Ticket’s return to trialing

Ticket had a fabulous time at her first trial back after TPLO surgery.  The weather was perfect (well, as perfect as January can be–70s/50s), the surface was good, and she ran great.  We even managed to qualify on one run, the last run of the weekend, in Exc. B JWW.  She even got 1st place, so I was very happy with her.


Saturday, she started with FAST, and did well.  I knew the send was probably not going to happen–it was just a pinwheel, but the second jump was 25′ away from the line, and that’s not our strength just yet.  I may have been able to get it if I’d handled it differently, but alas, no bueno.  In Standard, we started with Ticket crashing into the tire, but making it through.  Then she slid off the table, then she self-released (judge was done counting, but I hadn’t said “ok” yet), so I put her back on the table, and we were Ed.  Good lesson in self-control for blue monster.  And JWW, there was a tough line where I would knew I would have a hard time indicating the correct jump on a line because of Ticket’s speed, and I did.  BUT, NO BARS DOWN all day Saturday.  I never would have thought that might happen.

Sunday standard, Ticket was wild.  She ran around a jump, missed her aframe, and crashed into a wing.  Oy.  But JWW was our shining moment–a speed course with a tough line down the backside for slow handlers with fast dogs.  I got a ton of lateral distance on the weave poles (yay), and made it far enough down the line to keep her from sucking into a tempting tunnel, and finished up with rear crosses.  So happy with that run–another WT score, and her first points towards Tulsa.  Of course, points for Tulsa are not going to be our downfall–it will be those darn QQs.

Here is some of the “bad” things Ticket did this weekend, including her crashes…


I think the crashes happened because of miscommunications–she wasn’t sure, was looking at me, and then tried to take the obstacle at the last second. No sense of self-preservation on that dog. Luckily, she was none the worse for wear, and still wanted to go. But, that lack of self-preservation definitely got me thinking. Ticket’s aframe has been a struggle. She is SO frantic–she sees the aframe as a large speed bump that she just needs to get over as fast as possible. She skims it as closely as possible, trying to get her legs up and over it as quickly as she can and move on. It definitely needs more work–I think I need to add more “bounce” to her frame. In the meantime, I’ve decided I’m going to add a stop to her frame, using the 2o2o she already knows for the dogwalk and teeter. Ultimately, I would like to have both–a stop, and a running frame. I know I will need that running frame to beat the big boys at the highest levels. But for now, I’m going to add a stop, and keep working on perfecting the running.

So, I’m using a different cue for the frame, combined with her “spot” command. So far she has done a 5′ frame, sequenced with a tunnel, no problems. A few more sessions and I think we’ll have full height. Then it’s just a matter of putting in longer sequences and making sure she doesn’t get so high she loses her mind and runs it. Ultimately, I think it will be nice to have both options. We’ll see how it goes–with her clear understanding of her contact behavior, I don’t think it will be hard to transfer that behavior to her aframe.

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