Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Dottie Agility Runs July

Dottie has not had a Q in a while. I think her last qualifying run was back at the end of May, when she earned a Q in Ex A JWW at the end of the three day trial in the heat and she was moving rather slowly.

BUT, that is ok. The mistakes we are having are mistakes a green team could be expected to make and I think any day now we will put it all together and start having success. In the mean time, I find sucess in small pieces, rather than the overall run. Last weekend both of our runs on Saturday were NQs due to missing the last weave pole. That is somewhat disappointing because this is a new problem, and also something I can specifically train for. So I trained Saturday night and Sunday morning and on Sunday she did the weaves perfectly. I'll continue to train this to make sure this particular problem doesn't pop back up.

Monday morning I was proofing the weaves by doing all sorts of weird things to distract her, and nothing worked- she was perfect every time! That is good. But I kept at it and finally found something that made her unable to concentrate hard enough to weave. I think this is important because a trial is so distracting, I have to be very creative to find things I can do in the sterile environment of my backyard to mimic the high levels of distraction found in a trial. As she was weaving, I bent over and ran along with my hands on the ground, sort of like a gorilla, and tore at the grass. Yes, I am most likely a bit odd. The good news is even though it distracted her at first, I showed her that she should ignore me, and nothing was able to distract her after that. The bad news is I seem to have hurt my back doing it. Not something I want to admit if I have to report it to the doctor. I've been taking pain/ anti-inflammatory stuff and it should be fine. Geesh, the things I get into...

Here are Dottie's runs from Sunday. In Standard I caused the bar by calling her right over it and then she read a rear cross when there was not one. Overall, the contacts were great (should have held the dog walk longer) and the teeter was perfect. Gotta watch out for the table.

In jumpers we missed a jump since I was working the weaves too much. But notice she did them correctly. I usually do not claim my dogs are the best at anything, because that is the truth. BUT on this day, MY dog had the tightest turn out of any of the dogs I watched. In the 180 before the weaves most dogs went really wide. Dottie read my deceleration cue perfectly and was so very tight. Then coming back the other way on the way out, the same nice tight turn. Other dogs might have been tighter, but of the dogs I saw, she was the best!!!

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