Fun with dogs

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mt. Hood Doberman Club AKC trial, 11/19/11-11/21/11

Mt. Hood Doberman Club AKC trial, 11/19/11-11/21/11

This weekend we attended the Mt. Hood Doberman Club AKC trial in Ridgefield, WA.  My initial plan was to drive up Saturday morning, but Mr. Weatherman was calling for a possibility of ice on Saturday morning.  Plan change meant driving up Friday evening, and checking in early at the La Quinta.  What a great dog-friendly hotel!  They don't charge a pet fee, don't care how big your dogs are, and our "Executive King Suite" was huge!  I would definitely stay there again.

Saturday, November 19th

We arrived bright and early to grab some crate space.  Unfortunately it was a small to tall day, so our first run wasn't even until mid-afternoon!  I decided to work a class to help out, and they needed a gate due to the person that signed up being late.  Boy was working an experience I won't repeat.  I normally try to work at most of the clubs we run, I feel like we, as exhibitors, should all help out when we can.  All I will say about this experience is:  Note to trial secretaries and clubs, if you yell at your workers for doing their job, they will not want to work for you again.  There are a few clubs I will not work for due to being berated about working, how the job is done, etc.  This is not fair to your workers, they are VOLUNTEERING.  There is no incentive to volunteer if you're going to be yelled at.  That's all I'm going to say about that.

Excellent B Standard

Our judge for Standard was Beverly Morgan Lewis.  I've met her before at trials when she's running her own dogs and always found her to be a pleasant person, but never run under her as a judge.  Turns out, her courses were nice, open, and very large dog friendly.

For this course, the plan was to start on the right, over the first two jumps and into the tunnel, over #4 and a swing through the "three sided box" and over 5 (the triple).  A pull back to the dogwalk, then a pull to the double (#8), teeter, then a front cross before #10.  A hard pull around and into the weaves.  Over the A-frame and on to the table.  Front cross before the pinwheel (14/15/16/17) and a front cross between 17 and the chute.  Then run for the finish. 

Worked out very well for us.  We ended with a Q and 14 MACH points.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

Nancy Davis set this course up.  Again lined up on the right, with a fairly straight shot into the tunnel.  Front cross between #5 and the weave poles.  FC between #8/9, another between #12/13.  I intended to do another FC between 13/14, but forgot and ended up doing a rear to swing him around to 15.  From there it was a straight shot into the tunnel and then over the final jump.

Another Q and 7 MACH points.

Total for the day, QQ and 21 MACH points!

Back to the hotel for a relaxing night of the boxers hogging the king bed. :P

Sunday, November 20th

Tall to small today, so we knew we'd be done early!

Excellent B Standard

Nice course by Nancy Davis.  Our plan was to start on the right, decel cue for the 180 (#3-#4), rear cross between 5/6, over the dogwalk, weaves, then tunnel.  Stay to the left of the A-frame with a strong pull 11-12 to avoid the off-course chute. Teeter to table, moving out towards the triple to avoid an off-course, then FC between 17/18 to get the sharp right to the finish (#19).

Plan worked well, another Q and 13 MACH points.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

Looked to be a pretty jumpers course, smooth and flowing.  When I was planning our course, I noticed that there were several nice places for rear crosses.  We'd been having trouble with rear crosses lately, my cruddy timing was causing HP to pull off, earning us a refusal.  We'd been working a lot on his "go on" command, so I decided to throw caution to the wind and do mostly rear crosses with this course. 

The plan was to line up on the left side, rear cross between 3/4, rear cross between 8/9, front cross after the weaves, then another rear between 15/16.  It worked!  He was driving ahead well, moving nicely, even when I almost forgot the course at number 6!  (You'll notice a slight pause on the video).  I was stoked.  It earned us a Q and 11 MACH points.

Total for the day:  QQ and 24 MACH points.

Total for the weekend:  2 QQs and 45 MACH points.

MACH totals so far:  6 QQs and 223 MACH points!

We stayed to grab a couple of the photos taken by Joe Camp.  He had captured a cute "out of chute" series from one of the runs.  It's nice to see my boy looking so happy as he runs. :)

Sunday, November 13, 2011

WAG CPE trial, Benton County Fairgrounds, 11/13/11

WAG CPE trial, Benton County Fairgrounds, 11/13/11

Because I had to work Saturday, I could only enter 1 day of the WAG CPE trial.  We left early Sunday morning, at 6am, to drive to Corvallis, OR, about an hour away.  We arrived at 7am, grabbed some crate space, and set up for the day. 

This weekend's judge was Barrett (Todd) Benson.  Never having run under him before, I wasn't sure what to expect.  What a nice guy, and super great courses is what we got. :)

Fullhouse, Level 5

Above is the map.  We are in level 5, so we needed 25 points (jumps are 1pt, circles 3pts, contacts/weaves 5pts), AND we are required to have 3 jumps, 2 circles, and 1 contact/weave minimum.

Above is my plan for the course.  Starting at the tire, into the tunnel, turn back to the A-frame, jump with a wrap back to the A-frame (again), then jump, dog walk, jump, tunnel, jump, tunnel, weaves.  We would have enough points if we made it through #9, but it's always good to go for a little extra in Fullhouse.  We made it through everything but the weaves, with the buzzer buzzing before we finished them, requiring us to go to the table.  No problem though, we met all the requirements and ended up with 31 points and a Q.

Colors, Level 5

Next up was Colors.  Rules are that you pick one of two mini/nested courses.  I walked both squares and circles, but ended up choosing circles due to the fact that it was smoother and more flowing.  Pretty straight forward, with a front cross between 4/5, a rear cross between 5/6, and a front cross between 6/7.  We ran it cleanly, ending with a Q and completing our Level 5 Colors requirements.

Standard, Level 5

I was really happy about this course. The plan was lead out for a front cross between 1/2, tight turn into #3 tunnel, around and over the teeter, into the tunnel with a sharp wrap on to the dog walk, over 10/11, with a rear cross between 11/12, and around to the weaves.  This is where it all went to pieces.  HP popped his weaves idea why.  He got them on the third try, but we had already NQ'd. :(  We finished the course (he ran by the A-frame after a too strong call off, but we circled around and did it again).  Darn, we could have used that Standard Q.  Oh well.

Wildcard, Level 5

Last run of the day: Wildcard.  Rules are that within the course there are three areas where a choice is offered.  In level 5, you have to take two "B" choices, and one "A" choice.  My choices for this run were #2 - B, #5 - B, #9 - A.  Worked out well, short and sweet run, ending with a Q that fulfills our Level 5 Wildcard requirements and earned us our CL5-H title. 

3/4 Q's for the day, not too shabby!

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Rogue Canine Agility Trial, AKC, October 29-30, 2011

We were back down to Medford this weekend for another RCA agility trial.  Kennedy and I had decided to carpool for this trial.  Thank goodness for roof racks and roof boxes!  We would never have otherwise fit all the stuff.  Poor Lexi had to stay home this weekend due to still being in heat.  Off to Medford with a boxer, a great dane, and 2 poms!  We arrived late, around 10:30, and quickly hit the sack to be ready for the next morning.

Saturday, October 29th
This weekend we were running under judges we were familiar with, and had been very pleased with their courses before.  This weekend was no exception.  First up standard.

Excellent B Standard

Nice course by Debbie Wheeler. We started on the left in order to the get line 1-4, nice 180, then back along the length of the ring.  Front cross between 8/9, another between 14/15, rear cross at tunnel 18, and this is where I messed us up.  I tried to front between 18/19, got in his way, and he missed his weave entry.  Bleh, all my fault.  NQ for that run, even though HP ran well.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

Another nice course.  Pinwheel out to a FC between 4/5, another pinwheel, then a rear cross between 9/10 (I was thrilled we got this, he needed a little encouragement to move forward ahead of me but he did it!), then we had a weave problem again.  He missed the entry, then began popping again after the first pole.  Odd for him, he doesn't usually pop the weaves.  We decided to move on and just finish the run, since we already NQ'd.  He knocked a bar at 16, we rearcrossed 19/20 and were done.

Due to his weirdness with the weavepoles, I decided to have him adjusted by a chiropractor at the end of the day.  I also gave him a good rubdown and stretch at the hotel.  Maybe tomorrow would be better.

Sunday, October 30

Excellent B Standard

We were hoping day 2 would be better than day 1.

First area of concern was 2-3, when they are going through a chute, they can't see where they are going and I was concerned that HP would come out of the chute and take the off-course jump right in front of it.  To counteract that, I peeled off as soon as he entered the chute, did a landing side front cross on #3, calling his name as soon as I saw his head exit the chute.  This worked really well, resulting in a nice turn to #3.  The next area of concern was getting the proper end of the tunnel after the teeter.  I used a threadle arm, called him, and though he looked at the other end, came in and took the proper side.  #10 to the weaves was another area that was getting a lot of dogs, I decided to handle it with a deceleration cue, and calling his name, to get the tight turn.  I didn't cue him early enough and he almost took the off-course jump, but we managed to save it.  A FC between 11/12 and I thought we were home free.  Unfortunately, the person prepping the ring that weekend had dragged it so that the corners were deep, loose dirt.  As he took off for jump 16, he slipped a little and knocked a bar. :(  Another NQ on an otherwise beautiful run.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

Well, maybe we could salvage our weekend with the last run.  I started on the right, then front crossed between #2/3, around the pinwheel, with a rear cross between 6/7 (Yay successful rear cross!!), swing around into the weaves, then a FC after the weaves.  I was a little worried about 1415/16, but using a deceleration cue and calling him to me worked really well to get him into #15 tunnel.  Rear cross at 18/19 and a Q.  MXJ leg #8 and 5 MACH points.  Well, at least the weekend wasn't a total bust.

Totals for the weekend 1 Q, and 5 MACH points.

MACH totals: 178/750 points and 4 QQ's, almost 1/4th of the way to our MACH!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Mt. Bachelor Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial October 1-2, 2011

This weekend was a trip over the Cascades, up to the high desert!  We were trialling in Prineville, OR, a venue I'd never been to before.  I had gotten everything ready for our weekend the night before, and luckily, we had a very abnormally slow Friday afternoon.  My boss was nice and let me leave early, so I got home around 3pm, loaded up, and started my 3 hr drive.  It was a gorgeous trip, the high desert does have a strange beauty to it, especially with the contrast of the mountains in the distance.

We arrived at our hotel around 6pm and got settled in.  My friend Kennedy and her two dogs arrived around 9:30.  I was a bit concerned that our hotel room faced a bar with an outdoor deck and it turns out I was right to be concerned.  There was a lot of drinking and shouting all night (and Vegas, Kennedy's dog, had itchy ears which led to lots of shaking), leading us to have a less than stellar sleep night.  I think this contributed to our less than stellar showing on Saturday.

Saturday, October 1
New judge, new venue for us.  We arrived early (around 6:30) to get some crating space.  Crating was tight at this venue, as a result we ended up in an aisle way.  I will say though, that the grounds (Crook County Fairgrounds) were gorgeous though, lots of space, nice areas to camp.  I do think I'll probably camp next time, as the camping area was nicer than our hotel!

Excellent B Standard
As this was a new judge, we were curious as to what types of courses she would put up.  She runs Border Collies, and sometimes Border Collie judges can put up some challenging courses for big dogs.

When I walked this course, I liked it a lot, turns out though, this was not to be a great day for us.  We got through the pinwheel opening to the dogwalk with ease, albeit a little slowly.  Had to work the dogwalk/tunnel quite a bit (there were some barky dogs in that corner right next to it),  luckily the judge was generous to everyone, not calling refusals unless they were blatent.  I front crossed before 9, then tried to get one in between 10/11 to avoid the off course table.  This is where it all fell apart.  I'm not sure if my cross was a little early, or if HP was tired due to the long night of noise, but he knocked the double.  This threw me off, so when I tried pulling him from 12 to 13 I didn't pay enough attention and he took the off course number 5.  As if things could get any worse, when we arrived at the weaves, there were MORE barking dogs right next to the ring, causing HP to miss his weaves.  Bah, what crappy run!  NQ.  Big time.  We both needed to get our game back together.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves
Well, on to the next course. 
I was stoked about this course.  It looked and walked very nicely.  We started with me on the right, around the pinwheel with a front cross between 4/5.  He read it well, pulled around 5 nicely, back to 6, and for some reason, knocked a bar on #7. :(  He knocked it with his front feet, so I'm not sure if he took off too soon or just didn't have enough lift.  He ran like he was really tired all day, so I guess this is just one of those things.  On watching a video, I was trying to get a front cross in there, but I think the bar was down before I started my cross.  So anyway, FC between 7/8 and another between 9/10.  Over the double with a nice weave entry, then we were home free.  Another NQ for the day though.  :(

We stayed through the end of the day to film Kennedy and Leo (his first AKC trial!) which made for a very long day (he didn't run until 5 or 6), then headed back to the hotel to hopefully get some rest.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Luckily night 2 was much more restful, I guess people drink less on  Saturday in Prineville?  We got to the grounds around 7ish and took a little walk to warm up for our courses.

Excellent B Standard

Wow, what a course, this one has some tricks to it.  I walked it with a tunnel/front cross/dogwalk, then over 3 (while being careful to avoid the off course #8 chute), through another tunnel, then over 5, with a pull to the right to get the teeter/jump/chute.  Front cross after the chute to get past that tricky center area and get the 9/table.  Around 11/12, really work the weave entry, because it's near the corner with the barking dogs.  This is where it got complicated.  Kennedy and I walked the portion over and over and over and over.  The major choices were:
  • Front cross after the weaves, over 14, try to get 15 while avoiding the teeter off course, then either front or rear cross between 15/16
  • Over 14, rear cross, over 15, rear cross, then onward
  • Try to get in a front cross between 14/15, then a front or rear between 15/16
  • Actually, the list goes on and on.
My problem was that HP has been having trouble with moving ahead of me (confidence issues?) so our rear crosses of late have been earning us refusals.  I still wasn't any closer to deciding.  The last conundrum came in the closing sequence.  I walked both a front cross between 17/18, and a rear between 18/19.

We came out on course, and I still wasn't 100% sure how I was running.  Then HP blasted off the start line.  CRAP!  Who is this dog?  He's moving forward with confidence, he's running fast, WOW.  Ok, plan changes to rear crosses, because as we run the course he's getting faster and faster and moving ahead of me really nicely.  I feel like I'm back seat driving, running behind him yelling "Go!" and "Turn!".  We ended up choosing to do the set of rear crosses at the 14/15/16 and a rear at 18/19.  So so so thrilled with my boy, it was one of those runs that just FEELS completely right.  We Q'd, with 16 MACH points.  It was our second fastest yards-per-second qualifying standard leg ever, and only by 0.05.  I also take pride in the fact that this course ate the border collies alive, with somewhere around a 20ish% Q rate. ;)

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

After our awesome standard run I was ready to tackle JWW.
The plan for this one was pinwheel to a front cross between 3/4, the rest runs as a spiral to the tunnel.  Rear cross after he enters the tunnel.  Call him to get him out of the tunnel in the right direction.  Front cross after the weaves then a run for home.  All went as planned until jump 6.  He came SO close to taking the off course #11, I YELLED his name and he pulled off.  My fault for not anticipating the off course (I was more worried about the tunnel beside #8 and completely didn't work the #6/7).  We didn't get an off course and were still in the running for a QQ.  We finished the course quite nicely, it was fun, and while he wasn't as fast as in the morning, we did get some MACH points out of it.  Q and 4 MACH points.

Totals for the day 1 QQ, 20 MACH points

Totals for the weekend 1 QQ, and  20 MACH points.

MACH totals: 173/750 points and 4 QQ's, almost 1/4th of the way to our MACH!

And a huge congrats to my friend Kennedy and her Pom, Leo, on his first Q in AKC!!!!

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Portland Agility Club, September 25th, 2011

Portland Agility Club AKC Trial, September 25th 2011

After work on Saturday, the boxers and I jetted up to Portland to run one day at the PAC AKC trial.  I spent the night at my friend Kennedy's house so that we would be ready to go Sunday morning.

Excellent B Standard

The judges this weekend were Lori Sage and David Hirsch.  I've run under David before, his courses are fun and fair.  I've also heard good things about Lori and from this trial, it seems that she's also a great judge.

First up was standard.  I debated the opening for this course quite a bit.  I couldn't decide where to put in my cross to get the teeter and not the number 16 jump.  After walking several options, I started on the left and front crossed between 2 and 3.  I was a little late and got in his way a bit but it did work ok.  On to the teeter, a couple jumps, and then a front cross before the A-frame.  Jump, chute, table, then an odd jump with a wrap back around to the left hand side of a tunnel.  Dog walk, jump, weaves (he nailed the entry, and we've had issues with outside weave entries before, so I was happy).  The end provided a challenge, but my plan to front cross after the weaves, then a wrap (front cross) after 17 worked well.  We Q'd for our #10 MX leg, giving us our MX title and 10 MACH points.

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

I walked this course and the only place I was worried about was the opening.  After trying a few different combos, I decided to start on the left, and front cross between 2/3.  In hindsight, I should have tried a rear between 2/3 as my front was slightly early and caused a knocked bar. :(.  NQ on this run, but the rest of it was very pretty.  Over 3/4, front cross between 5/6, another between 9/10.  I had a bobble when I forgot my front cross after the weaves.  I tried sending him over 14 but I was late on the cue and earned us a refusal as well.  No QQ for us today.  Bleh. :(  Sorry, no video for this run.

Totals for the day 1 Q (MX leg), MX title, and 10 MACH points.

MACH totals: 153/750 points and 3 double Q's

Thursday, September 22, 2011

McKenzie Cascade Dog Fanciers AKC Agility 9/10-9/11/11 (day 2)

MCDF trial, day 2

Nice thing about local trials?  Arriving late. :)  We didn't get to the trial site until almost 7:30am, for us that's late!  We did arrive in time for the briefing though, and had a pleasant surprise.  HP took High in Trial Working Group for Saturday!  Yay for giant ribbons!

After congrats from all our friends, first up was Standard.

Standard Excellent B

Another nice course.  Things went well for the most part.  Through the tire and on to the dogwalk easily, then a turn tunnel command.  I had to sprint to the front of that tunnel, so I could get HP's attention before the weaves.  Lots of dogs were blasting out of the tunnel and overshooting the weaves.  He came out, sighted in on me, and I gave him the "Weave!" command.  Beautiful.  Over 5/6/7 and in to the tunnel.  Nailed the teeter, then the table.   Next was the most complicated section.  11/12/13 was set up as sort of a serpentine.  I decided to work it on the left side, sent him over 11, pulled him back over 12 with a threadle, then sent him over 13 and rear crossed.  Then comes that sucky NQ that I caused.  I was a little behind due to the rear cross, sent him over 14, and then had a brainless moment.  I sent him over #5, earning us an off course.  Poor guy, he did EXACTLY what I asked of him.  It was completely my fault.  Oh well, we just continued on and finished the course.  It was a gorgeous run, and our only NQ of the weekend.  I swear my dog needs a new handler sometimes. :)

Here is the video:

Jumpers with Weaves, Excellent B

Another fast/fun jumpers course!

This course looked like it would be a blast, lots of running, very motivational and fun for the dogs.  We ran it as: over #1, then a 180 over 2/3 with a landing side front cross in front of #3, 4/5/6, front cross between 6/7, and then run like crazy for the end.  The only tricky part left was the deceleration cue at jump #18 so that he could nail his weave entry and not overshoot it.  Another Q for the weekend, 8 MACH points and MXJ leg #6.

Sorry, no video available of this run.

Totals for the day 1 Q, 8 MACH points.

Totals for the weekend 1 QQ, and  24 MACH points.

MACH totals: 143/750 points and 3 double Q's

Sunday, September 11, 2011

McKenzie Cascade Dog Fanciers AKC Agility 9/10-9/11/11

Ok, I admit it, I'm a terrible blogger.  I haven't updated anything since June!  Admittedly, HP and I usually take it easy during the July/August months due to the heat, we only did one trial (CPE only) during July and one CPE trial in August.  Work has gotten crazy busy lately, usually leaving me pretty exhausted by the time I get home in the evenings.  When you're tired, blogging takes a back seat.  So anyway, on to this weekend's trial.

MCDF trial, day 1

Luckily, I was able to drop by on Thursday and set up crating space for myself and Kennedy.  This meant that we didn't have to arrive super-early on Saturday.  Showed up at 6:50 and the gates were still locked.  Odd, but they got them unlocked rather quickly.  I got HP and Lexi set up, then worked the FAST classes, since we weren't running FAST.  I was hoping things would move along really quickly, as we had a record heat advisory in the valley, and HP does NOT do hot weather.

Standard Excellent B

New judge this weekend.  Jan Skurzynski.  All I can say is what an awesome judge.  Great courses, nice course times, very encouraging, very fun overall.

Fun course.  A few tricky areas, but overall looks to be a good course.  My plan for this course was to start on the left side of the chute, stay on that side through the teeter (#4), do a turn command from 4 to 5, pick him up and hit the weaves (which he nailed), on the left for weaves and 7/8/9, front cross between 9-10, on the right for 11-12-13, because of the several nice off-course options to the table, I used a threadle move to pull him into me and send him to the table, sent him into the tunnel and handled 16-20 on the right and a little ahead of him.  He was completely on, did an awesome job, and we picked up a Q.  Gave us MX leg #9, and 12 MACH points.

Here is the video of this run:

Since this was a one judge trial, we spent the time between Excellent Jumpers trying to keep cool.  Temps were in the nineties, so I had cool coats and fans going,

Jumpers with Weaves, Excellent B

Again, a nice course, and looked to be FUN and FAST as well.

Plan for this one was pretty straightforward.  Running start, handle 2-3 as a 180, with a landing side front cross, straight up 4-5-6-7 to the weaves at 8, over 9, handle 10-11 as a 180 with another landing side front cross, then 12-13, with a front cross between 13-14 (which I was late on, but we've been having issues with his rear crosses when it's hot, he stops and looks at me like I'm stupid), over 15-16-17 then a wrap to jump #18.  Fun, fun, fun jumpers course.  We Q'd, giving us MXJ leg #5, and 4 MACH points.

Here is the video of this run:

Totals for the day 1 QQ, 16 MACH points.

MACH totals: 135/750 points and 3 double Q's

Monday, July 25, 2011

Coursing Ability Test, June 26th, 2011

Wow have I been remiss on updating my blog!  The only excuse I can come up with is that summer is our busy time at work and I've been exhausted most nights by the time I get home.  I know, I know, not an excuse, so I guess I can just say Sorry!

So on June 26th, we went to Cottage Grove, OR for 2 coursing ability tests (CAT).  Both dogs were signed up for both runs, and if we got these Lexi and Harry Potter would have their CAT titles.  We arrived early, set up Camp Harry Potter (and Lexi) and got things going.  It was a gorgeous day, some clouds, low 70's.  Nice day for lure coursing.

First runs for both dogs were successful, even though Lexi had a minor hiccup. 

She got distracted by the cone that marked the pulley.  I think she thought it was the bag.  Because she picked the lure back up she was still able to pass.

Harry Potter, on the other hand, had a fabulous run and enjoyed himself thoroughly.

Both qualified for their second CAT legs.

After an awesome potluck, we had a shot at our third CAT legs for each dog.  This time they flip flopped with Lexi having an AWESOME run, and Harry Potter getting distracted (by horse poop of all things).

Videos to come soon.

Both boxers qualified, giving each of them their CAT titles.  Yay Boxers!!!

Monday, June 27, 2011

Columbia River Agility Club, AKC trial, June 24-25, 2011

Friday June 24th, 2011

CRAC usually has their trials at the Linn County Fairgrounds, a venue I love.  I was really concerned when they said they were changing venues for this trial to the Oregon State Fairgrounds.  They said that crating would be outdoors and it was a semi-enclosed arena.  I was concerned about the outdoor crating, as well as the semi-enclosed arena.  Harry Potter does not run well in heat, and I was concerned about keeping him cool.  I did go out and purchase a shade tent, and luckily when we got there on Friday, a nice woman let me borrow the shade cloths she wasn't using.  We arrived bright and early (6:30 am!) and set up camp Harry Potter.

We had a lot of time before the first run because it was small to tall.  I let the dogs work out their crazy in a fenced area next to the crating space with our friends Kennedy, Vegas, and Leo.  After that, we spent the morning reading, relaxing, and just hanging out.  Naps outdoors in the shade are heavenly!

Bully stick thief!

 Harry Potter guarding Camp Harry Potter


Excellent B Standard

Excellent B Standard was up first for the day.

Judge Lavonda Herring had nice courses all weekend.   At the start I sent him into the tunnel, then it was a run toward  the second tunnel (#4).  He hit the correct side of the tunnel, and I picked him up as he came out, we went over the double and I gave him the weave command (we handled the weaves from the left side).  Unfortunately he hit the second pole instead of the first and we NQ'd.  We finished the run with a front cross between the weaves and #7, a rear cross at the A-frame, a front cross between #14 and #15, and another before the teeter.  All in all a nice run except for the darn weaves.

 Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

Again another nice course.

We started this one with a lead out to the right and in front of jump #1 to get the correct side of the tunnel.  We did a front cross between #2 and #3, then again between #3 and #4.  Another front cross between #6 and #7, then we had a dropped bar at #9.  From watching the video, it looks like my timing was off.  I called his name as he was going over the jump, causing him to drop his feet and knock a bar.  I should have just trusted that he would get the correct end of the tunnel #10.  We used a turn command coupled with a rear cross between #13/14, then he nailed his weaves and the last jump.  Another NQ, but it was handler error. :P

Saturday June 25th, 2011

We arrived early again this morning, because running order was tall to small.  I turned the dogs loose in the fenced in horse corral, and was reminded that I need to work on Lexi's recall. :P  She was a wild indian.  Luckily, they got it out early, and we got down to business getting ready to run.

Excellent B Standard

Another day of nice courses.  This one started with a lead out to jump #2, front cross (FC) between #2 and #3, a deceleration cue at #4 so that he would come in and hit his weave entry.  We finished the run with FC's between 11/12, 14/15 and 17/18.  We Q'd and ended up with 14 MACH points and MX leg #8

Excellent B Jumpers with Weaves

We started this course with a lead out to jump #2, then a front cross between 2/3.  This jumpers course had the same weave entry as the Standard course, so I guess I took for granted that he'd get the entry.  Wrong.  My guess is he had more speed with this one, causing him to land farther out after jump #5, I didn't work the entry enough and he hit pole #2 for the second time this weekend.  NQ. :(  Then he knocked jump #7 (second time this weekend that he knocked a jump before a tunnel, maybe he's focusing on the tunnel too much and not working the jump?).  We did a FC between 10/11, and another between 15/16.  Another NQ for the weekend.
So our totals for the weekend were 1Q out of 4.  MX leg #8, and 14 MACH points.

Currently we're scheduled for two months off from AKC agility.  There aren't that many trials around here in July/August, and it's hot anyway, so HP doesn't run his best.  We do have a few CPE trials but they tend to be lots of fun with a high Q rate.  The time off I think is a good thing, I can see a few training issues popping up in the last trial that we need to work on.  I've started retraining weaves with the 2x2 method, so hopefully that should help, and I think I'm going to schedule a private or two to see if I can work on increasing his speed, which should increase our MACH points.

MACH totals: 119/750 points and 2 double Qs

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Columbia River Agility Club, AKC trial, June 11-12, 2011

 Another agility weekend in Ridgefield, WA.  We drove up on Friday, staying at my friend Kennedy's house.  We were up early Saturday to get crate space as well as it was a Tall to Small day for us. First up was Standard. 

Excellent B Standard, Saturday

When I picked up the map, I was pretty pleased.  It seemed like a nice, flowing, straightforward  course. 

Unfortunately it didn't go as planned.  It was a fast opening with a nice straight line through obstacles 1-2-3.  HP was moving well, we were doing great.  I pulled him around 4-5 and sent him on to the teeter, then front-crossed before the weaves.  Awesome weaves, he had a great entry, then hopped up on to the table.  For some reason, he took off too early for jump 9 and knocked a bar.  I was off myself after that, sent him into the  #12 tunnel and got way too far ahead of him for his dogwalk, didn't cue it properly, and he took an off-course jump (#17/11) instead.  We finished strongly with no other problems, but obviously an NQ. :(

The good parts of the run:
  1. He was fast, happy, and running well, even though it was warm-ish.
  2. He hit a difficult weave entry that I was worried about.  
  3. We got in a lovely front cross at the teeter.
  4. We didn't go splat at the #19 chute to #20 jump, which with the way things were angled, was a distinct possibility!

I think the video is in slow-motion (accidentally) but you get the idea.

Excellent B Jumpers with weaves, Saturday

Jumpers also looked like a very nice course. 

We ran this starting on the inside of the loop formed by jumps 1-2-3-4-5, front-crossed at 6 to pull him around to 7.  Hit the weaves beautifully, into the tunnel with a front cross between the tunnel and #11.  Then fast and smooth all the way to the end.  MXJ leg #4 and 8 MACH points for that run.

We were done early and headed for Kennedy's house to watch True Grit and eat Chinese food. :)  Because I'm a morning person, I was up early on Sunday and headed out.  We had plenty of time to sit around, so I took the dogs for a walk around Clark County Fairgrounds.  Many of the "parking fields" had been mowed, but no one was around, so I let the boxers loose to play.  It was cool, and early, they had lots of fun.  It also gave us a chance to practice Lexi's recalls.  I'd let her run around for a while, then call her in, play tug, and send her back out to run.  We had fun, with her charging in to tug, then running back out to attack Harry Potter. :)

We got back from our walk and picked up our maps for the day.

Excellent B Standard, Sunday

Again, another nice course.  I thought for sure we'd Q in this one.

We were doing great, had good speed, nailed the weaves, handled the complex 8-9-10 sequence did a rear cross between 12/13 came around the loop and that's where the trouble was.  I ad seen several dogs take the number 18 jump then off-course at the a-frame.  In an effort to avoid that, we jumped #18, then I called him and pulled him right off the #19 triple, earning us a refusal. :(  Oh well, it was still a pretty run despite the NQ.

Excellent B Jumpers with weaves, Sunday

This one was the challenge of the weekend.  This course looked HARD from the get go.  Very jerky, and extremely difficult.

My plan for this was starting on the inside, with a front cross between 3-4, a rear cross with a turn command between 4-5, around the pinwheel,  then a rear cross between 8-9 to get the correct tunnel entry,  then a fairly simple run for the finish.   Our problem was the weaves, half way through, something squeeked/squawked outside the ring (bird, toy, I'm not sure what), and he popped out towards the distraction.  Very disappointing after we nailed the complicated part of the course.  We finished, and even though we had NQ'd, stuck around for times.  The thing was, this course was complex, but SHORT, which led to a LOT of people NQ'ing simply because they were over time, even with no other faults.  It was really disappointing for a lot of people.

No video of this run available, it was the end of the weekend and very hard to find anyone left to record.

Total for the weekend:

MXJ leg #4 and 8 MACH points.

MACH totals: 105/750 points and 2 double Qs

Sweet Creek Falls Hike June 5th, 2011

Since it was supposed to be a nice day, and we had no agility plans for the weekend, I decided to take the dogs hiking.

After searching, the option I came up with was Sweet Creek Falls, near Mapleton, OR.

I really like the local hikes website as a resource for some neat, otherwise undiscovered hikes in the area.

I took Lexi and Harry Potter, Dan brought Bob (his Bernese).  Please note that all images used on today's blog are copyright Dan Cornford.  It's hard to handle a camera and two crazy boxers so he was designated as today's photographer.

Here we are at the trailhead, pre-hike.

It turned out to be a lovely day, and a beautiful hike.  There were dozens of waterfalls and it was a very easy trail, about 3.5 miles total.  It was fairly level hiking with lots of bridges and a well maintained trail.  We arrived early morning around 10am, and really didn't meet many other hikers till we were leaving around noon.  I'd recommend going early, as it was getting crowded as we were leaving.  I would say, if you're taking your dogs, be sure they are:
  1. Ok walking on grating.  Many of the bridges had metal (see through) grating to walk on.  Luckily my dogs didn't seem to mind.
  2. Ok with other dogs.  There are narrow parts of the trail where you must pass other dogs/people.
  3. Leashed at all times.  This is not a good "off lead" trail, it is narrow in spots, and I'd worry about exhuberant dogs tumbling into the creek and not being able to get back up to the trail.
The following are some pictures of the trail and the dogs. :)

All in all it was a great hike, and I'd highly recommend it.

All photos copyright Dan Cornford.