Saturday, December 19, 2009

breaking the rules

Our league runs went well today. I didn't get them videoed. Honestly, I thought I was going to have "Oreo freak boy" today, given we were in a new place. I didn't want to watch another video of my dog scared out of his wits.

Oreo surprised me, yet again.

Not that our standard run was perfect. After the teeter, Oreo went around one jump, and dropped a bar. Plus, we missed the obstacle discrimination. Oreo tunneled, instead of taking the dogwalk. Seems to be a trend!

Still, Oreo was moving along. I thought the run was going to be more like our first week of league, where my dog was scared out of his mind. I was pleasantly surprised.

I think the missed jump/dropped bar were due to many items being stored in close proximity to those jumps. They were behind flexi gates, but still visible. I also felt Oreo was a bit confused with the rubber matting. His gait sounded funny to me. That may be why he dropped the bar.

However, Oreo did not seem too distracted or nervous about the large amount of people.


There was a lovely crating room at this facility. However, when I walked in, saw the activity, and heard the noise level, I knew it was no place for my dog! Oreo stayed in the car until it was time for the 12 inch dogs to run.

Our games run was one of those design your own course/strategy games. ARGH! I have no strategic skills!

I studied the map, and couldn't come up with a smooth, flowy pattern that would satisfy the requirements of the game.

I knew if I devised a strategy, I would be stressed out about it. Too much thinking! A choppy course would stress Oreo.

Since I was planning to use treats anyway, I decided to just run a straight line of ten obstacles. Forget about the rules of the game. Our run wasn't going to count toward any team points anyway, since I was using food in the ring.

We had 50 seconds to be in the ring, but the buzzer they were using had a horrible sound. I wanted to make sure we were out of there before it rang! I fed Oreo meatballs after the dogwalk (2 times), tunnels, and weave poles. Oreo seemed really surprised by all the rewards, and short course!

I was happy with my decision, because I wasn't stressed. Plus, Oreo didn't skip obstacles, hesitate, or drop any bars. As a bonus, we beat the annoying buzzer!

After our last jump, I heard the "judge" say, "Nice Job!" It is nice to hear that support, especially when you are breaking all the rules! Guess that is what leagues are all about. Doing what is right for your dog.

I went home with a happy dog.

2 happy dogs

Next time, I won't be afraid to get a video of our run!


Ricky the Sheltie said...

Your league sounds like so much fun! I don't think you should worry about taking video - Oreo is consistently doing quite well in new places and in noisy environments. Your plan for the game run was a good one with the short course and the treats! I think you do have strategic skills!

I can't see the photos - wonder why?

Diana said...

Thats so wonderful. I know what you mean about seeing your dog on video. I dont want to see my dog running around the table anymore either. Great job today. Diana

Sam said...

You made some great decisions for him and it paid off. Don't you LOVE being pleasantly surprised when they actually aren't afraid of a big event?

That's how I felt after our first real run-thru, only two days before our first (and only) trial. It was held at the trial site, so it was a test, so to speak, of how she'd do during the real thing. And she WOWED me.

I, like you, think I'm going to have to wind up avoiding crate rooms if and when we ever trial inside.

Jules said...

Woo-hoo! Go Sara and Oreo.

Dawn said...

Oreo's such an exciting dog to work with, and it's great when things go so well. Each time you do this he learns a little more and gains confidence! He's a happy guy, which makes you a happy mom!

madcobug said...

Sounds like he had a great day and a good time. Very good at home pictures of both of them. Love those of him catching his ball. Helen

Kathy said...

YEA!!!! It sounds like you made some AWESOME training decisions and it sounds like you had a very happy dog, that is so cool. I am so glad it went so well, I love it when that happens. The pictures really seem to tell the story, 2 Happy dogs!!!!

Nicki said...

Yeah for having fun