Yep - that's right! The blue whale and the "king"[seriously people?] malamute are schedule for different days! We don't have to deal with them at all, thank goodness!
Tonight was nothing short of amazing.
We took our leashes off tonight. I was a little concerned only because there are a few small dogs in class and I really wasn't ready to have my training wheels off so-to-speak. But alas, I took Sepp's leash off.
Seppel was GREAT! Tonight we practiced some turns, an about turn [to the right, dog on your left, pretty much turning around], a left U-turn [to the left, dog pivots left], and an about left-turn [you turn left into the dog as the dog comes around you - you end with the dog back on your left.]. Then we went to just hand signals, that was very difficult for me. I would say it was equally difficult for Seppel. He understood some hand signals [sit, down, stay] but it was definitely a learning curve for us both. The hand-signals are our homework for this week.
After completely blowing me away for all of the off-leash stuff he nearly killed me with how good he was when they brought the agility equipment out.
We started with the tunnel. The first round we sent them through, the second round we heeled up to the tunnel and sent them through, the third round we left them at the tunnel in a sit-stay, walked to the end, told them to "tunnel" and then had them sit in front of us at the end. Sepp was soo good! Because he was off-leash he didn't have anything to grab in the tunnel, so no more leash grabbing! Inbetween obstacles I had brought a rope toy for him to play with. We weren't able to get too into it because the 2yr old GSD in front of us was getting amped up about it, after letting him play with it a few times I decided to start asking for eye-contact while we waited for our turn.
I actually felt like we finally connected tonight. Like Sepp actually understood what I was asking even with a bunch of background distraction. It got to the point that when I wasn't paying attention to him he would get fidgety and move like "Hey, I'm looking at you!" We practice this at home from time to time, but I'm definitely going to use the agility time to do it. I was so impressed by his willingness to watch me because there was SO much going on... it was just amazing. I feel like we are finally getting there.
We're also going to do bitework either next week or the week after before our OB class. I'm excited to get back into it and see how the obedience we're practicing applies to bitework and how he behaves.
A year ago [nearly two] I never would have imagined that we could be in a room full of dogs and Seppel would behave himself. I'm so glad we've had this opportunity to take a class because he's really showing me what he can handle and what he is capable of and it totally blows my mind and makes me uber excited for the future!
I'm going to send in paperwork for UKC's limited privilege program, there's a trial coming up in May - I know he could easily get a leg on a Rally title. I don't know that I'll get paperwork back in time, but hopefully I will. Then I can take Sepp for a leg on his URO1, and Seth for a leg on his URO2.
Can't wait until next weeks class, although I will say I'm a little bummed there's no reason to wear my "Know your Bull" shirt ;)