Monday, November 2, 2009

IPOC Trial Day 2

Yesterday was another warm day in agility land. On a good note, the heat didn't seem to slow down Peyton much. At least I think that's a good thing...sometimes I wonder!

First up was Standard and it was another nice course. I hesitate to use the word "easy" because nothing is really easy for us right now in a trial environment, but it was a very Peyton friendly course. I was really happy with the opening and I'm pretty certain that rear crosses are the best way to go in trials until we can get a startline stay. Unfortunately my very naughty spotty boy decided to run the a-frame which lead to an off-course. If you listen to the video you'll hear a collective "awwww" from the crowd, which made me laugh. :) The other bobbles in our run were pretty much all me, which is usually the case these days.

Next up was JWW and it seems like my ability to plan our strategy for a course has gone out the window. For the most part, I'm not one to walk and walk and walk and obsess over a course...I usually can come up with a plan fairly quickly and go with it. Now it seems that I'm over-thinking it too much.

For this course in particular I was debating a number of options and I just couldn't make a decision. I think the biggest problem is that I usually know what I would do if the course was set up in practice, but because Peyton runs differently in a trial I get stuck debating on whether I need to run like I train or if I need to provide him more support and set us both up for success. I'm still not sure what the answer is.

Here I opted for a less safe (non rear-cross) opening thinking that I might have a little less dog since it was so hot. This wasn't the case and I wasn't able to show enough motion in the direction we needed to go so we had an early off-course. Once we got back on track, this was a fun run and I opted to leave him in the weaves to get ahead - I didn't cue the jump after my cross, but it was nice to see how far I could leave him. Good spotty dog!

Poor Peyton seemed to be slipping quite a bit during this run and at one point he slid on his chin...didn't seem to phase him at the time, but sure didn't look very comfortable when I saw it on the video. I've also noticed that I've started "squeaking" when something goes wrong on-course...not sure why, but how annoying. I think Peyton is about ready to hold auditions for a new handler. Any takers? :)

I keep saying that we need mileage and we're definitely going to be getting our share in the next few months - lots of trials coming up and several in new locations. I've been wondering if it might be a little too much too soon, but Peyton seems to be having a lot of fun and I think as long as I keep the pressure off, he's more than happy to play.


achieve1dream said...

Ouch, that chin slide did look a bit uncomfortable.

I don't think you're overdoing it so long as you're both having fun and he's not overly tired or getting sore.

I have the over-thinking problem too. :)

Sorry Peyton I can't be your handler. I know nothing about running an agility course. :)

Oh and on your question about running like your training or running with more support, I would probably choose running with more support. If you're seriously out just to have fun and don't care if you win or not, then go have fun, but if you would like to move up through the levels I would give him more support because I would think that the more he goes off course the more of a habit it will become (just a guess).

I don't know the intricacies of having a dog pay attention to the handler without losing speed on a course, but if you're interested in improving your accuracy I think you need to work on Peyton's attention. I don't know how you train or if your training has anything to do with your miscommunications on course (or if it's just excitement), but if you have any agility gurus who read your blog it might help to post a video of a training session so we can see the differences in his behavior.

Do you use clicker training? I don't know if it would help, but I'm thinking it might for individual problems like a start stay, the table (he's doing so much better!) or in general attention and focus. Of course then treats might become a whole new problem.

Anyway hopefully something in my rambling helps, if not . . . sorry.

Have fun!!

Kim said...

Hey, I appreciate your ramblings. :)

I think I probably need to provide more support too, but I always hear that you should trial like you train so that's where I get stuck a little.

And I do need more attention in trials, but I think at this point it's just an excitement issue. Peyton is pretty good and (for the most part) consistent in class. Here's the last video I have of a class run:

He's a little slow here, but it was pretty miserable out. With more speed, I do get more off-courses (even in class), but the biggest problem there is that I'm not where I need to be to give him good directions. My brain doesn't seem to work as fast as his legs. :)

I guess I'm kind of answering my own questions...if I have the performance I want in class then hopefully with more experience at trials, he'll be more relaxed and the attention part will come.

Thanks! :)

achieve1dream said...

Wow that training run is terrific. I think you hit the nail on the head. I think it's the speed causing the problems. Unfortunately that's about where my knowledge of agility ends lol. I guess it's just practice, practice, practice. :D

Your welcome. I really enjoy reading your blog and watching the videos. :)