Today was Miss Hailey Bug’s second agility class. Today they kicked it up a notch and introduced 2 of the hardest pieces of equipment, the teeter totter and the bridge.
We started with the teeter totter. They took the board off the base and the dogs practiced walking on it when it was flat on the floor. Then once all the dogs were comfortable with that, they put it on the base and one of the teachers held it so when it did tip, it did so slowly. Finally, the dogs were able to just walk across it.
A similar shaping procedure was used for the bridge. The ramp part was take off and placed on the floor and they walked over it. Then they were put on the teeter totter base (which is lower than the bridge) before being placed on the bridge.
Miss Bug was a little unsure walking on the pieces on the ground the first few times. We had to reinforce just having 2 feet on the flat teeter totter board and then 4 legs. It didn’t take long for her to figure it out, or to really want the cookies, but whatever!. In the end she was one of two dogs that weren’t at all bothered by the teeter totter tipping. She was more focused on the potential cookie in the trainer’s hand! The same was true with the bridge. She had a harder time on it when it was first raised and needed a lot of luring and reinforcement during, but quickly was walking up, across and down.
I admit that I was worried with the bridge. I was worried that if she fell off I would not let go. Luckily she never fell off. One dog did and the owner didn’t let go and he was left hanging. After that, he would not go on the bridge at all and was scared to go on the teeter totter.
Overall, although we didn’t time it, of the 5 dogs in class today, Hailey was in the top 2 (not that it is a competition). The most improved puppy has to be AJ who was terrified to go on the boards most of the class but by the end was able to slowly go across all the equipment with a lure. By the end of the class 2 of the other dogs still wouldn’t do all the equipment. The one who fell (so the people accidently taught him to be afraid) and one who was nervous of the movement of the teeter totter.
|This is similar to the teeter totter we used.|
|This is a fancy versiion of the bridge we used. |
Pictures from Google Images