Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I haven't done too much agility this week because I thought Jonah's slowness last week might be due to boredom and overdoing things.  I have set up three exercises that I've been really happy with.  They're super simple, but going back to the beginning has gotten his excitement up again, at least so far.

The first day I just put a straight tunnel out in the yard.  I took out a tug toy and would get him pulling and excited.  As soon as he'd drop the toy, I'd sprint to and past the tunnel, which he rocketed through.  I gave him some tricky entries, but generally it was straight forward and all about playing, having fun and going fast.  He thinks it's fun just to sprint with me, so it almost acts as a reward in itself.

The second sprinting exercise was a basic line of three jumps, about 18 feet apart.  At first they were all in line, but eventually I offset them so they were a zigzag, the middle jump about four feet to the side of the other two.  We played the same game of tugging and then sprinting.  This was fantastic because he'd really run ahead of me.  I'd throw the toy for him after the jumps so he'd get the reward out in front of me, too.  This was the best work of him going ahead of me that he's ever done.  I was very excited.  He's really fast when he wants to be, and his jumping form is lovely.

Today I put a set of 6 weave poles and one jump up.  First I had the jump in line with the weave poles, but I moved it around to work on different entries.  Jonah's entries were very solid and his weaves were fast.  With this exercise, he would charge out ahead of me and find the entry, but I can still catch up to him while he's weaving.  I guess that's true of most dogs with reasonably athletic handlers, but it wasn't the same excitement of him out in front of me as the three jump exercise.  There was no sign of him changing to the one-paw-each-side method, but he's doing well enough that maybe it doesn't matter so much.  It's fun to watch him sprint up to the poles at a full tilt, then gather his haunches under him to collect, and then power through the poles.  As Dave says, he has great body control. I'd like to do the same exercise with 12 poles next time so he gets more in a rhythm.

Tomorrow we have another lesson and hopefully Jonah will be a little more enthusiastic.  I'm going to bring our new tug/food toy and see if he'll get excited about it there.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

A-Frame Picture

Cindy Telley of PetArt sent us this great shot of Jonah on the A-frame from our last trial at Riverside.  I just ordered it yesterday--she's really fast!

I love it because he looks so focused looking down the ramp, and he's jumping right over the top.  Before we started doing the running A-Frame I don't think he was nearly as enthusiastic over the top.  This is proof of real improvement.  He's a cutie, isn't he?

Dave's not feeling well, but once he's doing better we'll get this picture cropped and up onto the blog sidebar.

Underwhelming Lesson

Our lesson today was good, but Jonah was just plain slow.  He would lope along, usually doing whatever I asked, but being generally distracted and unmotivated.  Talk about a low drive dog today.

On our first course he missed a weave entry and stopped in front of a jump when he heard a noise.  We did that course again with improvements (mostly me getting in more front crosses to be extra clear where he was going), and it was better but still not full speed.

Next we did an on-leash course to see if I could speed him up that way.  Well, it was a good try but it didn't work.  I pulled a stanchion over with the leash on the second jump and he was wary of jumping after that.  Even on the contacts and in between obstacles he just didn't want to catch up.  Whenever I put any pressure on the leash from ahead of him he would slow down even more.  He pulled the last two bars on the course and looked pretty uninspired.  Oops.

Then we did one more course, just a big looping, motivating course.  It was the best of the day by far, and he finished faster than he started.

Joan suggested that we keep working on our tugging (with our new toy!) and get a bait bag that I can throw for a treat with food in it.  Hopefully we get over this little blip fast!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


I apologize in advance for this scattered post, as it has little organizational structure.

TOY.  I spent a few hours the other day playing around with how to make Jonah a new toy.  I really like what I came up with in the end, after a few versions with other materials that he broke within minutes.  I took a tennis ball and poked a hole through the middle of it.  Then I took a rope toy, unbraided half of it, threaded one of the rope pieces through the tennis ball, and then braided it back up.  Then I put some pieces of dog food inside the tennis ball so it rattles and smells good.  It's great because I can throw it and it flies well like a tennis ball, but once it lands it stays put.  Also it's a better tug toy than just a rope or just a tennis ball.  Now I've been keeping it on the shelf and it only comes out at special times (play and agility), so it's an added treat and not just one of many toys.

SWIM.  Jonah went swimming this weekend.  We were up in Vermont and went for a walk along the river.  He'd been running around a lot so I showed him an easy way to get up to the water so he could get a drink.  He happily lapped up the water, but when he put one paw in he realized it was very cold and quickly pulled back.  Then we played stick for a little bit and he got so excited he raced back to the water and went right in!  As soon as he was swimming he turned around and came back out.  Then he got crazy and ran around like silly.  There was still about a foot of snow on the ground in Vermont, although it was 40 degrees and melting, but swimming must have been quite chilling!  Fortunately the running and the bright sun had him dry before too long, and he got a nice toweling off once we got back to the car.

PICTURES.  I ordered a few pictures from our last trials.  We got one of us at the start line where we're both just starting to race forward, one on the A-frame and one on the teeter.  Eventually I'd like to have a picture of every obstacle posted on the website, but my standard for a quality picture is rising.  It has to be a pretty good picture for me to order it now :).  It will be fun to watch the pictures evolve as we keep trialing.

PRACTICE.  I've been able to do a bunch of practice with Jonah out in the yard.  It snowed another inch or so yesterday and Jonah ran right up the dogwalk before I could blink an eye, but unfortunately the down ramp was slippery and when he tried to go into his 2o2o he slid right off.  I'll have to be careful of that.  I do think his weave poles are getting faster, but he's struggling with finding the entry when he's coming in on the near side and has to curl around, turning about 100 degrees to the right.  He keeps going in at the second pole.  If I support him he does fine but it's not as independent as I'd like.  I may move the jump to make it easier and keep working on the independence.  He's doing great with off-side entries, but I haven't had the angles too tough.  We've got lots to work on, and now my biggest challenge is not overworking him so agility stays really fun and is a treat rather than work he has to do.

We have our lesson tomorrow, so I'll have more news soon.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

This Week's Lesson

Today was cold and rainy, so we didn't get to do any practice outside, but we did head up to our lesson with Joan.  As usual, it was great.  Major points:

Jonah was happy all day today and was letting me get him excited.  He would grin and bark before we'd start a sequence.

The running A-frame is looking good.  He's still a little slow coming down the ramp, but it's a lot better than when we were asking for the stopped contact.

Jonah does rear crosses obediently, but he really seems happier when I can stay out in front of him and do front crosses.

Our dogwalk contacts were very good today.  It was a huge improvement from our last lesson!

Jonah was a little hesitant on the teeter today.  It makes me a little concerned for our next trial, where it will be a strange, new teeter.  We'll keep working at home with lots of rewards, but he loves his teeter at home.  When I really work to not be ahead of him for the teeter but stay right next to him, he feels a little more comfortable.  It would also act as a little bit of a barrier from him just jumping off the side, if he were so inclined.  I'll have to be diligent about that at Gemini.  I'm hoping there's a teeter in Fullhouse (our first round) before our Standard run so I can get a sense of how he'll react.

We worked on a bunch of lines of offset jumps, and Jonah showed no signs of running by anything.  Joan thinks he probably got a little distracted by something that pulled him off the line.  Who knows.  Maybe I'll ask Dave to come video our next trial.  It would be good to have another set of footage to see how we're progressing.  Of course, I'm expecting an outdoor trial (our first time doing agility outside at all other than in our yard) plus a new location might make him fairly nervous.

For the weave poles, I worked on tapping him along a little bit.  It seemed to be working some.  I'd tap him on the butt at various points.  It's something I'm going to try at home.  Maybe we can get his weaves up to full speed.

During my spring break, I've been watching some agility videos and I'm realizing just how much room there is for improvement.  We don't really see many great teams at our CPE trials, but there are a lot of super dogs out there.  Of course, a lot of them are border collies and Jonah may just never be that fast.  I do hope I can get him more motivated, though.  He may not be as fast as a BC in an all out sprint, but I know he can go as fast as they do on a course.  The question is whether he'll ever get excited enough about agility to do that.  I hope so, but maybe that's too much about me and not enough about him just having a good time.  Really, if he can just consistently qualify in his runs, I'll be happy.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Melting Snow and Spring Break

I am on spring break and the snow has melted enough that Jonah and I have been able to enjoy some agility at home!

Our back area still has some patches of snow, but they aren't icy, and at this point they only cover about 10% of the area.  The nice mulch that I uncovered in the fall is wonderful--the ground has a nice squish to it without being muddy.

On Sunday Dave and I put up the dogwalk, which was a bit of a project.  I managed to lose the screws that came with the hardware and it was a little bit hard to find good replacements.  Then it's just a hassle because the boards are heavy and it's hard to get the little holes all lined up.  Also it was a little tough to get the supports good and level before we put the boards up.  Anyway, it's up now and it looks good.  It's already getting good and dirty after a few days, but generally I like that since it's a little less glaringly yellow for the neighbors.

Aside from the dogwalk, we have the teeter, table, the new weave poles (2 sets of 6), the old 'weave poles' (They're stakes in flower pots.  I know it's really unprofessional looking, but they work, so I haven't taken them down yet.), the two 'tires' (hula hoops tied to trees), and one jump.  I also brought the tunnel out today, but I don't want to leave the chute and tunnel out all the time since they're just not made to withstand the weather.  I'll bring them out when I'm using them.

I could really use a few more jumps, so I may scramble around and see what I can find, but it's nice that I can already make some simple sequences and get good practice in.

Jonah has developed major dogwalk and teeter suck.  I'm glad he's gotten over his teeter fears, but a few times he's gone behind my back to the contacts.  I need to work on that.  Not a good habit at all.

He is getting really good with his contacts, though.  I'm working on having the contact command be independent of my movement, and at this point he's getting it.  I usually slow down to a slow jog rather than a full on run, but I'll keep increasing my speed.  I'm also trying to vary the amount of time I keep him in the 2o2o position.  I want it to be a high-reward zone, but I also don't want him to start thinking it's boring because it's not fast.  I think it's a lot of the same challenges of the table.

Speaking of the table, his fast downs are very good right now.  I'm pleased.

We've also been able to work a little bit on discriminations of a tunnel next to the dog walk.  As I said, he has a lot of dogwalk-suck, but he was doing a good job.  It was harder for me to push him off the dogwalk and into the tunnel than it was to pull him into the tunnel.  We'll keep working on this, since it's a pretty big skill we'll need to have, but I was pleased that he was able to focus and get the discrimination most of the time.

Another skill with the same setup that we need work on is to come down the dogwalk into 2o2o and then turn away from me into a tunnel.  Jonah turns away from me fine, but then he'll go right back up onto the dogwalk.  It's good to have things to work on, and we're definitely not there yet on this one.

I timed him in the weaves today and he's between 3 and 3.5 seconds.  He's very consistent and reliable, but I think he could be faster.  He looks very relaxed when he's going through them, not like he's really driving.  It's probably not the biggest thing for us to be concerned about right now, but I'm hoping that at some point he'll switch to using one paw on each side.  Maybe I'll get Dave to video his poles some time soon.

Anyway, it's nice to have our space back up in action.  I've been enjoying a number of quick sessions each day, and I know Jonah will start improving quickly again like he was last year before winter hit.  We have a lesson tomorrow at Riverside and I've got lots of questions for Joan.  It's nice that I feel like we can ask for real homework now, and have the resources to do it!

Sunday, March 13, 2011

All Dogs Gym Trial

Well, we didn't have our best trial this weekend, but it ended on a very  high note.  We got our first NQ, had a few mediocre runs and no perfect run, but at least there is a good sign of hope at the end.  Here's how things went:

Round 1:  Jumpers Level 3
     Nothing went especially wrong in this round.  He didn't drop a bar and he didn't miss a jump or anything like that.  The problem was that he was just crawling along the whole time.  At one point he slowed down to a walk.  There was one place on course where you had to take a far tunnel entry instead of the one right in front of a jump, and I thought there would be no way I could get there for a front cross so I was planning to pull hard away from the jump.  Well, Jonah was so slow I think I could have walked out to the front cross in time.  I don't know if he was nervous or just unexcited or what.  He got the job done for a Q and 3rd, but it was not an excellent run.

Round 2:  Snooker Level 3
     Our first NQ!  Again Jonah came out lackadaisical.  He ran past a jump he would normally take, and in fixing it I got flustered out of my plan.  He hopped on the table but it wasn't live, so we continued.  We got through the opening alright with a 5-7-7 and then I front crossed the weaves to enter the tunnel, the number 2 obstacle.  He went right behind my back and took the far side of the tunnel, ending our round.  I have no idea why he did that.  He knows he shouldn't go behind my back, and that far entry was significantly more out of the way then the close one.  I know my handling was unclear right from the minute he missed the jump in the opening, but I'm still a little befuddled about this incident.  Anyway, I knew if he was not fully confident I needed to make an extra effort to be positive so I cheerily called him to the table, taking a jump on the way.  I don't think he knew that he screwed up, and I treated him as if he'd had a good run.  We still got a yellow ribbon, since most people didn't qualify (3/8 level 3 dogs qualified).

Round 3:  Colors Level 2
     After our first two runs I was very happy to have a straightforward, level 1 and 2 course.  It was short (9 obstacles), and only needed one cross.  There weren't big off course challenges or anything.  So, of course, I took it a little bit for granted and thought I could take a bit of a break.  Wrong.  The first half of the course went well but slow again, with Jonah barely jogging across the dogwalk (but nailing his contact!).  Then there was a final line of four jumps, barely offset.  The third jump could only have been maybe three feet to the right of the previous jump.  So, I just ran down the line assuming that he would take the jumps next to me, as he normally does, but he ran straight around that third jump.  We stopped, got him turned around and over the finish without an off-course, but I have to say I was disappointed.  Again, I tried my very best not to show it to him.  It was a Q and 2nd.

Round 4:  Standard Level 2
     At this point I was a little bit down about the whole trial.  I had a headache and neither Jonah nor I seemed to be having a great time.  I was thinking that maybe I wouldn't enter any new trials for a while.  But, instead of resigning myself to another mediocre run, I told myself that I had to stay positive and do something different.  So, we did our usual warmup jog outside and then went and jumped the practice jump a few times.  This time at the practice jump I pushed him around a little to get him more in play mode than work mode.  Then, while we were waiting, I pretty much never broke eye contact with him, and we just did sits and downs and hand taps and paws to keep his mind on me.  When we were about to go into the chute, the gate person joked about how it was too bad I didn't have my dog's attention (sarcasm).  Then, when we were next to go, we went into the chute and I started messing around with him again.  He was getting excited and actually started barking at me.  Usually I'd rather he didn't bark, but at this point I was alright with it.  As I said, I just wanted something different.  When we went in the ring, he wouldn't sit to set up, but I just kept buzzing him up and didn't worry about it.  As soon as the electronic timer said, "Go," I let him go and he was off like a rocket.  We went down the line of (offset again, this time with no problems) jumps, he raced into the tunnel with a rear cross, galloped across the dogwalk as fast as I've ever seen him, raced into his 2o2o, ate up the weave poles, cruised around a pinwheel, leaped up the A frame and ran beautifully down the other side, flew over a jump and into a tunnel and then...ran by another jump.  We regrouped, and he jumped it, tipped the teeter happily and charged over the last jumps to the finish line.  As for the missed jump, once again I thought I didn't need to support it since I ran right by it (I was maybe 5 feet away), but I was wrong.  I keep handling the way I would like to be able to handle, and the way I can handle on a good day, but I need to remember that he's not his best at trials.  Then, when he's doing well, that's not a sign that I can slack off.  It's a call for me to handle even better so we can have a completely great run and not have to stop his momentum to turn around after a missed jump.  Overall, though, I was exceedingly happy about this round.  As we were walking out a few people told us what a nice run it was.  Q and 1st, even with having to turn around for the missed jump.

What I learned from this last round is that I can create energy.  It's hard for me to do once we're out on course, but if I take the time in the chute to get him excited, it makes a difference.  Up until now, I've never known if Jonah will come out fast or slow.  At this trial I was about to give in to the fact that today was just a slow day.  I'm really glad I tried a different approach, though, because it taught me to be proactive if I want to get a faster dog.

Now, having said all that, I studied statistics to feel somewhat guilty about claiming causality after one run.  It's possible he would have been fast without my roughing him up.  It's possible that, if I'd roughed him up in the previous rounds he would have been slow, anyway.  I do know now, though, that it's worth playing with.  When I've tried in the past to play with him at trials it has seemed to stress him out, but I think the real attention and eye contact made a real difference.  It's something that I'll have to try lots of times to know how to use it best.  I need to write the instruction manual as we go along, but at least we have a new tool.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Trial Preview

Sorry I haven't posted much recently.  This last week before spring break has been killer.  Fortunately  now I'm free for a week!

We had to skip our lesson this week so I could go to a meeting, so we haven't been doing much agility.  We do have a trial tomorrow, though.

The organizer sent out the catalogue before the move-up date, so things might be different tomorrow, but here's a preview of the status of things so far as I know:

Round 1:  Jumpers Level 3
     It looks like Jonah will be one of five dogs in this class, so we'll have to be on our toes if we want to place well.  I feel pretty good about jumpers classes in general, though, as they're often Jonah's best runs.

Round 2:  Snooker Level 3
     This is our level 3 debut in snooker.  I'm just hoping there's a chance for a nice flowing course.  There are three other dogs in his class, but of all the classes I care least about Snooker placement.

Round 3:  Colors Level 2
     There is only one other dog in our class, and I'm thinking it should be a pretty straightforward round.  Things can always go wrong, but it shouldn't be too challenging.

Round 4:  Standard Level 2
     Standard is my favorite class, and we're behind in getting Standard legs since Riverside doesn't offer it at their trials.  If we qualify, this will be our second of four Standard legs.  There are three dogs in the class.

This is the first trial I'll be volunteering at.  I think it will be a little bit stressful until I get the hang of it, but I at least won't feel guilty about doing my homework while other people make the trial run.  In fact, I plan not to bring one single piece of homework with me tomorrow.  None.

I'm excited we can get there a few minutes later, too, since Jonah doesn't have to be measured.

The weather tomorrow is supposed to be 50 and sunny.  Right now, that sounds like pure heaven.  Things are melting rapidly.  At this point there are about 2 inches of snow left over our training area.  The snow is nice and soft since it's melting, so you can actually run on it.  We can do some weaving and jumps out there, so I think I'll do a little practice this afternoon to get Jonah primed for the trial.  Hopefully this week I can get the dogwalk and the teeter out there, and we'll be in great shape...until the rest of the snow melts and leaves a big field of mud!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

A Lesson at Riverside

I'm so glad I found Joan and Riverside.  She is so wonderfully positive and it makes all the difference.

We did an opening course twice:  once handling with all rear crosses and once with all front crosses.  I get excited about doing rear crosses since it's still a relatively new thing that he'll do them consistently well.  That said, Joan and I both thought the course went better with the front crosses.  I enjoy it because I really have to push myself to get places in time, and I like running.

One thing that came up was just about handling philosophy of when to do a cross.  I've been in the frame of mind where I do a cross in a turn, but Joan wanted me to cross right before the turn.  That way the cross cues the turn.  We did one segment where Jonah was on my right, 90 degree left turn to two straight jumps, 180 degree right turn to weave poles (starting lower right corner, ending top right):
         . . . . . . . . . . . . (end)

|                      |

If I had been doing this on my own, I would have front crossed between the first and second jump, during that 90 degree left turn.  Instead, Joan had me do the cross between the two straight jumps, numbers 2 and 3.  It wasn't something I was used to, but it worked well.

We did a tunnel/A frame discrimination.  The tunnel was right at the wall, so I had no option but to push out past the A frame to the tunnel.  I thought Jonah would bid on the frame, but he was super and got the tunnel every time.  Then in a later sequence he had become patterned to the tunnel, though, and when I wanted him to take the A-frame he took the tunnel a few times.  I'm really excited to work on discriminations outside this spring.  It's something we've never really 'worked on,' they've just come up from time to time in our courses.  I think he could benefit from having some repetitions and getting familiar with cues.  

I did my first blind cross today.  Jonah was in a tunnel on my right, and then out of the tunnel was a clockwise pinwheel.  The first time I landing side rear crossed the first jump.  Second time I rear-crossed on the takeoff side of the first jump.  Third time I blind crossed the tunnel and picked him up on my left out of the tunnel.  It worked great!  Of course, I could have front crossed there, too, but the blind cross was faster.  I know some people are against blind crosses, and I'm holding out judgment for now, but I have to say this one worked really well.

We worked on some de-motivating sequences:  a pinwheel and a threadle.  Jonah slows down quite a lot, but Joan doesn't seem worried.  She suggested that I try to keep my feet moving quickly and just take small steps so that I'm not stopping while wanting him to keep running.  He would slow down, but he was accelerating well out of these questions, which was an improvement.  This is another thing I want to work on this spring:  sprint, technical question, sprint.  Hopefully this will improve on our issue of starting fast at trials and continuously slowing down as the run goes on.  If the course opens up, Jonah should, too.

Another thing that came up that we can work on is the dogwalk contact again.  He's really solid if I stop with him, but we realized that his contact is very dependent on my stopped movement.  Back to work on this one!  

So, overall it was a great lesson and we have real things to work on.  Some of them have to wait for the weather, but we can work on the contacts now.  It's nice to have real 'assignments.'

Other things of note:
-Jonah's weave poles were fabulous.  Fast, and he nailed all his entries, some of which were tricky.
-While we were warming up I reved him up for some tunnels and he was doing them faster. 
-Jonah was super happy the whole time he was there, and he would let me rough him up before his runs.
-He was really fast!

We now have a regular slot for a private lesson.  It's nice to know we're going to be getting consistent instruction.  As I said, I'm really happy with Joan and I think it's a great situation.  It's a decent drive, but it's worth it, at least for now.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

March Goals

I think our last set of goals should be more of a pass/fail assessment:
1.  Practice the teeter, weaves, chute, table and tunnel at home.
      Pass minus.  I didn't get the chute out because I can't use it without staking it down, and the ground was still too frozen to get a stake in it.  Other than that, though, he was good with all the obstacles.

2.  Enter the trial at Breezethru, our first trial at a place we haven't been to class at before.

      Pass.  We entered both Breezethru and Gemini in April.  They'll be back to back weekends, so very busy.  I have to admit I'm worried about the Breezethru trial.  I was talking to someone at the trial this weekend who said she'd had a pretty bad experience there--that the dogs didn't like the surface on the contacts and that the days were very long.  We'll have to see how things go.  The Gemini will be outside.  In early April there could still be snow around, or at least a lot of mud.  So, that could be interesting as well, but at least it's local.

3.  Have a positive lesson at Riverside on Wednesday, and hopefully use the measuring wicket again.

      Pass.  We didn't use the wicket but our lesson was very good  (see its own post).

4.  Have another positive trial experience at Riverside this weekend.  We've got Jackpot and Snooker at Level 2 and Fullhouse and Jumpers Level 3.  That's a pretty tough day for us, and we're really just going to have to see how the courses are.  We know we're capable of doing Level 2 Jackpot and Snooker, but they can be difficult depending on how the judge is feeling.  Then Jumpers will be the 3/4/5/C course and could provide some real challenges.  Fullhouse should be a bit of a break, though.  I'm not too worried about that round.  Anyway, as far as goals go, I'd love to Q in all of the runs, but we'll see how challenging they are.

      Pass.  It wasn't our best, but it was positive and we got all our Qs.

5.  Get Jonah his rabies vaccination next Monday.

      Pass.  Jonah was nervous in the office but was brave and good for the doctor.  We went to the pet store on the way  home.  He got a tasty snack and we got a new blue leash to match his new agility collar.

February was pretty good!

Here's a look forward to March.  School is really outlandishly busy for me right now, so I don't have tons of time to work on agility.  I will have a week off for spring break, so we'll have to see what we can do then.  I was hoping to put the equipment back outside during my break, but it's looking like there will still be too much snow.  Goals for March:
1.  Work on accelerating out of technical questions.  Often the pinwheels and tight turns seem to turn Jonah off.  He starts his runs great, but now I need to figure out how to get him back up to speed after he slows down for harder questions.
2.  Four more Qs at All Dogs Gym.  Things could go wrong and make this a stretch goal, but it should be doable.  We'll have a run in Standard (lvl 2), Colors (lvl 2), Jumpers (lvl 3) and Snooker (lvl 3).
3.  Work on off-side weave entries.  He doesn't care which side of the poles I'm on, but he sometimes struggles finding the entry when he has to push hard around the right of the first pole (as in, if he has to turn left to the pole entry).
4.  Fast tunnels.  Lots of dogs just love tunnels.  Jonah has no problem with them, but I guess I haven't rewarded them enough for him to be excited about them.  It will be fun to just spend some time having him run full speed through the tunnel and get big rewards.
5.  Go to Willards Woods and keep him on-leash for some introductions.  Hopefully this will help for when he is near other dogs at the trials.  I'm excited to go to an outside trial in April where we won't be crowded together with other dogs in a small indoor space.
6.  *Hopefully* (weather permitting) set up our outside agility area.

Our agility fun for March starts tomorrow with another lesson at Riverside.  Fun!