We finally got out yesterday to face down some of our fears and I am shocked at what happened. My friend Kristin and her speedy Italian Greyhound, Skittles, joined us for a little agility fun. We grabbed our clip and go jumps and planned to meet up at the dog school. I had no expectations. I just knew I would handle whatever came about. I also changed my process, dialing it back to start out at a slower pace.
I had just gotten Jedi settled in a kennel, when Kristin arrived. I am so grateful to have such an amazing friend!!
We got to work, setting up a jumping course. I left Jedi just inside a classroom, right next to the door off of the main ring. He could only see a small portion of the ring, but he could hear everything.
Kristin and Skittles went first, running and weaving they danced their way
around the jumps. They finished in the part of the ring that was visible to Jedi. Skittles jumped around with excitement, while Kristin praised her awesomeness. They are fun to watch, making it look so easy.
Jedi did let out some quiet whines and drooled a bit, but that was it. Now, it was our turn. Kristin took Skittles out of sight into an observation room. I was pleased to see how much Jedi still loved agility. He remembered a lot! We had a blast. He was able to focus on me without any issues.
Next up, Kristin and Skittles. After their run, they spent a ton of time in the area Jedi could see them. Once again he stayed quiet. He even turned his back to them, facing the opposite direction. LOL!! Good choices, buddy.
They were loud and acting crazy, he did great. At one point, Skittles rounded the corner and came about 2 feet from his kennel. We weren’t planning that, but Jedi didn’t react. We will take it!
The finale! Skittles was kenneled in the main ring area. I put up gates a couple feet from her. She gets pretty excited when dogs run the course. We decided to let her get a little animated in her crate during Jedi’s run. Out he came for more agility, with a calm collected handler, who believed in herself.
Guess what? All he wanted to do was run agility. He took a few peeks at Skittles, but he was able to keep his focus on me. He even offered the “Look at that” game (from “Control Unleashed”) again on his own in a nice calm manner. It won’t work if he is too aroused, but that is finally a bit of a precursor default. He is making some better choices.
Guys, both Kristin and I agreed, he can probably handle the fun run agility class I was hoping to join. In that class, it is one dog in the ring at a time. I can crate Jedi in a quiet area to start.
There was a reactive Scottish Terrier in that class. The other owners had no issue with crating their dogs, they even covered their crated dogs on their own to help out.
Jedi and I will continue to work with as many different dogs as possible and slowly up the ante. We will sign up for the agility class and start once we are back from vacation.
So happy to see he was to be able to control himself in that environment. We can work on building up our relationship through agility, so I can be more meaningful during the more trigger inducing leash walking experiences.
A big shout out to my amazing tribe. I am excited to see what Jedi and I can accomplish this spring, outside. Maybe, just maybe, we can work our way back to our one true goal…herding. 💖💜❤️