Friday, October 30, 2009

AKC Trial Day 1!

Today I drove down to Albany, OR for our very first AKC agility trial! I have both of the dogs entered today and tomorrow in Novice A FAST, Jumpers With Weaves (JWW), and Standard. I didn't really know what today would hold since the dogs haven't gotten much exercise for the past week and a half and haven't had an agility class for about two weeks. Not the most ideal situation, but sometimes a little rest can also do great things. However, I would have to say for us today, not so much!

On the up side, both of the dogs qualified on their first runs of the day, which was FAST! I was very pleased with that! FAST is a games course with a distance challenge worked into the mix. In other words, it's not a bad way to start your day off if your worried about your dog(s) potentially having some zoomies. Bess ran first and was fairly exuberant, but did pretty well listening. She did AWESOME on the distance challenge part of the course. Going straight onto the teeter and over the jump. I was really pleased with that portion especially! Heffner's run went more according to my planned route, but he needed a couple of redirects to the teeter to get the distance portion of it. All-in-all, two good runs! And here are both of the dogs tonight with their ribbons. As you can tell, they are VERY impressed with them.;o)

Unfortunately, our runs sort of went down hill from there. Our next run was Novice JWW. Bess' run wasn't great, but that was predominantly because it was full of handler errors. I said "my bad" quite a few times while on that course. I just wasn't really setting her up effectively and wasn't running her that well on that course. On the up side, we did get in one good rear cross and I did get her to correctly do her weaves on the second try!

Heffner's JWW run was not great. He got the way that he sometimes gets during trials; very distracted. I couldn't get him to do his weaves for the life of me. Then after I got him over the jump that followed the weaves after just giving up on them as a lost cause for that run, he decided it was time to go and visit the ring crew! Ug! First he went up the photographer. Once he got up to the photographer, he realized our instructor was there and happily sauntered up to her to give her some kisses since she was so conveniently sitting down at his level. **insert eye roll here** I could not get his attention back to me for the life of. Heffner had effectively checked out, so I just decided to call it there. I said thank you to the judge and we left the course. I was really hoping that his distractedness was a one shot deal, but it wasn't. **insert more eye rolling here**

Next up was our final run of the day in Novice Standard. We had our first tunnels of the day on this course. One thing I definitely have to give AKC props for is their lack of tunnels on courses. I had the option to skip all tunnels on the FAST course and did, and JWW only has jumps and weaves on it.:o) Bess was up first again. She had a few bobbles, but overall it wasn't a bad run. I'm a little blurry on the details now and haven't reviewed the videos (or uploaded them), but I think we ended up bailing on the weaves. I made the mistake of charging ahead of her when she got to the dog walk and she jumped off of it. Something that she almost never does. EXCEPT that they're starting to use this weird texturing on the contact obstacles and she's very much a texture dog. She gets really hesitant when the texture of a surface isn't right or she isn't used to it. When she started to slow down going up, I should have realised this (I even commented to my friend Kennedy that I didn't think it would be a problem for her since she's been on this texture of surface one other time) and hung back with her. If I had done that, I doubt she would have bailed. The rest of her run otherwise went fine. No Q's, but not horrible.

Heffner on the other hand was a whole different story! He was Mister Distracted!! We didn't do our weaves again. He didn't want to hold his sit on the table, something that he is normally EXCELLENT about! And after the table, he went visiting with the ring crew again and found our instructor to give her more kisses.:oP As his penance, I put him through the tunnel that was our next obstacle and we finished the course. He actually finished the course pretty well, to much applause at the end because he was being such a ham (and admittedly I was being overly dramatic, in a good way). He also got a round of applause when he came out of the first tunnel. I think a few people thought he was going to get stuck in there! Again, no Q, but hey, at least he's a cutie!;o)

My goals now are to figure out why in the heck Heffner turns off like that and pretty much only at trials (and only occasionally). And what am I doing to cause him to do this? I'm pretty sure there's something that I'm doing that's making him sort of shut off like that. I'm going to try tweaking a few things tomorrow and see if that helps. Who knows! Tomorrow is another day!!:o)


Jennifer H. said...

Yippee!! Congrat on the Q's in FAST!! I saw FAST for the first time in person about a month ago and it was a lot of fun to watch. Sounds like your puppers dug it too. And I agree I think that FAST might be a great zoomie release. We hope to do agility one day and I know Falkor will give me at least a few zoomie performances. :)

Can't wait to hear about how today went and see your vids. Falkor and I love your blog. ;)

Lindsay said...

Thanks Jennifer!:)