Saturday, January 20, 2018

More January agility

Back to last weekend, it was a four day event! Molly and I continued on to a USDAA agility trial on Sunday, but our awesome streak....did not continue!

Jumpers was like this! (with the rest of the course completed quite nicely after her detour.)

We got Snookered on Snooker. Standard was dead last of the day with a very long wait in between classes since it was a one ring trial. It was a nice run but unfortunately we had a weave fault. It was actually an interesting situation though. Of all of the agility obstacles, I would say that the weaves are Molly's number one most historically stressful obstacle. And right behind that is the dog walk. I have worked hard on Molly's understanding of my criteria as well as my own behavior around these obstacles, but we have a history. It doesn't help that Molly had three dog walk crashes last year, a new thing for us, and now where I am not really so anxious about faults anymore, I am anxious about Molly hurting herself.

Anyway. The Standard course started with the dogwalk right to the weaves, so there's a lot of stress build up there. On the map and even moreso on the actual course, the handler's path really converges towards the weave entry unless you really let the dog have some distance and find their entrance on their own. Molly is very capable of that but she is also very sensitive to my pressure at the weave entrance. So what did I do? I released her and walked to the weave entrance with her. Sigh. She stressed but actually shocked me with grabbing the weaves but she did leave them at about #4. It was just too much for her.

Looking back I wish I had asked her to stay on the dog walk, walked away from her and then released her to find her weave entrance at a distance. It would have been out of my comfort zone, but I know that would have made Molly very comfortable. And I know she has the skills. Next time we see DW to weaves I will be forcing myself to do that.

Further on down the course I did challenge myself (it always helps when you cannot qualify anymore!) by leaving her in her table stay and not releasing her until I was on the opposite side of the jump. And she stayed! (Being a long time CPE dog Molly does think the table down stay is foolish, though we have been doing some value building on her table stay over this winter as well as a lot of work on her "down" mechanics - in preparation for drop on recall training.)

So, that was that!

Monday was a vacation day from work. I originally intended to do some CPE runs with Perri to gain legs for her C-ATCH/CT-ATCH but that plan is on hold. I did take Ein to play a round of Snooker. The course was largely composed of tunnels which Ein does not really love. I could see some hesitation from him but he's a good ol' boy and he got it done. I love playing with him! 

Great four days of fun to start off our agility year! 

1 comment:

  1. Always fun to play agility. I'm working on Silver Versatility in Snooker with my Beckett; Silver is 25 qualifying scores. Keltic, well, we're still trying to get out of advanced. Weave entries and dog walk contacts just kill us.