|Baxter thinks it was a exhausting weekend too, but he still likes agility.|
He might have gotten the gamble on Sat if I had trusted my dog and his training. The gamble was a teeter, jump out to a tunnel under the A frame, back in over the jump and then out to the chute on the other side of the teeter. Baxter did the teeter and jump fine, but I sent out to the tunnel off of the jump instead of calling him in and then sending him out to the tunnel with a straighter line. He went out but I second guessed him and thought he might go for the wrong end, so I called him resulting in a spin in front of the correct end of the tunnel and a refusal. Oops! I didn't realize that it was a refusal either, so I was really confused when the whistle blew and I thought I stepped over the line.
Baxter ran really good all weekend, but that was our only Q in 7 runs.
Saturday had me pretty frazzled. First Jumpers run was really twisty with a lot of backsides/serpy (yes, that is a word!) stuff I was worried about handling a specific sequence right and didn't want to mess it up. So when running, when I got to that part of the course I forgot that there was a jump in front of the challenging sequence and ended up taking a decoy jump that wasn't really a decoy for the dogs, but more for the handlers. The judge later commented that she didn't think anyone would have taken that decoy - never say never, lol. He was smoking though, running at 4.15 yps! I realize for sport dog people that isn't fast, but this is a heavy boned/bodied short legged breed and it's pretty zippy for him =P
Our second Jumpers run was clean and fast until the last obstacle. The final 3 obstacles were a actual serpentine, Baxter read the rear cross perfectly off the first jump, read the serp cue back over the second but instead of just pushing him over the final jump the way I walked it, I rear crossed again with bad timing and he went wide around the final jump.
I'm honestly not sure what happened to his master standard runs. He has been running them well, except for hitting his weave entries with speed, which is almost always my fault for not telling him to weave soon enough. So we'll have faults on our masters runs but we've never had time faults, even when having to fix weaves. This weekend, course times were super tight. Baxter was running really well and not overly wide on turns, no obstacles obviously slow and creepy but both runs were over time. His clean run was over by 1.53 seconds and the other run where it was only 6 poles (x2) he only missed one weave entry and was still over by 1.19 sec.
- Work serpentines and pull/push through handling drills. I pulled Baxter off of a jump on 3 separate courses by not having practiced this enough. Either I am not holding position long enough for commitment, or he isn't experienced enough to read and understand it clearly. Likely it's a combo of the 2.
- Still work on rear cross drills - yeah I don't do them often because they demotivate him but when they are the only handling option that isn't a messy disaster it helps if the dog still can read and understand them ...
- Directionals. Left and right, not just a switch. Master gambles are HARD, the more tools in the tool box the better your chances are.