Wednesday, February 10, 2010

I Need Input

Well, we got another 6" of snow last night and today we have high winds that are blowing it around.  My agility class has been cancelled again this week because my instructor can't even get out of her driveway.

Moira's first trial is 3 weeks away (March 6-7).  She still doesn't have weaves and with this weather, it doesn't look like I will get a chance to do anything outside and 3 agility classes probably aren't going to do the trick either.  That's assuming class resumes next week and we get 3 weeks of classes in!

I'm of two minds on this matter; 1) I should pull her if she's not 100% ready and 2) I shouldn't pull her because the experience will be good for her.  So, dear friends and readers - should I pull her from the trial?  It doesn't close until the 17th so I have a few days to make a decision.


  1. Well if the trial has closed and you cant get your money back I guess I would go and try. If you can work her through the weaves, great (not sure when you say she doesnt have them yet, how much she has) If she does not have them at all, then just go by them and work what she does know. Also if its her first trial, and you do one run and just have fun, it will be a good experience, right?

  2. if the weaves are your only issue then I wouldn't pull her, but I wouldn't ask her to weave either...does that make sense?

    you can avoid the weaves in most cases pretty if you want her to have the experience then that is what I would do...

  3. I wouldn't enter her. And if you did I would definately NOT just skip the weaves because she doesn't know how to do them. Time after time I see people do this then wonder why their dog keeps racing past weave poles in later trials even though at that point the dog does know how to weave. Well duh, the dog learned early that he didn't have to even attempt the weaves and he still got to do fun stuff and play agility! No brainer choice for the dog! And people wonder why so many dogs have weave stress in trials. Um, I don't!

    I wouldn't enter my dog in a trial in a class that had equipment he was not 100% on. I want my contact behavior more than solid in practice and my weave performance solid and my jumping solid and my outs, goes, switch, tight and here solid before I put a dog in a trial. A trial situation is going to increase my stress and my dog is going to reach new hights of insanity. I want to be as prepared for that as possible and I can stack the deck in my favor by getting our obstacle and direction skills 100% at practice at home or class before hand.

    usually with a novice dog I put them in tunnelers, jumpers and maybe touch n go. But then again I do NADAC and have those options. Once we are acting as a team and getting out signals correct in those classes, then I add in regular and weavers and chances. If the dog had really good disatance skills I would probably enter them in chances earlier and if it had weaves and my dog wasn't 100% I would pull from the class that day.

    Just my .02 and what I recommend my students do.

  4. First, I feel your pain! My agility classes have been cancelled as well thanks to this weather. And I doubt I will be practicing in my yard for at least a month!

    With so little practice, I would probably pull her, especially since you will still get a refund. I don't enter my dogs until they are running Excellent level courses pretty consistently. That way any challenge they see in Novice should be quite simple in comparison. I agree with Katrin's post about not wanting to create a dog who thinks they can skip the weaves. Once trial stress started building, the first thing to go was Wilson's weaving at trials. I didn't do a good job teaching the weaves with him as I was new to agility and it haunted me forever!