4 months between blogposts - oops! lots to report though. We finished a 6 week class in Rally Obedience at When Hounds Fly, which gave us loads of options for managing and encouraging good behaviour in and out of the ring.
We had another AAC trial in May - three runs - the first was a copy of the train wreck on New Years, as soon as she entered the ring I lost her. The following two runs were improvements, finishing with a jumpers run in which we nearly q'd, missing one jump. A credible performance.
Today, we had entered another CPE trial - our first since last april. First up was the Standard Class, a lovely open and flowing course taking me around the perimeter, then diagonally across the ring, curving back to another diagonal line to the finish. We were clean up the first line and across the back, but had difficulty after the aframe turning to a tire jump and to the dogwalk - slight loss of contact at the tire, then she froze and bailed off the dogwalk. Managed to keep her with me however, and into the correct tunnel curving into the diagonal, but ran out of time before finishing. I was pleased, however.
Next was the Fullhouse class, where (for the non CPE readers) I have to make up a course which includes 3 single bar jumps, 2 "circles" (tunnel chute or tire) and at least one contact, weave or double jump. Our planned route took us down that same line along the wall, which she had no trouble with. Ran into trouble at the curve into the diagonal - went to have a look at the aframe instead - but wouldn't take it, so got her back on my intended course down the diagonal. Jump jump jump to the first tunnel - but here she had a choice, table right in front (which in Fullhouse ends the run) or the tunnel curving back to the 2 jumps i wanted to finish - and dang it, she chose the table - finishing with 15 pts instead of our required 17 pts. Dang! Still, pleased at how attentive and focussed she's been.
Now up was snookers. We started on that same side, red jump to a tunnel - no difficulty. But here comes the turn again - and i've lost her. Down she goes toward the scribe - quick sniff hello and I'm able to get her back .. start trying to get her back up the ring to the required red jump, and we nearly get there (and this is a huge achievement, taking her away from the beloved ring crew and away from the exit). Turn her back though, and she's gone , running around, and then enters the exit gate - automatic nq in CPE. Not bad though.
Our final run is colours - where there are two overlapping courses and the handler must choose either red or blue - once chosen, you have to stay on that course. We chose the blues, which kept us on the inside. Jump jump tunnel - all are good - now we've got a turn - soph spots judge pat and by passes the jumps to go say hello, and then over to the fire exit door to look out the window. She waits for me there, and with some feigned touch cues and quick movements, I'm able to get her back (passing several offcourse opportunities and the judge), back to the fourth jump, and a BEAUTIFUL push "OUT" to the tunnel, front cross to get me between the ring crew and the line - jump, jump , jump, tire and YAY we have our Q! and that gives us or CTLH-1 (only took us three years!) Whatta dog!