Monday, April 27, 2015

Blast Agility Trial - First Advanced Jumpers Q!

Kili and I had another agility trial on Sunday, and it went really well! I'm so proud of my baby dog! She always gets wonderful comments about how fast and enthusiastic she is... people aren't used to seeing that in a greyhound running agility. She's a bit of a wild child, and sometimes when I see slow, steady dogs I kind of wish she was a little more reigned in... but then I remember that it's easier to teach control than it is to encourage drive. I'm also thrilled that her "wild child" moments are simply just having a little too much in the tank (and not listening closely enough) than just running amok. She hasn't run around the ring for the hell of it in almost 6 months now. I worry about her taking obstacles she shouldn't because they are presented to be a temptation on course, or blowing her contacts... but I haven't gone into the ring and thought "I really hope she doesn't do zoomies" in a long time.

Crate tag by Pyrat Dog Crate Tags
  We got better and better through the day on Sunday. No matter how much I exercise her (typically about 45-60 minutes) before a trial, her first run is almost always a little wild. This time it was a Steeplechase run, and she just had too much in the after burners to slow down and make the turn I asked of her. The rest of the run was quite nice though. Her weave poles were perfect both times, and she nailed the entries.

Standard! We were SO close to getting our first Q. We just can't seem to make all the stars align for us on standard runs, but they are getting more and more consistent. This time we were perfect except for Kili blowing her A-frame contact, which was a little disappointing because I don't think she's missed a contact in quite a few trials. You fix one problem... they come up with a new one! So we'll be working extra hard on contacts for the next few weeks until the next trial. The run was otherwise absolutely beautiful! It's hard to tell in the video, but she really put on the brakes in order to stay up on the table. I thought for sure she was going to come off the other end. Tables are something we've been working on! The thing about AAC that is frustrating is that you really can't have any mistakes, even at the Starter level. You are allowed refusals on contacts and weave entries, but that's it. I like CKC because it is more lenient at the entry level, allowing for some mistakes to happen. I always joke that positive reinforcement is important for the handler too, and CKC gives you that by making it easier to get Q's!

Kili got her first Advanced Jumpers Q. Last time I mentioned that I had mistakenly been running her in Starters thinking she needed one more run. Advanced was fun because it's not just straight lines anymore... there are a few little turns and tricks! I was joking that at this rate she'll be in Master everything and still in Starter Standard! Oh well, we'll take it! Two more to go to move up to Masters!


Janette Ash said...

Hi, I often check in to see how you and Kili are doing. Congratulations on your Q... great job!!! Lilly and I have been at it all winter. I am so happy to be able to train and run outside, finally, in warm weather. We have not tried any trials. I really don't feel it is worth the expense at this stage. We have been lucky (and busy) that there are many fun matches available in our area, one every second weekend. So that keeps us busy and entertained. How are your plans going regarding Greyhound Gathering in Utah. I hope you knock-em dead down there. BTW... Kili's crate tag is very nice, love it. But you have to remove the "And bonus pad included" sticker... LOL, LOL. Unless of course you are leaving it for a lark. Good Luck, have a great spring/summer and happy trialing.

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

Fun matches are a great way to practice! I go to fun matches whenever I can, though honestly there aren't many here. The other thing to consider is you can enter her in trials FEO (For Exhibition Only). You still pay full fees and you can't take food into the ring (but I believe new rules suggest you can take toys in), but you can touch your dog and play around. I ran Kili FEO a few times for her first few trials to get her used to the trial atmosphere.

Apex Agility Greyhounds said...

Oh, and we ended up deciding not to go to Utah. Kili was having those injury issues over the winter and I didn't know what was going on with her. I also found out that the equipment wasn't in the best shape and that concerned me. Maybe next year!