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Monday, January 11, 2010

First Agility Trial Of The Year

We didn't start our first trial off with a bang, but I am mostly pleased with how it went. I have a few things to work on with Bosley thats for sure.

Our first run of the weekend was Starters Gamblers. It was perfect - we even got a mini gamble and when the whistle blew we were in the perfect position to start the final Gamble. The final Gamble was jump - send to tunnel - stay out into another tunnel. Bosley went right out to the tunnel and finished the final gamble perfectly. Sounds good right? Not quite. There was something wrong with the timer so we had to do a re-run. In the re-run, I messed up my handling sending him into the final gamble and Bosley was confused as where to go. He tried hard to figure it out, but we ran out of time. Bummer. That's the way it goes sometimes, I guess.

The next two runs were Advanced Standard runs. On the first run we were doing great and then Bosley decided he would admire the judge as he was going up the teeter. He fell off the teeter, gave me a confused look and then hopped back on the teeter into his 2o2o position. Funny, but an NQ. His second Standard run, he went to check out some tunnel bags on his way to a jump so he had a refusal. NQ. On a good note, his weaves were beautiful and fast.

The last run Saturday was Starters Jumpers. He ran well, didn't stop and look at anything and he got a Q. Now he moves to Advanced Jumpers.

The first run of Sunday was Steeplechase. I usually do not enter my dogs in Steeplechase because it really is a fast dog game and my dogs just do not have the speed to qualify (well Maggie can have the speed when she decides to). My plan for steeplechase was just to run as fast as I could and have fun. There were 2 sets of 12 weaves and Bosley missed the entries on both sets - odd for him. It was a fun course.

Next we had 2 more Standard courses. Bosley was really gawking around on both runs. The first one he missed an easy weave entry because the sun was right in his eyes. NQ. The second run, he was so busy looking at where his treats were hidden for the end of his run, that he totally missed my serp cue and had a refusal. NQ.

The last run of the day was Advanced Snooker. I had my course planned so that we needed to get to the end of #6 in the closing to qualify. We should have been able to do this easily as I picked a good path that would have minimum yardage. Once again Bosley was gawking around, missed my cue to go over a jump, so I had to regroup him and get him back. This wasted a few seconds. The #6 in the closing was tunnel-jump-jump. We were just going to the 2nd jump when we ran out of time. Arrggg!

Bosley had some great moments this weekend - his weaves were good and when he is focused he really responds well. I really expected to get a Standard Q this weekend - so I am a bit frustrated that Bosley was so unfocused at times. I need to figure out how to keep Bosley's focus, especially now that the courses are getting more difficult and the times are getting tighter. I know I need to be tougher on him and give him a verbal correction when he starts gawking - this usually works. I also would like to get Bosley moving faster - he is really agile for such a large dog and he can run quite fast, so I don't like to see him trotting along the agility course. Maybe wind sprints are in Bosley's future training.

I also need to do some more jump work with Bosley. One of the judges (who also has Bernese) came to talk to me about Bosley's jumping. She said that he is using his front to propel himself over the jumps not his rear. He needs to learn how to use his rear end better so that his jumping is more efficient. She gave me some good ideas to start with and suggested using Susan Salo's jumpwork videos.

1 comment:

  1. This is really interesting! I am learning so much about agility competition from reading the sites. Congrats on getting some great seasoning work for Bosley and some good advice!