This weekend was a United Kennel Club event. It was hosted by the same group as the event we attended in November, so I was excited that it was going to be a nice small group for our first attempt at the Agility 2 level. The Agility 2 level includes obstacles that are not used at the first level, such as, the pause box, the weave poles, and the sit-jump-sit contact. All three of these were used this weekend. The Agility 2 level only allows two attempts for each contact before resulting in a non-qualifying run. Scary!
The UKC allows anyone competing in a class they do not already have a title in to do course familiarization by walking your dog through the course on leash. I decided to take advantage of this with Baxter. When we got to the weave poles, I unleashed him (so he wouldn't get tangled) and he went through the weaves at a bad angle. The judge told me to call my dog, so I did and we redid the poles. This resulted in a "handler fault" as you are only allowed one try per obstacle. =( I have to say, there is not a worst feeling than knowing your lack of knowledge of the rules is the only reason you didn't get a perfect score. It's ok though, I think Baxter didn't mind.
Our first run on Saturday (video) was very smooth. The weave pole entry was off, but we got it on our second try. Whew. The pause box was right after the weave pole exit and he did that excellent. It would have been a perfect score if not for my handler fault. Ah well. We ended up coming in first by 2 seconds with 39.36 seconds. Apparently the other handler also received the same handler fault we did.
Our second run (video) was the best. Perfect weave pole entry. Finished in first with 36.16 seconds. We thought we might be a contender for High in Trial, but it went to a cardigan corgi in the Agility 1 level with a time of 32 seconds. Very proud that the HiT stayed corgi. =)
Sunday was a little different. The course wasn't as "flowy" as the day before. I would say it was probably the more difficult of the two, but the problems we had in each run were things that didn't necessarily involve the way the course was designed.
In our first run on Sunday (video), we missed our weave pole entry and missed again on the retry. My trainer said (and I think she's right on this) that my location in relation to the weave poles was off due to the rule that you have be about 2 feet away from the poles at this level. So my location was back and to the right of the poles, causing Baxter enter through the second and third pole rather than the first and second. I tried to bring him back to redo it, but I think I backed up in the same position and angle I was at before and he entered in the same place again. So we NQ'd on that one. On the plus side, Baxter did the sit-jump-sit obstacle without any problem. At one point in this trial, Baxter tried to run out of the ring to sniff something. Thankfully he came right back.
With only one more qualifying run needed to get our AGI-II title, I was hopeful the last run of the day would do it. Hedging my bets on another possible handler fault, I thought I'd take a stab at the weaves (this time leash dragging) during the familiarization. He did them perfect and no handler fault was received.
Sadly, our second run (video) went to NQ really fast. The third obstacle, the sit-jump-sit, resulted in a redo and then the NQ. Baxter tabled up nicely, sat, jumped, and then sat, but before sitting his butt on the table, he was too close to the edge and his feet touched the ground. Fault! Upon the redo, I repeated my same actions which only resulted in about the same result-- only this time instead of just feet on the ground, he jumped down completely. Ah well. The rest of the run was very nice and the weave pole entry was perfect. Although we did have a near-miss on a string of four jumps in a row. I think my shoulders weren't as straight as they could have been and my momentum was carrying me at an angle. Thankfully I didn't trip over Baxter.
I was very proud of my little guy this weekend. He did really great, minus my own faults. Next UKC event, we'll be looking to finally finish our AGI-II title. I know we'll be able to do it! I've learned a lot at this trial including to be more aware of my location and what that means to Baxter and to make sure that I know the proper way to train obstacles. After talking with my trainer about the sit-jump-sit, I realized there was a better way to do it than the way I was practicing. That's always good information to have!
We will be competing again next month in at least one event. We may also be travelling to another... just not totally sure yet.