Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Pikes Peak Obedience Club AKC trial

It was a good weekend and I learned two very important things.

1. Because of her hearing impairment, Sage is hyper-sensitive to my motion. A handling move that may work well with Summit does not always work well with Sage.

2. I really need to work more on cueing collection when I'm behind Summit. I work a lot on cueing collection when I'm in front of him since that is how I like to handle and I prefer to be in front of my dogs. I'm not comfortable steering from behind. But sometimes there is no other option and I need to practice asking for collection and tighter turns with Summit when I am stuck behind him.

Summit had a nice run in Jumpers but dropped one bar. That afternoon he took second place in Standard. So one bar short of a double Q. I was thrilled to see our consistency as both were nice runs.

Sage's run in Jumpers was clean and a third place. I handled the course the same for both dogs. However, she had a wrong course in Standard. Again, I handled it the same for both dogs. I ran it with Summit first and he read the line of motion to the teeter correctly, Sage did not. The dog came out of the tunnel faced with a wrong course jump in their path, the handler had to get the dog's attention as they came out of the tunnel and handle them through a jump box to the teeter. With Summit, I did not hang back but called his name before he exited the tunnel, turned and ran towards the teeter. With Sage, I had to hang back and clap as she came out of the tunnel so she would see me. Then I turned to set the line to the teeter but I was not quick enough and my shoulders were still slightly rotated in towards her and I had not straightened my path yet and she responded to that slight pressure and took the left side jump in the box. In this situation, with Sage, it would have been a wiser choice to front cross at the tunnel exit, and run on the other side towards the teeter. I walked it that way initially but did not like the line and was afraid with Summit, that I would get stuck behind the wing of the double. But I think the FC would have been a better choice with Sage.

Below is each dog's Standard run. I'm curious if anyone else can see any difference in my body position or motion in Sage's run compared to Summit. When I pause both videos at the same spot, it looks like I have more lateral distance and running a straighter line with Summit than with Sage.

Here is Summit's Jumpers run on Saturday.

On Sunday Summit had a nice Standard run and Jumpers but with a refusal in each. The Standard run included a tunnel to a tight 270 with a wrong course tunnel on the landing side of the first jump in the 270. Again, I ran Summit first and chose to stay behind and cue collection and the turn (and rear cross the 2nd jump of the 270). He responded to my lateral motion well for the turn but did not collect and jumped fully extended which caused him land just past the plane of the second jump.

In Jumpers, it was a two-jump leadout (second jump offset), I did not set him up correctly for a LOPush and he ran by the second jump. So something I need to train better.

Sage had a beautiful Standard run but was called for a teeter flyoff (hmmm... that would be the very first teeter fault in her entire 3-year career of competing). I had many people come up to me later and tell me it was an incorrect call (one of them is a judge). Oh well, I remember last year when I KNEW Sage missed her DW contact and the judge didn't call it - I guess I just paid it back:-)

That afternoon Sage had a beautiful run in Jumpers for a fourth place. It was one of those runs where you are in the zone - not even thinking about handling - just letting it flow.

This Friday Beth and I are headed to Durango, Colorado for another two-day AKC trial. The elevation in Durango is at 6,512 feet and the town is nestled between red sandstone bluffs in the vast Animas River Valley and lies just South of the peaks of the San Juan Mountains (10,500 feet elevation). It's a beautiful area and the trial is outdoors in a park. I think I will bring my camera.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009


I've been in Chicago for 5 days attending the ALA conference at McCormick Convention Center and two days of strategic meetings for work. Downtown Chicago is a lot of fun. Good food and great places to walk by the river.

They put us up at the hotel Allegro which is on the Loop. It's a beautiful, historic Art Deco hotel. The lobby kind of reminds me of the Stanley Hotel in the movie, The Shining.
This hotel is very pet friendly and has a complimentary dog walking service and doggie massages.

This is my last day here (my flight is at 8pm). I am looking forward to returning home - I really miss my dogs:-)

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

USDAA weekend

We had the FRAAD/FRAC USDAA over the 4th of July weekend. Outdoors, two rings, and lots of fun at Adams Co. Fairgrounds.

The highlight of the weekend is that Summit got 2nd place in Grand Prix! And Sage also qualified in GP (10th place? I think) and finished qualifying for USDAA Nationals in all three events.

Summit had a blazing fast Steeplechase run (29.23 seconds) which would have put him in second place except..... TWO BARS! Stacy saw his run and said as he shot out of the tunnel towards the jump, he stumbled which caused the dropped bar and then the next jump was so close, he hadn't quite recovered from the stumble and so that bar came down too. Luckily he was all right. Unfortunately, don't have a video. But it was a beautiful run. The GP run was nice too. I ran him very conservatively though, didn't push for speed and made him wait on his contacts. I only wanted to ensure the Q - didn't care about the placement. So it was thrilling to see he earned 2nd place.

He had two very nice jumpers runs (one bar in each). Nice Snooker runs (one bar in the closing), and two nice Standard runs with Q's (I can't remember the placement). He had one nice Gamblers run and got the Gamble but I messed around too much in the opening and so ended up far from the Gamble line when the horn went off so we didn't make time.

Sage was only entered in the two tournaments, Gamblers, and Snooker. She had a nice, smooth GP run. One bar and one contact in Steeplechase, Q'd in Gamblers (6th place), NQ in Snooker.

She was very happy with just two runs per day and her shoulders never bothered her and she was not stiff or sore.

We had nice weather during the morning and early Noon but by 2-3pm, high wind gusts and micro-bursts. Yikes! It cooled things down nicely for the dogs but also made them wild and caused a lot of dropped bars. Summit wasn't the only dog dropping bars in the afternoon classes. In one jumpers run, just as he came around to take the second jump of a 180, a big gust of wind came up, the bar came down, and then just as he headed to the tunnel, both wings on the jump he just took blew over:-(

So now Sage is completely qualified for both AKC and USDAA Nationals. Summit only needs one more GP to finish qualifying for USDAA Nationals (AKC Nationals is not a goal for him this year).