Friday, January 5, 2018

Roadblocks and Hurdles

There have been several changes in Jedi's dog sport career in the last three months. Unfortunately, most of the changes are frustrating.

Nosework

When we left off last September, Jedi and I were gearing up for a UKC Nosework trial on October 14th and 15th. We were also debating entering the AKC Scent Work trials (a new venue for us) on December 2nd and 3rd.

Good news: Jedi and I went to Ocala for the UKC nosework trials. He found Birch in the Box on the second try. This gave him the last leg he needed for his novice container title and the full novice knows work title. Yay. On the second day he found my scented glove both times, earning him his novice handle discrimination title.

Bad news: Instructor stop teaching classes in Jacksonville. Again. She just couldn't get enough people to come consistently to make it worth her while. This was a big blow to my confidence. I decided to forgo the AKC scent work trial. This is probably a good thing too, as the fees were more than I could comfortably afford at the time.

More bad news: The German Shepherd Dog Club of North Florida has decided to push back our AKC scent work endeavors. The Scent & Go that was scheduled for January 6th has been cancelled. Instead, we have a Scent Work Workshop scheduled for the 20th. Also, we decided it would be better to try to host a trial in the fall. Putting together the April conformation shows has become a lot more difficult than we had hoped.

Barn Hunt

Jedi and I were ready to trial and barn hunt at the end of October. There is a woman 20 minutes away who cleared out her garage to teach Barn hunt. For $25 an hour she'd work on we wanted.

I told her Jedi and I were trying for the Open title (two rats and a 90 degree tunnel). I was afraid he didn't realize there was a second rat and that was causing some problems. She worked with us for several weeks in October. Jedi was finding the rats like nobody's business! He was also going through the tunnel with no hesitation. I was stoked. I knew we had RATO in the bag.

Then everything changed. Five days before the trial I got a call from Dare2Train, the trial location in DeLand. They had dissolved the business and the trial was canceled, my check was being returned. No further explanation. I was devastated.

Now the only local(ish) place to trial is in Morriston. Jedi and I didn't do well there last time and I'm hesitant to go back. So for now, we're doing nothing.

Rally

The Tuesday Training Crew took a hiatus in August. I didn't want to lose momentum, so I signed Jedi and I started Monday night Rally classes in September. My goal was to be ready for trial in January. I'm afraid this isn't going to happen either.

The Monday night classes weren't very helpful. The instructor knew his stuff, and he'd set up a good ring. But that was it. No drills, no tweaking, no homework, very little feedback. We'd run through the course twice and go home. I spent $75 for a total of 12 runs. I'd do better hitting up the Saturday Show-N-Gos at $5 each.

More frustrating, my Tuesday trainer has personal issues and doesn't know if she can reinstate training. Jedi and I suck at practicing at home without the accountability of a weekly class. Essentially, we're no better than we were in September -- and nowhere ready for a trail.

Long story short: Jedi and I are at a standstill right now. It's driving us both nuts. I wish I had better news. -- K