Monday, July 13, 2009

Lessons Learned - results from Burnsville 7/11-12/09

The more I compete in agility, the more I learn.
Sometimes I feel like I'm a really SLOW learner!
I think I might finally be 'getting it'!!

For Seeker and I,
it's about learning what our weaknesses are.
It's not about the 'Q's'!!
I know, everyone wants to Q, and I'd be lying if I said I didn't care.

That being said, for us, it's more about being the best team we can be - together.
It's not about Q's, it's not about placements, it's about Teamwork!

This weekend in Burnsville was interesting and full of learning opportunities.
Of these learning opportunities, we took FULL advantage.
Our De-Butt in Excellent STND provided us with several.

I made the decision when I started running Seeker that I would never 'baby' him
through a course. I would would always challenge him and have the same expectations
in a trial that I would at home. I will admit, it's HARD!
I have specific criteria and will hold to it.

Start line - hold position until released.
Contacts - hold position until released.

He's been doing very well with these thus far. Our start lines have been perfect to date and I'm sure at some point we'll need to 'throw away' a run. I'm prepared and always ready to do so.

Contacts, we have had our nice little 'run throughs' and pulls at DSM in March.
Since then we've been back on track. I'm sure it may rear it's "ugly" head again at
some point. I'm once again prepared and ready to end the run.
Sticking to my criteria!

My criteria for my contact performance has evolved a bit.
After the DSM run-throughs, I'd paused at the next few trials in order to give him
a little more information as to his 'stop' at the bottom.
At the last few trials I have not paused, but continued to run by,
with the expectation that he would hold position.
I stop, make eye contact, give him a "Good Boy You"
and release. I realize this takes a few seconds, but I'm okay with that.
Someday it will get shortened, but it may be awhile.

Our weekend started off with a perfect run in Stnd.
Kind of like "Rilda's big ole fish story", you'll have to take my word for it.
Bill put the batteries in backwards in the 'flip'. LOL
Click on the image to make it big.

The first jump was actually 'wingless', with just the timers. Many of the "B" dogs
were rocking the timers as they came back over it as the #4 jump.

So, the plan was.....lead out between 1 and 2, hold to 3 and push to 4 and run and leave.
Yes, rush the triple. My job was to direct, not baby sit the spread.
I was past the triple before he was taking off and sprinted across the dog walk.
I kept going, he held. YIPPEE!!

Push to the chute, push outside tunnel, front cross in front of the tire and pull to table.
One thing I didn't anticipate was the draw of the dog walk to the table.
He was wide, but I held on and got him to the table.

Left him at the table and lead out to the middle of the a-frame.
He would be on my left. Released and left.
He held his bottom and I was now at the outside of the tunnel.

Released him, and sent him over the #13 jump into the wall.
This gave a perfect line to #14 jump and teeter.
Most people were pulling to the inside which resulted in a lot of
back jumps, or weave pole 'biting'.

Up the teeter, a blind cross with a contact hold.
A send to the panel, a 'bridge'...OMG!! I thought we
were done with the broad jump in Novice Standard!

After the broad jump I just left and ran as fast as I could to the end.
No waiting at the poles, no waiting to see if he got his entry.
That's HIS responsibility and we finished at the last jump
close to the same time. About a 60 yard sprint for me.

It was PERFECT!!

Interestingly enough....I learned a lesson from this.
Our weave poles were an issue the rest of the weekend.


It took me until our Nov JWW run on Sunday to figure it out.
I believe it was a 'race', and he knew he was suppose to do the poles,
but he didn't like getting 'beat' at the end.
So, it would be quicker to enter late, or he was
so busy thinking about the race that he couldn't focus 'Ester' on the entry.

Will I change my running style and let him find it before I leave.
Remember, criteria!
It just gives me something to work on ...challenge, work and conquer!

Another great thing I learned, was he will keep trying.
I love that!
I really attribute a lot of that to his strong shaping skills.

He had to do the Novice poles multiple times (second entry)
before he completed them correctly.
Okay, that was rather frustrating, but he did them EVERY time
with the same intensity as the first.

When people tell me that their dog, "Doesn't like to be wrong",
it makes me think....
"How does he know he's wrong?"

If it's just a game and it wasn't the 'picture'
you wanted, just try again.

If our "formal training" was more like "trick training"
our dog's performances would be SO MUCH BETTER!
We put on the pressure and cause the majority of our dogs' issues!



I continue to Learn.
Isn't that Great!


Other results.

Carrie didn't want hers posted.
If you're'll have to ask her! G

Seeker was 3/4. Finished his NAJ! YIPPEE
Kruz was 5/5. GOOD BOY
Mad and Bill were 1/4 and just ONE thing the other 3 runs!


1 comment:

  1. It's a good thing that we have credibility. Your runs and week-end sound great and I did catch a big fish.