Agility Weekends

September 1, 2013

Written by:  Megan Esherick CPDT-KA

Today is the last day of a 3 day agility trial, the second weekend in a row that we have done 3 days. Normally we stick to 2 day weekends, but after having most of the summer off it was nice to get some extra trials in.

To start with the positive, Salsa is running great. She’s been consistently Qing and picking up points, even a few placements. We are up to 18 QQs, but will need points for her MACH when we get to #20. She seems to feel better and be less fearful when I keep her entirely on a raw diet rather than kibble. It’s interesting that her symptoms were all behavioral when I had her on kibble, but raw seems to be the way to feed her.

Chili is also running well, almost. Last weekend we were outside and she was great, Qing on 5/6 runs and getting placements. This weekend she is not doing the teeter:(. This was a major issue early in her career that crops up sometimes, usually when she is stressed. This weekend she is not acting unhappy in any way and is running great otherwise, but we don’t get many points from jumpers so she really needs to Q in standard. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into retraining her teeter more times than I can count and I’m not sure I’m up to going through the whole process again.

Juno has been a big source of frustration, so much so that I’ve cancelled the rest of her entries. She is fast and has the skills to run Masters level classes, but in the trial environment she knocks bars, misses contacts, pops out of the weaves, and is next to impossible to turn on course. Worse yet I have to drag her out of the crate to run and she regularly runs out of the ring. Most people are assuming its young dog silliness, but Juno is the same age as Salsa. She just isn’t that interested in agility (at least not in doing the obstacles in the numbered order) or in any type of reward and isn’t biddable enough to do it because I’m asking her to. The sport is just too expensive to continue running a dog who has no connection to me on course.

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I am a professional dog trainer, dog sports addict, and small scale breeder of PBGVs.  For more information about The Clever Hound LLC dog training: