Monday, June 11, 2012

USDAA trial

                                          How do you solve a problem like  the Miley
                                       How do you catch a stressed out dog and calm it down
                                                 (think The Sound of Music  songs)
Yup, that about sums it up.  Every time she jumped her contact, she stressed and ran around the ring. So no  table but now the stress running has creeped into the contacts.  Ugh!!!  You would  think I beat this dog or something if she misses a contact. The most Ive ever said to her was, "no" or "hey".  And not even in a mean voice.  Why does she freak out so????????

Friday was a pretty good day. I didnt feel nervous or anything. I was excited to run. First up was Steeplechase. We have no Qs for GP or Steeplechase since we didnt trial most of the year due to Miley's shoulder injury.  Steeplechase was wide open and our group, group B, got to run this first.  So you walked both GP and Steeplechase and then group A ran GP , while group B ran steeplechase.

  She stopped on the contact this first time and self released the second time. We Qed and took 2nd place.

Next up was GP.

I was worried about the opening but she had no problems with it.  She hit the tire. When I saw the photographers photos, she  when through it all the way on one side and the you see her back feet coming forward.  Igot a  little flustered and didnt get to where I wanted to be. I had planned to front cross between  8 and 9. I didnt make and and had to rear cross. I know this would be a problem. When she saw me run by, she came out and I had to put her in again.  Then she went off course over Jump #18. She self released a-frame contact, I marked it, no stress.  I FC between 12 and 13. She got her dogwalk contact.

Next up was Team Standard.

I set bars for this  course.  Which made me rethink my plan.  I had planned to stay to the chute side of the course to handle 7-9 and then rear cross. But after watching so many dogs not come out tight of the tunnel and miss the number 7 jump. I decided to really go lateral at the aframe so I could make a FC at the other end of the exit of tunnel 6.  It worked great. The other thing was people who FC after the weaves, if they were far enough ahead of their dog, the dog cut in front of the handler and took the wrong end of the tunnel.  (weird but true)  So I left her in the weaves and made sure I  got ahead of the tire. That worked too.  It was going so well, then she jumped her dogwalk contact and stressed.  It took a while for me to get her back. Not a lot of running around, just not wanting to take the jump. But she finally did it. (DW contact was a heart breaker).

Last up was team gamblers. I didnt really understand the difference in the rules for team. Once  the buzzzer went off you could either try the gamble or just keep taking obstacles for 2 points each. I didnt under stand the just take obstacles for 2 points each but thats what I should have done. You could get more points that way if your dog was fast. So I tried the gamble, didnt get it  and she  didnt want to take anymore obstacles after that. She didnt run around the ring though.  So no Q there.


Our group started with team jumpers.

I pulled her off the broad jump trying to get my front cross in after 8,so I went back to fix it and she back jumped it. Now I was behind and after 9 she took the tunnel. I was handling between the jumps and the weaves. Afterwards I realized I should have been to this side of the jumps and RC between 9 and 10. She didnt stress anything but I was disappointed in myself. I front crossed between 14 and 15. I was worried she would take the off course jump #10 but she never even looked at it.

Because it was such a long wait for my jumpers run, I figured I had lots of time until snooker. I took Java outside to play ball.  On Friday, I didnt play with her enough and she was then she couldnt settle at the hotel Friday night. 
So I was just taking my time, taking pictures and throwing this ball.  When I walked back in, I heard them calling the dog that was running in front of Miley.  I ran, but Java in her crate and got Miley. No warm up or anything.
See the start jump.  When ever Ive run snooker there was always a start line not a jump. So she took the jump and then the #1 jump ( on left), then 6a.  All of a sudden I couldnt remember if I took a red jump already, what was I doing. So then she took 6b. Then again I was confused. Did I need a red jump?  I finally got it together.  Miley just stayed with me and never stressed with all my confusion. But I still messed it up and  got whistled off.  
Next up Steeplechase for Regionals
I front crossed between 3 and 4,  then rear crossed between 7 and 8.  I made sure I supported the broad jump.  I front crossed after 12 too keep her off that off course jump sitting there after the tunnel. She almost took it but didnt.  Then disaster. She jumped the a-frame contact and stressed. It took 10 - 15 seconds to get her back.  Once I got her back, we finished great.  Darn it. I really wanted this. Why does she care so much if she jumps that contact.  Lots of dogs miss their contacts and dont loose. I sure hope people dont think I mean to her or something.  Sill dog. So we were the 7th dog because are time sucked with all that running around. They took the top 6 dogs to the finals. 

Sunday I only had to run Relay.  She jumped the a-frame contact and stressed. Ran around the ring. I couldnt get her back.  I ran out of the ring and she followed.  She took the last two jumps. 

On Saturday I went back to the Georgia Fair grounds. Its a huge place. Way on the other side of the fields there was a telephone pole on the ground. We practice our 2o2o.  I had filmed  the trial noise and played that while we practiced.  I threw toys, treat bags, had Java running by and she didnt miss any of them. I went to another area and  used my big cooler lid and practice some more.  Sunday morning we did 2o2o on the steps all over the place. You see it didnt help.  Im not really sure what to do. I dont want her freaked out because she missed her contact. Most of the time she is hitting it on the aframe but she stresses because she didnt stop. 

Over all its the most fun Ive had at a trial. Its the most relaxed Ive felt.  I just wish Miley wasnt so stressed out with the contacts.
(sorry no video of runs. I didnt know that many people and the people I did know were running around the same time as me.)


Chris and Ricky said...

Congratulations on the many great things that happen at this big big trial! Sorry about Miley's stressing - I know it is super frustrating but I know you will keep working at it and one day she will not stress any more! :)

corbinwooten said...

Diana--hang in there! I think it's really impressive that Miley was in 7th place even after running around and stressing. She is so close. One day everything will come together.

From what I can see, she is getting better, but it takes time. There will definitely be moments of 2 steps forward, 1 step back, and a big stage like Perry may have just forced her one step back. Keep at it. I think she will get there. She is an awesome little dog and you are a great handler.

Random question, but have you ever talked to Stuart about your table/contact issues? The only reason I ask is because he and Pati (his wife) are really good at understanding how dogs think. They might be able to offer some insight into what Miley is thinking or what could help. They helped me a lot when it came to Lexi's teeter. Just a thought.

Anyways, don't be down--you guys really truly had an awesome showing on a big stage!

Sara said...

I'm glad that you had such a great time. You two did an awesome job.

Contacts are stupid :) At least Chewy thinks so.

Love your sound of music song. I sang along.

Lian said...

WOW! That all sounds great to me!

Sipzie has very similar problem to Miley, she easily get stressed in the ring if things went wrong. Not like Miley doing the circle but she will run out of the ring and disappear and we have to go and catch her :(

Loretta Mueller said...

Things are step at a time. Just be patient and keep thinking about the end goal. Like corbinwooten said...big shows, more stress on your part, etc etc. Might have pushed her back to default more...

She's been stressing for awhile's gonna take time to end that. :-(