Friday, November 16, 2007

The Mysteries of Sketch ... First Agility Trials

Sketch’s very first agility trial was at the German Shepherd Dog Club of WA grounds. He was entered in Novice Agility and Novice Jumping. I didn’t have great expectations for Sketch and we were both quite calm and relaxed. Sketch’s start lines are still not rock solid so I run with him from the start line (he’s not that fast either) … his first run was in Agility. I didn’t have any worries about his weaving or contacts – they are very reliable – the only things that could go wrong with Sketch would be he would run around a jump or an obstacle because he’s not sure … well we had a refusal on the A-Frame. It was a white bottomed A-Frame with outdoor carpet at the top which he had never seen before and on our second attempt he took it but very unsure. The rest of his agility run was good and we celebrated at the end to make sure he knew everything was OK.

His second run was Novice Jumping and he casually negotiated the course with me without a hiccup … he Qualified and also placed 2nd.

The following day was the Rockingham Dog Club Trial. Sketch competed in both Novice classes again. This time he ran Novice Jumping first and did a lovely, casual round … no stress, no rush! … just a nice, calm run. Sketch won 1st Place this time!

His second run, later that day, in Novice Agility was the total opposite … he was really excited at the start line. The second obstacle was the weave poles. After weaving he came out of the poles a little disoriented … he had 4 bar jumps following that and he knocked each of them down – he appeared to fall onto the bars somehow, taking off with great gusto and landing short. I picked him up after the 4th jump, brushed him off and gave him a cuddle. He wanted to keep running so I allowed him to continue the rest of the course … he did so, but quite clumsily.

I’m not sure what happened there but it certainly wasn’t pretty! Regardless, we ended on a positive with big hug at the end.

Our third trial was just last weekend, Saturday 10 November. Fortunately Sketch ran Novice Jumping first and did a nice, calm and steady round – Clear and Qualified to finish his Jumping Dog Title!

Our Agility round was another NQ. We missed a couple of jumps after the weave poles, however his contacts were lovely. He finished the course happily, still trying hard for me.

In the back of my mind, I have a feeling that Sketch really really want’s to run and play agility with all his might. He gets really wound up waiting at the start, watching the other dogs finish and by the time he’s on the start line he’s quite revved up. Then he takes off and it feels like the effort he puts in doesn’t seem to come out!

We are still taking him to Tracy, Bowen Therapist, for regular maintenance visits and at present all seems OK. He is a happy, affectionate little dog and loves everyone and everything he meets.

We will continue to train/trial agility and jumping for now and see how things go.

we're looking forward to the Jenny Lunn (UK) obedience seminar this weekend at Brynbank Training Centre. She will be covering some interesting topics very relative to Sketch's obedience work.

Stay tuned for updates …

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