Thursday, January 5, 2012

St. Louis Trial: Bentley

Finally--Bentley gets his trial update!

As always, Bentley's goals are a bit different than Lexi's.  We've been working really hard on his 2o2o on the dogwalk, and I'm always anxious to put it to the test in a high-energy trial environment.  Needless to say, he passed with flying colors!  He went 3 for 3 in dogwalk contacts!  What a good boy!

Day 1:

Masters Gamblers:  Gamblers just isn't his thing!  He only has 1 Masters Gamblers Q, and hasn't really come close to any of the others.  But that's okay--it's a skill that honestly got skipped when we were learning about agility, and handler focus became Bentley's major strength.  Some day I think we'll have to drop everything and teach Bentley to work away, but for now we'll just understand that this is a skill that he is missing.  I was hoping that he would at least turn to the teeter  (the gamble was jump, right to teeter, left to a jump directly behind the teeter, back over the first jump and then a second jump beyond that), but it wasn't meant to be.  Also, we learned that his a-frame contact is NOT there yet!

Masters Standard:  Bentley hasn't gotten a standard Q in a year.  A whole year!  It's something we expected and actually pulled him from standard in many trials as we re-worked his contacts.  I was very, very proud of this run as the only mistake he made was in the weaves.  His weaves were off all weekend, which I think was a combination of lack of practice on 12 poles, and possibly him being pretty out chiropractically.  (Also, I think we better work on laying down faster on the table-ha!)  But on the VERY positive side, we got a couple nice forward sends, a beautiful dogwalk contact, and a very nice threadle!

Grand Prix:  In our lives, we've never gotten a Grand Prix Q!  Of course we haven't entered it that many times (either we felt Bentley wasn't ready for that level of difficulty or we were retraining contacts), but still.  Anyways, another nice run that we were proud of.  Good dogwalk, just a mistake in the weaves (hard to tell but he pops out at the end).  You'll notice a theme of mistakes right after the a-frame, that's because he's supposed to stop, and when he doesn't we're scrambling to adjust!

Masters Jumpers Q:  I felt like this was a nice run.  I felt very in tune with Bentley, and he was really going out and looking for obstacles--good boy!  Watching the video I definitely felt that I ran pretty passively, but I was glad that we qualified as we've been pretty close in jumpers in some of our last runs.

Masters Pairs:  I won't say too much about these runs, just a mistake in the weaves again.  He didn't run clean in his run that counted, but did run clean when he ran to accomodate the other 16" dog to help that dog Q. 

Day 2:

Masters Gamblers:  This one we knew he had no chance in from the beginning.  His weaves were off all day the day before, and since his surgery we really haven't worked independent weaves.  What followed was nothing short of hilarious.  Jonathan and I talked the whole time we were watching others run how important it was to get the dog in obstacle focus before sending them to the weaves.  Let's just say, that didn't happen.  Unfortunately I was laughing so hard that you can't really see what happens in the video.  Bentley kept jumping up on Jonathan's leg and grabbing his pants (something he does when he gets frustrated).  Jonathan couldn't get him to let go and send him to the weaves.  I haven't seen him melt down in the ring like that in a long time.  But, we still had a good time!

Masters Standard Q:  Bentley's first Q in Masters Standard, and first Standard Q in exactly 1 year!  So happy for my boy, and the effort and work that he has offered to us as we worked on his contacts.  I could have cried!  To point out a couple highlights--loved his push to the teeter, and his recall to heel prior to the weaves (bad camera work by me!)  And to point out the bad...naughty Jonathan EARLY released his dogwalk!  I called him out on it and he said "I was so worried that we would mess it up that I got nervous and released him!"  Hope that doesn't confuse Bentley!

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