Sunday, June 19, 2011

First Agility Trial - DAPAC in Eugene

This weekend was Leo's very first agility trial! The trial was hosted by the Dogs at Play Agility Club and held at the dog daycare and training facility, Dogs at Play in Eugene, OR. We were to have nine total runs for the weekend, five on Saturday and four on Sunday. Their ring was outdoors in grass. First thing I want to say is - what a fabulous place! At first I was a little hesitant when it said you can't park on site. I was worried about hauling all my crap there and figuring out how to get set up. They mentioned not leaving pop-up tents, etc set up outside overnight because it might not be in there in the morning. The fact that it was in an industrial area. Well shoot, those issues were put to rest when we arrived. Sure it's industrial. But not in a dirty, concrete/metal/wire/fencing, cold kind of way. In the kind of way that, yea, there's a train that goes by sometimes. Sure there are big buildings on the street (although none huge and not close to each other). But what a great space! I didn't happen to take any pictures of the building but here are a couple of the agility area as people were course-building Saturday.

Saturday we were running Tall to Small. Sunday was the reverse. The classes were scheduled to be as follows:


  • Full House
  • Standard
  • Wildcard
  • Colors
  • Snooker
  • Jackpot
  • Standard
  • Snooker
  • Jumpers
Here's Leo's first course, Full House.
The little stinker got out there and ran fast, responsively, and completely clean, listening to what I told him and following through with excellent cooperation. What a fabulous way to start our agility career together! And I have video! (Thanks to some fabulous friends with incredible daughters; Kara, in particular, was a complete sweetheart and took video for Leo and Vegas' runs.) We needed 19 points for Level 1 and had 45 seconds to complete them. Leo had 22 points in 41.40 seconds and earned his first Q plus third place. Yahoo!
Our next run was Standard. In CPE for Level 1 you don't have a teeter or the weaves. That's one of the reasons I went ahead and entered him - I have not trained weaves and the teeter we're still working on building confidence and speed for completion. Here's the course:
The a-frame was a HUGE attraction to Leo in this run. He really, really wanted to take the a-frame. I pulled him off it multiple times but he did succumb once and got all four paws on, incurring a five-point fault. He still finished in first place with a qualifying run though! SCT was 67 seconds; his time was 65.84. Our second run ever and our second Q!
Wildcard was next. Usually a pretty straight-forward game with Vegas (don't choose the tunnels), for Leo the world opened wide up. Mostly I just wanted to choose the course with the greatest likelihood of success. Since we're just starting and don't formally take classes right now, making that choice is interesting. It's almost an "eeny meeny, miney mo" selection process. 
I didn't end up with video for Wildcard and since I had no definitive selection process and ran two dogs in a total of 18 runs this weekend, I couldn't say what A-A-B combination I chose. :) Suffice it to say, Leo Qd again (3/3), first place, 42.47 seconds with a 52 second course time. Another Yahoo!

Next was Colors. This course is usually a lot of fun. It's short and fast. This one was no exception. It's probably worth noting at this point, it seemed like by the time the 8" baby dogs got to run each time the rain picked up. What a crappy weather day for sure. It was supposed to start out rainy and taper off to showers. Well, we seemed to waver between no rain, showers, sprinkles, no rain, rinse repeat. Oh yeah, tons of fun for sure. 
I chose the circle course to give Leo the advantage of the tunnel right away. It was a slightly longer course but I liked it better. Interestingly enough, something was really distracting him while running this time around. Not sure what it was as I never heard anything unusual. In the video you'll see him stop and turn his head a couple of times. In fact, there's a point where he knocks into a bar where I had worried about him having slipped but Cheryl, our judge, said she thought he'd looked (distracted) and then sort of just run into the jump bars. It was our first NQ run but still a really good run as he finished it cleanly without any difficulty short of the distractions drawing his attention.
Our last run of the day was Snooker (and dry!). Snooker was my nemesis with Vegas. Serious nemesis. Now I really enjoy it. I actually enjoy the challenge of plotting a course more than Jackpot or Full House - mostly because parts of the course are already preset and I don't have to be super creative on that front. :) This was a really nice Snooker course and was the same for the higher level dogs. I have never seen that happen before. I knew right off - and after having run Vegas already - I was going to do the same thing with Leo. Of course plans are always subject to change. I changed his plan slightly as it just felt like it would run better and not make him run quite as far. He, again, performed beautifully.
Here is the path I selected for us:
We only needed 26 points for Level 1. Leo rocked it big time with 45 points in 49.47 seconds (fortunately time doesn't count in Snooker). Whoohooo - another blue!

And with that, I'm going to cut this short for the night and will follow-up with "part 2" tomorrow. Needless to say it was an incredible weekend and I'm so blessed to have such an awesome Pom in my life. Not only is he a fabulous worker, but he's the best little love in the world. I owe Trish with Gemini Poms thanks for "picking" him for me when I told her I wanted to run a Pom in agility.

No comments:

Post a Comment