Thursday, October 8, 2009

Utility Class Tonight

There were no utility classes last week due to the weekend trials, so it had been two weeks since our last class. I was hoping to see some progress in his attitude and behavior since our last class. Just looking at it from week to week it's hard sometimes to see progress. However, if I look back a few weeks or months, I can really see how far we have come.

We started out with heeling and signals. There are 7-8 dogs in the class, so the ring is pretty full and can be very distracting for him. His heeling tonight was better than usual - not as much lagging, although still some, and his signals were all good. It's hard for him to pay attention to me sometimes with all the distractions. He gets worried about people and dogs moving around behind him, but tonight he did really well with the attention.

Then we paired up to do articles. Other dogs were working articles in the ring so plenty of distractions. He did good though. He just circled the pile once each time before putting his head down and starting to work the pile. No endless circling like he did at the trials last weekend.

The remaining exercises - moving stand, directed retrieve and directed jumping - were all pretty good. I was getting some really slow sits on the go-outs though. Not sure what his problem was tonight. The sits on go-outs have been improving lately, so this was a little unexpected.

Overall, I thought he seemed more confident tonight than he has previously in class, so that was progress. Maybe working through the level of distractions and stress he experienced last weekend at the trials helped to boost his confidence - making it a little easier this time : )

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