In Which Fergus Works Hard For His Treats

Today was the boys’ last class of their first five-lesson session of Agility. After skipping next week for Thanksgiving, they’ll come back for another five lessons before Winter break.

Cai has done quite well so far. He catches on quickly, and except for the perilously tall A-frame, he’s perfectly comfortable with all the equipment.

Fergus had tummy troubles one Sunday morning and missed a class. Fergus is also a little nervous around the equipment. I’m becoming more convinced, in fact, that Fergus’s macho stance (he spent the first three minutes today telling off the largest dog in the class) is a cover-up. Poor tyke.

Today we practised the Dog Walk. It’s a set of three planks, the two end ones sloping up to the level middle one. To execute the Dog Walk correctly, Poochie must stroll its entire length, his paws touching the yellow section on both ends. As you can see, in the photo at top, taken at 4:26:29 pm, Fergus is trotting along the Dog Walk, easy as you please, with E.g. loosely holding his leash. He is emphatically not, you will note, repeatedly abandoning ship as he had been at 4:21:29 pm.

 In those intervening five minutes, did E.g. teach him how? No. Did Turtle? Nope. How about the instructor? Not really.

Cai taught him.

Cai’s problem was bouncing along too quickly, skipping merrily off the far end before his feet touched the yellow part. I wasn’t sure how to fix that. Then I watched the little brown Poodle, Lucy, whose humans had been advised to make her sit on the Dog Walk every few feet, to slow her down and build her confidence.

So, en famille, I started Cai along the Dog Walk, and E.g. and Fergus followed on our tails. When Cai stopped, Fergus stopped. And Fergus, trusting Cai, walked all three planks.

Then he walked it all by himself.

Then he walked it all by himself back again, by which time I had my camera out. Ta-da!

The following photos show a new trick we learned today, the Table. You say, “Fang, Table!” and Fang jumps up on it and you throw him a nice raw steak. Eventually you give him the Down command, and he lies down for his porterhouse.

Our dogs know the Down command already though, so here’s the sequence wherein Fergus comes up Shiny:

“Table!”

“Down!”

“Good boy!”

11 Responses to In Which Fergus Works Hard For His Treats

  1. Jayne says:

    Awwww, congrats!
    Well done, Fergus :)

  2. Tony says:

    What clever puppies. Have you ever seen Elyan Cardigans blog? http://elyancardigans.com
    Penni has some recent posts of one of her corgis learning to herd ducks & sheep.

  3. I koodent help nowtis that it took a Poodle to sho them how to do it proply

  4. eyegillian says:

    What amazes me — besides the obvious corgi prowess at learning and excelling at new tasks — is how tiring it is for us human folk. There sure is a lot to learn!

  5. lavenderbay says:

    Fergus says you can use his white-tipped tail for walkies anythime, Jayne.

    Ooo, duck herding! I would’ve loved to get the boys into that, Tony, but I don’t think there’s any in the area. The Agility class is an hour from home as it is.

    I thought you’d be interested, Dixie. I wanted to photograph Lucy for you, but wasn’t quick enough; I hope she returns for the second level.

    I’m finding that too, Eyegillian! And this business of needing to distinguish yer left from yer right — whoever heard of such a thing?

  6. What good puppies. So smart.

  7. I’m torn between singing “He Works Hard For The Cookies” and “Too Cardi”. I think I’ll go with “Too Cardi”. ♫ And I’m a Cardi, you know what I mean, I do my little turn on the dog walk … on the dog walk … on the dog walk, yeah, I wag my little tail on the dog walk … ♫

  8. lavenderbay says:

    I really am impressed with them, Barefootheart. They’re so much better at learning to have fun than learning to be obedient. :)

    The first song is from my era, James. I don’t recognize the second one, but I like the improved lyrics!

  9. livingisdetail says:

    They are good doggles indeed! So clever. One of my dogs loved walking along flat-topped fences. She would have loved agility.

  10. pennycat says:

    Very Impressive……..

  11. lavenderbay says:

    Sounds like she was a natural, Livingisdetail!

    Well, we think so, Pennycat (blows on nails, polishes them on shirtfront).

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