Ticket ‘s Debut

Well, the day finally arrived–Ticket’s very first agility trial. I’m VERY happy with how she did, and can’t wait to do it again (2 weeks in New Iberia).

Ticket was 3/5, with 1st place Qs in Novice FAST and Standard on Saturday, and Novice JWW on Sunday. She held every stay beautifully. She went from knocking 3 bars in JWW on Saturday to keeping them all up and reading every rear cross in JWW on Sunday. She had two beautiful dogwalk contacts, and realized just in time that she was on a teeter and slid to a stop the one time she did that contact. She only missed one weave pole entrance, at the beginning of a course where we were having communication issues. She was fast. 🙂

The less then stellar things–her aframes were iffy. She didn’t get faulted in Standard on Saturday, but it wasn’t good–MAYBE a toenail in. The aframe is a work in progress, and right now, it’s the iffiest piece of equipment we do. It’s frustrating, but I’m going to stick with the running for awhile longer and see if we can make it work. If she’s repeatedly faulted for it, then I’m going to retrain a stop. She completely ran one dogwalk in her final standard run. In watching the video, I do think she was slowing down to stop, but then caught sight of the chute straight ahead and lost her mind (she is a huge tunnel sucker). She got the walk of shame for that–I’ve been down that road before and I’m not making that mistake again.

I was surprised that she seemed hesitant/tentative the first few runs when we walked in the ring. I especially noticed it in FAST, where she was looking around before the run, did the dogwalk slow, etc. She definitely knew it was different then practice. I’m not surprised in seeing that in a baby dog, but I was a little surprised seeing it in Ticket, since “tentative” isn’t in her personality. She wasn’t distracted-if anything, it make her OVERLY focused on me. I think that was the cause of the bars in JWW–she was looking at me and barking.

Despite those minor mishaps, I am THRILLED with her debut. She ran great, got faster as the weekend went on and she got more confident, and was a great baby dog. I can’t wait to do it again–it’s so much fun starting a new dog.

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