Monday, January 26, 2015

First Trial of the New Year

Keltic and I went to the Starter and Advanced trial at Dogz this past Sunday. Dogz has the use of an equestrian arena this year and are able to host some evening trials and to rent out some time.  Since Keltic needs just one more Starter Standard Q to get his Agility Dog of Canada title, we thought we would give this trial a go as there were two Starter this evening trial.

 In the first Standard, Keltic took a flying leap off the A-frame. I made him do it again and again, I was just about to put him back on when the buzzer went for time so we left the ring after completing only five obstacles, the A-frame was number 6 and we didn't actually finish it.

In the second Standard, the A-frame was much further into the course but there were 12 weaves. I was pretty sure that he would pop out of them at some point.

Starter Standard 2

He broke his start line but I was able to get him back into a sit and then he waited for his release. He did the tire nicely and turned into the tunnel quickly. As I thought with the weaves, he didn't want to do them. They are certainly a skill we need to work on more. After the double, he went to the tunnel and then did a great job on the teeter.  Then it was onto the table, thankfully, he no longer has to lay down, just stay on the table. Then we had a nice run, tunnel, chute, A-frame, (where I let him run off), tunnel and then the jumps at the back of the course with no problem. The dog walk, he again ran off and missed the contact, nearly had it though.

So we still have some areas to work on, it never ends. Weaves, we can work on over the winter but contacts are harder, we can do some contact work on the stairs but it just doesn't match up to doing the real obstacle. I may try to retrain as I did with Beckett and let him do running contacts but he has to learn that sometimes I need him to slow down.

But we had fun at our first trial of 2015, Keltic seems not to be phased by much and unlike many dogs he didn't sniff and run around checking things out, all those horsey smells. Our next trial will be at the same locale but it will be Beckett's turn to have some fun. And so the agility year of 2015 has started.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Mish Mash Monday

Beckett and his litter sister Hannah, hard to see any resemblance with a bi-black and a bi-blue.  They don't have much interest in each other either. Keltic likes Hannah.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

2014 - An Agility Review

Well another year of agility is over by the calendar anyway so I'm going to put our accomplishments into perspective.

Our 2014 year didn't really get started until April and it didn't start off all that well. I had entered a trial to try and get some Steeplechase Q's with Beckett and in our very first run I pulled my hamstring. It wasn't nearly as bad as the calf muscle I tore the year before but again I couldn't run. I pulled Beckett from his runs after trying a second time to run without success. I had a friend run Keltic for his runs and was pleasantly surprised to see that he would run for someone else.  I was disappointed to say the least as I thought perhaps our year was done before we even got started.

I had healed enough to run at Regionals in May although I took the precaution of wearing a thigh compression sleeve.  Keltic did fine in the warm-up runs even though he still wasn't weaving all that well. I couldn't have asked for more from Beckett he got both Gambles and did remarkably well in all of his other runs. He made the podium placing 5th overall in his height class.

AAC Nationals Qualifiers

The next big event for us was to be Canada Cup the first weekend of July. I had hoped to make the finals as I had the previous year but that was not to be. Beckett ran well but I don't think I was up to par and we finished out of the finals. In one event we were only a few seconds behind the last dog that made the finals. Keltic did well too, almost having a clear round in one of the Jumpers runs; that was until his handler forgot the course.
Canada Cup
We took much of the rest of the summer off before heading to Nationals. I had hopes that we would do well and that perhaps Beckett could place in one of his events. We certainly have the ability on a good day to run with some of the best, at least I think so.  But again this year, it was not to be, the weather was crappy and we didn't have a lot of luck. We didn't have a single clear round in the Nationals events; the one bright spot was the two qualifying scores that Beckett got in Steeplechase which put him only one qualifying score from his Expert Bronze Steeplechase title.

When we came back from our holidays down in New Brunswick, we entered an agility trial with a local club that was just starting to host trials. We had a spectacular weekend getting 5 Q's and 5 best runs.

Keltic got his first title that weekend Starter Games Dog of Canada.  And Beckett got two Standard Q's at one trial, almost unheard of for us which put him only one Q away from Expert Standard Bronze and Bronze Award of Merit.

Keltic - Starter Games Dog of Canada (SGDC)
Well Beckett got that last Standard Q and that last Steeplechase Q and as a result got not only Bronze Award of Merit but also Bronze Versatility but to cap off the year he also got the Q's he needed for Masters Team Relay Dog of Canada as well. Keltic on the other hand still needs one more Q for his Agility Dog of Canada title, maybe 2015 will start out that title.

Beckett - Master team Relay Dog of Canada

So for a year that didn't start out the best, it certainly ended very well. We're looking forward to new adventures and challenges in 2015. In the plans are another trip to the Canada Cup, possibly to Regionals with Keltic and we're even thinking of doing some UKI trials. But the biggest change in 2015 is that, for AAC trials anyway, Beckett will now be jumping as a special and his jump height will drop to 10 ", that should prove to be fun.

Run fast, run clean, have fun!