Sunday, April 29, 2012

Bo-Gee Trial

Jonah and I had a pretty good weekend.

First off, it was just wonderful to be outside, and this venue is quite lovely.  There is a stream around the huge field where the trial is, and Jonah and I would take a nice little trip over to the water after each run.  We were also able to run around in the field, practice tugging, and generally be happy and excited.

He was not ever rudely barky at other dogs.  Some of that was because he was being good, and part was just because there's simply more room outside.

The biggest difference was in being able to get him excited before going in the ring.  That was good stuff.

Saturday Round 1:  Standard Level 4
     This was our first run yesterday, and it went alright.  Actually, it started quite well and we got through all the tough stuff pretty easily.  Jonah was running nicely, making tight lines, and looking happy.  Then came the teeter, and he was suddenly nervous.  The teeter's never been his favorite obstacle, but he's generally good about it.  Well, he was super slow and I had to take a step back and wait for him.  He tipped it and then jumped off the side.  The judge didn't call anything, but if he touched yellow it wasn't much!  I was caught off guard, but we continued on.  Then there was a 180 and he was still just unmotivated after the teeter incident, so he was pretty slow.  Once he got to the weaves, though, he picked back up and ran the end of the course well.  He did pull a bar, so we ended up fourth.  Even with the slowness, he had the fastest time in our class and would have won without the bar.  Anyway, I was feeling lucky to not have been called on the teeter.  I'll take the Q!

Saturday Round 2:  Jackpot Level 4
      The most logical opening involved the teeter, but I wanted him fast and having fun, so I made up a different plan.  We had 25 seconds so I was thinking we'd get in 10-12 obstacles.  Well, he was flying!  We got through the 14 I had planned for and I had to improvise after that while waiting for the buzzer.  What a good boy.  Then the closing was difficult.  It was like this:

Well, we got it!  Jonah slowed down a little bit when I gave the 'out' command.  I think he wasn't 100% sure he was doing what I wanted, but he went out to the far tunnel entrance at 2.  After that, 3 and 4 were a breeze.  Woo!  I was surprised that our opening was not enough for first place--we were 2nd.  A Q is a Q, though!  That earns us our CL4-S title and makes our goal of being in level 5 for 4 classes by nationals.

Sunday Round 1:  Standard Level 4
     Well, we screwed up.  I was worried about him being nervous about the teeter.  It was the third obstacle.  He'd let me rev him up a lot before the run and he started really fast.  Maybe too fast.  He flew over the first two jumps, lept onto the teeter and then didn't want to stop!  He flew right off.  Having blown it, I took a chance in the weaves and tried to leave him while I went to put in a FC.  It pulled him out of the weaves.  It shouldn't.  I guess I need to work on weave independence again.  It's a skill I don't practice very much and I guess I can't just take it for granted.  Anyway, after that we once again flew through the difficult sections of the course.  No problem.  He did run through his DW.  I'm so glad we're going to have a legitimate running contact soon!  Oh, and then we pulled the last bar.  Doh.  Not our best work.  He was fast fast fast, though :).

Sunday Round 2:  Wildcard Level 4
     This time we got things back under control, but then we lost some of the speed that was so nice in standard.  It wasn't too tough a course.  The weave entry was a little tricky, then there was an unintuitive tunnel entrance, and then a discrimination.  Jonah didn't blink at any of it.  Just a little pokey.  It was enough to win our class, though, and to finish level 4 for Wildcard!  That means we just have colors and standard to finish in level 4.

Sunday Round 3:  Colors Level 4
     This course was pretty similar to the Wildcard course.  In fact, it was almost exactly the same except they shifted the tunnels and switched some single jumps for doubles, etc.  This time was better.  We cut 3 seconds off the time of our first run.  I still think he could have run faster, but it was a smooth run and he was happy, so I won't ask for more.  I didn't wait to see how we placed but I got our score sheet to verify our Q.

In sum, it was a good trial.  I'm a little bummed that we would now have to go 3/3 at nationals to finish level 4 standard, but oh well.  We'll get there when we get there.  Today marks our 80th Q, which means we're 2/3 of the way to a CATCH.  It's looking like, depending on what our trial schedule is this summer and fall and how much USDAA we do, we may have a shot of finishing it up before the end of the year.  Of course, as soon as I start running our dogwalks we may have a lot more NQs :).  My plan at this point is to get our AAD in USDAA and then really focus on CPE until we have our CATCH.  Then we'll pretty much just switch over.

I feel like there's so much I want to do to make Jonah 'the complete package' (running dogwalk, improve teeter performance, proof weave independence, practice discriminations, teach a left and right, work more on wraps, improve drive with tugging...).  I guess that's good--it means we have a long time to improve.  Part of me is impatient.  I just want it now.  But the journey is fun in itself.  He's such a good boy and I'm so lucky to get to share the ring with him.

No comments:

Post a Comment