Sunday, August 31, 2008

Guides Canins trial

Our first time at the gorgeous Guides Canins facility in Saint Lazare. Lucy was entered in only two runs, one Saturday morning and one Sunday morning. No expectations, just wanted to give her some ring time and see how she'd do at a different venue.

Saturday morning: Advanced Jumpers

The opening straight line went well but after that we fell to pieces, both of us completely discombobulated. I got lost on course for the first time ever but didn't realize it until we were on the closing line when I thought hey, how come we never got to the chute? and the bunch of jumps before and after the chute? woops :-) From watching the video it looks like Lucy had a combination of excitement and stress, but at least she wasn't stressed to the point where the exit gate became an irresistable magnet. Oh and she had a strange stumble on the turn after one of the jumps towards the end. Here's the video:

Sunday morning: Advanced Gamblers

Wanted to enter her in just one run early in the morning. Since Jumpers wasn't until late in the day, our choice was between Snooker and Gamblers. While we would have stood a better chance at Qing in Snooker (since we never practice distance), I figured Gamblers would be the better choice for us as the Mean Yelling Snooker Handler in me would not get the chance to take over. Some good news is she did the 12-weaves, yay! However, I made the mistake of putting her over the frame since it provided a way of continuing a nice line. The frame faced the exit gate so then off she went to the exit... then she came back in the ring, and soon after the buzzer went, at which point she ran right back to the exit and visited the scribe and timer, BUT the good news is she eventually did come back so we tried the gamble. She took the wrong end of the tunnel (no surprise there) and then made no attempt whatsoever at 2o2o on the dogwalk (actually she jumped clear over the yellow) and left the ring. We would have had nowhere near enough opening points to Q even if she had done the gamble. This run didn't get caught on video so we are all spared from having to watch it again.

Later on when I was discussing Lucy's issues with someone, she suggested that Gamblers is not necessarily a good event for a dog with stress issues because often the obstacles are not laid out in a way that you can design a nice, flowing course. I hadn't thought about it that way but totally see her point.

Lucy had a nice massage by the on-site dog masseuse afterwards which she quite enjoyed.

I have to say, while I'm not sure what the future holds for Lucy's agility "career", she is such a wonderful dog to just hang around the show site with. Easygoing, quiet, and knows how to kick back and relax in the sun. The only thing I need to keep an eye on her about is to make sure she hasn't, isn't, or isn't about to stick her snout in someone's unmonitored treat pouch or lunch bag :-D


Elf said...

My first agility dog, Remington, stressed out less and less as I decided more and more to just keep running and putting him over obstacles no matter what happened. Took the wrong jump? Woo hoo, keep going over SOME, ANY path to keep him moving and not worry about having done something wrong. It was very hard for me to do, because I wanted to fix things to get the Q. It was easier once I realized that one fault put us out o the running for a Q anyway, so go for it. Something to consider--as I see you guys stopping to "fix" things more than once in this run.

LucyandWalter said...

Yeah, I totally agree. I think in this run it wasn't so much that I was trying to fix things (she ran past a ton of jumps which I didn't bother going back to fix), more that I was just trying to get us back on some semblance of the course at hand. Food for thought though and maybe I do need to go more with her flow although I'm not sure at what point the judge would excuse us for running a completely different course than the one they had in mind! ha!