Monday, September 14, 2009
Rip and Skye play USDAA at the Denver Regional
This past weekend was the USDAA Regional held in Brighton, CO. I had entered both Rip and Skye in the trial. It was to be Rip's first USDAA, and we were jumping in with both feet as I had entered him in DAM Team with two other young dogs. Our team name was fittingly "Black and White and Green". Skye was to be on a PVP team with Susan Anderson's Belgian Sheepdog Ring, however the night before the trial, Susan's back went out and she couldnt make it to the trial. Skye was re-assigned to the one dog who did not have a PVP partner. Skye did not need the Q, as we had already qualified back in January.
First Skye - he did pretty well this weekend, though I have been getting a little frustrated with some of his antics. For the Team runs, he did OK in Gamblers, but popped out of the weaves costing us some points. In team Standard, he took the wrong end of a tunnel for an offcourse. I set a good line for him and he veered off anyway. Team snooker was short lived - he started by taking the tunnel under the AFrame for 2pts rather than the 7pt aframe (I am SOOOO sick of his grabbing the tunnels under contact equipment when I am clearly indicating the contact), we then did the set of 3 jumps for 6pts and he shot back over one of the 6pt jumps to end our run. He had a decent run in team Jumpers, but then in the team Relay, he was the only dog to take the offcourse jump setup after the teeter.
In Skye's non-team runs, he did well. We did have a bit of a mess in Saturday's Standard run with a missed dogwalk contact, missed teeter contact and a dropped bar. Sunday's Standard run was nice with a 1st place. We did Snooker on Sunday and he had a nice run with 3 7's (could have gone for 4 reds but didnt try). We ended up in 3rd just missing a super Q by about 3 seconds as 2 other dogs did 3 7's faster than us. Also on Saturday, we ran round 1 of the Perf. Grand Prix. We already had a bye to round 2, so this was a no pressure run. We were clean and got 1st place (only 6 of the 24 performance dogs Q'd this Grand Prix). On Sunday we ran the Perf. Grand Prix finals and again Skye grabbed an offcourse tunnel rather than the dogwalk. Looking at the tape, I was clear in my signal - he just isnt listening/watching during these discriminations. He is going to be seeing A LOT of them in his future in the training field.
Ok, so the Rip boy.... I was very pleased with Rip's performance this weekend. First off, since our contacts are not even close to being solid, I was not surprised to have him miss. He missed probably all of his dogwalks, and a few of his AFrames, sometimes spectacularly! I am determined that I can get his running contacts to be solid and consistent. He really strides through them with the hoop during training and his positioning is excellent - I just need to get that to transition to no hoops and have it hold up in trials. (I know, easier said than done).
So, in Rip's team runs, he only went offcourse once, and it was in Jumpers when he ran by a jump and when I went to bring him back to it, he backjumped. He missed 2 dogwalks in his Gambler run, but got 2 AFrames. We just missed getting our closing points as he went by the finish jump and before I could get him over it, the buzzer went. His team Standard was a bit of alphabet soup with faults, but no offcourses. His team Snooker was great (we didnt get it on tape though, bummer!). He actually got a placement - 12th place out of about 80 or 90 dogs, and considering he was not smooth over some of the course, I was very happy with that. The buzzer went as he was in the 7pt weaves in the closing. In team Relay, he knocked a bar and had to redo his weaves but was clean. Our team did not do well, as my teammates green dogs each had E's in Jumpers as well, and one of them went offcourse in Relay. We had fun though!
In Rip's non team runs, he did well. He got a Q in Gamblers and a Q in Jumpers. He seriously jumped his AFrame contact in Sunday's standard run as I tried to front cross before him. He made the judge laugh out loud when he came off the dogwalk and I said "table" and he ran to the table and laid down, on the ground next to the table. I had to get him actually ON the table and have him lay down again. He NQ'd his snooker run as I was having to redo his weaves and he back-weaved. Thats a no-no. His other Standard run was NQ'd due to contacts and an offcourse into the wrong end of a tunnel at the end of the dogwalk that I frantically tried to prevent by running to the end of the DW and front crossing. Bad idea!
Rip had various bars down, but not an excessive amount. I was disappointed in his weaves performance though - he is so solid in practice with both entries and completing them successfully. He missed a few entries in the trial, and popped out almost every first attempt at them. I am sure the trial atmosphere/adrenaline has to do with that, as well as just plain inexperience. Everyone suffers through it - why should we be any different!!
I will have some video to post soon.