Friday, July 2, 2010

The Agility Diaries - Week 2

Hello everybody! As you know, I recently signed my brother's dog Homer up for an agility class. Being a beagle, it seems like he has boundless energy and agility would be a good outlet for that.

Week 2

I put him in a travel kennel this time since Homer got car sick the last time. I had thought he wouldn't be affected if that was the case. Sure enough, he was. After cleaning things up, we headed into the class. It probably didn't help that he gobbled up some of his kibble before we left but sometimes dogs can be sneaky when we least expect it.

It made a huge difference getting there earlier. I had cut up string cheese and beef jerky into tiny pieces to keep Homer motivated. Food is a great motivator for this breed.

The first half of the class, we worked on the teeter-totter and also jumped over small hurdles. Homer was a natural.

The second part of the class was a little bit harder. Homer wasn't familiar with the equipment as he was still pretty new. There was a bridge that was curved. It was about 18 inches (43 cm) off the floor. Homer did great the first time. The second time, I tried it without holding his leash and he wound up jumping off before completing the task.

We also had him run through a tunnel, weave through a series of hoops, and do the deck. The deck is two short platforms with a bar across the middle. To master this, you have the dog sit on one platform, jump over the bar, then sit on the other platform. Homer was right there and didn't miss a beat.

Soon, we had to put these tasks together. As the class was getting ready to finish, Homer was interested in the other dogs in the waiting area. The trainer then informed me that I would need a higher value treat to keep his attention. It turned out that beef jerky trumps string cheese with him.

Going home, things went much better. Homer seemed to enjoy his ride in the front seat and had no problems at all.

Let's Discuss!

Do any of you have dogs who become car sick? What are some things you do to keep your dog from getting this?

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The Agility Diaries

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