Jazz and I had a great weekend at the Quad City Dog Center. We entered the Ready Steady Go NADAC trial and had a good time as usual.
My plan for this weekend was to try to be smooth and not to get too far in front of Jazz. It seems to slow him down instead of speed him up and we really need to speed up. We had an almost perfect jumpers run Saturday and we even made time, but I distracted him at the finish and he dropped the very last bar. I heard groans from the spectators and probably one from me. We did salvage the day by getting a qualifying run in Hoopers. It seems really easy to me and I like having a chance to get a qualifier in something.
Sunday was a better day. We got our first Open standard qualifying run - only 5 points because we are too slow as usual, but at least we qualified. We ran six runs on Sunday and four of them were clean. I am very proud of our nice clean runs, but we were over time on every one. We got the 5 point qualifier, but nothing else. I hope to find ways to increase our speed.
I still have a problem with my mouth. The problem would be that I don't know when to shut it - as in hollering "here" before Jazz finished the final jump in a perfect jumpers run. I told him "no" to keep him from taking a wrong tunnel and that is just dumb. He doesn't like to be told no and then goes slow so he will be sure that I am not going to yell at him again. What a mistake that was. I need to really practice hard on what to say and when. Also - what not to say.
We also accomplished some good things. I think our timing and teamwork are improving. I think I am handling more smoothly. I ended every run with lots of praise and lots of tiny little treats. He seemed happy to be there and content in his crate. I believe he ended every run with a sprint for the finish so he could get all that praise, attention and those treats. He followed me around this morning and stood by the car for a while, so I think he was ready to go again.
We need to get faster. I think some of the problem is that I am still giving Jazz too little information and I criticize him when he is wrong. I cannot tell him no and expect him to run top speed. He will slow down and try hard to be right.
Things to work on for next time:
1. Begin working on out and close, or left and right, or some clear signal to help him know which way to go.
2. Stop saying no and here. I will only use here at the end of a run if he isn't coming back for the leash. I will not tell him no unless he is running for the door or attacking someone.
3. Say his name when I want his attention. He will look and I can give him direction.
There is one other odd item from this weekend. I have been at so many trials and people leave things laying all over. I have never heard of anything being stolen. I am now positive that there was a thief in the crowd. The thief may have had two legs or four, but someone out there stole my frosted sugar cookies right off the top of my crate!! I suspect human rather than dog because the cookies were in a plastic bag. Anyway - whoever you are, you must be in league with the Wii Fit lady. My long drive home was sugar free. Very sad.