Thursday, 25 June 2009

Videos from Stockbridge at Easter!

I've managed to get hold of a couple of videos very kindly taken by Nick (Lacy's owner) at Stockbridge this Easter. This was our 1st competition this year so you'll remember me saying that I wasn't too happy with the boxwork or with Asher's speed, thankfully both have improved since then :-)

Bristol Babies are Bonnie, Lacy, Chelsey, Fraggle.

Bristol Ballistics are Diefer, Rosie, Asher, Bunty then in the last clip they are Sonny, Smartie, Asher, Bunty.

Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Middlesex Show

I really like this show, it is a lovely venue and always seems to be a good atmosphere, which is something you don't always get at country shows. I arrived Saturday morning in Dan the hire van as my car was brakeless, loved having the van, think i'm going to have to get one lol!

Saturday we had Ball-istics running in Division 1, we were bottom seed. The team was Diefer, Sonny, Lacy, Asher and Bunty. Sonny and Lacy were up as Rosie was on holiday, it was Lacy's 1st time in the top team and she did really well (as did her handler Lisa!), it is abit daunting being told you're running in Div 1! Since Acremead, Diefer had been playing up so we had a bit of a shaky start but he soon sorted himself out and by the end of the day he looked his normal self. We raced well but weren't very fast, we managed a best time of 18.43secs, again in the last race of the day! If only we could get ourselves sorted earlier on! We won 1 race against Fourpaws and finished 5th so I guess we can't really be too disappointed with that seeing as we were bottom seed!

Sunday we had Rockets running in Division 2. The team was Bonnie, Smartie, Perry and Jamie. Bonnie is a cracking dog but she is an absolute fruit loop and a bit kamikaze, this results in quite an inconsistent box! I think if we continue to work on this she could become a consistent 4.1/4.2sec dog which would be fab! At the mo she is 4.2/4.3secs. Smartie ran brilliantly and was very easy for me to change to with Perry. Jamie was also a good boy but seemed to be putting in an extra stride before the box, we checked him after and he had a bit of a sore toe bless him! We had some really close racing and finished 4th with a best time of 19.93secs.

Asher got to meet his future girlfriend for the 1st time, he decided he quite liked her :-). She ran brilliantly in starters and is going to be a superstar!

I had a lovely weekend with perfect weather, really looking forward to Frimley this weekend where we are in Div 2 so for once don't have to get annihilated by the likes of bassetts and stars lol!!!

Tuesday, 16 June 2009

Baby Asher

Finally got around to moving some photos off my old phone on to here so thought I'd post some pics of Asher as a pupster. The 3rd picture is the 1st ever one I took of him the day after he came home so he was dead on 8wks then. In the other 3 he is about 12wks. He was gorgeous :-) (And still is!)

Saturday, 13 June 2009

This Week

I finally made it to agility this week after having to miss a couple of weeks due to having to work. Arrived to be told I had moved up a class, was really pleased as I had spent the last couple of months in a class with dogs I feel were not as advanced as Asher so he wasn't being tested. I completely understood why, as firstly we are not competing properly as yet and secondly I am an inexperienced handler in agility. Was really good to be in a class with competition dogs although I was a bit scared, I don't think he looked out of place at all.

I was really pleased with his weaves, he seems to be able to pick up any entry and fingers crossed the problem I had of him popping out of the weaves on the 9th/10th pole seems to have gone away. His jumping work was ok, we practised some pull throughs, he did it really well going in one direction but when we tried to do it the other way he was being a total muppet and ignoring me, got there eventually though. His contacts were really fast but I'm not too sure how to progress from where he is now. At the moment he still has food or a target at the bottom, he drives to these equally well, however when you remove these he will still go to his position if I am close by but if he can't see me he tends to slow up until I am at the end of the contact or he will go in to his position but trying to face me which resulted in him nearly coming off the side of the Aframe! I guess it is a matter of practice and confidence, should I maybe send him to a target and stand well back then get someone else to feed him so that he is more independent of me? Hmm, we'll see. I really want to enter some shows but he still needs to be measured and I don't want to go to a show risking missing a morning class because he can't be measured until lunchtime, it would be a long way to go for 1 run. Flyball has also taken up pretty much all of our weekends this summer. I have 1 free at the end of July, then 1 the weekend before the Champs when I really want to completely rest him. Then I am busy until October!

Had some free time on my hands this week so decided to teach doglets a new trick. They now both know how to cross their paws :-). Asher's repoirtoire is getting quite big now, wasn't sure it would ever be as big as Tess' but I think he knows more now. It's funny how they learn so differently, Tess is so full on, throws herself about trying to get it right and it takes a while for her to calm down and learn but she will usually get the fundamentals in one session. Then when you go back to it you almost have to start from scratch cuz she will of forgotten, this happens for a couple of sessions until it sinks in. Asher on the other hand is a thinker, he'll try a few things then he'll get frustrated and start being silly, you show him how to do it and he just doesn't seem to get it. You stop, then when you go back to it after he's had time to think he suddenly seems to understand what you are asking and perfecting the behaviour is easy, once he gets it, it's stuck and he doesn't forget!

No flyball this weekend, gave ourselves this one off as we then have 5 in a row :-).

Wednesday, 10 June 2009

Cornbury Park Game and Country Fair, Charlbury

Decided to only go for the day as both our teams were running Sunday and the weather wasn't exactly looking promising. If I'm being honest I was dreading it Saturday night as it was tipping it down with rain and I always worry about running Asher if the ground is going to be slippery. When I arrived at the venue Sunday morning it was grey and miserable but it had stopped raining. They put off racing until 10am to give the ground some time to drain.

Rockets were up 1st in Division 2, we were a bit short on dogs this weekend so we had old girly Jive up with us as our start dog and then the usuals Perry, Smartie and Jamie. Jive did really well considering Louise insisted on getting like a gazillion false starts, it wasn't entirely Lou's fault as she is now running Jive from around 25ft so that she doesn't hit the box so hard and can get a better turn as she finds accelerating back off the box a little harder now (she'll be 11 in Sept), this worked really well and I found her really consistent to change to with Perry. Perry was an angel as always, I feel sorry for his owner Bobbie who doesn't get to race him at the moment due to running Jamie! We were top seed but weren't sure how we'd do as we expected to be considerably slower with no Bonnie, Lacy or Sonny on this team but we were really pleased to just lose one race and finish 2nd with a best time of 20.09secs.

Ballistics were 2nd seed in Div 1, we were quite hopeful for a good placing as there was around half a second difference in seeding between us and the next seed. We didn't have Diefer this weekend so the team was Sonny, Rosie, Asher and Bunty. The 1st race was a total disaster, we got 3 lights in 3 legs and that was that! The 2nd race was alot better, we got our act together and managed a best time of 18.14secs, the next race we managed 18.16secs and we won both of those. We were really pleased with those times as we would expect to be slightly slower without Diefer and we had a little bit of room on our changeovers. I must say though, I felt Asher was on fire, he looked amazing and he had some awesome boxes. I think he even shocked himself with some of them as he was over rotating slightly, certainly no chance of him going wide that day lol! We have discovered that we must anchor the box down at the sides aswell as Asher hits it so high he lifts it up which puts him off balance, with it firmly anchored he seemed to have more confidence in putting his 4 feet up higher which I hope will continue to improve and become more consistent. This also helped Jive and Sonny. Sonny was fumbling alot less, he is gradually getting better. We've had problems with the fact that his box has got so much better that he has less time to catch the ball so he has been mis-timing it quite regularly and fumbling. With the box anchored I suppose the box fire was more consistent and easier to judge, makes perfect sense now but only when you think about these things! Anyway in the afternoon we managed to lose another race on lights, won the next one. Then had the Bandits as the last race, we finally managed to put in 3 perfect runs but they were just that little bit quicker. So we finished with won 3, lost 3 and somehow ended up 5th! A bit disappointing but I'm sure were just saving up all our good luck for the Champs!

Had a couple of lovely comments on how fantastic Asher is, makes me smile, god I love my dog :-)! And the weather was mostly lovely, hot and sunny!