01 September 2013

Berks Recap

Well, Strafe has some work to do, I guess. 5 days of trialing and he's gotten 5 standard legs, and only 1 jumpers leg... He is a really good jumping dog but something about these AKC JWW courses just really get to him and he tends to hit a bar. This weekend I got a little peeved with it and walked him off on Saturday when he hit one. It wasn't a difficult bar; it was a situation he has seen over and over and over in his life, with fair but not generous spacing. In other words a very typical AKC jumping challenge. At 26" on these courses he just has a bit of trouble. Which is funny in a not-laughing way, I suppose, since he went all weekend at Tryouts and EO both and didn't hit a single bar at either one. Also 0 bars down at the USDAA Regional over 11 runs at 26". But the spacing and course flow is very different at all of those events. More engagement from his brain, less running forward "mindlessly" and more space between most obstacles. Regardless, this needs to be fixed, since otherwise he is such a lovely consistent dog and I'm determined to try to get his MACH before Tryouts next spring.

I also ran Kiba this weekend (I only entered Fri/Sat, taking today off to avoid the long drive and traffic). Her arthritic feet held up OK, although several times when she faulted early in the course I waved goodbye the judge and jogged off, to save her from doing extra contacts or weaves. I tried not to communicate to Kiba that anything went wrong, because I don't really blame her for hitting bars anymore. She clearly has a problem seeing where they are.

Speaking of that... Kiba went 1 for 4 this weekend, and all of her NQ's were a bar down. Each of the three bars were in relatively easy situations, where I was not in her way and not even particularly handling, aside from running nearby. I was not ahead, not far behind, not crossing, not doing anything difficult. Sadly, I think her vision is just not going to be up to the task of getting 2 more QQ's to qualify for Harrisburg. I am still taking her to TN for USDAA in October, because the single bars here and there won't harm our Team too much and maybe we'll have a good weekend like we did at the Regional. But running Kiba is "no pressure" now. I think she will retire after USDAA Cynosport. Which leaves me with only Strafe. I am playing with the idea of entering Seri in Performance or Preferred a little bit, just to play around and give me something else to do, but I am not sure if she can withstand it or not... she's been sound for several months now but she's so unpredictable!

Tuesday Strafe and I leave for the Northwest for about a week, teaching first in Seattle area, then in Portland. I've actually never been to Washington state, so I'm looking forward to it!

ETA, I can't remember if I linked this here or not previously, but here is a jumping comparison between Strafe and Kiba that I did several months ago. No matter what your thoughts on "ETS" are, it should be clear that Kiba has a problem seeing the jump properly at speed.

Comparison Video

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