Monday, October 4, 2010

So Close

Gali has officially lost his utility virginity! He did really, really well. The only thing we missed was the last jump on the second half of the directed jumping exercise. When I signalled him to go to the jump on my right he took the jump on the left. I will have to look at the video to see if I moved my left hand as I gave the signal with the right. It is disappointing to not qualify, but I am so happy with the way he worked. I think he quite enjoyed it. It felt good to be back in the utility ring, it has been awhile.

We had some bobbles during the routine, such as lying down on the turn and sit for the first go-out. He did that at the match too. So I officially have that problem to fix. I will have to try to create that during training and see what I can do to fix it. On the moving stand he moved his rear feet away from the judge during the exam, she very nicely tried to move his back to which Gali gave her a look and put his feet back where they were. It was sort of funny. So one more thing to work on is that I need to get more people to examine him and have them approach from different angles and then I can reward him for holding his position. Also for go outs I have get to more different places and practice having him go in a direct line in strange environments.

I had Echo entered in Novice Rally. She is Chad's thirteen year old Border Collie. I have shown her a couple of times before. I wanted to finish her Novice title and use it as practice for the US Nationals in a few weeks. She did great. We were second in the class with a 99 and she seemed to really enjoy herself. She even had fun walking around the show making friends with people. I would see her during the day laying in her kennel watching people doing things and wagging her tail at them.

I have posted both these videos on YouTube if you would like to check them out, search for Buhund doing utility and Echo Novice rally and you should find them. If not I think I can post them here in the blog. I am just not sure how to do it yet.

Gali's next trials are about a month away. I can't wait!!!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Match night

Tonight was the fun match at the hall where Gali and I will be trialling on Sunday. I also took Ribbon along to do Novice (and to make Gali jealous!) I was feeling pretty good about how things were going, when I trained Gali on Thursday he was amazing. I did a run through in the training hall including a warm up how I have planned for the trial. During the run through the only glitch was that I somehow managed to step on Gali's tail. Quite a feat given that he has a really tight Buhund tail. So I had one finish that he didn't sit, but I can't really blame him. Other than that he was really, really good. I jackpotted him after the signals and fed in a few other places, but went from exercise to exercise.

So tonight at the HDOC match he was feeling pretty perky. He had a large dump while I walked him outside, so he was feeling rather fresh. (You probably didn't want that detail, but there you go). We repeated what we did on Thursday with a warm up and also included a game of tug on his leash. We went from exercise to exercise; I had a no sit on one finish again. We got down to the last jump (bar jump against the baby gate) as I sent him to the bar jump the Novice dog in the next ring halted in line with the jump and Gali pulled off the jump. I quickly took him back out to his go-out spot and redid the jump and he was fine. One other thing that happened was he laid down on his first go out instead of sitting. Not sure why, he hasn't done that in a very long time. When he sat on the second go-out I praised him, hopefully that will help. His heeling was really nice and his fronts where quite good. And he is so darn cute!!!!

I did learn a couple of things about the venue. Sound proofing panels have been added to help with an echoing problem they had, I think it deadens the sound, so I needed to project my voice a little better. The other thing that I learned was that Gali had no problem with the siding on the wall for a go-out surface; he just marched out there and did his thing. So overall I am feeling pretty good about Sunday. I think our team work is pretty solid and Gali is relaxed about his jobs.

Ribbon did a nice job tonight too. I was really focused on Gali, so my run with her felt a little choppy and she got into trouble for losing attention on the fast pace. She was distracted by the utility ring beside us. Her attitude was really up. Nothing seems to bother her. I am really glad that I had asked for her to be videoed (thanks Dawn!!) on the video you can see how hard she is working and how happy she is while heeling. On the figure 8 she is really using her rear end around the circles. As the run went on her sits got a little crooked, but she was pretty excited. On the recall she came beautifully and popped up in the air and came down really slowly with her front end into a perfect front. For some reason I sent her to the right for her finish, which isn't her best finish, but she an okay job of it. I would like to see her go around faster and sit closer, but the foundation work is all there. Judging by tonight I would say we are about a year away from entering Novice.

I am ring stewarding tomorrow as one of the many requirements to apply for judging licence. I am so excited to see how all the Companion students do. Everyone looked fantastic at the match tonight. There are students in every level!!! I better adjust my eating plan and leave room for lots of cake!!!