Agility: Will We Get Our Next Title Today?

by Melissa R. on November 7, 2009

Mocca with her Title Ribbon

Mocca with her Title Ribbon

Day 1:
Another Agility Trial weekend has concluded! I was very nervous about this one. Would we get our last Q needed in Open Jumpers to get our Title and move on to the more difficult Excellence level? Would we get our FIRST Q in Open Standard, which we seem stuck on? So much to think about….

Open Standard was a good course, but, as is the story lately, we did not Q. We were very close though, and aside from missing our Weave Entrance, and popping out at the end of the Weaves, we had a clean run! We are so close to finally Q’ing in here…I just can’t stand it! Will it ever happen?

Open Jumpers was also a good course, and lo & behold….We ran it GREAT! We only had one fault with (yet another) weave pole entrance not right. However, we held it together for the rest of the run and GOT OUR TITLE! This means now we get to join the more seasoned veterans in the Excellence group, and also, an earlier start time. Now we will have to be there at 8am instead of “sometime before noon”, which has been very enjoyable. We have to drive 2 hours to get there, so getting up at 5am is not going to be fun.

Day 2:
5am……….so not good. We somehow managed to get packed up and out the door nearly on time, and got to the trial area at 7:30 for our first day in the Excellence Jumpers group. We all walked the course first, and then the group was split into two – big dogs first, then medium-little dogs. Big dog handlers then walked the course again, and then started running. We are in the medium-small dog group as we run 16″ height, so we had to wait a bit. When we finally were able to walk the course, I used all our time, and had this course memorized perfectly. It was the TOUGHEST course we have ever ran, and included four front crosses which are not my best thing. (A front cross is when you run out in front of your dog, turning them the way they need to go and saving them from a trap jump or other types of traps).

The Run: As excited as I was to run this difficult course, I was also very nervous to be in with these experienced agility handlers, and I think that came into play. After our initial sequence (and missed weave entry, again), Mocca ran off course, and this threw me off completely. After that, I forgot a tunnel-jump portion of the course, and we had several other refusals – all my fault. We managed to recover and run the end sequence well, and the video looks a lot better than it actually was. I was very disappointed, but happy that Mocca had a great time and we got our 1st Excellence run under our belt. What did I learn? Don’t be so nervous, and trust in my dog! See the video below:

We then had to wait several hours for our Open Standard class and killed time having breakfast, and talking to some of the people at the trial, which is always enjoyable.

Our Open Standard course finally came up, and it was a tough one. All in all, we had a good run – we were strong on all the hard parts I was worried about, but took a few missteps on some easy parts, which resulted in an N.Q. for us. So close….again. When will we get a Q? I am very frustrated now, but must learn to chalk it all up to experience, and trust that we’ll get there someday. See the video below:

Does anybody else have Agility experiences to share with me? How long does it normally take to Q in Open Standard? Am I just expecting too much?

Thanks goes out to Camp Bandy in Amherst Junction, WI, and the Wisconsin Rapids Kennel Club for putting together a great trial.

For more information on the sport of dog agility, check out some of my other articles:

About the author: Melissa is a devoted pet owner with several cats: Kai, Cirrhi & Ritter; and the newest addition, Emme a Nova Scotia Duck Tolling Retriever. Melissa is an avid dog agility enthusiast, and hopes her new pup will someday be an agility champion! She is a Graphic Designer and Project Coordinator for the and websites. She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design from Michigan State University and is a lifelong pet lover and owner. See more articles by Melissa R.

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dfspetblog March 25, 2010 at 2:38 pm


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