a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Tika and Boost Summary, Redux

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Tika and Boost Summary, Redux

SUMMARY: Summarizing more succinctly, for the layperson, I hope.

I had a lovely time at the USDAA Cynosports World Games, featuring dog agility, including:
  • the Dog Agility Steeplechase championship (Tika and I blew it in the semifinal round, clean until and offcourse 2 before the end).

  • the Grand Prix of Dog Agility World Championships (Tika and I blew it in the quarterfinal round, clean until an offcourse 5 before the end).

  • the Power and Speed event (Tika turned on the rockets and kept all her bars up and we placed 10th of 130 dogs in our group for a ribbon--best we've ever done at the USDAA championships; I'm pretty happy about that indeed, considering that all these dogs are among the top in the country and had to earn qualifying scores to get here.)

  • The Dog Agility Masters International Three-Dog Team Championship (say *that* in one breath!), which consisted of 4 individual qualifying events--your scores combined with your teammates'-- and the final 3-dog relay, in which only the top 30 of 208 teams ran; Tika did:

    • 37th of 130 in Snooker (half designing your own course, half speed)--knocking 1 bar in the first half that would've put us in a tie for 6th place, oh well, lots of other people in the same boat :-); her teammates were in about the same place, putting our team amazingly in the top 20 after the first day--we had hoped to be in the top 50%, so pretty happy.

    • 87th of 130 in Standard (numbered course with all the obstacles) with some faults but no offcourse, but her 2 teammates did quite a bit better than that.

    • 35th of 130 in Jumpers with a clean but not superfast run; her teammates did fairly well, too.
      After these 3 runs, our team ("Three's a Charm") was seeded #24 of 208 after the 2nd day, which stunned us all. We were pretty sure we'd drop out of the top 30 the next day.

    • 12th (!) of 130 in Gamblers (design your own course for points plus tricky time-estimating gamble, risking losing everything, at the end) with a superfast and beautifully done run--same number of points as the 8th place dog, but we just couldn't squeeze out an extra second or so to place any higher. Very happy with this run, too. And teammates did average or better, which is very good in Team.

      And we ended up seeded 26th of 208 teams! Pretty exciting for a team who had hoped against hope to be merely among the top 50%. So we went to the finals!

    • Final relay round, Tika knocked her first bar and I mispositioned what I thought was a meat-and-potatoes kind of front cross for a refusal error, but my teammates were clean and none of us went off course, so we hung in there well enough to move up to 22nd overall, so a very successful weekend.

Boost (my Border Collie "puppy") ran in only 4 things for practice, and she did good on the things I wanted to practice, and very clearly revealed one major issue that we can now focus on improving.

But she did get a chance to take a herding instinct test, in which they throw the dog into a ring with livestock and an experienced herding person--and she did beautifully, which I knew she would, just needs some work on self-confidence to move in front of the stock; did her natural border collie circling/herding behavior, it was soooooo cooool! I'm going to try to put up a video sometime soon.

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