Durham Kennel Club AKC trial 4/23-26/10: Miles gets QQ #9 and qualifies for 2011 Nats!

Still riding the high from the weekend 🙂  I’m so very proud of my dogs…I think this was the best weekend we’ve ever had!  We were only 5/14 as far as Q’s go, but I thought that our teamwork was spot on.  Miles is really moving consistently well and I know he and I will just continue to get faster as I get better at my handling and he gets better at interpreting it.  His confidence level just continues to grow and grow.  And little Miss Rue is showing more and more of the little speedy fox inside 🙂  Again, I’ve seen a steady improvement in her speed, but we still have our baby dog moments and we still have our runs where Rue just doesn’t seem as motivated.  I was SO proud of her standard runs this weekend, even without any Q’s she had some really brilliant moments.  When I got home last night I was excited to receive an email from her co-breeder explaining that Rue and two of her littermates made her mom and Outstanding Dam in the GRCA!  This was Dart’s first litter and she became an OD when her pups were only 22 mo old…what smart babies!!  Onto the report….

Friday:

Entered FAST along with the standard classes.  We arrived early enough to snag a nice tenting spot near the rings and to get the dogs reacclimated to the site.  This is where both dogs had their AKC debut, so it’s always exciting to be back.  I really love this club and the site is quite nice, but with the lack of running water, it can be somewhat challenging to keep the dogs cool.  I was prepared with lots of water, the tent, fans, and their cool coats just in case 🙂

Excellent FAST was first and the send bonus was quite difficult I thought with the tire being the last obstacle and it was offset even further from the line.  I planned a nice fun course mainly just for a good warm up for Miles.  I would attempt the send, but didn’t really care if he didn’t get it.  Of course my friend went right before me with her Viszla and he hit the tire pretty hard, so I was even more frazzled.  Austin ended up being fine, thank goodness!  Needless to say, I ran hard and hoped he’d see the tire but if he didn’t then I was even more fine with it.  He of course didn’t see it…so off the course I went with a happy pup.

Open FAST followed and I came up with a fun course for Rue that allowed her to do two a-frames (her favorite) and lots of straight running.  She took the wrong end of the tunnel in the gamble, but I don’t care.  We use FAST for practice and for motivation 🙂  She had fun….

Next up was Exc. JWW running small-tall.  I really liked the course, very open and very fast.  No collection required, sweet!  Rue ran this course very well I thought especially seeing that the weave poles were #2, bleh.  MXJ leg #6, 4.2yps, and 4 points 🙂

Miles had a great run going here, but I didn’t support the jump after the tunnel.  I thought he saw it so I pulled off laterally and he followed 😦  I think I need to work on lateral sends with him more, but otherwise perfect and fast.

Exc. Std was also very fun and open.  I just love Jill Robert’s courses 🙂  Rue did very well on this course and had beautiful contacts.  I lost her to a ring steward after the dogwalk, but only for a second or two.  She got a little nervous when she hopped on the teeter because it rebounded a bit, but she continued to work 🙂

I thought Miles’ run was fantastic and his dogwalk was smokin’ fast….so fast that he missed the up contact and was called for it, bummer.  So I just pushed for the rest and obviously caused a fly-off on the teeter 😉  I am most proud of the lead out I got and how fast he came off the line despite it!  He had a fantastic time which was the fastest in his height class and quite competitive with most of the fast 20″ dogs 🙂

Saturday:

Small to tall again today and Standard was first.  Another pair of great courses for today!  The standard course did have an interesting dogwalk challenge that I chose to do a push off of with both dogs.  Rue had a really nice run going and a very nice teeter (despite me worrying about what happened on Friday), but then couldn’t help herself and visited her fans 😉  Honestly the course was built very close to the start gate and was just too tempting for such a social butterfly, hehe.  I got her back and she went on to have a fabulous ending and handled the push off the dw very well.  I didn’t get her head for the blind after the tunnel, so she went around the double, but look at those poles!!!

Miles had a super run as well and handled everything perfectly.  His teeter was close, but she didn’t call it today and I made darn sure he hit his up on the dw 😉  I am very proud of his table in the run being in such a high pressure area and with a down…he only wasted a couple seconds.  Q and 1st place for 32 points!

JWW was an awesome course.  I planned to run both dogs with rears, but Rue didn’t come off the line very fast despite our tugging so I did some FCs on the fly.  Overall this was a nice run…only one episode of trotting and she really opened up after the weaves 🙂  MXJ leg #7 and 2 points.

I admit to handling Miles a little on the conservative side b/c I wanted that QQ, so not quite as fast as I would have liked.  However it was still over 5yps and he nabbed 1st place for 20 more points!  Looks like we’ll be going to Perry for 2011 AKC Nationals!!

After the dogs finished, I took myself on my own run.  I made a really nice 8.5 mile loop from the trial grounds which was so gorgeous that I can’t wait to trial there again so I can run it again, hehe!

Sunday:

T-storms overnight led to some wetter conditions in the morning than I would have liked and unfortunately as the 26″ dogs were lining up for Exc. Standard, we got another storm.  Thankfully it was rather short lived and only caused a 30 minute delay.  The rest of the day was quite pleasant 🙂

Miles went first this morning and despite me handling safely due to the wet grass, he still managed to finish with a time of 44sec.  Unfortunately he took down a bar at the end probably due to slippery footing.  Otherwise a brilliant run!

Wow is all I can say about Rue’s run….WOW!  She absolutely smoked it!  Her aframe to tunnel was picture perfect and she had great weaves even going into a corner!  Her teeter was super drivey and even when she thought she was done at the end, she came back quickly and happily to do the last 3 obstacles.  She missed her dw contact, but it was a severe 90 degree turn and well that is just hard!  I noticed a lot of other dogs I know with RC’s missed this as well.  She was just 3 seconds off of Miles’ time in this run and boy what a rush to run her when she’s really enjoying herself 🙂

JWW wasn’t too long after they finished the small dogs in Standard and I made a really fun plan with how to handle the end with both dogs.  With no QQ’s on the line I wanted to just put it all out there and see what I got.  Running like this with Miles really helps boost my confidence to run as hard as I can even when I do have a QQ on the line.  He absolutely scortched through this run and slid into 2nd place by a hair for 22 points.  Holy poo!  Oh and I must say, no one else handled the ending like I did….

Little Rue ran this course fairly well as well.  Not quite as extended as her Std run, but still a very good effort.  I don’t think I was ahead as much with her as I was with him for the push after the poles because she didn’t quite read it in time and we went around the jump, but finished strong!  Silly muffin left the ring and when I called her back, instead of coming back in the way she left, she decided to go *through* the horse gate…it was about a 6-8″ gap.  What a knucklehead 😉

So we have a weekend off and then we take the show on the road to Winston-Salem for 2 days indoors, yeah!!

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Greater Columbia Obedience Club AKC trial 4/10-11/10: Rue gets QQ#1 and Miles gets QQ#8!!

Note:  I finally just figured out that I could upload my videos directly from my camera to YouTube so that they’d be in HD.  Duh!  Hope you enjoy the nicer quality as much as I do!!  (and there will never be wierd pixely videos ever again, yeah!)

 

Last Friday after work the dogs and I made the 3.5 hour drive to Columbia, SC for two days of AKC agility.  I had not been to this site, but had heard great things about it and was excited to be running under cover on dirt!  I arrived at my hotel around 8:30 and was very pleasantly surprised to see that it was newly redone with nice furnishings and an extremely comfortable bed…which I of course promptly inspected for bed bugs (fun lessons learned from Savannah, bleh).  After getting my bearings and getting my plan ready for the morning, I hit the hay to snuggle with the pups.

Saturday:

Apparently the bed was a bit too comfortable because I completely overslept, ugh.  Somehow I had set the alarm, but never actually turned it on…oops!  So all plans to work out in the morning were shot and I was stuck scrambling to get my stuff ready and get out the door.

Exc. JWW was first, small-tall.  They separated 20″ for their own group for walk through and running.  It was really nice for me to be able to concentrate only on one dog during the walk through!  The course looked fast and something that Rue would find fun.  I planned to stay with the tunnels on my left in the beginning which would force me to support the first tunnel more and also would then require me to scramble to get into position for the push out of the 2nd tunnel.  Rue likes to see me scramble I think 😉  Apparently I was right about this course because she did great!  There was no trotting for her on this course at all, yay!!  Of note, I used high value food during her warm up instead of trying to do my whole tug/steal the toy/switch to the leash thing.  Only time will tell if she continues to like this routine.  Anyway, here’s her run at a scorchin’ 5.2yps earning her 12 points and MXJ leg #4 🙂

Miles thought this course was pretty darn fun too!  I am really proud of this run…it’s the fastest time he’s ever laid down and he ran clean!  He had two wide turns, but otherwise I think we communticated very well and were quite efficient.  This earned him a 3rd place finish and 16 points!  5.9yps baby, woohoo!!

Standard didn’t follow too much behind JWW and the course designed by John Barry Hall looked to be another fun one!  I was pleased to see a relatively straight exit from the DW for lil’ Rue 😉  Unfortunately, she wasn’t as motivated in this run as she was in JWW and never really opened up until the end.  She never trotted, but also never extended her stride either.  The DW was very funny in that it had springy supports under the end ramps that gave quite a bit.  She had a very nice hit, but her striding was off and she had to add and extra one in order to make a good hit.  I imagine she thought it was the teeter initially and that threw off her striding from the beginning.  She was very smart to adjust in order to hit her contact though!  Lil’ muffin ended up getting her very first QQ with this run and her first MX leg 🙂  They brought in a different judge to actually measure and judge these courses as John wasn’t at the trial.  I believe she wheeled this one very tightly as the course time was only 57 seconds.  Rue got 6pts….

Miles was apparently still on his high from JWW because he was a wild man!  An unfortunate miscue made him miss the second element in the serp, so I just wanted to see what we could do after that.  He had a gorgeous teeter and super fast table sit, but then I led out and he stood up…monkey.  He sat back down quickly and I led back out.  Well apparently the little lead out cued major extension for Mr. Bigstride because he flew to an off course jump and then happily ran backwards over the triple and another jump until we finally got back together for the close, hehe.  He had fun 🙂

We were done by 3pm, so I set off back to the hotel to map a run for the afternoon.  Somehow I managed to run 6 miles in the SC heat and then found a great sushi place downtown for dinner.

Sunday:

Exc. Standard was first, tall-small.  The course looked very tricky and required a ton of handler focus.  There was also a difficult dogwalk exit, so all that combined I thought I’d probably scratch Rue.  I decided to run it with Miles first before making my final decision on her, but if it ran the way it looked, she’d hate it.  Somehow I managed to hang on to him, but it was a little wide and wild!  Q and 2nd place for 24pts!  And yes, I scratched Rue.

JWW looked like awesome fun and I was excited to end the day with an open course.  Again, it was wheeled rather tightly so SCT was only 37 sec….might be tight with the Ruedle.  Miles had a great run, but I almost sent him offcourse (must’ve pushed in on his line a bit), but he called off.  We lost a few seconds there, so only 4.8yps, 8pts,  and no placement….but QQ #8 and only one more to go for 2011 Nationals!!

I thought I’d start Rue on the other side of me so that we’d be racing to the triple for a rear.  Unfortunately, my plan was foiled when the little one decided that she didn’t like it and proceded to trot up to the triple 😦  In hindsight at that point I either should have done a FC before the triple or a RC on the flat after the triple b/c I stood there for a while waiting for her.  She managed to speed up pretty good for the rest and really hauled down the back line to the finish!  Squeeked by with a Q and 1 whole point, haha!  This makes MXJ #5 🙂

Well that’s all folks.  We’re off next weekend and then will get to play locally for 3 days of AKC 🙂