a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Jake's USDAA/SMART weekend

Monday, August 25, 2003

Jake's USDAA/SMART weekend

Jake is such a good little boy most of the time. Now he's the star of the household in behavior, now that Rem's not around. Just had some new dogsitters the other weekend and Jake's the one they wanted to take home with them.

He had decent contacts all weekend. Not really fast, not really stopping for 2-on,2-off, but didn't miss any, either. Not SuperJake in any of his runs, although he moved along OK most of the time. He was VERY slow in the weaves in at least a couple of his runs. I don't know whether that's nerves or arthritis. Sometimes in class and here at home he blazes through them, but sometimes he's slow there, too.

He did a spectacular job on his Gambler's course, getting a gamble that no other Performance-level dog got and that wiped out almost 75% of the Championship-level dogs. People were congratulating us all day on that run. I wish I were better at making time to watch other people's runs--it's just that there always seems to be something to do, either with the trial work or with one of my two dogs.

Here's the gamble itself. The gamble line goes straight out from the side of #1 and straight down even with the right side of #5.

He earned qualifying scores and first places also in both of his Standard runs. And he Q'ed and placed 2nd in his jumpers, about 1 second behind a much larger dog with a much longer stride length.

The jumpers had several serpentines, and the gamble itself was a serpentine. So he's really good at serpentines--but the Pair Relay had a THREADLE, and he SERPENTINED it despite me planting myself and calling and pointing.

I got really annoyed in his Snooker run. We really want super-qualifying scores (top 15% of dogs competing against us) to earn his Performance championship (he finished his Championship championship 2 years ago this coming weekend). The 2 dogs before us crapped out. So I picked the easy course to run--and we crapped out when I stood &planted & called & pointed & he still took the wrong obstacle!

So we have to practice calling/coming (not merely drifting in my general direction) and threadles.

To be even more annoying, in the Steeplechase national qualifier, I called him a little early on a jump to make sure that he turned tightly going over the jump--instead, he skidded to a stop and avoided taking the jump! So I need to figure out why sometimes he doesn't call off and sometimes he's too good at it. I'm sure it's an inconsistent handling thing.

But in general I was pretty happy with 4 Q's (3 1sts and a 2nd aginst 5-7 dogs) out of 7 runs.

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