23 August 2012


Failure is an opportunity to be introspective and reflective and learn from one's errors, omissions or less than stellar performances.  After last night's agility trials, I sure need to do a whole lot of learning!  I had hoped  expected to come home with 4 Q's (qualifying scores) and two completed titles in CKC Intermediate Standard.  Instead, the count was 1 Q.  What went so wrong?

Well, I'm not sure because I don't have any video of my dogs' runs to review and that's a big omission.  I didn't even bring my camera and I don't know how well it would have worked with the lighting anyway.  Without videos, I am simply not going to know what I need to do to improve.

Agility is all about handling and timing.  Clearly I must have done things which resulted in their screwing up.

Here's how things went.

Earlier in the day . . .

  • Miska got stung by an insect on her tail and it bothered her for a while.
  • Diva had been diagnosed with a bladder infection and was on her second day of treatment. If you've had a bladder infection before, you know how painful they can be.
  • During agility training in the morning, there was one tunnel that Miska kept entering but not exiting & Diva was reluctant to jump over some of the jumps set at 22". Nevertheless, I finally had success with both dogs before we left class.

At the trial . . .

  • It was an evening, indoor trial and neither dog has trained or competed indoors. They had been to this venue before but at outdoor trials.  However, the rings were nicely matted and very clean.  My dogs have done obedience training indoors on mats and trained in agility on grass, artificial turf and fine gravel and done well with the transitions.
  • The courses were easy!!  There were only 18 obstacles and  6 weaves in each trial. There was one call-off and a discrimination. They flowed nicely.  In fact, I actually thought they were too easy compared to most of the courses we've been running recently at Companion Dog Training.
  • I didn't get lost on the courses!!! 
  • I warmed up my dogs and we played tug before going into the ring.
  • Miska was the first to run and her first run was PERFECT!  She had a clean run! I was pumped and figured we were on a roll.
  • Diva ran and had 1 off-course.  She does this quite a lot and I KNOW I need to work on her attention to me. This resulted in an NQ.
From that point, it really went down hill.  In Trial 2, Miska chose the wrong tunnel entrance even though I (thought) I gestured it clearly to her.  She doesn't work well at too far a distance (results from obedience training & competition) so I stay close to her.  Why she chose the wrong entrance is beyond me.  And in the second tunnel, she failed to exit (just like the morning) and came back out the entrance (another refusal). Then she went past the weaves which is considered a refusal. She ended up with 3 refusals, 1 wrong course and a fault (she knocked the last bar down).  Plus she had time faults because of all the mistakes.  SIGH!

I thought Diva would be redeemed in her second trial but she also went off course (I can't recall what she did) plus she had a refusal somewhere (can't remember where) and together these resulted in time faults too.  Big fat NQ!  She just needed 1 Q for her title and I was certain she would get it.  WRONG!!!

So I was very disappointed and lay awake thinking about our runs well into the early hours of the morning.  I clearly need to ask someone to video my runs because without my ability to analyze my handling, my dogs' performance will not improve to where I want it and they (WE) will continue to waste MY money and time.

1 comment:

  1. It's so very frustrating when things go wrong like that. Sometimes there isn't a reason it is just a bad day but good idea to get some video footage. I've found myself doing all sorts of stuff on video that I was not aware.