Sunday, February 12, 2012

USDAA Team

Tangle (the baby) and Tip had a big weekend.  We packed up, drove 9 hours and did a USDAA trial in Lawrence Kansas with good friends and team mates.  And, let me just say wind, 20 degrees, 75% humitity is NOT my favorite weather combination!  For those of you who deal with that on a regular basis I am sorry.  My recommendations is Colorado.

(An exhausted Tangle after Team)

We decided to do that road trip to do USDAA Team.  There is only one team event here locally before Nationals (ironic since Nationals are here) and I really didn't want the pressure of having to Q in Team with just one try. 

Tip did a great job with team for the most part.  Sometimes she can be a really hard dog to run.   She has a strong mind, able body and sometimes just needs to run her own course (which doesn't end in Q's).  Other times she is a speedy little race car with tight turns and precision steering. 

Tangle also did a great job.  A 19 month old border collie running Master's courses, he did awesome.  None of the runs were his personal best, weaves were an issue for some odd reason, but at the end of the day his head was still in the game!  I am grateful to his two team mates who knew going into the day he was a baby dog and all that brings.  They did a great job carrying the team and we got a Q.

Although Team can be fun because it is a team event--multiple people running your dogs, working together, combining your results all for the common goal of Q'ing.  We decided that the problem with Team is that you don't always trust your training.  Above all you don't want to have an off course in Team.  Knocked bars, missed contacts, refusals are just points against you.  An off course is an elimination and very costly to the team's goal. So we were all running our dogs very conservatively, handling to ensure no off courses, and making decisions to take a refusal or missed contact instead of get an off course.  The saying for the day was "Why train your dog when you can just micro-manage them".  :)  T-shirts might be made.
Tip and her team mate both did a great job. Our runs might not have been our best, but got the job done in the end with a Q.  Again, we are both more than capable of absolutely beautiful runs under normal conditions.  Team doesn't bring out the best in the handler/dog team and at the end of the day just be happy you get the job done!

Although we met our goal, running the dogs on Saturday (not Team runs) was awesome.  I could go back to trusting my training, running the course how it needed to be run.  After all, I was the only one with a Q at stake :)

Snippets from Tangle's runs

1 comment:

Melissa and Treo said...

I didn't realize a fellow blogger was there this weekend! I was amazed how well all the baby dogs did in team on Friday. I know Treo and I would have been a train wreck at that age! Nice job!

Melissa and Treo
www.reddogsrule.net