I ran a fun competition on Sunday and once the rain cleared up it was a lovely day, everyone did really well.
It got me thinking though about first competitions, I started competing Zazu in June. In my eye's he is a baby dog and he needs time to settle in to competition, I have a few expectations of him which I will list later but I don't want to put any pressure on him or myself.
When people go into thier first agility competition they too are producing a baby dog, the difference is they are inexperienced themselves so need to get used to the natural pressures that competition brings at the same time as teaching a young dog how to cope.
Bellow is a video of Zazu at KC festival, at a first glance this run looks a long way from a clear round but I see lots of positives.
These are the things I want to achieve when running Zazu
A solid start line wait - it's very hard to get these back if you loose them
Getting running contact criteria - If I let this slip it will confuse him
Keep him happy
Give him a positive experience
Positives from this run
Start line wait
He bounced 2 - 3
He turned when I crossed behind
He got his weaves first time
He was happy and confident
I'm thinking about each round as a building block to his future, if I rush now things will fall apart as he gets older.
This should be the same for all dog's, the clear rounds will come but our dogs can do agility for years so why rush. Often the desperation for results takes the fun away from this game we play with our dogs.It's hard to think about the bigger picture when you are stepping into the ring for the first time but I know very few people who have only competed once, 99% of people get the bug and carry on competing for a long time after that first competition.
The biggest agility show in the world!
We had an easy enough drive there, it turned out we were very lucky as everyone that came after us had been stuck on the A14 for 3 hours behind a lorry fire.
The first thing I always do after a long drive is let the dog's out for a leg stretch, Holly went off into the exercise area for a role, she loves rolling and not always in something horrible so I left her to it. When she came back though she was covered in fox poo! literally from head to tail. Irana then let Coco out and kept a close eye on her but she wasn't quick enough and Coco also rolled in the poo. So we had to bath both of them before we could set the caravan, garden and awning up.
Between Irana, Karen and me we had 11 dog's and they got on really well, Karen thought her old girl's were really good staying in the garden when we went off to run the others but it turned out one of them was escaping and someone was putting her back, we only found out Saturday afternoon.
Irana was chef and no one was aloud to get in the way, we were barley even aloud to wash up!
Sleepy dogs :)
Whenever I let these 2 out of the van they went straight in the caravan and on the beds.
Results wise I didn't achieve what I wanted, my fist round was British open agility with Ty and he did a good clear coming 13th so all I needed was a clear in the jumping to get into the semi final but I got distracted and messed up. I was so cross with myself for not doing what I needed to do to get results that I then messed up the agility with Flake after getting her round all of the hard bits.
I then went into training mode with Ty, Holly and Flake, their next competition is the Olympia semi's so I needed to make sure that their contacts were solid.
Flake managed a 5th and an 8th in big G6 jumping classes and Ty got 6th in G7 jumping behind some very good dog's.
Zazu was a big baby, he did some really nice stuff but also some really silly things, I think it's important this year to just let him be a baby and learn to enjoy competing. I've got all winter to work on his weak point's, the only thing I don't let him get away with is missed contacts. In one class he was far more confident over his dogwalk than I expected which led to him missing the contact so I stopped him, repeated the dog walk, let him do the tunnel after as a reward for getting it right then ran to the finish and gave him lots of treats.
Emmy did some nice jumping rounds and even got her A-frame contact in one agility round.
I really struggled with how far we were parked from the rings, it was a five minute walk to some rings, I don't think anyone should have been parked that far away and it really ruined the show for me, if they have to put people that far away they shouldn't take that much camping. If I go next year I think I will only compete the dog's that are competitive at the time rather than struggle to run all of them.
I've got 2 weekends off now and then it's the Olympia semi's, I've got 4 chances to qualify. My goal is to qualify Ty and Flake as I don't think Holly would cope very well with Olympia but I won't hold her back, I will just do my best and see what happens.
Tomorrow I have the fun competition which should be fun although the forecast isn't too great.
It's now time to think about winter training, the first weekend will be 12/13th October, can you let me know whether you would like to train on Sat or Sun. If you want to stay in your current group then get together and figure out a day and
This is a pic of mine and Irana's dog's at the top of the Mendips on Tuesday, Flake and Coco weren't impressed lol
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