Sunday, June 10, 2012

Dolce's MAJOR Breakthrough & Intro to Agility...

I am still brimming with pride after today.  Cloud 9 is a beautiful place to be.

Now, I have to keep in mind, Dolce is not cured.  Not by a long shot.  He still gets upset by strange dogs, and will bark, growl, and lunge with the best of them.  But we're so close...

Rick and I went to Summerfest in Fountain Valley, California this afternoon.  They had a fantastic Disc 2 Dog demo/clinic.  I have to say, that was by far my favorite event to be a spectator of.  (It has also cured my curiosity for the breed of dog I'd like next, border collie or Aussie shepherd... Definitely border collie FTW!  No question.)  I got some great ideas for getting Dolce into frisbee, and it's totally on our agenda!  Intelligent Agility had a course all set up, and allowed visitors to give it all a go, regardless of their training, for FREE.

So, FINALLY, Dolce had an intro to the obstacles of agility!  We did some jumps (which were a piece of cake, especially for how low they were), conquered the tunnel with some coaxing via hotdogs, and climbed the A-Frame no problem!  Erin (founder of Intelligent Agility) said Dolce's natural jumping style was very pretty,  we were welcome in her classes as soon as we finished his rehab. :) I informed her that she hadn't seen the last of us.  It's nice to know where we'll be taking classes and getting to know the wonderful trainer in advance.

The best part, there were hundreds of strange dogs of all shapes and sizes there for this event.  He only had a few minor outbursts, nothing major, and in general, was easily redirected with chicken, treats, and especially hotdogs.  He even had excellent, border collie-like focus on-course for our hotdogs, and ignored the dozens of human and canine spectators.  He remembered all of his obedience commands, performed them immediately, and didn't go looking elsewhere for mischief.  I couldn't be happier with his attitude for this kind of work.

Afterward, Dolce was even social with several of the guys who were part of the tear-down crew.  He approached them, readily accepted pets, and only showed mild forms of apprehension when the men initially leaned down to pet him.

Sigh.  He's so talented.  I'm so excited.  I'm impatient for this dog-reactivity thing to be history so we can get on with the fun stuff!


  1. That is so awesome! I know what you mean about the dog-reacitivity thing to be history, but I know for Bandit (my BC) it will be constant management and continued training throughout his life. I would love for it to be cured, but I do think that it could always rear it's ugly head at any moment. So, I never let my guard down. I think that it is important to look at the safety of our dog-reactive dogs first. The thing that I loved about the picture in this post was that Dolce was SAFE. There was a nice fence where other dogs could not come into his space and he was able to focus and learn. That was really wonderful! When I do trials with my dog-reactive dog. I map out the best route from the car to the ring and the ring to the car. :) The route that he will be successful taking. Once we are in the ring with that safety net of a fence, all is good and he can do his job. Not that Dolce is the same, but reactivity issues are similar... :)) Hope you have a great day! I also hope you do not mind my two cents worth. :)
    Pam, Isabelle, Bandit & Twix

    1. Mind??? I LOVE it! Thanks, Pam! :)

      I went to the event earlier in the day to scope everything out. I was invited through a meetup group I'm part of, and also on Facebook from the agility trainer, Erin. I saw the fence, I saw that everyone only went, supervised, one at a time, and I knew Dolce was ready for that kind of exposure. Safety was definitely high on my priority list, as well!

      We went back home for IDOGS and to grab Dolce. He was so fabulous. I'm so proud of him. Chicken helped him relax upon our initial overwhelmed reaction to our arrival at this gathering of hundreds of strange dogs and people. He was so brave, and I am so proud. He loved the agility stuff, having hotdogs was just a bonus -- albeit a VERY good one. :)

      What did you think of his video? Did you like the border collie in the disc dog demo? I'm going to start Dolce on that, that was so fun looking!

  2. Great job! and congrats on the wedding!

    Have you read "Control Unleashed" might be a good one for you and Dolce.

    1. I have, I'm actually thinking of re-reading it to freshen up. :) Thanks for the suggestion, I LOVE that book!