Friday, August 04, 2006

CPE Agility This Weekend and Musings About My Dogs

SUMMARY: Just Accruing Legs for Tika; maybe Jake's last trial

We'll be off to Elk Grove again this weekend for a CPE trial. An opportunity for Tika to earn as many as 9 of the 169 or so legs (Qs) she still needs for her C-ATE (review current count). [breaks into song]It's a long way to earn that CATEie, it's a long way to go...[clears throat]

This might be Jake's last trial ever. Really this time. We won't be doing CPE again until Thanksgiving--unless I decide to squeeze in one day for practice with the Booster dog--and I just can't keep him moving and exercising in the yard. Getting him to play is exhausting. I blame it on the other dogs. And after his painful failure to do a low Aframe last week, I just wonder...

And the playing thing is challenging. He used to go almost forever. As recently as a couple of months ago, even. But now, I can get him to run so seldom that he can't keep it up for very long. As always, I'm second-guessing whether he can't keep it up because he won't play much, or he won't play much because he can't keep it up. Once I get him going, he's happy to play for a while, but he just won't start. It's both frustrating and heartbreaking, because I just for the life of me can't figure out how much is physical and how much is mental.

Boost is doing better all the time at jumpers-style courses (jumps and tunnels), but we definitely have a communication issue still on wide-open courses, AND she tends to knock bars when we really get moving. NOOOOOOOO not another dog who knocks barrrrrs!!!!! NOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!! I could probably have entered her for this weekend in Jumpers, had I known 3 weeks ago that I thought she might be ready for it, but now it's too late. Oh, well. I'll just be patient and wait for the Bay Team Labor Day Trial.

In puppy class this week, our instructor suggested that all of us are now definitely ready to handle novice Jumpers classes and could certainly enter Gamblers and Snooker and choose our courses--and that's exactly what I did with Boost's entry. Plus Steeplechase. Except that I gave in to wiser thoughts and moved her to "Leap-N-Chase", which is the Performance version of Steeplechase. It's NOT qualifying for the nationals, I can still jump her at her 22", and the Aframe is not full height, and since we're nowhere near ready to do a full-height Aframe yet, this is probably a good thing.

Plus she starts skipping weave poles as she gets tired. She's still danged fast, she just doesn't make the extra effort to get all the poles. So it's time to set up a jet-propelled weaving chute in my yard: Two curved tunnels with a set of 6 poles in between, and just blast her back and forth repeatedly with the poles at different angles and click and reward more and more randomly as she makes the turn to the third pole correctly. Sooooo much to do. So little time.

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