Having Trudy as a house guest has me very behind in a lot of things including writing about Liezel’s agility classes.
Have I mentioned that Liezel loves agility? She really does! Our first run is always a little messy – she is very excited so she runs around the course and she runs way faster than me which allows her time to stray off course. By the time we run the course the last time each night she is perfect!
The last couple of weeks haven’t included any new equipment but the courses have been longer and / or more difficult. We’re working on direction control, front cross, and blind cross.
- Direction control is a change in direction to an obstacle that is not straight ahead. Up to this point, our courses have generally been a straight line of obstacles or a circle of obstacles. Now we’re learning to run the course in a figure eight, for example.
- Front cross involves me changing sides in front of Liezel. For example, I command “tunnel” with her on my right. By the time she comes out of the tunnel, I’ve crossed over so she will now be on my left taking commands from the left.
- Blind cross is similar to the front cross with the exception that at some point of the exercise Liezel is behind me, so temporarily out of my sight.
These changes are more difficult for me because having Liezel on my right is a foreign feeling. She just does what I say regardless of where I’m standing!
Thankfully, the trainer has us do the more difficult courses at the end of the lesson so Liezel is more focused and less amped-up.
Her reactivity to other people / dogs varies. She is indifferent to some of the dogs, but seems to dislike the Australian Shepherd. The Australian Shepherd is super high energy so maybe that rubs her the wrong way? I’m not sure.
When we arrived last Tuesday, the prior class was still there, running late. This caused a very different feel. Liezel got out of the car huffing and vigilant, with a minor amount of raised hackles. I let her pull ahead instead of immediately putting her in a “heel,” since heeling can still be a trigger in some circumstances. We walked around the yard while we waited for the other class to finish up and leave. Once those folks were gone and it was just our regular class, Liezel calmed quickly and was able to have an enjoyable lesson.
Even though my husband went with us this past week, he walked around with Trudy so we didn’t get any pictures. I’ll try to have some for my next post.