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!