a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: A Good Weekend But No C-ATCH

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Good Weekend But No C-ATCH

I'll have a cool photo of Tika to post later.

Tika ran beautifully this weekend. She had only 2 bars down in 10 runs. One of them still allowed us to earn a Qualifying score; the other, unfortunately, didn't, and it was one of the 4 we needed for our CPE championship. We also had two offcourses, which is unusual for us, and they were both painfully clearly handling errors, one where I briefly forgot what I wanted to do and then got caught moving in the wrong direction at the wrong time, and the other where I just chose the wrong place to put myself. And, also unfortunately, one of those was another of those 4 necessary Qs.

So we Qed 7 out of 10 times for, I believe, 6 first places and two 2nds. The classes were a little larger this weekend for us than they sometimes are in CPE--instead of it being either just us or just us and one other dog, we were usually competing against at least two other dogs and often as many as 6 or 7 others.

But, as usual, I can compare Tika's scores against all other dogs, all heights, all levels, who ran the same course. It varied by class, but in general this meant about 50 other dogs.

There are two basic categories of classes: Those judged primarily by time and faults, and those judged primarily by point accumulation. In some ways they're similar, because a fast dog can generally earn more points. But the point-accumulation ones also tend to rely more on a handler's design and strategy for choosing obstacles to maximize points and make best use of the dogs' skills. Of course a dog with a wider range of solid skills has more options on how to run a course to accrue points.

I don't have my score sheet next to me at the moment, but in almost all the classes, Tika was among the top three fastest or highest among those 50 dogs. In CPE, that's not hard for us to do, but the top dogs are also some of the top dogs in USDAA, where the competition is fierce. It's nice to see that I'm in there with them. It's also scary to see when they beat us, because they probably speak for a couple dozen of top-caliber local USDAA dogs who do not compete in CPE.

JakeyMeister did very well this weekend. I entered him in two runs each day again, and he performed like an experienced champ. He qualified in all four runs and placed first or 2nd each time. Of course, he was competing against only one other dog in most cases. :-)

In an interesting comparison, Tika and Jake ran the same Jumpers course on Sunday. Tika went past me like a rocket, ran past the tire that she was supposed to take and blazed across the next jump 20 feet beyond that, eventually managed to swing around before taking the *next* jump another 15 feet further, came all the way back to me, and swung around to take the correct tire and then continue around the course smoothly to the end.

Jake had no bobbles at all of any kind on that course.

Tika still finished almost a second faster than Jake.

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