Monday, July 26, 2010

My First Agility Trial

What is this stupid thing around my neck and why are you so happy about it?

Well Gaius and I are back from our first agility trial ever! And a really couldn't be happier with him. So lets get down to business and talk about the check list:

Goal 2: I want Gaius to stay with me the whole time (No darting off to bark at judges or sniff, or do whatever else comes into his little dachshund brain)

With the exception of the last run he stayed with me the entire time :)

Goal 3: I want him to move at faster than a walking pace for the majority of his time on the field. None of this slow poke bull he does outside.

Even when he had his little meltdown he ran fast! Which I couldn't be happier about. He had his slow poky moments but all in all he ran his heart out. Who could ask for more?

Goal 1: I do not want Gaius to bark at the judges when we are running. (He can bark at them when they measure him, that's understandable)

Ok, we fell apart a bit our last run but Gaius made it through three whole runs without paying either male judge any attention. So all and all a success.

I now take you to the video tape!

Let's break it down by run:

Saturday JWW: Wonderful gorgeous run. Nothing bad to say about it. He read my front cross gorgeously. The only thing that kept us from the Q was him knocking the bar. After reviewing the tape I'm pretty sure that wasn't my fault (As in he didn't miss it due to a handling error. He just needs some foundation jumping stuff.) And obviously we need to work on weave pole entires being that he's missed every entry this trail but that's not SUPER important in novice as he gets as many chances as he needs. I'd say this was his 2nd best run.

Saturday STD: This is the one that didn't make the video tape. But I'll break it down, at least what a remember. He was a little pokier on the run. It was the end of a long day for him I think. It also was probably the worst weave poles. I had to send him through three times which ate seconds. He also refused the A-frame which I had a sneaking suspicion he would do. He ran right past it and it took me a moment to pull him back around to try again. I have to give him a lot of lead up on the A-frame to get him over it because he has such small legs. But he took it the second time which was good. But all of this added seconds and we ended up going over time. I was convinced we hadn't Qed.

But this totally sweet woman with a beagle told me to stick around for the ribbons just in case, because she had a sneaking suspicion that you could have a time fault in Novice. So I did hang out for basically another hour (my parents were a bit miffed) and it turns out we did Q! And with the stiff competition of Gaius being the only Novice A 8" dog we got a blue ribbon in the bargain! I'd say this was his 3rd best run of the weekend.

Sunday STD: Near perfect run. No complaints. Again he missed the weave entry and the only thing that kept him from Qing was stepping on the broad jump but it was a rough entry for a long backed dog. And did you see him read that rear cross at the end?!? I had to do a rear cross! He's never going fast enough in class for me to do a rear cross! Awesome! I walked out of the ring feeling on top of the world. Awesome! I couldn't wait to do it again. This was by far his best run of the weekend :) 1st place in my eyes.

Sunday JWW: We were the second to last dog running at the trail and we were both out of it. This run went down hill quickly. I made two handling mistakes very quickly and you can see Gaius get frustrated with me. I think the judge having to raise his arms so much (calling our faults) made Gaius take notice and he decided to take action to remove him from the field. He left me three times to bark at the judge but at least I was able to get his focus back each time.

General Trial Conclusions: I think something that really contributed to Gaius' little last run meltdown was the fact that I volunteered in other rings for most of the day meaning that I was away from him for long periods of time. Also all the leash running and bar setting tried me out and by the time I got to running my course I was sloppy and forgetful causing me to make many handling errors. So lesson learned. Less volunteering, more worrying about my pup.

Gaius was beautifully beautifully behaved during the trail. He only barked at one man who was legitimating doing something weird near his crate but other than that not a peep. He slept in his crate and waited patiently for his turn.

Things I've Learned:
1) Don't volunteer for a million things and wear yourself out.
2) I need to work with Gaius on his weave pole entries
3) The scoring of Novice runs is way more complicated than I thought it was. I need to read the rules again.
4) Gaius was ready to do this inside... lets try outside. I just signed up for an outdoor trial in two months. We'll see what happens.

Agility trials mean a lot of crate time. Gaius does not like crate time.
P.S. First time adding music in imovie. I'm getting better at this :)


Lisa said...

You both did so well! I've usually just seen individual moves and tricks but to see the you guys take the course was splendid.

Elizabeth said...

Thank you lisa :)