Sunday, September 30, 2012


The last Wednesday of every month Training Troop puts on Whee Wed trials. It's a little mini agility trial starting at 7 pm and hopefully not finishing super late. Usually there is one "all levels" dog class, like Steeplechase or Team Relay and then there is 1 starter/1 advanced class or 2 masters classes.

Septembers was Starter/Advanced Jumpers and a Steeplechase. I figured with the recent success of Flashing Canines, I might as well see how Spencer is going to handle a indoor trial at Wet Creek. As that is the venue where most of the trials are held around here.

Spencer has been joining Baxter at trials since last Dec. Just getting used to noises and people and dogs etc. Trying to teach him that they're not a bad place to be and even if it is a little scary, nothing bad will happen. We've practiced maybe 2-3 times out in that arena for drop-in but have mostly trained outside. I had no idea how my little guy was going to do.

I was in fact pretty prepared for scared, shut down dog, especially after the parade of bully breeds doing weight pulling filed in and set off all the reactive agility dogs. Fantastic! Loud, echoing, frantic barking dogs, just what Spencer loves. /face palm.

So, we went into the ring for starter jumpers I was pretty much caught with my proverbial pants down. Spencer exploded off of the start line, blew past me down a straight away, missed the tire jump and was already over the next jump after that before my brain kicked into gear. Ok, no tire, fine, whatever. He missed another jump on the straight away to the finish line, but all in all he did fantastic!

He was *just* a little high/frantic, and when one of the ladies timing or scribing said I could move up closer to the start line he had to take off like a bullet to go wiggle at them. But all in all, he was brilliant. Zoomies were directed at the course more or less and he stayed with me. Enthusiasm - check. Fun - check. Handler wasn't a bone head and didn't make him redo things that are her fault not his - check!

Steeplechase was a little slower, but still he did a good job. Not quite as high. He slipped in the loose dirt on his way into the weaves but stuck the entry and didn't pop. He's still a little odd with tunnels - I can't rear cross them near the tunnel mouth or I'm almost guaranteed to have him spin back out and sometimes if I don't support enough he'll spin out anyway - so I got that once. He was also hitting his A-frame contact really high and it isn't quite independent of handler position yet, so more proofing and work (which I knew) on those specific issues is needed. I'm not sure if the jackpot treats at Flashing Canines contributed to the fantastic attitude at Wet Creek, but I'm not discounting it. So those will continue.

For a baby dog I think he did very well. He is SO different to handle than Baxter. That is going to be a steep learning curve! Sadly, I have no video of these runs. I think I'm just going to bring a tripod next time and have it video me.

As for my big guy, Baxter had a weave bobble when he popped out 2 from the end. Then he also had a bar down. Both in Steeplechase. I didn't really fix the weaves and I should have, but he was still overtime. The shocker was the bar though. Baxter doesn't knock bars (unless we're in class and I am talking to him at the wrong time) but otherwise he is fantastic with that. This was a straight away of 5 jumps at full speed. I didn't think that it would be that challenging, but for a dog running flat out (I was ahead by a tiny bit, but he was moving) I can see that it would be hard to have the same control jumping over multiple jumps. So that's something we'll practice a bit too.

No Q's. But it was a very fun Wednesday!

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