The continuing easing of lockdown saw another socially distanced Buhund Bumble take place in the fields at Alwalton, Peterborough on Sunday 19th September. Apparently the hay fields had been cut giving even more running space for the dogs; again there was plenty of water for those dogs that like to swim. Sarah Stonton took Loxy and Jack, Lisa Strong and husband Alex were accompanied by Eris and Loki,and daughter Debbie and partner Richard took their dogs so altogether there were 11 dogs, they all had a great time ,and I am told that all the dogs slept very well afterwards.
Lisa has also kindly sent me an article on how Eris is learning agility. Eris as I am sure most of you know is Leggatts Dancing Queen at Draccus by Ir Ch Frostisen Winsome x Knytshall Noor.
“Eris and I were meant to have started a beginners’ class in March but then lockdown happened. As lockdown happened, I was furloughed and as I am a vulnerable, I wasn’t exactly going anywhere so I thought why not start teaching Eris agility in the garden.
My older Buhund Loki has done some agility, I went to lessons with him, was part of an agility club and we have competed at UKA so I figured I could use my knowledge to start training. I already had a couple of jumps and a plastic ‘Tyre’ so I was able to start her off with those and in the meantime as I had a Birthday coming up, I requested a tunnel and some weave poles to stick in the ground. I also I took advantage of a sale and bought a small seesaw for the garden that is a low height, to get Eris used to the feel of the material underneath and the movement of the seesaw.
I already suspected that she would be faster than Loki (he is a slow but precise kind of agility dog) but I quickly discovered that I could go a couple of jumps ahead of her and then say “Go” and she would jump them…this was the first inkling that teaching Eris Agility would be a different experience to teaching Loki agility as I could never go more than 1 jump ahead with him.
The tunnel and poles duly arrived. When Loki was introduced to the tunnel, he was very suspicious of it so the trainer had to squeeze it together, whilst I bribed him through with cheese and when it was full length, I had to crawl through it to persuade him that it was fine. Bearing this in mind, I put the tunnel in the garden all squeezed up tight, Loki went through it when I gave the tunnel command and Eris didn’t hesitate to follow him. After a couple of goes at this I went for half-length and again she happily followed Loki through. I then took Loki inside and tried to get her through the tunnel on her own which she did happily. The tunnel was pulled full length with no issues.
Loki was taught weaves via the “V” method with 6 poles so I decided to have a go at that. I approached with Eris on a lead and she applied the brakes after the first 2 poles, and then jumped out the weaves. I moved the poles wider and tried again but she would not have it. I did a google search at that point and then decided to try the “2 x 2” method. This has been more successful and the weaves are now almost lined up.
At this point I was contacted by the school that I was to have started group lessons with and asked if I would like to do some socially distanced 121 Agility lessons and I jumped at the chance. My previous agility experience has come in here and my Trainer has been able to quickly get me incorporating front, rear and blind crosses into my runs with Eris, and as Eris is proving to be a lot faster than Loki they are coming in handy.
Loki lost his balance one time during his early lessons and fell off, luckily, he was unhurt but he was always hesitant on going on the seesaw and over the dog walk after that, so I frequently did classes in competitions that did not involve those particular items. During my 121 sessions with Eris we have now introduced her to the dog walk. We did this by putting a trail of treats over it and then I walked her slowly over it holding on to her collar, the second time the treats were more spread apart. She took to it like a duck to water as after I let go of her collar after the second time she turned around and trotted over it of her own accord!!!
At the moment, we have used the seesaw in our lessons in order to teach her to do contacts and have moved on to letting it bang a little as she jumps on to do contacts and so far, so good. On our last session, she decided to do zoomies around the field after completing a 17-obstacle course and getting lots of praise, she ran onto the seesaw but my trainer was near it though and quickly sat on the bottom of the seesaw to stop it moving and scaring her. Eris did a kamikaze jump from the top of the seesaw, landing perfectly and continued her run……maybe I will have to teach her dock diving at some point too! One thing is certain so far Eris loves her agility sessions.”
Thank you so much Lisa. Perhaps we may see her competing sometime in the future if she can fit it in, as I know you have a busy year planned for her in 2021.
Margaret Deuchar firstname.lastname@example.org
The views expressed in Margaret’s Breed Notes are hers and hers alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Norwegian Buhund Club of the UK.