Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Photos from Becketts Farm

Katie from our team was practising her photography at Becketts Farm and managed to get some nice pics of the Ballistic dogs...





Friday, 23 October 2009

Choose a dog...

I stole this from but I liked the idea so thought I'd have a go aswell.

"If you had to choose a dog from each KC group, what would you choose and why?"

The only problem I had was choosing 1 so I have chosen 2 from each group!


Obviously 1st choice is Border Collie. I love the willingness to work, the ease with which they learn things, their total drive in just doing something.

2nd choice is a Malinois. I've really admired the breed since meeting Ronnie (Bonvivant Kronik) a few years ago. He is an awesome flyball dog and just has so much power and drive. They also seem to be clowns and a really fun breed to work with.


This was quite a difficult group for me as none of them really stood out but my 1st choice is Great Dane. I don't know what it is about them but they are my favourite of the giant breeds. They seem to be more bouncy and have more personality than the others and although I can't see myself owning one I think they are magnificent!

2nd choice is Boxer, they just have a love for life and sense of humour that is infectious. I have a 'type' that I like.. tall, slim, well muscled (sounds like my perfect man actually lol!). We had 1 that did flyball with us when I 1st starting training and he was just hilarious!


1st choice is a bit random but it's a Pharoah Hound. I just love them and have done for years. They are so unique and elegant looking. I'm determined to have 1 eventually although I think I'll be letting myself in for trouble as apparently they are difficult to train and have a wicked personality!

2nd choice is easy... a Whippet. Again determined to own 1, hopefully from racing lines as i like the slightly taller dogs with lots of drive. I think they are possibly the perfect family dog (obviously generalising lol), good natured, like to play but not too hyper, easy to look after and have around. I just think they're lovely.


Again 1st choice is random... Irish Setter. I think they are beautiful. The ones I have met have had the most lovely temperaments. A neighbour of ours had 1 when I was growing up and she was lush.

2nd choice is a Working Cocker Spaniel. I know a few and love their happy attitude and working ability. I can definitely see myself owning one eventually.


My favourite are Staffordshire Bull Terriers. Most have got lovely natures and are the sweetest dogs but they also have so much power and working drive.

2nd is Parson Russell Terriers. They are so fiesty and have so much attitude. Mainly I like them for their working ability as they do so well in dog sports.


1st is defintely Papillon. Such pretty little dogs that are usually so confident and wanting to work. Loads of energy and loads of personality!

I also have a soft spot for Chinese Crested although I will admit I do prefer the powderpuff. Sweet nature and very cute.


1st I had to have Poodle somewhere! My favourite is the Miniature. Very intelligent dogs that have great personalities.

2nd is a German Spitz. I've liked them since seeing a couple at flyball. They seem to be very alert, bright and lively little dogs.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

Becketts Farm

Last show of the year for us, I hate getting to the end of the season, what am I going to do with myself now? Was really annoyed that the silly students gave me Freshers Flu (even though Im not a student anymore!) so I spent the whole weekend looking and feeling like a zombie, rubbish!

On Saturday we had the Extraset as 4th seed (I think:-S) in division 9. The team was Jemma, Perry, Elliot, Jive, Molly and Fraggle. The plan was to run mainly Perry, Elliot, Jive and Molly with Jemma and Fraggle doing warm ups and if they were good, Jemma getting a few runs in the blue lane and Fraggle a few runs in the red lane to give Jive a rest. What I'm forgetting to mention here is that it was Elliot's 1st open and 1st time doing flyball since doing starters in May... you wouldn't of known, he was fantastic, didn't put a foot wrong all day! Unfortunately on the last leg of the 1st race disaster struck when Jive suddenly went very lame. We won that race but it meant either Jemma or Fraggle would have to run in her place. Jemma did well, running some nice legs in the blue lane but was naughty in the red. We won another race with Fraggle who was really up for it and ran really well. Despite winning 2 races we came 5th with a best time of 22.57secs. Well done to Sarah who had to do proper changeovers for the 1st time and did really well under my instruction lol ;-)

Sunday we had Rockets bottom seed in division 3. The team was Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Smartie and Jamie. To be honest we weren't expecting much as our seed time was still on 18.89 which was the fastest this year and they hadn't been sub 19 since. However the dogs were really up for it and despite losing the 1st race hit another 18.89secs. In the 2nd race everything came together, Bonnie had a perfect start and ran a brilliant 4.18 and the team went on to run 18.48secs! (I did say Rockets could go faster!) The team won 3 races and were abit unlucky on the last race getting lights to finish a very credible 3rd.

Ballistics were bottom seed in division 1 and I was expecting an absolute hammering but actually really looking forward to it as we were hoping for some more records and we knew their would probably be quite a few people watching. We also had a new edition to the team. The team was Diefer, Asher, Rosie, Bunty and Luna! 1st race was against High Flyers, we went with the normal 4 and ran 17.57secs which we were thrilled with as our times seemed to have been dropping off the last couple of shows so that was a definite improvement. 2nd race against Bassetts we had Luna instead of Diefer so I went start. Asher ran a 3.77 :-D (3.82 with a 0.05 start). Luna was really good but our changes were a little off but we were pleased to still run sub 18 times. 3rd race was the big test, we decided to run without Bunty over Luna's height of 12". We hadn't trained it, it was more just a tester race to see what happened. Thankfully all the dogs accepted the height change very easily and it didn't seem to make a lot of difference time wise to Dief, Ash, or Rosie however it did affect Luna's times quite a bit. That combined with our changeovers being a bit rubbish (allowing for them to have slowed up over the higher jumps when they hadn't really) meant we only managed 17.80. It was still a good close race against Live wires though. We lost all the morning races but the dogs were brill and we got to see Bassetts break the British record again... twice! 1st running a 16.65 then a 16.60, well done Bassetts! In the afternoon we had a fantastic race against Molten where we were 2-0 down then they got a light and the next leg was a dead heat! We lost but you can't beat that for closeness! Last race we held it together and ran really smoothly against Cheshire to win the race and finish 5th. Asher was a good boy, 1st race in the morning he looked quite sluggish, wasn't rotating properly on the box so wasn't getting the drive off, but then I had no voice so that didn't help. Luckily half way through the 2nd race when he ran start he woke up, ran the fab time and started turning beautifully. He was amazing after that, i think every box was 4 foot and he was driving back really well. I know Carol (with Luna) was a bit gutted that we weren't any quicker running over 12" but I still think that will be the way to go next year. As I mentioned in the previous post Luna's box is pretty awful at the moment so she is not getting the drive back, she is also very inexperienced and needs to get a bit more focus. Over the winter we will work on her box and see if she would in fact like to be a lefty like her boyfriend! We will also work on her speed on the return. Even as she is at the moment she is 4.3-4.4 over low jumps so with lots of work she should easily do that over 12". And with the other 3 currently averaging 12.5secs (12.3 on a good day) we could end up very quick! Time will tell, atleast it gives us something to aim towards!

Asher started the Pet Passport process so that we can go to the Euro's next year, very excited! So thats it for the year, back to training! I'll write a year review soon!

Friday, 2 October 2009

Devon Dogs and Honiton Agility - 1st KC show

I was a bit nervous about this day finally dawning, so much so that I couldn't sleep the night before and then managed to oversleep... oops! This meant I got to Honiton just in time to run my 1st 2 courses without walking them!

1st run was 1-2 combined jumping. It was a nice course and had I been more prepared we probably would of done better. He nailed his weave entry which I wasn't sure he would as it was close to the jump before and he was going full speed. Unfortunately he came out the last pole. I then didn't go far enough with him to a jump and he came inside it. He worked the rest of the course really well and I was quite pleased with it as a 1st run! (15 faults)

Next was 1-7 steeplechase. Again hadn't walked it! He was actually fab in this. There was 1 part where I wasn't sure whether to front or back cross. I decided to front cross after seeing lots of people do it that way and thinking it would keep him tighter. Unfortunately to get there I had to pull away from him quite early and he came with me coming inside the jump. I put him back round and worked it as a rear cross and he did it beautifully, should of done it that way from the start! He had 2 poles in the course, 1 of them I know was defintely my fault! (15faults)

Last run of the day was 1-3combined agility. Really liked the course, actually got to walk it :-D, muppet handler! He was going brilliantly clear, fab seesaw, fab Aframe. 5 obstacles from the end was weaves. Which were right angle turn from a straight line of jumps. Of course Asher was going like a million miles per hour. I didn't slow him or cue him for the turn so he jumped really long. Told him weave, he tried really hard to get the entry but just couldn't steady himself to get it. I then forgot what I was doing and sent him over the wrong jump. Dog walk was then a bit creepy but I don't think I worked it like I do in training. But no poles :-) (E)

Sunday started with graded 1-2 jumping. The course didn't really suit him with quite a tight bit at the start. He didn't turn tight enough for the 3rd jump and ran round it. Brought him back and he did the rest of the course well. Had 1 pole. Got his weave entry but then was really odd, got to the 4th weave and then came out turned around started barking at me, don't know why, never done that before. Put him back in and he was fine. Think it might be because I hung back a little bit so he could get the entry which I don't normally do. Note to self, run him in competitions like you do at training! (15faults)

Then 1-7 collie jumping. Liked the course for the fact I could test him a bit more but wasn't sure we'd get round it. It started with a snake, he listened really well to his directionals but had a pole. We then got E'd on the simplest bit up a curved line of jumps where he ran round one, I have had this problem before where he doesn't pick up a line very well but I thought he was much better. Then another pole. The rest of it was fab, I managed a lovely front cross, he stayed out of the tunnel when I told him, so yeh not too bad! (E)

Last run was graded 1-2 agility. I think this course definitely suited a slightly slower dog, not because it was tight or twisty but because you needed to either be with your dog to avoid the traps or have excellent obstacle discrimination. I decided I was going to stop him after the flat tunnel as coming out of there the dog had a choice of tunnel, jump or dog walk and had to do jump. I knew mine would choose tunnel so I didn't want him self rewarding by having the tunnel as an easy option. Unfortunately prior to this he knocked the long jump. This being due to the fact he jumped very long from the jump before and deciding he was going to bounce the long jump when every other dog I saw put in a stride. He only just tapped it lol! My strategy worked well after the flat tunnel, was able to send him over the correct jump in to the weaves. It was then 2 jumps and turn back for the dog walk. He went on to the dog walk at a funny angle and despite managing to hold on most of the way along fell off half way down the down plank! I asked if I could put him back over, he was fine then left the ring. (E)

At the time I'd be lying if I were to say I wasn't a bit disappointed about not having any clears because at the end of the day you compete to win. But the more I think about it the happier I feel with the weekend. He only missed one weave entry (my fault), he didn't actually have as many poles as it felt like at the time (the most was 2!), he was nowhere near as manic as at Agilitynuts shows, he really listened and really tried and thats all I can ask of him, the rest is faults in my handling and training. Things to work on are mainly my handling, apparently I have flicky hands that distract him and wide him up. I need to work contacts and weaves the same as I do at training. I need to teach him to collect for turns and tight bits. We need to work on jumping grids and exercises to teach him to be more careful with his feet. We did some of this at training on wednesday, he worked really well on a bounce exercise with the jumps really close together. After that he didn't have any poles for the rest of the session so it looks like that may help him. Afterall all he wants to do is get it right so I don't think it will be too long before it comes together!

Acremead Kennels

Just realised i haven't written up Acremead so here is what I can remember...

Saturday we had Ballistics and Rockets running. Rockets were up 1st as 2nd seed in division 2. The team was Bonnie, Lacy, Sonny, Smartie and Jamie so it was full strength. The team ran really well and only lost one race against Molten Magic who were running low-mid 18s. They came 2nd with a best time of 19.21secs. I'm sure this team can go faster so we'll work on them over the winter!

Ballistics were 3rd seed in Division 1. This team was also full strength with Diefer, Asher, Rosie and Bunty. We had a great start to the day beating Molten Magnets with them getting lights. We were a bit inconsistent, getting lots of lights and managed to lose against Racing Herts as Bunty decided their Lab was rather interesting. She is very funny, I guess she is so used to running with Collies that she gets fascinated by any other breed. She was the same when she raced against Whisper (lurcher) from Bassetts and shes done it a couple of other times with non-collies but can't remember who they were! We also lost against Bassetts, but won our other races. Our placing was decided by the last race between Bassetts and Molten which went to a thrilling 5 legger with them both getting lights on the last leg but Molten turning their dog around quicker. This left us in 3rd place. Our best time was 17.77secs, we seem to be getting slower now :-(! Asher was fab as always, our last race was against an empty lane so our judge was able to see the dogs times when running. He didn't seem to be familiar with Asher as he was quite astounded when he did a 3.84 including the change over!

Sunday we had Extraset in division 6. The team was Perry, Luna, Jive, Chelsey, Guiness and Molly. With the combination of dogs we had our times varied quite a bit depending which dogs were running, this made us a bit inconsistent. We won 1 race but really should of won 3, we got lights at the wrong times! They came 6th. Luna was really good, her box wasn't so much though, she looked to me like she wanted to turn left rather than her current right turn. This indecision resulted in her hitting the box straight on on quite a few runs which isn't what we want. She also fumbled the ball a few times and she ran out twice. The positive of this is that the next run after she ran out she made really sure she did a good run which shows she understands her job. I always worry with a dog that has just come out of starters that they don't realise they can run out until the ball goes wide and they don't stay in so then they know it is their decision whether to run over the jumps or not. This is when a lot of dogs decide they're going to consistently run out.

Me and Katie also helped out on the line for Demonz which was good fun although Nat should of sacked her handlers lol ;-) Only joking, they weren't that bad especially considering they had a break out time they were trying to avoid!

Off to Becketts Farm tomorrow, last one :-(. Should be good though, really looking forward to being annihilated in division 1 haha, we are trying something new though so we'll see how that goes!