Monday, December 20, 2010

I'm tired. Baby Spur got into Excellent Jumpers this weekend!!

YAY!!! This trial was well run, but what they did would have been GREAT if both dogs were in Excellent. They ran both Excellent classes first, then started Open/Novice after - around 2:30 each day. Spur having only done a few AKC trials so far was still in Open, so he sat around until the afternoon to run.

This was his first time trialing at this location since last winter and I was nervous. It is TIGHT quarters in there and a difficult crate room area and not much room getting to the in gate. As always with little Spur I turn into mush, a nervous Nellie, worried that he will have some sort of melt down and I won't be able to support him properly. We did pretty well, I have to say!!!! :D

His standard run Saturday he was worried. My start line behavior is non-existent at this point still, so he didn't get going that well. But, he wasn't THAT bad. And he got going after a bit and I managed to pull it together. He refused a few things (stress) and I decided to insist. There are times that might not be right, but I felt that he needed to wear his big boy pants and OWN IT, so I insisted. I think it did him good. He had moments of brilliance and we even got some really nice comments. We had many refusals, so certainly didn't qualify, but I was very pleased as he looked pretty proud of himself as we left the ring and that's BIG!

Jumpers I really tried to relax. Breath. I opted to try a start line behavior......I held him around the chest with a "Ready? Ready? READY! GO" release and it seemed to work. I have only ever done that once before and on film it looked pretty good!!! I did it that first time because he was wanting to go say high to the leash runner and ring crew and leave me. I simply held him and MADE him stay with me, then released. On film he left the start line really well. So, I tried it again in Jumpers. It WORKED!!! He was still a little worried, but we did fine and he recovered really nicely and ran clean!

Sunday I decided to try that start both runs. And to really relax as much as possible. The start went well both runs, but I can't say I was too relaxed. Better, but still a bit uptight and weird. He did better!!! No Q in standard, but he did better and again had moments of brilliance! Jumpers was PRETTY!!!! He ran happy, pretty fast and clean!!! It looked nice, except for one late front cross, but the rest was awesome and the crowd really cheered us on and he LOVES that!!!! He did GREAT!!

It was a long weekend having to be there first thing in the morning to run Roscoe (he did fine, not great, but fine for a double Q Sunday and a Jumpers Q Saturday) and then waiting to the end of the day to run Spur in Open. But, it was worth it because at least now he is in Excellent Jumpers!!! Phew!!! Still needs two Open Standard legs, but at least he is now in Jumpers.

Roscoe had a little trouble adjusting to the rubber footing. He slipped first run and that bummed him out. All the running he has done on field turf or dirt has spoiled him. He isn't an athletic dog, so good footing is important to him. More than I thought. He did fine, but not his crazy little dirt running Roscoe. It is a tough place to trial with the crate room SO packed and small, crates stacked on top of crates and barely enough room to get dogs in and out, but they did fine!!!! I now wish I had entered some of the other AKC trials there this winter. Spur simply needs as much time as possible at locations. He always gets more and more comfortable as time goes on and it's a slow process. He needs a LOT of time. But, I am so pleased that he does better and better. And we got a lot of nice comments as we left the ring yesterday after Jumpers. Lots of people who had never seen him before commented on how nice a dog he was and how well he ran. That felt good! AND he was the ONLY mixed breed at this AKC trial. Wahooooooooooo!!!!

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