It is already Tuesday night and I still haven't updated my blog with the weekend's events.
On Saturday, Maggie and I were entered in a one day agility trial in Calgary. There were only 3 runs scheduled for the day (2 Gamblers and a Standard), so I thought it would be fun. It was fun, but also frustrating.
Our first run was great. It was Advanced Gamblers and Maggie had a great opening sequence, and she collected more than enough points and we were in a good position when the buzzer went to start the closing gamble. The closing gamble was the dog walk and then a turn off the dog walk and away from me about 15 feet into a tunnel that was parallel to the dog walk. There were then 2 jumps at a parallel distance of 17 feet away from me to the finish. Maggie got the turn out to the tunnel but because I had to go past the end of the dogwalk to direct her away from me, I could not get in position to support her over the jump as she came out of the tunnel. So she pulled off that jump - but otherwise it was a great run and our distance work is definately improving.
Our next two runs were not so good. Maggie was very pokey the rest of the day. In our standard run she stood on top of the A-Frame and took a good look around the arena before she decided to finish the obstacle. That is very unlike her - she usually loves the A-Frame. She picked up a bit of speed as we went along, but as we headed to the weaves she decided to avoid them and ducked into a tunnel instead. After we struggled through the weaves she picked up her pace because she knew she was on the "homestretch".
The last run of the day was another Gamble. There was opportunity to get lots of points in the opening, but Maggie was really dragging her butt around and, even though we did get one of the mini-gambles, we did not get enough points in the opening to qualify. There were weaves in the closing gamble and Maggie got her entrance but then popped out. She finished the weaves, but we ran out of time.
Maggie at a trial in the summer.
See how happy and spunky she can be.
There were some good things from Maggie's runs. Her contacts were all good and she had a fast table.
The not so good things were her slowness and her weaves. I know that she can be fast and I know that she can weave well.
We have many things to work on and many of them revolve aroung trialing. She is a totally different dog when we are in class and this frustrates me. My goal is to make trialing more fun for her. I may need to stop and pull her off in the middle of a course to reward her when she is being spunky and weaving well. Many trainers pull their dogs off the course when they are out of control or blowing start lines so that their dog is not rewarded for bad behavior. I am going to have to pull Maggie off because she is being good. That sounds very weird, but she needs to know that being at a trial can be as fun as being at practice.
Sunday we had our last agility fun match of the year. It was a windy day, but despite all the wind and jumps blowing over, it was a fun morning. Maggie was in 3 runs and had fun - she even had some fast weaves.
Bosley made his fun match debut and did quite well. He is much more confident than Maggie (so much so he sometimes thinks that he knows better than me which obstacle should come next). As I said earlier, it was very windy on Sunday. As Bosley was going over the dog walk, a big gust of wind came and blew him right off. I am always scared he is going to fall off the dog walk because he is so big and sometimes he is careless - he just wants to scramble over the obstacles as fast as he can go. He didn't get hurt in his fall (thankfully) but last night in class he was hesitant to go over the dog walk again. Bosley had lots of fun in his first fun match and even got second place in his Jumpers run.