11 August 2008

All we needed were spandex spangles and go-go boots to make it even Funner.

So he made his debut. At a practice show known as a Fun Match. We all lived to tell the tale. First of all, I didn't even try to take videos or pictures and run 3 small dogs who made up exactly half of the 12" division at the Fun Match. I think I did like 22 runs in under 5 hours. You do the math. So I just took pictures later, after a nice shower and the dogs were all asleep. Without actual dogs. No barking. Clean clothes. And so you can see my new carpet I put in last week. You want the good news or the bad news first?

Sorry if you just said bad news. Gustavo rocks the jumpers course. Ran him over the same jumpers courses as Otterpop and Ruby and he just flew around them like he goes out and does that every day of his life. I sort of almost didn't believe it if I hadn't seen it with my own 2 eyes. He did start off his first one by predictably running across the whole field for a tunnel, then coming back in and just knocking out the course. FAST. Then just kept doing that. Hello! Where the hell did he come up with that?

And in the standard ring, hit all the contacts except for one when the tunnel was right there off the dogwalk (Has been learning to stop, turn, go into the tunnel. but prefers no stop when a lovely tunnel sitting right there calling the tunnel song) but out there on the standard course, not so easy to run and turn. More distractions, more discriminations (Always Pick the Tunnel!) and more of me stopping and starting and micro managing.

A brilliant insight by new handler yet Ace Agility Lady with Discriminating Eye from Watching Many Years of Agility, Roxie, was, "Well of course he goes in all the tunnels. You give him a treat when he comes out!" Oh yeah. I think I am so happy he is not running 100 miles away or to the beach or after a deer that basically his training method is a treat when not running off to a far off land. So thanks Roxie! Maybe we notice that next time we practice. I have been actually not even putting tunnels out lately at all. Were such an integral part of learning all his other obstacles. I am totally responsible for the little tunnel sucker of my own creation.

So now what was the bad news? How about one escape from the crate to join Otterpop on a course? Oops. Thanks, Crate Games that we never really did. Actually sort of cute, 2 dogs for a chunk of a jumpers run. How about the whole concept of I take off your collar and you come with me to the start line. Not to visit all the dogs waiting for their turn. Or the whole thing of after you run, come with me to get your leash, not to once again make the rounds of all these Dogs! Or another tunnel! Or some bushes! Again sort of funny but not so appreciated. So not really bad news, shall we say more of some things to Address With Further Training? Start lines a little bizarre since we just sort of go out there and GO. I am a pretty fast runner but I am realizing he may be a whole other class of fast that might entail a leadout. Meaning stays! Uh, maybe Address With Further Training? And learn to do straight poles?

Lots to practice indeed before a genuine dog show. Other dogs? Otterpop just knocked a buncha runs outta the park. Just solid as can be. Ruby, did some runs but not as many, and her longtime dream and suspicion of potential pot of hot dogs in the middle of an agility course was finally realized out there. Unlike a real dog show, my non agility friends, you can carry around wads of hot dogs with you and dump them out wherever you want on the field at this practice kind. Maybe not such a great idea, but not against the law. No assault weapons at dog agility for law breakers. Ruby entered a realm of joyful previously unknown to her yet what she has been imagining her whole agility career could happen if she was really, really lucky. The luck of Timmy for Ruby! Perhaps will haunt us at a later date, but she sure liked it. Maybe even better than musical saws and lumberjacks.


Elf said...

Congratulations on your fun match successes. In my experience, all the distraction behavior before & after runs comes from the excitement of an unfamiliar situation. As my dogs did more trials, they became familiar with what what going on and knew what to expect and things got better before & after runs.


Double S said...

Yay for TSD! Sounds like you had fun and laughs and excitement. And much rocking of agility courses. Congrats to you all.