Fundog Agility Group NADAC Trial - Jun 11-12, 2005

13 Jun 2005Steve Schwarz

Fundog Agility Group hosted a two day NADAC agility trial this past weekend in Wauconda, IL. This was only my second NADAC trial and it had some challenges. Milo has been resting his wrist since he smacked it hard on a table at the Memorial Day weekend Dana Pike, Jen Pinder, and Rhonda Carter Campand came up limping. A ring rental on Friday fell through, so we ended up with no practice for two weeks. Also Chicago has been hit with a heat and humidity wave in the past week. All of a sudden we've had highs in the upper 80s and 70% humidity - sticky!

I had signed up for six runs a day hoping it would to be cool weather

  • the only way Milo would handle that many runs. Fundogs set up four rings of equipment; it made it easy for walking courses well ahead of your actual run and we never waited for a course change. The trial was very well run and it was a supportive and fun atmosphere.

If only Milo and I had run the courses better…

Saturday Jun 11

We started with Novice Weavers (tunnels and weave poles) which opened with a 15 foot straight tunnel followed by a 10 foot straight tunnel straight into the weaves. Milo was so jazzed up after two weeks off that he tore through the tunnels and didn’t collect at all as he slide past the first two weave poles. At least I was at each location I wanted to be at but Milo just never slowed on any of the initial weave entries.

Next came Open Jumpers which opened with a three jump jump chute with an off course into a tunnel requiring a right turn over a jump to the correct side of the tunnel. A two jump Lead Out worked but I was late pushing on Milo’s path to the right jump and he had a run by which I could have fixed except he back jumped the jump… In my book we were done when the run by happened. The rest of the course was uneventful.

Our third run was Novice Touch N Go (tunnels and contact obstacles) where the super hyped up Milo blew all his contacts and had a spectacular fly-off on the teeter. There was no stopping him. I forgot I was running NADAC so I missed a great opportunity to bring him back on the equipment and insist on my 2o2o contact criteria… a great training opportunity squandered.

It was already 88 degrees and humid by 11:00 AM and we’d had three runs; so I called it quits. It would be several more hours before our other runs were to start and Milo was already showing the effect of the heat.

Sunday Jun 12

Started with Novice Weavers again. We worked our weave entries on the practice weaves a bunch of times. Milo was better on his entries but still missed about half of them - the ones where he was full bore into them - he was at least trying to collect this time. We got the tricky off course tunnel discrimination that foiled many other’s runs by handling on the other side. Had a long call to my hand and then turned into my Front Cross Front CrossLearning the Front Cross too early; setting Milo up for the wrong obstacle - bad handler.

Open Jumpers - one of the easiest courses I’ve ever seen. It required only one cross. The opening was a four jump jump chute with a three jump Pin Wheel through 180 degrees; most handlers put their cross in on the last jump of the Pin Wheel. Took a one and a half jump lead out and Milo dropped two bars of the jump chute. I then was busy watching him through the 180 and was late with my Front Cross; by the time I got out of Milo’s way he was right in front of the jump and took down the bar - bad handler.

Novice Touch N Go - I decided I wanted to insure Milo did his 2o2o contact performance so I opted to train the course and not even put Milo at the start line. The opening was two long straight tunnels straight onto the teeter. I didn’t want Milo to injure himself with a fly off at top speed so I started him at the teeter. Of course all his contacts were fine except for the last dog walk where he broke from the contact before my release. So I got to work that again and maintain my criteria.

Once again it was heating up - almost 90 by 10:45 but at least it was overcast. I decided we should leave on this minor contact success.

Practice Tasks

So it was a disappointing weekend. But this trial pointed out some real weaknesses in our training. So here are the classic training issues on which Milo and I have to refocus our efforts in the next weeks:

  • Setup jump chutes to practice long straight jump sequences and keeping jump bars up
  • Setup high speed weave entries
  • Work contacts in high excitement environments

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