My only goal for Daisy was to ensure she was confident, happy, and had fun. I also wanted to figure out our immediate weak points so we can get to work training for December.
She was a little freaked out on initially entering the arena, particularly when she thought people were going to try and touch her. (If you ever see me with Daisy, please do not try to touch her. Ignore her. She will be ever so grateful, and so will I.) She settled within 5 minutes and began to offer behaviours in the queue, so that was cool. Her response and then recovery time from Scary Things has improved dramatically, but it’s always good to see it happening in a demanding atmosphere.
Obviously all Daisy’s runs were NFC, so we did lots of tugging on the line and through the course. First run, she had no clue we were then going to do agility as well, and took ages to clock the first jump. She was very underfoot, uncertain about the tunnels, but we had some nice sections, particularly a nice drive to the finish jump. Second run at the same course, about 10-15minutes later, and much improved. Still quite clingy, but driving on to jumps and she was beginning to get the idea that we were actually doing agility. Nice wing wraps!
Third class was Steeplechase, and a lovely big, open course. Daisy set off before I was ready, which wasn’t ideal but I like that she’s beginning to understand the routine and the game. She did some really nice sections of work on this course, skipped out on a few jumps but did a fantastic drive down the last, very stretched line of jumps. Potential, we’ve got it!
First things to work on … startline routine. She has no wait, and I don’t particularly want a wait, but I do need some kind of set up which will allow us both to start at the same time. Second thing is obstacle focus, particularly coming out of tunnels. (Third and fourth and fifth things are weaves weaves weaves. WEAVES.) I also need to do a bit more training without the toy in my hand. We have been working on this, but I need to bump it up in priority.
Rio had a nice day too! I trained her jumping run (waits and weeeeeeaves) and she was happy bouncy Rio. I’d always intended to train that run, but I thought the course was waaaay too hard for Intermediate, so wouldn’t have run it anyway. Much too hard for Rio anyway, not something I’d ask her to do at this stage (but it reminded me that we do need to do some work on flick-flacks). I also trained her two agility runs, which she found very confusing (because the start jump and the Aframe were at opposite ends of the arena). Still, really, really nice Aframes! Waits were generally great in all runs too, nice and happy and not freaking out.
Steeplechase was a nice Rio kind of course, not as nice as Daisy’s but still nice. Unfortunately just as we were getting to the front of the queue, there were some fireworks outside. Rio isn’t especially bothered by fireworks, but she was a bit perturbed (and the stalls were packing up too, which she found a bit worrying). She set off very slow for the first few jumps and then picked up speed, very wide into the first tunnel but then rocked the rest of the course. Including some layering, which we haven’t done at shows before! She finished up 4th in Intermediate Large, pipped by a couple of G4 dogs.
Next time I’ll probably run her in Steeplechase and Jumping, and train her Agility runs again. We may attempt a seesaw, but I’m not sure yet.