Crazy Toller at USDAA!

This Labor Day weekend I took the Toller and I to a USDAA trial.  It has been 2 months since our last agility trials!

And oh my goodness, what a comeback we are making!!!  Vito had zero stress about anybody in the ring and was super pumped about going in and each every run.  Sometimes he has made me work really hard to get him engaged with me even warming up, but not this weekend!  I think there were times I even had that obnoxious dog while waiting to go into the ring.  Yes,  I think his toller screams could be heard by everyone.  Even when I seemed to screw up and take him out way too early for each run, my problem morphed into how to keep the red dog from beating me up rather than how to keep his focus.

The runs themselves were ok.  We qualified in 4 out of 6 runs and he even covered for me on mis-timings in gamblers and some late front crosses.  On Saturday he got progressively faster with each run!  Sunday wasn't quite as speedy but he remained excited to be there.  I think we're at the point where his difference in speed, especially notable on the weave poles, is more to do with thinking too hard rather than anxiety :)

I also tried my hardest to talk to him this weekend.  I gave verbals for many jumps and cheered through courses.  But then I watched the videos and I can still be WAY more obnoxious out there!  It's so hard to change!


Adv Gamblers- Q
We had fun doing the dogwalk twice.  Both hits were nice but he wasn't really running.  I also hesitated when I misplanned the buzzer by 2 seconds and Vito barely recovered any speed to get the little gamble.  But he's a good dog so he sent out anyway for a Q :)

Adv Standard- Q
I had to do a late front cross of the dogwalk since we don't have any turns and the good boy barely called off the tunnel.  He recovered speed faster this run and finished up nicely for our first advanced standard Q.  Sadly there is no video.

Adv Jumpers- NQ
I ran right into the ring and started immediately since I let myself be distracted by a conversation.  Vito enjoyed it and had his best run of the day and his happiest jumpers run of all time!  Jumpers is not usually his favorite without the contacts and tunnels to break it up.  He knocked a bar though :(

Adv Gamblers- Q
Vito didn't like my repeat of the tunnel and this slowed him down so he had barely any speed going through the chute.  He turned to me before exiting and took a tumble.  He seemed ok coming out so I paused a bit to rev him and kept going.  Vito did one of his best teeters in a trial on the gamble!  This earned him his first Advanced title!

Adv Standard- E
I thought he was jumping with more difficulty than normal on this run and he knocked a bar in the beginning.  He has never downed automatically on the table in a trial, and this time he barked at me when I finally told him to down :)  But that sass didn't transfer to the weave poles.  I then didn't hold my little cross long enough to keep him off the dogwalk so we just did it twice and skipped the little part with the chute.

Adv Pairs- Q
Super delay before this run but Vito just got more and more amped waiting!  I wish the weave poles weren't second on our half.  I did a very late front cross  in the serpentine :(  After the finish jump Vito just shot out of the ring and ignored my calls to come.  He ran to where I put his ball and then brought it back to me!  Apparently I have to stash the ball a little further away in the future!  I still can't believe my "good dog" did that.
We also got a standard fault on this run, but I can't for the life of me see where on the video.  It's the last run in the compilation video if anyone can spot it.

Mango  – ( September 3, 2012 at 5:27 AM )  

I'm not seeing the fault on the last run, but I can't see the judge put his hands up. Did he think Vito missed the contact on the A-frame?

I could hear Vito amping up before his turn on the last run. Hehehe. But he looked very collected in all the segments. Even when he did a barrel roll in the chute.

Mango Momma

Loretta Mueller  – ( September 3, 2012 at 5:39 PM )  

I LOVE THIS POST!!!!!!! YOU BOTH LOOK LIKE YOU ARE HAVING FUN!!!!!! OBNOXIOUS IS GOOOOOD!!!!! YOU GO GIRL!!!!!!!

Lynnda  – ( September 5, 2012 at 9:53 PM )  

A couple of comments:
= Remember USDAA has some equipment differences, like smaller contact zone on dogwalk & teeter, 22" jumps [instead of 20" like NADAC/CPE/AKC, the double is wider [24"], and the fabric alone on the chute is 12". Has Vito done much 22" jumps [he knocked the double in Saturday's jumpers] and/or very long chutes?
= in Pairs, Razor got a fault [judge raises arm] very early in the run, probabely the Up Contact on the Dogwalk.
Ditto on looking like you two are having fun. Run big or stay home...

Laura, Lance, and Vito  – ( September 5, 2012 at 10:06 PM )  

Thanks Lynnda, I've watched that pairs video a few times and couldn't think of where the fault could be!

Vito definitely needs more exposure to not only jumping 22in but spreads and triples in general. We stick to just 20in in practice except for the class or two before a USDAA trial and there's rarely spread jumps in class. I'm not all that surprised he rolled in the chute either as once again it's an obstacle that is rarely practiced and now that TCOTC has a short chute he never sees a long one anymore! He wasn't the only poor dog that rolled in the chute in the starters/advanced ring. Our poor dogs are just expected to deal with stuff without training!

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