It's time! Tomorrow morning we will be waking up extra early, getting in the car by 6:15, and going up to All Dogs Gym for our first trial.
We just did our last training session, which was quite short considering that, with wind chill, it feels like single digits and of course the fact that we have a total of about 2 feet of snow on the ground. I did not get a chance to shovel off a training area in the back yard after this storm. Maybe next week...
So, instead of being able to practice much handling, we just did the teeter and I brought out the chute. His teeter is looking awesome. I can be a solid 10 feet away and he hits his contact beautifully. I actually hope it's an option for us in our games this weekend, because I think he likes it and he's faster at it than the dog walk, if not the A-frame as well.
I pulled out the chute because there hasn't been one out in our last few lessons. He hasn't had chute issues in a long time, but I figured it was good to just let it be nice and familiar for him. Well, I probably gave him reason to have chute problems. I just put it out on the driveway which has about 3" of snow on it. I didn't stake it down, which was a huge mistake. He ran right in and got tangled up in it, having to come back out the entrance. Bad me. Anyway, he didn't seem the least bit concerned and went right back in with me holding it still. We did that 7 or 8 times, went back to the teeter for a few more repetitions, and called it a day. Good boy.
Now our last part of training before the trial is him getting a rawhide in his crate so he thinks the crate is a happy place to hang out. I really think the most stressful parts of the trial will be the non-competing moments in the stressful environment: measuring, crating, etc. I do feel like we've done our homework pretty well. While there's always more preparing you can do, I think we're ready for the challenge.
Here's for three Qs tomorrow!