The Official Debut + Real Time Ruff Love

Gorgeous pic courtesy of Phin’s newest number one fan, my sister!

I have to make this quick as I only have a few minutes and next time I’ll have the chance to post will be post-Denise Fenzi and Sue Ailsby seminars. Alot going on right now, and not just on the dog front.

On the dog front however, Phin now has his official first trial under his belt. Saturday was Gambler and Snooker, and I was a nervous wreck! I was so nervous on our first run I didnt even hear the Gamble buzzer, and had to get verbally told by the judge, “Uh, that was you..!” Whoops. Oh well. Snooker that day wasnt any better as he dropped the first bar and then by the time I even knew what was happening he was over the third jump. Tweet! Oh well again. Good part is I got that all out of my system on Saturday and by Sunday we were running “normally.”

Snooker went great. I was a bit more thoughtful about my course, mostly, and other than a tough weave entry that he missed (I set him up badly), he ran perfectly and we Q’ed! Our jumpers run was awesome despite a tough opening (USDAA is not so kind to the Starters kids!), and he nailed it. SO proud of him. He was 1.5 seconds off the fastest dog and got fourth, but these dogs were blazing fast and run by very experienced handlers. I was thrilled overall and can’t wait to get back into it with him in the fall.

Forest did well at the trial this weekend and finally picked up his last Advanced Standard leg on Saturday. His other Standard run on Sunday was beautiful but he didn’t see the tire very well and blasted through it, poor dude. I was happy with him as well over the weekend. However…

He gave me the middle finger this morning big time and now is officially on Boot Camp probation for a minimum of 2 weeks. He slipped his collar and RAN away from me this morning like he has not in a long time. I had to chase him down for blocks and finally cut him off and cornered him when he stopped to take a dump. He will be on serious restrictions for a while. I will still be taking him to the seminars this weekend but he is basically going to be on a tie down, in his crate or physically with me on leash. So frustrated with him at the moment–I wonder if he ever will want to be with me (hell, not just me, it could be anyone he lives with) more than run off like a wild animal…?

Anyways, that’s all for our trial budget for the summer, I’ll have plenty of time to plan next steps while we avoid the heat and work on our contacts. Will report back after the seminars next week!


3 thoughts on “The Official Debut + Real Time Ruff Love

  1. Right on! I am so glad your trial weekend went so well! Congratulations to Phin on his first Q!

    It sounds like you and Forest are dealing with the same issues I have with my dog. Keeping her from tearing off is so hard. It’s the primary reason we have never trialed. There are days when she is nothing but focus and then others in which all she wants to do is run away.

    • Thanks Kristine. The funny part is that after 2 full years of trialing, I now have essentially no worry that he will run off from me at a trial. Sniff or sorta check out, yeah, he’ll still do that if he’s having an off day, but he wont bolt in an agility context, even when he can (ie USDAA trials and/or one of the very few times I’ve had him off leash outside the ring). He actually got out of his crate last fall at a trial when I was off working Phin and he came and found me. THAT was shocking.

      However, at home, if he gets out, he is gone.

      It seems too simple maybe, but really its all about reinforcement at the end of the day. If I spent as much time in front of my house rewarding him as I have in agility, he probably wouldnt take off. Unfortunately I dont have the patience for that, I’d rather spend the time doing fun things, like agility or tricks. I did spend some time–okay maybe at this point only one session–rewarding him with his dinner on the long line out front. But I have many, many, many more reps of that to do before I can trust him. I really never will in that context I guess. Crazy.

      Something to chew on for sure. 🙂

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