Maia and I ended up having a really great agility class tonight. I was worried that her anxiety would transfer over to a bad class, as has happened before, but she did great!

First up we did the dog walk for the first time ever. It wasn’t at full regulation height, which I believe is four feet high. I think we only had it at two feet. Maia was a little nervous and hopped off the up ramp the first time, but then Dana held her collar and I bribed her with treats to get her across the whole thing. Once she realized that it didn’t move, she was fine. She was running the whole thing!

I tried to convince Dana that I could get running contacts on the dog walk but she was not so sure. Actually, the conversation went more like Dana announcing to the class that they were the witnesses to this, and when Maia started leaping off the dog walk and missing her contacts and I missed my Qs because of it, she was not to blame. I decided to see the light, stop being so lazy, and go back to practising targeting a disk so that Maia can have 2 on 2 off (2o2o) contacts for this. We do have running contacts for the A-frame right now but depending on whether Maia ever gets really confident on a course (I doubt it, especially at an actual trial) we may have to move to 2o2o for that as well. May as well train the things now!

The single set of weave poles were set up in the back part of the room and even though Maia and I have only worked this exercise once, maybe twice, and not for weeks and weeks, she still remembered to enter through the poles and stay in a straight line. Smart girl!

There was also a front cross exercise for us – take the dog through a tunnel and then front cross them over a jump. Maia performed flawlessly the very first time, which is rare for her as usually we need to take each piece of equipment at a time and build them up. But she went through the tunnel, read my front cross and took the jump at 22″. Yay! Perpendicular to that jump were two other jumps, so that they formed a T, with the front cross jump being the body of the T. I took Maia through the tunnel, front crossed the first jump, took her over the second jump and pulled her through to take the third jump in the same direction as the second. Again, no hesitation. So proud of her!

Then, feeling bad for Bosco staying at home all by his lonesome, I took him through some quick sits, downs, and lots of ‘touch’ when I got home. Maia should have been exhausted (and she is – she’s passed out on the floor now!) but for hot dog she was still willing to work. Well, mostly. Doing a down-stay on the dog bed was okay by her if it got her a few pieces.

Bosco’s ‘touch’ is getting really good, his ‘sit’ from standing is good, his ‘down’ from a sit needs a bit of work, and his ‘sit’ from a down needs a lot of work. I borrowed a small stool from Dana tonight and I am going to try to shape a paw on it, and then two paws for ‘paws up’. That’s the goal for the next week with him.

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