21. August 2012
Ruby’s Busy Agility Schedule
This has been a busy month for Mary Jane, Ruby and Me with two Agility trials on back to back weekends at Texas A&M in College Station. Each trial was for a different governing body, one for NADAC and one for AKC. There are similarities and differences between the two organizations. It has taken me a bit to wrap my head around the rules for each.
The other goal for the month was for MJ and I to get better at organizing and attending trials and for Ruby to be comfortable at the trial venue. It can be very stressful for a dog. The AKC trial included about 250 dogs, competitors and spectators packed into the arena. Between the barking, shouting, blaring announcements it makes it hard for the dogs to be calm. MJ and I work together to keep Ruby happy, entertained and “peed out” so she can run her best. (Shamu is a big help too.)
We have been breaking Ruby into Agility Trials with NADAC competition. She has been doing great, too. This event was close by in College Station so my niece Renee was able to attend.
Ruby has been doing great in Jumpers. She needed a Qualifying Run (AKA: a “Q”) for her first title. She had to run clean (no tipped bars) and under Standard Course Time. Check it out…first place and a Q.
Chances is similar to AKC FAST (below) there is a No-Go line that I cannot cross but Ruby can. It enforces skill at distance. I need to work more on this with Ruby.
Regular 1 & 2
These two runs are essentially the same course run in two different directions. We took a first on one and second for the other, since both runs had faults neither was considered qualifying, but you can see how good she is getting!
Having exposed Ruby to the arena and dogs the week before in NADAC made it a lot easier to compete at AKC. AKC has tight height requirements and Ruby managed to get her permanent height card for jumping 20" which is great. It means she jumps the same height in both NADAC and AKC. She was a lot calmer and more “present” for AKC. You can see her intensity at the starting line.
Jumpers with Weaves
This is an example of how much teamwork is required in this sport. You may think that I just have to get Ruby pointed in the right direction and send her out, but if you watch me mishandle Ruby’s exit from the tunnel you will see that I am pushing her out to the white jump, the wrong jump. Ruby did great on this event, it was her partner that failed.
Fifteen and Send (FAST)
This is a game of points and time. You have 32 seconds to accrue 50 points. Ruby pulled in 71 points in 26 seconds. Ruby took first and got her second Q.
The challenge on this run was right at the start. I had to get Ruby to clear the first jump and then make a sharp left rather than go straight to the broad jump. Then I had to keep her with me and not get sucked into the tunnel. After the tunnel I had to keep her from jumping over the table. (More than half the dogs came flying out of the tunnel and could not slow down to stay on the table.) Ruby rocked it, 1st place and a Q.
For those of you keeping score. Ruby now has a NADAC Novice Jumpers Title and 2 of 3 qualifying runs for her AKC Novice Standard and FAST titles. We could not be more proud of our girl.