Friday, April 25, 2008

Extracurricular Activities

As Theo gets older, I'm starting to think more and more about the activities and classes I want to do with him. I definitely want to try a little bit of everything. So far the obedience classes are going great, and both Theo and I have a ball every week. He's finished puppy kindergarten, and after puppy elementary, there's still basic obedience (the trainer might suggest we skip this if Theo excels in puppy elementary), and intermediate obedience, in which Theo will (*hopefully!*) earn his CGC. Plus, the trainer also teaches classes in agility (2 classes!) and rally (3 classes!). So far all of those classes sound like fun to me! And there's also just regular "pay and play" classes as well, which is just straight socialization. Hey, it's better than the dog park.

Another activity I've been looking into is herding. Theo is so bossy, I think he would really take to it. I looked around my area and there's a place that does herding instinct testing and lessons (if the instinct is there, of course) that's only just a few minutes away. What luck! I think the real trick will be whether he can get over his fear of the animals he's supposed to herd. The herding itself he'll probably be fine with, but he's such a chicken! Theo would be interested in the sheep/cattle/ducks, but if he were tested today, he would probably eye them from behind the safety of my ankles! Hehe.

What about you guys? Have you done any classes with your dog? Obedience, agility, rally, herding, etc.? Are there any fun activities I'm blatantly missing here?


Lynn said...

I am so impressed with Theo! I think I need to do more training with Lucy... I'm glad to hear he really liked agility. That's one thing that I'm very interested in when Lucy gets older.

Jenna Z said...

Oh, fantastic! Glad to hear this class is going so well! I am surprised your instructor had such a young dog doing obstacles though, even just playing at them. Sully and I are into traditional obedience (AKC) and rally (AKC and APDT). But there are several other venues for obedience including UKC and St. Huberts. We dabbled in agility training, not for us. And we did that freestyle seminar recently. Fun, but also not for us, the judging is so subjective and it's just a bit TOO silly if you can believe that. :) You are so lucky to have a herding opportunity to nearby! There is a herding trial every year at the regional specialty but it's always on thursday and we never make it. A sport that the other 4-H instructor is really into is flyball. Not something I have ever been interested in but those who are on a team are really dedicated! Something that Sully and I will most likely eventually train for (his foster mom is big into it! so we have an in!) is tracking. Corgis are excellent at tracking! Another sport that corgis are eligible for is weight pulling through the International Weight Pull Association. But I worry too much about the possible hazards and conditioning needed to ever compete in that. Heck, I worry about conditioning for rally and there's only one jump out there!

JuLo said...

Lynn, I can't recommend training enough. It's been so great for us. But even just interaction with other dogs in general has seemed to make a real difference with him. Like maybe the good manners of the better-trained dogs in class rubbed off on him? Hehe. I can't for sure yet if Theo likes agility, but he definitely likes the treats that come along with doing it! Hehe.

Jenna, I don't know if it was real "agility equipment". There was a bar Theo could jump over, but I put it at the lowest setting, just a few inches off the ground. And the stairs were very shallow (and long), so I don't it would have been harmful in any way.

I'm definitely surprised there's a herding place so close. I live in an interesting area, a suburb a ways from downtown in one direction, and more rural areas in the other. Hehe. It's convenient!

Can you do obedience with an altered dog? I thought there was something other than conformation that the AKC required an un-altered dog. I could be wrong though. I don't know about Flyball and tracking, but I also don't know much about them. When playing fetch, Theo is more than happy to run and catch the ball, he just usually loses interest before he can bring it back to you. Hehe. I wonder if flyball is anything like fetch?

Tracking sounds interesting, but I don't know if I would be interested in doing it. Hehe. After all, it's no good if all parties involved aren't into it, right?

Jenna Z said...

Gosh, so sorry to read your post about Theo's tummy upset. I hope he returns to normal soon. But I thought I'd answer your questions so you can plan for when he gets all better! In AKC, dogs must be un-altered to show in conformation but in all other events they can be spayed or neutered. So that's all obedience, rally, herding, tracking, agility, etc. And in all those events, the dog does not even need to be AKC registered, they can have an ILP (PAL) number issued by the AKC if they look like a certain breed but you do not have their pedigree. Sully is neutered and has an ILP number since he was a rescue and we do not have his lineage.