Strummer and Lola had a DOCNA trial this weekend and both had some nice runs, especially Mr. Speedy McCrazypants. In short, Lola was 3/6 in the Q department, picking up a Standard Q and 2 Jumpers Q's. Strummer was 5/8 and even better only one of the NQ's (Standard) was a crazy wild where's my brain run. The other NQ's were beautiful jumpers runs with just one bar down. He ended up with 3 Standard Q's (two 1st places and a 2nd place), a Traditional Gamblers Q (2nd place) and a Strategic Gamblers Q (some low placement but he had the second highest amount of points). He finished his Starters Standard title and moves up to Advanced (Intern in DOCNA-speak).
My most awesomest husband came down both days so we have video. On Sunday he brought me a fabulous lunch, helped with warming up and cooling down dogs, and did the 10 minute round trip walk to the car to get Strummer and put him away multiple times in addition to his video duties. He's the best support crew ever. I think Strummer does especially well when he's there to show off.
Highlights for Strummer were his contacts and his focus. He was 4/5 on his dogwalks and one of those was in a gamble. The only one he missed was in Standard during his crazy out of his head run. He was 100% on his A-frames. Can't remember how many he did, maybe 8 or 9 or so. He was focused as well except for the one crazy run and I'm sure that's because I brought him into the ring while the other dog was still running. I didn't do that for the rest of his runs and he was fine. I also used his Gentle Leader and that made a huge difference. I hate to overuse it and the goal is to wean him off of it but for now I'm going to use it so he can learn to be relaxed on the start line. Crating him in the car helped a lot as well. On Sunday he had to contend with a Mexican rodeo complete with mariachi band and loudspeakers next to the parking lot but that was still not as overstimulating as being inside the agility arena and it didn't seem to effect his performance.
Areas for improvement-weave poles. He didn't get a single entry. Ugh. We've been working on this, really. I'm wondering if the 2x2 training is making things worse since I use a toy for reward and he gets so excited that he's blasting through the poles and not rocking back to make the entry. I know the 2x2's are supposed to help with that but we've been doing them for some months now and they don't seem to be working. I'll keep up with it for one more month but if I don't see improvement we'll have to try something else. Not sure if the method's not a good choice for him or I'm not executing it properly (probably the latter).
I was so pleased with his Jumpers runs, even though he had a bar down in each. He finally broke 6 yps with a 6.25 yps run on Sunday. Whee, fun! He's a kick in the pants to run when his brain hasn't left the building.
I put some slow motion clips of his various running contacts at the start of the video. He can do a much tighter dogwalk into tunnel turn but the one on the video wasn't too bad given his overall speed. If you click on the link below and watch on the actual vimeo site the screen is larger.
Strummer-Running Contacts, Standard, Jumpers
DOCNA, OCT. 2009, STRUMMER from colliebrains on Vimeo.
Lola had 2 nice Jumpers runs despite my missing the walk through for one of them. The judge was very nice and let me run at the end of the class. She offered me a walk through but instead I ran out during the course changes and figured it out. There were 2 rings of equipment but only one judge but they kept changing the run order of the classes and I missed the announcements (if there were any) so I missed the walk through somehow, thought I would have time to do it while they were running in the other ring. Doh. Then we had a false start due to a timer malfunction but I told Miss Lo she was fabulous and took her out of the ring for a quick fishy treat and she was fine.
She had 2 nice Standard runs on Saturday, one of which was an NQ but just a little glitch, otherwise such a nice run. Sunday was another story for her. Not sure if she was tired or fed up or sore or what but she didn't seem as focused and ran off a bit for her Standard and Time Gamble runs. Her Jumpers run looked slow (for her) and tentative but it could be because the gate steward was standing next to her on the start line and screaming for the next competitor who was missing. I could see her stressing over it a bit but she pulled off a nice run anyway. It's good for her to work through those things if she can. She has one more trial in a month where she's running both days and I'll see how she does. If she seems distracted and/or tired on the second day I may start cutting her back to one day.
DOCNA, OCT. 2009, LOLA from colliebrains on Vimeo.
DOCNA Champs will be in Grand Junction next year. I was hoping for the indoor arena in Castle Rock which is just over an hour's drive compared to 4 1/2 hours to Grand Junction and outside on grass but it's better than hoofing it to Arizona. It could be hot though, mid-80's are possible as is snow so I don't quite get that choice over the nice indoor arena but oh well. I'm hoping Lola will be able to handle it in a year's time. She'll be 9 in December so pushing 10 in October. Hard to say what the next year will hold for her. Strummer is qualified at the lower level (Intern) but I'm hoping to have him in Masters (Specialist) by Champs. Look at me getting all optimistic after one good trial. We'll see what he does to me at next month's DOCNA trial.