Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘NADAC’

What a difference! In March while the Friday started out with 2 Q’s, the rest of the weekend we couldn’t buy a Q to save our souls. The Labrador was distracted. We were not connected and she wanted to visit everyone instead of stay on the course. I left the ring and said, “Did you see my untrained dog in there?”

So, we knew we had a few issues to work on. In lessons our instructor kept a crate next to her. If the Labrador left me to visit, she got put in the crate. Cheese lady was no longer fun! During practices, we asked friends to ring crew and do the same thing. If she visited, just take her and put her in her crate.

During the April trial I had two goals. The first was if she left me to visit, she got one “here.” If she did not respond, she got taken off the course and put in her crate. The other was contacts. If she blew a contact, I was going to pull her back and train it. In April we only had 2 Q’s all weekend, BUT I pulled her off the course when she went to visit, and I trained the contact when she broke it.

Which leads us to this weekend. 8/12 Qs! Four new titles! Only one almost visit, where she came back on the first “here!” NO missed contacts, and only one early release on her start line stay!

This was a Games Trial and we started off Saturday with Touch N Go. It was not pretty. We weren’t connected at all. Definitely an NQ, but the next run I left thinking we’d rocked it! She nailed the discrimination, hit all her contacts and I was so proud of her, but I spent too much time praising her perfect contacts and we missed the Q by 5.84 seconds. But I was happy with that, and I think in the long run it’s going to pay off on contacts. Then we did Weavers. The first run was fantastic! The second run….well I should have taken her for a longer walk before hand. She did the first three obstacles like a rockstar, then popped out of her weaves and gave me that “I’m so sorry mom, but I have to poop” look. Shit happens 😉

Then we ran two Open Tunnelers! I forgot I was in Open and almost missed the walk through! Luckily each day a friend reminded me we’d moved up and I ran in! She rocked the tunnels!

Sunday as if to redeem those 5.84 seconds from yesterday we nailed the first Touch N Go course by 4.73 seconds! Close, but we made it with a fantastic discrimination (awesome “here walk it” for a dog who LOVES tunnels!), and beautiful contacts! Second one we were even faster making course time by 10.96 seconds! The first weavers didn’t go so well. I didn’t realize how awkward an entrance it was from the tunnel to the weaves, and we didn’t Q that time, but the second Weavers she was beautiful. And then of course we had our two tunnelers. When I started this journey I swore I’d never be able to get a front cross in on the Labrador because she is so fast, but this weekend on several occasions because of the distance work we’ve been practicing I managed to several times! It was most obvious on the tunnelers where I was able to send her out and around loops without me having to run along side her for each tunnel and then at the end – the final stretch of tunnels where I was over a tunnel length ahead of her, looking back teasing her that, “I”m gonna beat you! Come on! Faster!!”

At the end of the day, I realized we’d earned our Novice Weavers, Novice Touch N Go, and first Open level title — Open Tunnelers! What I only realized moments before writing this is she also earned her OUTSTANDING Open Tunnelers!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I learned a hard lesson this past weekend at a NADAC trial. I thought the Labrador was done with visiting folks. I thought we’d over come that, but it was cropping up more and more in practice. She would bounce over to visit the instructor and I’d call her, usually more than once. She always came back to me, but not always on the first call. And I let this continue. I’m sure you see where this is going.

In practice if she blew a contact I made her go back. We train two on two off. In the trial setting as long as she got one paw in the contact zone I didn’t care. We kept going. We were qualifying! It was new and exciting! We earned titles! And then there was this last trial.

Friday we entered two classes — Touch N Go and Open Tunnelers. We rocked. We were together and a team and she ran a fantastic 5.85 yards per second! Nothing could stop us! Two first place Q’s!

And then Saturday things started to fall apart. We started the day with a beautiful Chances run. She got the distance. We were flowing and graceful and then she leapt off the dog walk. The photographer even got a wonderful sequences of photos of this. Isn’t that the memory you just want to keep? Actually…just maybe it is.

Our next few courses were all over the place. Some almost good, but not good enough. Our teamwork was off. Something wasn’t clicking.

Then Sunday it all fell apart. Or at least that’s how it felt. Our Regular run I felt like I had an untrained dog. She was all over the place. She went to say hi to the photographer. She ignored my recall. She acted like she had no idea what contacts were. And lucky for me I have wonderful friends. It was all my fault. As the judge said in the briefing, “Everything out there that happens right is your dog. Everything that goes wrong, is your fault.”

But instead of blame, they reminded me things that I’d been told before, but let slide. Things I’d ignored to my out detriment. The next course she left me. I called her. Once. She didn’t come so I walked over to and without a word took her by the scruff, signaling for my leash. I leashed her up, walked her to her crate and put her up without a word. Then I walked away.

The next course she stayed with me, but blew a contact. I called her back and put her back on the contact and then praised profusely. Then we finished the course. Not a Q, but second place and only a 10 point fault.

What I had trained — what I had allowed was exactly what I was getting. It was time to remember my criteria, hold the line and take my ego out of it. When I called her to come, she must come or the game ends. This isn’t just a because I say so, but it in the end is a safety issue. If there is someone across the street she wants to see, but a car is coming, she must return to me if I tell her to. A contact must be a two on two off. This is the criteria I have trained. This is the standard I must hold her to even if it means we NQ a few courses as I insist upon this. That is one thing I love about NADAC is the ability to train in the ring. So, take my ego which wants us to win NOW out of it, strengthen the criteria so that in the future she knows this is the way to play the game she loves, and how to keep playing.

Read Full Post »

Up until recently we ran Tunnelers and Jumpers only at trials, but now the Labrador has her weaves down and her contacts are getting better.  So at the last trial we entered a few more classes, but we were limited on Saturday due to the fact we had another obligation in the morning that meant we didn’t arrive at the trial until late morning.  We now have two Regular Q’s, a Weaver’s Q, and five Tunnelers Q’s!

So now we are looking toward our next trial and trying to figure out what to enter since technically we are now eligible for everything!  First I need to consider the Labrador’s endurance – physically and mentally.  Is she up for six or seven runs in one day?  Laying around, to come out and run, to lay back down, to come out and run?  And honestly, I’m not sure.  At this last trial we ran three classes on Saturday, with only one Q (but two first places!).  The first class her mental focus wasn’t there, but the last two she was fantastic.  The jumpers run was gorgeous (only a no-Q due to a knocked bar), and her Tunnelers run we were 11 seconds under course time, which means at the end of the day she was not only focused, but still raring to go!

The next day we did five classes.  Our two Q’s that day were the second and fourth classes, with a 4th place in the middle.  No Q there due to faults.  Our Tunnelers time was still 8.18 seconds under time!  This leads me to believe she has the physical endurance.  Her mental focus was good, though I think she was little more distracted.  Now was that due to the longer day?  The weather?  Me?  I suppose one trial isn’t enough to judge.

My endurance on the other hand — let’s just say I think I’m going to take up jogging!  Mentally too it was a much longer day, but I enjoyed it.  I remembered the courses, stayed on track, and was still smiling by the end of the day.  Saturday I wasn’t feeling well, and didn’t eat during the trial.  Sunday I felt better, but didn’t eat.  I think if we up the number of classes, I definitely need to eat. The end of the trial crash due to not eating isn’t good.  So I will definitely try this next trial to calm the nerves and figure out something I can eat.

This next trial we are considering doing 6 classes each day.  That’s a big jump.  So the questions I’m asking myself are:

Is there a class I could skip?
Can running in all these hinder our training?  (For example what will it do if I run her in all six and she blows her contacts every time?)

I’m sure there are other questions to ask that I’m no thinking of at this time, but I have a little time to consider this, and so I will before I send in the entry.

Read Full Post »

Not only have I been slacking keeping my handwritten journal updated, I’ve been slacking here! On April 27 the Labrador gave me a fantastic wedding day present. She earned her first NADAC title — TN-N!

I have a wonderful husband who didn’t complain at all about spending our 12 year wedding anniversary at an agility trial! He’s even now talking about getting his own agility dog sometime in the future when we are ready for another one.

How’s that for a great weekend?

Read Full Post »

The AKC Rally National Championship was overwhelming! It was a lot of fun, but wow what an environment. Our first run I lost the Labrador. She got distracted, left my side and when she didn’t immediately return, we were excused. I don’t blame the judge, they had a lot of dogs to go through! Outside the ring I had perfect attention. I get inside, I get nervous and well, then we have an issue. I was so nervous my mouth even wet dry.

Our second run would have giving us a qualifying leg at a regular trial, so I’m very proud of her for that. Our very last sign though was a halt-pivot-halt. We stopped, she sat. We pivoted. And then she stood there. I asked her to sit. She didn’t. I asked again. And again. I realized I was begging, took a breathe, and tried again in a calmer voice. I almost reached down to tap her on the head, but instead, decided to call it. She’d stayed with me through the course, and now it was time to eat the points. We moved out, did our sit/stay and left with what would have been a qualifying score even with eating 10 points for the sign.

So, I’ve learned I’ve got to get a handle on my nerves. I’ve known that, and thought I was doing better, but in that environment it all flared back up! But we still got our nice participating certificate! Dog in need of a better handler!

We went from Rally to Agility, returning to Agility classes in March. The Labrador has repeated Intermediate, and the Golden has now down Foundations, and Beginner. In April we trialed. On Saturday we attempted Jumpers, Regular 1 and Regular 2. The good things about those runs is the Labrador stayed with me. She didn’t visit ring crew, or get distracted, she ran with me, just not necessarily over the obstacles. Actually our Jumpers run went very well, we were just over time by .2 seconds! So, though we didn’t Q I was pleased with her runs. There were vast improvements from our last agility trial to be proud of. Of course, Saturday when we had no Q’s is the day everyone came to watch including the Labrador’s breeder. Isn’t that just how it goes??

The next day we registered for Jumpers, Regular 1 and Tunnelers. This time I screwed up the Jumpers course by sending her shooting past a jump, then calling her back and making the mistake of calling her back over the jump. You can clearly hear the crowd in the video trying to tell me not to do what I was doing! Ooops! Regular 1 we missed a discrimination, but for the first time the Labrador got her weaves in the ring!! I finished the course cheering her on with “You got you weaves!” Sometimes you have to set smaller goals. Tunnelers though, tunnelers was nothing but awesome! With seconds to spar we shot around that course, not missing a beat, and moving as the most awesome tunneler team in history! And with the completion of that crazy figure eight tunnelers course little Ms. Labrador earned her very first Agility title the TN-N!!

So now we are moving on and working on building up to 12 weaves. One more session and I think we’ll have it. The Golden is doing some private agility lessons, as well as starting his CGC class. Our sit to greet is terrible. He wants to hug everyone, and has a very bad trainer. The Labrador is also doing some private agility training, and we are starting another Advanced Obedience class. I’m not sure when we’ll get back into the Obedience ring, or if it will be Open, or Graduate Novice, but either way we’ve lots to train. We’ll also be back in the agility ring this summer, and fall. I’m hoping to have the Golden’s CGC by the end of summer. After that, well I’ll need to make some more goals and plans.

Read Full Post »

The Labrador and I are back in Agility class. She loves it! One thing everyone comments on in class is her enthusiasm! Often this is a nice way of saying insanity as she races around the course taking which ever obstacle is in her path regardless of the course, or what I’m telling her. One of the other students, who has been in class with me before asked me if she’d calmed down at all. I paused a moment before answering, because I don’t think she was asking exactly what she said. I actually considered my answer, which was no, but she’s gained focus. Just before she’d asked me about the Labrador calming down we’d done a jump sequence where I put her at the start line and did a lead out almost to the second jump. Lead outs weren’t something we could manage last year. She only hit one obstacle out of order in class, actually paying attention to directions and guidance from mom.

So, has she calmed down? No. She still loves it and runs with everything in her, tail wagging, racing through the course. But now we are doing the course (mostly). We have finally gotten a 2 on 2 off contact (she didn’t miss one last class!). She isn’t jumping on the instructor, but turned on a dime when i gave her the “leash” command and shoved her head through the slip lead.

I hope she never calms down. I hope she always gives it her best, running with her heart, loving every minute of it. I just hope she learns to focus more.

Read Full Post »

We had another physical therapy evaluation. The Beagle really is doing well, and getting very fed up with all this crate rest! She’s ready to take on the world! We are at the point of having to hold her back. She feels good and has a lot of mobility back, but she’ll need some work to get to 100%.

During this evaluation the Vet looked at the notes from the surgery and told us that she has calcification on the disc between T11 and T12. I was annoyed when we heard this since the surgeon hadn’t told us this. It wouldn’t have changed anything that we’ve been doing, and they did warn us that she could have more problems. But I would have liked this information, just being the type of person I am. What happened to the Beagle isn’t just an injury, it’s an injury due to a disease — IVDD. She has it. It’s not going to change. So we have to manage it, and do all we can to give her a full life while minimizing the risks of more damage and pain.

I asked this Vet about the Beagle’s Agility career. This Vet is very much a advocate of the idea that dog’s need a job. They need to be kept active and in shape, but even she feels Agility is off the table. Her whole spine wasn’t checked with the CT, but we know one has a problem. Other discs may too.

I thought I was ok with this. I thought we’d just set new goals and move forward, but I think that was overly optimistic of me. I am still saying goodbye to the dream, and mourning its loss.

Today I competed with the Labrador. At the last trial I bought two slip leads. One for the Labrador and one for the Beagle. I didn’t like the collar on the Labrador’s so today I requested the maker redo it with a new clasp. Once I got it back I realized I could have just used the one for the Beagle, since the odds are she won’t use it any time soon, if ever. It was a sad thought.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »