Tonight was Maggie's and my first ever night of Utility class. Maggie needed a new job, I want to learn Utility, and she is a pleasure to work with, so off we go! This is also one of my Maggie goals for the year, so I feel like I'm making progress ;)
Our class is full of dogs of all levels. Me - the rank beginner; a couple of folks who are still in the "training" phase of Utility (still learning the exercises, but further along than me); and two who are proofing (know the exercises, but working with distractions and planning to enter the ring in the next couple of months). This is great for me, as it helps me envision where I'm going at nearly every stop along the way.
So how did we do? Maggie did GREAT (not that I'm biased in any way). Clearly, we have a lot to work on, but her experience in Rally and agility have put her in good stead. The moving stand for exam, she did really well (just like the other dogs!), the beginnings of directed jumping show promise thanks to her years in agility, and we've been working on the signal exercises at home already (I was trying to get a head start) so we have a good start there. The rest of it - well, Maggie and I will learn together. I'm so excited!
Oh, and I've already made my first Utility mistake - before I started class even. I bought the wrong size utility articles. Despite measuring my existing dumbbells, and reading the chart on the J&J website, I bought one size too small. I have the other size on order, and I'm hoping J&J will take back the other ones. Otherwise, I'll just have to save them in case at some point I have a corgi with smaller cheeks than Maggie.