Monday, May 11, 2009

Act-Up CPE Trial – Part I: Bug

Bug was entered in two runs on Saturday (Regular and Wildcard) and Sunday (Regular and Colors). Saturday morning Cheryl, our chiropractor, gave him the okay to run. He is holding his adjustments well and is not nearly as tight. She did some trigger points, stretching, and an adjustment prior to his regular run.

Bug got to see his brother Ransom and niece Bette in the morning.

Left to their own devices Ransom and Bug would never stop playing. They totally dig each other. Since Bug had just been adjusted we did limit their playing. Bug also got on really well with Bette – apparently in the past she “terrorized” him. Bug is a marshmallow and Bette is a high-drive female – it makes sense.

Regular Level 1, Bug immediately went whirly-gigging about – big wide arcs of running, BUT he came back and worked with me. HOORAY. Bug was just about to go over the double and a tractor trailer released its brakes; did whatever they do that makes a VERY loud noise. Bug nearly hopped into the double stanchion. He was freaked, but he KEPT WORKING WITH ME and went over the double.

The bad news….he didn’t want to take the A-frame (we have only worked on contacts without rubber a couple of times – maybe that is why?). I asked him to take it again and didn’t give him enough room to build momentum (BAD, BAD handler). Gods bless his little doggie heart he climbed the damn thing and I felt/feel TERRIBLE for setting him up so poorly. Gah. Then he would not take the dog walk and I didn’t push it. I am not clear why. It could be something as simple as it looks very different and feels very different than the contact he is used to (typically black rubber with no slats versus painted with slats). Regardless, this will come with time and practice on different equipment.

Cheryl checked him out afterward we were concerned he might have strained something on the A–frame but he was in great shape and not even tight. PHEW!!

Wildcard was a great little run. Bug had his brain and was the dog I play with in class. I think he got all the whirly-gigging out in Regular. :-) He was happy and in good form while jumping and running. We Q’d and placed 1st. Yay, Bug!!! Wildcard involves making three choices while running the course. In Level one you must make two easy choices and one hard. As a result we were able to avoid all contacts. Our “hard” option was a double jump. Bug said, “no problem!”

Stretch, massage, and a brisk walk and off to the crate with him.

Sunday, Cheryl looked at Bug and we were SO happy – he wasn’t tight. His pelvis held! Yes! Cheryl suggested if he refused the contact, to try once more and move on. I agreed whole-heartedly. I think the contacts are a training issue, but I don’t think it is a ring training issue. I think it is a foundation training issue. I think this trial might have been early for Bug, but I am glad I did it. I now have a better idea of what it is like to try and run an intact male dog and what we need to work on.

Sunday, Regular 1 – we didn’t even make it over the first jump – Bug took off to smell a mucky portion of the field right beside us. I got Bug back we got over the first jump, two paws on the dog walk and off to smell the mucky portion of the field. I could not get him to lift his nose and he was acting like I did not exist and he might mark. So, I grabbed the boy and off we exited. Come to find out a dog had gone to the bathroom there a couple of runs earlier. I am sure that had a small bit to do with it and the rest was Bug being Bug.

Second run was Colors – two short courses on the field. Choose one. While we were on the line a Papillion was on the field avoiding capture by her handler. She exited the opposite side of the ring and Bug could see her walking along the fence. He only had eyes for her. When I had his attention I released him from his start-line and off he went to see if he could play. D’oh. I was able to get him back and we did the jump, tire, then he went to see if there really wasn’t any way they could play. I got him back but he refused the a-frame and I did not push it. The rest of the run was beautiful.

All in all it was a good first trial for Bug - 1 Q, 2 PQs, and 1 tosser. As I said earlier in the post, I thought it might be a bit early for Bug to trial and I have been fretting about it. However, this trial was hosted by my club and local. It was CPE. It was a great opportunity to see what’s what. Now I know very firmly what I need to work on.

We need to do fun runs and run-thrus and get used to different equipment. We need to work on some more Control Unleashed and have better focus. I need to be more confident about my start-line. I asked Bug for a sit-wait, but I didn’t move out at all. I realize this in hindsight.

I think I will enter him in a tunneler run the next NADAC trial and continue to work on foundation “stuff,” then we will see where we stand.


manymuddypaws said...

Sounds like you learned a lot on the weekend! It is always neat to trial a new dog- it give you a good chance to see where you are at, and what you need to work on! Congrats on the Q!

Dawn said...

Congrats on the Q and on all the other positives you had in your runs. Bug sounds like a wonderful guy.

Diana said...

So your a-frame has rubber contact coat on it but no slats? Do any of the dogs have problems with it? Would you recommend not having slats on the a-frame?

Congrats on the "Q"! Diana

Jules said...

Thank you. It was fun to run Bug. he is so different from my other guys.

Diana, we train on the NADAC style rubber contacts - almost like a horse mat. But my club just put Contact Coat on our A-frame (slatless) and I would absolutely recommend it. While scribing at the first trial we used it you could see how well it absorbed the impact. Training and trialing primarily on A-frame's without slats, that is my personal preference. I believe Bug's brother Ransom broke a toe (or hurt his paw somehow) on slats. It is one of my big worries about doing AKC and even CPE with Bug. None of the dogs I see that cross-over from AKC seem to have trouble going slatless, posible because of the rubber? I think the bigger issue for Bug this weekend was the paint versus the rubber, but I could be wrong. that and the need to expose him to different equipment!

CardiCorgiOwner said...

Sounds like you had a great weekend--congrats on the 'Q's'!

Nancy said...

Great job at your trial Bug. And Stewie loves his rubber contacts too, they are the best! Keep up the good work, and go to lots of show and gos to get on new equipment, it will help!