Thursday, 26 September 2013

On the up!

Okay, so I hold my hands up, a heavy cold had that naughty little voice in my head whispering to me to cancel Polly's training session this week and through my sniffs and sneezes, I came pretty close to doing as instructed.  I know, shame on me!  But by some quirk of character, I didn't give in, nope, from somewhere contrary, I mustered enough determination to stop feeling sorry for myself and get the job done and even took Polly for her usual short walk round the block before we climbed into the car ... so yay, go me, *sniff, cough splutter*!

We were lucky with the weather again, with warm September sunshine bathing the training field ... one drop of rain and I don't think I'd have been quite so committed today, tut!  Anyway, the sun definitely helped lift my snotty mood, we had a friendly group of dogs and owners and so we set to work.

Once again, Polly was extremely eager to play with the other dogs, so the initial walk across the field wasn't relaxed because she completely forgot to walk to heel and surged ahead at breakneck speed, but once we reached the agility equipment she remembered the fun she had last week and ran through the tunnels happily ... but refused to tackle the scary collapsing tunnel.  After a couple of attempts, I took the hint and we moved onto the weaving poles, which she can manage quite well, but only when she's more interested in sausage than spaniel.  Let's just say, this was more of a spaniel day!  Next we tried jumping through windows and a hanging tyre, which she surprised me by performing well and seemed to enjoy the challenge.  A quick jump over a couple of hurdles preceded a confident walk across the small A frame, then balancing and walking over the mini-see-saw ... and when I come to think about it, despite her interest in the other dogs, she didn't run off, so yes, it was definitely a good agility session.  There's plenty of time ahead to develop a little more finesse and sort out that mean ol' collapsing tunnel.  Nice work Poll!

The group off-lead walk went okayish ... frankfurter rewards pale into insignificance when there are lovely bouncy young dogs to romp with, but there were one or two tiny glimpses of hope for us today ... nothing as aspirational as a full recall, but at least she thought to look my way a couple of times when I called her and actually came towards me part way one of those times ... tiny steps eh?!

So finally, heelin', sittin', stayin', downin' and 'comin' and yes, I can detect tiny hints of the training we enjoy at home finally rubbing off at school, whoooo!!!!!  Once again, Polly still has a long way to go to show off her skills at school, but at least I now have a well behaved, very affectionate girl at home and a friendly dog at school, which for us, is what this training lark is really all about.

So, in hindsight, I'm glad we went.  Session 5 and at last, Polly's training is on the up!

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