Story Name: Is it Worth Doing? That's the Question for a JRT
From: Priscilla Griffith
My Jack Russell Story:
Jack, my 2 year old JRT, is in a beginning agility class. This story about what happened in class last week demonstrates the intelligence of the JRT. In class we have started putting obstacles together. Last week the three obstacles were the collapsible tunnel, a hurdle, and the table, and the commands were "through," "over," "table," and "sit." Jack went into the tunnel, but for whatever reason, I suppose because he is a JRT and is not intimidated by a tunnel, Jack stopped half way through to sniff around. We had to open the tunnel to get him out. I took his lead and literally had to drag him over the hurdle and up on the table, where I forced him to sit. On his next turn, Jack did the same thing. He stopped half way through the tunnel. This time I said, "Jack, look. I have Pupperoni." Jack loves Pupperoni, so when he heard that word, he immediately came out of the tunnel. He got his treat, and then I pulled him over the hurdle and onto the table. On his third turn I tried something different. Before approaching the tunnel I said, "Look, Jack. I have Pupperoni." Then I gave the command, "Through." Jack immediately went into the tunnel and through it without stopping. Although I caught his lead, and was ready to direct him over the hurdle, I didn't have to. He followed my verbal commands, and sat on the table waiting for his Pupperoni. From then on all I had to say was, "Look, Jack. I have Pupperoni." After the third trial, I started letting Jack trail his lead. He followed the verbal commands perfectly, and sat on the table waiting for his treat. I am convinced that he knew all along what he was supposed to do, he just had to decide it was worth doing.
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