Saturday, November 21, 2009

Central Indiana Shetland Sheepdog Club Agility Trial Day 2

Today was an earlier day since JWW was first, followed by Standard. Since we're still in Open JWW, I got to work big dogs for Excellent JWW. It was great to sit in the ring and watch what was working and what was a train wreck. Unfortunately it didn't help me much. Judge Scott Chamberlain is being sneaky! He's nesting courses so there are hardly any actual jump changes, but he's making the path completely different from Excellent to Open.

As challenging as the courses have been over two days, I have really enjoyed them. I don't mind a challenge, and the dogs do get to rip on Scott's courses. Today's Open JWW was no exception. When I looked at the opening the first option I saw was to run the dog on left and rear cross the weave pole entry. The other option included a two-jump lead out push or a front cross after the second jump or a straight push (all variations of the same handling).

After walking the course, I decided on my initial thought of a rear cross into the weaves. This is something Devon handles well and has done in competition before (in June). I felt it was also my best option for getting speed off the startline by running with her.

Next, the course required a front cross after the weaves. Again a skill Devon does well, but then I realized I was doing two of the hardest handling moves at the weaves on an Open dog. Oh well, we'd see what she could handle!

The only other concern I had on this course was the front cross with an off course tunnel in their face. Even though I didn't like this option, this was similar to what the Excellent dogs had. The handlers who chose to pull and then rear cross the jump before the tunnel struggled. The dogs didn't read the rear back to the tunnel and thought they were going forward to a jump, causing a very wide and ugly path for the dog. I didn't want to potentially shut Devon down with this handling because I was concerned even if she went wide she would think she was wrong.

Below is our run. Devon handles the weave poles like a dream! Unfortunately I was slightly late on my front cross near the tunnel and Devon was already fully committed to that tunnel way before she took off for the jump. You can see she does look at me before going into the tunnel, and bless her buttons she knows exactly which jump to take and in which direction when she comes out of the tunnel! What a good girl! After I got situated, we finished the course very strong. The rear in the close worked fine, but I felt like I could have had time to do a front cross. Unfortunately with the pole and how tight the jumps were through that section, I think a rear was my best option.

What a great run this was! Yes, I would LOVE to get a Q ribbon and get out of Open JWW, but I could watch those weaves all day! Devon is just looking so strong, and it's giving both of us confidence. This was my goal, and as long as she's looking good, I'll continue to be happy.

Oh, and day two of the mesh crates is still going just fine. We had a couple of problems with Page's toys mysteriously disappearing from her crate. Surprisingly they showed up in Emma's crate. Hummmm. However Sadie the Golden showed up when Emma was out and Page's bone took a tour of the building with Sadie. After Sadie gave it up (with a little persuasion), it went back to Page's crate.

I think the girls got Emma back, though. After she left, Devon and Page grabbed her toy off her crate and it made a tour of the building and parking lot on the way to our van. Never fear, it's back safe and sound on Emma's crate tonight! What will these Goldens think of next??

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