Thursday, September 02, 2004

Eventually it clicks

It's been a big week for me--Tuesday I started my first agility class. I'm one of the younger dogs in the class. There's a pretty old Golden Retriever who's learning for the first time--she did a great job. We practiced a couple new things. "Target", which means "go out ahead of me"--my people couldn't decide on the command--first they used "get it", then "take it", then "touch", but each of those means something slightly different than "go out ahead of me" (Get it means 'fetch'; take it means "pick this up and hold it"and touch means "hit this with your nose). We also started learning to heel on the right side. My people are calling that "fuss" (the German word for "heel), because they are, well, pretty geeky, but I love them anyway.

The thing that's finally started to click for me is running after my person while she dangles the tug and then getting to play tug as a reward. For flyball, it's really good for there to be something to motivate the dog to run as fast as they can back to their person. Some dogs (like Renzo) run for food, some run to get a tennis ball, some run for a tug and some run back just so they can turn around and do it again. I'm pretty focused on tennis balls, but this week, I've started to see that tugs can be fun too. My people have been working together on this--one of them holds me back and the other one runs ahead. She starts yelling my name and says "come" and then I get released and get to run to her.

This week-end is our tournament in Vassar. I can't wait to see what's going to happen and what kind of fun we'll have.

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