Sunday, September 4, 2011

USDAA Take Two

Today was our second USDAA trial, and I can happily report that it was much better than our first!

This morning, it was great to be able to sleep to a reasonable time and go pretty much right around the corner to the trial (25 mins--the closest trial to us of any venue, I'm pretty sure).

Once we arrived Jonah got measured and the reading was just under 20".  If he gets one more under 20" he won't need extra measurements, which I know he would like.  He was pretty good for measuring although he wanted no part of being right up next to the device.

Round 1:  Starters Standard
     Jonah was excited to start the day and ran a nice course.  His A-frame contact was solid, although he trotted down the back side rather than using big strides.  I was worried about the chute because it had a little doghouse around the barrel, which he had never seen before.  It also looked awfully small.  Anyway, he wasn't full speed, but he went right in and had no trouble.  Unfortunately our great 2o2o on the dogwalk on Thursday did not show up today and he trotted through the contact zone.  Our table performance this time was much better than last time:  he did run past it the first time but then he jumped right up.  Once he was up there he realized that there was another ring right next to him and he looked a little nervous.  It took him a few seconds to lay down, but once he was down he stayed nicely.  He nailed a weave entry at speed and was flying along until something distracted him and he popped out around pole 9.  The second time through was fast and clean and he flew down the closing line.  So, certainly not a perfect round, but not a half-bad round, either.  Q and 4th.

Round 2:  Starters Gamblers
     We had a 25 second opening and then the closing line which was a jump to a tunnel/A-frame discrimination to two more jumps.  The closing discrimination wasn't especially challenging, although the A-frame did draw a few dogs off-course.  Anyway, last weekend Jonah did 11 obstacles in 30 seconds so I planned a 9 obstacle opening for the 25 seconds, and I was thinking we might not get through it.  Well, we got through my 9 obstacles before the buzzer sounded so I had to do some creative handling to waste time and pick up three more jumps before I finally heard the sound.  Then he raced down the line without a bobble.  What a good boy!  Q and 3rd.

Round 3:  Starters Snooker
     Something just didn't go right with this round and I'm still not quite sure what it was.  Warming up, Jonah just wasn't high energy.  When we went in the ring he did his usual excited bark, but it didn't last for long.  We jumped the first red and then Jonah just stopped and looked around.  I got him over a color and then he stopped again.  We found another red, he jogged to another color and then locked in on another color and I didn't have the heart to pull him off since he was so demotivated.  So, that was our 12 point snooker.  Only 25 points short of qualifying :-/.  I've never seen Jonah so shut down in a run at a trial.  I still have no idea what was bothering him.  It just wasn't meant to be.

Round 4:  Starters Jumpers
     I didn't do a very good scientific method for this round (whereby I would have only changed one variable)--I did everything I could think of to get Jonah enthusiastic for his last run.  Dave had arrived and took him for a jog down to the lake.  I hosed him off.  I gave him lots of cookies and had him do active tricks right to the last minute.  When we got the go, he was off!  We both ran hard over the first half of the course, until Jonah stopped and looked for his Dad.  Luckily he snapped back into focus fairly quickly and he finished the course fast again.  It was a silly moment, but aside from that it was a great course.  Q and 4th.  I think he would have been 2nd if it weren't for his oops moment.  Thanks to Dave for the footage!

So, overall it was a pretty good day.  We didn't have any perfect runs and we had one pretty awful run, but there were moments of brilliance.  I'm looking forward to our third USDAA trial on Friday!

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