|Learning how to be a ranch dog|
|Working with Brett at obedience training class a few months ago|
Class last night started with all the dogs (about ten, I think, maybe 12) in a circle for introductions — dogs, owners, trainers, assistants — and ground rules. It took 20 minutes, which was the hardest part of the class. Sage wanted to play with the other dogs. It was pure torture to sit next to me for all that time. She whined, and talked, and tried to belly crawl towards the other dogs.
Finally, we were divided into two groups. The first group worked in one half of the huge arena (looked like it was used for cattle roping in the past) and the other group in the other. We started on the “obstacle” side. First up was a wobble board; basically, a square flat board with a knob in the center underneath that makes the board very unstable. Sage put her feet on it, it wobbled and thunked down, and she leapt backwards like her paws had been bitten by a snake. And she wouldn’t go back.
Next was a teeter totter. This was a long, low board that only “teetered” a few inches, and not in a sudden loud way. There was fencing along either side so it was like a narrow bridge with no way to jump off at the midpoint, when it tottered down. The first time across she didn’t like it one bit. But on the second and third time, she was fine.
She did great on the low ramp. She worries about new things, but once she’s done it and it isn’t new anymore, she loves it.
When we moved to the other side and worked on “handling” exercises, she was a pro. She held her sit-stay; she marched through the ladder; raced through the tunnel; and confidently marched through the weave poles (which were set up with guides because weave poles are the hardest obstacle for dogs to learn).
She was exhausted when we got home. But, she had fun — we both had fun — and that is what I wanted.