Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Training 30

It's really hard to believe, but our first AKC trial looms exactly two weeks from this Friday. I feel like I sent in my entry years ago; it almost felt like the day would never actually come. Even now, April seems so far away, when, in reality, it's right around the corner.

As I mentioned yesterday, yet another private lesson was cancelled. That's two weeks in a row without any "real" agility. I shouldn't worry too much, since we got rained out a few times before our NADAC trial last November, and it didn't present any problems at the trial. Maybe, just maybe, she'll be so excited to do agility at the trial that she'll pay perfect attention, and we'll Q as long as I don't screw up. Ya never know.

In the mean time, I am trying to get Marge physically ready for this trial and the trial season.
  • I'm trying to amp up the number of walks. I'm shooting for at least three walks a day, an hour of walking total. I wish I could take her on one long walk, but, unfortunately, the longer Marge is out, the less enthusiastic she is about walking and the more she worries about the world around her. So, usually our walks are 20-30 minutes long. It's also important to mention that Marge is on her long leash for a fair number of these walks, so she gets more exercise than if she was simply walking next to me. If I can get out for a couple of long hikes between now and the trial, I'll be happy.
  • I'm beginning to stretch Marge before practice and make sure she runs around a little bit to loosen up. I think I'm going to ask my trainer if there's anything in particular that I should be doing. I do simple stuff, since she isn't exactly 100% comfortable with being manipulated - having her hold a play bow, luring her to stretch her neck from side to side, helping her stretch out her back by holding her back legs (she LOVES this), turning her in circles. Maybe I'll post a video some time of the things that I do. If you have any suggestions, let me know.
The one thing that scares me about agility is the possibility of injury. Living with a fearful and HURT dog is something I don't want to have to experience. So, I hope that taking these measures will reduce the chance of that happening.

One other thing I need to get working on is getting Marge a new collar. I'm totally thrilled with the fact that AKC allows collars in the ring, so I want to get Marge a buckle collar with her name and my phone number on it to be her official trial collar. This site says they ship the order out within a couple of days, so if I order tonight, maybe I'll get it on time.

We've worked on the wicket a few times - Marisa insists that I will be able to feed Marge while she is being measured, and, since both of the judges at this trial are women, I'm really hoping that this won't be a huge issue. I am off from school the week before the trial, so, if possible, I'll schedule some time to go down to the hall to work on this.

The only thing left is the actual agility. Hopefully, the training building will be repaired enough by this weekend to allow for another lesson with Marisa. I want to run a standard course, since it feels like a really long time since we've worked on anything that wasn't like a drill. I also hope to drop in to class two weeks in a row, so that should get Marge back into the swing of waiting for her turn to run, being around other dogs, and all that lovely stuff. In a couple of weeks (after the trial, unfortunately), we'll be back outside at the agility field. I am so excited for that.

My plan is not to focus so much on any one event alone, but to see how things go as the season progresses. It remains to be seen how much I keep to that plan, but, trying is the first step, I think.


LauraK March 16, 2010 at 11:50 AM  

Sounds like you've got a great plan for the next couple weeks. I'm excited to hear about the trial, you gals will do awesome :) I love that picture of Marge, so cute!

Bijou March 16, 2010 at 2:01 PM  

Hi Marge & Sam,

You are so smart I know you'll do fine at your agility trial. Just remember, have fun and it will all work out.

Storms are no fun at all! I hope you weren't scared by the noise.


Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart March 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Some of my friends taught their dogs to dig on cue as part of their warm-up for shoulders. Since so many trials around here are in horse barns and such, they can usually find a corner somewhere for their dogs to dig.

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart March 16, 2010 at 2:49 PM  

Some of my friends taught their dogs to dig on cue as part of their warm-up for shoulders. Since so many trials around here are in horse barns and such, they can usually find a corner somewhere for their dogs to dig.

Anonymous March 16, 2010 at 3:29 PM  

Oh, I gots so excited reading about all your plans for the trial. You and Marge are gonna do just great! And for my part, I will keep my paws crossed and send some wiggles and wags your way!


Chris and Ricky March 16, 2010 at 3:31 PM  

You and Marge are going to do great at your first AKC trial! Try not to keep worrying and remember to just have fun! The novice courses will be a breeze for you to remember and to perform. And I often do better when I haven't trained for awhile - makes me appreciate being able to do agility even more! :)

Kathy Mocharnuk March 16, 2010 at 4:01 PM  

Sounds like you got the major things covered with the warm up, I have been trying to do a little more trotting for a little longer to warm up for us. Do not worry too much about the measuring they will usually help you-they are used to dogs with issues and most of the judges are really nice and even if you can not feed the entire time you can feed, pull it away and then feed again really soon within seconds usually. It doesnt sound like Marge is close to the cut off height??? and if she is not a lot of times they just sort of take a quick look and do a good guess-that is what they did with Breeze in USDAA-of course they got her height at 19 1/2 inches when she is 17 3/4, but it was under the cut off so what ever. Breeze is a real freak and even we thought it ended up not being as bad as we thought and for AKC breeze is RIGHT ON THE LINE, so they had to make sure of the measurement. Anyway, do not worry about it, it will not be near as bad as you think ;-). I am so excited for your trial, just have fun, AKC is no different then what you have trialed with in the past really.

Sara March 16, 2010 at 4:37 PM  

You & Marge are going to do great at the trial. Oreo has been measured numerous times, and he's always been relatively ok with it. The judges usually are very understanding, and approach from behind, so Oreo can focus on me, not them.

Anna the GSD March 16, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

There's nothing like a new collar to make a girl feel special!! Go for it!!

I went to my first AKC Agility trial this last weekend! It was fun to watch all the dogs running around. Maybe one day I'll give it a try! Can't wait to see photos of you and your ribbons!

Gus, Louie and Callie March 16, 2010 at 5:57 PM  

We sure can't wait for the trial. It seems you have everything all lined up..

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

houndstooth March 16, 2010 at 6:29 PM  

We've got our fingers crossed for you and Marge! I bet you'll do great!

AC March 16, 2010 at 6:57 PM  

When you said your trial is two weeks away, I had a surge of adrenaline! I think I'm nervous-excited for you guys.

If I walk Kona in the neighborhood, I also have to keep the time we're out short. It's so important to keep their enthusiasm up and make sure stress isn't building.

I'd love to see a video of Marge doing her warm-ups!

Cyndi and Stumpy March 16, 2010 at 6:59 PM  

Oh! We are so excited for your first trial of the season, and your first AKC trial! I just know you and Marge are going to do wonderfully!

Do we need to threaten, bribe or be extra nice to Louie for lots of video and pictures???

Two French Bulldogs March 16, 2010 at 9:02 PM  

how exciting for you guys. Our paws will be crossed for you
Benny & Lily

The Army of Four March 16, 2010 at 9:15 PM  

Great photo!
Good luck to both of you! Relax and have fun!!!
Tail wags,

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! March 16, 2010 at 9:30 PM  

Dear Marge -

Please make sure woo tell your mom to just BREATHE!

It will go furry well!

Khyra & Khousin Merdie

White Dog Blog March 16, 2010 at 11:45 PM  

Follow your plan, stay focused, and you will do GREAT! Thank you for stopping by my blog to wish mom a happy day. You made mom smile and helped a puppy in need! You have a kind heart!

Diana March 17, 2010 at 9:02 AM  

Dont worry to much. It sounds like you have it together. About injury, most dogs dont get injuried doing agility. Its usually doing something else that does it. Lol Diana

Cheryl, Indiana, Shingo and Molly March 17, 2010 at 12:10 PM  

It's good to be prepared!! That's a great shot of Marge too!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

Woofs and Kisses!

Ice Pony Girl March 18, 2010 at 12:10 AM  

Have fun!!!

Sue March 18, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

That's exciting. Stay calm and you'll do fine.

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