On Saturday we drove south to Lethbridge for their agility trial. CB was entered in one Novice standard run and two Novice jumpers with weaves runs. We had some close runs but in the end came home with no Q’s.
Our first run was Standard. By the time Novice standard started the heat coming off the grass was already a little oppressive and I was a bit concerned with it being too hot for CB. We were the first dog up, which can be tricky because with CB if you take too long to start you loose him. You have to get him in the ring and just go. With being first we ended up being called up to the ring and then waiting for the okay to go to the start line. Since food and toys are not allowed with in 10 feet of the ring our momentum quickly went away and our run was slow. He still did pretty well, but I confused him on a jump which caused a refusal – and our first NQ of the day.
Our Novice jumpers with weaves run was clean but again slow and we didn’t make standard course time. We were first up to the line and because of the heat I didn’t want to tire him out with too much play before we started, so CB wasn’t as motivated as he usually was. That was our second NQ of the day.
For agility trials I usually use little pieces of cheeseburger for motivation. For the second jumpers run we tried some buffalo heart. It seemed to do the job as CB was rev’d up after seeing this stuff. My husband ran him this time to get some trial practice in before the AKC show. Timing was still tricky but he was able to keep CB engaged while waiting to start. CB started off really fast (so I think I can let my heat concerns go to rest) but the timer wasn’t ready so they had to go back to the start line. That’s essentially like giving CB a correction and it’s hard to get him back after that. The run went okay until they got to the weaves and he was then slow after that.
With being new to trials we are learning so much every time. I’m also now realizing that CB is slow with me when it’s warmer out because I’m stressed about it and I make him slow. I see after watching his last jumpers run that he’s totally fine and I can engage him, motivate him and not worry. I have been jazzing him up only to then make him calm down before we even get to the start. I don’t do the same thing when it’s cooler. Fortunately I’ll have a few more trials to figure out how not to be his buzz kill.
The trial itself was really well organized and went very fast. We were done just after noon, which gave us plenty of time to take CB and Kona down to the Oldman River for a some play and to cool off a little in the water before heading home.