First CPE Trial--tips?

Running, catching, leaping; this is the forum to discuss dog sports and agility training with other active pups!

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Rio, CGC,- RL1, CL1, TD

You can't say- that i can't- play!
Barked: Mon Jul 16, '12 7:47pm PST 
Hey guys, Rio will be running in his first agility trial this weekend. We will be running CPE-- i signed him up for 4 runs each day (I'd rather scratch day of than wish we'd done more). I have no idea how he's going to do with this much running but we'll give it a go! It's an outdoor trial which should be interesting.

Anyhow, CPE isn't big in my hometown and the agility folks I know run AKC rather than CPE so they don't know the ins and outs of how those trials run or the details for the basics of how the trials generally run or things I need to bring with me.

That's where you guys come in, do you have any tips or suggestions for things I should definitely bring. Or tips/hints for warming him up and keeping his energy up throughout the day. Frisbee events are not nearly as long as agility trials seem to be so that aspect of preparation is a bit out of my realm.

Any tips would be really appreciated!

Is today agility- day??
Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 1:17pm PST 
CPE trials generally run very smoothly, but it can make for a long day - usually 8am until 4 or 5pm for a full entry around here. I'd imagine you'd take similar things that you would for a frisbee event - crate, chair for you, water, bowl, treats, lunch for yourself if you don't plan on purchasing on site. Remember that dogs run naked in CPE, so take some sort of slip lead or harness that you can remove easily. Most judges are pretty good about reminding you of removing collars before you run, however I did see a team NQ this weekend for this reason. Since it's outside, consider how you'll keep cool if you're having the same awful heat wave that we are.

The judges are very good about going over the rules before each class, and will answer any questions that you have. You can ask pretty much anyone at the trial questions too - CPE people are generally very friendly!

Have fun!
Addie CL1- CL2 CL3 CL4- OAJ

if it moves,- I'll chase it!
Barked: Tue Jul 17, '12 7:46pm PST 
You'll have fun!!! Thats the best tip I can give, makes sure to relax and remember why you're there. At least you're willing to do multiple runs, dont worry.. everyone is very friendly and helpful, feel free to ask questions.

Addie and I started out CPE, and will continue to do CPE. I personally think its more fun than AKC, but I think we;ll do both. We're going to our 4th agility trial ( 2nd AKC) this weekend.

I would bring a cooler, plenty of water for you and your dog, a nice foldable crate and/or a dolly to carry it, some snacks, really great treats, a kong ( to keep them busy in the crate, sometimes the first trial is very nerve wracking for both human and dog). I always bring a sheet to put over Addies crate to calm her down and take out some of the visual stimulous. I'd also brng a fan, too. battery powered ( can usually get one for about $20).

CPE is fun, I like all the games - wildcard, snooker, jackpot etc. Its very relaxed, and a bit less strict, but still very competitive.

Dont forget to relax, have fun and breathe!!!! smile

Edited by author Tue Jul 17, '12 7:49pm PST


Rio, CGC,- RL1, CL1, TD

You can't say- that i can't- play!
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 7:28am PST 
Thanks guys... one of the main reasons I'm running in CPE is because everyone I know who runs in it says the same thing... fun, casual, but still competitive. I want to just go have fun with my dog--i'm not worried about Qs or titles or ribbons... just having fun (anything beyond that is bonus!).

What do you guys do for feeding? My game plan is to give small snacks throughout the day--just don't know what type of snacks are best, it seems lots of different opinions on this one--fruits, meats, kibble, peanut butter kongs w/ stuff in it... I'm not used to having days long enough to warrant snacks other than a small handful of dog treats for not barking in the crate.

The benefit from years of frisbee is i know how to pack for outdoor adventures, LOL--ez-up, crates, chairs, coolers, garden sprayer (to cool down the dogs if they don't have a baby pool set up), reflector sheets to keep crates cool, 2 10" battery operated fans, and one back up fan that plugs into my car for power, clamps to put up extra shade sheets... sometimes I'm lucky I can fit the DOG in my car with all my stuff!

Thanks for advice guys! Not quite sure how he'll deal with a full day of work (and he's gonna lure course after his long day if he wants)... do you have any tips for keeping them 'sharp' for day two?

Is today agility- day??
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 8:58am PST 
On trial days, I feed very small meals in the morning and evening (mainly so Bailey isn't too upset that my other non-competing dog gets to eat and he doesn't) since he'll be nibbling throughout the day. I make chicken and steak for him for pre-run warmup stretches. I try to stick with healthy, high value foods.

I have small Rubbermaid containers that I use for his jackpots after each run. I prepare one for each run that we have. I throw whatever yummies I have around the house into them - meats, fruit, etc.

I think that the full day stamina comes with experience. Establishing a routine helps a lot. I try to follow the same routine with each run - warm ups and focus building before the run, and a happy jog to his jackpot afterwards. This way, at the last run of the weekend when I know he's tired, he's still super excited to put forth the effort since he knows exactly what's expected of him and that we'll have a big party afterwards.

Akita Pals- Always.
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 9:08am PST 
No tips just wanted to take the time to wish you both Good Luck!!!! The main thing I think will be to stay relaxed and enjoy,no matter the final results.hugwishes
(Quin)- Herdabout- The Mighty- Qu

Herdabout The- Mighty Quinlan!
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 9:49am PST 
We did our first CPE trial in May (I think it was LOL) and it was a lot of fun! CPE is new here in Ontario so everyone was having fun. The judge was happy, go lucky and so willing to help!

The first round I was shakey and worried I would forget the course I had made, but it was so much fun!

Quin and I both had a blast but yes it was a LONGGG day!
The show was about an hour drive away...and the day got started with measuring at 7:30...so we were up at 5 am...and our last run was at...maybe...5pm....it was a good long day.
Bring a cooler with drinks and water smile and snacks smile

The Monster
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 10:56am PST 
Snacks for you are key. Something for your dog to chew on during downtimes helps too (but ideally he should be sleeping most of it in a crate).

As for meals, I feel more comfortable feeding a normal meal at home before we go, and will be handing out plenty of treats throughout the day. I don't want my dog performing while hungry, so as long as there's a decent amount of time between the meal and the run (the drive to the location is normally sufficient) I'll feed as normal. If anything I might cut back on the dinner that evening.

You'll get a feel for how Rio best performs. I tend to run Cohen a bit (or play in some way) before her first run. Then we have some quiet time in the crate. I try to have her pee roughly 20 minutes before each run. I play with her until it's time to walk the course, then I put her away 'til it's time to run. If I play with her too much she gets too high - she performs better while calmer and still has PLENTY of speed. Other people like to get their dogs wired for sound before running, but I've not had much luck with that.

Feisty- Girl
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 1:49pm PST 
In addition to the general gear, I usually bring a rule book (for CPE) as I can never remember off the top of my head the point values or times (that vary between different levels) for the games classes.

I feed once a day, in the evening. My dogs are used to this schedule so I don’t feed them anything the morning of a trial. I do bring some training treats for doing some focus work or to use at the practice jump.

Coming up with a pre-run/warm up ritual is pretty much trial and error and depends on your dog. For Abbey I get there as early as possible and do some very high energy play with her and then walk her around and let her get a good look at everything well before her first run. If I don’t take the edge off her energy some I will get zero focus when we get in the ring. Right before we go into the ring I'll take a handful of treats and do some focus/impulse control work.

Since you’ll need to be measured, get there early! CPE is more forgiving, but if you ever do AKC or USDAA they will chew you out if you’re late to be measured (spoken as someone who has faced the wrath of the ring crew lol.)

Good luck and have fun!
Maggie,- Tika, &- Porter

Aussie-tastic- Trio
Barked: Wed Jul 18, '12 5:17pm PST 
Love CPE smile Our club is hosting a trial this weekend - so I get to run my butt off (literally lol!).

The judges are wonderful and I have yet to encounter one that isn't willing to help newbies and explain rules during the briefings.

I am lazy when I go to trials and bring the bare minimum...after packing everything the first few trials I found that it is an awful lot of work and I now have a pretty basic bag that I bring. Most of the stuff I need for trials live in my car as it is harder to unpack it smile

As for feedings...I feed once a day normally, so that is what I do while trialing. They get dinner...but there are plenty of treats throughout the day. I also encourage a lot of water drinking when it is warm out.

Remember to have fun and love your dog smile
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