This weekend I tried Chase in an AKC agility trial. It’s the first one I’ve put him in, probably in about 10 months. We have a really hard time qualifying in AKC because of the tight courses. I wanted to test my handling since we’ve been going to a lot of Stacy Workshops over the last few months, to see if I’d gotten any better.
The good news, yes I’ve gotten a lot better. The bad news, I haven’t gotten better enough to qualify him. He qualified in FAST both days, but that’s not too hard since distance comes so naturally to him and he jumps so wide, and he’s a tunnel suck so tunnel distance challenges are hardly challenges. On Saturday he got a 79 out of 80 in FAST, and on Sunday he got a 76. Not too bad. His time was fast, too, which is typical for him.
JWW and Standard are a different story. Too many knocked bars, a few off courses… and I just don’t train with him enough to really pursue it. I think we’ll stick with ASCA and work on that ATCH. Chase is a good boy, but sometimes people just don’t think quick enough for things. I am one of those people. I hope Jet will do better for me when he starts competing.
Anyway as for the title of this post… I was talking to some friends at the trial about training, and how hard it is to duplicate a trialing environment. And we kinda thought that maybe it’s impossible. Maybe there is some kind of vibe, maybe some pheromones, maybe some type of energy signature that the dogs pick up on at a real trial. And maybe, even if I had a holodeck like on Star Trek, it still couldn’t be duplicated because there wouldn’t be real people and real dogs with real personalities, bodies, and spirits. It’s an interesting theory, anyway. I still wish I had a holodeck to try it out on.
Maybe I just need to throw Chase into some Duramax Vinyl Storage Sheds and let him figure that out… LOL I never could, of course. He’s a good boy. He’d do better with a handler that can think faster. But I don’t know if I’ll ever be that handler. Even if I’m not, I’m not going to beat myself up about it. Not today, anyway. I am a good person and do well with my dogs and it doesn’t mean I’m any less valuable as a human being just because I have troubles handling a fast dog in agility. So there. 🙂