Monday, January 5, 2009


Well it was an awesome three days for us!
First, Summit's DAM team placed 4th (cut off was 12 teams). Summit was teamed with Liz and Deuce and Jennifer and Jane. Deuce is another young, blazing-fast BC and Jane is a 4-year-old smooth and steady BC.

This was Summit's second DAM team Qualification for 2009. Sage was not entered in team since she already had two qualifiers.

Saturday, both dogs qualified in Steeplechase! Sage had an amazing Steeplechase run. It was absolutely flawless and her running a-frame contacts were both beautiful. Part of the Steeplechase course was a long line of single jumps to the broadjump and straight into a tunnel where the dog's trajectory over the broadjump sent them to the wrong end. Of course, this is where every handler used their dog's name or "come/here" to directed them into the correct entrance. Not having this verbal cue with Sage, I decelerated slightly to get her attention then moved laterally and cued the correct end of the tunnel. She read it beautifully and didn't even hesitate. I really wish I had a video of that run. Summit also had a nice run but released himself from his 20/20 at the first A-frame (I do make him wait even in tournaments), so I had to get a bit forceful with my verbal cue "You GET it!" I think it really made an impression on him as he waited for the his release from the second A-frame contact - yeah right. (LOL!).

In Grand Prix Sage popped out in the middle of the weavepoles and barked at me - don't know what was up with that - then missed her dogwalk contact (more on that below). Summit had a really nice GP run but dropped a single bar.

Summit also qualified in Advanced Jumpers (2nd place) and Advanced Standard (1st place). So now only needs one more Standard leg for his AAD! He and his Partner, Pika, qualified in Pairs. He was not entered in Snooker or Gamblers since he already has legs in those classes and with him running team, I tried to limit the number of runs in the regular classes.

Summit nailed EVERY SINGLE weavepole entry!!!! One entry he got was totally amazing. It was team gamblers and I turned him 180 degrees off the teeter and towards the weavepoles but before I could straighten him out for a nicer entry, he took off for the weaves. I was fully prepared to call him back to retry but then he nailed the entry! He actually had to slide and pivot back to get the correct entry. It was pretty impressive and I was thrilled to see our three weeks of training wp entries paid off.

Sage had an impressive day on Sunday. She qualified in all three classes (Masters Standard, Pairs, and Snooker). She now just needs one more Standard leg for her MAD.

The most exciting part of the weekend however was Sage only missed ONE dogwalk contact out of the 5 classes she was entered in. My strategy of using deceleration as a collection cue on the downramp of the DW seems to be working. It collects her just enough for me to get her attention and then I cue the bottom of the contact zone. We've been practicing this at home (in addition to the down at the bottom). I did not ask for the down in competition. Even with a sharp turn off the dogwalk to the next obstacle, she was collected enough and focused on me that I did not lose her to an off course obstacle at the dog walk exit as I do when I let her run through at top speed. She was still fast on the dog walk (the collection is simply a break in stride) but now I feel I have the ability to catch up, get her attention, and be able to use a physical cue for the contact zone.

We have an AKC trial this weekend so I am excited to experiment with this. It is not easy, my timing has to be just right (the one time she missed the contact, I decelerated and collected her way too soon and when I released her, she was still very far from the end and strided over the contact zone).

So a very good, successful weekend for us.


Greg S said...

You guys had some great runs this weekend. I didn't see your GPs or Steeplechase round 1s, but those I did see were sweet. Summit really seems to be coming together nicely, and I noticed that he was getting all his weaves.
It was a really fun trial - my team placed 4th in Performance and could have been 1st if not for Skye's offcourse in team std.

Morganne said...

Thanks! It WAS a great trial. I just love USDAA.