Pause on Pocket: Our Little Athlete

Whenever Pocket meets someone new, they almost always ask “Is he (they always get her gender wrong, firstoff) a puppy? He’s so small!” To which i reply “No, SHE’s 2 and a half, she’s just in really good shape.”

View from the top of our hike in the McDonald Forest

It’s true, Pocket IS in really good shape, though i have seen a number of even smaller Corgis recently. We hike about 4.2 miles in just over an hour almost every day, or else we hike rougher terrain at a slightly shorter distance. She’s an experienced kayaker, absolutely ADORES swimming, and is completely fetch obsessed. Sticks, balls, frisbees caught in the air: you name it, she will sprint for it faster than any tiny-legged dog should be able to sprint and bring it back to you with a perfect release at your feet.

Because of this fetch/ball obsession, i think i may have found the perfect “sport” to enroll her in: Flyball. We tested the theory yesterday, and she already seems to be a natural!

We met up with a group of Flyballers up at the Salem human society on Sunday and they let Pocket try a class on the house to see if she took to it. They teach each ‘step’ separately so that the dogs learn how to do everything correctly, instead of just quickly. We attempted to figure out which direction she naturally turns, in order to train her the “swimmer’s turn” on the flyball box – but she turned each direction about 50/50. I’ll keep working on that assessment (though i could swear she favored one side considerably when we did some herding work earlier last year). We then worked on jumping over the jumps while chasing after a toy. She took to that so quickly that they started her on retreiving a little ball from the other side of the jumps and bringing it back to me, over the jumps again. She went around the jumps only once, and took to the leap, leap, fetch, leap, leap, mommy praise quite well!

Check out those derf eyes!

I just knew she’d love flyball, but it was even more fun to see her discover it for herself. We first arrived to watch the folks setting up. She sat and stared: “Was that a bucket FULL of balls, mom? I’m pretty sure that lady is carrying like a hundred balls. May i chase those balls please? Why are all those other dogs so excited? May i meet them, please” Yes, Pocket, you may meet the dogs and people and chase the balls. Honestly, she didn’t seem overly interested in the other dogs (which is good) but was very happy to meet so many new faces and butts and to be encouraged to chase and jump and play. What could be better for an athletic little dog than a hike through the woods followed by something brand new and exciting, revolving around the chasing of balls? Nothin!

How about you, do you and your dog work out together, or do you have more of a couch relationship?


Filed under Dogs/ Corgis, Pocket Pause

4 Responses to Pause on Pocket: Our Little Athlete

  1. narf7

    As an owner of 2 amstaffs we HAVE to walk them daily and try to do at least 5km with them. Amstaffs don’t like water as a rule but our 5 year old has a little bit of black labrador in him and adores the water. They have their couch moments but its usually Earl (1 1/2) deciding that the couch might taste good…we are slowly weaning him off furniture, plants, tables, library books but it “all tastes so good!”…sigh…next time we get a corgi Steve NEXT TIME! 😉

    • haha!
      Don’t be fooled: corgis might be short, but they’re working dogs and need exercise!
      Per the chewing: have you tried bitter apple spray? we used that when pocket was a puppy and one lick to the couch leg persuaded her to chew other things from then on. Our floor is littered with bones, though. haha.
      Miranda recently posted…Pause on Pocket: Our Little Athlete

  2. OMG!!! I started reading the first paragraph of your post and I was already thinking, “oh man, they should try flyball!!!” We just started learning it a few months ago and we’re kinda provisionally on a team (, “provisional” because we’re still learning. My dog, Loki, is part-corgi part-who-the-heck knows and he is not super interested in learning a swimmers turn on him short little legs. We’re slowly making progress though, and I want to make sure he gets it right because doing it wrong can strain his back/shoulders. He loves jumping over hurdles though.
    I dunno if you’ve heard this yet, but when a flyball team actually races, the height of the jumps is based on the height of the SHORTEST dog of the 4 that are running, so “height dogs” who are both short and fast are generally in high demand. I think corgis fit the bill pretty nicely. :) I was watching a competitive line-up practicing and it consisted of 2 border collies, a tervuren, and a beagle (the “height” dog). I dunno how competitive we’ll end up being, but it’s really fun and I like the team feel to it, so I think we’ll stick with it.
    Sorry for all the gushing, but so few people have even heard of flyball before, I was just so pumped to read about you and Pocket trying it out.
    Kirsten recently posted…Finally, a Clothesline

    • Thanks for the comment and encouragement, Kristin!
      Really interesting about the “height” dog thing. I knew there was usually one small dog, but didn’t know why.
      Good luck in teaching that turn, i think i’ll need that too – though at least Pocket is already trained at directional targeting, which should help. She loved it, so i think we’ll def sign up for training!

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