Dahlia's first agility trial was a nervewracking experience but in the end we had a lot of fun and brought home one qualifying ribbon. It was far more than I expected for the first time out and so I was quite pleased.
But I kept watching the video of us at the trial over and over again. I realized she was slow and hesitated because I hesitated. Because I was scared she'd blow past an obstacle and I desperately wanted her to take them all. It finally got through to me that if I just keep running, it's much more likely that she will keep running. The week after the last trial, we looked like this in class:
We moved so much better together and we're both speeding up!
So I took that to the trial this weekend. How did Dahlia do? Well, she blew Standard entirely. We seem to have a problem that is really surprising me: Despite rocking the A-Frame at class and being pretty comfortable on the dog walk, she completely avoids them in trial situations. Admittedly, some of the issue the first time out was that I was so focused on the A-Frame (which was obstacle #3 in the run) that I looked away, disconnected from her, and lost her entirely before she even hit the second jump. So our Standard run, while not a disaster (she hit every jump and tunnel past that beautifully) was not successful. NQ.
The second two runs we did were Colors and Wildcard, both ones that we NQ'ed on at the previous trial.
Well, I'm happy to report that Dahlia totally nailed both of them. We got a qualifying score with no faults on Colors (28.07 seconds) and Wildcard (30.43 seconds), which netted us our first (very small) agility title: The CTL1-H, Level 1 Entusiast Handler Games title.
Here's Dahlia sporting her fancy new ribbon and looking quite proud of herself!