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Mutt

1st season of agility

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Well Blaze and I survived our first season of agility, what a ride. We started training this past Febuary and started trialing in June. We accomplished alot for just starting out. Blaze is a very fast dog and very obstacle focused. Distance work is a none issue but control at times can be a problem but we are working on that. I had asked the question on this site earlier in the year on how to slow my dog down. I was told never to slow him down but to learn to handle him properly. We took handling classes from an experienced handler that is used to fast BC's and it made a huge difference. Blaze has had some amazing runs and some serious train wrecks but that is all part of the learning curve for both of us. Our last standard run this year will be one to remeber for awhile. course time was 72 secs and he run it in 35.34 secs with a 5 faults from a very close missed contact on the dog walk. We didn't get the Q but did get judges choice for the day......We have alot to work on over the winter but that will be time well spent working out some handling bugs and hopefully come spring we will be running better as a team. Here is a link to some pictures from one of his trials. I am very proud of my boy and am really looking forward to next year. It's gonna be a long winter.

Blaze's Highlights

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Man I am so envious! I have been trialing my dog this year as well (one coming up this coming weekend!) and I have no pics to show for it!!!!

 

At one trial the main pic taken for novices was them running from the chute (not in the pic) to the table (also not in the pic). I have plenty pics of my dog running across open ground, don't need to pay for more. The other classes got weave pole pics, tire pics, and teeter pics. All novice got were that running pic and a table pic from far away. That was the first trial Carlie Qed so I would have bought decent pics but didn't as there were no decent ones to be had!

 

Sigh, maybe this weekend there will be a good photographer on site.

 

Blaze looks like he is having a blast. Congrats!

 

Olivia

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We are veyry fortunate to have a photographer come to all our trials. His wife is actually the person who helped Blaze and I with our handling. Craig is very experienced at taking agility pictures and has had many printed in dog sport magazines here in Canada and the States. I am a sucker for a good picture and have many blown up and on the walls.

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Congrats on a fun time! Looks like Blaze needs to learn about 2 on / 2 off contacts...

Does your instructor teach that method or do you just do the "hail mary" contacts? :eek:

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Blaze and 2 on 2 off? Wahahah....ok that's a mean joke Tony! Actually, the pictures were taken of Blaze earlier in the summer since that time the two have been working very hard at the contacts and see the importance of reinforcing them....the proof is in the pudding isn't that what they say? This weekend we had an interesting agility clinic and actually discussed the 2 on 2 off and how many people get them and than allow the dogs to get away with them even at a trial. An interesting point was made that if your going to train them you need to train them right.....and if at a trial are you willing to give up a Q if your dog doesn't complete the 2 on 2 off but still gets the contact? I definately think this is something that will be a hard decision for many (including myself) but something I'll be thinking long and hard about when I start my guy.

 

Christine

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We are going to work on 2 on 2 off over the winter for sure. Blaze is not a big fan of the whole stopping thing he just wants to go. Hoping with a little work it will come. His contacts were getting better towards the end of the season but definatly need more work.

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Enjoyed the post and the pics, Mutt. I too have a seriously fast dog, and apart from contacts - and we're going to do some serious work on those over the summer break - my major problem is in fact mine - being in the right place, out of her way, and cuing her just at the right time. Too early, and she can pull a bar, even though she's a beautiful clean jumper; too late, and she'll off course in a heartbeat. My favorite agility T shirt says it all "Dog needs younger handler."

 

However, luckily I'm not a very competitive person when it comes to the dogs, and we're just having a blast trying. She finishes a run - ahead of me of course, and then sits at the rope with a grin on her face saying "We did good, didn't we mom?"

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I hear you Tassie. Generaly speaking I know where I need to be, the problem is getting there... Blaze is the same way. Timing is very important. Blaze is still a young dog (2 1/2) and I'm a new handler trying to learn with a very quik dog which isn't easy. Blaze lives for agility, he just vibrates as soon as he enters the ring, he's always ready. Agility may not be what he was bred for but he definatly considers it his job.

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Originally posted by Mutt:

I'm a new handler trying to learn with a very quik dog which isn't easy.

Someone once told me that learning agility with a BC (as your first dog) is a bit like learning to drive using a Ferrari.

 

Fun though :rolleyes:

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HEY,MUTT

Nice photos.Nice dog

You will learn to use lateral distance,to get to where you need to be as well as leed outs.

work on those contacts and we will be watching you on TV, bobh

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Congratulations to you and Blaze!

 

Alaska said "Someone once told me that learning agility with a BC (as your first dog) is a bit like learning to drive using a Ferrari."

 

I told that to my husband, who is learning agility with our young BC, Tenaya. Tenaya is VERY fast and very impatient with her handler. My husband responded to the comment above with, "That's not entirely true. You can still drive slow in a Ferrari"!

 

Deanna in OR

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This weekend we had an interesting agility clinic and actually discussed the 2 on 2 off and how many people get them and than allow the dogs to get away with them even at a trial. An interesting point was made that if your going to train them you need to train them right.....and if at a trial are you willing to give up a Q if your dog doesn't complete the 2 on 2 off but still gets the contact? I definately think this is something that will be a hard decision for many (including myself) but something I'll be thinking long and hard about when I start my guy.

 

__________________________________________________

 

I can tell you right now with 16 year of agility competition under my belt and helping train and re-train numerous contacts, and on my 5th competition dog, that if you don't define your criteria for your contacts - whether 2on2off or a running contact, in training and then make sure you get that exact contact criteria in Starters/Novice agiity BEFORE you move up into the higher levels of competition, you are never going to have consistent contacts. I have watched handler after handler go after the almight Q ribbon in the lower levels and then think they are going to fix their contacts or re-train their contacts in Masters/Elite levels, and then NEVER get consistent contact performance from their dogs.

 

I spent this entire year in Starters with my youngest dog, in order to make sure that the 100% criteria I have for her contacts in training are 100% in competition, and her weave poles as well. I redid contacts if the criteria was not perfect, stopped and petted her for a job well done on my contacts and weaves before moving on. So many of my rounds were perfectly clear except for the 5 faults I incurred for touching my dog.

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Originally posted by Northof49:

...if you don't define your criteria for your contacts - whether 2on2off or a running contact, in training and then make sure you get that exact contact criteria in Starters/Novice agiity BEFORE you move up into the higher levels of competition, you are never going to have consistent contacts.

I couldn't agree more! gotta go - off to teach that exact concept to the beginner group...

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I have to say I was surprised that you were trialing within 5 months of starting his training. I've never trialed (don't even have a working dog at the moment) but have trained with a couple of my long-term fosters. I was told it takes 1-2 years to get them up to speed for trialing.

 

Depends on how well you want to do! If you can handle some NQ's, use the trial as an expensive match and go for it.

Barb S

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rtphokie... Yes 26" is to high for Blaze he now jumps 22". The trial that the pictures were taken was only his secongd trial and second measurement. The judge screwed up his measurment and I was to nervous to say anything. Not sure which was worse, Blaze jumping 26" or me being pissed off he was jumping 26"......I started trialing when I did because Blaze and I enjoy it so much. The trials ended up being a family weekend away and my wife is starting to get involved with Bandit. I was told not worry about the Q's and get out there and get some experience. I feel Blaze has done well and with this coming winter we will work out some of our issues. We did 6 trials this summer and ended the year with 7 Q's. The important thing is the people we met along the way and the knowledge we have learned from others.

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Awesome photos!

 

I am a sucker and will always buy photos of my dog at trials. I have bought some seriously terrible ones that didn't even really come out, but I had to get them because Solo finished his only agility title that day.

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Originally posted by Barb Scott:

Depends on how well you want to do! If you can handle some NQ's, use the trial as an expensive match and go for it.

Barb S

Hee hee, we can do one better than this. Wick went in her first trial after 3 agility lessons. Not sessions - lessons. Of course, we just did Tunnelers, and I figured that if nothing else, it would be good for her to learn to deal with a judge in the ring, ring crew, the noise of attendant with being in the ring at a trial. She finished that trial 2/2 in Novice Tunnelers. :rolleyes:

 

I love watching her 'baby' runs and am so glad that my friend taped them. Here's her maiden voyage, and here she is a year and a half later, after I learned how to handle her . It took her 10 trials to earn her Outstanding Elite Tunnelers.

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Yup I'm a sucker for a good picture of Blaze. We have a hall full of pictures of him. With Blazes all black face I have always had a hard time getting decent pictures with my camera.

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I got my new Susan Garrett book at CleanRun.com. I loved it because it's a cross between a dog training book and a journal of training her wild child red BC Buzz! (And I've met Buzz in person and loved him madly!)

Barb S

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Thank you so much for the prompt reply Barb. I had tried Dogwise and Amazon, but no luck. Sounds like it could be my Christmas present to me!

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