Open Vulture Dog

This weekend was the CDSP obedience trial and Zumi's graduation from Novice into Open.  As I wrote earlier, I knew we had some precision issues to work on and some possible anticipation issues.

Preview: Watch the 1st video to see her best run . The 2nd video if you want to see her extra high.  And the 3rd to see my attempts at handling her differently.

Friday was an evening trial and she had one run.  In many ways, I was surprised with how much effort into precision she was giving me.  Not a single thought of running a victory lap on the retrieves.  Jumped long on the broad, but not in a spiraling out of control way.
Vulturing big time on the retrieves.  That itself wasn't a huge surprise to me as she occasionally does it in practice when extra excited. But I was very surprised by the extra intensity of it.  I was praying the judge released her quickly as Zumi wasn't just vulturing but was teetering off the edge of control.
And a mini scream before the go out, what was that?!  My multiple stay cues before the exercises started weren't exactly great handling!

She qualified in this run, but only because her anticipation on the1st retrieve went unnoticed.

Sunday we were back for 2 more attempts in Open.
Attempt #1 Zumi was even higher.  I didn't really think that was possible with her.  The good part was that she wasn't thinking about anticipating the finishes.  The scary part was all her squeals on each send.
And major anticipation on the ROH.  She did catch herself though and I paused for awhile before sending her.  Clear NQ.

Attempt #2
I had no idea if Zumi would naturally settle in a bit more with a 2nd run or if she would  get even higher.  My plan was to try to calm her as much as possible in our warmup.  I did lots of walking outside with her.   Had her out for her crate quite a bit longer before her run.  At first it was just sitting on the ground with her, then I got the idea to see if someone had a snuffle mat.  I had Zumi search for treats in the snuffle mat for several minutes.  Unfortunately she's not really used one before as I've primarily used it with Vito.  So Zumi did some sniffing for cookies, but also just offered lots of her sad chin down trick.  At least we did some slow cookie delivery games to try to center her.

On her squish release into the ring I also handled it differently by asking for a sticky target instead of leaping heeling.

The downside of all these calming changes was that we weren't really connected in our heeling.  I think partly due to Zumi not being used to this way of starting work, and partly due to Zumi needing more drive to focus as well in heeling.  She was a bit unfocused and hesitant, and even did some right sided heeling attempts.

The positive side was that Zumi seemed slighlty more in control on the other exercises. We did lots of sticky targets in between exercises to try and connect in a calm way.  No anticipation, but still vultured a lot.  No screams until the go out.

Qualified for her 2nd leg in Open!
Pretty obvious on what we're going to be working on the next few months!!!  Although Zumi is getting spayed next week so we will be on a bit of a hold again for a few weeks...

Vito also did one run on Friday and one run on Sunday, both Utility.  On Friday I was thrilled with how eager he was to warmup with me.  Very driven Toller!  Inside the ring he melted a bit on the stand for exam.  Not easy to start out with that when he has judge issues!  
And then he searched for the steward again on the first glove retrieve, just like the last trial.  On the 2nd glove send he did great.  
Go outs were hard for Vito to mark as he fixated on our videographer.  Someone he still pulled it together and went out straight.
Articles were odd.  I thought he did nice calm sniffing, but he brought back the wrong one.  I played with him and told him he was brilliant anyway.
Good signals!

On Sunday Vito was calmer.  Took a long time to choose to engage with me outside of the ring.  Despite that, I was thrilled with the level of play he gave me in the ring!  Unfortunately we had the same order of exercises, so the moving stand was up first.  This judge was quite a bit peppier (yay for happy judges!) but was also more "involved."  Vito seemed to have a harder time with her.

More glove issues in trial 2.  Going out happily on both sends, but then freezing over them and staring back at me.  We have done so much work on happy glove games since the last trial and it just puzzles me....

I did leather this time for scent articles and he was correct but was tasting each one.  

No more CDSP trials for the rest of the year I think :(  So Zumi will attempt some AKC rally and Vito will just be on hold until the next CDSP trial..

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