Monday, April 26, 2010

a trip to maryland... part 1 (rah's utility debut)

so i said i would post about maryland - im exhausted so i might not get to the entire show but ...

the show was a lot bigger and busier than i had imagined it would be -i thought it would have been a quieter venue for rah's utility debut. i almost died when i realized go outs wouldbe towards a walkway and not a WALL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and the stanchions were WHITE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! and we were next to a freight door entrance to the ring....

i was so nervous for rah's utility debut - haven't been that nervous with him in awhile, and it showed - because i really screwed us up!!! i am solely to blame for the most part!!!! as soon as we set up for heeling/signals, she says forward and i... go FUSS! (DAMNIT!) i didn't realize that it wasn't an NQ though, because i was kicking myself and thought the entire run was gone at this point - which is another problem because at this point i should have just kept working the class and go from there, but i "gave up" and screwed him - because the verbal at the start was apparently just handler error and points off. but i didnt give him the right wait signal after the stand and he walked in on me... no signals, NQ for real.

articles - beautiful on the first article, 1 point off. second article (leather) he went out, searched the pile and smelled the right article but did the thing where he sniffed the right one and picked up the one next to it. not sure what happened - he sniffs with an open mouth and im not sure if its because sometimes he goes too fast and isn't paying attention? but other times he can separate two articles that are stuck together... the GOOD news is that 1) his fronts were VERY NICE here and 2) his pivots were MUCH better - i did a normal right pivot for article one and mixed him up with a left pivot for article two and i got two sits out of him. i had no attention on either pivot - that is bad. of course, getting the wrong article on #2 is also NQ.

gloves - walked him over across the ring, we had glove one. set him up and he was bright and happy, asked him if he was hungry for gloves :) i pivot him to glove one and its right into the freight door. but it didnt matter because he didn't have his head up on the pivot (notice a theme?) and he had already picked his glove - but it was glove 2! i looked at him and he raised his head to me, so i dropped my hand and indicated glove one - he drops his head and looks at one, so i send him - he goes halfway to one, then veers off back to two - bad dog! i stay put and he comes to front, doesn't want to give me the glove back. but he DID bring the glove back!!!!!!!!!!!!! and it was a perfect front. so that was a nice change - he at least did the pivot, did the retrieve and did bring it back. need to definitely work these pivots.

moving stand - happened very oddly because the judge was kinda in the middle of the ring waiting for us? and she had me stand rah where she was, so she was the "Target" and rah just couldnt resist walking towards her - we've never trained that, and when she saw he was going to step in towards her, she backed up - except rah kept walking as she backed up so he couldnt "freeze". NQ!!!!!!! bad blue dog - she was joking its because she has a blue border collie :) i asked if she wanted to trade, since my blue dobe loved her. huge training issue here. at least he wasn't afraid of the judge. not really an exam, he got major pets in the ring since he ended up leaning on her. not exactly what i wanted him to get from that!

lastly, go outs. please god, lets do something right! i have him mark his go out spot and he's locked on... the judge asks me if he's ready and he almost takes off... she says send your dog and again he almost takes off. i send him and he goes out... gets to his turn spot 1-2 feet from the gate and starts to hesitate but DIDNT turn, just slowed - we're in the ring (but NQing... i wasnt sure if i should have turned him?) so i opted to turn him there - he would have turned on his own had i not done it - but it was a PERFECT STRAIGHT GO OUT! she says bar and i almost send him over the high - the crowd gasped when he jumped because he's such an over-achiever. over and time for the last go out - set him up and now he KNOWS where we're going... send him and he's even faster the second time, turn him because he's on a mission and he SPINS and its perfect and he's directly in front of me. send him over the other jump and he's flying, perfect front and finish! lost 1 point on the directed jumping total!

so, all in all - utility was a bust but we had some really good things. definitely things to work on though!

coming soon -
rah in open (heartbreak) berlin in prenovice (superstar) and rally (too long of a day, but rah's first RAE leg)

1 comment:

Training my Mammoth said...

I loved reading about his utility debut!

As far as sniffing with his mouth open, I know in tracking when the dogs are trying to catch a scent they open their mouths because the saliva in their mouth catches the scent (also why wet noses can smell better/easier than dry noses). They can smell through their taste buds. So it seems to me that by opening his mouth he was working to try to catch the scent better.

Can't wait to read about the rest of the show!

PS - Are you going to the Terri Arnold seminar?