Fun with dogs

Sunday, April 24, 2011

What an awesome trial weekend....

This weekend was the German Shepherd Dog Club of Oregon/Portland Agility Club trial.  It takes place in Ridgefield, Washington.  Nice venue, indoors, with lots of crating space.  We arrived Friday night at my friend Kennedy's house around 9pm, she's nice enough to let me crash on her couch when we have Portland area trials.  Lexi and Vegas (Kennedy's Great Dane) had the most awesome time chasing each other around the back yard, I wish I'd had a video camera.  We crashed out around 10:30, as 5:30 am comes VERY early on Saturdays!

Saturday April 23, 2011

Up at 5:30am, arrived at the trial at 6:30am.  Set up the soft crates and began the wait.  The run order was totally screwed up, and we ended up doing our ExB Standard run at 10am and our ExA Jumpers run at 4:30pm.  Made for a VERY long day.  HP is very chill at trials and Lexi is getting much better about relaxing in her crate.

The first thing we heard when we got there was how difficult the courses were on Friday. :(  After this weekend, I can say these judges were tough, and you could tell they don't run big dogs.  The courses were very challenging, and some didn't have great flow.  Oh well, it happens sometimes.

ExB Standard

On walking this course, I noticed a few spots where things could go bad.  First double jump #4 to tunnel #5.  I was on the inside (right) of the teeter and needed to cue the outside tunnel entry.  Luckily momentum carried him into that entry fairly easily.  The next tricky spot was jump #8 to the #9 triple to the #10 table.  I decided to use a deceleration cue (slowing down) and NOT crossing the plane of the #9 to avoid him taking the #11 jump, then I used a lateral to pull him to the table.  He read this well, it worked great.  Lots of dogs either took the #11 (bypassing the table) or knocked the #9 triple due to too much of a decel cue.  The last tricky spot on course was #15 A-frame to #16 weaves.  This one wasn't expected, but lots of dogs took the #18 or #19 jumps after the A-frame instead of pulling into the weaves.  We almost had that problem.  HP ran through his contact and started towards #19 when I yelled his name and front-crossed to get him into the weaves.

This is a link to the video:

We Q'd for our MX Leg #3 (of 10 needed) and 11 MACH points

It was a beautiful day in the northwest, 60's and sunny, so since we had so much down-time, I walked the dogs up to the top of the hill where they romped across the fields in the sun.  Lexi also had some fabulous play time with a doberman and with a little spitz-type dog.  She's becoming a trial pro. :)

ExA Jumpers with Weaves

For this course, we were still chasing that elusive last AXJ leg for our AXJ title.  The first challenge was the 4-5-6 pinwheel,  the off-course jump after 5 got several dogs.  The 8-9-10-11 also got a lot of dogs.  Because of the distance 7 to 8, many dogs either were either pulled off or pushed off the 8 jump.  There were also lots of opportunities for getting the wrong ends of both tunnels.  Because it had warmed up quite a bit, HP was not running his fastest.  While it slowed up our time a bit, it did make handing this tough course easier.

This is a link to the video:

We Q'd for our AXJ #3 (of 3) and our AXJ title.  This meant we moved up to ExB JWW for Sunday!

Sunday, April 24th, 2011

Luckily the running order was in our favor today and it looked like we'd be done early.

ExB Jumpers with Weaves

Since we'd achieved my big goal for the weekend (AXJ title), today was just icing on the cake.  This course presented several opportunities for off courses.  Our trouble came at the 6-7-8 sequence.  I walked it with a front cross between 6 and 7, a rear cross between 7 and the weaves, and a rear cross between the weaves and 9.  The problems with each were as followes:

  • Front cross between 6 and 7 - sets you up for an off course jump #11
  • Rear cross between 7 and the weaves - HP's rear crosses into weaves are not that strong.  Unless he's really driving through the weaves he will get distracted by me crossing behind him and pop out.
  • Rear cross after the weaves before jump 9 - puts you WAY behind your dog for the 9-10-11-12-tunnel sequence, which a lot of dogs were having trouble with, the 11 jump was angled wonky and forced people to push their dogs back out to jump 12, several dogs missed the 12 jump because of this
So in hindsight, I should have done the rear cross before the weaves.  Instead we tried a front cross between 6 and 7, I *think* I was probably late, and we got the off course jump at #11.  HP knew when I called him we'd gotten the wrong one, he came up and kissed my nose, I told him it was ok and we finished the run.  Otherwise our run was fast and gorgeous, my inept handling messed him up, so we celebrated anyway. :)

This is a link to the video:

ExB Standard

This one was another tough course with lots of challenges.  The first was the #5 tunnel to a 180 at #6-#7 with a wrap to the #8 tunnel.  I saw several people walking it with a front cross between #6 and #7 and a pull around to #8.  That worked well for us, he got it easily, which lead us into a nice rear at #9 and a smooth weave pole entry.  The front cross between #12 (double) and #13 (teeter) was a little rough, as HP had sighted in on the tire but pulled off it (as he should have) when I called him.  The #14 to #15 tire was also a challenge as there was about 1 stride between landing the #14 jump and the off-course jump in front of it.  I saw HP sight in on the off-course jump and I SCREAMED his name, he pulled around and took the tire!  Yay!  The rest of the course was fairly smooth.

This is a link to the video:

We Q'd for MX leg #4 and 14 MACH points!

All in all it was a fabulous weekend with an AXJ title, a double Q on Saturday (didn't count towards our MACH because one leg was in ExA and one was in ExB), 2 MX legs, and 25 MACH points.

MACH totals: 38/750 points and 0 double Q's (but it's a start!)

1 comment:

  1. Great job this weekend, you two. Very excited for your success.