I signed up for that trial about three weeks ago. I skimmed the rules. Molly and I will be in Beginners and we will do Agility and Jumping. Refusals aren't counted as faults in Beginners. An off course is an NQ. Gulp. You need a down on the table. Gulp. I decided to find a low square coffee table at a thrift store somewhere and work on the Down at home. I even had a coworker offer to sell me one she wanted to get rid of as long as her husband didn't mind. Neither option panned out, and here I am, a few days before the trial having that "Oh yeahhhhh..." moment.
I don't particularly expect success with Molly at this trial. I'm shooting for "have fun" and get to know a new venue. (UKI is something I have my eye on for Perri, since you can train in the ring. When I finally decide she is confident enough to trial, I want a back up plan to keep the ring a positive place for her if she stresses out. Being able to shift to training mode will be a welcome option.)
No off courses allowed is frightening at the most and I have heard the courses are international style. We have had limited exposure to that. Also, my dog likes to thunder around like a runaway train. But I would like to be reasonably prepared. I racked my brains for a pause table substitute. I tried the top of our green plastic crate but it is too small and too high. I have a wooden skid, but how to build it up and make it a flat surface? Hmmmm...the groom table! I put it at its lowest height and have done two sessions with Molly on there today. I ask her to get "Up" and then lay down. She was reluctant at first, as she always is. The reason that Molly doesn't have a down on the table is because A) She doesn't like it and B) I'm lazy. I decided to shape it. Instead of telling Molly what to do, I would let her figure it out. It didn't take her long! I did lure her the first few times. At the moment I have a dog who will willingly hop up on the table and give me a Look. She then lays Down! She gets a jackpot when she hops onto the table and goes Down immediately, with no pause. (I give her chicken for these times, but I swear she doesn't know the difference between that and the kibble that she is working for!)
I have no idea if she will generalize this with an actual pause table, but I figure it can't hurt. (We will find out tomorrow night in agility school if she will translate!) I have to hope that somewhere in that spazzy terrier brain, value is being built into hopping up and laying down. I do plan on getting/building something that actually resembles a pause table, because of course Perri is sometimes afraid of it.
|Downs suck, but I like food so I will do it!|