Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Gamble Q

My friend Cathie posted the video of our Gamblers qualifying score from our trial at AARF the other weekend.  As I said in that post, I knew Beckett could do this main gamble if only he would go out to the tunnel without spinning. Usually when I have to stop on the line, he stops too and starts to spin and bark so then we get a refusal for the gamble and our run is over.

In this run, Beckett took off like a flash for that tunnel; not sure I could have even called him off.

Now, if he would only do the Gambles like that all the time or even most of the time, then maybe it won't be as long as I thought until he gets his Masters Gamblers title.

Go Beckett Go!!

Monday, April 15, 2013

And another ones gone!

This past weekend, we trialled at Absolute Agility Recreational Facility (AARF) at their last indoor trial of the season; in May they move to the outdoor facility which is father away from my place so we haven't gone there very often.

We ran two Standards, two Gamblers, a Snooker and a Jumpers. First up was a Standard, we were eliminated from that run as I did some training in the ring when Beckett leaped off the teeter so I put him back on twice.  The judge had faulted us for the teeter anyway so we couldn't have Q'd. The last part of the course ran beautifully.

Next up was a Gamblers, I didn't have a lot of hope of Beckett getting the main gamble, but I said I would be happy if he even did part of it.

For our opening, we went down and back, tire, dog walk, tunnel, tunnel, dog walk, tire, tunnel, teeter, 4 point jump, 4 point jump, weave, weave and was just heading to the single jump near the teeter again when the buzzer went. At least the buzzer went, we actually ran this opening twice as the first time they forgot the buzzer, that was the longest 40 seconds ever.  I gave Beckett a few seconds to calm down and lo and behold, he went straight out to the tunnel, did jump 2 and came back to me and did jump 3 but wouldn't go out to 4. I was happy though as usually getting him out to the distance obstacle is hard.

Next run was our Snooker. Technically a two-point Snooker but they only counted one point but since you need 40 to Q, there wasn't much point having the results changed.

I started with the red on the right hand side near the tunnel. That went fine and then it was on to obstacle 6, a jump weave combination. Beckett did the jump and I was doing a front cross to put him into the weaves when he did the back red jump. Not only did he jump it but back jumped it too. Tweet, the run was over.  Beckett usually stays right with me on crosses, I never saw that back red as a trap.

Had we gotten the Snooker Q, that would have been his Masters Snooker title.  Three runs and no Q's, I was getting discouraged.  The next run was another Standard and again we were eliminated for an off-course, I was really getting discouraged and a little tired.

Up next was another Gamblers, this one, I knew if Beckett would just go to the tunnel that he could get it, so I cleared my head and took a deep breathe and off we went.

My opening was nearly the same as the first gamble, down and back along the dog walk. After the teeter we did the chute, the double jump and the 4 point tunnel twice, back to the double and Beckett was in the chute when the buzzer went.  When he came out of the chute, I just backed up a little towards the teeter, gave him a second to calm down and told him over, tunnel. And to my surprise, he went, no spinning, no barking, nothing but a beeline over the jump to the tunnel. For a split second I didn't even move but then I got my focus back, got him over jump 3, did a front cross and put him over jump 4 and he just took off for jump 5. A 37 point opening, doubled for completing the gamble for a total of 74 points in just 56.34 seconds; we even had time to spare as mini dogs had 20 seconds to complete the main gamble. It was Beckett's second Masters Gamblers Q, now two more to go for his Masters Gamblers title.

The trial was running late and I debated whether or not to stay for the Jumpers course. The indoor venue for AARF is about an hour from my place so we had quite the drive home.  After a friend looked at the course map and said it didn't look bad and because there were only 11 dogs in the event, I decided to give it a go.

It did run very nice. The only little bobble we had was that I was way behind Beckett when he came out of the chute. He spun just a bit but I told him tunnel and he went and we were far enough away from the tunnel that we didn't incur any faults. A clean run in 36.13 seconds on a course that allowed a time of 46 seconds for mini dogs. Our second Q of the trial, I was very happy with that result and Beckett and Keltic got a nice jackpot of hot dogs before I packed up.

So now Beckett needs just one Snooker and two Gamblers for his Agility Trial Champion title. I would love to see him do it before the end of the summer but we'll be happy whenever he gets it.  With the Jumpers Q, he also only needs two more for his Bronze Expert Jumpers.

There is video of some of his runs but a friend videoed for us so they are not on my camera but are on her iPad.  When she posts them, I'll be sure to put them up on my blog.

Today, both dogs went to the groomer, they sorely needed it.  Here are the after shots taken from the side. Keltic got what I call a puppy cut as he doesn't mind running through puddles and is still digging a bit so hopefully that will keep him a little cleaner until the yard can dry out.

Beckett's next trial is at Dream Fields in May, maybe by then we'll be able to get outdoors to practice a bit.

Go, Beckett, Go!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Freaking Friday

This is the backyard today, 12 Apr 2013, so much for the saying April showers bring May flowers. The backyard was nearly bare and getting dry yesterday, today it is again a winter wonderland. Too bad, it is supposed to be spring.  I am so tired of this winter and the long range forecast has it below seasonal until later in the month. Aaargh!!!

Monday, April 8, 2013

One Down, Four to Go

We ended on a high note at this week's trial, getting a Masters Snooker Q. Now we need one more Q for Beckett's Master Snooker title and only four more Q's for his Agility Trial Champion title.

Those four Q's may take a while as three are Gamblers and again this weekend Beckett wouldn't go out from the line to do the Gamble. Both main gambles this weekend were five obstacles of just jumps and tunnels, one with a flip away to a tunnel and a send to a jump and the other with two sends to a tunnel. We have our work cut out for us as I try to train get-outs, flips and sends.

Our first run was a Masters Standard. A friend was kind enough to video. I thought we had this one until the whirling dervish showed up.  I thought perhaps I had flung my arm up way too high but you'll see in the video that my arm stayed pretty low and was quite steady.

The second Masters Standard had a pretty similar layout but you started on the other side doing the two jumps and the tire going into the tunnel. In this Standard, Beckett decided to go under the dog walk instead of doing the tunnel. Don't know was in his mind there.

We also ran two Gambles, our openings were nice. We got 34 points in one and 37 points in the other so we had enough to Q if Beckett would only get-out to do those main gambles.

Next up was the team event, Beckett ran the white course. I sat him in front of the chute and led out on the right side in order to block the tunnel and push him a little to the dog walk if need be. Well he came around the chute, a Starter mistake that he hasn't done in ages.  We get to obstacle 5 without other incident but at obstacle 5, I tried to support him to get him around the the back of obstacle six and I was going to front cross on the landing side of six. Well, he back jumped 5, then once I got him over six and was telling him to tunnel, he took off and did obstacle 5 again.  

I was very discouraged at the end of this run. We didn't get any Q's at the last trial but he was running well; at this trial he seemed to be all over the map and I knew it wasn't all my handling. My team mate told me to put it behind me and that the next run was a clean slate. 

Next up was Snooker. I took some advice from another friend and simplified my course somewhat. I usually do four reds with Beckett but she told me to just do the three and I would have enough points as soon as I finished obstacle 6.  

So we did the red (they are the jumps marked as one) near the timekeeper's box, followed by obstacle 7, the other red on the start finish line, then the dog walk, then it was the red at the other end of the dog walk, followed by tunnel 4 and then the close.  I did a front cross to get him in both tunnel 2 and 4 of the close but a blind cross at the other tunnel mouth. Wish I had video of our run but as it was the last run of the day there weren't that many people still around and most were also starting to pack up. Any way we finished the run in 50.16 seconds and with 47 points; you need 40 for a Q. The run was good enough for third place.

So if we were only going to get one Q, it was a good one to get. I sure hope things dry out soon so we can practice our gamble work in the backyard. And I can get to teaching Keltic how to teeter and weave.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Eating Contest

Everyone always remarks on how gentle Beckett is when he takes food from you. Well, he eats that way too.  Keltic on the other hand just inhales his food. I thought I would show you their different eating styles. While Keltic wins for speed, Beckett probably wins for savouring every last mouthful.

How does your dog eat?  Are they a gourmand like Keltic or a gourmet like Beckett?