a Taj MuttHall Dog Diary: Why Discouraged?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Why Discouraged?

SUMMARY: Thinking about Tika's weekends and gnawing on statistics.
I keep thinking, well, Tika did Q 40% (4 of 10 Qable runs) this last weekend, and really, that's nothing terrible. But why does it feel so terrible? I mean, other than all the stupid things that kept us from Qing?

It's because it's feeling like a trend, and I don't like the way the trend is going.

For the 13 months from Sept 2010 to Sept 2011, covering 14 USDAA trials and 170 Qable runs, Tika's average Q rate was 71%. That includes two Regionals, a year apart. And she always brought home multiple placement ribbons. Not always first, but, f'rinstance, at this most recent Labor Day Regional, out of 16 runs against 14 to 18 other dogs, we came home with four 2nds, four 3rds, and four 4ths.

Since then, things seem to be going downhill.

The late-september trial, 55% Qs.
The October trial, 40% Qs.
The November trial, 27% Qs.
December, 44%.
January, 40%. And no placements. Not one. Against half a dozen dogs.

Her Top-Ten point average per day for that 13-month period was 7.3. (Or--oh, wait--it might be higher than that because I didn't count Team top 10s. Huh.) Our average in the 5 trials since that period has dropped to 4.7 per day. Then, this last weekend--nothing. Zilch.

I've known that I've been lucky with Tika. I've known that she's getting older. But has she really gone past her peak and is plummeting that rapidly? Or am I just slacking off?

I think it's good that we've got a bunch of CPE trials coming up--they'll give me another benchmark for how she's doing compared to her average rate in that venue.

Tomorrow, on to more cheery stuff--training with Boost.


  1. Does Tika get any pain meds before you run her? At her age she's bound to have at least some discomfort associated with agility and maybe she's just not as comfortable as she needs to be.

  2. I did give her rimadyl saturday & sunday. For a while, I had been starting it friday before a trial. I don't remember when I stopped. I should try that again. Not sure whether soreness is the issue--running by tunnels, not responding to calls or conversely turning back to me more, dunno. But down on table, more knocked bars, yeah, could see that.