(this photo has nothing to do with cantering or agility, but it does show Ziggy in his favorite place - the sofa)
Ziggy and I continue to take agility class on Wednesday nights. Z has lots of fun in agility class and has even started to pull on the leash to get into the building (demonstrating that perhaps he's even interested in what's going on inside). During class he throws his tail in the air and trots happily along - this is his pace. A pace so slow that it's NQ-worthy.
He moved from the beginner class to the intermediate class for this session. In this class we work on short sequences. In all of our classes, Ziggy has been SLOW - especially with the jumping and transitions between obstacles. Trot, trot, trot, wag, wag, trot....
At home we've been doing skills and obstacle practice to increase his confidence - jump grids, sending to the tunnel & chute, teeter, table. Today it seemed like it was actually paying off. His send to the tunnel was great, which allowed me to run ahead on course - he came out of the tunnel cantering and even cantered around the entirety of the last two sequences we did. Good boy (he got LOTS of praise & string cheese)!! A big change from previous weeks.
It also reinforced to me that for the next set of classes we need to focus on sending skills, and obstacle understanding. He is a dog that goes faster when he feels more confident. So, starting in early March, it's a new class a little closer to the basics.
Ziggy may never be a MACH dog (he's going to run 8" Preferred anyway) - but at least we seem to be on our way into "Q" territory! And he remains happy along the way.