Agility in five sleeps!

Today I got the call I have been waiting for; agility class starts on Sunday which means Ranger and I will have our weekly training session, homework, and an outlet for his energy. The six week course will work on creating drive and focus, tricks, advanced targeting work, tunnels, jumping skills, controlled walking, introduction to heeling, retrieving, recalls with distractions, sphinx downs, and advanced stays.

To say I am excited would be an understatement. While Ranger does have great drive for food reward (sometimes toooo much), being able to increase his focus and impulse control will not only help at class, but at home and in public as well. Plus, recalls with distraction AND advanced stays are two things that I wanted to learn.

It will be interesting to see what our weaknesses are in this class as the only issue we’ve had in previous classes was his enthusiasm (smashing the ladder for foot awareness exercises and knocking the stool into next week). To be fair, he makes me look a lot better than I am and we had a previous beginner obedience and beginner agility class to work from.

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In other news, Ranger had a visit last Wednesday from Labnado and they spent the entire day playing hard, and sleeping hard. By the time his friend left both dogs were ready to crash and both spent the night curled up in their dog beds at home. It’s nice to see the effect exercise and stimulation (both his brain AND his body gets a work out from another dog) has on him. I can take him for a run at the baseball field, but I can’t run all over with him and really tire him out.

Sat down with BF and explained all the positives having another dog in the house would bring, and finally got the approval to apply as a foster home! This makes me over the moon excited. Before we got together I used to adopt senior (and I mean senior) cats to give them a hospice type environment. It meant a warm place to stay, good food, clean litter, and somewhere to relax in their final years.

By adopting older cats I was able to help more animals (in the last 4 years I have adopted three seniors who were aged 17, 17, and 16 at adoption and were 18.5, 18, and currently have the last at 18 and still going slowly but strong). It was hard on me, but BF had a really hard time when he was around for the final vet visit. I had agreed to stop taking in older pets, but that the compromise was fostering dogs. This way I could help multiple animals throughout the year, but he wouldn’t have to say a final goodbye.

We’ve chosen a specific rescue who provides all required items (food, vet care, clothing, etc) and only requests that you give the dog love, security, and a family environment. We’re waiting to have the home visit before we are approved…the suspense!

ImageGimme all the treats

Tonight we pulled out the bait bag and had a refresher course on basic commands. There is a competition on www.dogforums.com each week to train your dog a different trick/command. If the trick is already known, then you must add something to it. This week is BOW so I wanted to make sure he remembered before we start jazzing it up.

I also started Ranger foot targeting my boot so we can learn to have him walk with his front feet on mine. I saw it HERE We got the targeting down pretty good within the session and I am going to review the video some more before we trying again tomorrow. We also started lure training the CW TWIRL since SPIN  is CCW. We started with food lure and phased it out with the treat at the end after click.

Eeeeee, so excited about taking classes again!