Sunday, May 31, 2009


OK, I was in a little over my head at this seminar. It was geared toward getting people ready for the CPE nationals, which are next weekend.

Considering we have yet to run in our first CPE trial, most of this stuff was new to us!

However, everyone was very kind, understanding, and willing to answer all my questions (and I had many).

The seminar focused on snooker in the morning and jackpot (gamblers) in the afternoon.

I hadn't read the rules for either. Snooker seemed too complicated, and I knew we weren't ready for jackpot, since it requires distance work.

Oops. Wish I had brought my handbook with me.

I got a crash course in snooker from the instructor while everyone walked the course.

Then, I watched and listened to other people as they walked, and picked up some good tips.

Oreo and I went, and for our first try at snooker, I thought we did OK. We got the first part done, but when we got to the closing sequence, Oreo popped out of the weave poles.

Overall though, I thought we did OK, considering how clueless I was going in.

The instructor said, "Look out, she is going to be a hard one to beat once she gets going in CPE."

That was cool.

Our second snooker didn't go so well. It was much trickier. I think I only got to number 3 on the closing sequence.

The instructor wanted me to click/treat every time Oreo looked at a distraction (dog/bar setter/her) and then looked back at me. She thinks that will help with his confidence.

I think that is great advice, but hard for me to do! I hate to stop the flow once we get going on a sequence. However, in the long run, I'm sure it will help Oreo's confidence and make him a faster dog, especially in trials.

After lunch, we did the jackpot(gamblers) course. I knew this would not be easy for us, no matter how much work we'd done on distance training in the backyard.

Our first run, Oreo did none of the "gamble", and the instructor said, "I think he's just not ready for this yet."

Our second turn, I decided to try and send him through part of the gamble, a tunnel which was relatively close to the line (the black squared 3 in the diagram below). Oreo went in, and I clicked and treated for that. The next part was to get on the table to stop the clock.

Oreo was at my hand for his treat, when the instructor said, "See if you can send him to the table."

Boy, the table seemed really far away from the line.

I said, "Oreo table," and put out my two hands in a push like motion.

Well, wouldn't you know it, Oreo ran right to the table and jumped on it just like we practiced at home!

I cheered, everyone cheered. The instructor said, "That dog just did his first distance work!"

Yeah us!

You should have seen Oreo prancing out of the ring.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

table, jumps, and some ghetto cones

This morning, I worked briefly on sends to table. I started by putting a target with treats on the table. That worked great. Oreo went right to the target without hesitation.

However, after several repetitions, I took the target away, and I wasn't able to get as much distance as I had hoped. We'll keep practicing with the target. I guess I wanted too much too soon. I was able to send him from the end of the tunnel to the table.

I am sure we will be doing some table sends at my seminar tomorrow, as it is based on prepping for the CPE nationals. I am hoping to learn a lot about how the games are played and some strategies for the best way to handle them.

Here is a video of our table send practice. In CPE, you just need to get on the table, not sit/down. I use "splat" for when I want Oreo to go to the table and lay down. So, that is why he is just jumping on the table.

Later in the day, I set up a jump square and did some short sequences. I made myself a set of cones, out of a cheap set of plastic tumblers I found at the grocery store. I used a sharpie to write the numbers on the cups. This made it so much easier for me! Now, I don't have to carry the book/magazine around with me, turning it this way and that, trying to remember the course. I'm very excited. I searched the web/target/the depot for some cheap cones, but I didn't even want to pay a dollar for each (am I cheap or what). These were 4 for $1! Bargain. My students would call them "ghetto".

Thursday, May 28, 2009


I went to agility class last night. It was held indoors, due to rain.

We did two sequences, that involved about 17 obstacles. There were some tricky jump patterns, along with obstacle discriminations (tunnel under the A-Frame).

Two things we haven't done since class moved outside - table and chute- were also set up. Oreo will never really have to do a "table stay" in CPE or DOCNA. However, in some CPE games, to stop the clock, the dog has to jump on the table. Therefore, we should be working on a send to table.

Oreo did great, as usual. My teacher said, "Wow, he's speedy today."

I said, "Really? We've been working on it!"

That was great to hear.

We had no trouble with the obstacle discriminations. However, Oreo never did get the weave poles done right from start to finish. I think it had to do with where they were set up - close to the door. It is hard for Oreo to focus, when he feels he needs to keep an eye on other dogs, people, etc.

On our last sequence, we had a straight line of three jumps, into the closed tunnel. Oreo really gained some speed going over the jumps, and I sent him to the tunnel from the last jump. I purposely stopped my motion to see if he would go on by himself. Oreo never even hesitated, and went barreling into the chute.

That was huge, because the tunnel was facing the door/people/dogs. I was really happy. Speed, and a slight bit of distance.

I have to give kudos to my two classmates this week and their dogs. One dog had his leg removed two months ago, due to cancer. Wow! What resilience animals have. He was so happy to be out there again, running agility, on his three legs! Another dog, had had two broken front legs and was going to be put down, when my classmate paid to have him put back together. His gait is slightly different, but you'd never know it if you weren't looking for it. That dog is so exuberant, and he is just a blast to watch, even if he never takes an obstacle. There was also a lab puppy who picked up all the cones and rearranged them. Guess he wanted to re-number the course. Then, my teacher's dog sang a song when he got on the table.

Agility is so entertaining.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

on to the weave poles....

Now that I have made progress on our tunnel skills, I want to speed up our weave poles.

I tried a bunch of things this weekend. I put a target with treats at the end of the weave poles. I threw a treat tube after the weave poles. I threw Oreo's ball and tug toy after the poles.

The treat tube and toys seemed to work best. I made a video of it yesterday, using his tug toy. When I watched the video, I noticed Oreo looking to me to throw his toy, after about the third pole. I know that isn't good. So, I'm going to have to work on my timing.

I decided to go back to working on "driving into the tunnel". Oreo had great speed coming out of the tunnel, but not so great going in. Later in the morning, I set up my new, smaller (6 ft) tunnel. I sent Oreo thru the straight tunnel, by throwing his ball thru the tunnel. This worked really well. His enthusiasm really picked up. The only downfall to this tunnel is it doesn't have straps to stake it down. I am going to have to come up with something to hold it in place. Tunnel bags are quite pricey, but seem relatively easy to make. Maybe that will be a project for me when school ends.

If only Oreo would tunnel this fast during agility:

Since Oreo seems to be in love with this new smaller tunnel, I decided to use that for motivation on speeding up his weave poles today. Oreo is always ready to go when I get home from work. So, this is what I did as soon as I got home today.

I still have a problem bending over too much. I keep telling myself, "stand up straight", but I don't listen to myself! However, I was happy with his speed. He seemed to pick up speed the closer he got to the tunnel, because he knew his ball was coming. Plus, he wasn't looking at my hand as much as yesterday for the toy.

As usual, I am open to suggestions.

Monday, May 25, 2009

fun in the yard

Oreo says, "Come with me to my backyard! It is totally fun!"

"Misty! Look! The chickens are talking to me!"

"What? I don't believe you Oreo. Those aren't real chickens. They can't talk."

"Let me have a listen myself."

"Ha, Ha! I tricked you Misty!!!!!!"

Misty says, "Youngsters. And I interrupted my very important, and satisfying plant eating for that."

memorial day

On Memorial Day, I stop and think about all the brave men and women who have sacrificed their lives, serving our country. I think of the sacrifices and extreme loss their families have had to face. They are heroes too.

Memorial weekend also is a time when I think of my niece, Sabine, my nephew's twin, who died this time of year seven years ago. Sabine lived only a few brief weeks, but touched so many of our hearts. Why is it that seven years have passed, but I can still remember those days like yesterday? She was so beautiful, and felt so good in my arms.

So today, I am sending love to Theo's angel, Sabine,

Forever in our hearts.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

yes, more tunnel videos

Hope everyone is enjoying their holiday weekend. The dogs spent much of their day lolling around the yard. Misty loves to just lay on the deck and watch the world go by.

We did some more tunnel work in the morning, before it got too warm. Are you getting sick of my tunnel videos yet? I am! But, I like being able to see our progression.

Here is one from Friday:

And one I took this morning:

This is the first Saturday since January that we didn't have an agility class, seminar, or trial. It seemed so strange to have the whole day free! Next Sunday, we have our day long seminar. Yea!

Friday, May 22, 2009

throwing skills

OK, I heeded every one's advice (except maybe my Dad's - still working on my feet), and I think this ball throwing thing is working for us.

Here is a video I shot this morning. I'm really happy with Oreo's progress. Next, I am going to add a jump, and see if I can send him over two jumps into the tunnel, and still keep that speed going, while increasing distance.

I wasn't doing a lot of verbal commands in this video, because it was really early in the morning and I didn't want to disturb sleeping neighbors and husband!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

thanks to my team of experts

I took Oreo to an agility class last night, and was anxious to try out our newly acquired skill, "send to tunnel".

The first course we did was all jumps, with one tunnel. I tried to send Oreo into the tunnel from about 6-8 feet away. He headed right toward the tunnel, went in, must have realized I wasn't following him, and came out. Darn.

I ran with him, then he took the tunnel and I made a big deal out of it.

We tried the sequence again, and the second time, he did go into the tunnel, just the wrong end. I said, "I'll take it!" He went into the tunnel, and came driving out. Yes!

We repeated a few jumps and the tunnel one more time, and this time everything worked. We had distance, the right entrance, and drive coming out. I was really happy.

The next sequence involved more equipment. My teacher had a course set up already, but she decided to put out another set of cones for Oreo. He needed a more challenging course than the other dogs! Imagine that.

Oreo was so excited to get out on the field. I took off his leash, and he went running straight to the gate. He did great on his tunnels. I was able to get to our next obstacle while he was in the tunnel. This made him really speed up. As soon as Oreo caught a glimpse of me when he was rounding the bend in the tunnel, he really started running. In one sequence, we did tunnel, jump, weaves. My teacher said his weaves that time were really fast. I think it all had to do with the tunnel.

Oreo also didn't stop at the top of the dogwalk to look around. He wasn't running at top speed, but he was definitely faster and more focused than usual. This was impressive, because my teacher did have a few of her own dogs out in her yard, which Oreo usually would stop to look at.

Overall, I was really happy. I am going to keep doing our tunnel exercises, along with the "go on" work, since it seems to be working!

Thanks again to everyone who gave me tips and suggestions. It's so nice having my own team of experts to turn to!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

can't throw a ball

I was working on sending Oreo into the tunnel, and it was going really well. So, I decided to see if he would "go on" ahead for some jumps. We had done it in the past, but haven't really been working on it consistently.

Oreo did three jumps, albeit they were close together, on the first try. I think things are finally clicking in Oreo's brain.

I say, "go", Oreo moves ahead. I have been saying "go" even when we just play ball. I say, "go", and he runs out ahead, then I throw the ball.

Here's a short video of the jumps, and a few more of our tunnel work. I tried throwing the ball into the tunnel and after the tunnel, but I really suck at throwing. Sometimes, Oreo would catch the ball while it was in the tunnel, and then he would come back out the wrong way. So, I stopped doing that. Then, I tried throwing the ball as he came out of the tunnel, and that was a disaster. My timing was way off, I would bonk him in the head, or the ball would get lost in the bushes. I can't tell you how much of my day is spent searching for orbees in hosta plants.

Anyway, I went back to putting his ball/treats after the last jump for now, until I can perfect my ball throwing skills. Maybe I should go to some PE classes at my school, to make up for all the ones I skipped (no really, I had another band lesson) while I was in high school, and learn how to throw a ball.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Oreo's 7

We were tagged by Dawn and Katie to list Oreo's favorite 7 things. I think we've done something similar before, but maybe his list has changed as he has er, matured...

Here is what Oreo told me are his 7 favorite things:

1. Misty chasing me. I let her catch me. Really. She couldn't catch me if I didn't let her. She tries though.
2. My orbee ball. I like catching it in mid air, and then running away so Mommy has to chase me to get it back. She can't catch me either! Sometimes the ball bounces over the fence and Mommy has to go fish it out of the creek. That is really funny. Her feet come back all muddy, and the ball smells soooooo good! Daddy had to fish it out of the toilet though. Mommy refused. I don't see what the problem was.

3. My cookie after dinner. Oh yea, and dinner isn't so bad either. Snack time is pretty cool too. Oh yea, and Daddy gives me cheerios every morning. Some days, he gets up late and I have to pounce on him to get him out of bed. Geez, what a dog has to do to get his fiber.

4. Escaping from my seat belt and getting to leap into the front seat! Who says you need thumbs to undo a latch? I really am so clever.

5. Tugging. You should see how strong I am. I am Super Dog!

6. Eating the plants in my garden. Yum. Wanna try some? I recommend the echinacea leaf. Mommy says it is good for the immune system - whatever that is.

7. Kong time when Mommy leaves in the morning with her big bag. Then, when she comes back later, with the big bag, and gives me a treat for jumping all over her when she comes in the door. Then, we go outside and play ball, do agility games, tug, or chase.

Ah, life is good when you are me, Oreo cookie dog.
Oh yea, and Mommy said I have to say that I think Katie is really pretty. I guess. If you like girls that is.

Monday, May 18, 2009

tunnel work

Here is a video of some tunnel practice that Lian suggested. I started with using Oreo's ball at the end of the tunnel, and later switched to treats. I wanted to watch the video to see which made Oreo drive faster. Hard for me to tell. With the ball, he keeps running after the tunnel, while the treats make him stop. However, the treats may be creating more drive into the tunnel.

Regardless, Oreo seemed to LOVE this game. So, we will keep playing, and I will keep moving myself further away from the tunnel. Plus, we still have one more element to add - a jump after the tunnel. I didn't want to overdo it though. I switched between running with him, and standing still to try and keep his motivation up.

I think I need to increase my verbal cues and cheerleading. When we practice, I tend to concentrate too much, and forget to root for Oreo!

Sorry we're off camera in a few spots.

After dinner, I went back outside, and just for kicks said "go tunnel". Well, Oreo ran straight across the yard into the tunnel!!!!!!

He got lots of orbee time after that.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

crash & burn

I set up a speed circle this afternoon. I really wish I had another tunnel. I'd like to make a circle with two tunnels, and jumps in between.

I decided to help stimulate the economy by ordering myself another tunnel today. It was on sale!

Not only was I working on speed, but also on sending Oreo to the tunnel, with my feet stopped at the jump before the tunnel. We always run into problems at tunnels in class. Therefore, we really need to work on tunnels at home. I don't want to have to walk Oreo to the tunnel entrance every time he has to go in one.

You will see my first crash and burn video. It is not my first crash, just the first one caught on tape! Not to worry - I'm fine. Jeff said, "That's a good way to break a hip."

He's so supportive.

At the end of the video, you will see a sequence we did in Misty's class yesterday. You can use it to practice serpentines and threadles. It is hard! At least for me. My teacher called it the "circle of doom".

Saturday, May 16, 2009

back to the yard!

We had small classes today. Guess all the labs were at an obedience thing or a dock diving event this weekend. This equated to a lot of time on the field, and a much needed shower after class!

After spending a week working on motivation, speed, and a bit of distance work in the backyard, I wasn't sure what to expect from Oreo. I was afraid I may have over trained him.

Well, as soon as we pulled into their driveway, Oreo was crying and barking. Then, he was pulling me toward the gate of the agility field. He was ready to go.

It is hard for me to tell if Oreo was any faster in class than usual. His weaving seemed slow, and he is always slow on the dogwalk - looking around. We had some tunnel refusals, especially where there was an A-Frame/tunnel discrimination. That was my fault. My feet weren't always in the right position. or I started pulling away, or stopped my feet, etc. One of my classmates said Oreo seemed much more confident than he did at the trial.

Oreo's jumping was great. That was definitely fast. I am really excited about the jumpers course we signed up for in DOCNA in July. DOCNA's jumpers courses have only jumps - nothing else. So, the judge can actually sit down! That should really help Oreo's confidence. No strange person looming over him!

Here is a video I shot yesterday in the yard. It is a simple setup, and I have lowered my bars significantly, as suggested, to try and help Oreo gain some speed.

My neighbor came outside, with his dog, and that cause a MAJOR distraction. Misty was barking. Oreo was running around crazy. The other neighbor's dog was barking.

Misty had a good class too. We did some serps and threadle practice, channel weaves (which Misty did really good at~had the whole butt wiggle going on), and a couple 11 obstacle sequences. Misty bailed on the dogwalk again. Clearly, I am going to have to stay right next to her while she is up there. If I run ahead, she jumps! Other than that, she did great.

I ran Oreo on their last course before we left. I just wanted to make sure he would still work for me inside the building. I don't want to have to start from scratch again when the weather gets cold and we move back inside!

He did fine. He refused the teeter, but I think that was because they had rubber mats sitting underneath it to soften the "bang" noise.

So, overall a successful day! Now, back to the yard!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Oreo's turn

Took these photos yesterday. Today is windy and stormy. My parents are without power. The nasty weather has thrown a wrench in my training/play schedule! Tomorrow should be better.

Oreo feels like Misty has been getting all the attention in the photo ops lately, so here are a few featuring Oreo:
Oreo in the dog garden
Misty goes for the neck!

Oreo escapes!
Happy dog!

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

serps and turf

Here is a video I shot yesterday of some more serpentine practice. Both dogs had done some serpentines in their class on Saturday.

Today, we are working on some games on the flat (turf), that Lian suggested, to help increase speed and distance. Then in a few days, we will add some obstacles and also some speed circles, like Diana suggested.

I signed us up for a full day handling seminar at the end of May. I'm looking forward to learning a lot at that!

Dogs on a Mission
Misty in the Dog Garden

Monday, May 11, 2009

still trying for more speed

Here is a video of a bit of our tug game. Some days, we just play "chase me" with the tug toy. The past few days, I've been trying to work the game into Oreo's startline routine (lets me get a running start), that is what you will see in the video.

One of my classmates, who is also an instructor, suggested playing chase, and to not give Oreo the toy until he catches me. Well, Oreo catches me pretty fast! If anyone has any suggestions about how I could be utilizing this game in a better way to increase his speed and motivation, I would really appreciate any suggestions.

Here's a video of a sequence we practiced yesterday. When I was running with Oreo, I felt like I was doing long lead outs, and creating distance after the tunnel. However, when I looked at the video, it didn't look that way at all! What is up with that? Can I keep blaming things on the camera angle?

Lian, my agility guru, had said that having the dogs watch each other doing agility would make them "keener" when it was their turn. Lian, you were right again! I think having them "wait their turn" on the table is really making a difference. Oreo got quite annoyed at one point (I edited his annoying barking out), when Misty got more than her fair share of time with the obstacles. I think that is helping Oreo pick up speed as well, at least at home.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

two teeter crazy dogs

OK, now I have two teeter crazy dogs. Misty has become obsessed with teetering. It is quite charming, considering how terrified she was of it when we first started out.

Amazing what fears a dog can overcome with some treats. I think Misty is really starting to enjoy agility, and isn't just in it for the treats anymore.

Had to throw in a shot of Oreo - so he doesn't feel left out. He is kinda used to getting all the limelight.

Happy Mother's Day!

Happy Mother's Day!

Hope all you moms - of both humans and/or dogs- have a wonderful day!

Saturday, May 9, 2009

fun time

I had a fun time at school today. Oreo did really well. Didn't take him long to get focused at all. We practiced some sequences with a lot of turning. We tried handling the same sequence several different ways, which was fun. We got to see which way worked better for us.

At one point, all of our classmates/dogs were waiting in the ring. I had Oreo outside the ring. Well, he started pulling me toward the gate. He wanted to get back in there! I thought that was great.

I got really good advice today to increase Oreo's speed. When I send him in a tunnel, I need to go way out to the next obstacle, rather than hang out at the other end of the tunnel. Then, call him to me. I didn't understand at first, but when I tried it, wow did it make sense. Oreo really came running to that jump.

I need to stop babying him, and start creating distance. Playing chase in the yard, where he has to catch me and his tug toy is on the agenda for this week.

I also got to run with one of my classmate's border collies. She wants him to get used to running with other people. It was fun. He did good, until we turned to go back toward the finish, and he saw his mom! Then, he ran right to her and forgot all about me!

Misty's class was held indoors. Too much sniffing, peeing, etc. going on with the youngsters last week. So, my teacher decided it was better to keep them indoors. I think it was a good move.

There was an 11 obstacle sequence set up. We backchained the sequence, starting with the teeter and tunnel chute.

Misty really rocked the teeter in class. She had so much confidence and speed. I had to slow her down.

She didn't want to do the chute at first, and needed it held open the first two tries. After that, she was good to go.

Misty jumped off the top of the dogwalk on her first try. Some thought it was because she saw the tunnel under the dogwalk. I'm not sure. I got her right back up, and fed her lots of treats each time she got up there.

When we did the whole sequence, Misty was awesome! She didn't miss an obstacle, except the A-Frame, which I purposely had her go around. I think it is just too high for her old bones. She did a 5 second down on the table,a flip from the dogwalk, into the tunnel. She even RAN to the teeter, and ended with the chute.

I was ready to enter her in a trial. I was so proud of her.

My teacher said that DOCNA is considering lowering the A-Frame to 5 feet for some classes, so you never know! They do have a "grand veteran" division.

back to school

Yesterday, I worked short sequences, and send to table. I am still practicing an immediate down on the table (with the word "splat"). I think Oreo finally has it.

Lately, when I have been practicing with Oreo, I have tied Misty to the table. In this exercise, I couldn't quite do that. So, I just left her out there with us. I like how she went to the table with us each time.

I've been reading the descriptions for the various "games" in agility trials, and the "gambler" events require working at a distance from each other. This is going to be hard for us. In CPE, the distance starts out relatively close in Level 1, 5 feet or less. I think in DOCNA, the gamble section is 8 feet away in beginners. Yikes! That seems really far away.

Anyway, I am going to practice being further away from Oreo at home. It would be easier if I had a bigger backyard, and could spread my equipment out more.

Luckily, my teacher has a HUGE backyard, and we are going back to school this morning. Hoping the rain holds off so class will be outside.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

reading and listening

Here's a video of some backyard practice.

I've entered Oreo and me in a couple runs in a June trial - a jumpers run and a standard run. This will be our first CPE trial, and our first trial in a new location. However, they are having run throughs the day before the trial. I am hoping to work my exam proctoring schedule out, so I can have that day off from work (or at least the afternoon). I think bringing Oreo to the run throughs the day before will help a lot. At least I hope! Food is allowed in the run throughs! I plan on giving him chicken for any obstacle he takes, or any time he looks at me. Happy, happy, happy.

In the beginner level of CPE, Oreo won't even have to do weaves or teeter! Seems silly. We could start in level 2, but I think we'll stick with level 1 and work our way up.

Anyway, my plan for the next few weeks is to work on weaves, jump sequences, and motivation. I am doing a lot of tugging games with Oreo in the yard. He seems to be loving that. Will he tug in class? Doubtful, but I am going to try. I've been reading a lot of articles and books about motivation and play. We do all the things they suggest at home, but for some reason, he is still too stressed to play in class, let alone a trial setting. He does do his tricks though. Somehow, I need to get creative, and figure out how to get his tricks to translate to speed in the ring.

Maybe I want too much, too fast. For now, I'll keep reading and listening and trying.

Monday, May 4, 2009

great photos of oreo

To see some great photos of Oreo at the trial click on this link, and then arrow to the right, there are some more of Oreo after the papillion.

I plan on ordering a lot of these photos. Aren't they great?

Today, I finally brought the second set of 6 weave poles out of the guest bedroom and connected them to my set outside.

First two tries, Oreo popped out halfway through, but then every time after he never missed a pole!

We'll see if he can do it in class this weekend. Poor dog, doesn't get a day off. Looks like he's having fun though.

This dog has drive - I just need to figure out how to produce that drive at a trial!

Sunday, May 3, 2009

Trial day two

When I got to the trial today, the judge was out walking her dog. She said to me, "You know, most dogs don't get two Q's in their first trial. It usually takes a while. So I hope you know what an accomplishment that is."

That was nice to hear. I know it is a big accomplishment. If only she had seen my dog a few weeks ago, running in random circles around that very same field! Then, she would know how huge it really was for us.

My day started with getting talked into trying out the North American Challenge run. If we Q'd, we would be able to go to the championships, even though we are still in the beginner level. We would just have to do this run at the next level up, Intern.

I walked the course twice, thought OK, we can do this. So, I added my name to the list.

Oreo did great. He popped out of the weave poles, but even with that fault you can still Q. Unfortunately, he back jumped one jump in the corner. So we got a NQ.

Still, we had fun, and it was good to try a more challenging course. Time to really work on those 12 poles.

Next up Standard 3. If we Q'd we be getting our first "Title" = cool fancy ribbon.

Oreo did great. He got hung up again around the tire, but I was able to get him back on track and he finished under time! Yea Oreo!

Last up was strategic time gamble. Your first 30 seconds, you make your own course, accumulating points as you go. Beginners need 15. No problem with that. After the buzzer, we had 16 seconds to rack up more points, then get over the final jump before the buzzer, but no sooner than one second earlier than the buzzer. However, if you got the bonus that gave you an extra second either way. CONFUSING!

Needless to say, I messed up. Jeff tried to scoot us to the end, but I didn't even hear him. Oreo did!

All in all, it was a great weekend. We had fun, Oreo did great, and I'm looking forward to our next trial. I'm hoping Oreo will continue to gain some confidence, and pick up some speed.

DOCNA is a really friendly venue, especially for beginners. I highly recommend it, if it is available near you! The nicest part about this trial was how wonderful the people were. Everyone was friendly, supportive, kind. There was really no competitiveness. Everyone was just there to have a good time. Dog people are the best people.

Saturday, May 2, 2009


"1,2,3,4. Wow, look at all these ribbons. I must be one amazing dog like Mommy always says!"

"Why aren't they beef flavored? That seems like it would be a better idea."

"I wish I could share a ribbon with you Misty. It was nice having you at the trial today to make my wait times less lonely."


Well, I couldn't be happier with my dog. Oreo is amazing.

We did two rounds of standard today, and Oreo Q'd in both. If he gets one more Q tomorrow, he gets a title (I have no idea what all this means, but it sounds exciting!). If he doesn't Q tomorrow, we'll try for our third Q in the July DOCNA trial.

One big accomplishment was Oreo was the only beginner dog, in all height classes, to Q (qualify) in round 2! For you non agility folks, that means Oreo didn't make any mistakes (drop bars, miss the yellow contact zones, miss weave poles, pee or poop in the ring, etc.) and he finished under the alloted time. Wow!

Oreo got a bit hung up by the the various people in the ring, and I had to adjust my handling to put myself between them. That got me tangled up, but not Oreo!

Like I said, he's amazing. He got to eat grilled bison steak as his reward.

I decided to not bother trying my startline routine. I went with the ol' "drop and go". I didn't want to give Oreo any chance to start freaking out. It worked. I'm going to wait to do our "line up", until he is doing it consistently in class.

Oreo came in "first" in both runs, but to be honest it was such a small trial, I think he may have been the only dog running in that particular height and division.

We'll still take that blue ribbon though!

His time improved by 6 seconds in round 2. It was the same course, just in reverse. The judge told me that Oreo's confidence improved the second time, that is why he had a quicker time.

That was nice to hear from the judge. She was really nice.

Here's the video from today:

Here are our course maps, if anyone is interested.