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!!