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Today Matilda and I went to a CPE trial in Valley Center, down near…

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Today Matilda and I went to a CPE trial in Valley Center, down near San Diego.  I took a blanket and folded it into a mat and set it down in a quiet spot maybe 30 feet from the ring entrance for five to seven dogs before our runs.  Actually, I was surprised how relaxed she became. By the last run she rolled over on her side for me to rub her tummy.  Of course, for the dog before us we had to be waiting at ringside.  For most of the runs we followed a rather barky dog. I thing this is a good approach for us.  Last summer I massaged her shoulders and neck while waiting in line at our indoor trials this seemed to be very helpful. Here at our outdoor trials it wasn't working very well.  The mat was helpful.  Our runs weren't great.  We Q'd in Jackpot. She did the send from the square (a jump to the A-Frame, to two tunnels).  She did the other things I planned but threw in  a few tunnels on her own.In Standard she took three extra tunnels. She went to a tunnel instead of the weaves, then took two poles and darted off to the tunnel beyond, later she took another off course tunnel after the A-Frame. She also did some big loopy run outs that would have been refusals in AKC. Still we didn't lose total contact. She did come back to me and we did all the obstacles.Wildcard went pretty well. Actually she was moving quite fast and with me. We Q'd and our only bobble was my handling error. In Snooker she broke her start line stay before I even left her. We were pretty quickly whistled off the course. In Jumpers we started off working together, but she took an off course tunnel. Then as I was recovering from that, she took a jump from the wrong side.The rest went smoothly.I'm sure if I were a better handler she would do better. She wouldn't take those off course tunnels. I'll try using the mat again at our next trial.
  • AWESOME!!! (that will be $5000, it's the going rate. ;) ahahahahha)

    Yes, the mat doesn't cure everything in one session, but it will establish a routine, and one that you two can really count on. Dogs love consistency. And Matilda will "get" what the game is more and more as she understands what you're asking.

    As for your handling, it's a cycle. You slow up or hesitate because you think she'll go off course, and then Boom! she does because the signal isn't clear.

    Do you have "fun runs" in your area? Check to see if you do, if so... use those to establish a smoother approach to a course. If she goes off, you just continue on. The problem with CPE is they don't count refusals so it encourages handlers to go back and "fix" what they missed. With a dog like Mat, I wouldn't do it. She needs FLOW and fixing stuff just totally messes with the flow.
    Does that make sense???

    In that last video, i think you were spot on. You didn't correct anything and she was just tunnel sucking. But you continued and things were overall really smooth. Good job.

    • Thank you! Thank you! We'll keep working with the mat.

      Yes, you're right, when I don't give clear information fast enough she either freezes or takes off on a zoomie.

      We do have fun runs. I haven't been to one in a while. I should look for one.
      I can use class that way, too, working for the flow.

  • yay for nosemovie 's $5000 mat!!!

    Matilda is really moving so much faster these days!!!
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