Monday, August 11, 2008

The USDAA Show N Go!

Gracie and I did our thing at the USDAA Show N Go on Saturday. We have mixed feelings about the day.

It was a beautiful weather day, 75-78 degrees, some sun, some clouds. A great day to be with friends and do agility.

Mum admits she was kind of nervous running Gracie on Saturday, she just wanted her to succeed. Mum made mental notes to be early on direction for Gracie, but was she? Nooooo!!!!! She has a real hard time being early enough for the Gracester. Consequently Gracie had time to think on her own and ran off some. But most all the times she ran off, Mum got her back after some time, and had Gracie finish the courses.

Also, Mum has to remember to take Gracie out to get ready for her run, much earlier than she does with me. Gives Gracie a chance to move around, get her focus, and figure out that just perfect pee spot, which takes Gracie much longer than me. Because Mum didn't do that, Gracie marked up the ring a couple of times. Once after her Gamblers run, and then during her Jumpers run.

Mum entered Gracie in three runs, me in two. Goals for Gracie were to stay focused and keep with Mum on the course; and if they had time work on some weaves in competition. (Gracie doesn't usually stay focused enough for doing weaves, cause she has to slow down).

Goals for me were to work on dogwalk contacts and speed. Mum and I accomplished my dog walk goals, I made my contacts in both Standard (once) and Gamblers (twice) every time. Mum was really happy with that. But my speed really wasn't there this weekend. And, Mum couldn't believe I missed the fairly easy Gamble, but she didn't really pay attention that she may have had to give me an 'out' jump on the last jump.

And oddly enough I got first place on my Standard run, despite Mum's horrible handling. But that wasn't that difficult, only four in our height class. Got a nice bag of Zukes for doing that, which paid for my run. Nice!

Gracie didn't fair as well on her goals. But she had some really nice moments of greatness; an awsome finish in her Jumpers and Gamblers run, and a less than 2 second dog walk on her Standard run.

She ran off just a few feet from Mum on her first run - Gamblers. But came right back to Mum very quickly. Mum did three weaves with her in the opening to try and keep her focus; she missed poles on every try. As things progressed throughout the day, she ran off more and more. But eventually, every time, Mum got her back. You'll see in the vids. It's obvious in the vids that Mum is way late in getting Gracie's attention when she needs to pull back in from running near the outside of the course. That's where Mum looses her all the time. And I'd like to see Mum use a calmer voice with the Gracester out there. Duh!!!!

They have much more work to do, but they both had fun, nonetheless. Mum and Gracie stayed upbeat the entire day, and just made mental notes on what they need to work on. Here are the courses for the day:

On a side note, as Mum and Gracie were going for their second run of the day, I busted out of my crate and ran up to them. I was super jealous because Gracie got to run on Saturday. Made me crazy barky and whiney. But luckily enough, I just ripped open the zipper from my crate and Mum was able to fix it on Sunday. Lucky us! Gracie and I have gone through way too many crates and crate repairs of the last two years. Very expensive!

I'm entered in a USDAA trial next weekend, five runs each day. We'd like to pick up some Standard and Gamblers Q's toward my ADCH. Gracie's going along for the ride, and Mum plans to work on her focus around all the dogs and activity, because she's entered in a CPE trial the next Sunday after. Mum can't wait to see what she does! Will she improve, will she regress? We're keeping a positive outlook that she'll be even better than she was this past weekend!

Thanks to our friend Berry's Mum for video taping us this weekend!


  1. My mom is still laughing at "Stand By". I think Gracie did okay. I know how hard it is to stay focused when there are all those new scents to investigate. Woofs, Kharma

  2. hey JoJo, check out and go to the results page. you can download the course maps. See how USDAA and AKC courses are vs. AAC in Canada!



  3. I love it when you post clips of runs. If you don't mind, I'd like to ask something. Do you have to remember that long course? I wouldn't have a hope. Or does that other person who's in the video tell you each thing you have to do next?

    I loved the 'stand by' text. Laughed out loud.

  4. Yep, we have remember the course! We get about 10 minutes to memorize it and plan our strategy of moves. In the beginning it's kind of difficult to remember the course, but at least when you start doing agility the courses are easier, and easier to remember. They get progressively more difficult as you progress through the classes and titles.

    Glad you all liked the 'stand by'!

  5. oh, gracie, you are just too cute!you look like you are a lot of fun.

  6. Hi there,

    It's an interesting experience is it not, running two dogs, one who's really into the game 99% of the time and the other who has... well,... "issues" :-) That's what I'm going through too, with a german shepherd mix who's almost always on board with me in the agility ring and a hound mix who has developed some stress issues. Night and day, the two of them really. Oh well, I find it's a reminder not to take anything for granted with my german shepherd, and to really appreciate all of the little successes with my hound.

    BTW, Gracie looks so amazing when she's running full out and flying over those jumps! Woo hoo!


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