Thursday, September 27, 2018

Kenna - CKC Trial in Calgary

In mid-September I decided to take the girls to a CKC trial in Calgary. We unfortunately missed most of the trials this summer due to my hectic schedule training for the World Championships in Ultimate Frisbee, and so we are just getting back into the swing of things for the fall. The girls are both very happy about this. Kili had hurt a toe in August right after I got home from Worlds, and so she had to be on agility hiatus. I did allow her to run in this trial but only 1 run per day, and because her championship is finished she only ran Jumps and Tunnels which is a bit of a newer class. She did great and Q'd in both.

Kenna on the other hand had a very full weekend with 5 runs each day. Saturday went awesome for us, except for some slipping and dropped poles due to the wet ground. But she was engaged and didn't otherwise put a paw out of place.

Sunday was a bit of a different story. I think I've realized that I need to enter more 2 day trials with her! She struggled a bit on Sunday, and honestly I think she was just mind blown at running a second day and a little bit of puppy came out. She was a little unfocused, making some uncharacteristic choices. Nothing like Kili back in the day (and sometimes still in the current day, ha ha!) but certainly out of character for my serious, focused Kenna. That's not a surprise though. She needs to learn to work through being both simultaneously aroused AND tired, and I think that was the struggle for her. We also just had bad luck. On two good Jumpers runs we had bars in one and then I messed up in the other.

Overall I was pretty happy with the weekend. I approached the weekend with the mindset that I wasn't going to baby any of the handling... I was going to run it like I know we can in practice and trust myself and my dog. Sometimes in agility we might see a hard section of the course and two ways to run it. One which is better and faster, and one that is SAFER but not necessarily as pretty or as smooth. Us casual competitors often just want the Q (nothing wrong with that!) and so we take the safer option. But sometimes to get better we need to test our skills that we know (or think) we have in practice to see if we have them in a trial setting. And sometimes it helps us identify areas that need more work.

We got some Q's (and therefore points toward Top Dog!) and we also had some great take aways on skills that need to be worked on more. There is always something to do in agility training... your dog is never totally trained.

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kenna - CKC Intermediate titles

After I posted Kili's CKC championship videos I completely forgot about posting Kenna's runs from that same trial back in May! I've only just remembered!

Kenna actually had a really awesome trial that weekend as well and completed both of her Intermediate titles, moving up to Excellent.

Thursday, May 03, 2018

Kili - CKC Agility Champion

A few weeks ago the girls went to their first CKC trial of 2018. It's a local trial, and one of the few times we go for a full weekend. I was especially glad we managed to attend both days since we will be missing most of the other CKC trials this summer due to my Ultimate frisbee touring schedule.

Kili was a true rock star. She had already completed all of her Jumpers with Weaves (JWW) that she needed so I did not enter her in any JWW runs. CKC is notoriously expensive, and so I had decided awhile ago that once she completed her championship I would no longer enter her in Standard or JWW, only in games (Steeplechase, PAD, Jumps and Tunnels). Unfortunately, only the Standard and JWW runs count of top dogs placements, so she will not be very high up the standings this year. However, since she was the #1 hound this year, I'm okay to let her slide a little in the standings and give that a rest.

She only needed 3 more Standard runs, and there were only 3 offered at this trial. Knowing Kili's Q rate is usually around 50-75%, I figured it would probably take 2 trials. However, she was a very good little girly and had a 100% Q rate for the weekend and completed her CKC Championship. She is now a dual agility champion in both AAC and CKC. Time to move on to UKI for the trifecta!

Sunday, April 22, 2018

OC Trial - Splitscreen Agility

Last weekend the girls attended a local agility trial and both did really well.

Kenna had a bit of bad luck in her Gamble. She had a beautiful opening, but the course time for the closing gamble was very tight and even though she did it, she had a little bobble that cost enough time that we were a split second over time... so no Q. :( She also had a really beautiful Challenge run that I didn't get recorded.

Kili ran really well and had a perfect trial. She completed her Master Team Relay Dog of Canada and got her 10th Masters Jumpers which completed her Expert Bronze Jumpers. Unfortunately, I didn't get either of those runs on tape.

Both girls ran a really nice Master Standard course and I have video of both girls. So I thought it would be really fun to split screen the runs and watch them run it against each other. It really highlights the differences in their running styles. Kenna is so compact and can turn nice and tight, and she collects nicely over jumps when asked. Kili has no clue how to collect and takes pretty much every jump in extension no matter how hard I try to convey to her that she needs to shorten up her landing. The result is that Kenna is WAY faster, even though their actual ground speed is probably fairly similar. Kenna saves strides by turning tight.

Sunday, April 01, 2018

SuperDogs - Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show


The girls and I were invited out to perform with the SuperDogs, this time at the Edmonton Boat and Sportsmen's Show. It was a short, action packed couple of days, with 3 shows per day for 4 days.

I was really pleased with the girls. It was Kenna's debut (last time in Prince Albert she was just 5 months old and only did Pat'n'Chat) and she rocked it, performing in puissance, disc freestyle, weaves, relays, and she did some basket deliveries. Kili was also a good girl and added basket delivery to her repetoire.

The girls also did tandem weaves for the first time. Actually, I was surprised how easy it was for us, as I've watched a number of teams in past years work on their tandem weaves with lots of speed bumps along the way. Frequently, one dog will be very steady and know their job and the other dog (usually the younger or less experienced) struggles with over arousal/excitement leading to either popping poles or just running right past the entry and barking at the other dog who is weaving. Teams usually experiment with what the best order of dogs is. I've also seen teams struggle with the second dog popping the last couple of poles because the first dog is already finished. We didn't have any of these issues which was great. I experimented once or twice in the beginning with the order, originally thinking it would be best to put Kenna first since she is the faster weaver, and I thought if she couldn't see Kili she would be more likely to weave nicely, versus if she was behind she might get overexcited and pop out. As it turned out, for whatever reason they seemed to work better with Kili in front, and Kenna would actually modulate her speed as needed... if she caught up to Kili she would stutter step to let her get ahead a bit and continue without missing a pole. Our one hurdle was getting both girls around the barrel without them nipping at each other or trying to play, but even that worked itself out with a few practices.

Kili struggled in our very first show 2 years ago with soreness after puissance, and so I have been reluctant to let her jump as high as she can during shows. Luckily, a lot of the back issues she had when she was younger have become a non-issue in the past 2 years, so Kili was able to jump a personal best of 8 bars (with enough space that I'm pretty sure she would have cleared 9 if it had been there). Kenna was a superstar. This was her first time seeing a high jump, and she worked from jumping 5, 6, and 7 on the first day, to jumping 7, 8, 9.

The girls were pretty exhausted by the end. It's a lot of work for just 2 dogs (better than when I just had 1 though!). Until next time, these SuperDogs are back to their usual activity... agility! Stay tuned for lots of upcoming trials!

Monday, February 19, 2018

BLAST trial - Masters Dogs

I have been nursing a couple of injuries recently so the dogs have not been doing much agility the past couple of months. We have been focusing on obedience and some of our SuperDogs behaviours as we have a show coming up in March. However, the girls did have a half day trial this weekend where they had a lot of fun.

This was Kenna's first trial running some courses at the Masters level. She has moved up in both Standard and Jumpers, so she got to try a Masters Jumpers course and a Challenge. Challenge is a Masters Standard class that adds some extra degree of difficulty. There are usually some extra "challenges" on the course compared to a typical Standard course. We had a couple of small bobbles that we were able to save on this course, and overall I thought she handled it very well! In fact, she was 2nd across all heights, and if I hadn't made her hold her contacts and wasted an extra second or two she would have been first (but contact criteria is really important to me right now, it's well worth the extra time it takes).

Kili got a Q in Masters Snooker, but sadly no video... although she was a bit wild and there was a fair bit of yelling involved to keep her on track... similar to her Masters Jumpers run. She didn't qualify in Jumpers but I was quite happy with how she handled the course as it was very tricky. Kenna had baby dog brain and couldn't quite get her act together on the Jumpers run, but it was her very first Masters run so I forgave her. ;) Kenna is 23 months old now and I'm just tickled pink with how she's coming along. She's really something special.

Monday, October 30, 2017

19 months - Gamble Skills

A couple of weeks ago, I took the girls for a half day trial. I'm gearing up for a big trip to Argentina for an ultimate frisbee tournament, so I'm trying to conserve a bit of time and money, but at the same time, the next trial the girls would be able to attend isn't until mid-December... so I figured 3 runs each still left me some time in the afternoon to get some errands done!

Kenna picked up her first Starter Gamble Q, and she did it in style. What a show off! She did both of the mini gambles twice, and we even ran out of things to do before we ran out of time. She handled the main gamble with ease as well. She needs one more to move on up to Advanced!