Wednesday, August 03, 2011

DOCNA Prairie Dog Trial

Strummer and I ventured out to the eastern plains for a day of DOCNA fun in the sun.  It got hot, mid-90's, but it was dry and breezy and eventually some cloud cover blew through.  As long as there is Hose, Strummer is happy.  He was a bit subdued with the heat and by that I mean he was sort of approaching a normal fast dog as opposed to a crazy off his head fast dog.  Except for the Strategic Time Gamble which was first class of the day.  He was well off his head for that.  Thankfully I have no video to relive that comedy/tragedy.

Overall he did well though dropped more bars than I'm used to lately.  2/3 on his dogwalk and didn't get called on any A-frames though I saw some gifts from the judge on the video so we'll be working on the A-frame more than I have been which is pretty much not at all.  Missed 2 weave pole entries and uncharacteristically popped out of the weaves on one run.  He did it at practice last week as well.  I have no idea what was going on with the bars.  He dropped one bar in both his Standard runs and the NAC (like USDAA Grand Prix) but kept them all up in both his Jumpers runs.  Nice teeters, at least some training is working.  Seems like I pour so much training time into dogwalks and weaves and we don't get anywhere though 2/3 dogwalks is an improvement.

Standard Runs with slow motion contacts at end

Was mostly happy with the Jumpers runs.  Bars stayed up, my handling was o.k., I was mostly ahead of him.  He had 2 run bys on lateral sends so I'll be going back to basics on those in the next couple of weeks.

Jumpers Runs and NAC

Apparently the contacts had recently been painted with a semi-gloss paint so that could be the cause of his missed dogwalk in the NAC but I'm not prepared to place all the blame on the equipment.  He did have a perfect dogwalk on his first Standard round.

We had the same judge we'll have at Champs and she was nice.  DOCNA courses are the same no matter who the judge is but it's good to know that the judge is nice since it'll be 4 days of showing with her.

Overall a fun day despite the heat and little mistakes here and there.  Was especially pleased with myself for pulling off a Jumpers Q in the heat of the day when I was getting woozy.  I didn't get cranky with the heat either like I did in May.  I think both Strum and I are well acclimated by now.  I don't have air conditioning in my house and I've put in some training sessions in the heat.  I've also taken Strum running with me in the morning when it's starting to get hot towards the middle/end of the run (and by hot I mean 70's).

Next trial is DOCNA in 2 weeks, can't wait.  It could also be hot but there's a lot of nice shade in the park for crating.  I love this particular trial/site so I'm looking forward to it.

I'm not bothering with scanning course maps right now but I will if somebody requests them.  Just leave a note in the comments and I will get to it.

Trial Stats:

Jumpers Specialist Q, 2nd place (lost time due to a run-by)

No titles

2/3 (67%)  Getting better, I'm going to keep up with my training plan.  Still need to work on tunnel after the dogwalk.

6/6(100%)  I'm not counting the 2 the judge didn't call that looked like misses.

4/4 (100%)  Teeter getting better

3/5 (60%) entries, still struggling with this, no amount of training seems to make a difference
1 pop out between the 9th and 10th poles

Bars down
 3 (one in each Standard run and the NAC)


  1. Lot's of great runs!!! That must feel really good about the DW. Semi-gloss paint? Seriously?

    Looking forward to the DOCNA in a couple weeks. I seem to remember there was also a creek nearby too.

  2. Very nice runs!!!

  3. Thanks!

    Yeah, there's a creek but it's not the cleanest. Might be o.k. since we've had so much run-off but sometimes it's stagnant.

    I didn't find out about the semi-gloss paint until the next day. Apparently there were some dogs falling off the dogwalk on Sunday but there were also some winds. I was out there last year when it was really windy and dogs were getting blown off the dogwalk left and right so the wind was probably the bigger factor but I wasn't there so I don't know how strong it was blowing. I left before I was done with my runs on the windy day last year, not worth it. I've heard at least one top handler say that if the dog is confident, trained well, has good balance they should be able to hold on to their footing but I disagree. If a strong enough unexpected gust comes up while they're tearing across the top plank there's no way they can compensate in time and they're so taken by surprise that the landing is ugly.

  4. I've heard about slippery contacts at two of the last three Regionals in my area -- in one, the paint hadn't cured long enough, and/or the wrong type of paint was used, can't remember. Tons of dogs were sliding right off the contacts on the warm-up day. They actually had to scramble to find replacement equipment for the following days. Complaints of slippery contacts at this year's Regionals too. Rubber contacts are being used at Nationals this year and I suspect and hope that the rubber trend will catch on in Ontario the way it seems to have in western Canada.

  5. I wish the clubs around here would have rubber. There's only one place I know of that has it and their trial got cancelled this year. There's a NADAC only club that has rubber but I don't do NADAC any more.

    Funny thing is I ran my hand over the A-frame on Saturday morning because I saw someone else doing it and was worried something was wrong. Because it was well sanded it felt o.k. to me. I didn't touch the dogwalk. I don't know that any dogs fell off on Saturday, it was mostly on Sunday when the winds kicked up. It was probably the case that the surface was fine for ideal conditions but not good enough for the windy conditions. Thank goodness it didn't rain.