Most people you hear about are having problems getting a wait on the start line I’m having the complete opposite. Thomas just sits there and wont budge even when I get excited and 1,2,3 he is poised to go as you can see him rocking but he just wont move. Not sure what the problem is but it seems to be when there are jumps involved as outside agility I can get him to wait for the length of a football pitch and when I say ‘Go’ he powers towards me. I have been doing running starts with him just to keep him going but I want to get back to him doing lovely starts :(
We went to WAG on Sunday and I’m sure Leah was trying to kill us all with her extremely long but fun courses and guess what Tom was back to sniffing, our agility run was a nightmare but he did get all his contacts and when he eventually decided to come back to me he did lovely weaves and to be fair each run had some really good bits so even though I was upset that he was sniffing I was pleased with the majority of it. It was a lovely day as I took Wendy & Woody leaving Dudley at home with Dad so we just had the two dogs which was really relaxing I must say, we took them for a walk on the beach at lunchtime and they had a whale of a time. It makes me realise how enjoyable shows used to be with only one dog to run, no rushing from ring to ring to see how classes were running being able to sit and chat with people and looking round the trade stands without panicking that all the rings were going to finish.
Last night at training I was finding it very hard to stay upbeat and not get frustrated with him as either his nose was down or he wouldn’t go and the courses we were doing need a wait to get in the right position. I tried to take on board what Mac was saying about not getting to far away from him but I don’t want another Velcro dog and want him to be able to work either ahead or behind me and not rely on me always being near him. When the others went to work at the other end of the school I spent time with him working on getting him to ‘GO’, I used a toy and treats and even the tunnel as an incentive to get him moving but with only limited success, I found that he would normally go if there was only one jump between us, about 2 metres, but if I tried to go further than this he just wouldn’t budge, perhaps this is outside his confidence zone which is very strange (might take my video camera tonight and see if I can get some evidence in case someone can see what I’m doing) That said he did some brilliant work when I practised our ‘steady’ he wrapped himself round the wing and powered away, I tried working close up and from more of a distance.
The sniffing is more of a problem and more frustrating as I know it’s an avoidance thing and I don’t know how to deal with it, I try and make myself more interesting and praise him loads when he comes back and would like to play with his tuggy with him but he just switches off to it and goes off again, at WAG someone leant over the fence and shooed him away which helped a bit, what didn’t help was that he did actually find something to eat so got himself a lovely reward.
I’m entered for C Side but can’t say I’m really looking forward to it as the venue is one of the worst for lovely smells for Tom, he seems to remember the time he found a huge pile of horse poo half way round a course so spends him time looking for more.
After I posted this orginally I got a call from Leah so I'm going armed with raw lamb's liver tonight.