More UKI Trials

Zumi (and Vito!) has had 2 more agility trials these last 2 weeks.  Definetly getting more comfortable with the routine.  She has no problem watching me set down her ball anymore as we get ready to go in the ring and wants to offer some lovely heeling on many of her entrances.  No issues with being distracted by people at all anymore.  And this last weekend was her first experience running on real turf.

In her actual runs she's gaining speed.  I think I finally know what it's like to have a dog that can be even faster in trials than in practice, not that she's slow in practice.  Issues with going from extension to collection have shown up.  She's been great if I can be right there, but at a distance she's a bit of hit and miss on actually turning tightly.  For the most part she's listening pretty well.  Number of Q's over the last 2 weekends (UKI trials!) have been extremely low.  But no major issues cropping up.

Start lines are teh biggest issue.  Not in breaking her stay but reverting to the horrible vulturing that she used to do and had improved greatly on.  I feel like an idiot as I repeatedly give her the sit cue/signal to have her straighten up multiple times as I lead out.

Dogwalks have been pretty darn good.  Maybe 75% very low hits, and 25% on the higher side?  Not sure if any actual misses.  Aframes were awful 1 hit downsides at the first trial, all misses, but this last weekend all 3 aframes were beautiful.  Teeters have had another flyoff (2 total now in trials), an early release, and the rest have been goodish.  She's not doing her 2o2o all the time, sometimes doing 4 on instead.

Weaves are having some issues with collecting for the entrance on soft turns to them.

And we have had a few instances of running around the outside of jumps because you know turning a little bit is hard.

Overall I'm very happy with where Zumi is at in agility.
I don't know if I shared my disappointment at her last USDAA trial but it's offical, Zumi did not get her 3rd measurement to be 17.5" and jump 18.  The judges were very nice (I actually had both measure!) and they just couldn't get her there.  So 17.75 is her height, jumping 22in in USDAA unless they raise the cutoff.  Current plan in USDAA is to jump her at 22in until she gets into masters and then reevaluate if I want her in performance at 16 or not.  It  just gives me the most options going forward and right now I think she looks really good at 22.  UKI she gets to jump 20 and I think that's perfect for her.

A few videos from the last 2 weekends.
Standard from this past weekend.  Just missed the jump after the dogwalk!

Standard round 2 from 8/20. I love, love the dogwalk turn :)

Jumpers from 8/20.  Tunnel sucked her in from the weave entrance!

And Vito got to play too these last 2 weekends.  We don't really seem to be in sync yet from our break.  Getting so many more refusals like he used to do, especially on wraps when he just stares at me sometimes and doesn't take the damn jump in front of him.  And then I do toy runs as UKI allows that and he's perfect.  Toller loves his ball.

I just did Saturday with Vito this last weekend and skipped day 2 as it was a long drive and I didn't want to push our luck.  I increased one of his drugs just a week ago as car anxiety was starting to come back.  We only got a short few months of bliss since starting this new drug earlier this year...

Here is one of Vito's better runs this past Saturday with just 1 refusal at a wrap and 2 knocked bars.

And a weirder run where we were just not in sync much at all.  And then the poor guy did something at the weaves.

Both dogs get to play again in 2 weeks at an outdoor USDAA Trial.  It will be Zumi's first 2 ring trial, but the rings don't share a gate so will be a nice gradual introduction.   I guess we will just see with Vito.


Super Q #2 And Starters Standard Dog!

USDAA trial on Saturday for the red dogs.  Too far to go back for a second day as pretty much all of Zumi's agility trials are turning out so far this summer.

This was Vito's first re-attempt at trialing since his little shoulder injury this spring.  My hopes weren't super high as Vito has been a complete idiot in his class every other week and really at home too.  Foundations dog instead of masters dog.  I had him in 3 runs to kinda test where he was at physically and mentally I guess too.

Standard he was an idiot.  A very happy idiot.  Broke his startline which isn't completely unexpected in a trial, but usually he is a good dog and we play the "know I mean it" game, because well he is Vito.  He apparently didn't think I meant it :)  which left me completely unable to handle his running dogwalk as the 2nd obstacle.  Then he broke his teeter which again left me out of position to handle a tunnel entrance.  He had fun.

Snooker he was magically back to being good toller.  Not quite as high, and in a thoughtful but decent speed mode.  And then he was a little naughty, but completely saved my butt.  I apparently thought I should throw in a spontaneous threadle after a backside in the closing of snooker and Vito thought that was stupid, a 180 was easier and obviously that's what the numbers said anyway.  I groaned and then realized the whistle didn't actually blow.  And then I realized my dog was way smarter than I am and finished the closing.  This magically earned us a super Q of which Vito gets the sole credit.  Super Q #2!!!  I didn't think it would happen again as we don't exactly win on speed when there are the many ties on points.  Our course was 7-7-7 through the closing, but no 4th red that apparently ate people up for time so they didn't finish the closing, or screw ups in general.  It's possible he could get that championship after all?

No video of the Toller :(  There wasn't a ton of people around and I didn't make a big effort like I did with Zumi since she is new at all...

Vito got a massage at the trial too before his jumpers run and checked out pretty well!

Zumi's 3rd day of trialing and at the same location as her first trial.  Maybe she likes it here better, but she was way more focused than she was in Duluth at trial #2.  No focus issues at all going into the ring!  Of course there was also a lot less people working in the ring, we were a little short on workers at time.  But maybe she was just embracing her training.

Standard did all the things and in the correct order :)  A little naught on her teeter but did stop and then took a step back when I cued her feet again.  Dogwalk would have been perfect back foot hits but she slipped the last stride.  Judge did not' call it and it was a clean run for her 3rd leg and very first agility title!

Grand Prix was a fun course for her.  She got a little too excited and missed the weave entrance.  Then even more excited and flew off the teeter  like she thought it was the dogwalk. Dogwalk was a bit high.  But I was proud of her very tight rear cross on a jump, something that isn't very well practiced.  And a tandem turn to a tunnel which can always be a bit hard for her.

Snooker and Jumpers were also Qs!
I didn't notice how close the ending line was in jumpers but wow was she awkward.  Clearly Zumi does not know how to bounce jump the closer distance!  I'm shocked she kept the bars up.


The Rats

In other news over our long break from blogging I had to say goodbye the the coolest rat that has ever lived.  Penelope developed a tumor that grew very fast.  We had it removed but unfortunately during the surgery they discovered it wasn't the tumor they thought it was.  Female rats are sadly very prone to tumors and Penelope's regrew in a much shorter time frame than we expected.  And it grew fast.  We finally said goodbye to her just a month over her initial surgery.

Since Penelope was a stray rat (a fact that still makes me smile and laugh!) we don't know how old she was. We had her for 15 months and she was fully grown when we got her but that doesn't mean much.  The reason why she was a stray was super obvious.  Once Penelope became comfortable, her greatest joy was figuring out how to escape from anything.  She was such a trouble maker!

And insanely smart.  I kinda lost motivation to train Penelope as the months went on, but she learned quite a bit when we were working!  Weave poles!  Rolling over!  Picking up a ball!  And some other little things.  

Evee has been a bit lost without her.  She looked depressed actually.  Evee was never the bravest rat despite my initial feeling that she would be.  Evee never once dreamed about escaping the expen setup.  And while she had no problem interacting with me, she startled super easily.

So I went looking for friends.  Since I spayed Evee when Penelope had her tumor removal surgery (to try and prevent Evee from getting tumors) I wanted boys this time.  Boys are known to be dumber and more cuddly.  I thought that sounded nice.

Rats in rescue were again not really there.  So this time I found a breeder.  I got 2 young boys.
Meet Spork and Splatter.



Evee is not thrilled.  She's a bit of a bully actually.  Needless to say they are not moved in together.  But since it took 3 weeks for Evee and Penelope to move in together despite all the rat forums saying baby introductions are easy, I'm at least more prepared this time.

Evee got kicked out of the mansion to live in the temp cage with bars too big for the boys to stay contained in.  She's not happy.


Catching Up

It's apparently been awhile.  We've been busy, kinda.  And also very lazy.

The things.
Dock Diving
Zumi and Vito went to a dock diving competition 4 weeks ago.  Much better experience than our first time.  This one was hosted by a club and everyone was very nice and willing to answer questions.  Plus having an actual briefing before the event started was helpful.

Vito only had 2 jumps at 11.5ft and 11ft.  Both jumps were larger than the other competition and more consistent.  He kinda did a stay for me on the dock the second turn but wouldn't at all on his first turn.

Zumi wouldn't jump.  I had hopes of her jumping since she finally made it to the dock when we were at Purina Farms.  But no such luck.  I took her 2 official turns and went straight to the ramp.  Even on the ramp she was a bit hesistant to actually enter the water, but of course super excited both before and after.

Then today I drove a ways to actually practice.  Their 3rd offical practice session, first time at this location.  No idea how far Vito jumped but he looked a lot better.  And actually stayed for me during his second set of turns on the dock.  Due to crowdedness each dog only got to have 2 sets on the dock.

Zumi and I just went to the ramp and never tried the dock.  The good news is that she didn't do any of the hesitancy she showed at the actual competition and it was the same setup of above ground pool.  The bad news is she made zero progress from jump 1 to the last jump.  Still eagerly running the short distance to the ramp and then going down the ramp until her feet touch water.  THEN jumping.  She's so happy.  And I don't know how to get her to progress from there.

Zumi went to a disc dog seminar a few weeks ago.  Had a blast!  We worked primarily on flatwork and teaching me how to time my throw with her striding.  Also taught me a better way to throw flip throws, and a few other little moves for Zumi.  If you're interested in disc, the presenter Sara is now at Fenzi Academy teaching her first class this session!  I'm hoping it will motivate me to actually practice disc.

Vito is back to going to agility practice, alternating weeks with Zumi in class.  His brain hasn't come back yet since his break.  Seriously, he's an idiot.  Stays are hard for him.  Actually following my handling is hard for him.  All the things are hard.  But wow is he excited.  Certainly not my nice consistent dog who almost never goes off course.
At home Vito is doing better with the listening department but he's still an idiot with jumping.  I don't think it's due to his shoulder still as whenever Vito is over the top excited he has always knocked bars.  Vito has a very hard time with arousal levels.

Zumi is doing pretty well.  We aren't practicing too much at home so haven't made much progress with her aframe turns since last posted. Actually I don't think I've touched the aframe.  We have done a few little sequences at home though, trying to kinda keep up with the online class I have been taking this summer.

Zumi and Lance went to a WCRL rally trial and CDSP obedience trial last weekend!  I had plans to show Vito but when I looked at where it was held I knew that Vito wouldn't be entered. It's just too crowded of a site and usually very difficult to actually get into the ring.  Lots of pressure usually from people watching and the crating area.  It turned out that this trial was light on entries and with a surprisingly large amount crating from their car I think Vito could have handled it.  But better safe than sorry.

Lance was entered in 2 runs of level 3 rally on Saturday, and just 1 on Sunday based on his last trial in April of being tired on day 2. That held true this trial as well.  Very sassy and barky corgi in rally!  A bit naughty, but always such great focus and attitude.  Sunday he was still sassy but visibly tired so I was greatful he only had the one run.  I would have loved to entered him in utility obedience at this trial but realized that without regular practice it wouldn't really be fair to him.  He's such an experience dog that he could easily handle novice and open without practice, but utility really takes a ton of confidence in the exercises.  Articles, signals, go outs I feel are a little unfair without practice.  So the corgi won.  He has always loved rally more than obedience anyways.

Little Duck got to play in level 3 for the first time!  She had 2 runs in level 3 each day and qualified in all.  I was very proud of her focus in all runs.  She earned her title easily :)  And beat her way too sassy corgi brother

And then I decided to be brave and enter her very first obedience trial.  We did one run of starters novice on Sunday when I realized there was no stand for exam.  She had a few tiny moments of attention lapses but overall I was very proud of her run.  Her stand for exam was the biggest point loser in that it took an extra cue to get her to stand (CDSP judges this portion, AKC would not have).  

I've also been trying to practice Zumi's stand for exam when I take her to the club before I teach on Wednesdays.  She is really doing well.  Now if only I can start finding new people to generalize it to.

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