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First trial for the young dog

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A few weeks ago Timber & I competed in his first agility trial. It was a small, local 1 ring NADAC trial at an arena he's taken some classes at so it seemed like the perfect first step into the ring.


He has some dog anxiety/fear aggression issues, but has great work ethic. He has improved so much in training situations as he's learned to love the game of agility, but I wasn't sure if he loved the game enough to not be overly distracted by the other dogs when in the trial environment. He's great when herding b/c of his work ethic (and the distraction of the sheep :) ).


Anyway, he exceeded my expectations, I'm so proud of him! Friday night I chickened out and scratched him, but we went into the practice area and worked the open jump and weave poles. As soon as we started working he was right with me and did just great, so we ended on a good note.


Saturday I took him in for 1 event. Unleashed him, did two obstacles, had him lie down and out we went. He was thrilled to be playing with me.


Sunday we did two courses. We started with jumpers. I've had to do a LOT of work on his jumping, he just didn't really care about not knocking bars and would basically jump through a bar. This has been a very educational experience for me b/c Boots & Renoir have always been super careful jumpers. I don't think Boots' knocked more than 5 bars in 8 years of competing. Timber ended up holding a great little lead out and then did a nice sequence of 6-7 jumps, a tunnel and ended with a jump. The cutest thing was that he hasn't ever seen single bar jumps, so instead of jumping over 3 of them, he went under the bar. It was adorable, and I was actually really pleased with this decision as he's still figuring out striding and one of the jumps I know for sure, he would have been too close not to end up going through the bar instead of over.


The last course we did was tunnelers. We did the whole course and he did great. He had a bit of peel out on a couple turns but worked well and had a great time. Learned today that he was just over 1 yard/sec behind Renoir, which I know was all just in wasted space, he's going to be quick.


So fun to finally have that first trial run under our belts as new teammates. I've been feeling a little lost with agility since losing Boots in the spring and this was a really hard step for me, like I was replacing my old guy. But instead it ended up being a whole new exciting chapter just opening up.


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