MAC Trial

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Well another one in the books. It was cold and snowy here the first day I arrived in Minnesota, well dah. It is Minnesota and it is February! A really well run trial. The girls from Omaha were up and I have to thank Brittney and Dana for making sure my runs got videoed. Some of the runs were a dog’s breakfast.  The  footing was new for me and my dogs, very deep, loose footing. Great for landing, nice and soft for the dogs but very tough for my short little legs to run through. Feature adjusted well and won all her classes on Sunday. She now needs only 2 legs to move into Masters. Encore and I OTOH had the worst weekend of agility we have ever had together. She had a few bars down in her first run but Carol Smorch worked on her and it really made a big difference.  She did have some very pretty runs, winning Standard today and getting the odd other leg but I am just not used to her and I not being in ‘sync’ when we run together. It is like she is driving so hard and fast she is anticipating where the course will go rather than allowing me to show her. My back has been bothering me off and on for the last few months so I am not moving as well as I used to, plus I am in the worst shape I have been in in the last few years. I am sure that all of that has some impact on her. I will have to study the video tapes both from Florida and from Minnesota and see what I may be missing because her consistency is not the way it should be and certainly is not typical for missy En.  The highlight of the weekend, aside from the great company, would have to be the two girlies each winning their height class in the Grand Prix on Saturday.  Here is the video.  Judge Cherie Whittenburg put up a challenging but fun course, I for one obviously enjoyed running it!  

I teach for the next two days here in Minnesota before I head down to Wisconsin on Wednesday where I start a five day teaching stint there. 

Today I am grateful for the new friends I am meeting in Minnesota, great hospitality and the dry roads for driving:)



  1. Congrats on the nice GP Runs. Even though they were in different height classes I bet it was fun to run one dog, then go out with the next to see how things would fall out 😉


  2. i thought it was interesting how you handled the dogs coming off the DW to the next obstacle, a jump.being fairly new to agility (relatively speaking!) , i wondered why you chose to do it that way. i’ll have to set something up and try handling it a couple of different ways.

  3. WOW…….can you spell CAT 2009!!!!!!!!!!!Go Fefe go!

  4. Susan,

    Despite winning these classes, I observed in the video that you weren’t really as in sync with your dogs as I have seen you in the past. It looked like you just weren’t all there. Like when one isn’t 100% physically and/or mentally. I know you will get it back together. And I watched the video before I read your blog. You seemed to feel the same way.


  5. I’m curious about the start lines. Do you use the CG’s alot for teaching them? I notice that Feature in video’s always appears to rock her weight back on her haunches just before she releases therefore getting more power straight off the start line. I think Encore does this also but due to her darker colouring less white factor in the hind area it’s not as noticeable.

    The runs looked really nice. In response to Joyce above, the area that you mention was handled by a serpentine move. The dog was required to change it’s line twice off the dog walk. They had to turn right to the jump then left to the other jump therefore two front crosses could be done OR handle it with a positional cue with serp telling the dog to drive off the dog walk towards the jump, put in an extra stride before launching so they can turn nice and tightly left after the jump and take off again to the next obstacle. By the handling that was used it was very clear in my eyes for the dog to know where it is going next.

    Were the times pretty close with the two girls?

  6. Hi Susan
    I was commenting to someone in Vero Beach, where we saw you both last month, that I thought Encore had really put on some speed. She just looks off the charts fast since seeing her about 6 month prior.

    Could it be that it is throwing off your timing just a tad? Even that extra burst of speed and really mess things up (yep… talking from experience)

    Suzanne Wesley

  7. Congrats on the GP wins.
    I do have a question about the A-Frame. I have noticed in several videos that it LOOKS like you don’t require a 2o2o like you do on the DW & Teeter. It may be that you are releasing and I just can’t tell without hearing you.
    Do you also train & require a 2o2o on the frame?


    • Hi Susie, I teach a running A Frame to my dogs. I have a stop on the dw and seesaw but I have also taught DeCaff and Encore a separate running dw behaviour as well that I will use when I think the course calls for it.

  8. Awww, that makes since. I just couldn’t imagine that if you did require a 2o2o on the frame that you would let Encore get away with not doing the nose touch. (or should I say, multiple nose touches. lol)

    Dallas, TX

  9. Hey Susan…just watched the videos of your nice runs–well done! Especially baby Feature! I am curious about the tunnel/a frame discrimination…did you use a verbal cue only to signal the correct obstacle?


  10. Well, Susan, if you weren’t already an agility hero for my fourteen year old daughter, Morgan, your song choice “from the greatest band in the entire world” sure did put you over the top today! Great fun watching your runs too!

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