Roxy and I went to our first VALOR event this past Sunday. VALOR is a venue for agility dogs that might need a bit more space or management in order to compete -- dogs that are nervous around people or other dogs, for example.
We ran in the training division, which is just the beginner level courses, but they allow you to bring treats or toys into the ring. Roxy ran 2 different Jumpers courses, and one Standard course. She ran qualifying runs (what is referred to as a 'Q') in all three courses, which is really exciting considering it was our first event. All that is required for a Q is for the dog to complete all the obstacles in the right order without lunging at or aggressing towards the camera person. There is no time limit in VALOR. I'd still like to work on our speed, and we more practice on distance handling, but in the meantime, I'm really happy with our progress and specifically Roxy's ability to adapt to a new environment so well.
Roxy also received a lot of compliments, she met a few people (and of course checked their hands and pockets for treats) and she saw several dogs, but didn't react to any, aside from mild curiosity. My favorite comment was when we walked into the ring on our first turn, in a brand new environment with strange people everywhere... Roxy was so relaxed, mouth open, tail wags and paying attention to me, and someone said, "Wow, she's so happy!"
Here is my favorite video of the day, primarily because it's her fastest run. She was really booking it, and even though she knocked down a bar and missed the last jump, I was so proud. We re-ran it for a Q, but this run is the one I'm happier with because her speed is better.
And here is our standard run (I know the video says Jumpers, it's just labelled wrong). I'm really proud of her, she went up the A-Frame and the Walk without any hesitation. We've been doing it in practice without a problem, but this was a new venue with equipment that is new to her, we were outside, which we hadn't done before, and there were new people and strange dogs as well.
It was a very successful day, and we're looking forward to doing it again!