Monday, October 24, 2011

Burnt Out?

Despite the results you see in the pictures, I think Secret is incredibly burnt out on agility right now. I haven't done a lick of training since we got home from Champs in hope of keeping them as fresh as possible for the trial this weekend, but Secret just was not feeling it. At all.

The baby dog had some really fantastic moments, but overall I just felt like I was pulling & dragging her through the courses all weekend. Her first round on Saturday was not bad, but it went downhill from there. Jumpers was her fourth and final class of the day and I ended up withdrawing her halfway through the course because I felt like I was pleading with her to get her to move. That is not fun for either of us.

I did find a sore/scratch on her hind foot when I was shaving her feet on Friday. I don't think it's in an area that would possibly interfere with anything and she's not moving off, but who knows.

Thankfully she came out with quite a bit more energy Sunday morning. Secret ran a lovely Jumpers course at 5.47 yps, which is pretty good for her. Next up was Elite Chances -- Yes, Elite. Can you believe it? She finished her Open Chances title on Saturday and I figured why not go for it -- You can NQ just as easily in Open as Elite. ;o)

I didn't have high hopes because the course involved the dog walk at a distance as well as sending out to a jump after. It also had a switch to a tunnel at a good distance, but Secret is pretty good at those. She totally nailed the course. Woot! I just hope she doesn't pass Kaiser in points....

She also Q'd the last two rounds of Regular for a perfect day -- The first round of Regular wasn't too bad (it's on the video), but the second round was very sluggish in the mid-section with the weaves. She walked through the weaves again and nothing I did could get her to move faster. Once out of the weaves she was better and she ended well. I was surprised to see she actually made big dog (20") time on that run, so that made me feel a little better, I guess.

It could be that she would benefit from another trip to the chiropractor as well. I plan to schlep everyone back down there before the next trial.

Secret's video -- Just four of her eight runs got recorded:

Then we have Luke!! Awesome, awesome Luke. He needed just one more Weavers Q to finish his second Versatility NATCH and he banged it out in fine fashion. It was a short course -- just 15 obstacles, and we tend to struggle with time on the shorter courses. We actually ran this course at Lindstrom in August and he was 0.24 seconds over time. Granted, it was during the upswing of his allergy season and he was feeling like crap that day, so I knew we could do better. I pushed and really went for it and he delivered -- He nailed his entries and held on to the poles and really made some nice tight turns. We ended up 2 seconds under time! On a 15 obstacle Weavers course that is really good for us. This is Luke's last V-NATCH -- No more Weavers for the big guy. He tries so hard and I know it's hard on his body.

Here's Luke's V-NATCH 2 video:

Luke also put in some super fantastic bonus line attempts this weekend! With encouragement from judge Roger Coor, I ended up going for four lines -- three on Sunday, which means that I asked poor Luke for distance in every one of his runs that day. Usually that sort of thing fries his brain a bit, but the last run ended up being the best one yet with just 15 faults. Sadly, I didn't the last two (Regular) runs on video -- But both of his jumpers runs were caught. The run on Saturday was fantastic, but I pushed too soon for a turn and he skirted around that jump, but otherwise ran a great course. Sunday morning was a bit trickier course and we were a bit more discombobulated, but we got through it with me staying behind the line.

Bonus box from Round 1 Sunday:

Bonus line from Round 2 Sunday -- Requires the dog to weave away and send to a jump, and he did it! He knocked a bar at #4 and then touched the a-frame coming out of the 14 tunnel before redirecting back out to the jump. I said, "Back" -- He doesn't know "back," I should have said, "out jump."

So Luke's only Q's for the weekend were Chances (both days!) and Weavers, but I could not be more proud of him. Distance work is addicting!

Poor Kaiser -- He was in the same boat as Secret in that I really think he needed more time off after Champs. I haven't even touched his dog walk since we got home and that might be why we were so off on that this weekend. The closest he really came with his striding was in Touch-n-Go on Saturday, but then he ran right off the side of the dog walk. Oh well.

He had good moments, too. He gave me some super awesome distance in both Chances runs -- His run on Sunday was clean minus the dog walk contact. His Jumpers run on Sunday was AWESOME -- Super speedy (5.6 yps, so faster than Secret!) and I was almost in bonus line land with the distance I gave him. He didn't seem to want me anywhere near him on Saturday, so I thought I'd try to make him happy. It worked! Unfortunately it was his only Q of the weekend, but it was a lovely run.

We have three weeks until the next NADAC trial in La Crosse and it looks like I'll only be doing one day. I don't remember just asking off the shelter for Saturday that weekend, but maybe I was feeling guilty for taking so much time off lately.... And that's our only trial in November, which kind of stinks, but then again I'm broke so it's probably okay. ;o) OH! And Secret won the Q raffle on Saturday, so we get a free day of entries!! Yay!!!


  1. Congrats on Luke! Yes distance work is addicting-that's what we have been working on since champs. Won't be of much use at all the AKC trial we have coming up but when we get back to NADAC I hope it pays off!

  2. Nice job on VNATCH2! Secret didn't look too bad. Looking at her weaving, it looks like she doesnt have a good footwork pattern and sort of just stumbles through them. I struggled with Rip on this too and used channel weaves opened up about 4 - 6 inches to build drive and speed and help with the footwork. He is much better now but still its a work in progress!

  3. Thanks, Greg. Secret learned to weave with the 2x2 program. I went back and spent quite a bit of time with the poles open (like channels) and I can't get her to single step for anything. Conformationally, I think her shoulder angle is too straight to allow her to comfortably reach in such a way.

    So despite my best efforts, I have accepted that she is a "hopper" through the poles. When she is driving forward with even moderate speed, she keeps her feet together and slolams through the poles. At this trial she was more or less walking through the weaves, which took away the hopping footwork.

    The judge and several others have told me that their dog always gives them sluggish performances after such a big event, so I'm trying not to be too concerned over this one trial. Not only was this trial just too soon, but I'm sure normal trial energy is deflating after running in the big ring where it's just electrifying. :o)

  4. The slolam style through the weaves can be just as fast as single steppers. Maybe it was that she was just a little tired from the nationals. I also trained Rip on the 2x2 method. Though I really like the method for weave understanding and hitting entries, I am not that impressed for the footwork & drive that it produces. I think maybe a combination of 2x2 for understanding, and channels for speed would be better.