Weave Poles In a New and Distracting Location
Today Simon went to Agility Class with Al. Simon watched Al run while he(Simon)from his crate. This was a little hard on him as you could hear a lot of grumbling and unhappy sounds while we were out on the course; but it's not like it used to be which was pretty loud and annoying for everyone to hear. Simon was allowed to get out and walk around the course with me on leash, and help me set bars between runs for the other dogs. At the end of class ( 1 1/2 Hours, although he was in the van for about half that time) he had a chance to do weave poles in a large arena with lots of distractions, including food that had been dropped into the artificial turf by handlers that weren't too careful about how they dispensed treats.
There were lots of distractions for Simon. This will be his major challenge in getting ready to compete. He has to develop a strong work ethic and good focus in order to compete successfully. This will be my major challenge in getting him ready to compete.
So today when we started to work, I had Simon in his crate watching me move the weave poles to a position that we could work. He came out, we tugged with his tug toy and on cue he charged towards the weave poles, and ran right by them as if they didn't exist. No reward. Another attempt, and he entered the poles but at the second pole (which isn't correct) and in his excitement he missed a couple of poles along the way. There are 12 poles. No reward. Another attempt and Simon missed a couple of poles in the middle again. His speed was good and his footwork great but he had popped out of the poles in this situation, and it was something new as he had never done this when training at home where it was familiar to him. Also the weave poles were quite different than ours at home with a wide base which he was stepping on as he went through.
To make this short. Simon lost some focus after the third unsuccessful attempt, so I crated him while I moved the weave poles to another location. He came out with more focus and drive and had a bunch of really fast and correct runs through the poles. When he started to loose focus again, I put him in the crate for a few minutes. I didn't pay attention to him and when I brought him out again, I had a plan that he would do two more sets of poles correctly, and fast, and then we'd have a tug party, and some good treats, and he'd be done. That's exactly what happened and Simon left the building feeling very successful and special.
It went better than I thought, which is encouraging!!