Saturday, June 16, 2012

Cohen ADC!

In summary:

3 runs. 1 Q, and a title: Agility Dog of Canada, or ADC.

I'm putting up this boring photo because it's the best I can do right now. Both Cohen and I are tired. 
In detail:

Saturday

1st run: Starters Standard: NQ
Judge: Kathie Grant

This run was meant to be that final Q we needed to move on to advanced. Unfortunately I over-rotated my shoulders and paused too long at a hard right turn and ended up sending Cohen onto an off-course jump 5 obstacles in. She also popped out of the weaves twice at the 10th pole, which was a pain in the ass. Any time I move away from the weaves, or celebrate a pole too early, or reach for my bait pouch (not worn in the ring) she'll pop out just a smidge too early. Dumb, perceptive dog.

2nd run: Advanced Jumpers: NQ
Judge: Kathie Grant

This run was... messy. I think we racked up 15 faults throughout. Five faults for an off-course jump Cohen decided to take, and ten for two knocked bars. Cohen hasn't knocked bars in a while. I think I was pushing what I can do via handling a bit too far, and ended up shooting myself in my foot. ... But that's how you get better, right? :)

3rd run: Starters Standard: Q, and a title!
Judge: Kathie Grant

This run went smoothly, relatively speaking. The only hiccups were a funky angle of entry on the (6) weaves which resulted in Cohen spinning once, and some confusion on Cohen's behalf while going up the ramp of the walk. I think she thought it was a teeter - whatever it was, she looked like she was about to lose her balance. But she didn't. And she Qd. Good, agile dog.

That means that I can now compete in advanced standard courses, as well as advanced jumpers. I need 1  Q in Gamblers and 2 in Snooker to move up from starter level in those. It's tough to keep track -- that's why I write this stuff down.

Friday, June 8, 2012

FLYBALL RA!!

I'm not dead - I'm just busy.


I FINALLY had my first flyball class last night. It was hugely fun - more fun than I thought it'd be.

I was worried that perhaps we'd focus a bit too much on the basics (tug, etc) and not the actual sport. Obviously the basics are important, but they're not sexy.

We started the "hit it" game, where we have the dog target a wall as high up as they can reach, then push off in the direction they naturally turn for their reward. We started teaching the dogs to circle a pylon, and rewarding heavily for digging in and pushing their way around the last half of the turn. Then we added a jump to the pylon behaviour, then two, then more distance between the jumps and the pylon. Then we did some restrained recalls over 4 10" jumps.

Cohen did really well in all the exercises. Obviously they're not rocket science, but she maintained enthusiasm and speed despite the warehouse where we were practicing being stiflingly hot. She single-strides the jumps with ease, and seemed very happy by the end of it. Also, she's a barker, so I was told she'd fit right in with the rest of the crazy flyball dogs.

I wasn't going to sign up for the class since I'd promised my fiance that I'd only do dog stuff two nights a week (Monday I teach, Tuesday is agility) but he was sweet and encouraged me to take the class since he knows how long it's been since I've been waiting for the class to go ahead, and how badly I've wanted to take it. He's great.

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ALSO Cohen earned her advanced rally title a few weeks ago, plus a leg towards her excellent rally title. It was a long day, and our second run was far from pretty, but we made it.

With the heeling/motivation issues I'm seeing in obedience sports, I'll probably finish up the RE title then take a break 'til next year as far as competition goes. We'll practice maintaining proper position and enthusiasm over the winter and see where we end up next year. I'd like to take her up at least as far as Utility (in Comp Obedience) but we'll see if it's in the cards.