Thursday, 20 February 2014

A bad day......

Irritated,annoyed,sad,disappointed,angry....just a few of the emotions I felt at the last open show.
I wont be going into details regarding my results, courses were crappy and it was a very unpleasant day.

We had a learner judge ( which I understand can make mistakes) and her courses were terrible. They were courses where it made her smile knowing that almost everyone in agility 3 dq'd. Now I am all for nice,flowing and challenging courses but having a weave entry 180 degrees from coming off the see saw is just not according to the guidelines we follow. Wasn't there an over seeing judge you may ask, OH YES there was but she never made it onto the field once to look at what was put out. Now in my opinion how can you crit or "judge" a judge by sitting in your car and watching round after round. Anyway last time I run any rounds under this judge.

Another thing, toys and leads. OMW this is all becoming a joke. I understand there will be new rules coming in affect in April, hellooooo its only FEB. But apparently we need to get used to the idea so this judge has decided to enforce this rule now and then sommer for agility too!! We had a bucket a few meters behind the startline to put toys, leads and whatever else we had with us. OK fair enough. However we were not allowed to take our dog to the actual start position on lead and if we did and chucked the lead behind us, a time keeper was told to fetch it. This meant the time keeper "creeping" up behind the dog on the start to move the lead 1 meter away. What disadvantage is there if my lead is lying behind me over the rope....who knows!! So, handlers get to the last jump and their lead, toys etc are now in a bucket behind the start jump. This means handler needs to manouver their dog around the scribe table to get your belongings while another person is trying to get their belongings in the bucket before heading to the start line. I am all for having a bucket....but PLEASE make our stuff available to us after the last obstacle. This brings me to another gripe. A grade 2 dog had just run a lovely DJ round, collected their belongings and made their way to the side of the field. The dog had the ball in its mouth and in the process of going to the gazebo literally put 2 paws into the ring on the far corner. At this time the judge was eyeballing them to see how she could nail them. are eliminated she shouted. After some discussion this decision was not reversed. The corner of the ring was cluttered with jumps, cross bars and the trailer....the only way to get off the field was to "cut the corner". EISH shame this judge must have serious issues.

Then my poor dogs…. They are quite sensitive to bad things happening. If mom is sad, upset or cranky they know, they feel and they don't enjoy it. I had just jumped one of my dogs and of course our lead wasn't nearby. I tried to walk him back to the gazebo but he kept wanting to take the quickest route back which was going across the ring. The more I called him, as I knew the judge was eyeballing us, the more he went onto the field. I then tried to carry him, eish too heavy. Next option was to try walk him by the scruff of his neck, he isn't used to this and lay down thinking I was mad with him. I would never ever manhandle or be nasty to my dogs and seems that I had to be a bit firm just to avoid us being "punished". My friends eventually tossed me a lead and we headed back to camp.

I was hoping for an enjoyable day out with my dogs but sad how one person can spoil this.

I know that not many people will be supporting this judge again, I for sure will never enter under this judge again, hope the clubs hear our pleas....otherwise unfortunately they definately wont have a good turn out.

Friday, 7 February 2014

Open shows.....and things that grate me

So Saturday morning we headed off to the first show of the year. We had AG,NC and DJ on both Saturday and Sunday. The weather was superb and I was in a good mood.....hehe dont get that often, so I was looking forward to a day of running my dogs and seeing where we are in our training.

We started with agility and it didn't go too well. The courses were quite nice but lets just say I eliminated with all 3 of my dogs and we will leave it at that. Brandi's contacts were great, but I didn't get into the correct position after the dogwalk and we eliminated going into the wrong side of the tunnel.

We had some lovely NC rounds. Brandi ran a lovely clear round winning grade 3 and Roxy in her first time in grade 2 had a cracker of a round and then knocked the last bar....eish!!

Then we started DJ. Now the entire morning during NC and AG I did the same thing with all my dogs. We tugged or played with the ball to the start line, take the toy, toss it behind me and walk into the ring to start. This was fine until our DJ rounds. I took Brandi to the start, took her frisbee and tossed it behind me, put her at the start and waited for the judge to start me. Something was mumbled to me which at first I couldn't hear and didnt know what the problem was. I then realised she was saying "please put your toy out of sight" . Now my toy was BEHIND me and my dog and neither of us was even focussing on the toy that was lying 3m away from the rope. We were clearly not going to start until my toy was moved, my training buds moved it an inch and the judge was then happy to start.

Now I am not sure what the problem was as we had the same judge all morning. I ask myself what is wrong with taking my dog to the start line happy and eager to go out there and work to our hearts content. Oh yes its the word HAPPY, some people just dont seem to get it. I have watched many rounds taking place overseas and having a tug or toy with you, to the start and sometimes even in your pockets is the norm. Are we not wanting to follow these great agility handlers? Because if we do we are clearly not doing it right. I don't see them yanking their dogs on the lead to the start, screaming at them to get into position and then shouting all the way around the course.SO on the topic of rewards. Another handler on the day decided she would place her toy 10 meters ( that is what was requested ) away from the ring in a direct line from the last jump. The dog took the last jump with the handler encouraging the dog to GO GO . The dog took the last jump and screamed straight ahead to fetch the toy.....BAITING??? I am not a judge but in my opinion that is baiting. But according to the judge on the day...THAT WAS OK!

Sunday was a different day and the judge on the day actually had a brainwave or should it be the norm? During our briefing we were told we could tug or play ball to the start, place our rewards in the bin provided and assume our position to start. After our round we could charge off to the bin, grab our toys and reward our dogs off the course. WOW.....that worked like a dream and not 1 dog was distracted or had an unfair "advantage" by having their toy in the bin.

All in all I was happy with most of my rounds from the weekend and have an idea of what we still need to work on.

And in 2 weeks time we do it all over again.....with the same judges!!