Jun 17, 2011

We're "Legal" :)

Tomorrow Potion turns 15 months and becomes "legal" to participate in AKC trials. She's still very much a baby dog, I'm still figuring out how to best handle things with her, and we're definitely still sorting out our teamwork - but that's part of the fun! :) We'll attend our first agility trial together next weekend, and I'm feeling relatively comfortable and excited about that prospect.

I have no actual expectations for the trial - while she certainly has the skills the qualify, she's still very much a baby dog and there are a lot of things we've yet to experience and figure out together. My goal for the weekend is simply to have a good time with her, to generalize our skills to another new location, and see how our behaviors hold up in that setting. We have a bit of "zero tolerance" criteria (primarily start lines, and any deliberate bailing of a contact obstacle once on it), but for the most part I plan to have fairly forgiving criteria because of the completely new setting.

Since we started agility training she's done agility in 8+ different locations, on 4 different surfaces. She's encountered both AKC and USDAA tires, rubberized and non-rubberized contacts, and I think some variation in weave pole spacing (but I believe all have been at least 22" spacing). We've trained in a variety of circumstances including multiple dogs working at once, class/seminar formats, and agility demonstrations in a crowded park. We've hung out at a few agility trials just to experience them, an obedience show & go, and participated in several dog shows. In almost every case I've been incredibly impressed with her ability to generalize behaviors to new situations and equipment. :)

I made a video of highlights since we started agility training in October through last month. We'll have up to 2 more agility classes before the trial on Saturday - tomorrow we're dropping in on a class at Pawsitive Partners, and then Monday we're attending a class at MOTC if the weather permits. I doubt we'll have video from either, but I do hope to have video from the trial. :) Until then!

No comments:

Post a Comment