Monday, August 8, 2011

Griffin at Agility Class: Aug 8th

There are currently only two dogs in our "advanced agility" class group.  When one is absent...Griffin gets to come so that the dog gets enough rest.   Our amazing terrier friend was absent tonight.

Griffin had some work after class too and he was just really great.  He did go off to find some tripe crumbs and to get water.  But mostly, he stayed with me. Like several of his siblings, he will jump and bark before we start working.  I haven't minded (and even encourage it sometimes), he has enthusiasm, he is focused, and he's under control.

Tonight...was a little different. He was a bit scary for a moment and was very worked up.   He ran so fast and so well and responded perfectly to my handling cues.  It was the best he's ever run. On the other hand, he was agitated when crated and before working.  We still don't have a good balance of enthusiasm and control.

As a result of tonight's work:

  • Have a higher standard for speed. As it is if he's "too slow" we stop working on sequencing. I don't want to practice poor behavior.   He showed me tonight that he's capable of more than he usually does....thus our 'average speed' will be increased.
  • When he is more worked up/aroused, alternate between running/agility and obedience.  Once we're "working" he calms right down to the task at hand (no jumping up at me or biting at me like, ahem, another dog I know).   But I can't reliably get him would up again.   
  • Vary our toy reinforcers more often.
  • Work to find other high value food reinforcers.
  • When he -is- worked up, rather than jumping and barking and mouthing me... get him to express his enthusiasm with super great heeling.   I don't want to loose the bark jump completely but I wonder if I could transform it into something else.
I'm really interested to see what he's like tomorrow.

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