Learn to be slow?

Is it possible for a dog to learn to run slower in soft footing and then never speed up again? Is this something I should be concerned about?

I am wondering because the field is very soft and I want Vader to run fast but he definitely slows down out there. He loses his footing often, as do I. I hope using the field when it’s not 100% yet doesn’t shoot me in the foot.

Vader USDAA 2017-09-17

This weekend Vader and I ventured to a USDAA trial at Daisy Peel’s Clear Mind Agility place. It was a small trial and our ring was outside on very nice green grass! Yesterday was lovely weather and got only a little warm in the afternoon. Today was cooler and very windy but we got done before the rain hit!

Vader ran really really well this weekend! We had 4 runs each day.

Saturday was Starters Standard. He had trouble with the weave poles and after several attempts to get him to take them I aborted and so no Q. Everything else in the run was lovely!

Then came Advanced Gamblers. There was an opportunity to practice those weaves because they were coming up in the next course too. He ran by them the first time but I swung him back around all happy and we took the jump again and then he got them! Didn’t get the gamble but his weaves were lovely!

Then was Steeplechase. He went past the weaves on one of the passes through (had to do them twice) but the other time he nailed them. We did circle back around when he ran by and he got them on the second try. We were too slow by 2 seconds or something to Q but that’s ok.

Then was Advanced Snooker. It was a great run. No problems except for me not getting to position correctly so that was a Q.

Sunday we started with Starters Standard and he nailed the weaves on the first try! I bobbled a little but we pulled off a Q!


Second was Starters Pairs. We paired with Gadjet, a young BC. We both did great and Vader got to repeat those weaves!

Third was second round of Steeplechase. Started with jump weaves again and we were well versed by then and he did great!


Fourth and final run was Starters Jumpers. I often leave early and miss this run but since it was only noon, we stayed. We had one Q already and didn’t need more, but since we were there…. Vader had a lovely run and again, I bobbled a bit but still pulled out a Q!

We ended up getting second in our jump height for Steeplechase and Third overall in our height for Standard! I am very pleased with his runs and eagerness to play with me.

All That and  a Bag of Tricks

or bag of toys and treats! On Wednesdays I take Vader to work and leave him in the van. On my breaks I go out and we walk and play games.

This past weekend it occurred to me that I could use the fenced and gates parking area for some off leash fun with him, so today we did that.

We walked around first on leash so I could verify the ground don’t have glass or screws/nails from the construction of the fence. Just gravel! So we worked on heeling, arounds, sits, and retrieves. It worked really well and we had a gorgeous day! I didn’t ask him to run too much on it because it is gravel but he didn’t seem hesitant at all. I will definitely use it again!

Vader and I are working on Rally tricks so we can get a Rally Novice title. Plus it gives me goals to work on. 🙂  We joined a Rally class on Mondays after our other class. He didn’t do too bad, but he is a shrieker when I leave him in a crate. 🙁  So we will need to work on that! 

CPE Fleet Feet 2016-02-13/14

Twitch and I played CPE this weekend in Turner. We entered all 4 runs both days. We got 6 Qs for our efforts with some good stuff in there.

Saturday was Jackpot, Standard, Wildcard and Colors. All Level 4.

Jackpot was a fun course with a bunch of tunnels. We ran fast and smooth.

Standard was great except for a dog walk/tunnel discrimination that we failed so no Q.

Wildcard and Colors went off without a hitch with smooth and fast runs.

Sunday was Fullhouse, Standard, Snooker and Jumpers. All Level 4 except for Fullhouse Level 5.

Fullhouse was good. I planned a long, fast running course and we got to the teeter when the buzzer went off. Took us 11 seconds to get to the table so our 36 point score was reduced to 29.

Standard was going great until the second set of weaves when he popped a pole and shot into the tunnel. So we redid that and things deteriorated from there. I wish I hadn’t fixed the weaves and just kept going. It was already and NQ so why bother? Oh well.

Snooker was good. He started out a little pokey but sped up after the first couple of obstacles. Almost made it through 7 but still Q’d.

Jumpers, again a slow start but last run of the weekend so no surprise there. He picked up speed and we had a good strong finish.

All in all a good weekend with things to work on!

Saturday I took Vader with us and he got to meet people and other dogs. Plus he showed some great attention and heeling inside the barn. He got to play with a 10 month old BC named Lock, a 4.5 month old American Eskimo puppy named Riot and an 11 week old Sheltie named Levi. Plus he played fetch with me in one of the fields for a few minutes. 🙂

Growing Pains

Vader and I finished our last puppy class this past Wednesday. Only his friend Suki the 4 month old red Doberman puppy showed up besides us. They got to play in the big ring off leash before class. We worked on tippy boards and fit ones and paw pods. We worked on tunnel and fetch. He is learning fiend! He wants to train and learn and play, it’s awesome, amazing and a little scary! Lol

Scary from the standpoint that he always wants to be doing something and typically only rests a short time. He and Suki ran around chasing each other for 10 minutes before and after class. We spent 45 minutes of class working on stuff with only a couple short play sessions of tug. He was on the go! Then an hour ride home and he played chase with Twitch for several minutes too!

He has quite the repertoire of tricks and behaviors now. He doesn’t have any of them reliably on cue but we will get there.

One very important thing I noticed recently is his staring at my hands where the cookies come from. So I have been hiding them and trying to not pick up the cookie until I click or mark the behavior. I really wish I had a savvy clicker trainer to watch my timing and help me see where I might be making it harder on myself.

Vader has lost so many teeth! He lost a tiny one at class last night and tonight he made the football bloody. When will it end?! 🙂

He turned 5 months old this week. He’s growing up!