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!
10 months ago