Monday, October 3, 2011

Trial summary - October 2nd 2011

Cohen and her (single) Qualifying Score ribbon.
Cohen and I competed for the second time this weekend. It was a very different experience from the last trial. The last trial was idyllic. This one was cold, wet, rainy and kind of lonely. I was huddled with the dog in my car for most of the afternoon trying to stay dry.

In brief:

  • AAC, Daytripper Dog Training, Valencia ON
  • 4 runs total.
  • Qualified: 1 Starters Standard.
  • Did not qualify: 1 Starters Standards, 1 Starters Jumpers and 1 Steeplechase. 

First in Starters Standard #1.
Second in Steeplechase.
Third in Starters Standard #2.
Do placements still count when you NQ?
In detail:

First run:
Steeplechase. NQ. 
Judge: Shelly Price
Second place.

I don't think I appreciated quite how fast you have to move to qualify in Steeplechase. Cohen ran very nicely, received no faults, but ended up being over time by 3 whole seconds. Yikes. It doesn't help that I arrived at the trial a bit late and almost missed the walkthrough. 

Second run: 
Starters Standard 1. Q!
Judge Shelly Price
Run time: 51.72 seconds.
SCT: 63 seconds.
First place.

This was what I had hoped to achieve this weekend: a qualifying standard run. Woot! I thought I had blown it when Cohen refused the dog walk twice before I finally got her on it. I think a cracked pylon might have been throwing her off - I've never seen her have a problem with the obstacle before. Despite thinking we'd blown it we ran the rest, and, well, turns out you can have a few refusals on contact obstacles without faults. Because of that it wasn't quite as pretty as I would have hoped, but Cohen did wonderfully. 

There were a set of 12 weaves that she handled like a pro, she nailed both the teeter and the table (and I remember to decelerate for each this time!), and, well, she just ran her heart out despite it starting to rain just as we started running. The unusually high run time is mostly due to our dogwalk issues. 

Third run:
Starters Standard 2. NQ.
Judge Shelly Price
Run time: 59.58
SCT: 65
5 faults.
Third place.

You know when you ignore a potential problem because it's not actually a problem yet? Yeah, that's probably what happened here. 

I've always been very pleased with Cohen's start line stay. I tend to take long lead outs to get ahead of her. Well, lately she's been getting really barky on the start line as she gets more worn out. Today she was barky, but I set her up fine, turned my back and when I turned around again Cohen was walking towards me, eyes locked on me, every muscle in her body tense...

She walked right past the start line (starting the time) as well as the first jump. I went back, fixed the start line, and started again. I think I was faulted a refusal there since Cohen did technically walk past the jump and had to be circled around to reset her start. I blew the run before we even started. And funnily enough Cohen ran wonderfully again. 

Take home lessons:
  • Address problems before they become Actual Problems.
  • Keep an eye on my dog as I leave her at the line. 

Fourth run:
Starters Jumpers. NQ.
Judge Shelly Price

I'm not too sure what happened here. It was a bit of a disaster. I had been tugging with Cohen when the dog ahead of us ran. I think this amped her up too much, and coupled with her being wet, cold and tired from being out all day it pushed her over the edge. She was a barky mess on the start line, and when I released her she blew past me and decided she was going to make her own course.

It's never happened before. Cohen is normally so keyed in on me that I never considered she'd get zoomified. It was disappointing since I had thought that this jumpers course would be in the bag, and I could complete it and move up to Advanced. But it was interesting to see Cohen really running at (almost) full speed. She's normally more focused on me than running super fast. She can be pretty damned speedy when she feels like it. 

I didn't even look to see how many faults we gathered. It was a lot. 


Cohen didn't knock a bar all weekend, which was fabulous. Her weaves were flawless. She's really starting to love the sport. 

This is how most of our downtime was spent between runs. Hiding in the car trying to stay dry. 

Sleeping in the driver's seat. 
I'm not too sure how I feel about the weekend. At the time when I was cold and damp I was feeling poorly that we didn't do as well as I felt we were capable of. But what I really wanted was for Cohen to get her first Standard Q, which she did. Now that I've had a chance to warm up a bit I remind myself that we're both pretty new at this and if we're both having fun then we're doing marvelously. It is just a game, after all!

We keep making lots of little rookie mistakes which I'm worried we may never grow out of. But damn if I don't enjoy it. Next time I'm going to try to make sure I go out with friends, and I'll hope for sun.

1 comment:

  1. Hey, getting Qs solidly at this stage for such a green dog is absolutely fantastic. Way to go you guys!