Monday, August 15, 2011

Soleil's First Trial

This past weekend Soleil debuted at a DOCNA trial outdoors in a beautiful park with a creek. What can I say except that I was so proud of her! She did awesome for her very first time in the ring. She was focused (a little excited), and other than her dogwalk behavior needs way more proofing, I was very pleased with her performance on all obstacles. It was a great experience for her and she had a lot of fun. She even qualified three times with three first places.

In DOCNA you can train in the ring and this trial I treated as a large fun match. It was two rings but one judge so only one ring was active at a time. Depending on the speed of the dog running in the ring before her, sometimes when we went to the line, she would lunge and bark as the dog before her was finishing. However, once I asked her to sit and removed her leash, she was all business.

She is entered in an AKC trial in September. Based on the feedback I received from her performance this weekend I've cancelled her entry in the Standard class because I think her dogwalk needs a lot more proofing. I do think it's important for her to continue to gain ring experience so she is still entered in Jumpers with Weaves.

Her next DOCNA trial is in October and then she has another in December. I may enter her in a few more AKC trials this Fall just in Jumpers.

Here are a few videos from the weekend. I think she is so stinkin' cute sitting at the startline!

Gamblers - great opening. Of course, I did not attempt the distance challenge. Just made up a nice little course for her to run. Got to train the dogwalk

Standard - 1st place

Jumpers - 1st place

She also had a great jumpers run on Sunday (one bar). I trained in the ring during her standard run. She then had a perfect stop on the dogwalk that afternoon in Snakes & Ladders and ended up winning the class.

This weekend we are in Laramie, Wyoming for USDAA and then the following weekend is a two day AKC trial. Summit earned a double Q last weekend in Durango so only needs one more for MACH and two for nationals.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Soleil Training

This week we've been practicing sequencing full courses. When I looked at the video of her run at the fun match, I noticed although she ran the aframe, she didn't have as much extension over the apex as she normally does. I didn't know if it was because she was in a new environment and running on different equipment or perhaps it was because there was no stride regulator. At home, I always have a SR at the first slat to lengthen her stride over the apex. So this morning, I decided to take it off and see what she had. I am pleased to see that she doesn't need the SR and her Aframe performance at the fun match was just a baby dog's lack of confidence on strange equipment in a new environment.

We ran the sequence twice. She took the tunnel instead of the Aframe the second time and I had to quickly pick her up and send over the jump and then Aframe again.

Here is the second time. Still looking good.

The sequencing is going well. I just need to really remember that I need to incorporate lot's of forward cues. The courses we are running are Masters level courses. She is doing quite well on them; especially when I actually support each obstacle ;-) We begin each training session with DJS drills followed by some DW contact proofing (RS method), and then run a few courses. I am getting nice turns with a FC and RC but we need lot's of work on pulls. I think I'll go back to the flatwork and one jump work for pulls emphasizing lateral motion to cue the turn.

Both my Border Collies were almost two years old before I put them in the ring. I was also taking a lot of group classes with both. Unfortunately, group classes haven't worked out well so Soleil and I train only in our backyard. So she will be debuting in AKC at 15 mos. This is the only way to get her on different equipment and in a more exciting environment than our good ol' backyard agility.

She has a DOCNA trial in two weeks and then the second week of September, she is entered in her first AKC trial.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Soleil's First Fun Match

It was a pretty quiet weekend. I worked half a day on Saturday and then Sunday morning drove about 10 minutes from my house to the fairgrounds for an agility fun match starring Little Miss Sunshine!

I was so pleased with how well she did. They ran small to tall and a very fast drivey BC (jumping 16") went in just before us and Soleil was going nuts, barking and lunging at the ring. I thought she would be totally OTT. She pulled me into the ring but by the time I put her in a sit, removed her leash, and lead out... Missy was all business.

I was thrilled with our sequencing, her jumping, and her weaves! She even performed the chute! Things to work on:
1. Train the tire!
2. Continue to proof 20/20 on the dw and put tunnels next to the dw (she was confused about the tunnel being so close to the downramp).

Here is the video. My plan was to front cross on the flat after the triple to turn her to the teeter but because I had to babysit the tire, I got too far behind. I did not want to decelerate before a spread in order to pull to the teeter. You can see I hesitate the first time because it took me until the triple to realize she had gone under the tire ;-) Before I could think about calling her to me, she headed to the teeter so I went with it but not how I wanted to handle this section. The second time she didn't hesitate and jumped through the tire.

This morning we trained the tire. And then did some sequencing.

We leave Thursday for Durango, Colorado (South) for a three day AKC trial. The following weekend, Soleil is entered in a two-day DOCNA trial. I will plan to get all of our runs videotaped. DOCNA is great for baby dogs because you can train in the ring and the atmosphere is so laid back.

By the way, Blogger is being weird again. I've been catching up on reading blogs and have been unable to post comments. Annoying!