Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Cobalt: Agility Fun Run

We've had Cobalt in Agility classes for quite a while now. She can handle all the obstacles, but she doesn't have a lot of drive when she goes around the courses. We've been suspecting she's kind of bored with the whole thing, so we've moved her from Agility into Rally Obedience (which starts in September) to see if she likes that better.

However, Lane White, the Agility trainer, announced at the end of the last course that he was having an Agility Fun Run. A Fun Run is a run on a standard outdoor course that doesn't count towards any ranking -- it's great experience for the dogs, because an outdoor course is very different from an indoor class, even if the gear is the same.

Lane runs Daytripper Dog Training from his place on Lake Skugog. He and his partner, Teddy Green, have a full-sized Agility area set up in the field beside their house.

When we arrived, the place was being circled by a turkey vulture, which wasn't very encouraging, but things went quite well. The vulture was no doubt disappointed.

Visitor (by JnL)

Cobalt's first run was hopeless -- she was much more interested in sniffing around the field than running the obstacles. But Lane assured us that that's typical of a dog's first time on an outdoor course.. In fact, Cobalt was running the course pretty well by her third run, and Lane told us that some dogs can take six months to get their act together, so we were pleased.

Lori took Cobalt on the runs while I managed Denim and took photos. Managing Denim proved to be a little tricky. At first, I just had her on a flexy leash while I walked around to shoot the dogs running the course. She was fine with that, until Cobalt went up -- then she went squirrelly, barking her head off. I ended up putting her in the travel crate we had for her, where she continued to bark and whine while I shot stuff.

Unfortunately, she managed to chew through the mesh in the crate, and had her head out by the time anyone noticed. So much for that crate!

For the rest of the run, I kept her on a short lead, and kept her back from the fences while photographing -- though that limited my options for angles.

Cobalt on the A-Frame (by JnL)
Coming over the A-Frame

Cobalt on the Table (by JnL)
Stopped on the Pause Table

Cobalt Jumping (by JnL)
Over a Jump

Cobalt in the Weave Poles (by JnL)
Through the Weave Poles

Cobalt on the Dog Walk (by JnL)
Over the Dog Walk with L

There were four other dogs participating as well:

Allie Jumping (by JnL)
Allie, a Golden Retriever

Chip Jumping (by JnL)
Chip, a Standard Aussie

Phoebe on the A-Frame (by JnL)
Phoebe, an Italian Greyhound

Talia on the Course (by JnL)
Talia, a Nova Scotia Duck-Tolling Retriever

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