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Brion's Mrs
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:53 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

I do worry so. However, this is a note about a happy new development for me and Dinah. She is absolutely loving Agility, and so am I. We have really landed on our feet with a super group of learners and a very skilled and patient teacher in a man whom I met through my endless Obedience classes with Brion, and who is clearly himself enjoying teaching all of us slightly less than agile owners! It's also a delight to watch him work his dogs, who love to demonstrate.
Today he pointed out,, quite fairly, that despite me being in the wrong place Dinah much more intelligently anticipated what I should have told her, and did her little course perfectly. She's mastered the A frame, loves the tunnel and loves jumping a varied course. We're still workiing on the weave., which we are being taught as an ever narrower tunnel of weave poles (Dinah can now go down a pretty narrow tunnel of poles but weaving proper is some time off I think), and the dog walk (which she does fine once she has reached the top but scrabbles like mad to get up on to, and has to be held on on both sides on the ascent to date). She won't be expected to try the see saw until she can do the dog walk slowly and carefully and I expect her to find it hard since she hates loud noises of any sort and will, I think, hate the clunk of the see saw as it goes down. She loves jumping through a tyre, though.
The great thing, though, is that her eyes shine as she awaits her turn and she tends to bark now not from boredom or bossiness towards other dogs, as she is a bit inclined to in Obedience, but from sheer enthusiasm because she wants to have her turn at the equipment.
I am really thrilled to see her so focused and happy. It even gives me a focus on walks because I just have to say 'walk over' when near a fallen log or bench, and she jumps up and walks along it (this is my way of trying to get her to practise the dog walk).
It's also, like the Obedience, good fun getting to know all the other folk in the Agility group, and of course we have many a laugh as our dogs get up to doggy things!
Dinah and I are still pressing on with our Advanced Obedience too (test next week), but she is I have to say less keen on this. She likes the fun bits, like the retrieve and the send away but is as distracted and naughty as can be with the sit, lie, sit, stand business, and has recently also decided that 'wait' does not apply to her and plays grandmother's footsteps the minute I turn my back!
Amanda
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Brion's Mrs
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PostPosted: Wed Jun 19, 2013 8:58 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

By the way, don't worry anyone, lest she is doing Agility too young. She is 15 months, and I am being careful because she only does the jumps to date at their lowest height and she is still being taught to do the A frame and dog walk in a controlled way which means stopping at the bottom on the way down so that she learns where the touch point is, so she isn't, I don't think, putting lots of strain on her body by leaping down off heights at speed. Amanda
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maxnick
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 7:59 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Sounds like you are working wonders with her & having fun too. Well done.

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Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
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Brion's Mrs
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PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2013 9:00 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

No really not working wonders, just work in progress but what is so thrilling is to find how she seems to love to work. Although she has been one of the slowest to get to grips with Agility in our group what fascinates and delights me is the way she is getting to understand it and respond to it (and as I said we are very blessed to have a very experienced teacher, whose own dogs are working Beardies).
Now some of the other dogs, who go much quicker than Di and had seemed to learn much quicker than her initially are actually not progressing as steadily as her (maybe that is just my pride!) because they now tend to go too fast and not listen to instructions, whereas Dinah is so clearly doing what she understands and looking to me for instructions, even my incompetent ones. That is what is so rewarding in terms of my relationship with her. She rocketed down the tunnel, then paused at the end, quite clearly saying, ''Right where now?'
I also notice that she is becoming less preoccupied with finding herself a role at home, where we are boundaried on two sides by dogs who bark the other side of the fence and also by an access road up which people walk quite a bit. Boundary barking was becoming quite an issue because she has much the loudest bark in this area and was rather taking to stationing herself at selected places, just to await an opportunity to remind people and dogs VERY LOUDLY that she was there. Not good in our particular neighbourhood.
Colin (our instructor's) dogs set an impossibly high bar, both in their skill at Agility but also in his long distance control over them. They make us laugh with their antics during his training of us, because they are endlessly being told to go and lie down, which they do for a short time, and then begin sneaking back to join the class, keepng blind side of their owner, who regularly threatens them with Collie Rescue, but what was really impressive to me was that when they raced off (and these dogs are really quick) to play a game of their own, heading too close to cars, their owner was able to shout 'Down' and, even gong flat out as they were away from him and egging each other on, they stopped in their tracks, turned round and lay down side by side facing him, about 50 yards away.
That's what I want for Di. I don't want to lose her character but I want her fulfilled in something like Agility which she and I will really have to work at, and I want to be able to stop her when it really matters. I bother you all with this because she is only our third Briard, and in each case I find myself both massively challenged by what can at times seem their unsuitability to the demands upon the modern suburban pet dog (tendency to boundary bark, be rude to visitors, chase deer, cyclists to name but a few of our recent issues) - and then quite amazed by their trainability and desire to please, and = as lots of you say - the degree to which they each seem to need to work things out for themselves and to be given a job to do.
I can't go on about their Briardness to my family, who adore the dogs and love to enjoy their quirks but draw the line at Briard talk - so this is an outlet for me!!
I also love learning about other Briards and their Briardnesses!
Amanda
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maxnick
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 4:52 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Amanda, I was going to ask if Colin was the trainer. I know of him through the Beardie forum (click in on the left hand side & go in to view posts). He is very knowledgeable on agility, & Sandy appears in TV adverts & shows etc. He is so funny with his dogs, who are a credit to him.

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Maxine& Nick, Pastou & Lilas the Berger Picards. Always in our hearts, playing together now at Rainbow Bridge, Sally, Barney, Tao, Ina & Rummage.
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Brion's Mrs
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PostPosted: Sat Jun 22, 2013 8:22 pm Reply with quoteBack to top

Yes, we really have fallen on our feet, haven't we? Amanda
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Zizou
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PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 9:27 am Reply with quoteBack to top

It's great to hear how well Dinah is doing. Very Happy
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