Friday, April 8, 2011

Run Thru

Today Jonah and I went to Grace's new facility, Dogstar Activity Center, where they were having an agility run-thru.  It was a super experience for us.  I just wanted to take him to a new place and have a positive time where he could learn that he can work in an unusual environment.

I got there, went in without Jonah at first and got the tour.  It's a nice facility.  They've put in blue rubber mats with jigsaw connections so there aren't any gaps between the mats.  The footing felt good and Jonah ran well on it.  It's a relatively small space (40'x80') as far as agility goes, but I was very impressed with the courses they had set up.

They didn't have a dogwalk, poles or a chute up but they had everything else and some nice jumping questions.  When I got there a cute terrier was running but he was the only dog there at the time (The run-thru was 3-7 and I got there just after 3.  I bunch of people were arriving as we were leaving.  I was glad we had a quieter time there just so Jonah could be more relaxed).  When that dog was done, I walked the easier course and went to get Jonah.

He went in cautiously but obediently.  I walked him around the perimeter of the room once just to get him a little sense of where he was and I banged the teeter so he could hear it before he was on it.  Then I took him over to the start, had him do a few tricks to focus in on me, and I took off his leash.  As soon as I took the leash off, he was excited.  I roughed him up a little and then sent him into the tunnel to start.  It was a pretty basic course, but he was pretty much perfect.  Not the fastest he's ever been, but about his average speed.  He didn't look nervous although I'm sure there was an element of that in there somewhere.  The teeter and A-frame didn't give him any pause and he cruised around everything in lovely form.  Good boy!

After that we took a break while the terrier ran again, and then I walked the harder course and ran that.  It was a much more difficult course, including a tight wrap, a push-back and some other tricky lines.  Once again Jonah was fantastic and ran the whole thing clean.  I think Grace said she'd adapted it from the hybrid course at nationals last weekend, so that's pretty cool that we can do some of those same questions!  Again, Jonah wasn't as fast as a dog in finals of nationals, but the fact that he ran clean and confidently in a new location was a big accomplishment.

I'm really proud of him and we're looking forward to this weekend!

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