Tonight was week 5 of utility class, and it went pretty well. I've been seeing some progress each week as we work through the exercises with the stress and distractions of the class situation.
We started out with the signal exercise. Two dogs at a time heeling in the ring and doing signals. Jackson's heeling was pretty good with just a little lagging on the turns. His signals were all good. Yay : ) I'm getting more confident about his signals these days.
Articles were next. His first article went well - started working right away and found the correct article. As he went out to do his second article, someone opened a window near where he was working, and for some reason it spooked him and he headed for the exit! But, I gave him a second 'find it' command and he went back over to the pile and picked up the correct article. The really good thing about that was he worked through the stressful situation and performed the exercise correctly - the kind of progress we've been looking for.
The directed retrieve exercise went really well. His pivots were all good so the retrieves were correct, and he even trotted back to me! I'm getting more speed coming back to me instead of the slow walking since I started doing more distance recalls and less formality in the exercises. (I think even the running through my legs to get a treat is helping : )
The directed jumping also went well. We were having problems with slow/no sits on the go-outs, so I've been following him part way out to give the sit command. I get the sits when I'm closer to him, so I'm going to do that for awhile then gradually lengthen the distance until I get the sits from the start point.
We're finally getting some warm weather so I'm really going to try to get out to train in different locations this next week - especially do articles and signals in new places.