Thor and I went to Shatford Park, New Lebanon, New York this morning; many agility trials are held there. This morning there was one other car but the park was empty of people and other dogs. Perfect! I let Thor out of the car, no leash. He sniffed, peed, ran around. I started clicking and treating any time he approached me. Sometimes I called if he started roaming too far. He always came back.
After a while, he was tuned in enough to do some flat work. Flat work is foundation work for agility. No obstacles are used, but the dog learns to follow the handler's body language. We worked in circles about 15 feet in diameter; Thor's circles were bigger. I changed direction so he was on both sides but always on the outside. Eventually, he will learn to slow down enough to be on the inside but not yet. In my flat work book, the dog is working in heel position (both sides) right next to the handler. Thor was not right next to me. Since I cannot go faster than a walk, he is obviously much faster. And I want distance in agility, so I allowed Thor to work about 15 feet away from me. He remained focused at that distance and I was very happy. I interrupted each set of circles with free run time to give Thor's brain a break. Thor was off leash throughout. We still need to do some leash work so he learns to walk nicely when leashed. But that's not as much fun!