Youngsville Agility Club AKC trial 2/27-28/10: Miles earns his MXJ!

Trying to catch myself up here….still need to blog about my time at camp and some of the training we’ve been doing, but for now it’s easier to just do my write up of last weekend’s trial.

Saturday:

Miles was entered in Std and JWW, while Rue was just entered in JWW.  I had been watching her closely all week and by Thursday she was really starting to act normally again and started back on her regular diet.  I debated about running her, but since I couldn’t get a refund and she was eating/drinking/acting normally with good energy to boot I figured why not?

Standard was first (well no, FAST was first…we didn’t get to Exc. Std until after 1pm, yikes) and with Laura English as a judge the courses were bound to be fun!  This one didn’t really have any tricks up it’s sleeve and I love a tunnel start, so I was excited to run it.  No major concerns, just push for speed and see what happens 🙂  Miles was off to the races and had a nice fast DW and beautiful weaves.  He allowed me to push hard on his line in the poles and we got a nice tight turn to the table.  As is his style, he did waste a few seconds lying down, grrrr.  After that things started to degrade.  I got stuck in the soft sand in the top corner after the chute and couldn’t get down the line to show proper decel, so Miles turned wide and knocked a bar.  Then he launched his aframe.  The rest was brilliant and he read the line after the teeter very well (it was a zig zag, not straight).  This was a 4yps run despite the wide turn and the seconds wasted on the table 🙂

It took about 4 hours to finish Exc./Open/Novice Std. before we could run JWW.  By now it was after 5pm, bleh, and they still had to run Open and Novice JWW after we finished.  I heard they didn’t get done until almost 8pm…I felt so bad for the Novice folks.  In any event this course was interesting.  It started with a large circle of 4 jumps with multiple off course tunnel options.  If you made it through that then there was a spot where two jumps were pushed together side by side that you needed to take at two different times on course.  A lot of dogs were taking the outside jump, but each time you wanted the inside jump.  I knew this start would be demotivating for both of my dogs, but hoped I could execute it with as much motion as possible.  Miles did okay, but we took a bar and he was definitely not too jazzed about the weird circle.  Since we had NQ’d I really ramped it up and went for a risky landing side FC after the double…a lot of folks put a FC on the flat between the triple and the double or tried a rear and the 2 jump thingie.  The rear didn’t work well at all and the FC on the flat wasted a lot of time.  I would have done that option however if we hadn’t have knocked the bar.  It was very fun to see that I actually could get there for the landing side FC and Miles was hauling butt down that line, fun!!

Seeing how Miles disliked the opening, I should have just planned to run a fun loop or something with Rue.  But I’m so bad at doing that…and certainly once I commit to running the course it is next to impossible for me to sway from that plan.  Well I think the fact that we had to walk out so far onto the course and then start facing the ring gate and the timer/scribe really blew her mind.  I was also on the line waaaay too early.  She refused the tunnel and then blatantly hated the big circle 😦  I got her perked up but then I think my late FC before the weaves demotivated her again….or the two jumps pushed together puzzled her.  She walked in the poles and then stopped to sniff.  We did eventually finish on a good note.  Of note, since she had been not too jazzed about food, I used frozen Bil Jac as her warm up treat and then used her pheasant wing bumper tug as her reward instead of food.  I was interested to see if that was rewarding enough for her, but only tomorrow’s run would tell me what she thought of that….

Sunday:

Exc. JWW was running first and still Tall-Small…nice for testing how Rue might handle the course if I get to run it with Miles first 🙂  This course looked to be a lot more fun than yesterday’s and I planned to do all rears for Mr. Big stride.  I figured I’d wing it based on how Rue was running as to whether I used FC’s or RC’s.  He ran great for me, but I could tell that he added a stride for each rear.  Don’t know if I would have gotten that with a FC or not or if was just my timing on the rears that caused him to slow down?!  We got 2nd place for this run, 18 points, and our MXJ!!

Poor Rue just wasn’t into it, unfortunately.  She showed promise off of the startline, but then started to slow at the weaves.  She probably was still moving okay until the pinwheel before the 2nd  tunnel.  She probably thought we were finished and then realized she had to keep going and stopped before the jump and then went off to sniff.  I got her back and we finished, but she was trotting.  I haven’t seen her run this consistently slow ever.  I’m hoping it’s just that she’s not back to 100% yet and/or being that it was super windy she may have been conflicted with all of the great sniffs out there.  I again used Bil Jac to warm up and her pheasant wing as a reward.  She was happy to do both…so we’ll see how she is at our next trial.

It was a couple of hours before Standard was ready to run.  I love love loved this course.  Laura always has these little twists that just make them fun to run.  Miles did great on this run and was really moving out.  He missed his aframe contact again, so I again just pushed it for the end.  I didn’t wait long enough for him to get into the poles before I started to head down the line which caused him to enter at pole 2.  I also left him on the table and he jumped off, silly.  Then I just didn’t support the double after the tunnel at the end, but just kept going.  He sure thought he was awesome in this run, haha!

So, we have some work to do on the aframe it seems!  He’s definitely going faster and I’m probably not being as patient on his frame which most likely is the route cause.  However, I’m going to work on some of Wendy Pape’s proofing exercises with both dogs for their contacts.  It ceratinly can’t hurt!  What I don’t want to do is slow this boy down!!

Up next:  CPE trial for Miss Rue next weekend.  We’re just entered 1 day in Level 1 so no teeter or weaves.  I thought it might be a good venue to do some fun, short, easy runs with her in a trial settting.  I’m hoping she thinks it’s as fun as I do!  Then off to Charlotte for 3 days of AKC!

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