This weekend we had an AKC trial about an hour away. It snowed all day Friday and into the night. Saturday morning the roads were ok until I got on the freeway and then all the slush had turned to bumpy ice ridges. There were cars and semi-trucks stuck alongside the road. Just when I was going to turn around and go back home, the road conditions improved and I could actually get up to 50 mph. The normally one-hour drive took me two hours. The trial had a delayed start because of the snow so everyone who arrived late was able to walk and run at the end of the class.
I only entered Summit in this trial. After Sage earned her MACH, I've decided to pull her from competition for awhile to retrain her dogwalk contact. She will still compete in USDAA in the classes that do not have a dogwalk. She needs just one more SQ and two gamble legs for the ADCH. I can avoid the dogwalk in Gamblers (unless its part of the gamble in which case I'll not attempt the gamble) and Steeplechase does not have a dogwalk. I need to not only retrain but thoroughly proof her understanding of the criteria before I put her back in a standard class in competition.
My goal with Summit this weekend was to proof his training and to trust his obstacle independence. He had one qualifying run out of four but I couldn't be happier with our runs (with the exception of Saturday morning's jumpers run. I was tired and stressed from the two hour drive and didn't handle very well). Saturday's standard run offered many opportunties to try new things. I shaped a v-set at the start to set him up for the correct tunnel entrance. I decided to do a push off the dw and rc the jump to see how he handled the push and how tight he turned with the rc (as opposed to the fc at the end of the dw). I left him in the weaves and set a diagonal path away from the weaves (layering a jump) towards the a-frame. He stayed in the weaves. I pushed his teeter a little and he did slide off the end. I verbally marked it an you can see him raise his hind leg to attempt to put his foot back on the board. Sunday his teeter was flawless. I also attempted a challenging lateral lead out which worked very well and I'm glad I decided to try it instead of playing it safe for the Q. That afternoon in jumpers he won the class by two full seconds. The jumpers course was challenging with a fast dog. You needed to set the line three obstacles ahead - there was no opportunity to call off if you didn't set the line correctly.
It was a fun weekend and I'm glad of the information I got from trying different handling strategies and trusting his obstacle independence.
I am also seeing the result of the work I've been doing with the 2x2 weaves. His weavepole entries were flawless. I am sold on this method!
Summit's Standard run. At the end, he slipped in the turn and took a nose dive, he didn't recover enough to jump clean so took down the bar. He had a minor bloody nose after his run. I didn't know how it happened until I watched the video and saw the nosedive. Poor puppers!
Summit's jumpers run - 1st place (22 seconds).
This Friday, Jen, Donna, and I leave for Albuquerque New Mexico for a USDAA trial. Hopefully Sage can earn that last Super Q and a gamblers leg for the ADCH. Summit needs GP and Steeplechase Q's for Nationals.
Crazy Dog Lady Goes to College
4 days ago