Friday, January 21, 2011

And so it goes

In this weeks class Myth had absolutely NO issue with the chute - go figure (although we have been practicing it at home), so I believe it was most definitely a combination of the proximity of the chute straightner and trial stress – guess we will be proofing people sitting close to the chute and trial stress, well the only thing I can do about that is trial ;-) Here teeter was also beautiful.

Suds was even better this week, boy he sure is speeding up – I looked back, he use to average 2-2.5 yps in JWW, he is now running 3.1 – 3.5 yps and in class he is jumping 12” just great. This spring I may move him from preferred (jumping 8”) to regular (jumping 12”) especially when Myth gets to Excellent. It will be way easier have Suds in the 12” class instead of three dogs in the 8” class.

Josie was pretty good, we continue to struggle with speeding up her weaves, she has it in her. Very frustrating. In the summer I would send her through the weave once or twice each evening and that seemed to really speed them up, unfortunately there is no room in the house for a set of weaves – unless I were to take all the furniture out ;-)

We have a private lesson scheduled this weekend, the first since the beginning of November !

Stay WARM!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Suds & Myth

For a while now, Myth starts out full of exuberance and actually runs….the first couple of exercises; I am not sure if it is a confidence issue or just the Lhasa Bitch coming out. I am leaning towards confidence, since more often than not she is more than happy to play and interact with me outside the ring. It is easy for me to forget she is still really a puppy (19 months), she is so much further along than Josie was at this age – thank you Josie. So, last week I decided for the immediate future (always subject to change ;-) Suds and Myth are sharing a class. Suds will get the first part of class and Myth the second. Last night was the first class I implemented this; to a resounding success for both Suds and Myth. Suds was just full of it and so happy to be at class – it’s been awhile for him. Since there were no spread jumps in the sequence we were doing, I decided to run him at his regular jump height, 12”, he was fantastic, actually jumping really well ! There was only one jump where he took off exceptionally long. I was quite a bit ahead of him so I think he took off long to try and catch me.

I found out at the last minute about 10am Friday, that there were runs open in the CPE trial on Saturday 1/15 and I could have them if I wanted. We went and both Suds and Myth were awesome. They were both in the first two classes, Suds ran Level 2 Fullhouse (for an explanation see here; -page 18) was a very good boy did miss the weaves but still Q’d, he also ran level 2 standard and Q’d . Myth was a VERY good girl, ran Level 1 Fullhouse, was very focused and fast ;-) and nailed her weaves, and earned her CPE title CL1-F ! She also ran Level 1 standard, WOW ! was super, running about 4 YPS (no weaves or teeter in level 1) for a Q and her CL1-R title. Josie ran also but, I was a little unmotivated and in standard she missed her dog walk contact – jumped it, naughty girl, she was running well and did have an awesome time – 10 seconds under the first place dog. In Wildcard we had an off course - handler error ;-).

We now have a little break from trials, nothing until the second weekend in February.


“A person who never made a mistake never tried anything new.” Albert Einstein

Thursday, January 6, 2011

2010 in review.....on to 2011

To wrap up 2010 …..the gang and I headed to Amherst Junction, WI for an agility trial the weekend before Christmas. The goal was to get Suds either a Standard or Jumpers Q to finish a title…..He did both !! not on the same day, but considering this was a facility he had never run at before he was great. I think this was the first time he has run both Standard and Jumpers on the same day, two days in a row. He use to get stressed, lose focus and start to wander if he had to do more than one class
He now gets to add AXP and AJP after his name and move on to Excellent B Preferred in both Standard and Jumpers !!

Josie continues to be very consistent, although did a little tunnel wander in one class…..for the weekend she earned 2 QQs and 100 points, she took a couple of seconds and thirds, we were competing against a Toy Fox Terrier that was National Champion several times, to say he is fast is a mild understatement ;-)

Myth made her AKC debut….Saturday was really good, she ran well, a little tentative, so a bit slower than I know she can run, also had to attempt the weaves a couple of times, (not a fault at the Novice level) she usually nails them so I know her stress level was a little high. She did get qualifying scores in both Jumpers and Standard. Sunday the wheels fell of the bus…..she did run her Standard course with no course faults, but was so tentative and got stuck a few times she ended up with to many time faults to qualify. Jumpers was a little to much for the baby Lhasa, she took 2 or 3 jumps and wanted to leave, she did manage to stay in the ring and come to me (better than her Mom did when she first started trialing).

2010 was a good year for the MeLou Lhasas;
Ella earned her Championship, 4 points short of her Grand Championship, finished in the top 20 Lhasas in the nation (not final yet, but she should stay in there) and received an invite to the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational
Josie earned her MX, OF and MACH titles, earned an invite to the ACK/Eukanuba Agility Invitational as the #1 Lhasa, finishing in 10th place, #1 Lhasa, #10 High Conformation Dog after all four rounds (dog with a Championship, 1 of only 2 8” dogs in the top 20) #9 in the Non-Sporting Group (the only 8” dog in the top 20).
Suds earned his OJP, OAP, AXP and AJP titles and continues to improve his confidence and focus.
Myth earned 2 points (with very limited showing) towards her Championship and successfully debuted in Agility.

On to 2011…..

We did a New Years Day trial in familiar settings at On The Run. Josie and Suds both in Excellent B. Josie earned 1 QQ and 78 points, the only thing she missed all weekend was a very difficult weave entry, about 80% of the class NQ’d at the weaves. The judge was a former world team coach and previous years Nationals judge = challenging courses that were very fun!

Suds almost pulled out his first QQ – almost. Saturday he ran just great, Q and first place in Jumpers, unfortunately he dropped a bar in Standard, I think I may have been to close when I did my front cross, unlike Josie he needs a bit more room on the landing side….Sunday his Jumpers run was just as good, ended up second. In Standard ,the same weaves Josie missed was also Suds' trouble spot, although he nailed the entry, he popped out at the second pole….the rest of the run was just beautiful. This was his second time running both classes, both days and he was fantastic, running very enthusiastically, although he did start out just a bit tentative on the second day once he got rolling he picked it up. Now to try for a three day trial – coming in February.

Myth’s weekend was full of ups and downs, thankfully the ups outweighed the downs and we ended with an up! Her first run was Standard and it was a beautiful run…..except for the big, scary, Lhasa eating, monster = the Chute. Guess what we will be doing in class, at home, wherever we can. It may have been partially due to the chute straightner (ring crew) who was seated about 10 feet away from the entrance, this is to close in Myth’s mind. Her Jumpers run was fantastic ! I compared her yps (yards per second) against what Josie ran in Novice and they are pretty close. Myth is running an average 3.55/yps, Josie average was 3.68/yps, and Myth is about 6 months younger so her time will only improve. It does feel like Myth is running slower than Josie did, but it is probably due to the fact that Josie is currently running about 4.5/yps and she could shave some off of that if we could speed up those weaves like I know she can ! Sunday’s Standard for Myth involved a very tall judge being to close to the teeter and dog walk….we will be having people standing in the ring during practice! She came out of the tunnel and the judge was on one side of the teeter and I was on the other, she took one look at the judge and stopped dead, made a wide berth around him proceeded on course over a jump to the table, turned to go to the dog walk and he was right next to me, she said "nuh uh", turned to go the other way (out the ring), I called her, she looked at me, looked at the judge, turned to leave again, I took off across the ring –away from the judge and she said OK! jumped a couple of jumps and we left. Oh, the challenges of baby dogs ;-). Jacque had the judge give her treats between classes, not sure if that helped or the fact the judge was not as close, but her Jumpers run was fantastic! Ended up first and earned her Novice Agility Jumpers NAJ title!

Overall a very successful weekend, came away with things we need to work on for Myth and had a good time.


“Losers live in the past. Winners learn from the past and enjoy working in the present toward the future.” Denis Waitley