Monday, December 5, 2011

You must be "present" to win!

Sorry, couldn't resist the play on words!

Standard run

First the good news.  Tangle got his beginning standard, gamblers, and trigility titles this weekend.  All first places.  He showed more confidence going into the ring and more confidence running the course.  Several times I was left in the dust when he spotted his path and took initiative!  I am convinced that trialing was the best step progression in his training.  He knew his job in the back yard, but there is nothing like a trial to teach the dog to LOVE agility.  I have no idea why it does, but it does.

Tangle competed in his third agility trial this weekend.  And, once again, I learned very valuable things about him, and reinforced what I already knew or suspected.

  1. I, as the handler, am the weak link in the team.  Tangle knows his job and can only be as good as the information given to him.  I owe it to my dog to be "in the game" every moment like he is.
  2. Tangle is the kind of dog that can be pushed.  By that I mean, he likes and does well when I drive him hard (the run linked above).  This is exciting news for me since this makes the game all the more fun!  I tried driving him a little harder this weekend and he rose to the challenge.
You must be "present" to win!  On several of Tangle's runs this weekend my foot was hurting more than usual.  The surface was very irregular, which is the worse possible thing for my foot right now.  I was worried when I was leading out, fearing that I might really tweak my foot and have to abandon the run in the middle.  This worry caused me to not be aggressive about getting a front cross in a couple of places.  One caused an off course, which is not a big deal at this stage to me or the dog.  BUT, the other was timed poorly and caused Tangle to not time his take off correctly and he hit the bar.  This was unfair of me!

So, if I am going to run the course I must be in the moment (present) and focusing on the job at hand.  I need to make the decision before I get a dog out of his kennel that I am going to run that run, give him/her my full attention, and not worry about anything.  I owe it to my dogs who give it their all, ARE present in the moment, and love to run with me.

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