Thursday, April 15, 2010
Girlpower pups First UKA Show wrap-up
Some people asked me a few questions about the pups first show so I will try to answer them.
Here in the UK we cannot compete in kennel club agility competitions until the dogs are 18 months old. I do not mind this restriction but am happy that the UKA allows us to compete with the pups at 16 months old in Nursery and Beginners Steeplechase.
Nursery is an agility class with no weaves or see-saw and a lowered Aframe. Steeplechase is just jumps and tunnels. The UKA shows are generally smaller than KC shows which is another good thing for the baby dogs. But really the most fabulous thing about UKA is the ability to call your run "NFC" or Not for Competition. When you do this you can bring in a toy to reward (gasp!) your dog! You could even just use your allotted time (standard course time) to run whatever course you would like or even just work on your contacts or start line.
About toys and leads at the end of the course: Even in Kennel club shows you will see most dogs grab their leads/toys at the end of the runs. Most handlers and dogs go out of the ring tugging and playing. In the AKC this would be considered "out of control" There are no rules against this from UKA or from our KC. It is refreshing after having dealt with the many restrictive AKC agility rules where they always seemed to restrict the amount of FUN that a dog could have! Having another person throw the toy or encourage the dogs across the finish line is obviously double handling and not allowed although you will occasionally see it happen.
I use most of my UKA shows to reinforce Zen's contacts with a toy.
A few of us started our puppy training together last year and we all had our first show together on Friday! From Lt to right: Bee, Itz, Zaz, Yazz and Fozzie. Yay for the baby dogs! All had their first clear runs except for Itz. While Itz had no clear runs she had Awesome FAST runs and exceeded my expectations for her.
On Sunday Marilyn and Zavvi joined us and Zavvi had her first run which was clear also! Go Zavv-la!
Zaz is just such a great dog to run. She reminds me so much of Zen; she is Zen's mini-me. I am really looking forward to our journey together.
No shows for the pups this weekend. We are off up-north for the European Open Try-outs. The KC really restricts the amount of dogs that can go to the EOs. We have to qualify for the try-outs at special shows during the previous year and try and collect enough points to be in the top 10. Then we have a day of try-outs to get down to the final 3. I don't understand why they restrict it so much when we could theoretically send up to 30 dogs AND we have to pay for ourselves anyway. But hey-ho what do I know? VBG
All I know is that I would like to be taking BOTH pups next year! :-)
PS Thanks to Bee's dad for the photos of the pups!