Monday, November 23, 2015

Starter Games Dog of Canada

Kili and I spent one day at an agility trial over the weekend, where she ran extremely well. She Q'd in 2/3 runs, and we had the fun of running for our trainer who was judging.

Her first run of the day was Snooker where she Q'd and took 1st place with the highest score. She ran exceptionally well - she was blazing fast but she listened and took direction. I really wish I had that run on video because it really doesn't get any better! It was especially sweet since I had avoided entering Snooker for quite awhile because I was worried about her random off courses when she's wild. In other classes a wild off course means an NQ, but you can continue to play; in Snooker a mistake results in getting whistled off the course... which when your dog sometimes goes off course after only 1 or 2 obstacles, seems like a bit of a waste of an entry fee. However, you do need Snooker in order to get your Games titles, which ultimately you need to get your ATChC (Agility Trial Champion of Canada). There are titles that can be earned above and beyond your ATChC, however I'd say that it's considered the equivalent of the MACH in AKC agility. It may be a fluke, but Kili may end up being a decent Snooker dog after all, as she's gone 2/2. With this Snooker Q Kili competed her Starter Games Dog of Canada title. To earn this title the dog must have achieved 2 Q's in each of the games classes (Gamblers, Snooker, Jumpers) at the Starter level. It also means that Kili is officially done with Starters, having moved up in all 4 available classes! She is now working at the Advanced level in everything.

Starter Games Dog of Canada

Her Advanced Standard run is the only one I have on film from this weekend, and while there was a lot of good stuff in it, she was also a little bit naughty. She popped her poles and had to redo them - this is okay at the Advanced level so she could have still Q'd. But then she ran through her stopped contact on the dog walk because it was right near the exit of the ring and she knew she was about to be done. She did touch the yellow contact so she would have still Q'd if I'd let her complete the course. Instead I called her off the last jump giving her a refusal and an NQ. Which is unfortunate, but at the same time it is important to always maintain your criteria. I could have said, "oh well, she blew the contact but she didn't get faulted for it and she stayed on course, so if we just finish she'll get the Q", but then she learns that she can blow contacts in trials and pretty soon she'll be leaping and missing her contact zones entirely. Better to concede the Q in the name of consistent training which will result in more consistent performance in future... and more Q's. I put her back on the dogwalk and made her stop for the contact. It does bring up an issue that needs to be worked on in practice... which is making the 2-on-2-off criteria no matter what the level of distraction or arousal might be (in this case knowing that she is just about done and there's a jackpot waiting for her). We plan on putting toys and food out ahead of the dogwalk contact as a temptation for her to run through, rewarding for impulse control to do the proper behaviour.

Kili also Q'd in her Advanced Jumpers run, she just needs 1 more to move up to Masters. She was pretty tired, so she was not as fast as I normally like, but she was at least thoughtful and careful. Sometimes when she gets too tired she becomes sloppy and distracted and makes errors she normally wouldn't. Weave poles are always a possible tired issue (as seen last week at CKC) because they require a lot of thought and focus, but she'll also run wide past jumps, get distracted by ring crew, etc. when normally she doesn't have those problems anymore.

Here is her (kind of naughty) Standard run:

All in all it was a very successful weekend and I was very happy with her performance. She gets 2 weeks off before back to back weekends again.

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