Monday, March 26, 2012

Dottie IPO 3 Recap

When I got Dottie, it was not my goal to finish her IPO 3 while she was still only 2 years old.  More accurately, I should say, "When I decided to keep Dottie.." because my first goal was to place her, since I was only a foster home.  After she got over her "distemper" (aka bad case of kennel cough, but got a false positive from her recent distemper shot) I tried hard to get rid of her.  Due to her being crated 24/7, I never bonded, and my only interactions with her involved suiting up in a cloth coverall, carrying her to an x-pen for potty, then carrying her back to her crate.  With her struggling the entire time.  So we were not exactly enamored of each other.  But no one would take her!  And the longer she stuck around, actually allowed out of her crate once Dr. Dodds looked at her blood work and cleared her of the fake distemper, the more I actually bonded with the funny looking puppy.  So she stayed.  And my goal was to do well in agility with her, which has not happened, not get through IPO titles as quickly as possible.

But get through them quickly we did, goal or not.  She was ready for her 1 at our club trial back in September, then the Regionals were coming, and I wanted to enter, so we got ready for our 2 in Jan, and now here it is March, and she tried for, and passed, her 3.  A two year old, a rescue, and a female to boot, and she is IPO 3!

The trial was just one town over, so I didn't even have to get up early.  We went on Thursday to practice running the blinds  and doing a send out on the field.  Tracking was just down the street.  Nice dirt, no problems with the surface.  She had trouble on one corner and did some casting which cost us points, and she tried to get up and leave early on an article which cost us more points.  We ended up with 88, which is a respectable score, but is our lowest score in tracking.

Back at the club it was time for obedience.  I got to go first on the heeling and motion exercises.  For her 1 and 2 we had to do the long down first.  I don't know if she just chose to be a good dog on this day, or if having to do the long down first is what our problem has been.  In her 1 and 2 she seemed pretty distracted and did not give me the nice attention we trained for.  However, during this trial, she did.  Even between the exercises I did not loose her attention.  Unlike in AKC obedience, between exercises is graded just as a normal exercise and any extra commands are penalized, and the dog has to remain in heel position.  No motivational games or jumping around allowed.  She did the sit, running down and running stand all very nice.  A bit crooked on each finish.  I am always fighting her on that.  Retrieves were good and her send out was very good.  I needed 2 commands to get her to down for the long down.  Why?  That is probably what caused us to go from a 90 to our final score of an 89.  Still, the 89 is our best obedeince score so far.

After a very tasty lunch it was time for protection.  As always, she was somewhat distracted heeling between the blinds for the blind search.  She knows the bad guy is out here and she wants to find him first, so her attention is more on the blinds we are passing than on me.  She ran the blinds correctly and went in for the bark and hold.  I think for her 1 and 2 her barking was better.  She stopped barking for a second a few times.  Call out was nice.  Set up for the escape was barley under control, as usual.  Escape bite, out and re-attack were all good.  Her grips overall were better than in her 1 and 2, but towards the end they started to slip again.  I wasn't mentally prepared for the side transport.  The helper started walking and I needed to give Dottie a nice firm heel command but instead I sort of just started walking behind the helper and gave a belated and questioning heel command.  The helper made a very crisp left hand turn that Dottie almost thought was the attack, but I said heel again, and she finished the exercise in a better position than she started in.  She came in nice and fast for the long bite.  The judge said she slowed down, which may be the case, but I don't believe it is nerves, just her trying to make sure the helper doesn't jump away at the last moment.  I think it cost us in points, but a slow down is also safer on the dog, so I'm fine with it.  We ended with 85 points and pronounced.  My little 45 pound girl got pronounced for each of her titles.  She's one tough cookie! 

I had Pie out for a visit later, and her wagging tail knocked my Diet Coke over and it spilled on Dottie's score book.  Jealousy from Pie?

Even though it wasn't a goal, it was satisfying to finish the IPO titles on such a young girl.  We will trial some more.  I'd like to get our tracking score back up, and keep or improve on the obedience and protection scores.

There are even more pictures on Facebook.  Click here and you can see them with no account.

Just starting off.

Recall from the moving down.
Retrieve over the hurdle.

Dismount of the wall.

Putting the dumbbell back at the end of the retrieves.
A sweet good girl- during the critique.
Running all 6 blinds.
More drive.

Coming for you.

Do I look like an IPO 3 dog??
Flirting with one of her boyfriends.
I let Dottie pick any toy in PetSmart and she picked the toy on sale for $2!  

1 comment:

Urban canines said...

Huge congratulations to both of you!
IPO3 is an amazing accomplishment and you both looked amazing in the photos! Great job and you are excellent role models for competing so successfully in so many venues!