Monday, October 18, 2010
DOCNA trial Oct 2010
Not as big a deal as USDAA Nationals going on this past weekend but our little local DOCNA trial was a lot of fun for Strum and me. Highlight of the weekend was winning the Specialist North America Challenge (like USDAA's Grand Prix) by 5 1/2 seconds with a nice fast clean run. That qualifies us for DOCNA Champs next year if we want to go. Also picked up a 1st place and Q in Specialist Trigility and Q's in Jumpers and Strategic Time Gamble. All his other runs were near misses-a missed contact here, a knocked bar there, I got lost for the last 2 jumps in Jumpers because I'm an idiot, even an off course or two due to late cues. But he ran so well, I think we had only one bar down the whole weekend which means he was running with focus and not all crazypants off his head. Finally starting to feel like we're getting the hang of this.
Turns off the dogwalk to the tunnel were pretty fabulous, I was so pleased the training transferred to the ring. He got 2/3 of them, not sure why he missed the one but I'm not too worried about it. What a luxury not to have to babysit that turn. I can hang back by the tunnel exit and be in perfect position for the next part of the course when he comes flying out. I've got some video of this that a friend shot on her Flip camera, I'll see if she can send me the Flip file and I can convert it into something I can post. Right now all I have is a link to her file sharing site and I don't want to post that.
Specialist Jumpers-Q and 5th place (pulled him off a jump and had to go back and fix it plus some wide turns)
Specialist North America Challenge-Q and 1st place, 5.23 yps
Specialist Trigility-Q and 1st place (all of 3 of us had clean runs)
Specialist Strategic Time Gamble-Q and 6th place (time was 42.46 for 20 obstacles and a little time wasted, maybe 2-3 seconds)
Edited to fix a math error. I is good engineer, really.
EDITED AGAIN 10-19-2010 to correct dogwalk percentages. I miscounted one miss that was a hit on Saturday. I knew he'd only missed 2 dogwalks for the whole trial.
Dogwalks-5/6 (83%) on Saturday and 3/4 (75%) on Sunday or 8/10 (80%) for the weekend. This is slightly better than his typical 70%. Time to break out the treat gizmo and go back to some basics with his training, I know we can do better than this.
A-frames-7/7 (100%) on Saturday and 3/4 (75%) on Sunday or 10/11 (91%) for the weekend. Of course I wish he were perfect but I can't complain. How many people with 2 on/2 off have that kind of accuracy?
Teeters-100% and there were lots, including in the gamble, but sheesh I don't like how he's launching off with his rear feet. We've been working on it but need to work some more and get more independence.
Weaves were good, only one missed entry when he came barreling out of a tunnel and the weaves were right there (Gamblers, first run of the trial). Popped out of the 6 weaves during Snakes and Ladders because I stopped moving to cue a 180 degree turn to a tunnel and prevent an off course. I had to reset him a few times in the weaves and finally move forward with him which indeed lead to the off course. I've worked a bit on proofing for me stopping and he was doing great at the practice field on his own but it's clearly something to practice with training partners around. Overall though I thought his weaves were great, especially considering what a disaster they were just a few months ago.
Only one bar down that I can remember and that was due to a handling error. Can't complain about that.
As it turned out my training partner needed someone to help with the driving so I didn't have to try to squish everything into the Subaru or the rental car since she has a big SUV. Was able to crate Strum in her car for a bit on Saturday but I also had a crate in the arena building and he was doing so well on Saturday that I left him in the arena the whole day on Sunday and he did great. Saved me a lot of walking back and forth to the parking lot and I think it's good for him to learn to be calm amidst all the hub bub. We were crated in a very busy, tight area too but the Standard ring was at the opposite end of the building and he only had to endure the 2 Jumpers classes. I have to wonder if being crated next to the dog he trains with gave him some security. As crazy as she is when she does agility she's calm in her crate and confident with other dogs so she's a good role model. Or maybe he's finally growing up at age 5 1/2.
No more trials for 6 weeks then I have DOCNA in December, USDAA in January and DOCNA in February, all at a venue just 20 minutes from home. Doesn't get much better than that.