Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Fun Match

We attended our first fun match over the weekend. I signed us up for three runs in jumpers and I was very excited.  I woke up before dawn to get us there with enough time to find a good spot to set-up.  The day was simply beautiful, bright and sunny with a cooling breeze. 

Upon seeing the course I had only one thought, "Easy Peasy!"  We've done more complex course work in practice.  I was totally sure this would be a piece of cake and Marley would be looking for a challenge. I actually started to become concerned it might be too easy.  You can probably see where this is going, right?

Our three fun runs went like this:
  1. Marley got into the ring and thought, "woohoo, dirt!" and she took off running in circles.  She took a few jumps only because they were in her way while she was running around.  
  2. Marley goes over the first jump just fine and starts to sniff the ground in front of the tunnel.  I call her name...nothing.  I call her name again...she smells some straw.  I call her again...she looks like she wants to claim that spot on the course.  I end up picking her up and taking her outside.  
  3. I have a firm talk with Marley before our third run.  I look deep into her eyes and I say, "Girl, you need to find your inner border collie!"  I set her up at the start line and release her, she stops and the fascinating spot in front of the tunnel.  I call her name and she looks at me for a moment and decides it might be best to go into the tunnel.  As soon as she comes out I call her to me and praise her.  I then take off running like a crazy person, hoping my dog is following me along the course.  She did and it was fun!
Yep, three runs and she only actually ran one.  I have to say, she had a fantastic time.  I learned a valuable lesson:  The fun run is not about completing the course, but of letting the dog run a course in a new environment.  

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