Monday, April 9, 2012

Double Q's for both dogs at the MHGRC AKC trial!

Three days of competition for Soleil and two days for Summit (he tore his pad on Saturday so had to stay home on Sunday).

Friday was 0/4. Summit had nice runs but dropped a bar in Standard and a bar in Jumpers. Soleil had a wrong course in Jumpers and a refusal in Standard (I didn't anticipate how fast she would come shooting out of a tunnel and so was too far behind to cue the next obstacle).

Saturday, both dogs qualified in both their runs. Summit won Standard and placed 2nd in Jumpers. Soleil placed in both Excellent A Standard and Excellent B Jumpers but I can't remember the places. She did earn her Ex. A title and moved up to Ex. B in Standard. So now she is in Ex. B in both classes and those double qualifiers actually count towards Nationals now.

When I got Summit out of his crate to put him in the car, he was limping. Turned out he burned a pad and although not serious and he was fine the next morning, I left him at home. He has the RM Regionals in two weeks.

Sunday Soleil ran her first course in Excellent B. She qualified with a 2nd place. That afternoon she ran clean in Jumpers (5th place I think) to earn her first REAL QQ!

I can't believe the maturity and focus on this baby girl! She is not even two years old yet. My goals are still to proof our training in the ring and to have fun (no pressure) but she is performing like a much more experienced dog. I am still working on my timing; especially with front crosses. In Saturday's Standard video, I am quite late in cueing the turn in two of the front crosses. She takes it in stride though and figures eventually, I will get it right ;-)

Here are some videos from the weekend.

Soleil Friday Jumpers
She did not respond to my lateral motion. Typical baby dog. I remember Summit doing this when cued a turn with lateral motion in a box. The forward motion component is stronger and as you can see, I have way more foreward motion than lateral when she commits to the jump before the turn. In hindsight, I should have moved much closer to this jump so that my lateral motion would be more obvious.

Summit Saturday Standard
I liked this course because there were so many different ways to handle it. I could not get the FC after the tunnel so improvised with a funky little wrap on the flat to cue the table.

Summit Jumpers with Weaves
I find it interesting that for the most part, I choose the same strategy for both dogs.

Soleil Excellent A Standard
How many LATE front crosses can you count!

Soleil Jumpers with Weaves
Ok, this is a beautiful run.

Soleil Sunday Excellent B Standard
Her first Q in Excellent B Standard and her first real QQ!Jen missed the first part of the run which was jump-aframe-jump-jump-panel...

Soleil Sunday Jumpers with Weaves
Nice run except that I overhandled the tunnel end discrimination (really, there wasn't much of a discrimination) and I almost pulled her off.

We have two weeks off and then head down to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Rocky Mountain Regionals!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Soleil's AKC Weekend!

Soleil had a very good weekend at the Terrier Club AKC trial. She is maturing so much and handling the excitement and pressure of a two ring trial much better. She was quite focused and her course times are improving as I'm setting lines for her instead of cueing one obstacle at a time.

3rd place in Ex. B Jumpers
NQ in Standard (refusal)

3rd place in Ex. B Jumpers
1st place in Ex. A Standard (woohoo! a baby QQ)!

NQ in Ex. B Jumpers (bar)
1st place in Ex. A Standard (one more leg for her title)

I'm still learning how to handle her around a course and what combination of cues is best. Unlike Summit, the more I run with her and get in her space, the more excited she gets and the tighter she turns. A good example is Friday's Jumpers. I needed to move farther into the pinwheel so that I could show more deceleration and then motion driving out to cue a tighter turn.

Saturday Standard (I don't have video of Saturday Jumpers). Naughty girl sat up from her down on the table ;-)

Sunday Standard (Jen missed the first part of the run which was a 180 into the weaves).

Summit had some nice runs this weekend (he was 50 percent as he dropped a bar in one class each day so no QQ's). He is already qualified for AKC nationals 2013 so my focus has been on Soleil in AKC.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

What's been happening?

A lot has been going on the past month! Work has been keeping me extremely busy and now that the weather has been nice the last four weeks, I've actually got in a lot of training with both the dogs.

Soleil is coming along nicely. She was entered in her second USDAA trial two weekends ago. Her baby dog DAM team ended up 7th place with a Q! She qualified in Steeplechase with a 3rd place which was her second Q. Other than running under the tire at the start, she had a nice GP run on a tough course. So Soleil is now qualified for USDAA Nationals in DAM team and Steeplechase. She just needs one more GP leg to finish nationals qualification.

Summit's team WON! He also won Steeplechase round one and Steeplechase Finals. He wasn't entered in GP since he has both the legs he needs for Nationals. He is now qualified for Nationals in all three events.

Tomorrow we have a three-day AKC trial. Soleil is now in Excellent B Jumpers and Excellent A Standard. Her teeter is looking good now and she drives at full speed on the dogwalk into 20/20 (the earlier confusion between the 4-on the teeter and 20/20 on the dogwalk resolved itself). All it took was mileage on different equipment in different locations. Her aframe isn't exactly where I want it yet. She is extending nicely on the aframe at home but in different locations, she doesn't get as much extension over the apex and although she does not miss the contact zone, she is leaving higher in the yellow than I would like. But this is a confidence issue and again, with mileage and experience, I think it will improve over time.


Soleil - focus is now on tightening up turns. Especially to the left. I watched ST's Cik & Cap video and have started training this with Soleil. I use "ZIP" and I have chosen just to use the single verbal to cue the wrap. I will rely on physical cues to tell her which direction. Interesting that even wrapping around a pole, her turns to the left are more challenging for her so we work left turns twice as much as right.

Summit - We've been practicing a lot of blind crosses and blind cross wraps. Which means I've also spent some time reinforcing side cues. I like how the blind crosses allow me to get out of there and downstream much quicker than if I had chosen to front cross. This week I focused on the different cue combinations for the blind cross wrap and the regular wrap.

Here is Soleil's Excellent A Jumpers with Weaves video from CKC (about three weeks ago). I love how she barks at me at the startline!