I experimented with our quiet handling at the trial this weekend. Not totally, gave him weave, contact and tunnel cues, and anything else that seemed really appropriate, but I also tried to stay quiet if I could. REALLY tried not to say his name unless I really needed his attention. Was funny how I then picked up a funny little clapping habit. Still, he was trying really hard and we had some really nice stuff, including right off the bat getting a nice premier standard Q with minimal driftiness. In fact, no ridiculous driftiness until my ‘control run’, the last jumpers course of the weekend, when I wanted to see if I got ‘loud’ again what would happen – and what happened was he imploded. It was actually kind of amusing, ‘come’ means ‘go over there and threadle that jump – really?
So, hm, I think there is a combination of things going on when I get ‘loud’, including my handling gets ‘bigger’ and he just starts flinging. So, go figure, all that time people have been trying to work on getting me to be louder and more aggressive and that just makes Navarre into a drifty dork, apparently. So, good to know, we will continue to work on quiet handling and see how it goes.
LOT of good stuff over the weekend, including some really nice weaves considering his cut under his eye – I don’t think that bothered him at all. He had one weavepole flub, but he actually seemed to be having better weavepole rhythm than he’s had recently, and very deliberate and thoughtful weave entries – very happy with those.
Lots of good running dogwalk exits and we ran everything all weekend, his RC continue to look solid, but I couldn’t handle them worth a damn. I blame the quiet handling, I totally did not even so much as handle TWO tunnel threadles off the dogwalk – he needed the information when he was ON the board, I got out like ‘Navarre!’ as he was heading into the wrong (yet ever so obvious) tunnel entrance. ‘Navarre’ is not his tunnel threadle cue, even if he could magically respond to it as he’s already going into the tunnel. So, yeah, two times we NQd because of me and that, everything else looked lovely in those runs. Doh. I think we need more practice with that, it can be hard to really practice dogwalks in sequences in our tiny arenas, I get complacent as it’s so easy to be there.
Navarre’s handling was great for the most part, he had lovely threadles, pushes, rear crosses – only one bar with our ‘loud’ run. Hm. We had one flub in premier jumpers where he did not even so much as acknowledge his bypass cue, and I felt like I was up there, pointed the right direction, big cue, verbal and, nope, no response at all. Teeters were sketchy, but I think that’s me not being consistent with my criteria. I’d prefer to have a running teeter, but I don’t know if Navarre can handle that.
So we continue to grow and while at his last trial I felt we had taken two steps back, I feel like we took step forward this weekend. It helped that the courses were a lot of extension for the most part, as AKC tends to be. I think Navarre is a very good AKC dog!
This jumpers course was ALL extension – Navarre liked it!
This was also a good Navarre course:
Here we are not on the same page about coming into me:
Love my Navarre, he is an excellent agility partner and I love hanging out with him. Though he really has turned that ‘boy’ corner, suddenly he’s all about the ladies. Walking him in the arena is much more of adventure, he’s all INTO checking out the girls or the dirt where girls could have been. He had one long distance love of a portie girl that he was just entranced with. Even with food on his nose I could not get him to stop staring longingly at her. The cute part was when that dog’s handler started asking for behaviors Navarre tried offering them from across the way! And I couldn’t get him to STOP. Ah, boy dogs. He’s still not in immediate danger of getting his nuts cut off, but it’s definitely much more on his mind than it ever has been in the past. He was much more focused on course this weekend than at the USDAA trial, being a one ring trial helped, I’m sure.
A fun weekend, some interesting bits on the courses, and then even when it’s just wide open running Navarre likes that too. Not too many pinwheels, that makes me happy. Surface down there is kind of nuts, but I don’t think there are any locations in our area that really have a nice consistent agility surface. I MAY enter one more trial in June. Not sure, we have the Justine seminar, which I’m not feeling terribly optimistic about at the moment …
In other news, I let Bright and Haku run around with Navarre after his runs … and Haku ripped open another pad and Bright ripped one of hers AND re-injured her stop pad. Good lord, it’s an epidemic.
I’m dreading Summer something fierce this year – the heat just kills me. But when summer actually begins in the PNW can be more variable than it used to be. The ‘official’ start of summer is after the 4th of July, but June CAN be very nice – not always though. So the question is, what are my Summer agility plans – if any? We had a lot of fun this weekend, kind of sad to think we may not trial again until the end of September. Hm. But I have learned my lesson, summer trials are not for me. I miss the days where we would be done by noon. Sigh.