11 April 2011

Pictures and a brief summary

Some pictures from AKC Nationals a week ago, from Stewart Event Images. I like the reasonably priced digital downloads they offer! Kiba in NAC Standard, turning nicely on a rear cross: Kiba looking manic, and demonstrating her "insane rabbit" style of agility kung fu. Or something! Also from NAC Standard:

Drifter wrapping the 2nd jump in the Finals. I like this pic because it shows good teamwork; I've cued the wrap and now I'm moving on, and he's clearly taken the cue and collected to turn, despite completely breaking his stay:

One of a very few cool shots of Drifter jumping. He does not have a flashy style; he skims, and he's more concerned with speed than airtime, but he arcs appropriately and has a nice tidy little front foot tuck on the way up. Check out the eyes!


Victory Lap! I love the ring crew politely clapping and smiling:) Oh, and the detail of the shoulder muscles! He IS strong!

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This past weekend we attended the Mid-Atlantic Agility Showcase. This is a Team event where the top dogs from Team Standard and Team Jumpers get to go on to the 3rd round of the "Triathlon" event and compete for cash prizes (more than Steeplechase!!). It was a lot of fun on a good surface (indoor soccer turf with rubber infill). I normally wouldn't enter something right after AKC Nationals but I wanted to get the practice in and hopefully win some cash. And we did. All 3 dogs' Teams qualified, Drifter got a GP Q (he's done for Nationals now), and Drifter won the 22" Triathlon Final for $250, Kiba got 2nd due to a missed aframe contact ($150!), and Seri actually ran the tough course really well with just a missed weave entry. She looked a bit stiff to me all weekend and I wonder if the weave entry issue (she did it more than once) is due to a shoulder being slightly out of whack, which she did over the winter once. We see Ria tomorrow; Drifter is seeing her once every week or two leading in to the WAO to keep him in top shape, so I will have Seri checked then. She has another 3-day trial this coming weekend, and then 3 days of AKC the following weekend. As a handler, I have FOUR 3-day trials in a row. Luckily for the dogs, none of them is entered in all of them, as that's just not fair to them. Kiba, in fact, is now done trialing till June.


Anyway, some random Showcase videos are on YouTube, as I mentioned previously; I'm not going to embed them all because this post is long enough!


Today is a rest day for my dogs, though we did take a 15 minute walk around in the warm sunshine. I also tried some ground work for blind crosses on the flat with Drifter in the house with treats, and he did surprisingly well. I was convinced I had trained the concept out of him, but when I called him towards me from behind, and switched arm/shoulder cues, he moved right over to the new side like he'd been doing it all his life. Interesting! I am going to try to use it on some "easy" situations on course in training and at the AKC trial in 2 weeks, as I may need it in England. No blind "behind me" wraps though; I would need several months training to overcome that ingrained tendency. Just goes to show that any trained cue can become instinctive to your dog with consistent training, I guess. If I stand in front of a jump and don't move my "wall", he will stop, look at me confusedly, and then backjump and look confused some more. If I'm moving forward and he's catching up to me, that particular "wall" doesn't apply, and he's willing to switch sides while coming up next to me. Food for thought!



1 comment:

Inspiration said...

Wow, absolutely fantastic!