entry to the weave poles.
In other news, we're doing some cross training! Next Saturday we're participating in Dog Run Dog, a 5k race for dogs and their people. I'm still pretty slow, recovering from my ACL surgery, but I'm excited about the opportunity. I've always been more of a sprinter and team sports person, and I've never run a road race, but having Jonah there gives me a boost of enthusiasm. In our runs recently he's been kind of touch and go. Usually he's perfect, but the last time I ran with him at the local park he started trying to chase bikes and people who were passing him in the other direction. It was like he couldn't process them fast enough when he was running--the same day as long as we were walking he was cool as a cucumber. I'm hoping the race next weekend will not have much passing us in the opposite direction, and I'm sure he'll be fine. I don't feel a lot of pressure to clock in a good time, so even if we have to walk for Jonah to relax we'll have a good time. I'm also excited because my mom, dad and Molly decided they're going to come, too! Jonah and I will run together, my dad will run alone and mom will walk with Molly. It will be good training for Molly. My uncle and two cousins might possibly come, as well, and they could bring their dog. The race allows teams, which has an added component of fun. We're hoping for good weather!
Back to agility, we have class on Tuesday and I'm very excited to get things going again. We need some new challenges :).