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Monday, June 21, 2010

Let's Try an Actual Blog Post!

It's been a while since I've posted anything. Going for the invitational has been a long, grueling but also rewarding journey. I think posting after every weekend about every AKC trial I just did would have put me over the edge for agility burnout so I just didn't post at all! We're down to the last weekend and Enzo was in 3rd place though June 3 with a pretty good lead on 5th and 6th places. I don't think it's mathmatically possible for us to get knocked out of the top 5 now even if we don't get any points this weekend. I'll refrain from celebrating until I see the final results though! But now that we're down to the end, I think it's a good time to post about our journey.

I've learned a lot in the past year. I feel a lot more confident about my handling now, I have a pretty good idea of what things I have to worry about and the things that I don't. Going through boxes has been a big problem for me and Enzo but we're getting better. I learned that it works better to decelerate and turn my shoulders in the correct direction instead of trying to run ahead and pull him towards me that way. First choice is to do a front cross to straighten him out though. I've also gotten a lot better at adjusting my strategies for Tooney and Enzo. Not having done as much trialing as I did who knows if Tooney would have been a finalist at AKC Nationals!

Enzo started out in July and August really rocking it and was even in first place for a while but then lost our aframe contact completely in the middle of August. From then until Mid-December, Enzo and I only Q'd in standard twice! Quite amazing that we were able to come back from that. He was perfect in practice but horrible in competition. In December, I decided to treat practice like competition and stopped rewarding his contacts with food and also started practicing quick releases and early releases. He's only missed 1 or 2 aframes since then and 2 or 3 dogwalks. It's getting harder and harder to get him to come to a full stop in practice but so far this strategy is working. Pretty much as long as he puts in at least 3 strides on the downside of the aframe then that's an acceptable performance.

So now just one more weekend and the wait for final results...

4 comments:

AussomeDogs said...

Three strides on the down side? Are you sure? Kate does two, and Java does two (of course they are both flirting with the yellow line a lot too) :) I can't wait to see you all kick butt at the invitational, congrats on your journey and I agree, just think of all that trialing money as a masters on agility handling!

AgileAussies said...

Yeah, basically I am asking him to do 2on/2off striding but not insisting on the stop. It's definitely not a running contact and not as fast as one either. Kind of a shuffle, shuffle, shuffle most of the time. Sometimes he might only do two if he takes a big stride over the top but I don't really want him to revert to his running contact mentality which leads him down the road to a 1 strided aframe.

Lol, I like that, a masters in agility handling!

So do you think you might try for next year?

HiFiAussies said...

That's awesome Jenn! It'll be cool to know ya'll are at the invitational showing everyone what it's all about! :)

AussomeDogs said...

Just saw this question, yeah I might, start out in the summer with both girls and see how it goes. If it looks feasible with either one stick to it... though the cost of making the invitational does make me a little leery :) Would be awesome to go though when it's SO close to me. I am curious to see how taking the multipliers away works out too, how the numbers stack up then.