First off- this post is long. And boring. Unless of course you understand Agility Gibberish.
What good dogs I have.
Both dogs blew me away this weekend. The short version is Wicca got four Q's- Standard, Gamblers, Team and Steeplechase. Boone got two- Standard, and Advanced Jumpers.
The long version is below...
The mini gambles were both too difficult for him so instead we just gathered as many points as we could- and got in some good weave pole and contact practice. The gamble itself was also a bit past Boone's level of training- but we attempted it, and really if not for my bad handling he would have got it.
Masters- Lots of opening points for Wicca.
We did the mini twice, and ended up with 72 points in the end. The gamble itself was not overly difficult and we did it perfectly! Yet another Masters Gamblers Q for Wicca.
I really can't remember what went wrong. I will have to look back at the video. I do know he had an off course....or two... :o) I do recall that I pet him on the table to reassure him, and again on the a-frame contact.
Beautiful. My handling that is. :o) I managed to not get lost, or overwhelmed and got my dog succesfully around the course. My dog listened, and payed attention. Earning us first place in our height and a time of 39.61 seconds. Oh- and a Q.
He did so good. He missed the weave entry once, but went after I resent him. He had GREAT contacts- and was very responsive. His tail wagged the whole time. He placed first in his class of five, and earned a Q!
She was very, very naughty. And quickly reminded me of the old bad Wicca. She broke her start line (more on that later) and got higher, and higher, and higher. By the time we got to the weave poles she was frothing at the mouth and could not get her entry. I had her lay down and refocus before continuing. Watching the video it didn't look nearly as bad as it felt. Oh- and for god knows what reason I was using my off arm for this run. Totally weird. And bad. Very, very bad. (more on this later)
I must admit it was weird to have them in the same class. And for some reason their times were really close. Not sure if it was an error in my recording or what. We'll have to check that out. Boone is quick- but not nearly as fast as Wicca...normally anyway
He had a great run and was very confident- he seems to LOVE the jumpers class the most and had lots of fun. He placed 1st and Q'd! 31.31
Wicca only needs one more Q to get out of Advanced Jumpers...and of course I screwed it up. But honestly it was the best run of my weekend...There was a serpentine- in the beginning of the course. And I did it. Beautifully. No fumbling. No late cues. Yay for me! I did screw up the very first part though- I didn't lead out far enough and she pulled to an off course jump- but beyond that it was perfect. No bars. Just perfect. 30.35- fastest time in all of advanced.
Boone- was eliminated. I only entered him for experience and the course was a bit too technical for him. He had weave problems and I spent the time to fix them and reward him with lots of pats and "good dogs" for the first set of poles. It payed off when we came around to them again- he dove right in and weaved without me!!! I was SO excited that I missed #15. :o)
Wicca- she was the first dog to run and was brilliant. She ran it very, very well. And well- I handled her very, very well. 1st and Q!!! 39.18
Masters- Wicca and Gyppie- the tri-colored beeotches Q again!
I always joke that I need to have the five faults- and sarah has to run her side clean. But really, I'm serious. Thankfully the five fault rule exists for team or Sarah would be looking for a new partner. This time the fault was in the weaves. Wicca was not collecting AT ALL. Geesh. Anyway, beyond that it was a nice run. The course was super fast, and fun.
Advanced- even though boone got a re-run we still had faults. I misjudged Boone's understanding for the weaves- he missed yet another entry. He had a nice run otherwise though- great contacts.
Boone- 1st, Five faults. He had a great run- and was focused the whole time- he had great contacts. And then I thought he was driving ahead enough for a rear cross and lost him to and had a refusal. It was a nice run though.
Wicca- 1st, Five faults. I honestly can't remember this run much at all. I think we had a refusal at the weave poles. I will have to go back to the video and see.
I have snooker-itis. I get uptight. Generally we are tweeted off in about 5 seconds. Not today apparently because we rocked it. Yes, you read right. We got a snooker Q! Yay for me! There were a few close calls, and it wasn't pretty but we did it- a five, and two sevens and all the way to the end. Yahoo!
Starters Snooker is always last. We left at 5:15 and they were just walking Advanced. Poor Boone will never get a chance to play Snooker at this rate!
Overall I was super pleased with the dogs- and my handling. I am definitely more confident. But as always I have lots more to work on.
Wicca- startlines, startlines, startlines. She broke two and a half times on Saturday. I let her get away with one because I didn't notice. The second one I noticed but decided not to stop her (We ended up Qing in that run!) and the third time she released on my "OH..." and not my "okAY." This is a dog who pushes me- a lot. I need to be ultra consistent with that. I will pay for the weekend I am sure. Also- this transfers over to her contacts and she pushed me on those on Saturday as well...rotten dog.... :o)
We also will be working on collection into poles. She missed weave pole entries about four times.
She did however keep up almost ALL of the bars. I think she knocked two or three total for the weekend- which is awesome for her. I was very happy with that.
Boone- weaves, weaves, weaves, and weaves! I have said in the past about his problem generalising things- but I thought that he was understanding more. Apparently not. He is a funny dog and doesn't like things to change. Even his steps. So if he misses a step while weaving he can't figure out how to continue. Not even kidding. I have to pull him out and restart. I am going to attempt to fix this by breaking up the 12 poles into sixes and vary the distance between them- so he can learn (hopefully) to keep weaving...Will also do lots of two pole work for entries as he missed three of them. That was definitely his weakest thing this weekend- his startlines were great, his jumping perfect, and his contacts are coming. He is a little cautious on the dogwalk- but that is easily fixed with more backchaining.
Me- figure out why the heck I was using my off arm in that standard. I have no idea. I watched the video and the three times I did it one was because even though she turned on my "turn" cue she didn't see the tunnel and was going to go back up the frame. i threw my arm up (old habits die hard) and she flipped to the tunnel. The other two times were also going to tunnels. Interesting, but bery bad. Will have to work on that...
I also need to work on the timing for lead outs and FC's with Wicca. I am doing better and now know to cue late...but how late? Yeah. Not so late that the dog doesn't have a freakin' clue where to go!!!
Overall it was a great weekend- lots of fun courses, and it is nice to visit with all the agility people. Of course there was some drama, but what agility trial would be complete without that?
The young 'uns had good weekends too. Pixel was alive and well when I went to pick her up. Cindy said she was an angel. I have a hard time believing that!! She had a few accidents, and was eating sticks, and rocks, and bird seed in the yard, and just generally had a good time!
Vito was super spoiled at Wendy's again and got to go to the dogpark two times! Lucky Guy! Wendy has photos on her blog (Crazy and Little)