Double Q’s 18 and 19

April 10, 2011

This was a good weekend as we visited the McCook, IL Blitzen Agility Trial.  On Saturday we got Double Q #18 and on Sunday we got Double Q #19.  That means we are only one Double Q away from earning our Master Agility Champion Title.  Let’s take a look at our runs:

Here is Saturday’s agility run:

This run earned us our highest one day point total – 33 points.

Sunday brought another Double Q and brought us within three points of what is needed to compete in the National Agility Championship competition to be held in Reno in 2012.  To qualify you must earn 400 points and 6 double Q’s in a year (December 1 – November, 31).  So far this year we have earned 397 points and 11 Double Q’s.

Here is Sunday’s run:

Our next competition is in Merrillville, IN.  Come on out and cheer us on!



What I have been doing since September… Agility

April 3, 2011

I have been a busy boy.  Since my last post I have been literally running around all over doing agility.  I have been to Merrillville, IN, St. Charles, IL, Crystal Lake, IL, Menomonee Falls, WI, Huntley, IL, Milwaukee, WI (home of Hounds for the Holidays), McCook, IL, Manhattan, IL, St. Louis, MO and Libertyville, IL.  Soon I will be headed back to McCook and then to Merrillville and then to…  Well, you get the picture.  Speaking of pictures, here is one of my most recent runs in Libertyville.

That was day 2 of three and my 17th Double Q.  On the final day, I got 16 more points bringing me to 17 Double Q’s out of 20 and 746 points out of 750.  From here the points will be easy so I really just need to concentrate on the Double Q’s.

Wish me luck.

By the way, you can see all my agility runs at

P.S.  If you think agility is all I do, you are wrong.  Take a look at my video showing that I LOVE clicker training:

Is that not the best training for “play dead” you have ever seen?  And what do you think of my learning to “ride the skateboard?”  I think it is great.

— Lancelot

My day in Cudahay

September 12, 2010

The stories were true.  There really is a Wisconsin.  And today, at 6:00 a.m. we headed up to see it.  It was a lovely ride and a gorgeous day.  Casimir Pulaski Park in Cudahay (just South of Milwaukee) was just perfect.  Unfortunately, my two agility runs were not.

Standard was first.  I got through the hard parts with no trouble.  But, I was sure Joe was telling me to come off the table, so I did.  Still, I was fast and focused.  My contacts at the bottom of the A-frame, teeter and dog walk were top-notch.  And my focus on the start line was excellent.

Next came the Jumpers with Weaves run.  Again, I had a great, focused start and a terrific run.  We all thought I qualified, but when we checked my score I had the dreaded NQ.  It took several slow motion viewings to find the problem.  I have included a slow motion look at the end of the video.  Can you see it?

Next week we are off to St. Charles.  Wish us luck!


A slow start to September

September 7, 2010

September brought with it cool temperatures, kids going back to school and a slow start for agility.  We were back in McCook, Il for another competition and did not qualify in either Jumpers or Standard.  There was no FAST Class competition.

You can see at the beginning of the first run I was rather unfocused on the start line.  Joe’s efforts to get my attention convinced me I must be missing something.  Contrast that to the start of the second run.

September also brought a change in the agility rules.  The table used to require a sit or down stay as specified by the judge for the count of five.  The new rules simply require that I be ON the table for the count of five.  This allows for the eventual electronic timing of the table and also make is more fair for short hair dogs who complained that the judges could tell when they were not down all the way, but could not tell with the long hair dogs.

In my first run I overshot the weave poles so I did not Q.  Note my excellent contacts, though, as I left the dog walk, A-frame and teeter.  In the second run I came out of the weaves mid-way.  Otherwise, they are actually pretty good runs.  Here they are:

Next weekend we expand our horizons and travel to Wisconsin.  See you in Cudahay!

— Lancelot

A good end to August as Lancelot smokes the Border Collies in agility

September 6, 2010

August ended with two great days of agility in McCook, Il.  On Friday, I had a “Double Q,” qualifying in both Jumpers with Weaves and Standard.  I earned 17 points in Standard and 4 in Jumpers.  Let’s take a look:

When are Two Q’s not a Double Q?

Sunday was a good day as well.  I earned my “Q” in Jumpers and in FAST Class, but not in Standard.  In order to count as one of the 20 “Double Q’s” required to earn my MACH (or Master Agility Champion) title, the Q’s must be in both Jumpers and Standard.  I earned a 2nd place red ribbon in FAST class for this run.

I like FAST class because it is even more a game of strategy than speed.  In Jumpers and Standard Classes, the course is laid out for you.  In FAST class you decide your course and you must get the most points in the allotted time.  In this competition I left the third place dog, a Belgian Malinois, in the dust (if you consider 4/100’s of a second dust).  I added 6 points to my score for a total of 272.  Let’s see Sunday’s runs:

This leaves me 15 Double Q’s and 478 points to go to my MACH.

National Agility Championship

The National Agility Championship will be held in Virginia in April, 2011.  In order to be eligible to compete you must earn 400 points and 6 Double Q’s from December 1 – November 31 in the prior year.  I’m up to 5 Double Q’s and 272 points.  Do you think I’ll make it?

Stay tuned…


St. Louis Agility 7/29 – 7/31/2010

August 21, 2010

It was time for a road trip and we headed off to St. Louis for birthday parties, family visits and three days of agility in O’Fallon, IL.  Each day had one qualifying run and one non-qualifying, so no double-Q’s on this trip.  Please recall that one needs 750 points and 20 double-Q’s to earn a Master Agility Champion (or MACH) title.

Let’s take a look day-by-day.  Day one featured a qualifying standard run where I earned 15 points.  On the jumpers with weaves run I knocked a bar.  Still, it was a beautiful run.  The video features an especially good view of my weave poles (and music!!).  Here it is:

On day two I did just the opposite.  I qualified in jumpers with weaves earning 8 points, but not standard class.  Looking back at the video I especially enjoy my exit from the teeter.  Can’t you just hear me saying, “Where did it go?”  Here is the run:

The final day was like the first: Qualify in Standard with 15 points and NQ in Jumpers.  Doesn’t the standard run make it look so easy?  On the jumpers run I left the weave poles early.  Other than that it was a good run.  Take a look:

Then it was back home with a stop on the way at Henry’s Farm where we had a fabulous meal and fun in the fields!

Now I only need 505 more points and 16 double Q’s.


Agility in Libertyville 7-16-2010

July 20, 2010

Had a nice weekend of agility in Libertyville, IL at the WAG agility trial.  I think it was the first AKC trial held there and, from what I heard, everyone loved it.  I’ll bet they could add a third judge and still fill the trial.

On Friday we had a Double Q (qualified in both Jumpers with Weaves and Standard).  Let’s take a look:

Sunday we were back for more and Qualified in Jumpers, but not Standard.  I missed my contact on the A-Frame.  After that, Joe tried some more aggressive handling to see what I could do (once you have an error, you are out so it’s a good time to practice something new).  Here is the video:

I also saw the  Springer Showcase magazine where I found out I was ranked number 10 for the first quarter of 2010 as the AGILITY SPRINGER OF THE YEAR.  The Agility Springer of the Year award is based on a total of all Standard and Jumpers With Weaves qualifying runs. Ties in scores are broken based on the fastest average yards per second.  I hope I have continued success!


Agility in Crystal Lake – 5-9-2010

May 9, 2010

It was our first trip to Crystal Lake, IL for agility (or for any reason).  The strip centers were abundant.  And the agility was fun.  Our first run was in Standard Class.  It was a fast course and we earned 18 MACH points for being 18 seconds under the standard course time.  Then is was on to the Jumpers with Weaves course.  We had a good, clean run, but learned a “new” rule which caused a disqualification or NQ.  The rules state:

Dogs must enter and exit the ring with the leash attached to the dog’s collar or harness, or in the case of a slip lead, with the noose completely around the dog’s neck, with the other end of the leash held by the handler. Any entry or exit chutes added to the ring for the ease of getting dogs in and out of the ring are not considered to be part of the ring.

Well, we put on my leash in an area the judge considered to be the chute and he called us for it.

We are now up to 141 points (out of 750 required) toward our MACH (Master Agility Champion).  Let’s take a look at the runs:

More agility next week.


Good luck at the AKC Agility Nationals

March 26, 2010

Good luck and clean runs to all my pals from Apex Agility!  Have fun at the Nationals in Tulsa.

Smack Dab Agility Video

March 22, 2010

Take a look at day 2 at Smack Dab’s agility contest. I think it was my best day yet. I took first place in FAST class and moved into Excellent B. Also qualified in Excellent B Standard and Jumpers with Weaves.

Take a look: