Navarre is such a PUPPY. Running him at a trial his head is going in a thousand different directions at once. So much to think about, the agility, the equipment, me, and then all those people and dogs out there. So, so much! Yeah, not surprising that I have a very different dog in trials. He's having a lot of fun, loves to come play, is trying very hard and doing some great stuff - but, yeah, puppy brain explosions everywhere (in a fun way!).
Still, even with many detours along the way, Navarre did squeak out of Novice standard today. He had, by grace of the many faults you can have in Novice, a couple legs from his debut in Utah - then picked up another, not very pretty, but still technically qualifying Q today. First baby dog title! Hey, we'll take it, it was definitely a TRUE baby dog title in every sense of the word - and if there is one class you want to get out of, it's Novice standard and the 'end of the day' curse.
If it wasn't for the consistently poor timing of when they put novice, I would be happy to stay in there - two more GREAT novice courses today. I'm shocked, when did this change happen in AKC? Just nice, straightforward, flowing and appropriate baby dog courses. Not that we couldn't find all sorts of other ways to do them, but really been happy with the novice courses Navarre has gotten to play on.
Not to worry, we're still hanging out in Novice jumpers! Though he managed to squeak out a Q in that today too. Well, TECHNICALLY he managed to Q in everything if you count his 'last of the qualifiers' T2B 4 point Q today. But we have yet to pull off a course in flow in a trial yet. Someday, it will happen, I'm sure.
Some baby dog cuteness:
The beginnings of courses are the hardest for Navarre, his brain is just going every which way and inevitably he ends up running around something in the first three obstacles. Once we get past that, he does settle in and get a little more focused. Assuming I actually work the obstacles, as suddenly obstacles WAY on the other side of the arena COULD be what I'm looking for. No lack of obstacle commitment there. I do end up walking the opening of courses eight different ways, trying to choose the handling I think Navarre will be successful with ... I'm not very good at finding that yet (and may be making it more complicated then it needs to be).
Weaving in public, not quite there yet (though he got one set of six first time through though!). However, on his second passes it's like the brain clicks into gear and I thought he looked way more confident and comfortable then he did. He'll get there, no need to do a lot of weave work yet, he just needs exposure. On both the aframe and the dogwalk he was like, 'What's this?' before he ran them - but teeter looked good. So much he just needs exposure to, very much enjoying our baby dog journey.
So tomorrow his first Open run! And I'm really, really going to try to WORK EVERY OBSTACLE. For reals this time. Need to keep that baby brain on course, there hasn't been anything that I felt he couldn't do, but actually doing it is a whole other question. Happy that we've had such nice dogwalk exits, another straight off exit into a tunnel today. His aframes have been very thoughtful but DEEP hits (and no vaulting!). He's been sticking his teeter like a champ too - contacts have been good! However, he has been squirrely on his start line and table, which is all me. I need to remember that Navarre is not Bright - he NEEDS criteria. I will be more consistent in making sure I'm not releasing unless he's in the position I left him. Bad trainer.
Super fun day with the puppy, no real difference between the dog I had today in the loud, busy indoor arena than the dog I had in Utah. He was good at waiting for his turn, he was excited to go in, and he was actually a little less distracted on the startline. Though no Bender running right next to him, that was a tough one! Starting to get our routine down, he's recognizing, "Lets go get your toy!" and looking for it as we weave through the crowds to go find the toy and play. Some tugging on his leash, but I also don't want to hold things up, so I've been doing a tiny tug and then he drops it as soon as I ask him if he wants to go get his toy. And lots of long, happy after run play sessions. Good puppy!
BrightyBright also had a good day, she ended up with a double Q and a nice premier standard. I LOVE the premier classes! Just add a little something here and there and it makes so much difference for me - I love having things to go HANDLE. And so many people entering premier - makes me so happy to see! Of course, this was a BIG trial, which was also fun. We don't have as many of those anymore, but lots of folks from Washington and down south - it was a party at the trial today.
Interesting experiment at the end of the day in premier jumpers. Admittedly, it had been a LONG day and it was getting muggy in the arena, Bright and I weren't at our best. Still, I wanted to try cueing and going and actually trusting her to do her job, which I haven't been able to do since she got weird earlier this year. And, yeah, nope - we had a trainwreck of a run, she just doesn't run the same as she used to! I do think we've learned to adjust, I've learned to be more on top of her and not assume she can do things without me - but funny that she just can't do the things she used to. Good to know, I suppose!
Proud of tiny Brightness, for one run there was someone with their baby right by the ring entrance that was freaking her out, but she went out and ran without an issue. And another ring a family with like a 7 year old girl and Bright also ran well - good girl! See, children won't kill you, I swear! Love my girl, she's the best.
Stayed up until 2am to watch the Large Individual in Spain last night - it was worth it! There is nothing like watching live, and there was some GOOD agility. Very inspiring, agility never ceases to amaze me.