The puppy class started and boy have we got some wonderful dogs and handlers in there. I feel emotional even thinking about them. I think the one that stood out the most was a miniature poodle, Pepper. A very unusual colour with a bit of tri, she had a pretty clipped coat and a ribbon in her hair and......... trotted in the muddy field as though she owned the place! She then did everything her young owner asked her and never once battered an eyelid at the steadily increasingly bad weather! She wasn't fazed by anything and ran through tunnels, round wings and through wide channel weaves, working beautifully for a game of tug and treats. Also teamed up with the poodle was a springerdoodle and what a happy dog she was. Really fit and athletic and ready to take on the world and really in tune with her owner who had obviously put a lot of work in.
Then in the other group we had the younger dogs of about 6-9 months, with younger dogs antics! They did so well as none of them had worked in such an exciting setting before and it did cause a few zoomies round the field, but they settled down and did lovely puppy fun stuff. Fitz the border collie went through a tunnel the first time of seeing one, Darcy the cockapoo had a lovely wait and then through the tunnel really boldly to her young owner and both dogs were learning to come back and play tug. The little Tibetan Terrier was slightly nervous of the tunnel but he did manage to take titbits placed on the tunnel floor and all these dogs were really happy to trot along a very slightly raised plank and easily went into the 2o2o position, plus they all ran through the wide channel weaves.
In fact, looking back (it was quite hard to see it at the time as by now it was absolutely pouring down) all these young dogs actually did a lot of work and worked really hard, so well done.
By now, our waterproofs weren't waterproof anymore! A few people couldn't come to the foundation group so we cancelled that class and hoped the rain would stop later on in the day for our last class. In the meantime we slopped around the fields with our own dogs, who never seem to notice the weather anyway and then the rain stopped! We had half an hour to spare before the last class came so Julie trained Gertie and I trained Glen. With Glen being my middle dog and never needing much attention he always seems to get the least training, and I knew I only had time for one dog, so I gave it all to Glen, whilst Julie gave her time to Gertie and we just had fun with them but did some hard stuff. Glen now seems my easiest dog, although he seems to have forgotten his contact position.
Then the last class came and the sun came out!! What can we say. I know we say nearly every week how good they were, but they are just getting better and better. To be able to set up a course, put the numbers out and see our handlers run large and quite tricky sequences - which also includes contacts in those sequences now - is such a rewarding feeling. Especially for one dog Badger who is really nervous and is coming on in leaps and bounds but still has a fear of people in fluorescent coats. It wasn't until after the class had finished that we remembered that, which is just as well as I was lit up like a christmas tree with a spare fluorescent coat I'd changed into half way through the day. And not only did Badger not notice the coat he was willingly taking titbits off me and playing ball!
And of course there is Rex with his one eye who thinks nothing of it, and in just a few short weeks, we can see the makings of a great agility dog, aided by his handler of course! He really listens to his handler, is in tune with her and drives on beautifully. There is so much potential there.
And Bertie the Scottie is still coming along nicely and even though he does get distracted very easily he makes up for it by all the things he can do. His favourite is the seesaw. And Ruth with Morse - they have come such a long way and Ruth's handling is looking really impressive. And Dottie is really starting to drive on to her tunnels more and given the right instructions, will do anything her handler wants and would work for her all day.
Then the day still wasn't finished! We had a 1-2-1 with a lurcher who was in one of our group lessons last month, but really couldn't concentrate and was getting too excited, so we are starting him off in a calmer situation. His owners so want to help this dog and we do too. They have obviously been working hard with him - after typical sighthound zoomies, he listened and was much better behaved and managed jump, tunnel, jump, jump back in tunnel and over the first jump again - and if you've never had a sighthound you don't know what an achievement that is!
Then as the sun wasn't quite down, we even managed to train our own dogs. Where we got the energy from I don't know, but we actually trained them all and even though we didn't train them for long, we trained them well. Both Connie and Nancy our young dogs that are nearly ready for competing, actually look and feel like agility dogs now. Roll on next week!