Monday, May 14, 2012

Trial summary: getting better

In summary: 

This weekend marked one of the most successful runs we've had, Q-wise, in agility. We ran 3 times, qualified 2 times, and came damn close the other time. Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was the nice, loopy course designs - I don't know. But I'm hoping to see more of it as we go on. 

We tend to hover around a 1/3 or 1/4 success rate. 


A shot from the trial photographer from last weekend. Cohen gets this dumb-but-happy look on her face while running. I love it!


In detail:

Sunday
First run:

Starters Standard. Q.
Judge: Shannon Teahen-Nash

We left late for the trial, so we were in a rush to get there. I was sure that we were going to miss our first run, and if we didn't, Cohen would blow it anyways with her traditional first run zoomies. We got there on time, and I did my best to keep Cohen focused on me, but quiet. It seemed to work. She may not have run her fastest, but she ran cleanly, with no mishaps on the teether, table, or with knocked bars.

The issue we keep running into these past few weeks is Cohen popping out of the weaves too early. We had to redo them 2-3 times this run. (Luckily it doesn't count as a fault at this level.) I hope to work on them heavily in class over the next few weeks.


Second run:

Starters Standard. NQ.
Judge: Shannon Teahen-Nash

This run was similar to our first - relatively smooth and clean with no knocked bars. The issue was that Cohen screwed up her weaves again (what happened to my wonderful weaving dog??) and she simple would. not. lay. down on the table. Other dogs who ran before her opted to sniff instead of doing the obstacle, so I don't feel too badly about it. Eventually she lay down, but her fooling around on that obstacle caused us to go over course time....

... by 0.75 seconds.

Ugh. I was so sure we had that run in the bag, despite our table trouble.


Third run:

Advanced Jumpers. Q.
Judge: Shannon Teahen-Nash

This was the last run of the trial, and we were all tired for it. I decided I would just... kind of run it, and see what happened. I didn't handle it very well, but we got through it cleanly. This was Cohen's first Advanced Jumpers Q! I'm looking forward to more!


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Action shot!

She always seems to have this earnest, silly look on her face while running. 

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Trial summary: obedience and agility weekend!

This weekend was a big one. Saturday was an obedience competition, and Sunday was agility.

The result: Cohen earned 2 qualifying scores in Novice A Obedience, but only needed one for her novice title. She's now Cohen CD RN...blahblahblah! She also earned 1 qualifying run in Starters Gamblers in Agility!

The collection is growing!

In detail:

Saturday
First run:

Novice A. Q.
Judge: Peter Stewart
Third place.

This was a tough run. I was nervous, and it showed in Cohen's and my performances. It went bad when I tried to do an about-turn to my left (instead of right) and went downhill from there. Cohen was lagging horribly the whole time, and needed multiple cues to continue heeling after a halt. Not good. We scored 178.5/200, and I think the judge was being generous. Regardless, we got our Q.

I was originally planning on going up to Open (the next level up) upon getting my Q on the first run, but I opted not to due to Cohen's clear unenthusiastic showing, and I was worried about further poisoning the sport for her. So I decided to do one more bonus novice run to see if I could get her "up" a bit more.

Second run:
Novice A. Q. 
Judge: Del Lunn
First place.

I've been told the fourth leg is always the easiest one. 

I was much less nervous for this trial, and I think it showed. We ended up scoring 190/200, and Cohen's heeling was much better. I'm not sure what it was, but half way through our "heel free" exercise she just clicked on, and was focused and with me the entire time. I'd like to get out to a few obedience fun matches to try and quell my nerves and hers, and get her more used to being focused while in a ring. 

Sunday
First run:
Advanced Jumpers. NQ. 
Judge: Wendy Beard

The first run of the day seems like it should just be considered a write-off. The first obstacle was a tire-jump, and upon being released, Cohen decided to duck under it. Whelp, there went that run. I decided just to push through the course, but I was clearly flustered, and Cohen was feeling petulant and zoomie, so we got a few off courses and some terrible handling on my part. Blech. 

Second run:
Starters Standard. NQ. 
Judge: Wendy Beard

I thought we might actually cue here, but it was handler error that threw this one. Cohen had some trouble with the weaves, which is really unusual for her - she kept popping out at the 10th pole. I'll need to practice more with a full set of 12. Her contacts were good, which I was very pleased with. The stupidity came near the end when I lost track of where I wanted to rear cross, and I did it a jump too early, which pulled Cohen off the jump ahead of her, resulting in a refusal call. 


Third run:
Starters Gamblers. Q. 
Judge: Wendy Beard

I'm beginning to see how green Cohen and I are. I planned our route, but it didn't work out quite as planned. Then Cohen knocked the 4-point jump. But she got her mini-gamble, as well as the actual gamble. She forged ahead and away from me like a pro. This is our second time running this game, and our first Q in it. This time I was extra sure to stay far far back from the gamble line, since last time I stepped on it and ended up NQing us despite a great performance by the dog.