Dig It Dec (Daisy & Ri)

Goal with Rio was weaves. The Intermediate Jumping course was lovely, but I trained it anyway. Rio was … consistent in her errors? She is hitting the entry and then skipping the second-third pole and continuing. This is still a too-much-speed problem, and she is learning to control it. Slowly. She’s gone up a couple of gears in competition and is attacking those weaves now, and we just need to work on controlling it a little more.

Agility was more weaves, more Aframes, all easy. Training training training, but we made the most of it. Maybe eventually Rio will be able to do dogwalks and seesaws as well.

Daisy’s two jumping runs were on a lovely straightforward course. We had fun with it! One little pull-thru that she rocked so we rewarded that. She was picking up obstacles really nicely, driving on to tunnels beautifully, we just need to work on the drive to the finish. She knocked a couple of poles, but her jumping judgement will improve as we go (I hope!). Her confidence has improved dramatically, and we’re developing a start line routine that I’m reasonably happy with.

Large Steeplechase for Rio was a really straightforward course, very appropriately fast and flowing! We got E’d, because I didn’t cue the sharp left turn at the end of a row of four jumps early enough. Rio was in full forward mode, and overshot the turn completely. She nailed the rest of it though, beautiful running. Love handling her when she’s in full flight, it’s epic.

Daisy’s Steeplechase course was awful, however. Pull-thrus and push-outs on an Open Steeplechase?! I trained it and we did our own awesome run instead. Nailed all the rear crosses, she was demanding and driving and we stopped halfway for a play. She set off again and got her speed up and then we nearly had a happy-zoomy moment … the little nubbin tail got tucked and ears back and the silly smile, but then she contained it and kept focused. Very proud of her, moreso for zooming than anything! I want her to feel joyous and happy at agility.

My only grumble for the day was Oblivious Small Dog Handlers. I had to run interference for Daisy in every queue, and twice had to take her out completely. Daisy will snap at dogs in her space, which yes, not appropriate and not good. However, I had her focused on me in each instance, totally engaged in a calm manner (rewarding for sits/downs, playing Look at That, etc), and I kept a 5-6ft distance between us and the next dog. Or I tried to. In every queue, the other people found it totally acceptable to either a) watch their dog walk up to Daisy and sniff her, or b) totally ignore their dog and let it wander at the end of the lead. Really frustrating! It was nice to see some of our non-agility training pay off, as Daisy initiated Look at That a couple of times, and also asked to leave the queue (in search of space) at one point.

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