February and We’re Off to the Races!

Duncan and I would like to share a few of our favorite runs from the February Lizard Butte KC AKC agility trial from about a week ago.  I’d meant to post these earlier, but the Plague of 2012 (AKA a common cold) took me down for several days.  On a positive note, I caught up on my backlog of National Geographics.  Nothing like a mega-dose of geo-nerdy goodness to pass a semi-concious afternoon!

Our judge for the weekend, Debby Wheeler, will also be a judge at Nationals in Reno.  She threw a few ‘national level’ challenges into each course.  Friday’s Standard course had a fun little twist at the end with a back-side finish jump.  Many, many dogs had successful runs and thundered around the last bend to the finish, only to fall victim to that last jump by taking it in the wrong direction.

Here is our run on that course…Dunc fired up as soon as his feet left the table.  I knew I needed to buckle my seat belt and tighten my shoelaces for the dogwalk-to-finish section, and Dunc didn’t disappoint.  I ran this section flat-out to encourage him to go, and GO he did!

Friday’s JWW course had a nice flow to it.  Dunc ran it smoothly, at a nice speed, and I believe we got a first.  What I like most is I managed to stay out of his way and not do any crosses to cause him to hesitate.   He did puzzle a bit over my blind cross at the beginning, but like a seasoned competitor, chalked it up to handler randomness and kept going.

Our running contacts still have some way to go, but there was definite progress at this trial.  Dunc is driving harder than he did just a few months ago, and as a result is learning to adjust his striding.  Retraining contacts has definitely been an exercise in patience (and quite possibly sheer stubbornness) but has definitely been one heck of an interesting ride.

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2 thoughts on “February and We’re Off to the Races!

  1. Really awesome job on that Standard course! That ending couldn’t have been more perfect. His running contacts are really great, I am jealous! I tried them very briefly with Amber but they didn’t work out very well. In my backyard they seemed fine but at trials she jumped the contacts a few times so I quit and went back to 2 on 2 off. Now I’m sure she’s thoroughly confused as to what I want at a trial!
    Very fast and pretty JWW run too! Go little fuzzy dog go!

  2. Thanks, Claire! That was a fun course, with a very fun ending. I’ve been working the contacts for almost a year (if I buckled down and did them every day, it would probably be a few months). I’m not sure I would have made it through the jumping (the entire contact) phase, except that running has made Dunc so much happier. You and Amber had a lovely JWW run yourselves this weekend, loved your video!

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