Sunday, July 26, 2009

Ahhhh, the weekend - where to begin

Well, it was an interesting weekend. We managed to complete the first one of the three trials we were entered in over the weekend. The trials were in Wisconsin - about a six-hour drive from where we live so we drove up Thursday. The trial Friday went pretty well, although Jackson NQd on the signal exercise because he didn't go all the way down on the 'down' signal. This was the same problem we had in one of the trials last month, so we need to figure out a way to work on this. I think it's a result of his lack of confidence and stress in the ring. It was a distracting venue with lots going on in the adjacent rings - pretty typical of most trials. We just need to keep working on his ability to work through the distractions and be able to focus on me and the job at hand. Perhaps more fun matches, run-throughs, and proofing with distractions will help build his focus and confidence.

The remaining exercises were pretty solid on the basics. Lots of points off though for slow returns, crooked sits and lagging. Oh yes, and we got hit with points off because he did not sit on the go-outs. On the first go-out I ended up sending him to the jump while he was still standing. First time I had ever sent him to a jump while he was still standing, but he did the jump fine. On the second go-out I waited him out for the sit even though the judge had given the jump command. That jump was good also. The directed retrieve, moving stand and the articles were good, so we were able to practice some success in the ring : ) I was particularly happy with the articles because he has had problems with those previously. I wasn't really surprised by the 'down' signal problem and the lack of sits on the go-outs because those are the things that we had recognized as problems and had been working on the most. We just haven't gotten there yet - at least not in the trial environment.

Now for the bad news - before we were to go in the ring for Saturday's trial I noticed that there was blood in his urine, so I pulled him from the remaining weekend trials and took him to a vet clinic near the show site for evaluation. They determined that he had an infection - likely bladder or urinary tract - and we started him on antibiotics. Hopefully, this will clear things up. If not, we will do further testing to determine what the problem is. He had seemed lethargic and his appetite was off, but I was attributing that to the stress of traveling and the trial. After 36 hours on the antibiotics, he's eating, drinking and acting like himself, and his urine is looking more normal. We'll do a follow-up visit to our regular vet this week to see if there are still signs of infection.

Now, having said all that, I must mention that there was some good news on the weekend trials. Jackson's sister, Jolee, earned the first two legs toward her CD title. Since this is Jackson's blog, I haven't mentioned her. She's the same age as Jackson (littermate) and I hadn't really planned to do any obedience with her. She thought she was retired to a life of leisure after obtaining her championship title in the conformation ring, but I thought I saw some potential in her for obedience work and this spring starting training her for the Novice class. Her personality is much different from Jackson's so it's been a challenge to figure out what works with her.

Here's a short video of Jolee's recall exercise at the trial this past weekend.


Kauffman said...

What a beautiful dog! I'm going to be really interested to see how she progresses.

Jennifer H. said...

Ohh poor Jackson!!! It sounds like he is already on the mend but sending Jackson lots of speedy recovery vibes.

And congrats on the the legs with Jolie!!! That is just fantastic. :) So proud of you guys. And I love her very happy recall. :)

Honey the Great Dane said...

Oh no, we're behind with visiting and so have only just come and heard about Jackson!! Hope he's much better now and the infection is all cleared up.

And Wow! Jolee! I didn't even know Jackson had a sister - she is fantastic! PLEASE do post more about her - I'm sure Jackson won't mind sharing his blog and it would be so cool to see her doing stuff, especially as they are different types of dogs - really interesting to see the different responses to exercises based on their temperaments!