Friday, March 27, 2009

AKC Nationals Friday

Jedi would like to report that spending several hours in a Sherpa bag on Thursday was not much fun for him. We flew from MSP to Raleigh and then drove for over two hours to Concord NC to our hotel. We got in around 8:30 pm to the humid and rainy south. Jedi was the happiest to get out and stay out of that silly bag for awhile.

We got to the show site at 6:30am on Friday morning and checked-in and found out crating spot. Jedi has a little pup tent for events like this. Pam was the support staff and helped keep us organized when she wasn't visiting with all of her friends from "back east". Actually we both saw a lot of people we haven't seen in a long time today which was fun.

We walked the jumper course around 7:45 am and then we were about the 70th dog to run. The dirt is moist clay. It is spongy to walk on but it is very uneven. Handlers were (including me) more worried about turning an ankle or twisting a knee. The dogs with their smaller footprint handled it well.

The link below will take you to the courses from today. There are four rings going and each jump height runs the same course in a ring so the 12" dogs were in one ring and the 8" and 24" dogs were in another ring and the 20" and 16" dogs each had their own rings.

The jumpers course proved to have a very challenging threadle that was set very close together and was followed by a 180 sequence. Many dogs and handlers incurred refusals and/or off-courses in this section of the course. Most of the Minnesota 12" dogs ran the jumpers with weaves run cleanly.

I was able to watch some of the 24", 8", 16", 14" and 18" dogs run the course. The larger dogs had even more difficulty with the threadle section of the course.

If you look at the course on the link and follow along... I angled Jedi at the start so he could see jump #2 from jump #1. I was surprised at how many people did not do this and had wide turns from 1-2. I did a front cross between 3 and 4. Then I did a bit of a lateral send on 5 and ran on the section of 5-6-7. If you got stuck behind the double at 6 it made it awkward. A number of handlers did a front cross between 5 and 6 and then a rear cross on the take off side of 7. I found by taking off and being in motion on the line it helped to speed Jedi up. I think I would do the same thing with my big dogs if I were running them.

I did a front cross between 7 and 8 and while I saw a lot of people walking it with a front cross there I saw very few people do it. For me it made a very tight turn off of 7 and then I used deceleration to have a tight turn to the broad jump at 10. Then it was just running with him on my right and I got ahead of him on the weaves, pre-cued with my left arm to let him know before he took off for 13 that he was going to need to turn tightly and he did. He came in nicely for the threadle. I didn't make the front cross I had planned for 15-16 so I had to rear cross at 16. But it worked well and I was very pleased with the run.

We ran the standard course (minus a table) in the afternoon in a different ring. Two of the rings are located in the large arena with lots of seating. The other two rings have standing room only around them so it is hard to hang out there to watch. It is very crowded and there are walls around three sides.

I ran about 21st in the standard run which is fairly early in the running order. I lead out a bit between 1 and 2 and sent him in the tunnel. He took a long time to come out of the tunnel and I heard a scratching noise in there so I think he wiped out inside. He was running but very slowly for the jump, tire and aframe that followed. I handled that line with him on my left side. There were many 12" handlers who did that. I watched almost the entire 20" and 16" classes and did not see anyone in those jump heights handle it that way. They all did a front cross between 3 and 4 which in almost every case caused a really wide turn and then also made a wide turn from the tire to the aframe. I'm anxious to set this sequence up to see if I can handle my bigger dogs the same way I did Jedi - handle it like a serpentine.

After the aframe Jedi picked up speed and I had him on my left going into the weaves. Then I kept him on my left and he read the turn and did the pinwheel and came in tightly to the serpentine. Then he was set up on the right (correct) lead so I wrapped him between jumps 11 and 12 and had him on my right side as we headed to the dogwalk. As in jumpers this wrap section proved to be the most difficult for handlers of all levels and more refusals and off-courses happened in this part of the course.

I proceeded to the teeter and crossed in front of the up side of the teeter and finished the course well. I watched the big dogs and many dogs had problems in this section of the course. Most handlers had to pull their large dogs to the teeter - several dogs went into the off course tunnel on the way to the teeter. Most handlers could not get to the end of the teeter to do a front cross so they were rear-crossing before or after the broad jump. Very few succeeded with rear crosses here because dogs either took the broad jump at an angle (NQ going sideways over the broad jump) or pulled their dogs off the panel jump that followed the broad jump and sent their dogs right into the chute. I was amazed at how difficult that was for many handlers and dogs. Those who were able to get the front cross in at the end of the teeter had the most success on the closing sequence.

On the standard course the fastest times were in the 30-31 second range for all heights. Ashley and Luka the Pyr Shep (Feisty's aunt) had an awesome standard run and ran as fast as the larger dogs. Tammy Cutsforth and her younger Golden Retriever had an awesome 30 second run on the standard course. Terry and Remy had a nice standard run but Remy got hung up in the tire and made us all gasp a bit but she is so experienced she didn't give it a second thought. There were many nice runs out there by Minnesotans. I'm having fun meeting dogs and handlers who have dogs related to Spring, Jedi and Windy. It is fun to have an AKC type catalog because it does list a lot of information about the dog's running including sire, dam, birth date and breeder which is fun for finding dogs related to my dogs and finding dogs who might be related to a dog I'd want to breed to Sinco. There is a half sister to Sinco and a cousin of Tay's here which is fun.

Now to crash for the night and get ready for another fun day of agility.


  1. I am Pam, the owner of Jedi, and I approve this message.

    Seriously, it was a great day for many dogs here, and very fun to watch. One amusing overheard phone call was the person saying, "It's not like your regular local trials. The dogs don't run off and the mistakes they make are really small."

    More from Team Jedi 2 (and maybe from the Agility Support Staff) tomorrow!

  2. I LOVE the course analysis! I watched a bunch of the videos today, both courses and mostly big dogs. I hope you will set these courses up sometime for us. VERY challenging I thought. I watched a walk through on the STD course and saw people trying to decide which way to handle the serpentine and the wrap. Very cool. I only wish I'd seen Jedi's run. Hope he feels good tomorrow. Good luck---run with Joy!

  3. The JWW class was HARD I thought!! I watched nearly the whole 8" class and have renewed faith inthe front cross (ha!).....saw way too many people standing still and it cost them SECONDS. Expecially with the little dogs, you could really see (100 times) how movement created speed.
    And standing still, or a badly timed rear cross, sent the dog off wide (or Devo off course)

    This is a good use of my $19.99 for streaming video. I DO need some exercise though.....
    GOOD LUCK tomorrow. I have no idea what the hybrid class is. I thought this event was for purebreds.....