We participated in local AKC trial this weekend, but just Miles was entered. It was a nice low entry trial since many folks had headed to Tulsa for Nationals. This is Miles’ favorite outdoor site so I was looking forward to fast runs and hopefully lots of points 🙂 Again my goal for this weekend was speed….accuracy at speed would be an added bonus!
I had heard from the folks entered on Friday that this judges’ courses were uber tough, but I tried to not let that bother me on the way to the show. When I arrived I grabbed the course maps and what do you know, they weren’t bad at all. In fact, both Std. and JWW had some really nice areas to open up in, yay!
I debated about how to start with Miles in Standard….with needing to manage the aframe exit a bit, it was necessary to lead out just a bit. Ideally I would have handled it with the aframe on my left and pushed out to the 270, but that would have required a longer lead out. So keeping Miles in mind, I elected to lead out just 2 steps and put a FC after the frame into the 270. He had a nice hit in the contact, but I almost lost him to the offcourse jump right in front of us. He readjusted, but then had a fly off (ba rely but it got called–a first for us) on the teeter and little miscommunication with my FC after the teeter. I’ve been practicing my handling off of both the aframe and the teeter, but these offcourses were really pretty close to the obstacle, so maybe I’ve been making it too easy in practice 😉 Anyway, I thought his speed in this course was really good. I got nice lateral off the poles, but then had another late FC with caused him to tick and then knock a bar. He had a really nice table though, woot! 3.9yps with the sloppy FC’s!
During the long break between runs I took Rue out to play. We did a lot of the things we used to do before she started trialing. We played on/off switch games near the ring with her leash as a tug. We did lots of fun tricks for cookies….I even taught her a new trick, “leap”, which she really digs 🙂 I also worked her on the practice jump to continue to figure out what might be our best startline routine. She seemed to really like it if I slowly crept away from her in a lead out and said “reaaaadyyyyyy???? OKAY!”. Something to continue to practice anyway.
JWW was a really fun course that allowed for lots of speed if you set the lines correctly. I elected to start with Miles which forced a rear in the beginning, but still allowed me to get into position for the remaining FCs. He was absolutely HAULING on this course! Unfortunately he knocked a bar coming down the final stretch. Will need to watch the video a couple more times to see if it was me or just a fluke, but either way he had a BLAST! This was a 5.7yps run and gave him the fastest non-BC time even including the 20″ dogs!
I stayed for a while after his run to wait for his time and to watch my friends run their small dogs. I again took Rue out to work on some stuff. This time we did mini recalls. loose leash walking, and other attention exercises all intertwined with getting her revved up to tug on her leash. She had a blast and amazingly she was so focused on me and didn’t even try to visit other dogs after that. Makes me rethink her warm up routine. I had been taking her out just before her run, getting her jazzed up with her tug or cookies and then just going in the ring. Perhaps she needs more of the attention stuff beforehand to establish more of a connection with me and to put her in “working mode”. Again, something to experiment with…
JWW was first and again I planned to start with Miles. I told myself that I just needed to run fast and show him where I wanted to go and to not worry about the very tempting offcourse tunnel. He did a fantastic job with that piece, but then we had a little miscue at the serp which then put me very far behind handling the jump after the tunnel. He was very smart and sent out to that jump and saved my butt 🙂 Q and a 2nd place for the Mr. for 16 points! 5.2yps 🙂
In between runs I took Rue for a long walk with some of my friends and just spent some time sitting with her. I also spoke to a woman who was selling really really cool braided slip leads and decided to see if Rue might like one of those. She had some that were really fuzzy like fur with a nice wide collar part to help protect the neck. I really wanted to get one for both dogs, but they were kind of pricey. Rue *loved* the furry leash and tugged with vigor on it, so I got it. It’s black and white and the collar part is like a cow print, hehe. The woman told me that every time someone bought a new leash from her and took their dog into the ring with it the first time, they Q’d. Well perfect, Miles needs a QQ so why not try it!
So with his new black and white furry boa lead, Miles and I walked into the Standard ring with pride. I was conservative with my handling in the beginning as I wanted to make sure he didn’t fly off the teeter (#4 obstacle). He did it perfectly and then we were off to the races. He was brilliant in this run and finished in just over 43sec (4.2yps) to take 1st place for 38 points! In fact, the next fastest dog was 47 sec and his time was up there with the winning 20″ dogs!! Go Miles!! This made QQ #7 overall and #4 for Nationals which we just found out are in Perry, GA next year…..YAHOO!!
So now we have a weekend off–going to the mountains for some R&R–and then traveling to SC for 2 days of AKC.