Our goals for Shrewsbury Agility Show this weekend

I’m very excited as this weekend is our first proper agility show of the year! Technically Adams in May was the first, but I only did 1 agility and 1 jumping run, plus was sick to my stomach all day, so we wont really count that!

This weekend I’ve got 8 runs over 2 days! And we’re ready. We’re fit (well Guinness is). We’ve been training. We’re going for it.

I’m realistic that Guinness is gonna be pretty wild, and we’ve not had much chance to work on our waits in high arousal, so I’m keeping my goals very low for the best chance of success.

My overall goals for the weekend are:

  • 1 confident, relaxed wait with generous lead out
  • 1 set of 12 weaves, entry and all weaves completed first attempted
  • 3 contacts, completed correctly 2 on 2 off and held until given release command

Not much to achieve in two days and eight runs!

I’ve then set little goals and plans for each run on Saturday, and I’ll reassess and create new goals for Sunday on Saturday night.

Let’s have a look at Saturday:

Jumping Combined 1-4

I’m really pleased this is our first run of the show. It’s Guinness’ chance to blow off some steam and get the adrenaline out and I’m happy to throw away a combined 1-4. Plus it’ll hopefully have some nice handling sections which allow me to see how much he’s listening.

Our goals for this course are:

  • Get connection
  • Complete all handling manoeuvres correctly
  • Test our weave entry and see at what speed and distance Guinness can get in successfully

Agility Combined 1-3

This is the perfect second class as this is our chance to test the contacts, again no worry about throwing away our run as the real agility opportunity is coming up later!

  • Chilled, controlled wait
  • Test contacts
  • Faster weaves than Jumping

I’m not sure how the schedule will play out after lunch but we’ll either have Agility or Jumping next, then the other.

Agility Grade 1-3

My good friend Lou Cadman is judging this class! We couldn’t have got a better opportunity for winning out. Lou’s courses are always lovely as she understands the need for space between obstacles for large dogs, especially lower graded dogs. She also isn’t a fan of up and down courses and while Guinness rules at these it always increases his chance of missing contacts and getting too giddy.

My goal is to win… I’m throwing that out there now. But I’ve got to try hard to stay calm and not get too excited, Guinness struggles enough with arousal as it is without me pilling nerves in there as well.

  • Steady, short wait
  • Safe contacts – slow down towards the end of them if need be
  • Confident weaves, believe in him and keep him going
  • Decisive handling, no fluffing!

I haven’t set specific goals for the Jumping course as I want to leave it open for me to work on any issues we’ve had so far that day, and if it’s the last course of the day we’ll just go for a blast and good finish run.

Of course it might all go to pot as it often did for us last year, but it’s important to have the right mind set and goals are one step towards achieving that.

Whatever happens we’ll have fun!
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