Saturday, December 4, 2010

league match

Kathy asked if we get our league course maps ahead of time, and the answer is yes. Usually a few days ahead. She also asked for video, but I didn't get any this match. We are in/out of the ring so fast, you blink and our run is over, I kind of figured, what's the point? Maybe next time.

Our league alternates between 3 different training facilities, this is the one that is the most difficult for Oreo.

For our standard run, I switched plans after watching the big dogs run. All the equipment at the site was wooden. Many of the dogs were slipping/bailing on the dogwalk. I didn't want to risk an injury/freak out moment due to equipment. So, I changed my sequence a bit to avoid that obstacle.

Our run went.....jump, tire, teeter, treat.....Oreo transforms into secret service officer.

I thought he was looking behind the upcoming tunnel, where a bunch of equipment was haphazardly being stored.

He goes around the next jump, then hesitates about going in the tunnel.

I get him in the tunnel, and click while he's in the tunnel & reward him at the exit. We do A-frame, treat, jump, jump, treats, and leave.

I look back at the course, still trying to figure out what the heck freaked him out. That's when I saw a man sitting in a ring crew chair, in direct line from the teeter. Don't know how I missed him on course. However, there was not much I could have done about it anyway.

Regardless, Oreo still started and finished good. Plus, he was eager to go in the ring, and relaxed in the parking lot.

Before round 2, Oreo was nervous in the parking lot, freezing in place. I had to get my target out to help him focus on me, not the scary surroundings. Once we did that a few minutes, he was walking OK. We hung out in the doorway with some friends and their dogs. He was able to do simple tricks.

In the hole, he was eager to go. We did jump, jump, tire, weaves, tunnel....I thought, hey, we could do this for points! Then, I said,"No, Sara, you promised, every run would be a treat run!"

Thus, Oreo got a treat upon exiting the tunnel. I hear someone yell, "training in the ring," and we do another tunnel, hit the table, Oreo sits, treats and run out, but Oreo flies over a couple jumps, independently, on the way to his leash.

Yes, Oreo was running with enough confidence to earn some points for our team, but I was proud of myself for sticking to my original plan. We are here to train, there are no ribbons, prizes, or titles, just bragging rights. When things start going good though, it is hard to mute that competitive side of your brain.

Oreo left the ring happy, and heeled with good, happy eye contact all the way back to the car. No, the monsters are going to get me leash pulling, like he usually does at trials. That was the biggest accomplishment of our day.


Jules said...

Woo-hoo!! And look at the smiling face.

Ricky the Sheltie said...

Yay, Oreo did great! And so did you for sticking to your training-only plan! So glad that Oreo was able to recover quickly from his couple moments and he finished the day on an extremely high note! Progress is being made!!!!

betty said...

How sweet to see Baby Oreo's photo in your sidebar and Big Boy Oreo's phote almost next to it in your blog today. The black spots around his nose, and bright eyes are lovely. Great fun day for the two of you.

Kathy said...

GOOD JOB sticking to your plan and your goals! The target sounds like it really helps Oreo, it sounds like such a fantastic tool to have available, and that is so neat he was able to do his tricks and what sounds like such a fantastic run. I admire that you were able to stick with your plan and make the most of a training opportunity like you said it is hard to not push when things look so good- you always seem good about that though--sticking to your training plan, maybe it is the teacher in you? WAY TO GO OREO!

Marie said...

Good for you Sara! I think you need treats for being a good trainer and sticking with your original plan. Sometimes it's so hard not to push it when things seem to be going well. I think the look on Oreo's face is proof that you made the right choice!

Priscilla said...

Wheee! That's fantastic news!!!!
I think you did a great job sticking to your plan. Dogs like Oreo need great owners and trainers like you, making their runs a positive experience.

Rob said...

Why did someone yell, "training in the ring,"? Are you not supposed to do that? Looks like Oreo is happy and I can tell that you are so that's the main thing.

Dawn said...

Reading, scrolling down, I'm smiling at the story, at you sticking to your plan, at Oreo being stronger and less scared, then I get to his face and I laugh out loud, sharing his good feelings with him, while wiping the tear out of my eye.

Good job you two!

Sara said...

At league, you are allowed to train, but then you forgo accumulating a score for your team. I didn't tell them ahead of time that I was doing a training run, so they had been recording our score as we ran. The judge so me give Oreo a treat, so she was just letting the scribe know to throw our score out.

It did make me feel like I had committed some sort of crime though! Usually it is done more discreetly.

Noah said...

Good for you Sara! Love the picture too

AC said...

What a successful match! And way to go on sticking with your plan. I know how hard that can be. I often want to try more with Kona when she's doing well with something but less is so often better than more!

That's so great that Oreo did so well on the way out, especially after having a tough time earlier in the day. Woohoo!

Diana said...

Good job to you and Oreo! Thats such a great feeling. Diana