Saturday Bug competed in his first ASCA trial. My club co-hosts one ASCA trial a year and since I planned on volunteering to work for the day, I thought I would enter Bug. Our judge was a wonderful fellow from Alberta!
One of the REALLY nice things about ASCA is that they have a Pre-Novice class. This is a training class that can be used to get novice agility dogs used to running at a trial. There are no weaves or teeter in the Pre-Novice class and it is not a qualifying run for anything (although they do give placements). Our club offered two Pre-Novice classes each day. I am not sure if that is the norm for an ASCA trial or not.
I entered Bug in Jumpers and both Pre-Novice classes on Saturday.
Jumpers was first thing in the morning and given it got up to about 90 degrees - that is a great thing. I have noticed that Bug and I tend to be disconnected at agility trials. I feel like I can't be guaranteed I am cool enough to keep his attention and have him want to work with me. To remedy this issue we have been going back to basics at home to try and reinforce our relationship.
Saturday the Open and Novice classes were very small. During the Open class I walked Bug around the grounds. We worked on Sit, Down, Touch, and played with the practice jump and his rabbit tug. I also c/t for any eye contact.
I then crated him, walked the novice course, and ran to get him as we were the first dog on the line.
I felt better about our possibilities right from the start line. I felt connected with my dog. The course was very simple and though I walked it with two front crosses I ended up doing one rear cross (smoothly no less) and one front cross. I verbally rewarded Bug much more frequently than is normal for me (I think). This probably could have gone either way - he could have tuned me out or it could work to keep him focused and engaged with me. It kept him focused and engaged. Q/1 and our YPS was the fastest of the 16" and under dogs. We didn't come anywhere near most of the 20" dogs YPS!
Bug had an adjustment after his Jumpers run. The great news is that Bug's pelvis and adjustments held from the last time he saw Cheryl - about 2 and a half weeks ago. This is HUGE. We (the chiropractor and I) decided not to run him in the Pre-Novice classes. Cheryl felt his right foreleg was a little sore. Putting him on contacts with a sore leg when he isn't 100% about contacts to begin with.....Sounds like a stupid idea, doesn't it? So I didn't! Given Bug is going to be showing in breed a lot in the next month I want to make sure he stays sound. Once he is finished and the breed ring weight is off we will become more serious about agility.
I am so glad that Bug's one and only run was first thing in the morning. It was a brutally hot day and most of the people and dogs had run out of steam by the time Regular was being run (mid-afternoon).
I had a good time and will probably get a permanent registration number for Bug so that we can accrue legs toward titles. (Another nice thing about ASCA is they accept mixed breeds and you can enter a trial without having a registration number. The legs earned without a permanent number just don't count for anything.)
13 hours ago