The second day of the Indiana Collie Club trial continued my highs and lows. Trust me, I slept very well on Sunday night, because I was exhausted!
The Excellent JWW course ate up a lot of dogs. It was deceptive in its difficulty. You can see the opening had another situation where two jumps were butted up against a pole restricting the handler. I saw two of my friends (one being Agile Gold) walk between the pole and the jump to get a lead out on that side. I wanted to cheer!
I would have preferred to lead out almost to jump 2 on that side and push, because I don't want to bleed off too much speed from Devon with a full 2 jump lead out. But I decided to do another forward moving front cross on the landing side of #2 instead.
Devon ran the opening beautifully up to the weave poles. I'm fully aware of my weave issue; Devon is doing them perfectly on the second try. This has become a habit, and I'm going to have to address it at some point. However, one issue at a time...
Devon also ran the closing beautifully. A lot of dogs didn't handle the turn to the jump with the tunnel entrance visible well (lots of tunnel sucking dogs). And a lot of dogs took the last jump as an off course instead of turning toward the jump and tunnel. My front cross was very, very late after that yellow jump before the tunnel, and I think the late cross (Devon commits so early) and knowing her jackpots were out there contributed to visiting the measuring tape near the ring gate.
Now for the Standard run. I have to say on Saturday, I was nervous for that Standard run. On Sunday I was not. I even made Devon turkey brownies on Saturday night! So before her run, I showed her the turkey brownies and her jackpot container with her triple and blueberries and we talked about how she again needed to do the teeter for her jackpot.
Going to the line, I sensed Devon was more stressed than the day before. You can see she scratches on the startline. The weaves as obstacle 2 didn't help. But I thought Devon's turn into the tunnel from the dogwalk was outstanding.
And then there was the teeter. I gave her a lovely entrance, but she refused the teeter. On the second try she went all four feet on, then bailed. I had already decided my strategy and boy was it tough to maintain. I left the course.
In leaving the course, I staying neutral; I didn't want Devon to perceive a "punishment." Devon expected her jackpots, and I know she was confused when she didn't get them. And no one spoke to her on her way back to the crate. I'm sure she wondered where her supporters were. I kept my voice up in my light chatter to Devon, and I made sure my body was relaxed on the way back to the crate. Devon looked for treats on top of the crate, but I just put her into her crate and walked away for about 10 minutes.
I really hated doing all this, but Devon made a choice out there and I could not allow her to make that choice. Devon proved she was no longer fearful of that teeter. She did it in competition the day before. Nothing had changed, except Devon's choice. And she doesn't get to play or get jackpots if she chooses not to take the teeter. The line was drawn in the sand.
I didn't like that walking off the course was the end of Devon's day. Later I brought her out and let her walk with me around the building. We "talked" and she had some petting before going back in her crate.
Page's runs were much better! In Open JWW, she popped out of the weaves near pole 10 or 11, but I kept going. I'm not sure if my arm swinging caused her to pop or not. It's very odd she would pop out, so I'm just letting that go as green dog.
I'll also have to work the dogwalk to tunnel turn more. I over did this turn with Devon as a young dog, and it took us a long time to get her to come straight off a dogwalk with a tunnel under it. I think I've done the opposite with Page.
And of course I was very late with my front cross before the teeter. But generally I was super proud of this run. We looked really good!
The JWW run showed I really need to get this tugging on the leash thing under control. Although we don't have video of Page's start, she was much worse on Sunday. It distracted her from getting a good sit at the start line in JWW. The poor sit (and she's a baby dog) caused her to go around the first jump, but again I let that go. I didn't want to put stress on her on Sunday. It's just something for me to work on.
I did fix the weave entrance, and Page didn't show too much stress over it. Her weaves were fast and focused. The jumping section after the weaves to the 180 I knew would cause us some trouble. I was very worried about showing her forward cues when she moved in front of me like I knew she would. I also thought I'd need to decelerate quite a bit to cue the turn after the first jump of the 180. I was afraid with all that speed she'd end up in the laps of the ring crew!
Instead, Page read my deceleration really well -- so much I pulled her off the jump! That really told me something about her! And she read my body position very well bypassing the first entrance of the tunnel even though she gave it a head flick and knew it was there. What a good girl!
I really worked the lateral send out of the tunnel, because Page sends forward better than laterally. I was very happy with the way she read that, too. Regardless of a Q, this was a really nice run. Page reacted to my handling very nicely, and her reactions told me how to handle her better in the future.