USDAA #2- Discovering People!

Zumi and I woke up well before any human should be awake to travel north for a USDAA trial.  Thanks to needing to be measured, we had to make sure we were there bright and early!

Another measurement for the win though!  And a win for me being brave and asking the judge nicely to measure her again ;)  It's hard to get a young dog to actually relax when they have been in the car for hours, arrive bright and early in a new place, and are SO excited by all the things!  But Zumi re-measured down that 1/4in to be 17.5in and eligible for that 18in jump height!

Then we had 4 runs.
Gamblers she was fast and focus.  Had 2 beautiful dogwalks, weaves, and a teeter.  And kinda messed up a very easy gamble.  But such a good dog!

Then her next run she suddenly discovered the existence of people.  Or maybe it was the further realization I set her toy down combined with the existence of people. Unlike Vito's concerns over an audience, Zumi thought the crowd was there just to see her.
It didn't help that we had to enter the ring late to help out the lovely team before us who could be a bit reactive.  Zumi was excited to enter and immediately tried to jump on a kid bar setter right behind the first obstacle.  And then had several more moments where she briefly left our course to go wave at her fans.  She did come back, but not without several "Ducky!" calls.  One such wide sight seeing adventure caused her to run by the aframe but I continued on.  Overall not a bad run, but I was caught off guard by her sudden interest in an audience when she hasn't shown any signs of caring in agility before.

Before her 3rd run I warmed up with heeling by people and rewarding her when she focused on me.  A little difficult at first, but then she remembered the game.  We still had a hard time focusing before entering the ring.  And then she started fixating on something and I couldn't tell if it was a bar setter or not.  I was able to get her jump up and do some tricks in the ring, but it wasn't smooth and easy.  On the release she bolted straight towards the cone by the weaves.  Luckily just a quick disappointed sniff.  No real sight seeing in this run, but did have some quick winks at the audience in a few moments.  I waited about a second longer on the table to release her as I wanted her to actually look at ME and not her fans, and she did.  Teeter a bit slow this time, and then I purposefully ran her to far forward with her dogwalk and aframe to ensure she hit better.  Manged to qualify though in starters standard!


Her 4th and last run was snooker. This time I warmed up with leaving her ball on the table and going away to do some tricks and heeling before putting her in a sit and going to get her ball reward.  We still had a difficult time focusing entering the ring but had even less winky moments.  My handling was not so great.  Snooker is always hard for me to handle with a purpose!  But we qualify!


Overall I'm still thrilled with where she's at.  The people issue I expect in obedience with her which is why we're not quite ready, but it threw me off guard in agility.  It was pretty minor overall and based on the improvement from just run 2 to run 3 I think it will go away quickly with more experience and some work on it.  Her next agility trial is just over a month away!

Kristen  – ( July 11, 2016 at 10:35 PM )  

Yayy! So exciting to hear about your successes and challenges.

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