WHOO HOOOO Crickets first fun run was a great experience-she did AWESOME for a baby dog, we walked away with a HUGE list of things we need to work on, but I was really happy and excited that the big things seem to be coming together nicely. Running the course was the least of my concerns and NOT my big training goal for the day. My goal was to give Cricket and I a chance to practice waiting for our turn, and see how she would do doing her agility with all the dogs sitting so closely-would she pay attention to what we were doing and stay focused on the task at hand? Would she run off to play with the other doggies or people? NOT TO WORRY-Little Miss Cricket was all about playing agility while we were on the course, I thought she would but it was a real confidence builder for me-HOW COULD I HAVE DOUBTED MY CRICKSTER?. I crated Cricket in the car for most of the runs, but did bring her out for a few runs before our turn each round. I worked on click/treat for quiet behavior and by the end of the fun run she was intently watching the other dogs but able to keep herself from going over the top--VICTORY!!!
We stopped and broke the course up -this was TRAINING and I wanted her to be set up for success. The first run was BEAUTIFUL, and I should have stopped there, LOL, the second run we had a little more trouble with the weaves and the Aframe, but the great thing was that Cricket was really understanding the handling. There was one point where it was a teeter, spread jump, Aframe all lined up in a row, but you needed to do a really tight right hand turn after the spread jump and before the Aframe. The other dogs there had a lot more experience but all the handlers used a pretty heavy call off to get that turn. Both my dogs read the front cross really well, collected over the spread and landed turned the direction we were going, WHOOO HOOO!
Breeze was another story, boy my hamstring was really hurting and I was not able to move well, and the course required a lot of Independence on the contacts to get to where you needed to be. ON a SUPER high note Breeze did fantastic with her contacts, really in dependant spot on contacts, a really straight down at the bottom of her aframe-I have been working on straightening out her position on the four on the floor-well, that looked great. I used a mat as a body target but I was very far away and she got into a great position. UGhghghghghg, all the work on weaves at home and boom she was having a heck of a time picking up the entry at a fun match ;-(. She has done so fantastic in practice I thought for sure we would ace those. Anyway running the course felt pretty sloppy and discouraging-but totally me and my handling.
This was a fun run at our club and it was funny that as I got ready for my last runs I got a really snide question asking if I was going to train this time or run the course? Like really? hahahahhaahah, this was a fun run for TRAINING and it did not count for anything. This particular group has a series of "tournaments" where they all compete and you are not allowed any training....so they have those available-they keep score and compete in teams against each other-so they have those available- but then they occassionally have these fun runs. I did not take a lot of time but I did stop with Cricket at critical points and reward when she got something well, I stopped before the Aframe so Cricket could get collected because we are not doing the Running Aframe in sequences yet...she is not there yet. I stopped at the end of the weaves and rewarded those. I rewarded Cricket holding her contacts. When Breeze was going over the spread jump --the one where she needed to collect and then do a hard right and pull off the Aframe she dropped the bar. I totally had not cued the collection and turn correctly and in time--well, I redid that jump and turn. So yea, I did take a few more minutes then the people just racing through the course. Gosh that is why you go to fun runs isn't it?
I was just surprised for a fun run that everyone did a hard call off with their dogs before the Aframe instead of practicing it and helping the dogs read the front cross there, and I did not see anyone else stop and reward their dog, all the other dogs have 2020 contacts but most people did let the dogs fly through their contacts. I just thought fun runs were for working on those things, sure not worth eroding your training for something that does not even count, this was not the finals in a national competition, no one was keeping score, but that is a super competitive little group. Not competitive in trying to develop more skills but just competitive with each other. On one point in the course they had the 21 in weaves out, and Breeze is not allowed to do 21 in weaves, so I rearranged that part of the course for myself, no big deal but everyone started yelling that I was going wrong on course. I really do not enjoy working in that particular group a lot and I have always had training partners in the past that really enjoy training too...so I don't notice all that type of stuff as much, but boy I sure miss having a friend to work with these days ;-)-WELL I mean a friend other then my two best buddies Breeze and Cricket, hahahaha, they are the best to train with-but some days a person who you can talk to would be fun too! LOL.