Monday, September 14, 2009


Reagan's first agility trial was a success in many ways! Most importantly, I wanted Reagan to have fun, to enjoy the busy day, to appear trained :-), and to rest well between runs. We accomplished all of our goals and more.
On Saturday, we arrived early. I took Reagan, Riley, and Allie (the Katie trade) for a nice 30 minute walk around the park and facility. Reagan was cute and bouncy. Luckily, she had already had some positive experiences at Wills Park agility trials from the Travis days, so this was not totally new to her. Around 7:30 AM, she was officially measured* to be a little over 25 inches tall at the shoulder.
I purposely set up crates near the ring. I normally like to keep my greyhounds in my van where it is quiet, but using the van is not always an option. Therefore, it is important for them to also learn to rest in the middle of chaos. I also purposely walked Reagan and Riley separately throughout the day so they would understand that #1) they are not always together and #2) they sometimes have to remain crated while Mom and the other hound disappear for awhile. Reagan did great and she rested well.
Our first run was Novice Jumpers**. Reagan was perfect, very speedy, nailed the weave poles, and earned first place! Everyone was very complimentary. "I like your baby dog." "Looks like you found another good one." "Beautiful run!" "You have done a great job with her."
Our next run was MANY hours later. The curse of being in the Novice level*** is that you have to arrive early and you are the last one to leave. The plan is to get out of Novice as soon as possible.
Reagan ran Novice Standard** smartly. She remembered all of her contacts, did not have any trouble with any of the obstacles, and she again placed first!
On Sunday, Reagan's Novice Jumpers was messy, but she worked really nicely through the middle and nailed the weave poles again. It was one of those courses I would love a "Do Over". Reagan could have run it very smoothly. We did not qualify this time, but we had fun.
In Novice Standard, Reagan did very well and earned her 2nd qualifying score. Her only error was a refusal****. I believe she placed 2nd, but I did not stay long enough to verify. Look how cute she is (below) watching a run.
Here are Reagan's runs from Saturday and the messy Jumpers run on Sunday.

All in all, I could not be happier with the little monkey. I am thrilled she qualified 3 out of 4 runs and had such a fun time.

*Dogs are measured by an agility judge and issued a height card. For dogs that jump 24", this is simply a formality.
**The Standard class includes all of the climbing or contact obstacles (A-frame, teeter, table, and dogwalk. The Jumpers class has only jumps, weave poles, and tunnels.
***AKC agility starts with the Novice level. You have to earn 3 qualifying runs to move into the Open level.
****A refusal is simply running past an obstacle. In Novice, you are allowed a couple of minor faults as long as you correct your mistakes.