A new year of trialling has begun again. We started the year off with a fun teams event hosted by Cloverdale Canine Compainions followed by a midweek jumping trial hosted by the Agility Club of WA.
Dog performance wise, pretty happy with both Sonic and Lexi. Lexi's attempts being particularly impressive seeing as she'd only been back in training for three weeks after an eight month break. Her skill level is great, but she needs to shed another kilo before I'm going to be able to knock much time off runs. When she is back in shape I will start to get her revved right up before we go into the ring. I have to admit that I was surprised by just how strong all her behaviours are and she has understood the concept of the 2 x 2 weaver entries extremely well.
Sonic also had some very strong runs. He is definately getting more and more powerful around the course and only missed a Q run with a dropped bar in the Masters Jumping class. Unfortunately I think I handled him dreadfully and once again out of the seven or so front crosses that I did from the four runs, I'd say that at least five were late. Because he's getting faster I'm so busy standing there calling him round like a dickhead that I'm not pushing to get into the right position early enough and then I'm rotating far too late. So instead of getting a nice tight turn I end up with really wide ones instead. Sonic was about three seconds behind the first placed dog in Masters Jumping and I reacon that I could have knocked off at least two of those if I'd managed to get tighter turns. I'm not sure why I'm so incapable of front crossing at the correct moment but I'm determined that I'm going to get it right eventually!
One thing that I am very happy about is his weaving. When I first started trying to build more speed by high level reinforcment using his toy, I didn't think anything was really happening. But then suddenly (or so it seems) he has knocked about half a second off his performance. I still want to get more drive out of his turns so given then the rewarding with his toy worked so well for the weavers I'll keep on working on it and hopefully over time more drive will come.
We only get one night of training this week with Australia Day on Tuesday. I'm sure the dogs will enjoy a swim down the beach instead anyway. Then we have a trial on Friday night hosted by the Rottie Club. For this trial I have entered Sonic in Not For Competition in the Excellent and Open Classes. I want to give him more opportunity to stretch out and build confidence away from the more technical Masters courses. It's all part of the bigger plan...