As I have been reminded recently - I am way over due for a blog update. Life has been pretty busy - between classes with Steeler and work - I don't seem to have much time for anything else.
We've finished 6 more weeks of "advanced" control unleashed classes up at Nevin's Farm and the MSPCA in Methuen. It was a ton of fun and Steeler did really well with the class. I think there are plans to maybe take the next level outside. That should be a lot of fun.
In addition to our weekly obedience class we are taking a foundations class just for fun that a friend teaches in NH on Tuesday nights. It's always good to revisit foundation behaviors.
I finally got talked into actually entering Steeler into an agility trial. Well two agility trials since they were nearby. The first trial was a CPE trial - I only entered one day, which was a good thing because the following day tropical storm Irene came through.
I am not sure I really remember much from the trial .... it was kind of a gray drizzly day. Steeler had some nice moments and he did qualify in his first level one standard course. We also entered Full House, Wildcard and Snooker. By the time we got to snooker it was POURING! And Steeler is not a dog that likes to run in the rain! Here is his standard run.
Steeler had a bit of visiting to do with the ring crew, but considering we haven't been to agility class in 8 months and his last outdoor trial was last October, I was pretty pleased with his runs.
In addition to his first CPE trial - Steeler also entered his first USDAA Trial this past weekend. Since the trial was about 7 minutes from my house Steeler sent in entries for both days .... for everything that he thought would be fun. That included Performance Speed Jumping, Standard and Gamblers on Saturday and Standard, Gamblers, Snooker, and Jumpers on Sunday. I didn't get much on video - but overall I was pleased with his runs. On Saturday Performance Speed Jumping was first and his run was a big WAHOOOO! We did have some flashes of brilliance. I tried to keep moving and not worry about fixing things since I entered just for the ring experience. He nailed his contacts, got his weave poles the second time through and didn't leave the ring without me! He definitely was a bit distracted by being outside and having so much going on around him.
After PSJ there was a lot of down time. So we walked around, watched some runs and I was able to run home and let the older two dogs out. P1 Gamblers was up next. It was (for those of you agility folks) a 1, 3, 5,7 system. Steeler needed to collect 14 points in the opening and do the gamble to Q. Which he did - with 2nd place. Standard was the last run of the day and by that point I know I was tired! I think was had some moments of working together as a team and apparently we didn't miss any of the obstacles on the course because he took 3rd place. He was over time - due to ring crew visiting and not wanting to down on the table- but again he hit all his contacts, got his weave pole entry .....
On Sunday - our Standard run was first. I walked into the ring with the intention of trying to remember to run it like I would in class. And wow! What a difference. He did have to do a little bit of visiting with the ring crew - but he dropped on the table much quicker and was generally much more focused. I got his standard run on video but didn't get anything else. (which is ok with me!) Snooker was next and Steeler derailed my plan and ran out of the ring .... I of course panicked - but he did come back. Gamblers was after that and I think I had a good plan - but again he was just a bit distracted by the ring crew and what was going on outside the ring. I wasn't quite where I wanted to be when the whistle blew and I totally muffed the gamble. Jumpers was better - not as nice as the standard run - but definitely better than snooker and gamblers. This time I got distracted and sent him over the wrong jump and then totally got confused. hey - it was the end of the day and I was tired! Here is his standard run.
Stay tuned for more happenings with Steeler in September!