Sunday, 23 November 2008

Agility training

Agility training this week was good, did some slightly more complicated courses which we coped fairly well with. Had some sticky moments where he thought we really should be going one way and i thought we really should be going another... then he likes to stand and bark at me! Was pleased with his weaves, he was doing 8 weaves for the 1st time at training. I'm impressed with his entries but if he's going too fast he will still skip a pole further on down. Rear crosses need some work as he will spin when i cross behind, i've borrowed susan garretts dvd 'Success with One Jump' off my friend so i'm trying to learn some stuff off of that, i'm finding it all very enlightening so far! Also managed some snakes without too much drama and was really pleased with them as he wasn't jumping too long. Talking of jumping long, we do have a porblem with that as he has such a long stride, he can turn on a sixpence but he really extends over jumps which is great for straight lines but not so good for turning. Also when he knocks poles it is generally because he has tried to bounce a jump that every normal, sane dog would put a stride in! Contacts were really good, he still has food at the bottom of the contact but i am pleased with them. Tried one without food at the bottom though and that wasn't so good, he still went to postion but as soon as he realised there was no food he spun round to look at me like 'wheres the food!!'. I'll have to work on that, i have a plan!

Monday, 3 November 2008

Wall training

Since we have decided to change boxes to a flat front style I have begun retraining asher's box following an american technique of wall training. As with everything he took this all in his stride and is doing perfect turns off the wall. He turns completely horizontally and pushes down off the wall which is what I eventually what him to do off the box. We may train some of the team dogs this way but the rest of them I think we will work off a chute and build them up.

Quick update

It's been a while since I last posted but had a lot going on personally and had a lot to think about which unfortunately isn't to do with doggie stuff! Feeling a bit more together now so thought I'd catch up!

Agility wise Asher is doing really well, he's now jumping full height and so far (touch wood) isn't knocking many poles. His directionals are coming along but still need alot more work. His contacts are fab, they are very consistent, he (almost!) always goes straight to 20n 20ff enthusiatically and accurately and never breaks until he's released. He can do the seesaw on his own now but only as a single obstacle as if you give him a run up he goes too fast and slides off the end but he is learning! Weaves need a lot more work, we were having real problems with the channels at club as he was going too fast and not turning his body quick enough so jumping out. We kind of hit a deadlock where every week we would get to the same distance and then he would stop. I tried holding his collar and guiding him through but this didn't work as when he's restained he just switches off. So i've started working on it at home, i've got some tracking poles and started 2x2 training. He's picked this up incredibly quickly and in one wk he can now do 6poles from all angles, finding the entry himself and with me in all positions. He does 'swim' mainly which i'm really pleased about and i'm hoping he has linked it with his channel training. Still loads of work to do though as he still slips a pole or misses the entry if I drive him at the weaves too hard and of course I need to increase the number of poles but overall i'm pleased with the progress we're making. I as a handler however need ALOT of work, I tend to dog watch quite alot which means I don't get in to position quick enough, I also tend to rush turns as I attempt to keep up with him so either end up pushing him wide or pulling him off the jump. Oh well, i'll learn, just don't want to let him down!

Well the flyball season is over, no more competitions until April now :-(, his first season has gone so quickly and I couldn't of asked for more from my little superstar! He hasn't put a foot wrong all year, he won pairs at the british champs with Badger, he won singles at Stockbridge with a time of 3.87secs and he helped our team achieve our fastest ever time of 17.80secs. Since my last post we attended stockbridge and brinkworth. Weather at Stockbridge was glorious, we raced really well but things didn't quite go our way. Brinkworth was fun but ground was slippy so racing went down to best of 3 in the afternoon, again not much luck in the racing but still managed a 18.21secs so we were pretty pleased considering the conditions. We should have also gone to portway but one of our dogs came down with kennel cough so we pulled out. I still went to party with the High Flyers though and had a great time, really enjoyed the racing as I got to be on the line for flyers!

We had a ballistic team meeting last week to discuss training over the winter. We have decided to change boxes to a flat front box which I am really pleased about. I know there are differing opinions but I think if you take the time to teach a perfect turn they will make our team alot faster. We are having ours modified to be as close as possible to an american box. I'm a little bit nervous aswell as excited as I have been put in charge of box training. I have a plan of action (plus a few back up plans) but I'll bore you with that in another post. I'm hoping by the spring our dogs will be perfect!

On a final note, Tess my little princess is now offically retired aged 11.5. She has had a fantastic flyball career and she has given me so much joy over the years. Her first show was 10th July 1999 and her last was 5th October 2008. Now she can take it easy and watch all the youngsters. Hopefully she'll give some of them a bit of advice aswell!