Thursday, October 28, 2010

October AKC Trial

Oops, I was sure I already posted this, but I guess not... Sorry about that, we had another trial two weekends ago, so here it is!

Out Saturday started out hazy and drizzly, but Philip and I needed to get to the trial, so we packed up into the car and went on our way. A little while back, the little toothy monster (a.k.a. Philip) ate through his portable soft-sided crate, leaving only his bulky wire crate at my disposal. I brought it along to the September trial, but it was a bit of a pain to drag around, so I decided to go crate-less this time. It wasn't hot out, and Philip comfortably stayed in the car for the few minutes that I needed to walk the course without him - the rest of the time, I simply held onto his leash and played "bunny" with him (more on that later). Thankfully, it wasn't wet or rainy at the trial site despite the drizzle at home :)

First up was a Jumpers course, and it looked like a fairly smooth run, so I gave it a quick walk-through and got Philip ready to go. Unfortunately he knocked a bar at the 4th jump, and subsequently messed up the next jump as well (probably because I was looking back rather than focusing on my handling, therefore doing a very ungraceful cross). Other than that little mishap though, the run went much better than most of our runs in the past few month, so even though this one was an NQ, I was optimistic for the next course.

The Standard course was also laid out with a good flow, though had a tricky ending - the dogs were running out towards the last jump, but had to take a detour to the right and turn around, taking the last jump backwards. I saw several dogs sprint straight over that jump and mess up their run. Philip started off at a good pace (not super-fast as he's capable of, but that's how I prefer him right now as he gets a little crazy when he gets fast). When we reached the table he hesitated getting up on it and ended up slowly jumping up from the left side. I was sure a refusal would be called for that, but the judge deemed it clean (I guess Philip never actually stopped dead in his tracks). After that, we had a few jumps to go around before reaching the tricky ending. At one point I wasn't paying much too much attention, but momentarily noticed that Philip headed for the A-Frame off to the side instead of the jump I was heading towards. In sudden realization of that, I shrieked at him, and to my surprise he turned right around and took the jump, whew! Lastly, I made sure to stay clear to the side at the end to lure him away from the incorrect ending, and it went very smoothly. This was it - our first Q in Excellent Standard :) Overall, a very good day considering all of Philip's latest antics over the past few months!

Sunday Jumpers course had a couple of tight turns, but turned out to have a very nice flow once we got to running it. Philip was very focused on me and did everything perfectly - not a single scream was required on my part, his weaves were good, he didn't veer off to the sides, and all the bars stayed up. We haven't had such a nice clean run in a while, so I was very proud of him. Needless to say, it was a Q!

The Standard course was tricky - it had a dog walk and a tunnel right after it, but the dogs were to go off to the side and onto a table before coming back to the tunnel from another side. I was a bit worried that Philip would dart into the tunnel (his favorite thing!), but when we got running he actually listened, and even did the table a little better than the day before. Out of the tunnel we got to the weaves, and Philip started out really nicely, but popped out of the very last pole earning us a refusal - what a bummer! :( The rest of the run was very nice, and had it not been for that pole, we would've had another good run. Alas, we got an NQ.

So now we have 2 Qs in Excellent A JWW, and 1 Q in Excellent A Standard!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Another Results Summary

I think it's time for another quick summary of our progress so far.

So far this year we've attended 2 USDAA trials and 11 AKC trials over 9 months. Philip has successfully advanced to the Excellent level in Standard and Jumpers in AKC, as well as Open FAST. He also has his Starters Standard title in USDAA.

I totaled up all the runs we did and how many Qs we got over all this time, so here it is for both clubs!