I couldn't have been more pleased with how Bosley worked during the entire draft test on Friday. His off-leash heeling was very good - especially considering we were outside. He got a couple nice comments from the judges on his heeling as well as his "halts" and his back-up from the basic cart control section of the test.
For the freight haul, the judges have the option of judging each dog individually or doing a group freight haul. Due to the large number of entries, they opted for the group haul. This means that 3 dogs go at a time and each take a turn at being the dog in the front, in the middle and in the back. You are not allowed to pass the dog in front of you, which means you must adjust your pace to the lead team. I was a bit worried about this, as the first section was all downhill and Bosley loves to try to run down the hills and we were in the middle position to start. I made sure I left a lot of room between us and the lead dog and made Bosley go SLOW down the hill. He listened very well and we had no problems. The dog behind us however would not slow down and the handler had to grab him to keep him from running into us (an automatic fail). At first I felt bad that they failed because we were going so slow, but draft work is really all about control and control is essentially what determines a pass or fail.
There was one section of the test that got many dogs, especially the non-traditional drafting breeds entered (a Standard Poodle, a Portuguese Water Dog and a Rough Collie). The dogs had to pull their loaded cart (40 pounds) straight up a hill, stop, make a sharp left turn a go straight down the side of the hill. Many dogs refused to do the hill or could not get enough momentum going up the hill and the loaded cart would just pull them back down. It was too bad, as many of these dogs tried so hard but they just couldn't make it.
Overall, I thought it was a very good test. Lots of challenges but not impossible. The judges were great and everyone was very encouraging. I met some great Berner people too!!
Bosley was #7 in the test. They had very cute placards to put on the back of our cart for the test.
I think I will leave my license plate on.
Maggie and Bosley were also entered in agility over the weekend. Bosley got the last "Q" needed to finish his AgXS title. He had a couple other really nice runs. We had some miscommunication on a couple other runs. Overall, I was happy. He was very slow in the weaves - trying to be careful and adjust to the 24" spacing. By the end of the weekend he was figuring it out.
Maggie made it very clear to me that she was not happy that I was making her jump 20". She cannot jump 16" in CKC until she is 7 years old. I pulled her from her runs on Sunday and I pulled her entry from a CKC trial in July. If she is not happy, I am not going to force her to play.