We decided to put Oscar in agility class for a few reasons. Cooper has been getting a lot of attention with his TTouch sessions, and his own round through agility and other training classes. Poor Oscar, being the perfectly calm confident good boy that he is, has been getting left a home alone, bored out of his gourd, while Cooper got to go out and have all the fun! No freakin’ fair.
The second, and if we’re being totally honest here, probably the main reason we decided to put Oscar in agility class is that even though on the whole he’s a pretty well-adjusted guy, he does have his kryptonite: the kitchen floor. For some reason the tile just freaks him out. He’s fine if he has his next non-tile surface in sight – he can go from rug to rug in a straight line, no problem. But if he has to round a corner, fuhgeddaboudit. It simply cannot be done without plenty of whining and whimpering and “COME SAVE ME!” panic. Seriously, it’s embarrassing.
So our goal with agility was to help Oscar gain some confidence on unfamiliar surfaces. For the first few weeks, as we expected, Oscar did great jumping over and running through things. But the obstacle we just knew would give us trouble was on the horizon – the dreaded teeter totter. Thankfully, dog trainer extraordinaire Kat Martin is no dummy, she knows that you don’t expect (most) dogs to just jump up on something like the teeter totter with no preparation. So, we work up to it. Enter: the wobble board.
The idea with the wobble board is for Oscar to associate the wobbley-ness with Very Good Things (i.e. hot dogs). Oscar was pretty nervous starting out, so at first anytime he just put his foot on the board he got rewarded. There were other dogs in the class who just walked right over top of it and off the other side completely unphased – obviously, we’re not quite there yet.
Luckily, as much as the wobble board (and eventually the teeter totter) will take some serious work, Oscar seems to be a natural at the rest of the obstacles. After just four weeks, we could not be more proud of his progress. Check out our boy:
Of course we’re not flawless, but he’s totally killin’ it, and that tail never stops wagging. Oscar and Dad and I all had a total blast during this class, and we can’t wait for the next session to start!
For more information about Agility or other training classes with Dogs and Kat, visit www.dogsandkat.com.