Big-dog-little-handler: we have him jumping through hoops!

No literally! He’s jumping through hoops now! And running through tunnels. And all sorts of things, but not quite weaving (we don’t really like the weaving). Most importantly we have progressed to doing it off the lead! Who ever thought that would happen!?! Not me. I didn’t think we were ever going to get there. Duke is easily distracted and a bit of a monkey at times. But with a lot of help we have him running around the course, off lead, and having a loads of fun. There was no perfect run, because this is all really new to him, but there was some minor destruction. Duke did bang up one of the tunnels. He got so excited he tried to run through it the wrong way.

Duke loves agility but we have been doing it on the lead as Duke gets distracted really easily. He loved the jumps and tunnel but struggled slightly on the weave. He gets board of slowing down to navigate the poles.

Not only have we been doing the agility but we have also taken the opportunity to let Duke off the lead more. To spend more time relaxing and being calm off the lead but also listening to instruction; the most important being “come”! So far we are doing quite well.

This week we had fewer in the agility class, less distractions around and a very calm Duke. We have had a few really successful training classes so after a few runs round the course on lead; I gave him a-bit of trust and a chance. Thanks to some gentle encouragement from someone in our class (Anne is forever encouraging us, don’t know what we would do without her).

Duke loved it! And more surprisingly he managed to listen. Even with dogs barking, tractors moving and people doing people things. He payed attention to me and actually did as I told him (more or less). Win!

We even had a go at flyball afterwards! We both loved the fly ball. We started on the lead and graduated to off lead after. Running along with him was exhausting but great fun. After all that excitement we had a successfully obedience class where duke was good as gold and even had some time off the lead with the other dogs.

He was even good while we had A Picnic and some coffee. It was duke’s birthday Friday maybe turning 2 has given Duke a new outlook on life?? I don’t know where this good behaviour has emerged from but long may it stay!

Duke had a great birthday

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