Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Ripken's Agility Trial

Sorry it took so long to post the remaining part of the blog about Ripken's agility trial, but I decided to wait until I had talked to Dave, our trainer, about what we were going to do with the problem child. We had our lesson yesterday and Ripken was perfect again, which makes his behavior at the trial even more annoying. Here is the breakdown of Ripken run amok at the agility trial:
Thursday event 1 (jumpers)- did one jump (out of 16) then jumped out of the ring to find me since Dave was running him.
Thursday event 2 (standard)- this time I walked Ripken inside to where I was going to be since I had to watch Dave's toy booth. I handed him off to Dave who then took him outside to run him. He did the whole course, though he did run around a little and missed the bottom contact. All in all, it was his best event of the weekend.
Thursday event 3 (fast)- on the way inside to take Ripken to Dave we passed some food that was sitting out on a chair. Ripken was so focused on it I had to drag him by the collar to get him past it. At the start line for the event, Dave let him go and he didn't even do one jump, he simply ran to the corner of the ring where the food was, jumped out of the ring and stole a guy's brownie. He would have gotten the cookie to, but the frosting was so thick on the brownie he couldn't open his mouth enough for the cookie.
Friday event 1 (standard)- Ripken started the course and was perfect. He got halfway through the course before getting to the brownie corner from the night before. At the brownie corner he jumped out of the ring looking for more brownies (luckily he didn't get any this time).
Friday event 2 (fast)- By this point Dave and I are frustrated that Ripken keeps jumping out of the ring. We were going to pull him from the show then decided since it is fast (which is where you make up your own course) we would keep let him do it. We decided to do only 4 obstacles with him, all in the front of the ring so he doesn't get near the brownie corner. After the four obstacles they were going to leave the ring and Dave would praise him and give him lots of treats. Well, Ripken did the four obstacles, but at the exit where Dave was kneeling down to praise him, Ripken dodged by him and tried to steal a woman's sandwich. When he saw he wasn't getting nay, he made a break for the building I was in, 300 yards away. Dave finally caught him by the building and we decided to pull him from the last two days of the show.

Now, out plan is to practice with plates of food on the ground, and I am practicing just walking him by food and ignoring it. It is hard for him, but eventually it should work. Also, he won't compete in agility again until after he gets an obedience or rally title. Doing obedience/ rally will make him focus more and make him be in a ring under control. Once we have that, he can go back to agility, but not before. Anyway, that was my weekend. Ripken is so hard to train, but he is a great dog. Looking back, it really is funny what he did at the show, though it was frustrating at the time. Tomorrow night is more obedience so he better start to like it.

3 comments:

oscarsmum said...

Oh Shelley, so sorry but that post had me crying with laughter!
We have two ponies that my daughter competes and they can be so unpredictable so i can really understand the frustration, and we also have the worlds greediest golden retriever, so can really identify!
Good luck with the training, I am sure you will win in the end, and he sounds a fantastic character to own.
Kate x

oscarsmum said...

Oh Shelley, so sorry but that post had me crying with laughter!
We have two ponies that my daughter competes and they can be so unpredictable so i can really understand the frustration, and we also have the worlds greediest golden retriever, so can really identify!
Good luck with the training, I am sure you will win in the end, and he sounds a fantastic character to own.
Kate x

TnT said...

Truly, this is hilarious. Probably didn't seem very funny at the time ...