oh my auggie

Trial weekend for Baby Dogs

Louisville is in the books, my fourth half-marathon is done, and it’s finally time to start moving forward with more training and other trials. So we did! This weekend we trekked our way to Indianapolis to take another crack at some Open Qs.
On Saturday, Payton’s standard run was rather typical for him as of late, completely blown contacts and apparently having no idea what weave poles are. Georgie came out next and had a better run; she got a refusal on the chute and then popped her weave poles at #10, but otherwise had a really nice run. Jumpers was a challenging course; we watched the Excellent/Masters dogs run first and there was a series of jumps in the middle that were causing a lot of dogs to go off-course. Just our luck, that same series of jumps stayed put for the course change down to Open. Payton got to take a crack at it first, and surprisingly, his only issue was (again) crappy weave pole performance. He otherwise navigated the course nicely without biting on any of the off-courses that were bombing a lot of more advanced, talented dogs. While it was frustrating to know he would have had that course if not for this annoying trial weave issue, I walked away from the course reminding myself he WAS successful in a way many other dogs had not managed to be.
Georgie got to come out next. Georgie is the one who is more likely to take off-courses, so this was a fair concern with her. But she navigated the course just fine! Even better – she got all of her weave poles! Baby Georgie snags the VERY FIRST open Q out of both young dogs. Way to go Georgie!!

Sunday we were a little delayed in getting checked out of our hotel, and as a result we ended up getting to the trial site just a couple minutes too late for my walkthrough. Even worse, Payton was the third dog in the ring for Open Jumpers. I didn’t have much time to do anything except watch a couple people ahead of me run their dogs. I watched a guy I know run his young portie and decided I was going to steal his handling maneuvers, even though it wasn’t how I would have normally handled the course, because I didn’t really have any other options to choose how to handle it at that point in time. So out I went with Payton. Our first challenge was a tunnel where the correct entry was about as likely as the wrong entry – he got the correct entry. Away we went around the rest of the course, looping back to the weave poles… and he got his entry. AND he got all twelve of them. Holy cow! So he DOES know how to weave, right? At that point it was just making sure I didn’t screw up my handling and make him drop a bar or pull off a jump… and he did it. Big Bad Baby Dog got HIS very Open Q.
Miss Georgie didn’t have such a great run, as I let her get out a little to angle her to the correct tunnel entry and she ended up taking the jump ahead of her instead of taking the tunnel. But otherwise she had a nice run and did a good job.
Standard was another mess for Payton; at one point I remember clearly thinking to myself “He is WAY too amped up right now.” He blew all his contacts spectacularly, and the lovely weaves from that morning were non-existent. Well, at least he’s consistently inconsistent.
Georgie’s standard run was pretty identical to Saturday; her contacts were certainly better than Payton’s. She did get a refusal on the tunnel, then a second at the weaves, and then did a peculiar new thing of popping out of the weaves at the last pole rather than skipping the last two as is her normal bad-weaves habit. So no Q for either puppy in the afternoon.

Overall it wasn’t a horrible weekend; some good things happened for both dogs. Georgie went the entire weekend without visiting anyone in the ring. Payton’s Saturday JWW run was quite nice even though he didn’t get his weaves. And both came home with their first Open Qs. My Q rate for the entire weekend was 2/8, but still, good things did happen.

Baby steps with the baby dogs… baby steps. Baby dogs.

I did get video of all the runs, but the only video I’ve bothered editing and uploading is Payton’s clean run Q in JWW. Not the smoothest, given I didn’t have a chance to walk it, but an ugly Q still counts as a Q.

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