I have been working to try to get Bosley moving a bit faster in agility. To motivate him, I use his most favorite treat in the world - the bully stick. I had Bosley entered in a CKC agility trial this weekend and the bully stick made the trip with us. I played "Pass The Bully Stick Baton" with Cindy for each of Bosley's runs - as I was entering the ring, I would pass the stick off to her and as I was leaving the ring, Cindy would pass the stick back to me and I would toss it to Bosley. It worked well and Bosley had an awesome weekend (for the the most part - I will get to more in a bit) and was under time in every run except for one, and we had a good excuse for that one.
The weekend was full of challenging courses with difficult weave entrances. Some of the courses really made you think and you had to handle your dog well to be successful. I was happy with my handling for the most part. I had a late cue that sent Bosley to a wrong tunnel mouth, but overall I was happy and I was really pleased with how Bosley responded to my handling.
The very first run of the weekend was a JWW with a very tough weave entrance and there was a lot of discussion during the walk through on how people were planning to handle it. Not many dogs got the entrance and there were some interesting handling choices. The only way I could figure out to make the entrance nice for Bosley was to do a lead out pivot (the weaves were the third obstacle). It worked beautifully and Bosley got the entrance and 'Q'd his first run of the weekend.
My favorite run of the weekend was the last JWW course of the weekend. The course was tight and it almost made me dizzy but it really forced you to handle your dog. It felt like I did about 20 front crosses but I think I really only did 5. Bosley did a great job on this course and all the front crosses really kept his lines tight. Bosley was 1 of only 2 dogs that qualified on this course - there were lots of off-courses and lots of lost handlers. Here is my drawing of the course - it is not exact but gives an idea of how the course flowed. Can you figure out where I put in 5 front crosses? **(My handling choices are at the bottom of this post).
Bosley had one qualifying Standard run. It was a nice run except Bosley got stuck in the chute. I really hate the long CKC chutes and this one seemed quite heavy and I saw a few dogs get tangled. I sent Bosley in the chute and when I looked back, he was stuck. I was just reaching to grab the end of the chute when he popped out on his own and we finished the course - he was even 6 seconds under time with the few seconds lost in the chute.
The rest of Bosley's runs were nice and he had some really fast straight lines. A bobble here and there, but overall one of the best weekends Bosley has had.
The weekend was not without mishaps however. First, there was the chute incident which I already mentioned. Bosley was over time on one run and that is because he broke the weave poles. He missed the entrance on the weaves but he hit the poles so hard that a pole went flying. I thought it had popped off the base but the judge came over and the pole had actually snapped right off. So I stood there, not sure what we should do and the judge said to send him back through the poles (with one missing). Bosley was funny and weaved through as if there were actually a pole there.
The biggest mishap happened on the very last run of the day. It had just started to rain and there had been a big drop in temperature. Bosley knocked a bar on the second jump because he needed to sneeze right as he was taking off. Since we NQd, I thought I would just run and see if I could really get Bosley moving. I got him moving all right - right over the top of the A-frame for a crash landing on the other side. I forgot about the higher, steeper CKC A-frame and when he went over the top he couldn't collect and fell. He fell hard but landed flat on the side of his shoulder, so luckily he didn't get hurt. It was very scary for me. A lesson learned - know when to push for speed but never sacrifice time for safety.
** Front crosses: 7-8, 11-12, 14-15, 16-17, 17-18