Sunday, September 11, 2011

Trial summary the first

First (and third) place! [Starters Jumpers]
This weekend marked my first foray into agility trials. All things considered we did quite well. And all the rookie mistakes we made are now out of the way and will never been encountered again... right?

In brief:

  • AAC, K-9 Klubhouse Training Centre, Alex Robertson Park, Pickering ON
  • 6 runs total.
  • Qualified: 2 Starters Jumpers. 
  • Did not qualify: 2 Starters Standards, 1 Starters Gamblers and 1 Steeplechase. 

In detail:

First run:
Starters Standard: NQ 25 faults
Judge: Dawn Kadish
  1. Refusal on the table, 5 faults. *
  2. Refusal at the chute, 5 faults. **
  3. Kamikaze leap off the teeter, 10 faults. ***
  4. Knocked final bar, 5 faults. ****
To fix my problems:
* Decelerate!!! And practice sticking a table at higher speeds.
** Support obstacles more while handling a green dog.
*** Decelerate!!! Holy crap dog you're going to kill yourself.
**** Celebrate course after completion, not while dog is taking off for final jump.

Second run:
Starters Jumpers: Qualified!
Judge: Dawn Kadish
Run time: 23.61 secs
SCT: 35 secs.
Placement: 3rd in 22" open.

My first Q ever! I was really happy with this.


Third run:
Starters Jumpers: Qualified
Judge: Dawn Kadish
Run time: 20.29 secs
SCT: 34 secs
Placement: 1st in 22" open.

This was a great run. Fast and clean. Not much to say about it. I'd like to get more opportunities to practice Cohen driving ahead on a line even when I lag behind.

Fourth run:
Starters Steeplechase: NQ
Judge: Dawn Kadish

The two issues I ran into on this course was a crappy handling decision screwing Cohen up on her first pass of the weaves, and then Cohen knocked a bar on a turn. Even without the bar fault we were 3-4 seconds above course time, which I attribute mostly to me trying to rear cross the weaves unnecessarily. I was chastised after for talking to Cohen too much during the run -- apparently she would hesitate and look to me each time I opened my mouth. Will try to ensure I keep my mouth closed next time. She's proved to me that she knows what she's doing without me prattling on.

Fifth run:
Starters Gamble: NQ
Judge: Dawn Kadish

This course was absolutely brilliant for both Cohen and I. The course minimum for open was 20 points, and Cohen and I scored 37 easily before starting our gamble. She nailed the weaves twice. She got her mini-gamble with ease, and was incredibly receptive to direction with minimal vocal cues. She did her gamble perfectly. The issue, however, is that I stepped on the gamble line. Not over, just on. Disqualified at the very end. I'm kind of miffed at the result of this one.

Sixth run:
Starters Standard: NQ 10 faults
Judge: Dawn Kadish
  1. Kamikaze leap off the teeter, again, 10 faults.
In my hurry to decelerate properly for the table I kind of ... forgot... to decelerate for the teeter. Another death-defying leap off it. I should have stopped and redone it, but I was a bit flustered and continued on. Everything else was beautiful and speedy. 


Now that the dust has settled I'm left with 2 Qs in Jumpers under the same judge. I'll need to Q once more under a different judge to advance to Advanced Jumpers. 


Bar knocking was not an issue unless I screwed up my handling. Cohen jumped beautifully and consistently at 22" despite not having a lot of experience doing so.

Fantabulous weaving. Unless I screwed up my handling Cohen nailed the weaves every time. She never popped out early, and she was pretty speedy. I would like more practice with straight rows of 12 so she learns to maneuver more and chest-bump less.

Endurance. Cohen ran marvelously even when she was clearly tired. As she gets more tired she gets harder to place at the start line, but once we start she puts her game face on and gets the job done. 

Things I'd like to work on:

The teeter. It was suggested to me to teach the dog to aim for the tipping point, not the contact as I have been doing. Different teeters have different speeds, and Cohen is clearly a bit too green to stick her landing on all sorts now. In the meantime I'll need to remember to decelerate and really hold her hand through the new obstacles.

Driving a line. My end goal is to be able to point Cohen at a line of jumps (or other obstacles) and have her do them with no input from me. The "go go go"s from various trainers seemed as likely to distract their dogs as encourage them to drive forward.


All in all I'm pretty happy with the weekend. I really enjoyed myself. Though I am a bit sore about screwing up both my gamble and my second standard run. I could have done better.

I think I've officially been bitten by the bug. I'm hoping to get out to at least one or two more trials this season, and will likely continue to trial through the winter. 


  1. Congratulations on the Qs!! How awesome! Great job! It sounds like it was a fun week-end :)

  2. That's not just a good weekend - it's fantastic! Two Qs in any agility weekend is fab, never mind when it's your first trials. And getting a first place with your green dog? Amazing.

    But then, Cohen is pretty amazing, and you've done an awesome job getting her there.