the sheltiechick blog

Georgie’s Agility Debut

The most amazing princess puppy had her agility debut! Check out her video below.

My mom admitted to me she was disappointed Georgie didn’t get any Qs, but I don’t see anything in her runs to be disappointed with. I am very proud and pleased with Georgie. She did a lot of things I knew were potential trouble spots for her debut: she did the tire instead of trying to go around/under it. She got on the rubberized contacts and stayed on them instead of being disturbed by the texture and bailing. She got her weaves. She didn’t drop any bars. She did tunnels splendidly! And she even did the chute despite not wanting to go through it the first time. So many good things she did, I just can’t find it in myself to be at all upset or disappointed in what she DIDN’T do. Even though she didn’t ride the teeter all the way down and got an E for that.

For a baby dog who has been mostly trained by somebody who has never actually done agility before, and who ONE WEEK ago didn’t want to even go halfway up a teeter set all the way to the ground, I think she’s a rock star. Little Georgie is entered in two more trials this year before she gets to break for the winter, so we’ll see how she shapes up over the next several weeks!

Payton’s Second Agility Trial

The weather for Payton’s second agility trial, and first ever outdoor trial, was surprisingly beautiful, even a bit hot on Sunday (and I came home with a pretty serious sunburn on my neck, backs of my ears, and arms – yeouch!) It broke the pattern, or “curse,” of the local agility trial, which traditionally calls for sub-50 degree temperatures, high winds, and rain if you’re really lucky! We were all quite delighted and I will accept my sunburn as penance for forgetting to grab my bottle of sunscreen.

Here’s the video of Payton’s runs:

Saturday Payton got his NAJ title. He also got his very first Novice Standard leg. I was pretty stunned, because going into the trial I expected a bit of a disaster for being outside. Once again the rules included “don’t pee on anything.” Happily, he peed on nothing! And came home with his first “Double Q” (which of course truly means nothing sub-Masters.)

His Open Jumpers on Sunday run looks more like the Payton I am used to! THAT is my baby dog. The dog who’s running around in all these other runs and picking up Qs and blue ribbons and stuff, I dunno who that is. Poor guy got popped in the face by a weave pole in jumpers and was quite startled, but I was very proud that I just pulled him back to start over and he got it done instead of staying offended. His collection obviously needs more work so he doesn’t barrel into the weave poles and pop himself in the face anymore…

His standard run was great and he came home with another first place and a second leg towards his NA!

Overall, I am very pleased with Payton. He needs more control, but that is something I’ve been noticing as we practice – as he’s gotten more and more confident in various obstacles and sequences he’s gotten faster and the control is slipping a bit. Self-control has been a constant with Payton since I brought him home and will likely be a challenge his entire life. Luckily, I am up for the challenge. I have a whole host of things to work on with him this fall and winter, and hopefully he will be a really great dog come spring (and hopefully I’ll suddenly come into money so I can trial him more often.) After Saturday, he was getting a small fan club. My heart was glowing with how many people thought he looked good, was coming along really great, and had very complimentary things to say about the baby dog. We are all very proud of him and excited for his future!

Broad Jump Lumber Emergency

So 10PM the night before our second ever agility trial, and the first time Payton was entered in Standard, I remembered I had never actually TAUGHT Payton the broad jump.

Had he seen it? Yes. He’s taken it a few times even. And also walked across it a couple times. And never really, actually TAUGHT how to do it.


For those who don’t know, the broad jump is required in Novice Standard. So it was GOING to happen. Determined not to let a stupid broad stand in the way of my dog and our success together, I ransacked the house trying to find a suitable replacement for a broad jump, simultaneously swearing that Home Depot used to be a 24-hour store and why isn’t it anymore and don’t people know that there are lumber emergencies going on?!

I settled for 12-pack cartons of soda… fishing all kinds out of the closet where my parents store their soda and shoving them together and making a make-shift broad jump.

THERE. That’s close enough.

And Payton’s first interaction with my make-shift broad jump was to hop up on it and pivot in a circle.

We’re going to do AWESOME.