UKI Fun Match- Vito's 1st match!

The dogs and I headed for Minnesota's first UKI agility match! It's a brand new venue and one that I'm really excited about. I'm too new to agility to really know what I like, but so far I'm loving the tight courses with lots of challenges for the handler. The European flavor at today's match was great and I'm looking forward to the real trials!

Unfortunately today sucked for Lance. I guess he wasn't that bad, but he was just lagging today and wasn't really into any of his runs. His 4 on the floor were good on both dog walk and aframe but he dwaddled during the execution of the obstacles. Today was the first time doing 12 weave poles in a "competition" and Lance missed the entry and popped out early on the first set, but did well the other 2 courses.

Vito had his first time in ring today though! I did them as "training runs" so took a toy out onto the field. His first time on the course he did one jump and then did some mini "stranger danger" barks and ran up to a bar setter for about 2 seconds before connecting back with me and doing his weaves. I tugged with him then and continued one jump before hitting the aframe. His contact was in the yellow but was really high, but he did his 2 strides so I rewarded him with a tug anyway. Then he did another jump to the teeter and completely flew off it! I think he realized what was happening because he did try and stop but was just too late. On the repeating of the teeter he stopped in a 4 on position before going to our 2o2o. And then was the dogwalk which I attempted twice. I left Vito in a down stay as I ran to the end of the dogwalk to place his toy and ran back. He was pretty high up in the contact each time and I'm not really sure if he jumped (from our criteria) or not. Basically he was wasn't running as fast he normally does so it changed his striding from the beautiful dog walks he has been doing in class.

I was really bummed after this first run. I wanted to break it down and reward a lot, which I did, but Vito had the completely opposite reaction then what I thought he would have. If anything I thought Vito would have been over the top and stressing high, but instead Vito really wasn't that into it. He wasn't running fast and just seemed out of it. And his contacts all sucked.

Luckily Vito's 2nd (and last) run was AMAZING! It was an easy jumpers course and this time I took his ball in as a reward. We had to redo the weaves since he popped out in the middle, but that was the 2nd obstacle and after that he was ON! Vito was fast, really fast, and we didn't make any more mistakes. I had planned on stopping in the middle to reward him with his ball but never did since was just so fast!

So Vito is definitely not ready to trial yet, at least not in standard agility. After the jumpers course I really felt like entering him in some trials but I don't think that's wise yet. I did run the course with the ball in my hand so I'm not sure how much that contributed to his intensity and how well he will do without it.

Muttsandaklutz  – ( April 17, 2010 at 9:17 PM )  

Ah, neat! UKI sounds interesting. I *love* their toy-in-the-ring rule, great opportunity.

Your writeup is so honest. Too bad about Lance, maybe he was just having an off day for some reason?

Overall it sounds like you learned a lot about where Vito's at right now. Awesome that he ended the day on such a high note! Any video of that boy's Jumpers run? I don't think I've seen any of his agility videos... but I sure want to!! :)

Lindsay  – ( April 17, 2010 at 10:20 PM )  

Very cool!! I have heard just a smidge about the UKI venue, but not a whole. It's good to hear someone else's perspective after they run the course.

Mango  – ( April 18, 2010 at 5:24 AM )  

Well, now you know. It is good to try and find out where the danger spots are. Little Vito is still a kid, really. Maybe just needs to simmer down before he can really focus.

Momma brought a tennis ball to obedience yesterday. Big mistake! I focused so hard that I vibrated and went deaf.


Dawn  – ( April 19, 2010 at 8:05 AM )  

It sounds like a great time, even if all the runs werent perfect, you got lots out of them.

Honey the Great Dane  – ( April 29, 2010 at 12:17 AM )  

Sounds like you had a great experience and learnt more about your dogs, even if it didn't go perfectly! I agree that I love that your write-ups are always so refreshingly honest! :) I find that I also have problems (like Dexter) if I bring a tennis ball out as reward when training Honey - she gets so obsessed and fixated on it, she just cannot think straight or respond to any cues! :roll:

Hey! Guess what? We just starteda new course at the RSPCA training centre called "Dog Sport Prep" - it's an obligatory first step if you want to do their AGility or Flyball courses. I'm keen to try Flyball with Honey. Anyway, I was delighted because at our 1st class this week, they were teaching all the Agility equipment properly (not like Auckland which just threw us in at the deep end and expecte us to run the courses anyhow) - and they showed us how to teach the weave poles starting with just 2 and entering it from the side! And Honey got that really quickly! So there may be hope for her and she may actually learn to weave properly!! :D


Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( April 29, 2010 at 5:35 PM )  

Trust me, we still have a long way of having Vito listen when a tennis ball appears. He can't think completely to do all of his tricks. But we have at least gotten to the point where he can do agility with it and I can even have it as a target that he will only go to if my body language is sending him there.

Yay about the new class! I love the 2x2 method of teaching weave poles, it really breaks it down and uses shaping to make it so easy! Flyball is something that's on my list to do as I know Vito would LOVE it but it just doesn't motivate me as much since it's not as interactive.

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