In which Foxie Loxie goes (a little bit) faster and Roo does too!

Foxie Loxie is never going to be the world's fastest agility dog.

Cute, but not fast

In an earlier post, I shared some of the smallest dog's angst about agility:  the large, unfamiliar space, the loud barking from the other side of the large space (another class meets at the same time as our "Teacup Agility", but they are much bigger...and louder) and the overall newness of everything.

All this anxiety resulted in a slow, shut-down dog.  The video of his "Slo-Jam" course is HERE.

If he were a horse behaving this way, we'd call his gaits "sticky."  


I don't mean to imply that Fox hasn't learned anything, because the opposite is true:  he has made HUGE progress.  He has skills, he has focus, he has impulse control.  He didn't have any of that before.

In fact, I was able to teach this:  "On command, run to the edge of the kitchen floor, sit down and wait without barking until I bring you a carrot."  He loves carrots (all the Haiku Farm dogs love carrots), so he's really motivated, and he learned the whole sequence...but you can see from this video (below) that he can't keep the carrot-joy out of his front feet:




In class, however, he was still shutting down from anxiety.  So we decided to change some stuff.


Roo to the rescue!

Back in 2015 when Foxie was the "new kid" on the farm, we often tied him to Roo so that she could show him how things should be done.  

Barking at goats: yes.  Chasing chickens: no.  

As he got the hang of things, we released Fox to run around unfettered.  But Fox still considers Roo to be a confidence booster.

So last week we brought Roo to agility class to see if she would bolster Fox.

The first thing we learned:




With 10 minutes of instruction, Roo is better at agility than Foxie.

By her second agility class, Roo learned to navigate the dogwalk (narrow ramp), the A-Frame (wide ramp), the jumps, the hoops, and even the tunnels (at first she thought she was too big for the teacup tunnels, and then she discovered FOOD AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL OMG I'M SO THERE!)

As for Fox, well.  Here's his video from the final class of the session:






A little quicker, and happier and more confident.

And at the end of the course, he gets a carrot!



Comments

  1. You're going to know Foxie has this agility thing down when you get carrot feet on the start line- and you'll get there! :D :D Despite being shut down, he's come a long way just between the two videos you posted! Can't wait to see where you are in another 6 months, you guys are gonna ROCK IT.

    (And don't rule Foxie out as being a dang fast dog once he gets the rules of the game figured out!

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