Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dream Fields trial Day 1: Deja-vu?

Started with Advanced Team. We were supposed to be paired with our friends, but there was a mix-up so we ended up in the draw. I would never put Lucy into draw given where we're at right now, so I felt bad for my partner! But she was totally understanding, and it turns out neither dog went clean, phew. Lucy didn't do 2o2o on the frame, but she had touched the yellow so there was still a chance of a Q, so I kept going (another reason not to do Team regularly yet!). Missed the weave entry coming out of a chute, and then popped toward the end in her rush to go over the offcourse jump into the box of our teammate, not sure if it might have been related to the dog being a very handsome intact male, or just "because". She came back quickly though and we finished the last two jumps.

Our second and last run of the day was Advanced Standard. She had a good opening line including happily holding 2o2o on the teeter, but then she didn't do 2o2o at all on the frame, same as in the Team run except this time she went running ahead toward the exit gate and the rest of the run was a "bit" of a mess. Oh and I would have redone the dogwalk but was sure we'd run out of time any second, so didn't. Anyway, the video speaks for itself:

Sigh. I don't mind NQ runs -- I was thrilled with her NQ Standards a couple of weeks ago at Morning Star -- but when the exit gate is a magnet for her, it's just not fun. Although, she doesn't look too unhappy in the video... I don't think? Perhaps it's more that she's eager for her treats rather than she's eager to be out of the ring? That will be my optimistic interpretation. But the whole exit gate magnet thing has been a recurring theme for her at Dream Fields.

I'm disappointed at today's exit gate magnet issue, but not discouraged. I don't think Lucy has ever had a single nice run at Dream Fields, not sure why, but we'll keep trying. Hopefully today was just a minor blip and she'll be back on track again soon!

Of note, she hadn't done any agility since Morning Star, so I think I need to take her for a practice a few days before every trial for the next while, to remind her about contacts and get in some weave practice too.


Elayne said...

Wow, that could have easily been one of Cody's videos from his first couple years of trialing. Cody would often head towards the entrance gate rather than the exit and it took me forever to figure out what he was doing because I'd call him back as soon as he headed the wrong way and he'd come to me before he ever got to the gate but he'd head in the direction of the gate and take an off course jump or tunnel in the process. I finally saw a video shot overhead with a wide view and figured it out. I'm pretty sure in his case that it was a combination of stress and he wanted his treats. After lots of trials he finally relaxed a bit and realized he wasn't getting treats until I said he was done and he stopped doing it for the most part but I do empathize, dealing with it was so frustrating and for a while I'd try to handle my way around it (ie get his attention early when the course came around near the gates). Hopefully with more ring experience Lucy will grow out of it as well.

Muttsandaklutz said...

Aw, hey cool! That gives me hope. Good tip about getting their attention extra early around the gates. I'm so bad about getting cues out in a timely fashion but will make a particularly special effort in Lucy's case.