Vito agility update

Vito started a new agility class and had his 2nd class tonight.  It's a BIG step up for us and a bit overwhelming but the teachers and students have been very welcoming.  So far I have been on top of the world and discovered that Vito knows a heck of a lot more then I ever thought, and then we hit rock bottom.

Starting with the positives: Vito has really good foundation in reading my handling and we have been doing remarkably well on really tough master courses.  Of course I break it down and reward a lot.  He is also blazing fast in the beginning of class (not so much the 2nd half) and our driving ahead issues seem to have disappeared.  This has allowed us to start some distance handling!  He really is nailing the courses!!!

Now for the negatives:  Contacts.  Vito is way over the top in this new class with all the high drive dogs and this hasn't helped us.  Up until the last two weeks I have been very proud of Vito's running dog walk as it is just so pretty!  I had even started taking away his toy as a target and using it as *gasp* a reward!  But last week we both had a mental meltdown when it came to his contacts with me being stressed and him spazzing before we even started.  This week I was much more collected and less worried so this helped but Vito was still nuts.  He jumped very badly twice on the dog walk, did one semi ok, one that I think would have been good but his kind've slipped, and then finally did a gorgeous one on the 4th try.  I know a lot of the issues tonight were because I was really far back from the bottom because of how I had to handle the entrance and we simply haven't proofed for me being behind so much.
  And the aframe was only at 5ft which is the height Vito does handstands at and he didn't disappoint tonight.  When it is "low" Vito likes to fly over the top like superman and only hit once on the downside.  It's usually in the yellow, but it's still very naughty and dangerous.  I just feel like I take one step forward with his contacts and then 3 steps back.  Running contacts are just SO frustrating and I just want to give up.  It sucks only have a board at home and not real equiptment to practice on, once a week just doesn't cut it.  No, I'm not giving up but I do question my sanity in wanting running contacts a lot.

Oh and apparently Vito is going to be entered in his first agility trial in 2 weeks!  Don't worry, no contacts.  We are just doing jumpers and tunnelers.  It was completely impulsive since Lance has been entered in this upcoming show for about 2 months but this past weekend an email was sent out saying how much space was still left in the trial so I thought what the heck!

Lindsay  – ( May 13, 2010 at 10:26 PM )  

Sometimes it can help to focus the training more when you have a deadline. Or totally stress you out! Either way, it'll be a learning experience and it's always good to get that first trial out of the way.:)

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