Tuesday, November 8, 2011


Marge and I went in to this weekend of agility with not a single qualifying score in Excellent A Standard.

We went out with three.

Yes, in what I consider to be a stunning turn of events, Marge and I qualified in three straight Excellent Standard runs at my club's 3-day agility trial.

We were helped tremendously by the fact that we had a special training session at a not-so-nearby agility club to address Marge's aversion to the new teeter that they have been using in local competitions.   My club owns an old teeter that my dog is familiar with, which makes it pretty much useless for my purposes.

So, I dropped in to a Beginner agility class about 60 miles away to work on that specific teeter.  Thanks to the help of the instructor (whose instruction I REALLY enjoyed, and who I will be having a private lesson with this weekend), I also corrected some handling mistakes that were making matters much worse.  I was hesitating at the middle of the teeter plank and that was causing Marge to lose momentum and sometimes bail off.  It was a handling strategy I had originally incorporated to help coach Marge over the teeter, but I guess it started to backfire.

She was pretty much solely reward-based in her agility training methods and reminded me of some things that I could do to build positive associations between various things in agility and at agility trials.

Coming in to this weekend, I had one goal and one goal only - run to the end of the teeter plank and get Marge to stay on the board and complete the obstacle.

Turns out I far surpassed that goal.

How or why Marge and I ran so well in Standard this weekend, I will never know. Could one little training session have fixed several months of failure in Excellent Standard? I don't know. I just hope that we keep running like this.

(Our Jumpers runs were good, too - one off course the first day, one dropped bar the second day, and one tight little sequence that doomed us on the third day.)

That's it, we're in Excellent B now. The big time. Every qualifying run will come with a point value attached to it. Every Q (and double Q) will bring me closer to the one title I truly covet.


andrea November 8, 2011 at 6:30 PM  


can't wait to watch the video :)

jesirose November 8, 2011 at 7:09 PM  

Way to go! We just got two legs on our Rally Novice, it's SO exciting to get those ribbons!!!

Amy / Layla the Malamute November 8, 2011 at 8:27 PM  

I saw the videos on Youtube and she looked AWESOME. One interesting thing that I noticed was, on Friday she hesitated a little heading up the dogwalk. As if she thought it was the teeter? But on Sunday she was flying up it with no hesitation. Plus, each day her teeter speed improved too.

Which trainer is it?

Congratulations again - I'm really happy for you!

Cinnamon and Mint November 8, 2011 at 9:11 PM  

Well done!! I am so proud of you two!!!

Kari in Alaska November 8, 2011 at 9:35 PM  

Look at that beautiful ribbons :)

Stop on by for a visit

Dachshund Nola November 8, 2011 at 10:17 PM  

Kisses and Tail Wags,
Dachshund Nola

Two French Bulldogs November 8, 2011 at 11:17 PM  

Benny & Lily

Unknown November 9, 2011 at 2:06 AM  


Marge looks so happy with her ribbons!

Chris and Ricky November 9, 2011 at 6:51 AM  


Diana November 9, 2011 at 7:26 AM  

Congrats!! WTG!

Roxanne @ Champion of My Heart November 9, 2011 at 10:44 AM  

The big time for sure. Congrats.

Sue November 9, 2011 at 3:01 PM  

Wow, that's great! We're so happy for you both.

Muttsandaklutz November 9, 2011 at 6:09 PM  

Wowie -- 3 in a row! Congrats!

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