I’ve been working on specific pieces of equipment with Rush–contacts, weaves, collapsed tunnel, tire jump. I’ve been working on his startline stay. Coming to his collar and slipping his head through. Paying attention to me when there are other dogs around. Going where I send him instead of turning back and jumping at me. Being more tolerant of me being slow and fat and sometimes late with cues.
Saturday, after the day’s NADAC runs, there was a demonstration fundraiser of several NADAC EGC games. I entered Rush in two runs of Barrelers, which is a bizarre handling course where you send the dog around barrels (set up in a line of two barrels) in the correct direction (clockwise or counterclockwise) and then on to the next barrel, and so on. It begins and ends with a hoop.
First run, Rush held his startline stay and did the first two barrels just fine. He then proceeded to jump at me, spin, bark, and in general behave like a maniac as we struggled through the rest of the course. After the last hoop, I ran with him to his leash, and he slipped his head through it and left nicely, running with me to his treats. As we waited for the second run, in a loose aggregation of about twenty dogs also waiting to run for the first or second time, he was calm and mostly focused on me. Fifteen minutes later, we ran the same course again, and once again he held his startline stay. He did much better this time, and we made it through about seven barrels before he decided I was too fat, too slow, and not giving him cues quickly enough. When he jumped at me and barked, I asked him to sit, and he sat nicely, immediately!, and I released him and we finished the course. I asked him to sit again, picked up his leash, then released him to come and slip his head through, which he did beautifully.
He will be sixteen months old in two days. He still has his testicles, and I can tell that his hormones are not making his life easy. I have to say that I am very impressed with how well he did in this exciting and new situation. It will be a challenge to compete with him, I can tell; he’s not going to make it easy!