A long day at the AKC trial today, ran at 8am and 5pm. Those small to tall days are brutal if you want to do Premier in the morning. My current plan is once Bright finishes her MACH to just enter Premier in the morning and go home! I do find it funny that after finally getting Navarre into Masters so we can run Premier, they go and change the rules that dogs at any level can run in it. Hmph.
Not that we did so hot in Premier today, it was clear from the get-go it was going to be a ‘Training Day’. Forgot to put Bright over the practice jump to remind her we’re doing 20 and not 16, she had a nice premier jumpers run, but knocked a bar and ticked several others. She figured it out after that run though, so, hey – we had fun anyway. But Navarre, OMG, he wasn’t collecting for ANYTHING in premier jumpers, and then I tried a serp and he didn’t collect AT ALL and ran behind me and then I tried go on and he just ran wide and was taking backsides – so we stopped. And then he ran off to go see the judge. Dork. Not an auspicious start.
Then in premier standard, Bright doesn’t even THINK about stopping on her dogwalk whatsoever, so we stop and mark it and then continue on to the teeter, where, once again, just flies off. So we left as I was totally out of position at that point anyway, can’t do my job if my dogs aren’t doing their’s! But then Navarre redeemed himself in premier standard, I did my best to cue collection in this tough area where I also had to really push to get ahead – and he totally rocked it, it was LOVELY. And he was so distracted by me telling him how amazing he was that we missed the next jump, but, hey. We also had a shallow rear cross and beautiful weaves – redeemed!
And then Bright redeemed herself in standard, she was onto this whole ‘stopping on the contacts’ thing, and while they weren’t her normal speedy contacts, there was definitely no question she understood I really meant it this time. And we stopped and marked the occasion at every contact, so hopefully we’re on the road to recovery. So, that is our project before Nationals, getting those back to consistent. Ideally with mixing in a running too, but not until we get the stop back. And we had a fun jumpers run too, so that was worth sticking around for. Double Q #19, now there is a chance she could finish her MACH tomorrow. We shall see, contacts would need to happen, which I thought would be more of a battle. But tomorrow is another day.
Oh, and Navarre got a double Q too! I don’t remember if this is his first, but I think so. He’s had a couple close calls with a dropped bar or him running around a jump. He’s a good egg, and collected again in jumpers! Growing up, little by little. Sometimes. REALLY happy with his weaves today, no issues at all, very confident and speedy – I didn’t babysit his entries too much. We did have to screw around a little on the teeter, as he stopped four on and I was in a ‘be consistent with your criteria’ mindset. We’ll see what we get tomorrow, but won’t be quite as long of a day.
Meanwhile, Haku is just loving this whole herding thing. I mean, he’s always loved it, but it’s a whole new level these days, his confidence is has been increasing by leaps and bounds. He was facing down the angry non-dogbroke sheep at Heidi’s like a total pro, and he was SO proud of himself when he turned her. His driving continues to improve and we’ve practiced our inside flank homework. I’m maybe a little better. Maybe. I’m going to keep practicing in my mind and with toys. Very happy Haku! But, yeah, all this herding has decimated his obedience cues. We’re definitely retired from obedience at this point, and I don’t think he minds.
Navarre took over at obedience and was okay at class this week. I do think my mind was somewhere else and I just kept doing oblivious and disruptive things. Navarre wasn’t doing anything too weird, though it took him a bit to remember how to do articles. I had a little pipe dream we could go play at the Sherwood trial in April, as that’s such a nice obedience trial – but he’s not ready yet. I give him another year. Though maybe I should just take a break from obedience for a year and THEN come back to it. I will ponder on it, he’s made steady progress with his performance and attitude, he has improved. It’s a slow process though, and we really do need to just do fun matches this year. Good thing we like agility more anyway!
Last week of International League this week with Bright and Navarre. Bright had to be reminded what 20 inch jumps were for, but pulled it together for our second run – including contacts! Both dogs had a weird issue where they took my ‘go-on’ as to go forward and suddenly veer in and go to the backside. When Bright did it I just assumed she was being Bright, but when Navarre did the same thing I knew it must be me. I fixed it with Bright by, well, running more – but Navarre did it again. Hm. Not our most successful league this year, we had a lot of goofiness and fixing contacts and such. But enjoyable, Navarre definitely did better than Bright every week. Except with threadles. Unless I didn’t want him to.
Our photography project this week was ‘Before and After’, and I thought I would show the progressive destruction of one of Navarre’s frisbees (which is a lot easier to do now, as they’re just so cheaply made these days). My idea had one dog with a brand new frisbee, the next with a ‘worn’ frisbee and the last with a ‘dead’ frisbee. However, we hadn’t worked on Bright’s ‘hold’ since I taught it last summer, so that needed refreshing. And when we went out to practice in the front we drew a crowd with babies and children, which certainly didn’t help. Kudos to Bright, this practice pic was taken with CHILDREN right there watching and pointing at her:
But in the end I didn’t really like the three frisbee concept and went back two anyway:
But, still, dogs holding things really is super cute:
They were all pretty tired of these frisbees by the end of our photo experiments. We’re having fun with the challenges, next week is ‘Love’ – need to think of something creative for this …