Tuesday, November 04, 2003

A Gamblin' Hound

Tika and I took a one-day gambling seminar Sunday up at Power Paws Agility. Our instructor, Jim Basic (who's one of our regular instructors anyway) probably has more gamblers legs in USDAA than all other dogs combined.

OK--I exaggerate--but it'll be amazing if anyone ever catches up to his combined scores for Mick and Swift. [This link shows the top 22" and 26" dogs Master Gambler (MG) lifetime points; previous page shows top 12" and 16" MG lifetime points.] [Our other regular instructors are Nancy Gyes and Rachel Sanders, whom you'll also see featured in these lists.]

It was supposedly for masters dogs (all the other dogs are at the masters level, working on their championships, and Tika's still just a babydog, really). She did *great*. True, she's my third dog and I have practiced some gambling maneuvers with her, but she was no worse than any of the other dogs there and sometimes even better.

We still have some problems: She went off to investigate the sheep or llama a couple of times; went in search of food on the ground a couple of times; ran off wantonly a couple of times; stood up at the start line almost EVERY bloody time--I don't know what I'm going to do with that! But she ran so well and worked so nicely at a distance, and her Turn command response was gorgeous.

Now if only we can get those pesky up contacts on the dogwalk--

Hoping to deal with that in a couple of weeks. We've signed up for a Susan Garrett seminar focusing on weaves and contacts and I'm hoping that we can come up with a plan both for that up contact and for speeding up her down contacts. Rachel has suggestions, but it will be nice also to work with the acknowledged master.

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