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Sunday, February 27, 2011

Jasmine's 1st Agility Competition!

Saturday, Feb. 26th, Jaz and I participated in our first agility competition! We entered a USDAA trial at the P1 level. Even though we're normally not good at Gamblers, my friend suggested we enter just to use it as a warm-up! (Gamblers is where you have to run the course from behind a line at a certain distance.) And I'm so glad we entered this class! Jaz was way distracted! She wasn't really paying attention ... and at the very end of the course, one jump shy of the end, she stops suddenly to go potty!! So... we got eliminated! lol... she just couldn't wait for one more jump! ;) (and yes, she had gone that morning already!) So... I'm very glad we did that class... just to get the wiggles out! And to warm up on the agility obstacles!

Our next class was a P1 Standard- which is more of what we're used to. Jaz was still a little distracted, but stayed with me for the most part! I laugh every time I watch the part on the video where Jaz runs off... she genuinely seems surprised I wasn't following her! I was happy with how we ran the Standard class. We took it slow... but didn't mess up any obstacles either!
And as it turns out, I was surprised when Jaz got 3rd place in that class!! We had 0 faults... we only had a time penalty. (which was to be expected!)

In between classes, I volunteered as a scribe runner. So I got to see how other people ran their classes. (Harder ones than the ones we were in!) There are some lightning fast border collies and aussies at the more advanced levels!! Very impressive to watch!!

Our last class was a P1 Jumpers. Jaz likes to jump, so I wasn't worried about this class. It was just a matter of keeping her focused on me! Because this was more jumps than we had ever done at the same time! But it went really well. And Jaz ended up taking 3rd place in this class too!! And got a qualifying score!! So she got her 1st Q at her 1st show! (And since I'm new to agility, I knew that was a good thing... but I wasn't sure exactly what it meant!!!) And I found out that you have to get 3 Q's in each class in order to move up to the next level. So... yay! We got a Q! ;)

Overall, it was a very good experience. One of my friends named Heather (an instructor from agility class) was there when we checked in, and showed us the ropes. (Which helped calm my nerves a lot!) So she was very helpful! She even walked the 1st course with me- since I wasn't really familiar with a Gambler's course. A lot of other people from my agility class were there too, so we were among friends. So that made it fun! And regardless of whether we would have placed or not, I still would have thought it was a good experience for Jaz. (actually both of us!)

I overheard one lady (who I didn't know) say how desperate she was to Q in the class she was in. She said, (pointing to her dog), "she isn't desperate... but I am!" And I thought that was an interesting point. Sometimes when we're so desperate for something, we forget to live in the moment and enjoy life. (like our dogs do). When I was writing to my friend Janet on Facebook about how I was a little nervous, she gave me excellent advice. She commented back that "She who has the most FUN wins!!!" And she is absolutely right. As long as you're having fun with your dog, that's what matters. That's why I do tricks or agility or any of that... to increase the bond I share with Jasmine. And truthfully, I find that if Jaz is engaged and excited about something, she'll do a better job at it anyway!

It was interesting watching the personality types at this competition...when things didn't go as anticipated. The handlers that I admired didn't get angry at their dogs, they just shrugged it off, or said it was their fault. (Not communicating clearly enough, or not practicing enough, or whatever.) They're the ones I admire. And I think I'm officially hooked on agility. Jaz loves it (if you can't tell from the video). So we're going to keep at it... and see where it takes us! :)


  1. Congrats on your Q! Glad you've found something that you both like to do.

  2. That was an awesome first agility trial! Cosmo zoomed around in circles the first few trials we went to! But like you said, we continued to have FUN, and we still do, and that's what it's all about!
    Diane, mom to Cosmo Havanese on Twitter!