Friday, January 1, 1999

Beginning Agility Class

Denise and I started taking beginner agility classes with Teresa and Jes in 1999. Anne Jones, now a good friend of mine, taught the class. It was an excellent place to start and very welcoming to greyhounds. Anne has ridgebacks and understands the fine art of persuading hounds. Initially, I just wanted Jessie to learn how to do all of the obstacles, but that quickly changed to wanting to compete as well. Eventually, I took over taking both dogs to agility class. I was getting out of horses and was welcoming the chance to try a new sport and a new form of competition.

We definitely had the most trouble with weave poles. Looking back, I did a terrible job of teaching both of them how to weave...... but then don't we all do that to our first agility dogs. They never did learn how to weave very fast, but it was good enough to finally compete.

We also had some trouble with learning to teeter. The class started dogs on a full size teeter that someone would control the speed of the pivot. Doing this only once a week was not working. I spoke to Kate Crawford who was competing Mandoid and Lily at the time. She taught me how to use a table to lessen the teeter tip and to use a smaller teeter. This process worked very well for Teresa and Jes.

Our silliest obstacle problem had to be Jes' trouble with the tunnels. It was so strange. She really made a big deal out of how much they scared her. The once a week class just wasn't enough, so I constructed a pretend tunnel made of mesh and covered by a tarp to practice sending her into something that she'd come out the other end of. So we practiced that everyday in the basement and it worked! She turned into a tunnel lover after that!