Vito at the Toller Specialty!!!

I was so excited that the Toller specialty this year was being held in Minneapolis!  What better place then nationals to have Vito's debut in AKC obedience, rally, and agility!

Novice obedience was our first event of the day and Vito was the first dog to go.  To say I was nervous would be an understatement.  I thought Vito did extremely well though and was very attentive throughout most of it.  Heeling on leash went pretty well although he was a bit distracted before the first left turn and then at the about turn.  He was a little too excited for the fast as he gleefully started to bound ahead wondering what exciting thing we were racing off too!

I went to the right on the figure 8 but it turns out that was a mistake.  Vito was distracted at the start so we got a lag going through that first post.  The rest of the pattern I was happy with.

Stand for exam went perfect!  He did turn and look at the judge but didn't move any feet :)

Heeling off leash went better then the on leash portion.  Vito was more attentive and we had some better turns.  Of course he still got pretty excited at the fast portion.  I guess we know what we need to work on!

The recall seemed to be Vito's favorite portion!  He bounced to me when I called him and happily pounced at my feet.  I am happy to say that he did not touch me though or step on my feet!

Point breakdown:
heel on leash/fig 8- 3.5pts lost
stand for exam- 0pts
heel free-  2pt
recall- 1pt
1min sit- 0
3min down- 0
total: 193.5!

Vito tied for 2nd place but we missed the run off due to me walking the agility course.  So Vito got third place out of 15 Novice B dogs!

Rally went very well!  Vito was more focused than he was in obedience and we sailed through the course without losing any points.  I wish that he would have gotten to do rally before obedience as I think it would have helped him settle down a bit.  Vito had no problem with the fast time during this course.

4 Dogs got a perfect 100 alongside Vito, so we placed 4th with the slowest time. 

Agility- Standard
Agility was outside and it was POURING rain.  It was our first time doing a standard course and I wasn't too thrilled to see that after the aframe was a flip to the tunnel and then a 90 degree left turn after the dog walk.  My plan was to run Vito off the aframe a little ways before flipping him as he hasn't trained for the flip yet and I didn't want to destroy his running contacts.  Vito's plan was to come flying off the aframe and go straight towards the chute which was parallel to the aframe and something I never thought of as an off course.  Dogs had actually been refusing it all day, I think because of the rain.  Well Vito flew through it and actually took the fabric with him, not seeming the least bit fazed!  When it was time to go back through it I just told Vito "go through the hole" which he did, but then was distracted by the fabric on the floor.  Still distracted he runs by the dogwalk, and then hops on it at the side.  He jumps the dogwalk and then is further distracted by the cones to the side of the panel jump.  Every other novice dog also stopped at the same spot!  Since we had already NQed I just keep going and we miss a few more jumps.  Oh baby Vito.  The run was kind've a mess but Vito was having oh so much fun!

Agility- Jumpers with Weaves
It was still raining but this run I was actually really happy with!  We made two mistakes and I will take full blame for the 2nd one, but I think the first one is all on Vito.  I led out and did a push to the tunnel but Vito felt like crossing behind me to take the wrong entrance.  He just did not read my turn at all!  The middle of the course I was extremely excited about as Vito had really nice drive and was committing to the jumps well.  The ending I screwed up by telling him "switch" too early so Vito did indeed turn into the tunnel instead of going to the jump.  Good dog!

Wow, I am thrilled with Vito's performances today!  We have some things to work on in obedience, mainly fasts and the turns, but he was attentive and doing very well!  He still acts like such a baby dog out there, something that Lance never seemed to go through.  Agility was kinda crazy but I am still really happy with his level of enthusiasm and drive.  It was our first time jumping 20in in a trial and we had zero knocked bars!  Also the first time in the rain which well, Vito seemed oddly excited about.

Kathie R  – ( September 24, 2010 at 12:12 PM )  

Congrats on the great obedience and rally performances and placements! Love the great attention and attitude in the ring.

Muttsandaklutz  – ( September 24, 2010 at 6:56 PM )  

Looking great -- the rain sure didn't dampen Vito's spirits one bit!

If I may offer a constructive thought about the offcourse tunnel in the Jumpers, it looked to me like either you began to move a bit too late, or Vito hasn't yet fully learned to collect himself when presented with this type of lead out. (or both? I dunno.) But do keep in mind that I'm no expert in this stuff so I could be way off base!! But I often notice in my own videos when I do this type of lead out I always end up moving way too late.

Anyways, congrats on the great weekend. Must have been so cool to see all those tollers together in one place!

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( September 25, 2010 at 3:17 PM )  

You're right, I did start moving too late and of course he didn't collect himself at all. This type of lead out is something I've practiced quite a bit with him, so he should know how to collect and recall to heel position. He probably could have done better if I had remained completely still then move late like I did.

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