Thursday, June 07, 2007

Zipper, agility dog

He's scaring me. Really. All of a sudden, within a period of 3 or 4 weeks, I seem to have an agility dog on my hands. He went from no practice since last summer to a Foundations class. And from there to doing all the equipment happily and confidently at full height (which he was doing last year but it's been a year!) and sequencing, off leash!

He has a rather startling tendency to stop and sniff the corners of tunnels, though he hasn't actually tried to mark one yet. He *did* mark the agility ladder the other day and almost came out of his skin when I yelled. At least he now knows it's a big no-no.

The thing that's most astonishing is that for the most part he's starting to do nice jump sequences, including letting me rear cross and taking direction. And that's just instinctual--he really doesn't know what he's doing, he's just being very handler compliant.

Goals are to get him more obstacle focused, help him learn to drive forward more, and keep increasing confidence. I think Zipper will be a dog who starts out as a nice medium-speed dog and as he gets more and more sure of what he's doing he'll keep getting faster. That is, IF his owner doesn't screw him up by pushing him too hard too early.

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