Friday, 18 February 2011

Flyball Nerd!

My team take the piss out of me pretty much constantly due to the amount of time I spend talking about/researching/watching flyball. It's not often we have the time/people to take videos of our training but as I wanted to get some of the babies, we decided to take some of Ballistics (+Diefer) too.

Sorry about the quality of the video, it was taken on my phone and it's a bit rough around the edges, couldn't be arsed spending ages putting it together. I did however spend ages watching it over and over, timing it, watching it slow motion and freeze frame. Oh dear, if you're not interested in technicalities, stop reading now!

Over the summer I noticed Piper seemed to be hanging on the box a bit, I couldn't really see properly as I was always running Asher at the same time. After seeing a pic of him on the box from the champs it confirmed what I suspected, he was double hitting. In the vid, the 1st couple of box turns when he is in the pack he is still hanging, not quite double hitting because I think the jump in front is just about stopping him hitting too low. However i think the last 2 box turns are alot better, in these runs he has someone letting go and someone racing him up to the line. I think this is making him extend more over the jumps so his take off point for the box is closer than it was in the other runs. On a freeze frame his front feet appear higher and closer to ball hole so he is getting a better push off. So I think we need to work a bit on striding so that he doesn't take off too far from the box, as racing him to the line seems to be helping we will continue to use this aswell. I timed him around 4.2secs, I'm reasonably happy with this but I think with a bit more box and toshy work he should be able to hit consistent 4.1s.

Lacy's turn is very consistent, she does hit slightly too far to the left which is why she is a little wide. I'm going to try having the wing on the left side a bit tighter to encourage her to hit closer to the ball hole. But it's not something i'm too concerned about. To be honest I think even if she came off dead straight she would still have to double stride back to the 1st jump as I don't think with her build she has the power to do 12" from the 1 stride. I only got 1 proper time for Lacy which was 4.46, a little slower than normal but she is the sort of dog that needs a few comps to hit race fitness so again quite happy.

Asher's double hitting is quite apparent in this video, the slightly disheartening thing is that he seems to think that this is they way he should do it as the turn is very consistent, he just has to use that front leg again to get his rotation and push off. I can get him to turn without double hitting and it is very fast (I have to stand in a specific position and do crazy things with hands and tuggy!), but as yet I have been unable to transfer this to a full run. I think I'd have to retrain him to target an area on the box with his front feet as he hits far too low, don't know if it would hold though. Other than that I'm pleased with the way he's looking, drive back is good and striding is nice. Fastest I got him at was 3.82.

Luna I think is looking fabby :). Box is nice and quick (can't believe the improvement from how it used to be!), I hope she holds it in competition! Her drive back is also 100% better than what it was, she is another 1 who double strides from box to 1st jump back but again because 12 is her own height I think she would struggle to single stride. In the 2 runs I have of her I get her at 4.36 and 4.39, very, very happy with that!

Then theres Diefer, firstly, I wouldn't train box turns like this unless you're desperate! I really, really don't like teaching dogs to "go round"! I find him frustrating to train, we orginally taught him "on/off" like the rest of our dogs but this gradually regressed until he refused to jump on/off when the ball was in. We then tried standing in on him as a bit of a quick fix. It worked to get him turning and we gradually back away from the box until we are no longer standing in. Then maybe the next training session or a couple of sessions later he will completely go back to refusing to turn properly and so it starts again! I know this turn won't hold up but I think if we persevere with it in training we are limiting the amount of times he turns badly, and I think it does make his turn slightly better in competition.

The babies are still improving and I'm really pleased with how they are doing, we have a few little things still to work on. I haven't got around to putting the video of them together yet but will post when it's done.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Laika update

Well Laika will be 16weeks on Thursday. The above picture was taken at 14.5weeks. I think she's going to be quite a big girly! I'm pleased with how she's progressing, she is really good out on walks and has a nice recall, at the moment I only call her if i'm fairly confident she is going to come (she stays fairly close to me or follows Asher so I hardly ever NEED to call her) although this is generalising to more and more situations quickly, sometimes she actually quite surprises me! She is interested in people and other dogs, she desperately wants them to talk to her but if they ignore her she is quite happy to walk on past without jumping up or following them. Of course jumping up is a big problem if people do talk to her because they speak to her in cute baby talk and most of them then wait for her to jump up before they stroke her, very annoying! But then i figure thats there problem and i'll work on her not jumping up when people stop seeing her as a cute puppy!

Her drive for a tuggy is pretty awesome and it improves all the time, she really picks up her pace when she sees it and she tugs VERY enthusiasticly. We've now got to the point where she will keep tugging whilst Asher is doing crazy exciting things around her which I didn't think would happen for a good while as she is quite focused on him. She's seen and picked up a tennis ball on a couple of occasions, none of them really planned and I didn't really make a big deal about it. I'm still deciding how much interest I want in a ball so i'm going to wait til after the RR seminar before I progress any further with that. I have done a couple of very short retrieves of her squeaky latex ball back to her tuggy where she has exchanged really well.

I'm still finding her drive for food a bit of a problem, although I have seen improvement in this in the last few days. However tbh I don't think she is that much more interested in the food she just wants to interact more. I had a particularly frustrating few days where on most training sessions she got bored after a couple of minutes and wandered off, I was horrified! So I gave her a couple of days off and started back with high value treats, since then she has been a lot better and is now working with her kibble mixed in with a few tastier bits. She knows quite a few things now but I really must start teaching her a wait, I find it such a boring thing to teach though!

I'm finding keeping her activity level down very very hard. Her stamina for such a young pup is ridiculous and when she goes on walks with Asher she just runs and runs. At home she is constantly on the go, she loves to climb and will clamber up on everything, she terrorises Asher (who bless him is normally so chilled at home!) and has crazy times where she runs at literally 100mph around the house and does box turns off the sofa. The only upside of this is that she does seem to have very good coordination and balance for one so young. I was very excited last week as for a couple of days in a row she fell asleep outside her cage TWICE (both times only for like 45mins but its a start) lol. I do just about manage to stop her doing too too much but I will be very glad when she is old enough to do full length walks!

Despite her craziness she is very sweet and very funny! Oh and she has now lost 2 teeth bless her :-)