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Monday, August 4, 2008

Alberta Kennel Club Weekend

The Alberta Kennel Club hosted it's big yearly outdoor show in Calgary this past weekend.  I entered Maggie in the show, mainly to compete in CKC agility, but I also entered her in some obedience.  Overall, we had a pretty good weekend.  I have no pictures to share, so I will just have to give a written description how our weekend went.

We drove up to Calgary Saturday morning and got to the show site a couple hours before Maggie went into the Obedience Novice A ring.  This was our first try at Novice obedience and I was very nervous.  I tried to keep Maggie excited by playing some fun obedience games with her before we went in the ring and she seemed happy to be there.  We were the second last team to go in the ring and Maggie looked good going into the ring.  I have been working on getting her excited to start heeling by playing a "Get Ready" game and when the judge asked if I was ready and I responded "Ready!" Maggie started going before I said "heel".  I didn't mind the lost points, at least she was upbeat.  Our on-leash heel was OK, a couple of rough spots and Maggie didn't sit on the halt.  She started to lag a bit on the figure 8 but did great on the Stand For Exam.  Next was the "Heel Free" exercise.  Maggie started out OK, but I could see that she was getting stressed. Then in the middle of our "Slow Heel" she stopped to scratch,and scratch and scratch.  I had to keep walking and I picked her up on my way back from the about turn (we lost lots of marks there).  We finished up the heeling OK.  Next was the recall.  I put Maggie in a sit, walked away and on the judge's signal, I called her.  Nothing.  Not a movement from her.  I gave her a second arm signal - knowing it would be an automatic NQ.  As she ran towards me the judge said "Bring her Back".  Just as I had called Maggie, the ring next to us broke out in cheering as the winners in their group were announced.  The judge said that he couldn't hear me, so he was sure Maggie couldn't either.  So we waited until the celebrating ceased and we started over.  I yelled extra loud and Maggie ran right to me and nicely into a heel postition (Oops).  Oh well, I was just happy that we were done that part.  Next were the long sits and downs.  Why does the 1 minute sit seem like it takes forever?  Maggie has a bad habit of laying down on the sit, but today she sat nice and straight and never even looked like she was thinking about laying down (good thing for lots of distractions - she was too busy looking around).  She made it through the sit and the down for her 1st leg of her CD.  Our mark was not great, but we "Q"d!  Out of our group of 21 dogs in Novice A, there were only 7 dogs that qualified, so I felt pretty good about that.

The rest of the day we relaxed and wandered around the show site watching the dogs and visiting people we knew.  

Sunday was our very first CKC agility trial.  The weather was perfect - very cloudy and cool.  Maggie had a great agility day.  She was spunky all day and tried very hard.  The courses were fun and a little shorter than we are used to and it was the first time Maggie has seen a double jump or panel jump (which I was a little worried about).  Maggie ran great all day and 'Q'd all 4 runs, with 3 perfect scores of 100 and one score of 89 where she had a tunnel refusal (which was my fault) and some time faults (again my fault - I got lost).  

Good thing Maggie had a good day in agility because our Advanced Rally run was not so great.  I think that the Novice Obedience run on Saturday had her really stressed to go back into the ring.  She was OK in our warm up but not really excited and when we entered the ring, her ears were back and she would not even look at me.  I couldn't convice her to do anything except the jump.  After about the 5th station I was getting frustrated and she was not having a good time, so I thanked the judge and left the course. Normally she loves Rally because I can talk to her and cheer her on.

It was much warmer on Monday, but Maggie did well all day.  Our first run was Jumpers With Weaves. Maggie was very spunky and did great with a perfect score of 100 which earned Maggie her first CKC agility title (AGNJS)!!!  Our next run was Standard.  Our walkthrough was at 9:45 and I had to be in the Rally ring at 10:00, so I got moved close to the top of the running list.  It was 9:55 when we got in the ring, so I new we had to hurry.  I ran fast. Maggie ran faster.  She was flying around the course, responding great to everything.  She was so fast that she flew off the end of the dogwalk, missing her contact!  Oops!  I guess I pushed her a bit too much, but she was really moving and it was great to see.  

We ran to the obedience building, where an unexpected large Excellent Rally group were still finishing up their runs.  They were not even ready for us yet (uggg).  I was a bit worried about taking Maggie back in the ring, although she seemed a bit better than Sunday.  We walked into the ring and Maggie looked a bit stressed but not as bad as our first Rally try.  She started out sluggish and I kept cheering her on and about halfway though the run she started to pick up a bit and act more like her normal self.  I however, was concentrating so hard on trying to keep her upbeat that I did not read a sign correctly and did a U-turn instead of a pivot and lost 10 marks for incorrect handling - up until that point we only had 4 deductions.  We finished with a score of 86 and were 4th place out of 10 dogs.

By this time, my next agility walkthrough was starting, so we ran back to the agility field for our second Standard run of the day.  It was really starting to get warm outside and I was not sure how Maggie would do, but she ran great.  She knocked the first bar (her only one all weekend), but the rest of the course was great - fast and she got all her contacts.

In our last jumpers run, I thought we would just have some fun (since she already earned her title in this event).  There was a great spot to try out the rear crosses that we have been practicing - and it worked - yay!  Our first ever successful rear cross in a trial situation.  Then we got to the weave poles.  Maggie stopped and sniffed them and then refused to go near them - a dog must have peed on them because she never acts like that with the weaves.  Oh well, I just moved her on to the next obstacle and she finished great.

Overall, Maggie had a great weekend.  Her table in agility was great - no hesitation all day.  Her weave poles need some work - she didn't get one entry on the first try all weekend.  I am not sure what happened there - she usually gets her entries fairly consistanly.  The only thing that I can think of is that the poles were all white with no contrasing color and maybe that threw her off a bit.  

Maggie's favorite part of the weekend was getting lots of attention and treats from people that we met - especially the kids.  Lots of kids stopped to pet her and some even asked to take her picture.  One little girl had bought a stuffed Bernese from one of the vendors and when she saw Maggie she was so excited!  Her Mom took a picture of the little girl, Maggie and the stuffed Bernese all sitting together - it was very cute. There was even another Bernese in agility this weekend, which was great to see!


  1. Sounds like you had a really busy couple of days. That must have been stressful running back and forth like that! I'm glad Maggie did so good at the Agility - all those Q's. That's amazing!!!

  2. woohoo maggie!!! that is so great! I am very happy for you. I knew she could do it. That is awesome!

  3. Fantastic job Kim and Maggie!!!!!!

    I wish we could have been there to see Mags run!

    Talk about a great weekend!