Lance also went to the NADAC trial this Saturday. I was glad we were finally indoors where Lance says he is capable of weaving again! He felt a little more subdued than normal but seemed to run ok for me.
Lance jumped 4in again and really enjoyed it. There were still a few head dips and a few early take off jumps but huge improvement over a few months ago. We even did Jumpers for the first time since starting a new jump training program and Lance did great on the straight lines! Only regular used the contact obstacles and Lance showed he has no idea what he's supposed to do in a trial. But he tried!
The run I am most proud of was the 2nd run, Chances. I thought that was the hardest distance challenge I've seen for the Elite dogs and was not optimistic. We didn't qualify but got more of it than I thought he would!
Vito had one of his best trials today! He was super enthusastic to go in the ring and started his toller screaming without any help from me. Go obnoxious Toller! We were often first to go which often met very little warm up, but Vito didn't need much to get him excited. Sometimes it can take a lot of effort on my part to get him from crate-sleepy mode to play mode but not today!
We even manged to go 4/4 today in Regular, Chances, Tunnelers, and Jumpers. My handling wasn't the greatest at times but Vito did great!
Summary: Lance tried for more UDX legs this past weekend. None achieved, only 1 real Q and another technical Q. Signals are a foreign concept to Lance and he lost his mojo on articles. Oh and stays suck.
Saturday was a bust in utility as he sat on my down signal, but other than that it was an ok run. He kept eye contact on his glove pivot although only mostly dropped the glove when asked (did a very slight tug back). Go outs were wobbly but ended up straight. Moving stand was insanely forged. Never a good sign when I have to walk PAST the corgi after my stay cue! Articles were very hesitant though. Lance seemed to fine the correct one right away but searched again a few more times. He even brought it to me 2ft before having to recheck the pile and ultimately bringing it to me. The 2nd article was beautiful and fast.
Video of utility
But open on Saturday was one of the nicest runs we have had! He was much more consistent on sitting straighter on his fronts than he has been and our heeling was less forgy than normal too! The best part is that he held his sit stay! Lance went down both days in a trial a few weeks ago so I had feared the problem was coming back. On Saturday Lance was next to a 180lb great dane; he lost a point for turning away from the big guy on the sit, but held it!
On Sunday I found out we stood of stayed home. Lance was much flatter than normal today which made me sad. Not awful, just not his normal pep that Lance is known for entertaining the crowd with. '
Utility was going OK in the beginning. He didn't sit on his glove turn, and returned slower than normal. Articles were again lacking confidence. I did metal first this time to see if that would help but it didn't. He still picked it up and dropped it to research the pile. He even dropped it again when the judge told me to take it. 2nd article was better but still not speedy. Go outs were one of the best he's done in a trial though! No wobbly curves on the sends! Moving stand was much improved over yesterdays forging.
Signals were a disaster. Heeling was ok but Lance not only missed the down signal, but also just stared at me for the sit signal AND the come signal! He was just staring at me like I was doing this weird dance.
Open was better but still felt a bit flat. Lance almost NQed us on the drop on recall as he slowed to a stop right as the judge cued me to down him. Everything else went fine, just not a little flater than normal.
On the stays I was worried as Lance was definitely stressed when setting up. Avoiding eye contact and yawning and he wasn't even next to his great dane "friend" from saturday. I left and was bummed to return to Lance lying down on the sit. But as the judge told the 2 other exhibitors who dog's had fallen what time their dog's went down (about 30sec) he skipped over me. I didn't think much of it and Lance did the down just fine. As he announced qualifiers who called our number and I asked him again for clarification. He looked and assured us we had qualified. I talked to a steward after and she said Lance went down about the 2min mark.
This is the THIRD time Lance has gotten a "gift" in obedience, although the first on a stay!. I've talked to other judges about it in the past and they've all agreed that the judge can't change what he didn't see/hear so to shut about it. But I didn't feel right about returning for awards, although our score was only mid 190s so not in placements. In this regard I'm glad he didn't Q in utility as a UDX leg wouldn't have felt right.'
I'm not too worried about our other errors, but I am getting very concerned about about his stay problem. Two weekends ago Lance was in another obedience trial and he went down both days on the sit as soon as I was out of sight. Lance had a very hard time holding the sit while going for our open title and now it appears to be back. I don't know how to fix it. Lance holds his sit 99% of the time at both schools, home, and work. I can leave him with other dogs, by himself, with distractions, or completely silent/empty rooms. I really think Lance feels the stress from me, the other people, and other dogs in a trial and I haven't been able to replicate that.
Vito was entered in AKC Rally this past Sunday. One day only and exactly 1yr since his last attempt. My hopes were high that after the great results of our APDT rally attempt this summer and our since extensive work on ring entries, that Vito would be relaxed and happy. This trial was also held at our normal obedience club and even though open and utility were held on the agility side, Vito's rally ring was the exact same ring we practice in weekly.
Results were mixed. He warmed up nicely and even relaxed beautifully by all the other rally dogs and exhibitors hanging out at the entrance area. Waiting to go in the ring we played the food flick game suggested by Denise Fenzi (and I think invented by Kay Lawrence?). He loves that game and focused really nicely for me. But as soon as I got near the actual ring gates he changed. Vito wouldn't jump up on me when cued and began looking around the room. Going in the ring he remembered our burst through the gates game and did a great set up. But then I had to take off the leash and Vito again started checking out and took a few seconds to sit.
The first sign was unfortunately a moving down-walk around. A behavior that Vito is great at, one that also requires not only a stop of the fun heeling but concentration on the dog's part. I thought Vito burst off the start nicely with me as we had practiced a billion times in our ring entries but he froze on moving down, managing to sit for a few seconds before turning to me. I then went into crazy mom mode and practically ran around the rest of the course with him. Pumping him up and not caring if he sat for everything or if we even stopped at all the turn signs. It worked as by the end Vito was even prancing and bumping into me! Of course we NQed on several signs.
I am SO happy with how he finished that run. But I admit I'm really disappointed with the start. I had delusions that Vito could handle starting in rally again and now I don't think he is ready. I should have had our getting ready to go in the ring taped as I felt the 30sec before entering the ring was the worse.
My verdict on teaching both a running and a stopped dogwalk... happiness. Neither are anywhere close to being the fastest or best executed dogwalks, but we have understanding, and yellow! I was so worried I was going to screw up his running and worried I would have painful creepage for the stops.
Video shows "eh" results; I can live with that. I have goals to teach "the next dog" how to properly collect for turns after a running dogwalk, but I think I am finally going to be content with Vito's simple run or stop answer. I've just barely started sequencing before the dogwalk now so we still have a bit to go. He's also quite dependent on my motion at this point.
I'm mostly happy that our break from agility due to his accident was pretty short (3wks) and he didn't show any hesitation about going on the dogwalk again!
The corgi wants to say that confusion still reigns a bit on my end for his contacts, but that he is taking control for me. His answer is a slightly creeping 2o2o on the dogwalk and aframe, with the occasional 4 on for both as well. I am slowly accepting his decision and leadership in the area. Bow to the corgi.
Change is hard for the Toller. That's why when the new office space was finally ready at work I wasn't looking forward to moving my stuff and the dogs. After 2.5yrs of coming to work with me he had just started to get used to things in the last few months. I could FINALLY leave Vito in my cube while I trained dogs and not have to ask my coworkers when I came back how he did or tell just by looking at him. Vito had even started sleeping under my desk the 2nd half of each day. Proof of awesomeness:
This past Thursday the move to a new space began. And *knock on wood* the Toller is adjusting fabulously. Whining has been minimal and he has even slept under my new desk by the end of that first day! Bubba says he has had a harder time understanding why he isn't allowed to just jump over their new barrier.