Tuesday, 31 December 2013

RVA Indoor Show - December

We had our final show of 2013 at the RVA December pay-on-the-day show. It had been the first agility we had done for a couple of weeks so we were looking forward to it.  Doople was running at grade 5, Shadow at grade 6 and Zazu in anysize (medium). We wanted to run Zazu over the lower height A-frame and dog walk as this is the first time he has done these at a show since we started clicker training his contacts.

Greg & Zazu right before their Steeplechase run
On that note we'll start with Zazu. We were keen to see if he would recognise the contacts at a show. He ran the dog walk but didn't stop at the end. I looked at the contact and he jumped straight back on, so he is recognising it, just not whilst running. The A-frame was the same. While I know it isn't a good idea to keep putting them back on the contact, I wanted him to see that it is the same at training. In the jumping he was working away from me nicely and we layered a couple of jumps well. He still hasn't quite got the drive that we'd like, as he's a few seconds off the pace, but that will come with confidence in the ring. The steeplechase was similar, he was working well, just needs a bit more drive.

Shadow was ready and raring to go as usual. The first class was graded(ish) 4-7 jumping. I say graded-ish as the class is split into 4-5 and 6-7. We were a little wide on a few turns but I got into the rhythm and we got better. I tried to layer a jump into the tunnel but think I got too close on the previous turn so was running away slightly. Shadow slowed as a result but still went into the tunnel. She flew through the weaves too which I'm pleased with. We finished just outside the placings by 0.1s! It was interesting watching some of the mistakes over the long jump with dogs going straight in the tunnel, especially large dogs. Most people were too close for the turn so the dog started turning towards them after the pull-through, lining them up with the tunnel rather than the jump, which was offset. It looked simple but a lot made mistakes there. The other common mistake was not standing still on the turn or turning their back on the dog, so the dog would take the wrong jump. I was struggling to see the benefit of doing a blind turn on a pull through there, everyone that tried it failed because they weren't watching their dog. That isn't to say that blind turns and the new 'in-thing' from Europe, Ketschker turn, are bad but most people use them in the wrong place. And this turn is the wrong place.
Anyway, enough of me rambling on. Shadow's other run was in graded-ish 4-7 agility. We made the mistake of going first. We were having a good round but the numbered cone was still in front of the weaves! We got another go and this time we were tighter. It was a good round, the contacts were good in both rounds. We were leading for most of the class but finished in 4th.

Doople was running in the same classes as Shadow but in the other classification. In the graded-ish 4-7 jumping +Susi Cooper and Doople were going well, good tight turns and running well. Susi tried to layer the jump into the tunnel but got a bit too far ahead so Doople jumped instead. It was a good tight jump, just not what we wanted! I ran Doople in the graded-ish 4-7 agility. She was still running forward well, we weren't sure what she would be like at the end of the day. She was running out and listening well. We messed up the weaves as I got too far ahead for the entry. We ended up in 6th place though.

It was a fun show and we got a lot from it. We know we need to work on Zazu's drive. He has the basics of working away and listening, we just need to do it faster now!