Archive for the ‘agility’ Category

Cuyahoga Valley Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, January 14th, 2023

Our first trial of 2023, and what a great day it was! I’m only doing one day per weekend at Countryside during the winter because that way if the weather is bad, I don’t mind eating a day’s entries. If I enter a whole weekend and the weather’s bad…it’s irksome.

Anyway! Judge Laura Kuterbach designed some really difficult courses with very low qualifying rates, and I’m horribly out of shape, and the dogs aren’t in great shape either (we’re working on both), and we haven’t trialed (other than Zhora at the Invitational) since November, and we haven’t been training at all…and and and….but somehow, my amazing girlies pulled off a PERFECT DAY!

Zhora earned her sixth QQ towards MACH8, and Alice earned her very first QQ (and it was actually a triple Q, towards her TQX, because she also qualified in FAST). It was a very small trial, and there were only 5 8″ dogs, so I had almost no time to warm up properly, so I was running even slower than usual, but we did it! The courses didn’t have much room to open up and let the dogs run, and they don’t like that, but it also meant that Alice didn’t get high and zoomy and stayed controlled. Not as much fun, but better for qualifying. AND! They went 1-2 both times with very close times. Alice might have edged out Zhora for first place in Standard if we hadn’t had a miscommunication that led to a wrong turn and ate some time.

Alice Saturday FAST (part 1 of QQQ #1):

Alice Saturday Standard (part 2 of QQQ #1, second place):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #146, first place):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (part 3 of QQQ #1, second place):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #146, first place):

2022 AKC Agility Invitational

Friday, December 23rd, 2022

Zhora has been invited to the Invitational every year since she got into Masters. She’s been such an amazingly consistent dog, and every run with her I am cognizant of what a privilege it is. Anyway, since Orbit and Ruth qualified for the AKC National Owner Handled Series Finals this year, Ruth and I packed up the dogs and headed to Orlando! Orbit and Ruth’s adventures will be in a separate post.

Orbit and Zhora, son and mother, catching some Florida sunshine.

Zhora went 3/4 in the Invitational, and also qualified in Time 2 Beat. The one NQ was my fault. We weren’t our fastest, we weren’t our fittest (I had a foot injury that meant we got way less exercise and practice than usual in the months beforehand), but we showed up and ran! Z finished 66th out of 148 dogs, not bad!

Thank you as always for this experience, Zhora!

Time 2 Beat:

Round 1 Jumpers:

Round 2 Standard (our only NQ because I disconnected, but also my favorite run):

Round 3 Hybrid:

Round 4 Jumpers (Zhora had a reverse sneezing fit right at the startline, she was sneezing and wheezing for the first half of the course, but she just kept going, she has so much heart and so much working drive):

DOTCORNY AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, November 6th, 2022

Lots of fun and very challenging courses from Zach Davis and Janet Budzynski. Zhora had a perfect weekend with two more QQ’s (running slower than usual because she really didn’t like these courses), Alice got a very tough FAST send on Saturday, and earned a “moral” QQ on Sunday, with a Master Standard Q AND an Excellent JWW Q to finish her AXJ (on a course I thought we didn’t have a chance of qualifying on). Such great girls.

Alice Saturday FAST (Q):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #144):

Zhora Saturday JWW (QQ #144):

Alice Sunday Standard (Q):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ145):

Zhora Sunday JWW (QQ145):

Alice Sunday JWW (AXJ!):

Evie Training

Wednesday, July 13th, 2022

Evie is six months old now. I have done SHOCKINGLY little with her to be honest. Playing, relationship building, a few tricks, conformation handling, but very small amounts of each. This puppy is HUNGRY to learn, she LOVES to work, she is EXACTLY what I wanted out of a Zar/Alice baby. I am so excited about her. She is so smart, she is so willing, she has SO MUCH sticktuitiveness.

Here is a tiny bit of training from yesterday, the good the bad and the ugly. We have done MAYBE three sessions of tiny sequences before this. She’s done a few tunnels, she’s done a handful of “offering the jump” sessions, this is about as untrained as you get. But she figures it out, she wants to play, and she wants to RUN.

Love this puppy!

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 26th, 2022

Always nice to have a trial in almost my own back yard! Oksana Syrkin gave us some pretty tough courses. Alice earned her first MACH points and picked up a T2B and AXJ leg and overall ran really well. Zhora went 5/6 and picked up her first two QQ’s for MACH8. Fun time with good friends!

Friday Alice T2B (Q and first place!):

Friday Zhora Standard (Q):

Friday Alice Standard (Q and first MACH points!):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #141):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #141):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ but nice run):

Zhora Sunday Standard (QQ #142):

Zhora Sunday Jumpers (QQ #142):

Alice Sunday Jumpers (AXJ leg #2):

Clarion Canine Obedience Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, June 19th, 2022

Favorite judge and friend Sherry Jefferson gave us some tricky, trappy courses. Friday we managed a single Q (Alice in Master FAST). But SATURDAY! Zhora earned MACH7 (her seventh agility championship) and Alice earned her Agility Excellent (AX) title, she is now in Master Standard and starts earning MACH points. Still two legs to go for her AXJ (Excellent Jumpers) title, she would have had it yesterday but I overhandled a tunnel near the end and she did exactly what I asked her to do, which was the wrong thing.

We’ve had a lot of time away from agility and I can feel it and it shows. We aren’t fit enough and we aren’t in sync enough. Rusty rusty. Still, my girls are working hard and doing what I ask! And it’s still agility!

Alice Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Friday Standard (NQ):

Alice Friday Standard (NQ):

Alice Friday Time 2 Beat (nice run but NQ):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (part 1 of MACH7):

Alice Saturday Standard (Q and AX title):

Alice Saturday FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (MACH7!!):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (nice run, handler error!):

Border Collie Society of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

We’re starting to get our mojo working again. Judge Frank Gilmer gave us some really challenging tests in his courses. Alice had a Master FAST Q and a Time 2 Beat Q, and some really nice other runs (we were only just starting to really know how to work together when we took the puppy break, and the whole giant COVID break really put such a spanner in the works getting her going initially). Zhora earned her 19th QQ for MACH7 on Saturday! She’s a pro and even she got caught by one of Frank’s evil weave/tunnel traps.

Alice Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Friday Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (NQ, nice distance and holy crap look at her aframe LOL):

Alice Friday T2B (Q):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #139, this run felt great, connected, I trust her so much to do her job properly and independently):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ but a lot to like her, the opening especially is really good):

Alice Saturday FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #139):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but a lovely run. This is a perfect example of how important connection is. I connected with her out of the tunnel, but dropped the connection to check where I was at JUST the wrong time, and she drove out to what was in front of her, as she should. The rest of the run was awesome):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Our first trial in MANY months. And we’ve had very little training/practice either. So I felt rusty as hell on Friday, somewhat better Saturday. The dogs are in generally good shape and stayed pretty fit during the puppy hiatus. Yours truly, on the other hand? Well…I have some work to do.

Zhora went 3/4, picking up QQ #18 towards MACH7 (2 more to go, then I think I will move her to Preferred, she’ll turn 10 this year), Alice went 0/5 but had some gorgeous runs.

Friday Zhora Jumpers (NQ, she was sniffing a lot at the start and I wasn’t connected when we got going so she missed the weave entry):

Friday Alice Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, I got in her way a bit at the double so got a bar):

Friday Alice FAST (NQ):

Friday Zhora Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (rabies mode, and her only rabies mode at this trial, and a perfect example of why I need to stay connected to her!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ, you will notice that she knocked a bar near the end, it wasn’t set to the correct height so she got a pass for it):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, she misstepped in the weaves):

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, September 4th, 2021

After last weekend, when we had one single Q, we had a kick ass day! I worked quite a lot with Alice over the last week and it paid off. Connection, connection, connection, staying slower (not slowing her down but not pushing for speed) and calmer and quieter meant that she went 3/4 on the day, earned her first Excellent Jumpers Q and finished her Open Agility title (she’s all the way into Excellent now!). It also helped that she had two games classes before a “real” class, so we had a chance to warm up and get some kinks out. And Zhora doubled. Quite challenging Laura Kuterbach courses (the ending of Open Standard was significantly harder than the Masters course ending):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ, training mode, great weaves and ran off to reward):

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #135):

Alice Time 2 Beat (Q, first T2B leg):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ #135):

Alice Excellent Jumpers (Q!):

Alice Open Standard (Q, OA title!):

Olean KC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

I made some changes, did more practice, and what do you know? It makes a difference!

Alice really, really needs connection, she really needs me to focus on her and get her to focus on me before we run. And she had her best trial day to date! A beautiful T2B run with just one off course. A FAST run where I didn’t connect and she transformed into ALICEALICEALICEHEY! And then qualifying runs in BOTH Jumpers (for her OAJ title, now she moves into Excellent Jumpers) and Standard (for her second OA leg). And weaves on the first try every time. So proud of her!

And Zhora doubled for QQ #134, winning standard and coming fourth in jumpers. She’s like a pair of comfortable slippers that barks and runs fast.

Really proud of my girls.

Alice Time 2 Beat (NQ but really nice run we need to work on our tunnel call offs and discriminations)

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #134):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ and a great example of what happens when I don’t connect and use clear and calm cues):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Open Jumpers (Q, almost 5 YPS, OAJ title):


Alice Open Standard (Q):