Meeker at Hounds for the Holidays AKC Trial

09 Dec 2009Steve Schwarz

I took Meeker to two of the four days of the “Hounds for the Holidays” AKC trial in Milwaukee, WI this past weekend. I thought I should get to work on earning his AKC titles. I had heard some people complain about this trial, mostly about the shortage of crating space and security, so I hadn’t attended it before. It turned out to be really nice facility on soccer turf and the trial was run exceptionally well. The weather was warm enough that I could crate Meeker in the car with his coat on between runs. We could warm up and cool down walking around the multiple outdoor soccer fields. The trial organizers hire security to patrol the parking lots and I didn’t hear of any problems. I love running on soccer turf, Meeker is enough faster that I have to really be on my toes.

There were three rings running simultaneously, with Excellent Std in one ring, Excellent Jumpers in another, and Novice/Open in the third. Each of the three judges worked a ring for a day and then switched rings. I think the trial was almost completely full all four days. I really prefer multi-ring trials, you usually don’t have to spend as long a day at the trial grounds that way if you are only running one dog. As it was our ring was done with 200+ dogs and three course changes by 2:00-3:00 the two days we were there.

Meeker had just moved up to Open after the WAG Novice trial last month so we had two Open runs each day. Overall I was pretty happy with our performance. The only problem was Meeker’s A Frame fly-off over the downside contact in his first Standard run. He was really high up when he bailed. Here’s a link to the photo. I’m lucky we were running on soft soccer turf and he didn’t get hurt. I was also able to mark it and he was fine on his A Frame the next day. He has been running with increased intensity over the last few months and was really amped up for his runs.

I felt really good about our jumpers runs both day, I got to where I needed to be and I think Meeker always knew the next obstacle before he committed to the previous one. I was only slightly in his way on Saturday’s run when I had to cross over a jump to the tunnel; during the walk through I was always a step too short of where I wanted to be, but Meeker just arced around me. On Sunday’s Standard run I really had to hustle to beat him out of the tunnel under the dog walk; it was one of those situations where I could have waited and Rear Crossed Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross or pushed on and risk a collision; I chose the later…

A big thank you to Mary, Katie, and Cindy for patiently video taping! Here’s the video:

All told we had three qualifying runs with two 1st places and a 2nd. From a training perspective my focus remains on contacts. Meeker doesn’t always drive all the way to the end of the dog walk and teeter, he’ll take baby steps and not put his feet on the ground. I often have to wait for him to get all the way into 2o2o position. Looking at Sunday’s standard run that added about two unnecessary seconds to our time.

My thanks to Cream City Canines and the Badger Dachshund Club for running such a nice trial, we’ll be back next year.

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