This past weekend, Rio had his second CPE agility trial! I knew going into the weekend that it would not be our best since we are SEVERELY out of practice. In the last 5 months, Rio has had 3 agility practices–2 handling games classes and 1 session where I worked on his contacts. Considering how out of practice we were, it was a ridiculously successful weekend for us! Although not technically a title, Rio finished up his CL1–which means he successfully ‘passed’ all of the level 1 games and had quite a few qualifying runs in level 2.
Although we had TONS of fun and it was crazy successful, we were both clearly out of practice! I wrote a while back about getting out of the dog what you put in and I have clearly lucked out with Rio. He is so forgiving with my handling that even though we were NOT even close to being in sync for most of the weekend, we did really well. We clearly had a lot of rust to brush off. We ended up with 7 Qs out of 10 runs–2 NQ were 100% my fault. The first NQ I was in awe of how well Rio was running that I got out of position for a front cross and my shoulders were still in the process of turning but were clearly cuing the a-frame instead of the jump and the other NQ was in Snooker… it started out great but then I though Rio did a tunnel but turned out he didn’t so when I took the next obstacle we NQ’d. The last NQ was, I’d say was just the rust… it was our second run and he dropped the startline bar and then just got a bit out of control so he got WAY ahead of me just made up his own course (even though I had stopped and was trying to call him back HAHA).
There are three fantastic things I’m taking away from the weekend.
- Rio actually hit ALL of his contacts ALL weekend. Given our lack of training, I think this was just a fluke but I couldn’t believe that he really did hit every contact!
- Rio is the best boy ever! He’s really the perfect trialing dog. He slept in his crate with the door open while dogs tugged outside his crate, ran courses, ate treats, or warmed up. He was just so relaxed and chill. Yet, as soon as we are on the field and he’s released he’s an absolute maniac running full throttle (or as fast as he can go with obstacles in his path).
- He is an absolute daredevil. During our Jackpot run, Rio made all the spectators, and myself GASP! Dude decided the middle of the A-frame was a jump. He hit once on the upside of the frame, jumped over the middle of the a-frame, and then landed in the downside contact zone. I was in shock. Are you SERIOUS!?! He was fine, the judge didn’t say it was “unsafe” so we moved on and Q’d but I had quite a few people come up after that and say that he made their hearts skip a beat–You and me both! The extra bonus, the photographer got it on film so I bought two photos–one of Rio flying over the top in style and the second of him landing firmly in the contact zone.
Although many of our runs were sloppy (though successful) we did end the weekend on the most amazing run. It was a 9 obstacle Colors run that we completed in 10.5 seconds!!! It was clean and it was fast! We were faster than anyone else in level 1/2 by more than 3 seconds. It was the only run all weekend that I felt like we were really connected on and there were no miscommunications. I could not have been more proud of that run–we worked well together and it was AWESOME!
Though not a perfect weekend, I was absolutely amazed by the results considering our less than stellar preparations. I don’t know when we’ll have our next trial, probably some time next spring, but hopefully I’ll be able to actually practice a little bit more before the next one so we will be on the same page a bit more–but if not, y’know what, it was fun regardless!
(unfortunately no video of this trial, I went alone and didn’t think to bring my video camera to see if someone could film our runs…. I wish we had that last run on tape that’s for sure! Though once I get the photographs of Rio flying over the a-frame, I’ll share those!).