Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Agility Nuts -1st ever agility show

So I headed all the way up to Nottingham for our 1st agility competition. Stayed with Sarah, Jemma and Elliot which was nice :-).

First was elementary helter skelter, was quite a nice course apart from one quite big gap between jump 14&15 which made Asher stop and bark at me (he does that if he doesn't know where he is going next). Also the last straight as you'll see from the video was tunnel, long jump, spread. He has only done the long jump once (don't seem to do it at training for some reason?) and that was ages ago and he has never done a spread. I think with it being his 1st run he was quite unsure of what was going on and wanted to stay close to me so was quite steady (for him!!) and wasn't confident going on. He was really good and just had a pole where I think I dropped my arm as i tried to get him to turn tight and then on the last straight he pulled off the spread and I had to bring him back to put him over it so we ended up with 10faults which I was really pleased with as his 1st run.

Next was elementary agility. By this time he realised what was going on and had gone in to flyball mode. He was naughty at the start (got over his go on issues lol), did 2 jumps then shot past the weaves in to a tunnel, brought him back and he completed weaves on 2nd go despite the draw of the tunnel, he flew up the next line of jumps but then just stopped when I told him right, i think he was just over-excited. The rest of the course he completed really well, flew over the aframe and stopped but just came off the end so I put him back on. It was then jump, tunnel, dogwalk. The angle from tunnel to dogwalk was ok but at Asher speed it was a bit tricky and he nearly fell off the side on the way up which slowed him down considerably but he still went to his 2on 2off. So good points and bad points to this run and will have to work on maintaining his composure!

The elementary snooker was quite funny. I don't think I handled the start very well, should of handled it the same as Sarah with Jemma. He ran past the Aframe as I didn't give him a very good angle to work with, the next time up the aframe I crossed behind him and he thought i was pulling him off so he tried to turn around, i managed to keep him going but had a sketchy couple of secs which resulted in a v slow descent to FP, 3rd aframe I think he had lost his confidence a bit so waited for me before going in to FP so need to work on his independence in this. Yellow was a tunnel, green was 3 jumps that could be completed in any order. Asher decided to do them the flashy way, don't know how we managed it, you'll see what I mean in the video! I was laughing alot by this point, brown was another tunnel with another horrible angle to dog walk which was blue. So I stopped him to send him up it but again he nearly fell off (stupid dog!) which resulted in it being slow again. He then just missed his weave entry so we finished on 38points out of 51maximum and he came 10th. Rosettes went to 9th!

Last was elementary jumping. This was right at the end of the day. I had decided between this to try get some energy out of him so he wouldn't be such a lunatic however I think I overdid it abit and made him too tired. I also didn't get chance to walk the course as we didn't realise that the same course was being used for several classes and that walking had taken place prior to them which we missed. I thought it was a tricky course as the 1st part was quite tight with all the jumps on angles even though it was worked on 1 side, I think a slightly more experienced dog/handler would of found it fine though. Well he ran past the 3rd jump and after that I think I kinda gave up. I worked him round the rest of the course but he barked the whole time and missed a few turns, he looked tired and it wasn't a good run. He did the spread out section well, which was a simple go on around the outside of the ring, up 3 jumps, right turn, jump, longjump, tunnel.

Overall I think I learnt alot from the day. I learnt where he is at with regards to his contacts. As in we need more work on going to his position regardless of where I am and alternating as to whether there is food there or not. Need to do lots more handling exercises to get him to follow me particularly on tight courses and with slightly offset jumps. And we need to work on weave entries perhaps towards the end of courses when he is most excited to simulate the competition environment as at training even if he comes out further down he nearly always gets the entry. His waits were fantastic, didn't move so much as a paw all day. But then I expected that and would of been gutted had it been any different.

I guess most of this doesn't make much sense without the videos, I only have the Helter Skelter at the mo as I have to transfer the rest of them from my phone!


Sarah x said...

Finally!! :P
Could you not have muted the sound on the video so I don't sound so silly, especially as you can't hear the person I am talking too!!
I am also really sorry about the crap video quality, I certainly wont use my phone again!!!

FlyDogz said...

Well done Nat and Asher :-) A lot of peope have done much worse at their first show!!!! You must be very proud of him!!!!