Great Lakes Belgian Tervuren AKC Trial - 02-Jan-2009

13 Feb 2009Steve Schwarz

Well Meeker and I went to his second AKC trial over a month ago, but I’ve been so busy with Googility that I haven’t had time to write up our experience and edit the video. I’d never been to the McCook, IL location before and only signed up for a single day, to see how we liked the facility. It was good to see all the locals who only trial at AKC.

It was a perfect trial setup for running novice dogs. Unlike most trials where novices run last, the novice group ran in its own ring with its own judge. So we had our three runs and were done trialing before one o’clock. It was pretty cold out but I put Meeker in his snow suit and left him in the car. Since the trial ran so quickly we wasn’t out there more than an hour and a half at a time. On subsequent days some folks said the noise from the heating system freaked their dogs out but we didn’t experience that.

Meeker's JWW and Std Runs

Did you hear Meeker's high pitched excited bark at the start of the Std run?

Jumpers With Weaves

The Jumpers With Weaves course was pretty straightforward. The middle of the course had a couple of turns where the spacing and timing made the choice for a Front Learning the Front Cross - VideoFront Cross or Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross awkward. I ended up waiting a long time for the Rear Cross and I definitely had time to have gotten a Front Cross instead.

In retrospect, I probably should have stayed closer to Meeker and used my Direction Of Motion to Cue the line we were taking instead of sending him. It would have given him more information for where we were going after the first turn, he would probably have gone faster, and I still could have Rear Crossed.

It is funny how things seem to be going pretty quickly on course but when you watch the video you really aren’t moving all that fast. We ended up taking first place in Novice B.


It was a pretty straightforward course but we had some problems. The sequence of interest was the teeter straight on to the chute with a 90 degree turn to the dog walk. Meeker was so amped up he almost did a fly off on the teeter. I ended up slowing to make sure I had him and that put me behind him. So he came out of the chute ahead of me. So instead of me being ahead of him and driving toward the dog walk he curled back to me and went past the up side of the dog walk. So I got a fault and had to go back to put him on the dog walk. Bad handler.

I think Meeker was a little abashed by his teeter experience so he crept into position on the end of the dog walk. Which, in a way, was nice since he didn’t even glance at the off course options after it. Then it was a couple obstacles to the table. Since I’m still not pushing or pulling on his path on the A Frame I let him continue on his straight path a little longer than I should have. So he spun after the A Frame. Then a couple jumps and we were done. Due to the dog walk fault we ended up with a third place.

Fifteen And Send Time (FAST)

The final run of the day was FAST (which is a type of Gamblers course where you can perform the Gamble at any time during the run). I came up with a maximum point plan but it was a little ugly with a Rear Cross Learning the Rear CrossRear Cross to turn Meeker onto the A Frame. Unfortunately, there wasn’t anyone around that I knew that was free to video tape my handling “extravaganza”.

We did very well all the way to the A Frame where the Rear Cross turned him too sharply and he went along the side of the A Frame. I should have just kept going but decided to flip him around and send him up the A Frame anyway. Well he bailed over the contact and barreled into the tunnel. So far so ugly, but wait there’s more!

I figured I’d try some Snooker practice since Meeker was moving fast and that is when I have the most problems. So instead of taking Meeker back over the A Frame and into the Gamble (which would also have given him a chance to place the A Frame again), I took him around the A Frame. Well when I walked that plan I hadn’t noticed the soccer nets along the wall. So when we came around the A Frame Meeker ran toward them and I could see him wonder “what now?“. Got passed the nets and then I had his line wrong so he came at the jump straight on to its side. In that split second Meeker guessed and took the back side of the jump (good dog/bad handler). I was kind of out of it and didn’t put him back over the jump the correct way. So I continued on and completed the gamble and the course still with some time to spare.

Since we didn’t complete the Gamble in the correct sequence we ended up with an NQ. Good lessons learned though.

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