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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Rouge's First Agility Trial

Today was Rouge's first Agility Trial and although I wouldn't have entered her on my own, we had free entries and so it was impossible to pass up a great training opportunity.

I'll be honest, June has been so hectic and I've been sick more times than not, so I haven't worked Ru very often. My client's dogs have been getting just about all of my training attention and my dogs have been left behind to be uncivilized and untrained!

Our first run this morning was Novice FAST - not one of my favorite classes and for a young and inexperienced dog, this is almost certain death or drama due to an almost certain lack of flow or pattern.

Our first run was memorable. In hindsight, I remember Pinky's first run was similar to Mr. Toad's Wild Ride at Disney World as well. Ru took the first jump and rather than taking the expected teeter that she was 1 step from, she dodged off and proceeded to run at full speed in an attempt to work off the overly active energy that had apparently built up while I wasn't looking. Not that I didn't have a clue that we were going to be in trouble, on the contrary, Ru's eyes were as big as saucers the minute we stepped out of our trailer. I don't know who took my ring-wise and ring-experienced dog, but the out of control rocket left in her place had her own agenda and having fun was first on the list!

Needless to say, we were whistled off and left Novice laughing and smiling - she is cute you know!

Later in the day was Jumpers and I smartly scratched from that class. Again, straight, fast lines was not a formula for success with Rouge and I today.

Later in the day, we had Standard. I was a bit more confident going into this class because Ru LOVES her contacts. As luck would have it, we had a jump straight to a dog walk. Oh how I could have kissed that judge and smiled at my wonderful luck in drawing that design for her. As expected, Ru easily took the first jump and at the site of one of her beloved contacts, she was all business. Another jump and front cross later had us heading off to obstacle #4 and we were already much further than we were in our first run. Another jump and a 90 degree turn had us heading up the teeter and the well practiced table was after that.

I cut out the middle portion of the course which included the weaves (she has no idea of them as of yet) a tunnel and an entire line of jumps down the back stretch would have put Rouge and I back to square one so we opted go straight to the ending sequence which included the a-frame (another favorite of hers). She finished this sequence nicely and even sat to receive praise and her leash.

Ideally, this wouldn't have been Ru's debut, but life is rarely ideal : ) Regardless, I still had a great time with her and may have even gotten a few photos from the show photographer too!

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