Two to go!

Last night Krypto and I went to Dream Fields for a “self-serve” evening trial. Which means that the volunteers are the competitors. So we build, we run our dog, then we do ring steward duties and so on. It was games night, 2 Masters Gamblers, 2 Masters Snookers, and 2 Masters Jumpers. While I wanted to do well in all classes, my main goal was to succeed in jumpers, since we needed 4 Qs to get our MJDC (Masters Jumpers Dog of Canada) and also our ATChC (Agility Trial Champion of Canada).

While jumpers used to be easy peasy for us in starters and not that hard in advanced, as we hit masters we started having to cope with much more handling, a lot less straight lines, and a lot more movement required to me. And we had a lot of difficulty, until we started getting better at it, and we had the odd jump bar down. And then of course we had the big debacle of last Sunday’s trial, when Krypto messed up even the easiest of lead outs, one that he can normally do blindfolded, so to speak – it turns out he needed to pee and of course he could not both hold the pee and think (I had brought him out to pee before our run and he had repeatedly refused)…

Friday night was our night. After a successful Gamblers run, a nQ in the other Gambler caused by my inability to blurt out a “mememe” at a very critical moment, and a nQ in the first snooker due to some missed weaves in the opening, we got a shot at Masters Snookers 2, which led to the two jumpers runs. There we did not Q because the judge called a refusal at #6 in the closing. How he could possible see Krypto’s back paws from where he stood is a mystery to me, and some people that were watching us did not understand why we were whistled out…Truth is Krypto turned his head to look at me, but I believe he did not move his back paws. But, I am not 100% sure because he is so fast, and I am running him, and it is hard to be certain about such a detail. Anyways, we had a little conversation with the judge, who had no clue why he called us out, and we did not have a chance to get a re-run on that (I think we deserved it but…), which is probably better because I then had time to focus on our jumpers runs. They were two relatively flowy courses, with quite a bit of handling, but definitely feasible. So when I went in to run the first one, I just focused on it, and on Krypto. And we nailed it! As we nailed the second one!

Wow! Before last night we were so far from the ATChC. And now we are so close it is scary!! I never would have thought I could get a ATChC with one of my dogs. It has always looked like something so far away and unattainable, and I have always watched in awe the people and dogs that succeeded in earning it! And now, we are there. Almost!!!

That is all the positive. Let’s talk about the negative.

I am far too late too many times with my commands. And sometimes I do not say them clearly enough.  This is why Krypto sometimes turns to look at me. Every time that he turns his head and he stutter steps because he needs direction and I am late, we not only loose time. We also risk a refusal.

And, we have once more the creeping down the A-frame. This issue has been plaguing us since the very beginning. Whatever I did, or did not do, has definitely left a mark on Krypto. However, I had already decided to go back, once more, to square one, and start over again. I have an idea of what to do, I read books and watched DVDs, and I have observed Krypto. And I have a plan. I will take it easy. Slow and easy (the approach, not the A-frame performance!). What really worries me is that at the last two trials (5 days apart) Krypto’s A-frame was terrible. He would just stop above the contact zone, and not come down. He has never stopped there, that high, before. Also, before he would not be consistent in his creeping. He would have some good ones, and some bad ones. And just the week before, in training, his A-frame was very good, he had stopped creeping down. He was not the fastest, but he was definitely coming down easily. I am now wondering whether he is hurting. This is definitely the first thing I need to rule out before doing some more training. The plan is to get him to see a massage therapist or his chiropractor to see if there is anything wrong. At the next trial things will depend on whether he is ok or not. Sure thing is that there is no point in me trying to have him repeat the obstacle if he is hurting. And even if he is ok, then it is clear that he doesn’t understand what I want. So why asking him to repeat it? So perhaps the best course of action is just avoid that obstacle and burn some runs…at least for the trials runs I cannot get out of…And start over once more!!!

 

 

 

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  1. March 31, 2014 at 4:26 pm

    Way to go!! You guys have done just awesome. You should market your handling technique.

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