I have started agility lessons with one of my puppies, Gretchen. She just turned five months, so we’ve been getting her accustomed to the equipment by walking over the jumps (with cross-bars placed about three inches off the floor), and walking through widely-spaced weave poles.
The first week was a bit scary for Gretchen, but today’s lessons went better. She had fun going through the tunnel, which is one of those fold-out varieties. We introduced it to her by keeping the tunnel folded to form a hoop and just letting her walk through that hoop. Next we opened it out only slightly. The trainer held the hoop/tunnel that was only slightly opened, while I coaxed Gretchen through. She did beautifully. We gradually opened out the tunnel until she would go through when it was fully extended.
She has a few issues with being introduced to new things. For instance today the new exercise was for her to sit in front of the first jump and wait for me to say jump (remember that the bars are placed close to the ground, so she really wasn’t jumping). Well, someone new came to the entrance of the facility and spooked her. She decided that she didn’t want to sit, so she crumbled into a down, put her head between her two front paws, and looked at me with those big pathetic German Shepherd eyes. We clearly have a few issues to work through.