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I wanted to post this over the weekend but I had no spare time.

Aspen and I had our first agility class on Friday night. It was awesome!
When we first walked in, I was a little nervous because all of the equipment was set up. BUT we didn't use any of it. She sets it up for two reasons: 1) so the dogs can get used to being around it and 2) when she's teaching us something, she shows us how it will be helpful when we start to incorporate the equipment.

We worked on IYC, touching a target and a lot on building drive. I was surprised that Aspen seems to have a low drive. At home and on hikes, she has SO much energy but when we got in the class setting, she was so relaxed. That will be our biggest struggle, I guess- building drive.

One thing that I really loved about the trainer... there's a dog in the class who is incredibly fearful towards people. We did an exercise where the teacher holds our dogs collar and we run and play with the dogs toy before calling them over. The fearful dog obviously did NOT want his collar held. The teacher sat there and let the dog come to her on his terms and rewarded him with cheese each time he did. She didn't rush him at all. She wanted to make sure this was a positive experience for every dog. She probably spent a good 15 minutes with only him and I thought that was really great. So often, I see trainers who rush through things but she really takes her time.

Overall, I thought it was a really positive experience. :)
 

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Yay! I'm glad it went so well for you. The trainer sounds awesome - that is SO nice to have!
 
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Awesome! Sounds like a GREAT class!
 
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@Shandula @jclark343

Are you both currently taking classes? Do you ever take a class, take a couple of months with no class, but practicing at home, then take another class? Or do you go from class to class to class?
 

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@Aspen726 - Yes, Levi is in the same terrible agility class he was in before, but I kind of just do my own thing. I'm also in H360 and Agility Nation, so lots of stuff to practice at home! It really depends on what is available to me. If there were classes back to back, I always take them. I love going to classes! I'm fortunate to not work during the day, so I have ample time to practice.

When we moved here I had to take a big break, it sucked!
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I'm thinking that we'll have a lot of body awareness stuff and drive building to practice so I don't want to spend the money taking the same class multiple times. Once we start incorporating the equipment and if we start competing, then I'll probably do back to back classes, if available. I know they do an agility drop in one night/week so that might be my best bet once we know what we're doing haha

I wish you girls were near me and we could get together and play doggies all the time! :p
 

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1st I totally wish we all didn't live on different sides of the continent...

Both my dogs are currently in classes. Forbes is in a sequencing class on Thursday nights and Roxie is in an advanced agility class on Friday night.

When I am first starting I try to consistently go back to back with classes. Especially with Forbes. I feel like he does so great and is on a great roll, I really hate having to miss time in the ring with him. I can say the foundation and groudwork class can be boring as sin, and honestly after the first one I wouldn't do another if I didn't have to. If creating drive is your issue, I found that moving on to the next step and doing sequences will create drive. Roxie is not a drivey dog at all (she's the laziest lab I think I've ever met) but she will really go when I have a course to run. Sometimes I find that doing 1 thing over and over again can get boring.

During my move I was only doing 1 class a week with just Forbes, bringing Roxie every so often to work on a few sequences. I can take a month off here or there with her and she will come back and be right back in (Sometimes fantastically, sometimes we will regress), but I don't think I would do that with Forbes right now. He's just progressing SO well.
 
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Ok thanks @jclark343

That's really good info! I wonder if that's parts of Aspen's problem... she was bored. When we took out the tug to play, she was into it at first but after a few minutes, she just laid down and looked at me- very unlike her. I was so surprised. It was really comical though bc the class is made up of a lab, a border collie, the fearful dog who looks like a Shepard mix and a spaniel. They ALL jump around, bark and are just SO hyped up through the whole class. Aspen just sits next to me and waits patiently for her turn haha... when the trainer is holding her collar, she's supposed to be looking at me and excited to take off but she sits nicely, wagging her tail haha

With all of that said, I'd rather her be calm in agility than wild in CGC class ;)
 

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Levi is SO good while we are waiting. He sits/downs and is sooooo mellow. Then when we line up for a sequence, he's shaking, hard stares. He's READY to go.
 

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She'll get there, she IS part Border Collie after all. ;)
 

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Now, once you released her, she came running to you right?

She's also been in a class setting before. She knows how to behave in them.
 

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Now, once you released her, she came running to you right?

She's also been in a class setting before. She knows how to behave in them.
Oh yeah, she comes running :) And she's VERY interested in the equipment. She has zero fear of anything in there. When it's not our turn, I walk her around to sniff and see everything.
 

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I'm so happy for you!! It sounds like you have a great instructor and that you had a blast!! BTW I see dogs all the time who are super bored with the foundations. When we start sequencing obstacles, the light bulb goes on and the drive and enthusiasm start to build. Have fun!!
 
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