a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Spreading the Wealth

Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Spreading the Wealth

SUMMARY: Interesting placement results from last weekend and pondering the value of blue.
Last weekend, Tika took 1st in 6 of 13 classes. I already pointed out that there weren't many dogs in our height class this weekend, so the results could be very different on any other weekend.

Let's see--I don't know everyone's story very well, but they're all great dogs:
  • Killy the Border Collie (only in Team; has had many of the same issues as Boost (but has a better handler who has gotten better results), wasn't even going to enter this team event to take a break, but the handler's wife's partner dropped out at the last minute, so they filled in)
  • Kash the BC
  • Brenn the BC (a little younger than Tika but has had joint arthritis starting at a young age)
  • Chip the BC (who has been around for quite a long time but was only in a couple of our classes)
  • Carson the BC (also only in Team; who is only 6 but has had physical problems, too, so no more jumping 26")
  • Darby the Lab
  • Fritz the Giant Schnauzer (who seemed to really like running in the rain but was also only in a couple of classes)
  • And Tika the Craussie
Out of the other 7 classes, Tika placed 2nd four times. And who took 1st? Brenn in P3 Gamblers, Kash in Team Gamblers, Killy in Team Snooker, and Carson in Team Jumpers. Then, to make their point, Carson, Brenn, and Killy ALL placed higher than Tika in Team Standard.

What I find about myself is that--yes, I love getting blue ribbons--but not so much if it's a gimmee. OK, for example, in CPE I love going in part because my dogs can do very well because they're faster than many (not all) of the CPE dogs and I have a lot more handling experience than many (not all) of the CPE handlers. But then I also feel odd if I've done a couple of CPE trials and swept most of the blue ribbons. Because, conversely, I also know what it's like to not ever get blue ribbons, and am not so fond of competing when we just aren't ever going to get them. I've had 4 agility dogs now, and until Tika moved to Performance 2 years ago, in USDAA we almost never got those pretty blues, so, yes, I know what that's like.

So, in fact, I prefer competing with dogs with whom we have an even chance, with whom the scores are close.


  1. I keep saying it: You should try AKC. You'll have lots of competition and you'll also do well. Win. Win. Lots of ribbons. Win. Short trials close to home. Win.

  2. You're cracking me up! Close to home is appealing, doing all novice courses (until we Q out of them) is appealing, but the price tag per run isn't, and neither is giving up some of the [comparatively fewer] USDAA trials I'm now doing. But it is kind of bouncing around in the back of my mind.

  3. I have to admit that AKC classes are pretty boring compared to all the different classes USDAA has to offer but if you ever want some R+, enter a couple and bask in the glory :-)
    And it may be more $/run but it's less $/trial--way less!