August Agility Update: The High’s & Low’s

by Melissa R. on August 22, 2011

Mocca LOVES the jumps!

Mocca LOVES the jumps!

Time for another dog agility competition! I was really excited for this one because my dog, Mocca, and I have been doing pretty well in our agility classes every week, and she has been stronger and faster on her weave polls. The weather looked to be steamy, with chances of thunderstorms, so I made sure to pack my rain gear and plenty of water & fans! Thankfully, the actual competition was indoors and air-conditioned.

First up was our Jumpers course. This was our first time competing as a “B” level (which means we have gotten our title in Excellent Jumpers, and are now working towards getting her Masters Agility Championship AKA MACH). The course is no different from “A” level, just looking to accumulated points now. I loved the course! It was twisty, turny, and altogether fun. It was a great challenge, and I walked that course as long as I possibly could to make sure I had it memorized perfectly and where I was going to do my front crosses. I had FOUR planned. Four is A LOT!

We ran it PERFECTLY! I was so excited when we were done. What an amazing job Mocca did listening and watching me! I even was able to complete all my planned front crosses, staying ahead of Mocca and not running into her or making her spin (and waste time). I think we have definitely achieved a level of confidence now I hope will stick. It is amazing what can happen when you trust in your dog and yourself!

Next up was Standard course. Standard course is not Mocca’s favorite. She just loves jumping and all the extra stuff in Standard is not as fun for her. We have YET to get a Q in Excellent Standard… And we STILL have yet to get a Q! The course was tough, as usual, but very heavy on handling and precision. There was no room for error. We watched the “big dogs” running, VERY FEW were getting through clean and I started to get worried. But, I realized that I have some great training behind me and am a strong handler so it should be OK for us. After walking it, I felt very confident we could do it.

Unfortunately, Mocca blew her weave pole entrance (time to practice more on the opposite side again…) and then I think we had an off course somewhere else. All in all though, it was a strong run, and we did everything perfectly, just that our off courses lost a Q for us. We’ll have to get that elusive first Q in Standard next time!

I wish I had some video to share of our Jumpers course – but maybe next time…

Check out related Dog Agility Posts

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.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Rosemary August 22, 2011 at 1:32 pm

Mocca sure looks like she’s having the time of her life in the photo. Congratulations on the Q! I would probably get an Off-Course NQ every time I tried agility, because I can’t remember stuff like that. At least in obedience, the judge tells you when to turn and stop, and in Rally, you just follow the signs.

My competition news is mixed, at best. Ilka NQ’d in her Beginner Novice class in Houston. She totally blew the heeling, because she was SO not having fun. I actually thought she was going to jump over the ring and run to her crate on the Recall! She did better at heeling in the Pre-Novice class, and did great on her Stand for Examination. She still jumps, so I had some concerns over that, but all four feet stayed on the floor. Long Sit and Long Down went pretty well, also. Second in a class of two, but at least it was experience for me on the judge giving orders as we heeled. Beginner Novice uses Rally signs for heeling.

Lucky has his CGC! Ilka is repeating the same training class next month, and hopefully, she’ll get her CGC this time around. I got Lucky a Canine Partners listing, rather than a PAL, and plan on going for his Rally Novice and Beginner Novice titles later on this fall. I am going to try the new Coursing Ability Test with Ilka. She loves to run, and this will give her a chance to run flat out, without being fussed at for running. However, I think 600 yards in 2 minutes is too much for Lucky (finally starting to show his age some), and he doesn’t qualify for the 300 yards in 1.5 minute course, so he won’t be running.

Melissa August 24, 2011 at 10:55 am

Hi Rosemary! I love hearing about Lucky & Ilka. Goodo job Lucky on the CGC!!! Way to go! I hope you get there with Ilka as well. Sounds like such fun. I bet Ilka likes the Coursing Agility with the running! Keep us posted.

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