Monday, June 23, 2014

The Weekend Report: Starting Over....With a Bang!

This weekend was our first agility trial since Jimmy and I earned our MACH (Master Agility Championship) back at the end of April. To earn that title, Jimmy ran in the "Regular" class, which based on a height measurement at his withers,  required him to jump 12 inches. I know that doesn't sound like very much, but for a dog with 3 inch legs and weighing in at around 34 pounds, it requires a significant effort to clear all those jumps. Many a run was lost to "just one bar" being knocked down. That felt like our team motto sometimes. But now we are starting over in what is called the "Preferred" class, where the dog gets to jump one jump height lower and gets 5 more seconds to complete the course. For the first several years I was doing agility, the Preferred class had no big title to shoot for. Eventually, due to competitor demand I am sure, the AKC added a PACH (Preferred Agility Champion) title. It has the same requirements as a MACH, 20 double-Qs and 750 speed points. So now we are working toward our next goal. And let me just say that Jimmy LOVES jumping at 8 inches! That height is so much more suited to his body type. He sails over the jumps with ease!

This weekend was a trial given by the Potomac Valley Golden Retriever Club. I only have video from Saturday, but they were great runs, and worthy of sharing.

Here is the Standard run:

Here is the Jumpers run:

These runs were speedy and clean, earning us the 1st place blue ribbon for both. Woohoo! And this was our very first double-Q toward our PACH and 44 points. What a great start!

I didn't get anyone to video us on Sunday, but it was another stellar day! We again Q'ed in both runs, earned a 1st place in Standard and a 2nd place in Jumpers (we missed 1st place by less than 1/2 a second!)

Here is a victory photo of Jimmy that I took when we got home:

Such a GOOD BOY!

Tracking Jimmy's PACH progress:
Very 1st Double-Q: Saturday 06/21/2014
Masters JWW legs: 2
Masters STD legs: 2 
Double Q's: 2 (out of 20 needed)...10%
PACH Points: 91 (out of 750 needed)...12%


  1. YAY Jimmy!!!!! So happy to hear you're going for this next challenge and doing so well to start with. I would love to get started in Agility with my new partner in crime but have no place around me to take classes. Is it possible to teach yourself? Any good books or such you can recommend?

    1. Now is the perfect time to start foundation training with your puppy! There are tons of things you can work on at home to prepare Tucker for agility. I highly recommend the Clean Run website. They have plenty of books and videos (they even rent the videos!) to work from. At this age you want to work on your groundwork, shadow handling and getting Tucker used to putting his feet on wobbly surfaces. Teach him to touch a target and then move it a bit further and further away. That skill will be needed later to work on his contacts. A flat-on-the-ground plank can be used to start his dogwalk training as well as teeter training. You don't want to start on weaves or full-height jumping until his growth plates close. The main stuff you will need at home is a few jumps and eventually you must have a set of weaves. I recommend training those with the 2x2 method made famous by Susan Garrett. Eventually, you will have to seek out a class or seminars where you can work on all the equipment, but for the first year, there is plenty to do at home.

    2. This is very helpful! We will start doing this stuff now. I'm heading over to the Clean Run Website now to see what I can find. Thanks again for this great advice.

  2. Fantastic!!! Love agility dogs - so impressive and what entertainment too!

    Oh yeah, and if you want to be featured on our blog, just let me know! I have an interview up here (can do as many or as few of the questions as you like!)

    PS: on the video sound Mort is standing here going WOOF! WOOF! sqeeeeak.... WOOF! while wagging his nub :)

  3. Go Jimmy and go you! Gosh, I got winded just watching you run around the course with him. That's probably why it's good that I never got interested in doing that with Blueberry. Not to mention the fact that despite her legs being longer than Jimmy's - she isn't good at clearing those poles. She did some amateur agility at one of our training classes and that was the thing she was the worst at - I suspect because of her hip issues.

    Good job both of you - you should be very proud!!!

  4. Congrats! I'm sure he's much happier jumping in preferred.

  5. Loved seeing Jimmy flying over those jumps.

    I see you're wearing a brace on your knee. I hope Jimmy's success isn't physically painful for you.

  6. It looks like all three of you were having a blast! Congratulations on your big wins! Woo Hoo! *clapping hands & paws!!

  7. Wow! Congrats on the wins! That's awesome - hard work pays off!

  8. You both look great, Taryn. I am a big fan of Preferred for our low slung friends.

  9. Great work!!! Seems like a much fairer comp.

    XXXOOO Bella Roxy & Dui

  10. Congrats again! Love that last photo! He looks so pleased with himself, as he should be!

  11. way to go Wilson sure looks proud

    retro rover

  12. WooooHooooo!!! Lookie at you go dude!! You are pawsome at that!
    I thinks I would need a tree rat to chase if I were to keep my focus! BOL
    CONGRATS!!! To you and your Moms!!
    Ruby ♥

  13. Congratulations!!!! That is so wonderful!

  14. Congratulations! That is fantastic! He looks quite proud of himself, too, and rightly so! :)

  15. Congratulations Jimmy ... way to go! I love watching agility although I have never worked with a dog on it. Sounds like this new Preferred class is perfect for him and he is loving it.

  16. Atta boy, Jimmy! Love those ribbons!

  17. He does love 8"!!! It's amazing how different they run when you drop them just 4". Dally turned it on when I dropped her from 8 to 4, and when I was able to get LaMesa measured down to 8 it made a difference. Better get your running shoes on--once he really realizes the ease of 8", he'll probably go even faster than he was in those videos! Great job!


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