Raven was fantastic in class tonight.  I took only her, and worked her on some crate games 15 minutes before class began.  Then we tugged and she offered her new trick, sit on her back end like she’s begging.  I was surprised at that one!  I showed her that yesterday just for an exercise.  She brought it up on her own tonight.

Tonight’s we were reminded to support what we ask for.  When we ask our dogs to do something, we should be there to support them while they’re doing them.  One of my big lessons of the night was when I sent Raven ahead of me 3 jumps and then asked her to weave.  I knew she wouldn’t do that weave thing.  I was praying for a miracle when I sent her.  Then I was reminded by the instructor not to ask a dog to do something she hasn’t learned.  Raven knows how to weave, mostly, but I haven’t sent her out to weave.  And also, she only weaves when I’m with her.   Weaves are on our list of things to expand.

We also did a lesson on calling our dogs across a jump so they end up at our sides. We practiced one run full of serpentines.  A funny thing happened.  Raven would not take the second jump on most of the serpentines I did with her.  And I realized the first time I didn’t cue her with the word, “Hup.”  I haven’t taught her to take jumps without a verbal.   So it was totally my fault she wouldn’t take the middle jump. I didn’t “Hup” when I should have.

Something like that happened at an agility trial when I was running Leissl.  I couldn’t understand why she wasn’t jumping.  Then after the run, I realized I said, “Here” over each and every jump.  That’s not the cue I use for jump.  “Hup” is.  “Here” means come to me.  So of course she was confused.  She mostly sniffed the ground on that run.  I don’t think I had that one recorded, but I do remember it.

So this week, I learned a lot.  What I took out of class was I have to practice serpentines especially the middle jump, and weave entries, and doing all twelve weaves.  And bringing her to my side, still working on that.  Practice perfection and practice imperfection. And to keep doing the pre-class warm-up with crate games and tugging.  This seems to help the maniac in Raven particularly.

I was so pleased with Raven tonight.  She didn’t run off once.  Did I mention that?  I’m also very happy with this class.  The instructor is outstanding.  She knows how to break portions of a bigger exercise up and hand it to us so we can handle what we are facing.  She really knows her stuff and more so, she knows how to teach it.  Teaching is a gift like anything else, and just because you know stuff doesn’t mean you know how to teach stuff.  But this woman has both the knowing and the teaching down.  And she has a dog I just adore!  A cute blue merle Border Collie, blue eyes, and a total toy fetish.  Such a doll.

No rain tonight either!  Perfect fun.  And Awesome Paws handling system is sounding more and more attractive to me!

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