My girl, Keeper, and I recently competed at the UKI Canadian Nationals and WAO Team Canada Tryouts in Saint John, New Brunswick, September 7th - 10th. I packed up my RV and my five pups, and we went on an almost 3,000 km roundtrip road trip to make it to the Nationals.
Keeper, a three-year-old sheltie, competed at her first-ever National event with over 450 dogs participating! Talk about a milestone for her!
It was an agility marathon over four packed days, and Keeper proved that she could compete with some of the best 12" dogs in the country! Many American friends also came up to compete and pushed the competition and course times with their border paps and sport mixes! It was also great to see two of my fellow MCR team members compete - Stacy and Ainsley. Several of my elite coaching students from the United States also attended and had outstanding weekends with their dogs. This was the definition of an international competition with some of the best handlers and teams from Canada and the U.S.
I am so proud of how Keeper handled the environment, the competition and her ability to stay focused and connected (mostly!). She also proved that she can keep times with some of the fastest dogs in Canada and the U.S. We were able to pull off multiple top 10 place finishes and ended up placing 2nd in Canada for the Games event.
Here are a few of my favourite runs during the UKI Canadian Nationals:
If you know me, you won't be surprised to hear that I like my statistics and data - and so with every major event or multiple-day trial, I sit down and analyze the data collected over the weekend.
Collecting data on our dogs' competition weekends is as important as the competitions. We can gain valuable information from these analyses from a performance/training standpoint and a physical perspective to determine if something might be off in our dogs.
One mistake in an individual run might mean little, but with multiple days of competition, patterns and trends will ALWAYS emerge! For example:
Some other things that I like to analyze during a competition weekend are:
Let me ask you a question now that we are talking about data: Are you interested in learning more about how you can analyze your competition weekends to help guide your future training sessions so that you turn your weaknesses into strengths?
Collecting data helps to: