Thursday, 25 February 2010

More Flyball

We had to train outside on Sunday, long story! But it actually turned out to be quite good, luckily the weather held out. We set up 2 full lanes for the 1st time since October. Kept the props in by the box but all in all the dogs maintained there turns and everyone looked really speedy. Had a couple of duff turns from some of them as they adjusted to the increase of speed on approach to the box but they sorted themselves out.

Still having some problems with Bonnie, she just doesn't check her stride on approach to the box and seems to fumble quite alot. She does have a bit of an overshot jaw so I wonder if that is part of the reason? The cone seems to be helping her approach and her position is better on the box but it still not as fluid or consistent as I would like. We have tried the 'toshy thing' which does make her come off the box quicker but she tends to run out and just chase her handler so i think we will have to try it in a netted lane.

Luna is looking really good over her 12" jump height, really nice left turn, looking like it was the right decision to retrain her turn. Diefer is also looking fast and comfortable over 12" and his turn is looking faster aswell.

Piper did full runs for the 1st time and was fantastic, he makes me smile. Turn looks excellent, he is hanging very slightly (me being super picky) but I think this will resolve when he gets a bit more confidence. Running literally from the start gate he was at 4.5-4.6s which I'm VERY pleased with, so once we get him back running from 40ft he should do some very good times :-).

Charlie also did full runs and was good, still needs some boxwork as he missed a few weeks training due to an injury but he improved over the session so it should be ok!

Moss is starting to look more focused but still needs alot of work. Box is excellent with no ball but having real problems transitioning to a turn with a ball. As soon as it is loaded he just tries to do 2-foot turns, i think part of the problem is that as soon as he has the ball he is not interested in his tuggy or anything else. We'll just have to take it really slowly and see how we get on.

Asher is still lame :-(, it's really getting me down now. Were going to the SMART clinic on Monday so hopefully they can tell me whats wrong and fix him! Fingers crossed!

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Things keep going...

Well it's been a pretty tough start to 2010 for obvious reasons but Asher is lame aswell so that has added extra stress. Looks like it'll be xrays next week and if they don't show anything then he'll be off to a physio.

As far as training goes, flyball is going well. Sunday was really good. With the team dogs were now doing box and 2 jumps racing against another dog. It's really interesting to see how the extra speed and competition affects the box turn and it's very easy to see how quickly the turn deteriorates in a competition. What is good is that although we've had some dogs regress slightly during this time they are all adjusting and getting the turns back up to level we expect whilst learning to race at the same time. I'm hoping this will stand them in good stead once the competition season starts. I'm not expecting perfection when we start competing as most of these dogs have been retrained and were not taught this method right from the start therefore you would expect some level of regression. What I'm hoping for is a noticeable improvement in the experienced dogs and as close to perfection as we can get from the new starters! I am really pleased with how Luna is progressing, she is now doing 4feet left turns with ball and is looking alot more natural, she is also really driving of the box so I have high hopes for our 12" height dog! Diefer gets better every week, I would love him to maintain his turn in competition because when he does it right it is sooo fast! Bonnie has got me a bit stumped at the moment, she is sooo inconsistent. She can do the most beautiful 4 feet turns and then the next one she literally crashes the box. I've started standing in on her to encourage her to curve out which does help but she fumbles the ball alot and as soon as I'm not there she goes straight again. The annoying thing is that she totally understands the jump and that she must get 4feet over it but her movement tends to be more vertical than lateral. The plan now is to teach her to run round a cone and put it infront of the box so that she can still see the box properly and prepare herself but stop her from going straight, we will see if it works!

Starters are doing really well. Piper is doing 4feet turns with ball and has a really good natural rotation which means he is coming off straight :-) and he has tons of drive, high hopes! Charlie and Chez haven't been for a couple of weeks so we are still introducing the ball in to the box but they won't be long. We also have a new Collie called Abby who has been for 3wks now, she is very enthusiastic and is already doing 4feet turns with no ball so we are hoping all 4 will be ready for starters at Easter. Moss is now working with the other dogs, he still gets very distracted but is chasing less and less and is starting to learn changeovers. His box looks really good, we still haven't added a ball but his position is brilliant! Then their is Ruby a little terrier who is not interested in balls, she is also quite dog focused so we are teaching her runbacks and boxwork with food and tuggy which is working well to get her focused and trying to work on the ball drive separately.

Finally we now have a whole team of ballistic puppies :-) and they are all the same age literally within about 2 weeks of each other! Along with Loki and Shani we now have Carol's mums pup Merlin who is a Collie cross Cocker and Helen's pup Olly who is a Whippet :-) I am very excited about training a Whippet! They are 6months old and have just started some pretraining. They are doing some runbacks through a netted lane (no jumps) to a ball or a tuggy just to get them to focus on their owners and their rewards whilst other dogs are around and to encourage speed and drive at a young age without putting pressure on their joints. I am totally in love with Shani, she is fab, so focused and fast, can't wait to see how she turns out!