Are you in agility for the fun of it? Of course you are, but you still want to get those Q’s! What happens when your dog goes for a long stretch without any Q’s . It can be frustrating. We had qualified all of our Level 3 Standards just over a year ago. Standards take the longest to move to the next level because you have to do twice as many as each game. So Level 3 Standard has to do 6 Q’s where as Jumpers Level 3 is only 3 Q’s. As you move up, not only do the courses get a little tougher, but course times are also shorter. This is what hurt us the most. My dog Sullivan is very accurate and rarely takes an off course, but doesn’t go very fast. Especially in the heat, which is most of the time here in Florida. Once we got our Level 3 standards we went on to Level 4 and struggled to make the time! I kept thinking – this is our day – only to be met with an over time or sometimes she would miss the weaves (usually a pop-out on 10 or 11). This went on for a year if you can believe it! Now you know that your dog has no idea what a Q really is and they are usually doing their best, so you really have to be careful and not over criticize so your dog will still have fun doing agility.
We are happy to report that at our last trial we did 2 Standard courses and qualified on both of them!!!! So now we “only” need 6 more to get to Level 5! We also Q’ed on Jackpot and Jumpers – also areas where we were behind. We did not enter anything else as to conserve our energy since I didn’t know how the weather would be. We had 2 perfect days!!
If you are struggling in an area in your agility trials, don’t let your dog see your frustration. Give them praise and then work on your issues in training. You want them to be happy and excited to go to the trial! Have patience and you will get those Q’s!!!!
Need Weave Pole training – check out Susan Garrett’s 2×2 training! Your dog will be weaving in no time!