Sunday, August 7, 2011

Sheltie Trials

Just finished up four days of agility hosted by the local Sheltie club. The judges were GREAT - Scott Stock and Robert Kripaitis. Some interesting courses and lots of fun.

Tia had a wonderful weekend - two qualifying runs in Excellent B Jumpers and one in Excellent B Standard, all with first places! Her other runs only had minor errors, and she was running very well. The Bopper is quite the dog!

Queezle, on the other hand, was in the doghouse. We were having "bitssues" - she felt she should be in charge and that I was getting in her way, and I said like hell sweetheart. I pulled her off the course multiple times for obnoxiousness, because if she isn't going to work with me as a team, then she doesn't get to play. She didn't like having her runs cut short, but she also wasn't particularly willing to back down - several people commented on her attitudey walk when I was taking her back to the car. It was very frustrating for me, because at our last trial back in June I was thinking that we were really starting to run as a team. We had this problem a few years ago with the weave poles - I would say, "Weave," and Queezle would say, "Make me." This weekend she was doing the same thing at both the weave poles and some tight parts on courses. Not totally sure what brought it on, as we have been able to practice in different places pretty frequently (and last weekend we did a lot of agility during downtime). I think we'll get through this storm faster though because she has really good weaves once she shuts up and does them. It's like when a horse suddenly starts balking at a bridge they have crossed every day - she is testing me, and as long as I am consistent and don't let her get away with bad behavior she will revert to the awesome agility dog that I know and love.

Today she bounced back - we made it almost all the way through Standard before she started giving me grief, and then in Jumpers all I had to do was make her lie down when she started to bark at the weave poles and then she composed herself and we finished the run in fine style. We are entered at Cato in two weeks, so between then and now we're going to make sure we do some quick weave pole practice once or twice a day. And contacts too of course - you can never practice those too much!

I also ended up running Hokey and Dani some because my mom got mild heatstroke on Friday (she is fine now) and then she had other things going on on Saturday. Hokey and I had a nice run in Excellent Standard and the qualified in Exc Jumpers! Dani NQd in Jumpers both days but we had pretty good runs.

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