My first session with Amy was so much fun and the trainers were great! They helped Amy & I and were patient when we messed up or didn't know what to do. And boy, did I mess up or not know what to do, though not exactly. You see while practicing the "find it" command there were times where I'd find my food successfully but then also pick up the containers and bring them to Amy. Then there were other times when I couldn't find it as easily, but I still wanted to please Amy so I'd bring her whatever I could find, hoping I had found the right thing. What can I say, you might be able to take the boy out of his work mode, but you can't take the work mode out of the boy! Everyone could not help but LOL!
I know that with time, practice and patience I'll master Agility, Nose work, Tricks, Treibball and Flyball! As fun as last night was, the thing that we appreciated the most was the trainers and their desire to ensure that what they are teaching me to do would not interfere with my ability to be an effective Service Dog.
This week I was re-introduced to the "find it" command only this time instead of finding food, I had to find the tennis ball with the scent of vanilla on it. Again, there were times where I'd find "nilla" successfully, but then there were other times when I couldn't decide which ball I was supposed to get, so I'd try to pick up both at the same time.
We also practiced some Treiball again. Treiball is a positive-reinforcement; competitive sport which originated in Germany and entered sanctioned competition in 2008. Similar to sheep herding trials, the dog must herd and drive large exercise balls into a soccer goal. Amy and I continued practicing touching an exercise ball with my nose and performing the directional commands "away" (where I leave Amy, turn to the right and come back) and "go by" (where I leave Amy, turn to the left and come back). These are the hardest commands for me; because not only do I sometimes have trouble with my right and left, but I don't work off leash or part from Amy's left side much, unless at home, so it's hard to understand what she wants me to do. We ended Treiball with Amy trying to get me to "push" the ball around our area. For some reason I was struggling with it and at one point, when I had finally pushed the ball off the Frisbee that was holding it, I proceeded to bring the Frisbee to Amy! I have to admit Treiball went much better last week.
The night ended with agility, the easiest task for me. We again practiced jumps, but instead of practicing "tire" again I was introduced to "tunnel." I liked the tunnel and was intrigued. In fact, when it was time to "jump" I kept looking back to the tunnel! All and all it was a fun night and I can't wait to go back next week and maybe try my paw at Flyball.
This week was so FUN! I was more relaxed and got to practice Flyball, Treiball, Scent work and Agility. Flyball is a sport in which teams of dog's race against each other from a start/finish line, over a line of hurdles, to a box that releases a tennis ball to be caught when the dog presses the spring loaded pad, and then head back to their handlers while carrying the ball. Since it was my first time, we just worked on getting me use to the box by having me go "away" from Amy to retrieve a treat being held by the trainer directly in front of the box. The trainers thought they might have to do more work desensitizing me with regard to the box, but I wasn't afraid at all. In fact, when Amy first sent me "away" instead of turning in front of the box to get my treat from the trainer, I went behind the box and found where the balls were held. From that point on we practiced with a ball instead of a treat.
I also did better with Treiball. This week we continued practicing touching an exercise ball with my nose and performing the directional command "away" (where I leave Amy, turn to the right and come back). This week they fashioned a coral for the ball which made it easier for me to know where to go and what to do. However I still can't perform these commands independent from the trainer and my kibble.
I also continued working on finding "nilla." I was only working with my nilla ball this week and still struggling to go find it. Because I have such a hard time finding a ball, even in play, if I don't see where it lands and because I was struggling with finding "nilla" Amy and the trainer were wondering if I have been trained not to rely on my nose? The final rotation of the night was agility and we continued with the commands "tunnel" and "jump." It was a great night that ended with my favorite game, fetch!
Class was so much fun because we were the only ones there (with the trainers of course)! The night's sole focus was agility. Amy and the trainers can always count on me for comedic relief.Last night my favorite thing to try was to get to Amy and my ball by doing anything but jumping, or jumping while running to get the ball, then walking back and side stepping the hurdle because I already had the ball. I thought I was pretty smart, but then Amy and the trainers got smarter and they had one ball for me while going and one for me while coming back, so I'd run to both ends. Amy likes to tease me with my ball sometimes, (like when she uses it to demonstrate how I won't go to it in stay, until given the release command) but last night she also played with me! Then it was back to work on agility for the remainder of the night and once I got reacquainted with "jump”, "tire" and "tunnel" we worked up to chaining all three commands in sequence, using a tennis ball as my motivator. Oh what a night!
It was another fun night at Class! We focused on agility and Treiball. I am finally starting to make the connection and understand what "jump," "tire" and "tunnel mean, though I'll admit that I'll sometimes cut corners or refuse if I don't get or if I already have my motivator; I'm no dummy! The night ended with Treiball and working on "push" without the directional commands, I performed so well, I was rewarded with my favorite thing, a game of fetch!