So Riley has been doing so well, after a 2yr break due to cancer, hip dysplasia and spondylosis, WE ARE BACK IN THE GAME!!!! I pulled out the jumps a couple weeks ago just for fun, to see how much Riley remembered of all of the drills and handling we used to practice. I set the jumps at 12 inches, and was astonished at how much he remembered! Front cross, rear cross, deceleration cues, acceleration cues, send ahead, reverse flow pivot, sperpentine, ALL OF IT! So then I pulled out the weaves, and he was so excited to see them again he just ran through them without a word from me and then looked back at me like "where's my treat?" haha. So we decided to run in the trial coming up in this area, just for fun. We have been working on some basic jump drills and weaves mostly just trying to increase stamina and strength, but the best part is that we really are just doing it for fun. I am naturally a very competitive person, so unfortunately, before Riley had gone over his first jump, I had decided that we were going to be the best dog handler team in all of the state. Which of course put a tremendous amount of pressure on both of us, and in the end lead to so much nerves on my part, that my dog decided that agility was no longer fun. That every time we went to a trial, I was so stressed out and nervous, that he felt like he needed to calm me down...and how do dogs calm one another down? By sniffing the ground, ignoring the stressed one, looking everywhere BUT at the stressed one. So needless to say that when my dog started doing this in the ring, I got even more stressed! "Everyone is looking at us! Why are you ignoring me?! You never do this in practice! (I'm not stressed at practice, this should have clued me in)". So because I was feeling these things, my dog could feel it, and agility became a place to be stressed to the limit, and make the person he loves more than anything, frustrated at him. So he shut down. I was so humiliated that agility was no longer fun. Shortly after this was when Riley injured his leg, then got spondylosis and hip displacia and shortly there after cancer.
So, all of this to say that I am excited to get back to agility JUST FOR FUN! That was why I got into it in the first place, right?