Masters Debut

I took the tollers up for a USDAA agility trial this past weekend.  Zumi had just about 3 weeks back of practice since her maternity leave, and of course her first trial in 3 months.  I fully expected Feral Duck.  And since she earned her advanced title at the last trial, this would be her first time in masters.

I got Zumi out loads of time before her 4 runs to walk around the area.  She desperately needed it.  Wild Child.  I was grateful it was an outdoor trial so we could do all that walking without bothering others.  But all the acclimation time paid off!  Her first run of the day, gamblers, she was only semi-feral. Didn't keep her stop on the teeter and did a bonus loop up the dogwalk, but overall listened well.  Almost made the gamble, but did a 15ft send out to the backside instead of taking the um obvious approach to the jump.

The remaining 3 runs she listened very well!  Even got her very first master Q in snooker with a 50pt run.  Here are Zumi's snooker run and so close run in standard:


Vito ran 4 runs as well.  Seemingly happy and running decently well until quite a bit slower on the last run of the day.  Now that Zumi is running the same course it's fun to compare times.  Vito also failed this standard run by taking the wrong end of the tunnel, but it's fun to compare Zumi's run above with Vito's:

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Yummy- retrieve pt3 Victory!

Mission accomplished!

That was Yummy a few days ago, showing off her hold, pickup and hold (with help of target to leg!), and retrieve of a metal canning ring.  Round of applause to Yum Yum.

I've spent these last 2 weeks with Yummy working on getting her to pick up a variety of items and deliver them to my hand.  At first, it was rewarding lots of flings and maybe getting her to deliver the item to my hand after a couple of reps (or sessions).

Today was the first time she worked with 2 brand new objects and on the very first attempt she confidently picked them up and put them right in my hand.  Extra mission accomplished.

Well, really she would still have a long way to go if she were to be a mobility service dog.  Besides the other tasks she would need to learn or keep fine tuning, the retrieve really isn't done yet either.  More items would need to be conquered from the small to heavy to awkwardly shaped.  The hold would need to be generalized more.  And while Yummy has always been easy about generalizing skills to new locations, this would need more attention.

Yummy doesn't need to learn a formal front and hold like she would for obedience.  But just for fun I've trained her to find front with the help of a platform.  And I gave her one single lesson in combining her hold with her find front exercise just to see how she would do.  Good girl Yummy!

And now that I've accomplished my personal mission with her, we're sending her off!  Yummy will now "officially" be in for final training and live at the facility while the trainer works on getting to know her and finding her a good match.  More than likely she will be placed as an easy going autism assist dog!  Wish her luck on her upcoming journey!

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16 inches!

This past Friday, Vito ran for the first time in an agility trial at 16 inches.  We've only done 1 practice at that height so I'm still not used to how low it feels.  A big leap from the 22in he was at last year!  Technically he's eligible to even go to 14in in USDAA performance but I'm definitely not ready for that!

His first two runs of the days, jumpers and MC jumpers, didn't seem all that different in attitude.  Same old Vito.  Happy but not really putting on the burners.  Qualifying easily.
And then his next two runs, standard and MC standard, he really went fast!  Granted I can't really say the difference is due to the lower height as Vito always loves his standard courses over jumpers!  But he was happy to the point of being a little naughty and doing the wrong tunnel entrance in both standard classes!

I look forward to running him at this new height for awhile!  And I admit part of my want to lower him is so that when Zumi gets to start trialing again I won't have 2 dogs both running masters in the 20in class.  We don't exactly have huge classes in USDAA and UKI around here!

Which brings me to Zumi!!!  My girl is back :)

She may have been referred to as a "4 week Momma" by her breeder.  Did well with the puppies, but definitely being way more interested in whatever else was happening around that time.  Zumi didn't want no free loaders!

We've resumed training obedience without much of a hitch other than seemingly forgetting to how to find a straight front and pivot in front.  As soon as she's a little less endowed I'm excited to get back to agility too!


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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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