Friday, 24 April 2009

Recent training and Tess update

So we were back at flyball training on Monday. Quite a small group as not everyone can do Monday nights but it was nice as each dog could have a bit longer. Worked alot on the box. Was pleased with how consistent Lacy and Jemma's turns have become, Jemma's particularly is perfect, just a shame we can't sort the rest of her out lol! Elliot is getting faster, he is gonna be one speedy doggy, he had a few dodgy turns as he is readjusting to his change in speed but his turn will end up fab! With diefer, sonny, smartie and asher we worked on box as diefer's had gone down hill recently, went back to basics and just had him jumping on and off the box which seemed to help. Sonny has always been a challenge on the box as he is so ball obsessed he doesn't think about what he's doing when the ball is in the box. So we worked with a 9" jump infront of the box instead of 6" which really made him think and he was doing lovely full runs with the ball in and a 4footed turn :-). With Asher I really wanted to reinforce his turn as it had been perfect at training but in the excitement of competition he had been messing it up. Did lots of full runs, really winding him up to get him to go the speed of a competition and left the jump in. He was a bit lazy the first couple and was knocking the jump but after that he was fab. We ran them as a team but only from about 10-20ft so they weren't quite at full speed. My project is now Luna as she has so much potential and I want to get her doing perfect turns. She will do a nice 4-foot turn with no ball but when the ball is there she is just doing 2-foot so we just need to build it up.

Went to agility training last night, hadn't been for a couple of weeks as I was so focused on flyball. He was really good but we did only do pretty easy stuff. Did some more stuff today, lots of 1 jump exercises to help him understand my body language and stop him jumping so long all the time. Found that he doesn't value jumps enough, sort of explains his tunnel obsession and that he doesn't pay enough attention to my body movement when I am behind him. He's good at changing direction when I change my arm but only when i'm level or infront of him. This needs to improve so that we can do rear crosses successfully which at the moment usually results in a twizzle. Also worked on getting him to wrap the jump wing which although destroyed his jumping to start with did get better and by the end he was really curving his body.
Finally, my little girly Tess is doing really well. She's still a bit wobbly on her back legs and has the odd fall over but generally she can still run around and play and do her circles which makes her happy :-)! She comes on all the walks again now and can manage about an hr and a half as long as she trots most of the way rather than trying to run or bounce the whole time! She's not on any medication at the moment as it just seems to make her worse but just starting her on joint aid so hopefully that will help. She will be 12 next week. This photo is of her and Asher out on a walk the other day.

Thursday, 23 April 2009


Ok so I've been a really bad blogger and I thought it was time for an update, wanted to do this a week ago but my internet was down.

Quite alot has gone on in the last month. Went to the 2nd of our agilitynuts shows. It went ok, best round being the elementary jumping where we had 10faults. He had 2 refusals where he was going to fast, i was late with his commands and he ran past the jump. Asher was his usual nutter self and was really looking forward to the up and under class as it was so straight forward and blasty. Unfortunately he had a pole and then the next time round ran past it as he didn't see it as a jump so got E'd which was a shame as he did it very quickly! Was naughty in the agility and gamblers, his contacts were shit and he just kept heading for tunnels. It's annoying cuz he doesn't really do this at training and his contacts are usually fab. Had a lesson with Char the day before which was great. Exposed a weekness in his contacts that he doesn't have a strong enough understanding of the position and his nose touch when there isn't food there as a 'target'. Was pleased with his weaves at Chars, she did post a video of them although he did catch himself a couple of times, he is so clumsy! I've decided that he still needs more work before I enter him in KC shows, I don't want to ruin him by pushing him too soon so I will work on him over the summer and hopefully debut in the Autumn as i don't really have a free weekend over summer anyway!

Flyball training has gone well the last few weeks although I have been disappointed in some of the boxwork. We've had to rush the last few weeks as we had to have the dogs ready to compete at Easter and it shows! If I'd of had my way we would of done all the team training, full runs etc with the jump still infront of the box as it is still not fully ingrained in the dogs that they must jump on and off of the box. A couple of the starters who have only been trained using the new training looked great, there turns are fab and although they are not as high on the box as I would like they are doing really good turns. Most of the other dogs reverted to there old turns in varying degrees. It was quite disappointing after all the work we put in but we really just ran out of time. Ashers turn looked fantastic in training, even when training as a team he was still going and putting 4feet on and driving off everytime. The most positive thing about the winter training seems to be the work we have put in to power training and giving the dogs confidence in changeovers as all of the dogs including the starters I feel would be happy to run in any postion and always drive back rather than slowing on there return. I will continue to persevere with the turns even though I sometimes get the impression that people are getting a bit fed up of it and just want there dog to be able to go up and back. I can see the potential for fantastic turns in most of the dogs it will just require alot of patience and reinforcement!

So Easter FINALLY arrived and I was able to go to a flyball competition for the 1st time in 6months, Yay :-D! To say I was excited is an understatement! Friday was starters and we had our team of Bonnie, Lacy, Chelsey, Jamie, Luna and Fraggle. For all of them it was there 1st competition and a 1st for some of the people aswell. Bonnie was an absolute star running consistent 4.2secs all day with a great turn and powering back despite the slippery ground. Lacy was also super quick and didn't bat an eye lid at the changeovers or the other lane which we were really happy with as she likes to have a little look and those lilacs are renowned for being a bit crazy lol ;-). Chelsey (little choc lab) and Jamie (terrier) ran like pros, when we proof Chelsey's turn a bit more it is going to be fantastic, she really understands the jump but when you take it away she gets a bit confused so just needs more reinforcement. Jamie is going to be a quick little dog and will hopefully get us 8" jump height. Luna is just 13months and hadn't had much training due to her being in season a couple of weeks before. She had also been being quite naughty on her recall and doing little laps of honour so Carol worked on that non-stop for the week before the show and she was fab. Perfectly behaved all day, I think she was getting faster as he confidence grew aswell so hopefully this will continue and then she can be our superfast height dog as she is tiny for a collie! Then we had Fraggle our Leonberger who had quite an audience, we were a bit worried as he generally likes to say hello to everyone but he behaved himself and ran really well. Only problem is that he is really light on the box, crazy to think as he weighs nearly as much as I do! So sometimes he wasn't triggering it, not a problem in starters but won't be good in open, we'll just have to make the box really sensitive and work on him hitting the box harder. They came 2nd in the end, just losing out to Power Paws, with a best time of 21.8?secs i think. We were thrilled with how they ran so they will all run again in starters on the 2nd May and hopefully make there open debut that weekend (apart from Luna who won't be old enough).

Extraset ran in Div 8 on the Saturday, had problems with the box in the 1st couple of races, firstly it wouldn't trigger then it was too sensitive and wouldn't load. Was a bit annoying as we should of won one of those races. The afternoon went more smoothly, we managed to win 1 of our races. The ground was still quite slippery and the dogs seemed a little off there pace but I think that was mainly just fitness. They ended up 5th.

Ballistics were in Div 1 on Sunday. Was so looking forward to it. 1st race was against Maples, went to 5legs and we won! Mainly due to them having lights but we did manage a best time of 18.00secs. We were really pleased with that seeing as we hadn't raced for so long. I'm sure Angie won't mind me saying that our height dog Bunty was a bit off the speed she usually runs. She's usually 4.7-4.8secs but was doing more 5-5.3secs. We don't really know why but suspect it was the ground. Asher was sliding alot and his box was rubbish, I was gutted, he was so slow lol! When I say slow most of his runs were 4.0-4.1. It was difficult as we had 6dogs on the team so involved alot of swapping around. We lost against Stars and Bassetts but we expected to so that was fine. We thought we had a chance against hampshire and fourpaws. Both of them were really close and they both did there fastest times against us! Hampshire did 17.78 and really consistent against us and beat us. Fourpaws did 17.95 which is there fastest ever time! We would of had them in the 3rd leg but I got a light! I want Scrumpy from there team, she is lush! So we ended up last but we raced well. Sonny ran 4.4-4.5s which is an improvement from last yr where he was around 4.6. Rosie ran 4.3-4.4, she loved having low jumps as she has never really raced over them before. Asher's box improved slightly over the day and his times got better, he did a few 3.9s but still lots of room for him to get faster.

So lots of positives and a few negatives. But it's all constructive so we will get better! Can't wait til the 2nd May now where we have TWO starter teams and 3 open!

I'll post another blog about recent training!