Monday, 31 March 2008

Going backwards

Why do I put myself through it! The tears, the upset... and then I'll go and do it all again next week!

The show yesterday was pants. Tia stopped short of the back marker on the sendaway. She's being a real pain in the ar*e with this in the ring, in training no matter how far away the back marker is she will still run to it at top speed but in the ring as soon as she's past the front markers she slows down waiting for me to drop her, and if I don't, she drops herself, grrr! Think I'm going to have to do some training in the ring ones. Trouble is, I don't really fancy travelling 2 hours to a show, with 1 dog in 1 class, to train a flipping sendaway!!

Distance control... it was leave your dog in the stand, first position was the down. Not Tia's favourite start. I get one chance to set her up as if I have to re-set her, she gets spooked and will then mess up the first 3 positions. Sure enough, I didn't set her up on the line, so had to re-set her, and although she did the positions, she got all jumbled up with what she was meant to be doing, and in the down to the sit, moved her feet up about 2 inches, then when I said down, she got up then led down in one swift movement! Arghhh! How hard can it be to do positions that she's known since she was a pup!

Then heelwork, well Tia missed her sit, AGAIN!!!!!! Silly doglet. I am now retraining it using a different command as the pair of us have a huge issue with it in the ring now. Our next obedience show is on the 13th. I hope she manages the sit, even if nothing else! I'm calling in to Chel's to see her Harrjak pups on the way down to Cornwall so that should be fun!

Friday, 28 March 2008

Obedience efforts (or lack of)

Ooops. Tia has an obedience show on Sunday. I only realised, last weekend, that the obedience show was this weekend. Thought we had a bit more practise time. I've been practising distance control and retrieve in our house, but sendaways are a damned pain in the ar*e at the moment coz I stick my flower pots up in the park, turn round, and they've rolling away in the wind! Altho Rix finds it great fun to retrieve them all in return for a treat.

Tia's heelwork is looking nice, her positions are fairly strong at the moment and touch wood she hasn't missed any for a while, it's just her fast pace that's pants. Mainly because I don't want to look like an even bigger t*t lumbering round the park with Tia joined to my leg. Normal and slow pace I can just about manage, but I just look the biggest muppet in the world doing fast pace... so we don't tend to practise it much... and it shows in the heelwork marks!

I'm hoping to get Tia's last 2 qualifiers for ticket in the next 2 months... really would like to get them by the end of May. We're doing GSD of Wales, Goonhavern (what a name, lol!), Sherborne, Rugby, South Cots, Loughborough and Taunton. Although how many I will actually go to remains to be seen as it'll be a lot of effort driving to them all, and I have my exams in May, so I may not attend them all! I just want her to get her qualifiers and then I can cut back, stick mainly to agility, and just to some champ obedience shows. That's the plan anyway. Reality I'm sure will be different!

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Bex and Lucy

Well luckily the weather was lovely yesterday so we were able to train in Laura's field for a couple of hours, it was great as her field is big so the jumps can be really spaced out giving the dogs a chance to stretch their legs.

We did lots of courses as dad hasn't had much practise at doing more than about 10 obstacles at a time, both he and Bex did really well altho dad did try and pull his hamstring so he could postpone Bex's first show .

I havent seen Sarah run Lucy in about a month now and wowwwww she has come on soooo much, her speed is amazing and she's a weave-a-holic, she's awesome!! Vid below of both pups.

Monday, 17 March 2008

Tia's slow contacts

Found some old vids of Tia before I switched to youtube... my comp crashed in 2006 so I lost most of my vids of her, however this is from a YKC round with a painfully slow dog walk...

And a vid of me retraining her...

And just had to add a vid of the most lovely sheltie in the world, Ember :o)

Flippin rain!

Grrr all this rain!! So annoying!!

Trying to keep Tia jump fit, as she tucks her legs up big time if she's not. So I've been jumping her over some benches on our walks (she's obsessed with this and as soon as we get in to a field with a bench in it she runs all the way down and waits by the bench, bless her!). Yesterday we were meant to be going to Laura's field, however it was raining solidly for most of Saturday, and most of Sunday morning. So that's re-booked for Wednesday, fingers crossed with the weather!

I did manage to do a lesson yesterday in the afternoon just using the top part of the field, as it trains fairly quickly. Went out there again to do another lesson and training with Tia and it's fine. Tia is working really nicely. I've introduced 'away' as her 'out' command, she knows out and round as meaning different things so had to find a word I'd associate with out, as otherwise I'd never remember to use it. She's picking it up really well. Hopefully I'll be able to use it to send her out round a jump, rather than me having to stick my knee there to make she doesn't pull through the middle. Her seesaws are brilliant too now, straight to the end... wish Becca would take note! Bex's seesaws are getting better, it's just whether she'll be able to tell the difference between a SS and DW on new equipment... here's hoping!

Thursday, 13 March 2008

Tia's Newton Heath win

Vid from Newton Heath

Thought it was about time I uploaded it!

I very nearly didn't go at all as a few days beforehand Ricky had bowled Tia over making her lame on her back leg. The earliest appointment that the physio could do was the following week, so I was umming and ahhing about whether to go... then Laura said she'd give me a lift... decision made... I popped Tia over a jump a couple of times on the Friday and she was fine, so it was fingers crossed she'd be ok... several people have said it but she does appear to be made of rubber... she jumped stupidly to catch a ball at the beginning of Feb and landed on her back, got up like nothing had happened! Silly dog, I try to wrap her in cotton wool but she always finds something else to do!

Anyway on to the show... Grade 6 Jumping was first, nice course to get Tia back into the shows as it was her first one in 3 months, very flowing course, gazillions of fast clear rounds so knew I'd have to really push her if I wanted a place. She had two poles, and when I replayed it on the tape when I got home realised it was the leg she was lame on that took the poles.

Grade 6 Agility - I'd been watching Brenda's courses (she had also done the G7 Agility and 6-7 small/med agility) and thought they were nice, you had to really work them and there were loads of areas which people hadn't seen as traps that were catching dogs out. Tia ran really nicely, her seesaw was brill, she had a wide turn when you had to send them through a box and then back round as she thought I was sending her out over a jump, more work needed on that!! I took a risk 2 jumps after the weaves and front crossed, only saw 1 other person run it like that, but it paid off as I was able to block the tunnel for a jump, and then send her into the tunnel the quicker way. I even managed to pull her past the start jump on the way to finish - things must be improving!

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Training Tia

As it's been mega windy the last few days I haven't done any agility with Tia since Crufts (where she/I were sooo hopeless I'm not even going to go into it!) ... more on the windiness later!

Although I can't teach Tia too many tricks as she muddles them with her obedience work I have taught her several very basic ones over the winter, to try and teach her to balance herself a bit better. I've taught her beg, crawl, and to lift her back legs on to a box.

I've also taught her the 'circus elephant' trick, and to stand in a 2o2o position with her back legs on the box, and reverse her front feet on to the box so all 4 feet are on it. I've been clickering her and she does offer some funny things trying to get me to click, the latest being in the 2o2o position and lifting her back leg in the air, she loves lifting her back legs up now! It's improved her awareness of them soooo much!

The last 'trick' that I taught her today isn't so much of a trick but I thought it may come in useful... someday. She stands again in the 2o2o position on the box and then I get her to 'stretch' as far forward as she can without taking her back legs off the box, its really good actually as she really has to think about keeping her back legs still, and not stepping off the box.

Funny really, a year ago there would be no way on earth I'd have been able to get Tia to try out all these tricks, and offer behaviours - she was always too het up about making mistakes, but she doesn't worry now, in fact the more behaviours she offers, the more I laugh, and the more crazy she gets!

And lastly, the 'wind'... dad took my equipment down a few days ago as it's mentally windy here, and then this morning the neighbour called out 'coooeeeee' so dad went to have a look and she said "oooh hello, we have your flume" lololol what she actually meant was the flat tunnel had blown over the 6ft fence into her garden!!! I hope this wind stops soon, my seesaw will be in their garden next!!

New blog

Well I've decided that I need a new blog, as I can't keep posting stuff about Tia on Bex's blog, so this one will be for both of them!

Bex was ill over the weekend, think it was something to do with dad giving her a raw bone. She's back to her normal naughty self though now, causing havoc everywhere!

We are renting Laura's field for a couple of hours on Sunday, which should be fun, I wanted to hire it as Laura's got Adams Agility equipment which is what they use at Dashin. As Bex is still a bit of a scaredy cat on seesaws I want to make sure she's ok with the weight of the seesaw - being such a dinky thing I've been really suprised at how much the different weights of the seesaw affect her - something you don't notice as much with bigger dogs. I will try and get some vids of Bex and also of Lucy, Sarah's Gunran puppy (well she's not really a puppy anymore, she's 16 months!) and maybe post the vids on here if Sarah lets me ;o)