Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

MACH NINA!!!!!!

Sunday, July 30th, 2017

The last time we showed to judge Howard Etzel, we had a no Q weekend. This time Nina earned her MACH, earned QQ #21 (#1 towards MACH2), and had a perfect day today! Her tally for the weekend was two QQ’s (one of which earned her MACH), two Premier Jumpers Q’s, a Time 2 Beat Q and a Master FAST Q. Her best weekend to date.

I was crying so hard when I went to hug the judge I could barely see. This MACH has been a long and amazing and educational journey and there were times I thought that we might not get there, and that would have been fine anyway!

Every single run with Nina is a joy, Q or no Q, and I try very hard to never forget to feel grateful for each and every one, thanking her for the privilege of her effort is part of every run). So very, very proud of this little dog.

At 10 years old she is running faster and smoother than ever, she loves this game more than anything, she is still bouncing with excitement at the start line, and she was a qualifying machine this weekend. This might have been our best qualifying weekend to date!

She is just an amazing dog. And I think HER favorite part of her MACH was that she got another turn to run!

Bert was awesome too! He earned his first NAJ (Novice Agility Jumpers) leg, and is really starting to get the hang of the game! He goes home in September and I will really miss him, I look forward to seeing how he progresses!

Nina Friday FAST (Q):

Nina Friday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (MACH part 1):

Nina Saturday Standard (MACH!!!):

Bert Saturday Standard (NQ, but really coming along nicely!):

Bert Saturday Jumpers (first Jumpers Q!):

Nina Sunday Premier Jumpers (Q):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (part 1 of QQ #21):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, bonus scritches at the start):

Nina Sunday Standard (part 2 of QQ #21!):

2017 Invitational, Here We Come!

Saturday, July 15th, 2017

My girls did it again! They are such amazing dogs and they run their hearts out for me every time, and they LOVE the agility game so, so much!

Zhora qualified in first place again, Nina in fourth. This will be Nina’s fourth year in a row being invited, and Zhora’s third in a row (she’s only been in Masters for three years).

SO proud of my girls! And huge congratulations to my BFF and training/traveling partner Sue Verbocy, who also qualified with her two Vizslas! Orlando here we come! Look out!

Alaskan Malamute Club of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, July 9th, 2017

Nina was on 19 1/2 QQ”s today, but I overhandled a tunnel entrance in Standard and cost us the MACH. Oh well, it could be next weekend, it could be next year, but I am so happy to be here with her and running with her. Michele Fletcher’s courses were very technical and challenging but fun, you really felt like you’d accomplished something if you qualified on them! And Bert made his agility debut and did AMAZINGLY well! For a dog with just a few weeks of training (and not daily training either), he was wonderful, brave, focused, willing. What a good boy! He wore Tish’s pink Brilliant K9 harness all weekend and didn’t seem to mind, too!

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because she slipped in the weaves, tried to keep going but had already slipped out. I had no idea how I was going to handle the opening, and then I did a blind cross which was not ANY of the different ways I walked it, worked nicely though!):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (NQ thanks to handler error that sent her to an off course):

Nina Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 29 points, really tough weave entry and she drove ahead and nailed it!):

Bert Saturday Novice Standard (NQ, but what a great very first run, I was telling him all the way around what a good boy he was and what a great job he was doing, you can see on the table when I tell him how awesome he is and his tail starts wagging faster, what a sweetie):

Bert Saturday Novice Jumpers (NQ, but very nearly a Q! And he’s so focused on getting going at the start that he doesn’t want to sit):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place, 20 points, the first four dogs were within a second of each other, the handling error that caused the near-refusal cost us time, this was a tough course!):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ # 54, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (not MACH….you can hear me call to videographer Zap “Did we Q?” at the end, after we destroy the course, the line after the non-wing jump after the aframe ate a number of teams alive, that…wasn’t where we had a problem, I called her even though she was headed to the right end of the tunnel after the dogwalk and earned a refusal):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #54, third place, 29 points):

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 18th, 2017

Our dear friend Sherry Jefferson was the judge this weekend and her courses were awesome. Zhora earned QQ #52 and Nina! Nina earned QQ #19!!! Video camera issues mean I missed some runs :(.We had 19 1/2 today but the deceptively tricky standard course got us (especially since I didn’t handle it the way I’d planned to). Nina was 3/3 in Time 2 Beat AND 3/3 in Jumpers, PLUS she earned another Master FAST Q. Nina’s best qualifying weekend to date! Zhora was awesome but caffeinated! Overall a very, very fun trial. Oddly, I am much more sanguine about sitting on 19 QQ’s than I was on 18. Now I believe that MACH will actually happen. Maybe next trial, maybe next year. It IS Nina after all, and no matter what, it’s amazing to be here with her! I am SO happy with how they are both running, they are both so eager and joyful about playing this game with me, that’s worth 20 MACHs to me.

Nina Friday FAST (76 points):

Zhora Friday Standard (QQ 53, second place to world team Keebler, 4.101 YPS, 32 points):

Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ 53, 4th place, 5.085 YPS, 20 points, one of her best runs to date):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, 4.943 YPS, 20 points, LOVE her drive!!!):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points, her happy bouncing around at the start line is the best thing):

Nina Saturday Standard (QQ #19, second place to world team Keebler, 4.17 YPS, 32 points, good good girlie, this course was so fun):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, should have led out further so I could get the front cross in and keep her out of the tunnel!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (Q, fourth place thanks to wrong turn, 4.789 YPS, 18 points):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, third place, 4.805 YPS, 18 points):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (Q, first place, 10 points):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ, not-MACH (love my awesome friends all groaning when we NQ), intended to front cross after a-frame, should have…that set her up for the bar down on the awkward rear cross and off course tunnel):

Zhora Sunday Standard (NQ, fixed the near off-course at a-frame with Nina with a front cross before the table, remembered to cross after a-frame but stupidly did a BLIND cross, showing extension and forward direction, thus sending her towards the OFF COURSE TUNNEL again…also she ran right by the final tunnel because she was in a hurry to get cookies. And I LOVE that you can see her interrupt her regularly scheduled barking on the table when she recognizes Sherry’s voice and turns to look at her):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 11th, 2017

Our second time at the Sportsplex and much better than last time. Zhora earned QQ # 52 on Saturday, and both girls set career-high points on Oksana Syrkin’s awesome Standard course on Saturday (the dogs could see the running lines perfectly and just ran flat out the whole way). It was hot and sticky and while Zhora managed to be the only 8″ dog to qualify on Mary Mullen’s challenging Sunday Standard course, stupid handler errors cost us in JWW with both dogs.

Nina Friday JWW (Q, first place, 23 points, 5.52 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #52, second place, career-high 37 points, 4.57 YPS):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, first place, career-high 39 points, 4.82 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #52, second place, 17 points, a bit distracted still in the JWW ring but getting better):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, only 8″ qualifier, 32 points, 4.068 YPS, quite a challenging course!):

Zhora Sunday JWW (NQ, she is very distracted by the crating by the ring and I needed to support the tunnel much more than I did, you can hear Nina barking, the crating is way too close to the ring here for my liking):

Nina Sunday JWW (NQ, nice run, I overhandled and got in her way and caused the bar down, you can hear Zhora barking, I only had 5 dogs between them and she had only just finished running and got chucked in the crate with a cookie and a promise for more when I got done running Nina!)):

Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 14th, 2017

Some really fun and challenging courses from judge Laura English. A great weekend! Nina’s birthday was Sunday, and she celebrated early with QQ #18 on Friday, and went 3/3 in Time 2 Beat. Zhora was back on form, earning QQ’s #50 and 51 and going 5/6.

Nina Friday Standard (QQ #18, first place, 33 points, 4.265 YPS):

Nina Friday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (second place, 21 points, 5.1 YPS):

Nina Friday Jumpers (QQ# 18, first place, 22 points, 5.244 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #50, first place, 19 points, 4.877 YPS):

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ because of stupid handler error not pushing her out to that jump near the end!):

Nina Saturday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #50, second place, 31 points, 3.96 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #51, second place, 19 points, 5.055 YPS):

Nina Sunday Time 2 Beat (first place, 10 points):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #51, first place (only 8″ regular dog to qualify), 30 points, 3.945 YPS):

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 7th, 2017

Zhora RAN OUT OF THE RING on Saturday and cost us a double Q. I guess the meatballs I borrowed from Sue combined with the Lotus Ball was too tempting! What a shame as it was an awesome run. Judge Elane Rice designed some tricky courses. No Q Nina was in effect but had some really nice bits. Zhora has found another gear. Overall I was really happy with how both girls ran.

Zhora Saturday Standard (Q, first place, 32 points, 4.187 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, second place, 16 points, 4.677 YPS):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Sunday Standard (one bar, nice run):

Nina Sunday Standard (OMG SOOO CLOOOOSE to saving the Q after she broke her stay at the start and several close calls but then one bar and I forced that front cross at the end of the DW for an R):

Erie Kennel Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, April 16th, 2017

What else do people do on Easter weekend?

Our regular judge (Lisa Rieves) was unable to come so Kimberly Ingraham covered for her. Nina…was Nina. A FAST Q and a Premier Standard Q were it for her for the weekend. Zhora was a Jumpers specialist, earning QQ #49 on Friday and qualifying in JWW on Saturday and Sunday too, all first places! She was running really fast and happy.

Nina Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Friday Standard (QQ#49, second place, 30 points, 3.954 YPS):

Nina Friday Premier Standard (Q):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (QQ#49, first place, 17 points, 4.896 YPS):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, first place, 19 points, 5.028 YPS):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (Q, first place, 15 points, 4.531 YPS):

Admiral Perry Obedience Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

It’s not that often that a 3 Q weekend feels like a success, but this weekend was one of those times! I was happy with my handling for the most part, and I was VERY happy that both dogs ran fast and well. Zhora especially seemed to find another gear (her Q Saturday in Jumpers was 2/10 of a second behind one of the fastest dogs we trial with). She got the zoomies, and really started running as fast as I know she can. That means I need to make some handling adjustments but that’s a-ok! Judge Michele Fletcher designed some really fun courses, which were an unusual combination of fast AND technical (many technical courses are slower, “city driving” sort of courses). They were really fun but quite tricky (Zhora was the only 8″ dog to qualify in Standard on Sunday).

Nina Saturday Jumpers (NQ, nice run):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (Q, second place, 18 points, 4.933 yards per second):

Nina Saturday Premier Jumpers (NQ because she didn’t read the forced front at the beginning, very nice rest of the run though):

Nina Saturday Standard (Q, second place, 33 points 4.2 YPS, she slid off the table with her front feet but pulled herself back up, no fault since she kept one foot on the table):

Zhora Saturday Standard (NQ, zoomies into the tunnel, barking at me, being a nutjob, really happy with her speed and drive!):

Nina Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice run once we got going, nice weave distance):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (NQ, nice and fast):

Nina Sunday Standard (NQ because I didn’t support the double after the triple):

Zhora Sunday Standard (Q, first place, 30 points, 4 YPS):

2017 NAC Official Videos

Sunday, April 9th, 2017

Here they are!

Friday warm-up round:

Friday Premier:

Saturday Round 2 Standard (we ran round 2 before round 1):

Saturday Round 1 Jumpers:

Sunday Round 3 Hybrid: