Tsuki was a good boy today and now has his ASCA STD-s. Which means a herding title as a started (novice) trial dog on sheep from the Australian Shepherd Club of America. He also placed 4th out of 8 dogs. I didn't run him, but I am thrilled. I'll be trialing him myself four weekends (8 runs), 2 of them ASCA, 2 AHBA. Since we aren't ready to move up (because we have very little experience on the free standing pen) I'll keep him in started for those 2 trials. Which means that I'm doing very expensive practice, but that's probably a good thing.
ASCA allows the handler to enter the take pen and push the sheep out. Since the sheep have a tendency to climb the walls when Tsuki goes in, this was what my instructor did. He kept his solid stay as the sheep flew out and down the arena. He waited until released. Most of the course went pretty well. His biggest points deductions came at the end when a burst of exuberance meant he split the sheep (made them go different directions because he came into the middle of the flock).
I did one thing that might possibly have made a difference. I brought that bicycle along. First thing when I arrived I ran him about a mile, then about an hour later another half mile, and a quick quarter mile about fifteen minutes before his run. Did it work? I don't know but out of such things handler superstitions are born.
I hardly ever write Tsuki's name with all his title letters but ...
Tsuki-Yomi STD-s, O-OGC, O-OJC, NAC, TN-N, CL-2, SJ, SR
translated (sort of)
STD-s, ASCA Started Trial Dog, sheep
O-OGC, NADAC Outstanding Open Gamblers Certificate
O-OJC, NADAC Outstanding Open Jumpers Certificate
NAC, NADAC Novice Agility Certificate
TN-N, NADAC Novice Tunnelers
CL-2, CPE Level 2
SJ, USDAA Starters Jumpers
SR, USDAA Starters Relay
The USDAA titles are new so I'm not sure if that's the abbreviation.
Tomorrow I'm driving four hours for a herding lesson/clinic.
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