Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Gracie gets a gamblers Q!

OMD I got a gamblers Q!
The weekend that I got my ADCH, Gracie ran too!

She ran gamblers on Friday, and standard and gamblers on Saturday and Sunday.

Gracie's run on Friday was amazing! She was focused, attentive, fast and super fun to run Mum says.

Mum is only entering Gracie in these two events now, as she doesn't have any standard run Q's in starters and only had one starters gamblers Q before Friday.

Even though she's moved up to Masters level in snooker and jumpers, Mum just doesn't think that the stress that radiates in the masters ring area is right for Gracie right now, as stress from anyone or any dog around her just makes her too freaked out and glassy eyed. So they are sticking with starters and advanced in these two events for now.

Mum had a fun plan for Gracie on her Friday gamblers run, taking a couple of tunnels (which are her favorite) and then seeing what else she could do. The gamble was a little tricky for a starters as there was a bit of discrimination, but Gracie handled it like a pro.

Mum led Gracie over the three jumps to the right of the chute and then to the tunnel under the frame. Then she led her back through the same tunnel again and on to the tire and then the other tunnel. A couple of jumps and then to the weaves, but as Gracie went into the weaves the buzzer went off already as it was a 1,2,3,5 course which are faster. So Mum ran to the jump after the weaves, did a front cross and led Gracie to the 1 of the gamble, pulled back a little and called tunnel.

Since Gracie is is a tunnel 'sucker' it was easy for her. Mum then called Gracie toward her and ran her to the jump. It was a beautiful run!!

And it turned out that Gracie was the only dog of all the dogs in starters to Q on that run with 44 points.

So Gracie got a nice blue ribbon to take home and kick off the weekend! Good job sis!

But that was the end of Gracie's good fortune that weekend. During her standard runs, she wouldn't go near the teeter, as she's still got a super big fear of it from over a year ago. The first time Gracie saw the teeter on Saturday, she took off and jumped the ring fences and headed over to the masters ring. It was just too much for her stress level.

A little embarrassed, Mum got her back and vowed to watch her stress level more closely on her other runs for the weekend to help her manage her stress more.

She ran two more gamblers, but was a bit unfocused in the opening even though on one she got the gamble part of the course like a super pro! The next run was standard on Sunday, so Mum watched Gracie's eyes very closely for signs of stress and once she saw the 'glassy eyed' look start to overcome her at the teeter, she led Gracie on for a nice rest of the run. She made most of her contacts and if not for the doggone teeter, she probably would have Q'd.

You may remember that Gracie's judge that weekend was an individual that Mum and I had taken our first agility classes with way back in the day in Indiana. The judge remembered seeing Gracie over those early years get very stressed and not even take but one obstacle on runs.

She saw that Gracie has improved a lot over the years, which she has. But she did remark to Mum that she still gets that glassy eyed stress look that she had remembered when we were back in Indiana

Mum continues to work on Gracie's teeter wherever she can, at home and at the place where we do run thrus. She's much better at both of those places, but still has trouble in competition.

But they will keep trying. On to the next trial coming up this weekend! Woo Hoo!


  1. Congratulations, Gracie! We know you'll master that teeter in time! You are one smart girl!

    Love ya lots♥
    Mitch and Molly

  2. My rescue BC has always been worried on agility courses for a reason I don't know - she was worried the first time I took her to training. I persisted for a couple of years and she improved but I could see she was still not enjoying it, so we stopped. As much as I loved it I wasn't going to force my girl to do something she clearly didn't enjoy. It's important to see past your own wants and consider how your dog really feels. If Gracie is scared enough to bolt and if the problem occurred from the beginning then she must be very worried. It's not fair to cause her that stress so often for your wants.

  3. Anon - oh, I know that Gracie enjoys agility, you should see her tail wag! There is a big difference between Gracie's behavior being scared and her 'glassy eyed' overwhelm-ness sometimes at trials. Our utmost concern is how Gracie feels. I believe it's important for individuals to do what they feel is right for their dog. If you feel you needed to quit, great. But I know what I feel Gracie needs and always do what's best for her. Believe me if it was fear that she felt at agility, I wouldn't encourage her to do it at all. But it's not fear.


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