Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Weekends and Opinions

And I am back, 2400km and A LOT of agility later, I have a lot to say, so here goes.

On Friday I was judging the whole day, so no competition for me and the Spaz... very sad... I love judging, but ALWAYS wish I could judge AND run my dog... perhaps I should investigate cloning myself!  First up was contact agility grade 3...  Of course all my courses are available for download at my course maps website:


This is my course:

I really liked this course and it ran very nicely... even though certain unnamed people that SHOULD have won the round, made some stupid mistakes.  Mostly the faults and eliminations occurred between 9 and 10 because handlers tried to get ahead and do a front cross after the long jump, they ended up getting their dogs eliminated by pushing them over 15.  The best option here was to hang back, call over 10 and then either front cross before 11 or back cross 11.  Some handling faults for handlers that 'kneed' their dogs onto the see-saw.  And of course the normal problems with the tunnel/dog walk discrimination.

My agility 2 and 1 courses was pretty straight forward, but unfortunately I had no clears in my lower grades (and a very small entry... sob, why don't we have more up and coming dogs???).

Next up was Jumping Grade 3... a very technical course that handled very nicely, producing nice clear rounds, despite the stupid bloody PE wind interfering and blowing down all the jumps and generally p#ssing me off!

The biggest problem here was the pole entry... it was a tough one, but DAMN some people had to manage their dogs big time to get in there.  A couple of DQ's on the 4 go-round, but I did have some nice rounds!

My grade 2 and grade 1 courses... this time I did get to sign some cards with some clear rounds:

General observations of judging for the weekend:

1.  I have said it before and I will say it a million more times (which by the way is a little ironic) - If your dog does something wrong, try it again, if he does it wrong a second time, YOU have not trained it properly, leave it, go on with the course, go back home and do  your homework!

2.  Very sad to say, but there were only 2 dogs there the entire weekend, that have good, independent, reliable contacts, a few dogs that had almost there contacts which I think they should get right eventually, but still ... Geez South Africa, we honestly kind of need to work on that.

3.  Damn we have fast Border Collies (and one awesome Whippet) in this country... just need to work out some finer details.

Anyhow, let's get to the exciting part now!  The competition part...  Saturday morning started off badly... Chaos knocked two bars in the first round, I was NOT impressed... let up on my handling after that and incurred a refusal too, but that is just because I am a retard.  Next up was a very nice non-contact course, it had good lines.  I was relatively early in the draw and after my first round knocks I wasn't really even thinking of being competitive, but I ran my round...  I didn't push, I just did my thing... and surprise surprise I walk off and Chaos is in the lead... I only realised afterwards when I watched the round on tape what a nice round it was.  So I spent the rest of the class in a stressing and head spinning at the start line to make sure I heard all the times... Of course this also means I put R on his toes, no wait that is not correct... I put the pressure ON and he was bloody pushing his little arse off... he was the second last dog to go and he DID manage to take half a second off me, but still... Spaz has his first non-contact qc.

Next up was another contact round.  The dog before me, had a very fast and very competitive round... f$ck it was the decision, I was going to push push push, man you have to love competition...  Man did I push, in fact I pushed so hard that I nearly pushed my dog right off course, so had a slight wobble, but still managed to take a second off the previous dog (as I recall), so another win for the Spaz.  We had another non-contact with a very speedy non-contact course.  By this time I was very pumped and ran my heart out (Chaos always runs his heart out)... what a heartbreaker, he slipped and knocked the long jump, but had the fastest time of the day, taking almost a second off the winners and the only dog to break 28 seconds...  We ended off the day with Dog Jumping, and I think my brain was a bit fried and I pulled my dog right off course.  All together now 'JACKASS'.

Since this post is starting to get very long, I will just sum Sunday up... not a very good day, I think I was over-confident from the previous day's success...Sigh, well that should teach me.  Anyhow here are the rounds I have of our weekend.

On a side note... at all our out-of-province weekend shows, you get approached by a lot of handlers offering advise, and I like this aspect, HOWEVER... When it comes to knocked bars and coming out of weave poles... On my knocked bars, a lot of handlers came to me to tell me how I caused my dog's knock.  And while I agree that they were right that whatever I was doing caused him to drop a bar, it is NO excuse for him to knock the bar... in my training I do funny and extreme things BECAUSE I want a dog that will clear bars REGARDLESS of circumstances...  and he did it over the weekend too, so he knows HOW to do it and on the occasions he brought them down... he made a mistake, even though I might have caused him to make the mistake, it was still his mistake.  Same thing goes for him coming out of the poles... at training I can send him into the poles and he will do ALL twelve with me running in the opposite direction.  While I wouldn't do something that extreme in a show, I DID taper and pull off etc often this weekend and he stayed in the poles, so when he pulled out... that was still his mistake.  I mean it's not an issue, that is all part of agility... it is just that I do think that South Africans don't understand the meaning of independent obstacle performance...

Anyhow I feel this weekend was all good for my plans to go to France and the hard work will continue!

Thanks to all the PE guys for their hard work, once again an awesome weekend!

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