First night at the Good Citizen Gold class. As stated before, it's not that Ellie is up to that standard yet, but Christina recommended that the mix of dogs would be better for Ellie's timid nature. She was correct, and Ellie was indeed much better this evening.
As per usual, the classes started with some sit and stay work. Yes, Ellie can do this just fine, but the Gold standard is to stay for 3 minutes with 30 seconds of that, with the owner out of sight. Jan wandered off and went into the shop out of sight for about ten seconds and was surprised to find Ellie hadn't moved. I was surprised that she was surprised, as I frequently do this with Ellie in the local field. I put her into a position (usually a down) and then I hide behind a tree, or a small shed-type building that is used by the local archery club. I've never timed her of course, but I'm sure she could do three minutes.
Ellie then performed three rounds of the agility course. She did really well and it was Jan who let her down a bit by getting flustered with her turns! Ellie loves agility; it's the kind of energy burst that really fires her up (typical Border Collie).
It was then time for some raised paw work. Jan had to ask for Ellie's paw and not let her touch her, meaning that she just her to raise her paw and hold it there. Christina demonstrated this, and Ellie seemed to grasp it within a few minutes. (And again once back home.) Christina then advised to practise and pause for longer periods as she gets used to it. This is just a trick which can be adapted to go with....erm...heel work to music! (Note to self: I really must get to writing why I hate heelwork to music as much as I do.)
Then came some heel work off lead where Christina gave us commands for everyone to get the dogs to sit and wait whilst owners walked away and then back to the dog. We then had to do heel - sit - owner walk away - walk back to dog and around them - stop - and then get the dog to walk around the owner. All good precision type obedience stuff!
All in all it was a really good session and we're glad that Christina suggested we move groups.