Sunday, 9 February 2014

Jump and learn

Yesterday was the second saturday evening agility trial in a row. The idea was to go for a cut down agility training at the club in the morning to work a bit on the contact equipment, then go home for a bit of a rest, and then go for a smashing evening of fun. At least that was the plan...

For all the bravado and cheekiness that Mawson shows on this blog and in some situations, on some days, life is overall a bit too much for Mawson, yesterday was one such day. Our little pup has always been a scaredy pup. He is frightened of people, which we have been able to mostly keep under control, but he is quite terrified of kids. Despite a lot of work and socialisation, we know that it will always be a difficulty for him, and he will never be a people's dog. So far, we have had some highs and some lows along the way. Yesterday was probably a rather low point. Everything was out to kill him... It is always a combination of factors and we think we have a few ideas of what is happening at the moment... There is the obvious fact that he is in the middle of a teenager phase, but we have also realised that for a few weeks he has been a bit more unsettled and that has coincided with our new neighbours coming back from holiday. What would the fact of our new neighbours coming back home do with anything...? Well those neighbours have two lovely little toddlers and they do have fun in the pool. Which is hard for Mawson but also a great training. We usually can manage the amount of stress he is under when we are home, but we think this might get him in a bit of a state while we are away.

Anyway, everybody survived the morning training entire, and after our usual routine we decided to go to the trial at least to see how things went and once there, see if the scaredy monster was going to run. It was even hotter than last week when we arrived... close to 39˚C!!
preparation of part of the evening delights
Obviously the heat was hard on a lot of dogs there. The runs were interesting. Some pups decided that the shade offered by the tunnel was much better than running around and jumping outside. Some ran straight to the shade of the judging area...! Martin tried to run Mawson in the first couple of events. The first was RQH jumping, quite a hard course for a novice dog in any day but all in all, even though nowhere clear and his attention got taken by things on the outside of the ring, he only ran around about 3 jumps and did a pretty decent job of following Martin.
Novice agility was hard work and mister pup wasn't really interested by anything on the course. He started with a fabulous opening of the first 3 jumps and took one look at the dog walk, went a few steps up before said that nope too much before jumping off, and actually the weaves were much better ran next to... However, he stayed in the ring, even though the set up was really close to spectators!

A lot of dogs were unsettled and there was a lot of barking a lot of running around and staying in the cool of the tunnels. And this made Mawson very much on the edge when the sun went down. To the point he grumped at people with who he has never had any issue before and know very well...

Even my mate Bodhi has been testing the resolve of his mum on the agility runs yesterday, though unlike Mawson, he was a lovely sweet pup as per usual. But he is teaching his mum patience and perseverance while on the course, with a bit too much enthusiasm!

Anyway, we decided to skip the open agility event and retire for a snooze in the car. After a bit Mawson relaxed and even fell asleep. Martin was not sure about running the last event, novice jumping, and we wanted to see if Mawson was feeling better. After our snooze I took the pupster out for a walk, he was finally a more happy little pup, much better. Kept him happy and out of trouble for a bit and Martin decided to try to run as novice agility is their preferred event.
And that was a beautiful run, even the judge said it was a great run! They just had one tiny fault as Mawson ran around one of the jump but came back to take it. The overall course was unexpectedly fantastic given the evening, and so close to a clean run!

I'm so proud of my boys and my little scaredy pup is so brave through all we make him do.
So from now, we restart training and continue to try and fill this little scaredy terrified pup with confidence and calm... We'll let you know how it goes...
I'm a bit tired now mum...

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