Skye has made it abundantly clear she has no desire to learn or play agility no matter how stress free. So no agility for her, other than a crazy random tunnel when she escapes from the house while I am training Maya.
On to Maya who is now 17mo old.....until about two months ago we were smoking. She was doing everything with gusto, her flat work was great, she was fearless on the obstacles and she was just everything I could ask for and more. My arch nemesis the aluminum teeter made her cautious but it didn't seem like anything we couldn't get over. I taught her the teeter at home with the two table method and a wooden teeter, she will probably never have one of those amazingly fast teeters some dogs have, but to go from a quivering pile of teeter fear, to actively seeking it out and doing it with enthusiasm, well I am not going to complain. So we tackled the teeter at home in the backyard, now we needed to work on the aluminum teeter at my training facility.
For four months we have done nothing but find the "bang" with the aluminum teeter at the training facility I take classes at, she would gingerly bang it, and I would reward her, and when other dogs "banged" the teeter she would get lots of praise and rewards. I thought it was going well and we even progressed to her going over the teeter and me controlling the downside so it was slow and not as loud, but one evening a 150 lb newfoundland went over the teeter, the BANG! resonated throughout the building and Maya hit the deck so hard you would have thought a bomb went off. I immediately took her outside to decompress and get away from the noise. Then we went back into the building and I worked her a bit and she seemed okay.
The next class (we are in group classes) she was not herself. Maya is a talker, she lets me know when she is bored, excited to do something, wants food or go outside, with this amazing bark that sounds like a kid scooting their feet on a gym floor....it is awesome (in my best sarcastic voice). So anyway, during that class she didn't bark, she was not enthusiastic and every noise bothered her (I told the instructor I thought she was having some noise issues), she refused the dog walk and the A frame unless I really pushed her to do it. Other dogs (especially the big ones) going over the equipment clearly bothered her.
After that my instructor (who is amazing) has gone out of her way to make agility fun for Maya, we did more handling and jump work than contact equipment, and it totally made a difference, by the end of class she would go over the dog walk willingly again, but no go on the A-frame and we don't even look at the teeter right now.
So the plan for now is to work at home, to make our teeter at home the BEST THING EVER! and then we will make the teeter at home loud (probably attach a cookie sheet to the board and have it hit one on the ground), we have worked on the bang loud things at home game but she is not really digging it much....And we are going to the training facility during class but working in the back room and they are not using the teeter while we are there.
I am sad and frustrated, but it is going to be a very good learning experience for me.
Next time I will try to have some video.