Sunday, July 6, 2008

Dogz trial; the "out" practice pays off!

What has been a fantastic venue for fun matches is now also a fantastic venue for trials! Today's Masters mini trial was Dogz' first ever trial and it went off without a hitch (as far as I could tell, anyway), a great judge and an easygoing, relaxed atmosphere. So fun!

This was Walter's third try at a Masters Gamblers course. Will wonders never cease - he got a Q! His first MG Q; I'm super happy about it (in case you couldn't tell!). The main gamble incorporated an "out tunnel" and I guess all the work we've been doing on that has started to sink in since he nailed it! Tried the jumps/tunnel mini once but he took the wrong end of the tunnel. Didn't try the other mini gamble. For my reference here's our opening sequence: teeter, jump, "double", tried the jumps/tunnel mini but didn't get it, teeter, jump, "double", 4-pt jump, tunnel, 4-pt jump, jump, frame, tunnel, TWEET, frame, jump, main gamble.

Standard #1
Decided in advance that if we hadn't blown the Q by the time we got to the weaves, we'd try them, otherwise we'd just run past them due to the issues we've been having. Well his whole course was really nice, flowy and felt great but yes he popped at the very end of the weaves, so this is our second MS course where one weave pole kept us from a Q. Oh well; if we can fix this weave issue then maybe we'll have a chance. Oh and he did another "out tunnel" at a tunnel/dogwalk discrimination, yay!

Standard #2
This was a nice course but a sucky run. Walter's focus wasn't quite there, or at least our connection wasn't, and he had a look about him that said the heat was maybe getting to him. He didn't even make any effort to weave at all: he passed through two poles and that was it so we just kept going. Tried using "pip" on the dogwalk at a tunnel snaked under it. Didn't quite work as I had to support it with an arm and "tunnel" cue; we'll keep working on it.

Walter was feeling good again! It was our only run of the day where I led out on him, to help get a tricky opening line. His stay was a bit shaky (he scooted forward more than normal) but it seems like after I've led out the first few meters then he settles down and stays put. Let's just say Susan Garrett would so not be impressed. After the first 5 obstacles the judge had us stop and restart because the timer had malfunctioned. When all was said and done it was a really fun run where Walter was listening beautifully, reading the front and rear crosses really well. However, he missed what I thought was an easy, obvious tunnel so no Q but I really didn't care because he had run so well.

In summary, only one Q today but he ran three of the four courses super well, holding 2o2o on all teeters and dogwalks, such a good boy. I had so much fun and hope Mr. Serious Walter did too. To top it off, at the end of the day the judge gave us a really nice compliment :-)


Elf said...

Just curious how you handled the mini-gamble to get into the wrong end of the tunnel. I'd have maybe started with the dog on my right and done teeter to jump after teeter to #1 (dog still on my right) and called/RFPed to keep the dog pulling towards me and then released/pushed as soon as his line was past the wrong tunnel end.

Congrats on the gamble--getting out past the dogwalk to that tunnel is a tough entry at any time, let alone from a distance.



LucyandWalter said...

Alas, I was thinking that if he sliced #1 enough, then by the time he landed he wouldn't even see the wrong tunnel entrance (he has long strides so I thought it could work...). To help get the slice angle, I started with dog on right, did the straight line teeter, jump, double, brought him around the double to the left with him still on my right, then on to #1. I don't think we got the slice I was planning for but do agree that a well-timed call/RFP would have been most helpful.

andrea said...

FABULOUS work - congratulations :)

we are lucky to have some super nice supportive judges around eh?
(would love to know who the great judge was)

Brody would NEVER have gotten the gamble as he does NOT have independant weaves

now that've realized the Nationals aren't in the game plan for this year I'm going to start retraining them - he's missed a couple of qs now thanks to stopping mid poles taking one step back then restarting - GRRRRRRRR

I am most impressed with you and Walter's work :)

hopefully our paths will cross again in person someday soon

Johann The Dog said...

Big congrats on the gamble (looks like a toughie) and the nice runs! Getting those gambles is one of my biggest thrills...

I would have tried the double to the #1 in a straight line as well.

Cool course!

LucyandWalter said...

Andrea and Johann: Sorry for my delayed response; my emailing/blogging has been getting neglected lately so am catching up this weekend.

Andrea: The judge was Elizabeth Nielsen. Her courses were really fun and she herself had a fun, relaxed attitude. I hear you about being a bit bummed about missing some Qs due to nothing but some botched weaves! Been there / am there right now with Walter! I might go to Morning Star (soccer dome) this fall/winter; perhaps we might cross paths there?

Johann: I agree about gamblers being pretty cool! One can "fudge" one's way through just about anything in the other classes, but there's no fudging in a gamble so to get a gamblers Q or even just to have a successful gamble is pretty darn neat :-)