Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Grand Prix Rainout

Our club had run-throughs on Sunday, but we were out of town.  When we got in that evening, the sky looked dark, but we decided to chance it.  The rain brought some nice, cool weather, so we couldn't resist.

Well...we did get rained out.  We got through 1.5 runs with Bentley before it started pouring!

Here's the run-through that we did get through.

His dogwalk was nice, albeit slow...but I'll take it for now.  It was my fault on the odd angle (close to the camera) as I wasn't clear, and then called his name as he turned towards me.  I guess he refused the table because I stopped too soon.  He's been a bit weird about the table lately, so I was happy that he laid down once he got up there.  All in all, I was pretty happy with the run.

And, to end on a good note, the puppies tug!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010


I'm always interested in how dogs learn and think.  Nothing shows the differences between dogs' thought processes more than watching my two dogs learn the same behavior.  They learn very differently.

For instance, Bentley has been doing agility for 2 years now.  He has never loved the table, but usually eventually (read: slooowly) lays down.  He has given me trouble with the table once, but like I said, he usually slowly falls into place.

Lexi, on the other hand, gets to the table and throws herself into a down.  She is usually in the act of laying down before she even gets on the table.

We went out tonight to practice the dogwalk, but couldn't use it (there was a class running late), so we did some table work.  Lexi's table is excellent.  You can run to the table and past it, and she will lay down immediately, no problem.  Bentley, on the other hand, doesn't get it.  He will run to the table, and if you run past, he'll either jump off, or stand there looking confused.  His downs are SO slow.

It's just interesting how differently they process the commands.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Cheating Dogwalk?

So we went out tonight and tested our theory.  I noticed the other day that if I slowed down at the end of the dogwalk, Bentley almost consistently strode through the contact zone without issue.

Consider our theory proven.  He hit 100% of the contacts when we slowed down on the downside of the dogwalk.  Unfortunately, it's not a great training method, but for now, it at least shows that he knows what we want, though he's cuing off the wrong command (the command being a deceleration).  What works:  hit the contact at full speed, decel on the downside and watch his!

And here's a quick video of our speed demon.  I know that we'll use more rear crosses than anything else with her, but we're trying to get her to slow down and focus on our body language and read a front cross.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

EDIT! Advanced Gamblers Q!

We just got our results in...and Bentley DID Q in Advanced Gamblers!  So exciting!

I just thought about it, and he is 2 Advanced Standard Qs and 1 Advanced Pairs Q away from his AAD (Advanced Agility Dog).  Of course those Standard Qs are the hardest to come by, so it could be awhile, but still--what a good boy he is!

I also thought I would point out that I calculated Bentley's YPS in his jumpers runs, and in the first one, he was going 4.2 YPS.  And if he hadn't missed that jump, where I had to get him back from the tunnel, he would have been at 4.5.  I think that's awesome!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

PBH Trial

Our first away trial was a lot of fun.  It was different not knowing many people (we honestly knew 3 people...and one was Stuart!), not knowing who was in charge, where things were, etc...but everyone was very nice.

Not the most amazing weekend, but we did what we set out to do, get Bentley his Advanced Snooker Title!  So Yay!  He is now, Coastal's Blue Train Special CGC SS SJ SG SSA AD AJ AS--woohoo!  It's about time, seeing as Snooker is definitely his best event.

We didn't get any other Qs, but we'll discuss that within each video description.

1.  Advanced Snooker--yay title!  Bentley did great!  Jonathan did 4 reds (only 3 necessary), and went for the 7 point obstacle the first 3 times (it was tunnel + 3 jumps).  He knocked a bar once, but he still had plenty of points (51) to Q.

2.  Advanced Gamblers--Bentley did well, but didn't get the gamble.  He bailed on the teeter (still got his contact), then wouldn't go back out.  I think he could have done it, but it just wasn't in the cards that day.

3.  Masters Jumpers--These jumpers courses were honestly the toughest that I've seen.  The judge was Dave Hanson (for future reference!)  There were a lot of unavoidable crosses on top of jumps very tightly set.  In this run, Bentley takes off for the tunnel...the only thing I can think of is that I said "right", and he cut right too quickly, so he got a refusal.  However, he was MOVING!  I think that might be the fastest I've seen him go in a trial.  In retrospect, there are several things I did poorly.  I shouldn't have crossed the way I did before the tunnel...I ended up just waiting for him and I'm lucky he didn't refuse the tunnel.  But, he was quick and had drive, so I was proud of him.

4. Masters Jumpers--We started the day with this course.  Another really tough course.  Honestly, it was like nothing I've seen before.  I handled the beginning awkwardly (with a pivot) instead of RC to the tunnel because I was afraid it would pull him out.  Instead, he missed the jump after the pivot--my fault.  Then, he reads one front cross perfectly, and totally misses the jump at the next FC I add.  It was the first time I've seen a serpentine in a course, and he handled it perfectly!  

5.  Advanced Gamblers--Jonathan was nice enough to let me run this event.  Normally, Jonathan does gamblers.  I was feeling a little down after our jumpers run, so he let me run this one.  Bentley did well!  I forget how forgiving gamblers (the opening) is.  For the gamble, I knew he would go to the far end of the tunnel going over the jump, so I chose to bring him into me, and send him back out.  It took 2 tries, but he did get it, and I was ecstatic  (note the fist pump when he gets in the tunnel).  Then, he gets out and completed the gamble!  I was thrilled (please note the ridiculous happy leap I do!!!!), but he was slightly over time.  Oh well, my little velcro dog completed and advanced gamble.  Huge step for us.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Pre-trial practice

We are leaving for Chapel Hill tomorrow, the trial starts on Saturday.  I am now wishing that we had entered at least Steeplechase, but oh well.  We will have to see how it goes (Jumpers, Gamblers and Snooker).  Cross your fingers for just ONE Snooker Q (1 Q = title!)

I am including a couple videos since I've had a couple boring updates with no videos.

First, here is Lexi running the run-through I mentioned the other day.  It's a Grand Prix Course from USDAA Nationals in 2009.  She misses a pinwheel, but there is a chute in the way, so we couldn't blame her!  She also can't weave yet (still a baby!).  Other than those two things, she was clean.  I'm so proud!

And the second is a quick video of Bentley's dogwalk.  He seems to get about 80% if we run quickly, then slow down towards the end (so we are directly next to him), and then watch him.  It's not our end goal, but for now, it MAY just get us through a trial.