Monday, January 16, 2012

Trial, Teeter, and Other Random Musings...

Sunday we took Lexi to a local indoor trial.  As I've mentioned a few times, neither of my dogs are particularly successful on rubber matting, but it's so hard to resist a USDAA trial that is so close to home (it's about 25 minutes away).

Since the building is very small, they can only do Starters and Advanced, so Bentley stayed home.  Because of the flooring (and lack of expectations) we only entered Lexi in the last 3 classes of the day; Standard, Gamblers and Snooker.  I figured we'd see what she did on the teeter, and I figured it was worth a shot to finish her Advanced Gamblers and Advanced Snooker titles.

First I have to mention that the day took forever.  We arrived a little after 9am.  The order for the day was Jumpers, Steeplechase Finals, and then Standard, Gamblers and Snooker.  Keep in mind that it was Starters and Advanced only, and there was no more than a page each for Championship and Performance in each event.  We didn't run (there were only 2 events before Standard) until 1pm.  The building is super small so we crated in the car, but it was really cold, so we had to leave the car on and just sat in the car for 4 hours.  Not fun.  And Lexi was not amused (Jonathan and I brought books, guess Lex forgot hers at home).

Advanced Standard:  It went okay.  It only took Lexi one extra try to get on the teeter, and I think that honestly it was due to the fact that she was unsure on the floor (you can see her slip multiple times in the video) and she would have had to change leads to get on the first time, and just opted to run past.  I definitely think that's an improvement.  She also had an off course, but that was more because Jonathan stopped and praised her after the teeter and didn't give her great cues when he released.  She also slipped right when she got on the table and banged her face on it--poor thing!  But, I was happy that she got on and didn't bounce off (something we've been working on at home inside).  And her weave entry was nice!

Advanced Gamblers went very well.  Lexi knocked a bar, but I think it's a combination of the flooring and her extended jumping style.  One odd thing was that she wasn't getting into her 2o2o on the dogwalk without a lot of prompting.  That is very unusual.  I think it's because ALL we've worked in the past week or more is  her 4-on on the teeter.  So she was getting into a 4-on position on the dogwalk.  I'm not sure what to do about that.  Am I confusing her by asking for two separate criteria?  Should I switch to a 2o2o on the teeter?

Lexi had no issue with the gamble, though I have to admit that my foot went across the line.  I was feeling pretty guilty about it, but at least I know that Lexi would have done it regardless of where I was placed.  I just looked down and realized I was on the line and got away from it as soon as I could.  I got lucky that I was given a Q.

Advanced Snooker:   A little ugly as far as connecting when it came to cues, collecting, and deceleration (I can say that because my husband doesn't read my blog-ha!)  And unfortunately despite calling her off a couple off courses, she knocked a bar in the closing that prevented her from qualifying.  Again, she rarely knocks bars so I attribute this mostly to the flooring.

It was a long day (3 runs in 8 hours!), but we still had a good time.

So my big question is this...should we change her teeter criteria to 2o2o to match her dogwalk and a-frame?  Are we confusing her by teaching both?  Or, is it just because we've focused so much on the teeter that she's gotten confused and once we even out our training (using all contacts) the confusion will disappear?



  1. Miley has a 4 on the teeter and then 2o/2o on the DW and A-frame. I can see it being confusing but she should be ok with it. How much does she weigh? If she isnt over 15 lbs I would be careful about doing a 2o/2o. All you need is the board coming up and hitting her, to cause a whole new set of problems.

  2. I agreed with Diana. All these 4 on and 2o/2o are so confusing for the dogs. All mine doing 4 on on the teeter and Sonic is doing a rather good running see-saw but I am not sure how long he will stay on like that as I can forsee soon he gets too confidence, he will leap off before the teeter hit the ground, so I go back to re insist on the 4 on. You can use hoop at the end of the teeter to reinforce the 4 on though.