Friday, April 8, 2011

Lesson Time

Sorry I'm late posting.  I'll have to have a few posts tonight to catch things up to speed.  Some day school will settle down and I'll be able to commit more to agility and this looks like that might be some time in June.

Our lesson this week was very good.  I brought my new goodies and Joan helped me figure out what to do with them.
1.  The bait bag.  The bag I got from clean run is a small pouch with a clip to hook onto your pants, and it comes off that clip via a strip of velcro.  I got the small pouch because I have the fanny pack that I've been using and it's bigger.  I know, fanny packs are generally thought to be much out of style, but a college teammate of mine is really working on bringing them back as a classy accessory:

I can't say I wear mine with quite as much swagger, but it's done the job in our agility adventures thus far.  The small, new baitbag is now a device more for throwing than for storage.  I would just put a few cookies in it for each run and throw it at the end of a sequence.  Then I would run to it, open it and walk backwards while he ate out of it in motion.  Once it got stuck on his nose.  He didn't mind; it smelled delicious.

2.  The other new thing from clean run was the food tube.  First off, luckily the package came with two, because I think I broke one before I even put anything in it.  The clip is a long plastic device with a stick in the middle.  I thought you were supposed to fold the tube and slide the stick between the folded sides of the tube, but once I did that I can't get it off!  With the second one, I kept the stick of the clip on top of the folded tube and it seals just fine.  I'll be able to get it off now.  Sorry if that description didn't make any sense.
    Anyway, I filled the unbroken tube with a delicious mix.  I melted some peanut butter just a little bit so it was soft and then mixed it with apple sauce to thin it out a bit.  Jonah thought it was fantastic!
    To use the food tube, I could just squeeze it so a little bit came out and let him lick the good mush, or I could throw it like the pouch at the end of a round and he would go chase it.  I'm not sure which of the two he liked better.  He was excited about both.

Aside from our Clean Run goodies, I stopped at Trader Joes before class and got some dried chicken and some beef jerky treats.  He loved them both.  Basically, I was thinking that his lower levels of motivation might be improved by better treats, and it seemed to work.

As for the actual agility in our lesson, Jonah was mostly good, although there was one turn where he went behind my back to get to the dogwalk.  He did that a couple times and then the next time I went to actually grab his collar and not let him get on the dogwalk.  Well, he's faster than I am and got a few feet on the dogwalk and I accidentally ended up pulling him off it and he landed scrambling.  Then he pouted at me for a minute.  He wasn't hurt at all but his confidence was clearly shaken.  Sorry, bud.  You could have just not gone behind my back...

After that little episode he was himself again.  We worked on some discriminations, wraps, etc.  It was not a perfect day for us and we had some other mistakes here and there, but overall his motivation was a lot better than it has been, so that's a big plus.

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