Monday, October 13, 2008

We finished it out!

We did it, we finished out the USDAA trial, despite Mum's ouch.

Here are the good points:

Mum's feeling lots, lots better. She even stayed to help tear down and clean up.
I got my Standard Agility Masters Title.
I probably had one of my best and fastest runs ever during my Relay run.
I got my Relay Masters Title.
My teeter is much better.
My weaves are getting a little speedier.
Got all my Dogwalk contacts this weekend.
We still really love my speed coming off the start with me in a down stay.

Things we learned:

I need continued work on my Dogwalk, weave, teeter and all over speed.
Gracie needs to be entered in at least two events on the days that she runs to give her a chance to blow off and then get serious.
Mum needs to really work on queuing me earlier on the next obstacle.
I need to be sent more to obstacles for obstacle focus running, makes me lots faster.
Mum needs to accelerate and decelerate to get me tighter on jump turn.
I need support on the gambles, having Mum hold positions longer till I'm fully committed.
Gracie needs precise and much less movement from Mum than I do, she's much more reactive, especially during trials.
Mum needs to find a way for Gracie to really want and love the weaves, she just doesn't want to stop for them in a trial run; slows her down.

And the best thing we may have learned this weekend:

Sometimes you have to feel bad to really appreciate when you feel good!!!

Here's some video:

So I ran Gamblers, Standard and Steeplechase on Saturday; Relay, Standard, Grand Prix and Snooker on Sunday. Gracie ran Standard on Sunday.

The Gamblers run is the first one in the vid. Decent speed, pretty flowing, made my DW contacts. After the last Frame, Mum planned for me to take a jump after the tire, but the judge was in the way standing right in front of the jump, so being the good mannered boy I am, I veered into the tunnel instead. Got us behind and Mum discombobulated going into the Gamble, so I wasn't as speedy going in. Mum didn't hold and support me to the out jump, so I turned into the weaves. But Mum turned me around and I took the jump and the teeter (much improved teeter Mum thought). There was an out jump that Mum wasn't in a position to get me out to, so finished with an NQ. But Mum liked how I handled everything in this run, just wish the judge wouldn't have been in our way.

Standard run on Saturday was the one I needed for my SAM title. Got it with a fairly decent run. In the vid.

You'll remember that Mum hurt bad after my really awful Steeplechase run. So we went home.

Came back on Sunday starting with the Relay. I ran second to my partner because I'm faster if I do. We told our partner that this was potentially our RM title, no pressure right? That's right, no pressure, there is always next time.

The judge had us do a reverse baton exchange; which means that the person not running holds the baton, and passes it to the partner after their run. Mum holding the baton while I was waiting kind of freaked me out. But the beauty of that is I couldn't wait to get away from that thing. Took of like a bat out of heck.

Even before Mum got anywhere near the first jump, I was gone - she yelled chute (second obstacle), and thankfully caught up to me a bit. Took the other two jumps with Mum out about 20 feet from me. I just barely made my DW contact (Mum thought I missed it). I took the jump wide after the DW for a near off course, but came back in for a jump to the tunnel. I was out of the tunnel with Mum just at the entrance. Mum had to send me to the tire and then weaves. She caught up to me there, and we took the last jump together. Whew, what a fun run, and ended up with 1st place!

Mum went off to run Gracie. Dog was I jealous! Gracie was super focused on Mum before the run. Took the off leash practice jump quite a few times, worked her warm up very well, good girl! Mum set her up at the start, and led out a bit so that she could get a front cross in after the second obstacle - the tunnel. But Mum was late, and veered Gracie out too much, so Gracie started off looking for direction somewhere else. Mum got her back and set her up for the weaves, but by that time, Gracie didn't want to concentrate that hard, she just wanted to run. She did a few weaves and then got stressed and started sniffing heavily. So Mum picked her up and took her off course.

We learned some good things here - Gracie needs queuing way, way earlier than I do, or else she'll find something else to do immediately. It's really difficult for Mum to practice this with Gracie, accept in a trial situation. So they are going to keep practicing at trials. And we learned that she needs to be entered in at least two runs per day one to blow off some steam and the next to get her focus. Next weekend Gracie, next weekend - two days, two runs each day for you!

Here's Gracie with the toy she got at the trial. Like me she got a toy for her entry. Gracie's Standard run was 15 obstacles, a $1 for every obstacle. She took two obstacles before running off, so we're thinking the toy cost Mum about $13.00, with Gracie earning $2 of the $15.00. Better really enjoy that toy Gracie!

Standard was next for me and I was still fairly speedy, even thought it started to get hot. I ran pretty good and got a 2nd place on this run. Fun stuff. See the vid.

Grand Prix was after that. I had some pretty good speed, but not enough coming off the Frame and Mum didn't support me on the jump. Got a refusal. So we kept on, working on some speed. The weave entrance was super nasty, so Mum decided to let me do whatever I wanted and not micro-manage me. Missed a couple of poles, but she didn't care. I had some pretty good speed.

Next up was Snooker, and Mum was encouraged that I had a shot at a SQ. But I just was too beat to get my speed up. I took an off course and we were out. Wouldn't have gotten it anyway. Only 2 SQ's given in my height and those pups are super fast. But we'll keep trying.

Overall and considering Mum's hurting we were really happy with the weekend. We get more tries at the USDAA trial next weekend. I'm entered in Grand Prix, Standard x2, Snooker, Gamblers, Jumpers and Relay. Gracie is entered in Standard x2, Gamblers and Jumpers.

And the weather is looking good, so far. 65 and Sunny, perfect Sheltie/BC running weather!


  1. Congratulations!! You did great!

    So glad your Mom is feeling a little better, pass a few healing Rotti Slobbers on from me, they are magical!

    love and tailwags,

    Ben xxx

  2. Hi, I found your blog a while back and love it! Congrats on all of the awards!

  3. Good job! Does Gracie do better if you run with her instead of doing a lead out? Some dogs get stressed at the start line if you lead out. Just wondering. Diana

  4. Johann - Sounds like you and Gracie had a busy agility weekend! Congrats on your titles!

    But most of all, we're glad to hear that your mum is feeling much better!

  5. Congratulations on your new titles, very exciting! Two new titles in one trial, cool. Also YAY on the rest of your successes this weekend. Enjoyed the videos as always.

  6. Thanks everyone! We sure had fun.

    Good question Diane - one we have experimented with and had much discussion about.

    In the past if Mum ran with her, she'd maybe take one jump and then take off for good.

    Seems she's better if Mum leads out, but Mum has to be determined and quick about it; before Gracie starts making up her own mind.

    That's why you see Mum fiddling with her collar (taking it on and off) before the timer said go, so Gracie didn't have a chance to think.

    Gracie thinks the stay is her job, and she loves her jobs! It's just that on the trial course Mum doesn't give our her assignments fast enough. And then when Mum calls her back, Gracie starts to get confused and then starts to stress. But Mum makes it a game, so she doesn't have a complete meltdown like a year ago.

    Gracie was having some wiggle butt fun out there on the course! And that's always the goal.

  7. Two Masters titles in the same trial. That's pretty danged cool. Congratulations. Figuring out whether you've actually gotte a contact is a bit of a crapshoot, IMHO. There have been times when I would swear that I saw my dog's foot or feet land solidly in the yellow when the judge has called it, and sometimes I could swear the dog sailed right over it when the dog didn't call it. But it's hard to watch the yellow zone and your own dog at the same time, so who knows. Glad the DW went in your favor this time.

  8. congratulation for your title, johann..

    oh, i love gracie toy..


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