Think Pawsitive USDAA Trial - Almost MAD

02 Mar 2010Steve Schwarz

Meeker and I went to the Think Pawsitive USDAA trial this past Sunday in Waukesha WI. Since it was a bit of a drive I only signed up for Sunday. I was focused on getting the Masters Snooker and Pairs legs Meeker needs to earn his Master Agility Dog or MAD title (love that name). The trial was held in a horse arena on packed dirt and the judge was Carol Smorch.

The executive summary was we were 3 for 4 and now Meeker only needs a Relay Q for his MAD. Here is the video of our Standard and Jumpers runs. My big thanks to Dr. Marty and Tresa for filming! The gory details follow below :^)

We started with Standard and the course ran pretty well. It opened with a Serpentine Serpentine SequenceSerpentine Handling Techniques and then turned to a two jump sequence. Everyone’s inclination was to cross after the last jump of the serpentine and then run the line of jumps. But if you did that you’d drive your dog right into the off course weaves. So a lot of handlers just shoulder pulled Post Turn/Shoulder Pull/Pivot TurnLearning the Post Turn and then Rear Crossed Rear CrossLearning the Rear Cross the last of the jumps to turn their dog to the A Frame. After the A Frame was a jump facing the wrong side of the tunnel. I wanted to make sure to get the turn so I planned a Rear Cross to turn Meeker. I was stunned when Meeker didn’t hold his 2o2o and I ended up kind of shuffling him over the jump.

Then it was a nice Front Cross Front CrossLearning the Front Cross over that jump to set him up for the weave entrance. Jump to table. From the table it was a shallow angle jump to a tunnel; I got the front cross over the jump and Meek gave me a little woof, I must have been in his way. Blind cross the tunnel exit to the teeter. Meeker just wouldn’t step in to 2o2o, he just hung out stopped in the yellow. For some reason I still don’t understand, I didn’t insist and released him. Then chute to tire and around to the dog walk.

I was able to move horizontally and stay ahead of Meeker to get around the final two jumps. He got into the DW yellow but didn’t go into 2o2o and I… released him. Nothing like training your dog to do something different in a trial than you do in training! aaargh, I’m sure I’ll be paying for that. We got the Q and took first place.

Masters Pairs was next and my partner did a great job on their half and Meeker and I were doing wonderfully until… I front crossed the end of the weaves just a little too early and pulled him out of the weaves at pole 10. He’s never done that before, but he was pretty amped up. Then he went over the next jump before I could fix the weaves. So I feel terrible for screwing up my partner’s Q on what should have been a straight forward run.

Snooker has been a thorn in my side for a while but I came up with a 49 point plan and executed all but the last of it without any problems. From the course diagram and the walk through it looked like the approach from the first jump and bypassing the tunnel entrance was going to be hard. We were in the closing and right after I insisted on 2o2o on the teeter (good handler) we headed for the 7 point combination and sure enough Meeker was almost into the tunnel when I called him off and got whistled. So we ended up with a Q and 3rd place.

The final run was Jumpers and, apart from two handling things I could have cleaned up, it was a good run. I waited for a Rear Cross when I could have pushed a little more for a Front Cross. I also went a little deep on the final Front Cross. We qualified with a 2nd place 0.3 from 1st place.

So a good trial day: no one got hurt, 3 Qs and a nice Sunday spent playing agility.

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