Sunday, April 22, 2012

Trial summary: agility!

In brief:

AAC, Daytripper Dog Training, Port Perry, ON
4 runs total.
Qualified: 1 Starters Jumpers.
Did not qualify: 1 Starters Standards, 1 Starters Snooker and 1 Steeplechase. 
Judge: Sue Miller

In detail:


Today I was out at an Agility competition. We did a standard run, a snooker game, a steeplechase and a jumpers run. We only qualified once - in jumpers. We're apparently really good at maintaining our 25% Q rate. 

The standard course was a starters level. Cohen was pretty high strung, and decided to make her own course up as she went along. I'm not used to her being so excited that she loses focus on me. Quite honestly, I like her enthusiasm, and once she gets a bit more accustomed to the trial atmosphere I think it'll be a huge boon. 

The snooker course was another starters level. It was the first time we played this game. It's played like snooker - you have to "sink" 3 red jumps with a coloured obstacle in between each one. Then you have to complete the closing by "sinking" obstacles 2-7 in order. Cohen was doing really well - she was speedy and I was able to call her off some pretty enticing off-course obstacles. And then I attempted a messy landing-side front cross, which caused her to knock a bar in her closing and we were whistled off. It was a shame, since we did amazingly well up to that point. 

The steeplechase is sort of a masters level game. The courses are long and flowy, and you need to complete it incredibly quickly. Cohen missed her weaves, of all things, so I decided to say "to fuck with it" and we just ran the rest of the course for fun. A couple faults, but it was a good experience. 

The jumpers run was another starters level. We've completed 2 starters jumpers previously (that's all you need to move up to the next level) but it was under the same judge, so we had to do it again. Cohen did well despite a really messy front cross that had her practically run into me. (I should know she's too fast to plan to get ahead of in a long line of jumps!) So now we get to move up to the next level of competition in this game. 

Each competition comes with its own host of interesting issues. Like, I was expecting Cohen to pop off the table, and to kamikaze off the teeter - neither of which she did. I did not expect her to blow me off and run off course, or miss her weaves. Live and learn!

I'll be out again as much as I can be this summer.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Another weekend, another competition

This weekend was Rally weekend. I entered Cohen into two Advanced A runs. Again we qualified each time. Again we came first in our class each time. I sure hope this doesn't go to my head.

Again her heeling was sloppy around distractions (or when tired). So I ordered Silvia Trkman's heeling DVD. I'm going to be paying very close attention to its lessons in the upcoming weeks. My biggest issue with Cohen's heeling is that I didn't train a default focus for the first few steps - Cohen's head will fall as she takes her first steps, and sometimes she never offers it back up. I've wanted to polish it up for a while now, but haven't wanted to since I was worried I'd have to train it from the ground up, all over again. Now, well, to hell with it - it needs retraining.

I dream of the snappy, head up, intense heeling I see some trainers achieve. As time passes Cohen gets sloppier and sloppier - my criteria haven't been consistent I suppose. It's good enough for most people, but unfortunately I'm a bit of a perfectionist.

Next weekend is agility.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Obedience Trial the first - the results

I'm beginning the entire point of competition is to take amusing photos of your dog afterwards. 
So judging by my last entry, it's been almost a month since I last updated this blog. Whoops! The house has been sold, and I've been moving into the new apartment. Time flies. 

Since then, Cohen and I had our first obedience competition - last weekend, on April 1st. I had convinced myself that we weren't going to qualify. But, whelp, I was wrong. 

We qualified twice. We also came first in our class, twice. We scored 192.5/200, twice. I guess we're consistent. 

I was most worried about Cohen breaking her long sit/down stays, but, well, she did pretty well with those. The glaring issue was the enthusiasm while heeling. We're going to have to work to get her heeling tidier if/when we go on to the next level of competition. But, regardless, it was good enough for a qualification, which was what I was most concerned about last weekend. 

So that's 2 out of 3 legs complete - I hope to finish up the last leg at the beginning of May. And next weekend there's a Rally competition I've signed up for. And the week after that, Agility. 

My weekends are going to be awfully dog-centric over the next month or two. 

I'm not sure why Cohen is laying/standing like this - it was her idea.