Sunday, October 14, 2007

October 1st-14th

(Backfilled in October 2009 due to impending closure of Geocities)

Sunday October 14th 2007 - group lesson at K9 Sense

Woo hoo, back in lessons for the fall! We worked on three different jump/tunnel sequences, focusing on distance while using silent handling. Took a while to get the hang of not saying anything except the release, neither his name nor any obstacle names. This will be a fun session.

Saturday October 13th 2007 - fun match at Red Gate

The course setup provided the opportunity to try out our frame to tunnel thing. The first try didn't quite work, but after that it went great and we did it a few times over the course of the day. At the table on his first run, he hopped off before lying down, but not with any particular apparent purpose as opposed to last Sunday when there was a spot of particular olfactory interest nearby. Mostly I modified the courses to be nice and flowy. He did some nice serpentines and his focus was good all day.

Sunday October 7th 2007 - trial at AARF (Harrowsmith)

Most of us agree that our dogs really don't care about ribbons and Qs and initials after their name, right? But, most dogs do care about treats, and mine are no exception. Well, I think a little bird, or perhaps a deer, rabbit, or some other smelly critter who had visited the agility fields recently must have told Walter at the outset of the day that this club doesn't award treats for Qs or placements. So from Walter's point of view, there was really no point in trying today.

Advanced Standard #1, #2, and #3

Our first two runs of the day (both Advanced Standards) were complete write-offs, riddled with refusals and terrifically inefficient wide lines. I discovered how unfun it is to run agility with a dog whose attention you're desperately trying to hold onto. Or get a hold of for that matter. He even hopped off the table to go directly to investigate a captivating smell at the nearby fence. He was almost, but not quite, as sniffy as that time at the June trial where the dog before us had bled all over the course. Extremely not fun. For Advanced Standard #3, he was starting to come around although I really had to fight for it. He was clean except for the time faults accrued due to a bobble at the weaves (popped at the 11th pole) and a very slow down on the table. So... this brings us to 0 for 8 in Advanced Standard. Sigh.

Masters Jumpers

The same story... had to fight to keep his attention and he ended up with a couple of refusals and a few time faults.


Our first try at Steeplechase! It was fun and the course was what Steeplechase courses are supposed to be like, fast and flowing. One or two refusals and a popout at the 10th weave pole kept us from a Q, but I think he was going fast enough that he may have Qd if he hadn't had those bobbles. Given that it was now past 5:00pm and his day had started at 5:00am with no sleep except for catching a few winks in the car on the way down, his last run was actually not too shabby.

So it was bound to happen sooner or later: our first trial with no Qs. Glad to get it over with I suppose. But man, that sniffing was just awful, and not only in the ring. Even outside the rings on walks and pee breaks his nose was *glued* to the ground. It will be interesting to try this venue again next year and see if the same sniffiness happens again.

On the bright side... Well it's always a good day when neither dog nor handler gets injured, so that's good. Plus, he held all of his dogwalk and teeter contacts nicely, and got all of the weave entries. And, he did some nice starts where I had to set him up at a sharp angle to the first jump because of a tight 90 degree turn to the next obstacle.

The stats:

Facility: AARF Harrowsmith (outside on grass on a farm)
Weather: cloudy and 14 in the morning up to a warm sunny 19 at 3pm
Classes entered: 5 (Advanced Standard #1, #2, and #3, Masters Jumpers, and Steeplechase)
Qs: 0
Time/SCT: not worth tracking since he was so all over the place.

Saturday October 6th 2007 - practice at Red Gate

Dogwalk or frame to tunnel good today, turning left or right away from me. Also worked on same thing but with the turn to the tunnel being towards me.

Next training priority before end of green fee season: Tunnel/frame and tunnel/dogwalk discriminations.

Thursday October 4th 2007 - practice

Dogwalk to tunnel coming along very well with the turn away to the right, and coming along but less well to the left. Frame to tunnel turning away right coming along very well, didn't try frame to tunnel turning away left.

Tuesday October 2nd 2007 - practice

More work on dogwalk to tunnel, turning right. He's really catching on now.

Monday October 1st 2007 - practice

My main training goal for Walter for the rest of the green fee season is to get a nice smooth dogwalk-to-tunnel and frame-to-tunnel so we worked on that today, mostly with the dogwalk, using outside arm. He did fairly well but goofed on a few of them. I have a picture in my mind now of what I want to see, after watching lots of really smooth Masters teams on Sunday. We're not quite there yet. :-)

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