Sunday, May 4, 2014

Agility Trial: LaMesa at the Border Terrier Trial at Queen City

I'm a little late in posting the wrap-ups from the Border Terrier Club trial at the Queen City Dog Training Club, and for that I apologize! Instead of boring you with why, I'll just get right to it.

This was our first trial back after Nationals. LaMesa had a nice break after the Louisville Cluster, but she was ready to run like nobody's business.

The courses by Peter Liu are usually very challenging, but always fun to run. This weekend they were fast courses, but they did provide their own little problems that maybe you don't see right away on the course map--off course distractions, etc. I guess I unintentionally decided to challenge not only myself but my dogs in doing different things.

For instance, in this Standard run with LaMesa, I should have just let her do the weaves and trusted her at the end for a front cross or blind cross. Instead, I wanted to rear her into the weaves, which meant me getting in her way (which you hear she does not approve), causing her to get pushed out of the entrance and refusing. I could have just pushed her into the correct end, but I didn't trust her. I need to learn to trust LaMesa now that we're getting more trials under her collar.

Sunday we finally saw some success with a clean run, and her second Masters Jumpers leg! The only thing I wish I had handled differently was the first rear cross--I was too late (or too early?), but thankfully she stuck with me and moved forward.

Peter liked starting his courses this weekend with tunnels. I quickly learned that I need to really work with LaMesa on control when it comes to those start lines. In each run that started with a tunnel, she was fired up, which did not allow me to get the right start. She doesn't have a 100% solid start line stay, yet, and she definitely doesn't when it comes to tunnels/chutes at the start.

In Sunday's Standard, LaMesa was fired up to see the chute at the beginning (when I sat her down in front of the chute she playfully growled at me, and I immediately thought "Uh oh"). I meant to do a front cross on the landing side of the jump (second obstacle) so I could pull her to the correct side of the tunnel. When I couldn't get there in time, I had hoped to beat her to the end of the dog walk to front cross there. When that didn't work, I tried pushing good. She went into the wrong end of the tunnel. After that, I decided to try a blind cross at the end of the weaves, but to do that I needed to beat her to the end of the weaves...taking off like I did caused her to pop out of the weaves to catch up to me. So, lots of work to do there. (And I'll admit there was a small voice in the back of my head saying this could be LaMesa's first QQ...FAIL.)

We're making progress...slowly, but surely. We'll get that first QQ soon!

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