I was really pleased with how training went on Sunday. 1 of our starters (a Corgi called Sinead!)had the ball in the box for the 1st time and showed great improvement over the session. Her enthusiasm makes up for her shape bless her! Logan another starter, was the most focused he's been and is really picking up some pace over the jumps. Still big problems with the box as he's not really ball motivated but again showed improvement and I've set homework so we shall see!
Intermediates were fabby. Shani and Loki did full runs for the 1st time 2 weeks ago and did really well. This weekend we also had Merlin and Ruby so the 4 of them did full runs and looked fantastic, soo proud! Loki showed massive improvements in speed even from the last session to this 1. He's always been quick going back as he is so tuggy motivated but was really starting to power to the box aswell so hopefully this will continue. Shani was great as always, really would have no problem putting her straight in to open. Merlin did great on his 1st full runs, box turn was lovely, we've been working on getting him to hit a little higher and push off more strongly with front feet to get a tighter turn (not that it was very wide, he was just not getting the distance off the box that he was capable of), and it seems to be paying off. All of their boxes held up really well with the extra speed and they were doing loose changeovers with no problems. Ruby is slightly different because of her catching problem and confidence issues. Her owners only concern is getting her to go up and back so as much as it pains me I have let the box turn go. She is now going up and back more confidently and I'm hoping speed will come with it eventually. She is triggering the box and catching the ball maybe 1/3 of the time so I think we are getting there!
With the team dogs we did lots of speed exercises which included variations on "the toshy thing", 1 jump, box and back over all 4 jumps which made all the dogs turns really snappy, handler starting off just in front of the dog and racing dog up to 1st/2nd jump, then stopping and running the other way. We tried to tailor it for each dogs needs, so that if a dog was slower coming back we'd do more toshy thing with them and if they were slower going up we did more racing them up. The dogs seem to love this sort of thing and it's a really good workout for the handlers too! Poor Carol ran 3 dogs lol!
Laika came with me again but it's really hard to find time to get her out as I'm hands on involved in literally every dogs training apart from when I'm running Asher. Our training is a real team effort and there is rarely anyone stood around doing nothing as we need people to hold dogs, boxload, watch changeovers etc. Near the end I did manage to get her out and gave her to our 6yr old box loader in training to look after whilst I helped some of the dogs. She was really good and was more looking at me and what I was doing rather than watching or trying to chase the other dogs.
It must be nearly April now surely??! I'm really missing it now and feel like we've got a lot to look forward to and aim for this year, just need to get back out there!
6 months ago