Monday, September 30, 2013

Mish Mash Monday


Yesterday, Beckett and I did four runs at Dream Fields. I only did four as I'm still a bit worried about putting too much strain on my leg.  Keltic came along as a spectator but that won't be for long as I've decided to enter him in the November trial.

Our first run was a Standard, I worried about faulting right at the start as the second obstacle, a jump was right by the dog walk and I thought Beckett would take dog walk for an off course. He didn't and our run was going smoothly until my agility champion took a tunnel instead of the A-frame.  I hadn't even worried about that. The rest of the run was really nice.

Next up was the Steeplechase. I've probably said it before but we love Steeplechase since there are no refusals I can push things and not worry if Beckett spins. This run ran beautifully, the only hiccup was that I didn't front cross in the right place after the A-frame and found myself nearly running into jump 5. I had to reset, which caused Beckett to spin a little, and continue on.  We ran the course in 40.06 seconds and the allowable course time was 48 seconds. It was not only a Q and first place in our jump height but also the best run of all the regular dogs. It is Beckett's 18th Steeplechase Q, we are closing in on the next title, seven more to go. The run had felt really good and I hoped Beckett and I would be together like that for Jumpers as well.

Jumpers ran pretty well. We had a time of 38.73 seconds on a course that had an allowable time of 45 seconds.  We had five faults though so no Q. After telling Beckett to go around a jump (as he had to do the backside), I had tried a blind cross to get to the other side of the jump. I must have begun my rotation too soon and he pulled off and came back to me for the refusal.

Last up was a Gamblers. I had barking spinning Beckett with me and we didn't get through the opening I had planned when the buzzer to begin the close went off. Beckett went out to the dog walk, the first obstacle of the main gamble,  nicely but instead of turning into the tunnel after the dog walk, he took off for a jump.  I didn't think we had enough points in our opening but as it turned out we had exactly 28, the minimum you need to Q.  Oh well!

No video today. I could have asked a few folks but since there was no title on the line I didn't worry about it.

It was a gorgeous day and we got home in time to spend an hour or so playing Frisbee in the backyard.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Eighteen Months

I be 18 months old today, dunno what's the big deal, I didn't get no birfday pressies or nuffin. Mums is all exscited about it though, she says now I can go to real gility trials like Beckett. Once, my weavers are a little better Mums said she's gonna puts an entry in for me.

My teeters is pretty good now.  We hasn't put our teeter all the way up but it's getting there. I donts waits in the red part no more as Mums stopped giving me treats jus for gettin on. Now I has ta go all da way to the yellow bit afore I gets any treats. I likes the teeter now.

I just be figuring out dem weavers poles. I only does dem from one side but Mums says we can works on dem over da winter. We has a fun match dis weekend and the last K9 Kup in October, Mums says if I do good, she might enter me in a real competition in November.  

I be going to a gility seminar in November too just like a growed up dog. I sure hopes I gets to go to da real trial too, cause den Beckett can't say I be a baby no more.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Working Weaves

The only obstacle that Keltic does not yet do are the weaves. I've been trying to be very consistent about doing a short training session with him nearly every evening and things do seem to be progressing. Poor Beckett gets relegated to the backyard while we train in the basement.

Keltic seems to only understand the near side entry. I really should go back to just two poles and work the clock but we have one more K9 Kup in early Oct and I'm hoping we'll be able to at least to give it a good try on doing the weaves. 

Over the winter I plan to go back and retrain the entries and try and get a little more speed out of him since weaves and one jump work is about all I can do in the basement. Once I can get him weaving six poles, I'll enter him in his first AAC trial, hopefully that's not too far off.

Thursday, September 5, 2013


A post that reviews goals set and sets new goals would usually be something that you do at the end of the calendar year but, for me, it always seems that the end of the summer is the end of one agility year and the beginning of the next.

My goals this year were largely met.  We qualified for Nationals even though I knew we weren't going to go. We went to the Canada Cup where Beckett's performance surpassed my expectations and we made it in to the finals which unfortunately since I was injured we didn't get to run.

Beckett and I with Sarah Mairs, the judge for the final Q
The other goal we had was for Beckett to get his ATChC which he did but I had two other objectives in mind with that goal. The first was to get it before his fourth birthday which we did not do, Beckett turned 4 in June but we didn't get the ATChC until August.  The other objective was to get his ATChC faster than I did with Tucker as I think this says something about our level of training and hopefully me improving as a handler.  This we did do, but not by much. The AAC records in their statistics the time from Agility Dog of Canada, the starter Standard title to ATChC.  Tucker took 2.62 years and Beckett took 2.38 years.  Tucker was quite a consistent dog, even if he wasn't that fast, and he was very forgiving of my poor handling skills. Beckett on the other hand gets a little frustrated on occasion with Mum's handling. So maybe our commitment to training was better but for Beckett I still need to be a better handler, well maybe just fitter and faster.

Tucker ATChC

AC #
Dog's Call Name
Owner's Name, Last
Owner's Name, First
Years From ADC to ATChC
Age at ATChC

Next year's goals are already pretty set in my mind. I want to go to the AAC Nationals with Beckett for the first time. They are being held in Sussex, NB from 7 to 10 August 2014 and that is the same time frame as when I usually go home. Hard to believe Beckett will already be 5 and it will be his first Nationals (counting my chickens here).  I want to go back to the Canada Cup and this time hopefully if we are lucky enough to make the finals that we get to do our best to earn a spot on the podium. I'm also thinking of doing the UKI Nationals which will be held in Barrie next year at the end of August. These courses have more of an international flow to them so it will be interesting to see how we would do. I'll have to teach Beckett how to do broad and panel jumps though.  

Our next title goals will be for Beckett to earn his  Expert Jumpers Bronze (two more Q's to go), his Expert Steeplechase Bronze (8 more Q's for that one) and his Expert  Standard Bronze (five more Q's for that). If we can achieve those goals he would also get his Bronze Award of Merit and his Bronze Versatility which were the highest titles that Tucker was awarded.

For Keltic, our goal is for him to learn to weave and to compete in his first trial. He'll be old enough later this month but I don't want to enter him in competitions until he can weave.  The only events we really could do without being able to weave is Jumpers and Gamblers but I'd prefer that we move up the levels fairly concurrently although I know that's not always possible. Ceilidh had her Master Jumpers title in May 2006 but it took her until August 2007 to complete her Starter Games title. Hopefully I'll be able to enter him in his first trial later this Fall.  I also plan on entering him in Regionals next year just to see how he does and maybe even in the Jumpers event at the Canada Cup.

I hope I'm not being overly ambitious but I think these are achievable goals and I think it's important to have objectives to work for.

Better get training!