a blog about Kilt and her kids plus Trouble our JRT mascot.

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Sequim, Washington, United States

Monday, November 17, 2014

Hocus Pocus, you need some Focus!

Champ is a bit of an ADD kid, so I started him in an agility class.  Holy Moly, he's doing GREAT.  He loves it.  At first he was sneaky on his stays.  Also, he didn't like wobbly things.  He couldn't seem to find any comfort in getting his back feet where he wanted them to go.  Five weeks later, he is doing wonderfully.  His stays are 90 percent better.  He still wants to do his favorite obstacles over and over again, but we are working on that.  Can you say…weave, weave, and weave  LOL  I found some Schutzhund obstacles at the dog park, so we borrowed their A-frame and some balance beam work for Champ :0)  We did some ladder work at home and now we are going up the stairs backwards.
All I have is 12 weaves, a kiddie tunnel, and one jump that Jeanne gave me, but it's a start.  I use a couple of trees in the front yard for "go outs."  I use the path to the pond for a "go on."

Yoko is in the advanced class (smarty pants).  It didn't take her but about a month to catch up to everyone in the class.  She loves it, too.  She wants to do her obstacles from afar.  If I'm in her bubble she gets nervous.  I can't move an inch until she is committed to an obstacle because she is so responsive.

I just started a Susan Salo jump class with both of them.  Champ had never even seen a jump other than Yoko's which he would duck under.  But, on week one, he already was doing 5 jumps at different jump heights.   We have been teaching Yoko to "go on" with a target and a "get it."  We may have to think of another word.  Yoko is used to 'take it' and 'get it' at home which means go pick up that object and bring it to me.  All my dogs do that.  So Yoko would do her five jumps and 'get it.'  She would pick up the target, jog back to me and give it to me.  Too cute!  Such a ham-bone!

Yoko works for treats, but Champ would rather work for a tug toy, but he will take a treat if offered.  I am having so much fun with them.  Champ is really learning to FOCUS.  We have been missing that piece of the puzzle.  This is the type of dog that can independently play with his toys all day.  Now, he is having to interact with me.  

I have only worked him on sheep twice since my lessons and trial in Arlington.  I can tell you that he worked like butter this afternoon.  Hot damn.  I think he is really starting to understand his part of the job.  In fact, he was rocking back almost too much on his steady, so I was able to give him some fast walk-up whistles.  He really liked that :0)  We still have lots of work to do at the pen.  I have a sort pen I can use at Patricia's where I open the gate only 3 feet.  This is what I have been using to pen sheep.  It will just take more time since we don't have a daily regimen of working sheep.  A couple of times a week seems to be doing okay for us.  We just won't get there as fast as those with their own stock.  That is fine by me.  No rush.

I'm glad the dogs are having fun.  I'm having fun with them.  Jet is having fun as the mascot.  Life is good until the money runs out.  LOL  I have to remind myself to sign up for Medicare within the next month.  Time flies when you are having fun!

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