Home > Agility, Agility Trials > Krypto’s (and my) first experience at a big trial…

Krypto’s (and my) first experience at a big trial…

…went pretty well all considered.

On Saturday we headed off to Guides Canins (Saint Lazare, QC). I had entered Krypto in two advanced jumpers and two advanced snookers on Saturday, and the same thing on Sunday. I was trying to finish his advanced games title.

We arrived at the trial site bright and early (we woke up at 5 am…), I had already set up our tent the day before, I set up Pongo’s and Krypto’s crates, put the boyz in them, and off I went to get my courses. Then I started looking at the snookers map. The start and finish lines could be interpreted several ways, so it was not so easy to plan a course not knowing how to use those lines. What I thought, since there were two distinct lines, a D-D (depart) and an A-A (arrivee), was that I had to use the diagonal line as a start line and cross that one. Those green pen lines represent my plan for the opening, taking into account that interpretation of the map. However, when the judge gave us the briefing, it was clear that both lines were start lines, and the horizontal one was also a finish line. So I planned my run better, but..I do not remember which way we went!!! Too many runs in two days!!! I should have noted it afterwards. Regardless, we did three times the A-frame then went for the closing and completed it! A total of 51 points for a nice Q and second place (by 1 point).


Advanced Snooker

We were out of Advanced Snooker!!!!!! I was in heaven!!!! Then off I went to plan our first advanced jumpers run, a very cute course. It did not go well. Krypto dropped a bar, did some odd things like going off to a wrong tunnel entry because I was too close – he is used to distance after all. I checked the video of our run that our instructor took, I listened to her comments, and I set forth to do the second jumpers run with those comment in mind. And…we nailed it. First place and best run overall. (see map). We were out of Advanced, period!!!!


Advanced Jumpers

I then went to the registration area and asked to move up our next runs to the masters level. We then ran the second snooker in the Masters snooker. It wasn’t a tough course, but I had a bit of a brain fart when the judge called “zero” at the weaves (obstacle of choice – I caused Krypto to pop out). I should have clicked and gone for another red, but I put him back in the weaves. Oh well!

I packed the dogs up and we came home. we were home at around 9 pm, I took a shower, the dogs had supper, I chatted a bit on Facebook, then off to bed. On Sunday I woke up at 4:45 to be at the trial site earlier as our first run, now Masters Snooker, was at 8 am. Once at Guides Canins, I decided to use the fact that I had to stay there until the end to do the last jumpers run. So I added 4 runs: two Masters Standard and two Masters Gamblers. I wanted to see how we would perform in a full day of competition. A total of eight runs. All in masters. One after the other.

Masters Snooker 4 went really well. I did 1-3-1-5-1-6 and went for the closing. All went well until Krypto dropped a bar at 7. We ended up with 37 points, not enough to qualify, but very good for me considering that we have so many issues in snooker.

Masters Snooker 4

In Masters Jumpers 4 Krypto dropped the bar of jump #1. We then managed to get to 11, but my “right” did not work at all. So he went in the chute. We did it another couple of times before getting that piece correctly. Then I believe the buzzer went off before we could finish. I say “I believe” because I had no time to write down what happened, and I thought that I would remember and I could do it today. But I do not remember…


Masters Jumpers 4

In Masters Standard 4 Krypto knocked another bar, and we fell for the tunnel-seesaw trap. So I used my time to work that and I realized that I hadn’t said “out seesaw” but just “out” to Krypto. Did he not hear the “out”? Was the tunnel too appealing to pay attention to the “out”? I cannot tell, but by this run I had noticed that my verbal cues, even the most solid ones, were not working. It was not a matter of timing. I am wondering whether the music was affecting his hearing. And his level of arousal, that was quite high….

Masters Standard 4

Masters Standard 4

The music was very loud and the loudspeakers were pointing right into ring 1B. So before our gamblers run I went to ask if the music could be turned down a bit. Some competitors were even having a hard time hearing the buzzer. I was told a very firm “no”, I did not argue (am I learning?!!!) and went to get my dog. No point in insisting…When I went to take Krypto I noticed that he had hurt himself. He had a large round scratch under his right eye. It had stopped bleeding and was all red from the blood.There was no more fur there. So I went to run our gamblers 4 with my mind on his scratch and what could have caused it. Was it something in the crate? Had it happened in one of the tunnels/chute? So let’s say that I was not that focused for our gambler run. We still did the mini twice and we Qd. But yet again it was clear to me that my verbal cues were very weak….

Masters Gamblers 4

Masters Gamblers 4

I would say that Masters Standard 5 was the best run of the day for both of us. It is funny because I was quite stressed out by this run. I wanted this Q quite badly and my heart was pounding in my throat. I also went in there changing my opening on the fly because I knew that my plan would not work having seen other dogs fail. Also, my change was going to put me in a better position for what came past tunnel 3. Krypto ran faster than usual. I had no time to think but just execute, and he kept going like a speed bullet. Unfortunately Krypto dropped a bar at 14. My 180 degree cue “eight” did not work yet again. So I had to call his name. Very loudly. He did not crush the bar with his bum, he just touched the bar with one “claw”, it was quite subtle. Perhaps if I had trimmed his claws before the trial LOLLL

It was really a very nice run. I got a kick out of it. We were playing as a team like on Saturday. I gave all what I had and Krypto did the same. I really had a blast!!!

Masters Standard 5

Masters Standard 5

Again my cues were not working in Masters Gamblers 5. We did the mini twice even if “left seesaw” did not sink in either times. It was my arm and legs movement that told him were to go. I knew that for the final gamble I had to position Krypto well after the 180 (“eight” worked this time) to get the right weave entry. That took a little time but we succeeded with only 0.12 seconds left as our final time was 59.88! He was the highest scoring dog of all the participating dogs, with 45 points in the opening, even if it was not our best gamblers performance as I lost my concentration after the second mini and Krypto went to play with the chute before I could regain control and bring him where I wanted him to be. There were 59 dogs entered and only 7 Qs.

This was also our 10th Masters Gamblers Q, and Krypto earned his Expert Gambler Bronze title and a little badge:


In Masters Snooker 5 we made a mistake in the opening. I was going to do 1-3-1-2-1-7-1-7, we got to the see saw, then I was trying to position Krypto for the red in the lower right and as I stopped saying “me-me-me” to give the command to go around the red, just a split second was enough and he left me and went for 7B…And that was it.

Masters Snooker 5

Masters Snooker 5

In Masters Jumpers 5 all was well up to 7. From 6 I used ‘de-de-de” to wrap him around 6 and go to 7. I was down near 7. He took the tunnel. Perhaps “me-me-me” would have worked better? I could not make it up to 6 because I had to do the back of 3. I doubt a wrap around left (la-la-la) at 6 would have worked… On the positive side, my “in-in-in” command was successful, as was my “round”.

To sum up, I think Krypto and I did quite well. Great Masters Standard 5, even if we had a bar down. As Lise said, “we were in the zone” 🙂  Solid start lines. Solid contacts. Not so well on our verbal cues. But I think the problem was the amount of people/dogs at the trial around the masters rings. Loud music also? Krypto was very very aroused. I have never seen him that aroused (apart from when we do dock diving). We still managed to work, and I think that we need experience in this type of setting before going to the Regionals next June. On Sunday I made it a point of using all the cues we had worked on instead of calling his name all the time. I was very happy with the “in-in-in”.  The “la-la-la” and “de-de-de” for the tight wraps are still weak and Krypto’s turns were wider than in training. The “eight” for 180, one of his most solid cues, did not work at all. Lefts and rights were a 50-50. I would think that this was due to his state of arousal… Probably the bars down too. We had not knocked that many bars in a long time…

Overall it was a good experience. I learnt a lot. I saw what effect a large trial has on Krypto. I managed to memorize all the courses in the little time there was, I did 8 runs, one after the other and my legs held up pretty well. My brain worked all the way to the end, even if I had forgotten Jumpers 5! Someone told me that he saw me walk the course and shake my head. Yup, that was me. I was so so tired. Yet I gave it all. Once more. It was worth it, even if we did not Q.

To sum it up we came home with 4 Qs and two titles (Advanced Games Dog of Canada and Expert Gambler Bronze) 🙂

Krypto and his ribbons

Krypto and his ribbons

And, through these two day, I was lucky to have my friends to be there with me to listen to me being proud of Krypto after our Advanced Snooker and Jumpers runs, wining about the bar down in Masters Standard, waiting all the way to the end of my last run to take our pic with all our ribbons and badge. They know who they are 🙂 Thank you!

Categories: Agility, Agility Trials
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