What a nice trial this was. The judge, Peter Liu, was great and his courses were really nice and fun for big dogs. I’m becoming a big fan of indoor venues…..but I still need to convince Miles of that! Overall I thought he did great considering it being an indoor trial and a completely new site for us.
Only entered Novice JWW because I wanted to let him have a (hopefully) positive experience on the first day and then be in a good spot for day 2. As expected he was a little nervous the first time I brought him in during the course build for Open JWW. However, he responded well to me and was more than happy doing his tricks for meatballs which is a sure sign that he’s fairly comfortable. So I was hopefull that we’d have a decent chance of running well. I walked the Novice course which was really open and fun with a long straight away and two pinwheels at the end and thought that he’d like it and boy did he! He was smokin’ fast at 20 seconds (5.1yps) and took first place by a full second, yahoo! I love his striding in this run…very efficient and very extended. I was a little late with my first front cross (didn’t plan on him going that fast), but he was very smart and fixed it for me. The rest was beautiful 🙂
I was so excited for our Standard run because the course was SO nice and flowing. I can’t say I wasn’t worried about the spot they chose to put the teeter….jammed up against the side next to the bleachers, bleh. I tried not to worry and reviewed my protocol for “refusals at the teeter” with Melanie. When I got Miles out to warm up, he was super happy. He was great at both practice jumps and was getting frisky with me inside in the holding area. Unfortunately, as we were entering the ring, they had to adjust the fence and that worried him so he was already a little nervous getting to the start line. As you can see in the video, he’s very much checking out what’s going on around the ring. He had a slight hesitation going up the dogwalk and was pretty slow going across it. I called him out of the chute (I said his name to cue the turn and he turned right around and came back out, silly boy) and then he had a very difficult time on the table…wouldn’t go into a down until he made sure to check out everything around him. I got some great speed out of him between the table and the teeter and then he refused the teeter. When I called him back to try again, I stopped his forward motion and got a 3rd refusal…so no Q. BUT, he did the teeter! Albeit slowly and he freaked out when it hit the ground, but he did it and then pulled himself together for two more jumps and then got a HUGE party.
The JWW course today was much harder than yesterday and was really tight up at the top (you can’t really tell on the video, but it was the most smushed in pinwheel/box that I’ve ever seen). I came up with a good plan and just hoped that Miles had a good recovery from his morning run. When I got Miles out of the car, he was a madman…totally psyched and bouncing around like a loon. I took him to pee and then he was naughty and grabbed the leash from me to start tugging which I of course rewarded by playing with him. He tugged very aggressively outside with me for a good while before going in the building, sweet! He was very happy when he realized that a lot of folks had left by now, so it was way more open and we had more room to warm up. I think we turned out a pretty good run. He wasn’t as extended as yesterday, but it was a very tight course. I was late again on my front cross, dang it, but he covered for me again and had a great finish. We again came in 1st at 23 seconds (4.53yps) and finished our title 🙂
After the trial, I made myself feel better by taking Miles to PBH and had him go over the scary loud teeter. He, of course, was fine so once again it’s not a teeter problem…just a trial stress problem. I can fix that!
Up next: CPE locally this Friday night for two runs to play on a new teeter (I plan on taking him off after the teeter in at least the first run to have a party)! Then a small break before USDAA over Memorial Day on our home turf, then off to Asheville for 3 days of AKC!!