Well I am pleased to say that Muffit’s training is coming along very well! He is such a good boy. We had a private lesson last Friday and my instructor was actually very happy with how far he has already come.
I discovered while training him at the local agility barn, that he was best if he had a clear beginning point and ending point. So last Friday we tried this with him, and it worked wonderful. Both his beginning point and his ending point will be a mat. He loves his mat, has a great down on the mat, and it’s like something that is very clear to him that he understands and can perform very successfully. And it’s a good calming place for him, too. Maybe if he had one of those mats with magnets it would help him even more! LOL I’ve been working with Muffit at home to teach him to calm down. This picture is of Muffit’s chin in my hand. This is his signal to be calm. When his tail stops wagging and he’s calm, then I slip a treat into his mouth. I haven’t been saying ‘good’ or ‘yes’ or clicking, because those things all bring his drive up. And he has so much frantic drive that I want to teach him to be calm and relax.
On his mat in the private lesson he was being much more calm than he has been in the past. We set up a tunnel, too, and he’d start on his mat, go through the tunnel, get a treat off the target plate, and then go back onto his mat. He does all this in the blink of an eye, LOL, he’s fast but he does seem like he’s thinking about it. And the tunnel was C shaped so that we could use the same mat for the beginning and the end.I was thrilled with Muffit’s progress. And he’s been there before, which helps him calm down, too. But that is okay because anything that helps him be calm, so he can think, and not be frantic, is great!
So flyball is on hold for him for a while. I’m actually not sure if he’ll ever be able to function in the environment. But I think he will be able to do agility. As soon as we start practicing on a weekly basis this summer, I bet his progress will go forward in leaps and bounds!
He is such a good boy. I love seeing him learn, seeing him relax. He loves to learn and he’s such a typical goofy boy. He just wants to make me happy and the treat slipped into his mouth may not even be something he really notices. But we’ll keep giving him treats, teaching him to be calm, and go over all the obstacles in agility.
Maybe we’ll even do some obedience with him. It’s going to be hard for him once he gets in trial environments, though. But I have a plan for that too. I’m excited for Muffit!