Sunday, 29 June 2008

Lansdown - Go Bex and T! and Ruby vid

Had a lovely couple of days, it's my old club's show, and I only really enter as I help for most of the weekend, and it's great to catch up with my old clubmates and see their new dogs coming out etc.
Vid of the weekend

Firstly Bex, first grade 3 classes. Dad was judging on Saturday, so Sunday was her first ones. She won the agility! So is now grade 4, much to dads horror! And had a lovely run in the jumping dad just pushed her pulled her away from the tunnel. Bex is working superbly and dad's handling her really well (99% of the time) she's sped up so much.

Then my two anysize monsters, Ricky had a lush run on Saturday and ran past the last jump as he saw the lead bucket! And then had a pole on Sunday, but was a bit scrabbly so I think he was feeling more arthritisy (probably as he went for a huge long walk on Saturday night!).

Tia - little star. On Saturday I ran her like a right drip, as I was scared I'd break her (which I didn't) and as normally I have to really push her and I didn't, she ran a bit hesitantly and this made her tuck up on a couple. She still came 3rd though, yay! On the Sunday I decided I'd work her like I would normally do and she was great. I set her up too far back on the line to see if she'd pick her striding - she didn't! Took off slightly too soon for the first jump and then bounced, I'm not entirely happy with how she bounced this as she looked a bit uncomfortable, but I'm trying to think positive, and it's probably because she was on the wrong stride. She then did another bounce half way round which was MUCH better and had more height too. For Tia to put in two voluntarily bounces is great as before she was diagnosed with her back problem she was doing everything possible to avoid bouncing. She flew round and won it. But to be fair I wouldn't have cared what she came, I was so thrilled with how much she was driving. And she was so happy to be queueing again!

Video of the fab Ruby

Thursday, 26 June 2008


I have just come back from a couple of days at Lee's. Yesterday we decided to do some training, which then turned into me giving him a lesson (lol). Me and Lee tend to disagree a lot on training, mainly about contacts, although Lee's coming round to the idea of training contacts in the ring, and Scott now has fab contacts!

So... we've done lots of training, and Lee has enough homework to fill a book, ha ha. Lots of work on 1 jump, weaves. Scott has a real issue with weaves and Lee hasn't (imo) done enough to help confidence building, so now he's going to try just breaking it down and rewarding for doing the weaves, although using a jump before, placed a long way away, and starting to angle it as he gets better, to let him pick up speed.

Oh and the main reason for this post is to let people know Lee has taken the first steps to converting to the jump/stop arm!! Yayyy! I said that Scott needs a better que for a pull through or the like, so he can shape himself into the jump rather than wheelspinning when he jumps too long. So (as Lee was desperately trying to show he was right) we did a trial, 2 diff parts of the course (So Scott wouldn't know where he was going), one his way and one the way I wanted him to do it. Lee's = large turn and wheelspin, my way (well not mine but ya know!) = gorgeous smooth and tight turn = CHAR IS RIGHT!!! Lol. I'm trying to find a vid or a pic of it to explain to people, but I can't, so if anyone knows...? Scott also takes a lot of poles (well not a lot, generally 5 faultitis) and I think one of the reasons maybe because Lee's handling style is so low, so this stop arm thing should help, as it is all about the arms being a lot higher, so the dog can see them, rather than dropping back legs as the handlers shoulders drop. So Lee's now doing jump-pullthrough-reward. Lots of them :o)
Here's a pic of it, I thought I'd be able to find loads of pics but I cant! The pic below is basically what it is except the right arm (or the arm nearest the dog) is a bit lower than the stop arm, which is the arm that is turning.

So Lee is now hopefully going to be doing this a bit, although it may take a while for it to become habit, but hopefully we won't see so many of his grass cutting impressions! hehe :oP

Monday, 23 June 2008

More Training for Tia

Tia's had her 3rd agility sesh now. We have to train a day, then rest a day, so last week I trained Tuesday Thursday and Sunday, this week I will train Tuesday and Thursday and then she'll be doing anysize at Lansdown (*jumps up and down in excitement*). On Sunday I did some fan exercises and she was very stiff to start with on right turns, tucking up and jumping like a robot, but once she was really warmed up she was extending beautifully and we finished off with some lovely snakes. I let her run the aframe and dogwalk and then did two 4off dog walks which she did fabulously. Her seesaw was also really good, although I'm putting her treat lid in 2o2o to remind her that we don't do running seesaws!

She went back to the specialist today and the great thing is there's no soreness in her back, which is fab after 3 agility sessions. Her quads were a bit sore, however Lowri said this is good, as it show's she's using them, rather than all the power coming from her front end. So she had some acupuncture in her back end. Will be keeping jumps on mini height for most of July.

I did some heelwork training with her today. Since she qualified ticket in May I've done nothing with her, and her first ticket show is about 6 weeks away so I figured unless I want to look like a total pillock I better start putting some work in. We did sendaways yesterday, just fun ones, her racing out, getting her tug, and then racing back to me for a game. We also did DC, and once we got over the issue of stand-sit, where Tia wanted to do stand-sit-down, she was great. Here is a vid of her doing heelwork. She's a bit forward, but considering she now probably has no muscle tone in her neck, I think she's great. I also think her head carriage is too high, but there's not a lot I can do about that! Eeek!

Nice zoom in of my backside lol! Lovely!

Thursday, 19 June 2008

Tia training day two

Tia's training day two! The first jump grid actually consists of 5 jumps not 4, but I couldnt zoom the camera out enough so gave up and just did the first 4. And then zoomed in a bit and did 3, purely so I could see her action better when I reviewed it. Her set point... hmm I'm not sure, as rather than using the stride regulator for her first stride, on some of them she's trying to add her own stride beforehand in, maybe I need to set her up closer.

She did the aframe today... rather excitedly! And we did some fabulous seesaws too, just seesaws on their own with a treat for stopping 2o2o.

Things to work on: WAITS! They are so terrible! I should've used the last 7 weeks to practise a good wait, lol!
Seesaws: Now need to build up the distance that she'll do the 2o2o independantly.
Right turns: I still think these are weaker (it was her right leg she injured). I may email the specialist the vid so she can have a look. Or maybe I'm just being paranoid?!

If anyone has any other suggestions as to what I can do jumping wise with her, it'd be appreciated, I really want to try and do everything right and do as much as I can to help teach her to flex and extend, rather than twisting her spine.
From Paranoid of Bristol :o)

Tuesday, 17 June 2008

Tia: Day one!

In a nutshell what a palava! I fell over and hurt myself, therefore didn't run much the rest of the session as my knee and arm were killing. Must not train in trainers again!

Then, when giving Tia a break, I decided to set up a jump grid, having never done one before but thought it looked interesting. I decided I would 'try it out' on Ricky as I heard they were useful for teaching dogs to look at the jump and think about where to take off, rather than crash through it. Ricky, having never been a very good jumper, seemed the ideal candidate. Well I tried to make him go slowly through it but Ricky thought he knew best and crashed through the second third and fourth jump and ended up with his mouth pouring with blood! Poor Rixter! I had a squirty water bottle with me so cleaned his mouth out with that as I couldn't see where the blood was coming from and thought he'd knocked some teeth out, but no, he has put 4 (fairly small) holes in his tongue! I feel so mean. But now I don't know whether to try and work on it, or just to leave it? Hmmm.

And on to princess Tia. She was really good. It suprised me as well as she only barked twice the whole session, where as normally she won't shut up. I always know when she's going her fastest as she doesn't bark, so maybe that's why? Had a bit of problem with the seesaw as I can't get her to stop on it if I am infront, but we'll work on it. I'm planning on going back to 4off on the dog walk once she has regained fitness, as I think it will be too much pressure on her legs and back to do the sharp braking required. Think the 6" jumps were too low for her as she was just galloping, so next time they'll be on 'small'.

Monday, 16 June 2008


Tia can start training again!!! Ahhh! How exciting!!!!!!

Firstly we had a phone call from the vet. There is two things it was likely to be, one was a small blood clot which basically cut off the circulation to the skin and therefore the skin died, and then infected itself, which kinda ate into the inside of her, hence why it was so deep. The other, was immune mediated vasculitis, which, if you look on google, and then images, shows a picture of a human foot, which was sort of like what Tia's hole would have ended up like, had I not found it! I'm not putting the pic on here as it's too gruesome!

Secondly I went to the specialists. Tia 'freestyled' the water walker, as she couldn't have a lead on because of her neck. She did 20 minutes altogether, and at 6min, 12 min, and 15 min she did a minute at the trot which was pretty hard in the water! Lowri did some accupuncture in her neck and felt all round it, and said that basically there is lots of loose skin round it which is good as it means there is movement in it if she moves her head either side. She said that it's fine to start training on small height, as long as we don't do tunnels or weaves, until her stitches come out. A day of training then a day of rest, etc. OMG I am so excited! First sesh tomorro. Yippee :o)

Sunday, 15 June 2008

Go Bad Becca!

Firstly I can't believe how many people read my blog! I only put the counter on on Thursday and it's had 125 visitors from 8 countries, how cool :o)

Secondly, dad went to Golden Valley on Saturday with Miss B. I got majorly annoyed with dad on Friday as he's being such a donut at the moment, firstly didn't enter the Sunday classes at all at Thames, and had forgotton to enter Bex in the 1-3 jumping, even though I had written BEX very clearly next to the class name, to make sure he couldn't miss it! What a wally. Anyway so he wasn't sure whether he was going to go, as he only had a 1-2 agility and two 1-7s. But I said he should go anyway, as it was his last 1-2 class. And good old Bexy delivered, and won by 6 seconds! The funny bit is that she qualified for the Agility Club Starters Final... in 2009!! It'll be funny her running in a starters final when hopefully she'll be grade 5 by then!

I did some filming of her on Friday, of her contacts, we have changed tactic on them, as Bex seemed to be getting slower (in the ring), and I think it's because dad's being a bit negative, as when he's proofing them, if she flies, he'll say 'no', which I think Becca is taking as 'ook I'll do it slower'. So we've been letting dad run them, either holding so they are stop-go, or just running them, and Bex loves it! Dad let her run them yesterday in competition and said they were much faster.

Here's a vid of her from Friday, and 2 more runs which I found on the camera from Dordale!

Thursday, 12 June 2008

Wesley - my project! (+ video)

Last year my neighbour took on a 4 year old GSD, as the owner was moving to rented accomodation due to splitting with her husband, and couldn't take both her dogs, so kept the old one. All seemed well at first but then Wesley started showing his 'true' colours, what seemed at first to be a fairly ordinary dog suddenly started to show massive fear issues - you couldn't hold his collar, couldn't lift your arm without him running, couldn't approach him if he thought you wanted to catch him, and was scared of most of the agility equipment.
To top that all off, agility wise he is for the kids - age 4 and 7!!!! So rather a big challenge.
They got him in September, roughly, and had a couple of months off over the winter when he was neutered, and couldn't train due to the bad weather. I know he's way behind what you'd expect them to be doing at this stage, but considering I think the first month or two he would do about 2 jumps and then run and growl and bark at anyone who came near him, I think the improvements are quite big! He also had a big problem with weave poles as was REALLY terrified when they touched his body. I am 99% certain he was hit and dragged about in his old place, he's so much better now, but every now and then has a trigger which sends him back into scaredy cat mode.
Here's some clips from today!
Every lesson at the start we do 2-3 runs on lead of full height jumps, basically because he totally refuses to go up a height off lead! He was exactly the same on the transition from small-medium, he would just stop dead at the medium height jump as if to say 'er, this one's too big!' I'm now starting to put the occasional one on full height when he is off lead and so far he is doing well. Certainly a rather complicated project anyway!

Wednesday, 11 June 2008

Tias neck!

For those that want the evidence that Tia can go to normal dog to dog with big hole in neck in 2 days... here it is... apologies if eating breakfast!
I nearly fainted (again) when I saw her yesterday, it made me feel all queasy, poor Tia.

I'm not quite sure how to walk her at the moment as I cant put her collar or slip lead on, and her harness sometimes catches it (which then makes me feel faint again). I'm off to Pets at Home in a minute to see if they have anything worth buying (which they probably won't, but Tia will enjoy romping round off lead, teehee).

Lowri (the specialist) wants to see Tia on Monday and she'll probably do some accupuncture round her neck to ease any soreness thats built up. Oh and last quite major problem is Tia's now trying to scratch her neck with her back foot and has made it look a bit red. But of course she can't where a big collar thing as it'll rest on the wound, at this rate I'll be bandaging her feet up!

Tuesday, 10 June 2008

No fun for Tia

Well, went back to the specialists yesterday morning, they are really pleased with her progress and said we can do a bit more jumping with her... then the bad news.
On Sunday at Thames, I found a big scab/lump on Tia's neck (the top side, not underneath). It was just a bit smaller than a 10p piece, perfectly round, several people thought it was ringworm (which is a fungal infection, NOT worms, which I nearly fainted at, at the thought of little wormies in my Tia baby!). It was fairly hard, and so dad took her to the vets yesterday, when they lifted the scab off it was really gooey, and they weren't sure whether it was a melanoma, or an infected tick bite (although the dogs very rarely get ticks, I haven't seen one on either of them this year). The vet was quite concerned about it and so Tia went in to have it removed earlier today, and they have done a biopsy on it. I should be able to pick Tia up later tonight but won't have any definite answers until the biopsy results come back.

A good few months ago, infact perhaps over a year ago, there was talk on the agility forum about whether dogs need their dew claws. Ricky'd had his removed, infact when we first got him I just assumed he didn't come with them, as I had no idea dogs had these weird thumb things. However several people have said about dogs having no dew claws are more likely to get wrist injuries, which is exactly what Ricky has got. I found Chris Zink's article earlier, thought it made really interesting reading, here is the link for it
BTW how lush are Jan's BC's! Especially Voucher, Hob Nob I O Ewe, he is GORGEOUS!

Monday, 9 June 2008


Sarah and Lucy's first show runs, and dad and Bex, I only got the 1-7 jumping and 1-4 agility on tape, please excuse commentary on 1-4 agility, grrr dad was being annoying!!!

Sunday, 8 June 2008


I am posting this in the hope that Sarah (think thats your name?!?!?! sorry, hopeless memory) reads the blog, I spoke to you at Thames today, and you gave me your tel number and email, but I've lost it! Could you email me please, the addy is harding _ charlotte @ (remove spaces) thx!

Thames saturday: Dad won 1-2 jumping with Bex, and 4th in 1-5 agility, the dopey spaniel stopped on her aframe contact and wouldn't release, and was sniffing for her treat, grrrrr stupid sniffy spaniel!!! And dad, also being stupid, for some reason known only to him, entered just the Saturday, and didn't put Sunday's classes on the entry form! Muppet! Anyway, he scrimed for Graham in the champ small and medium today so felt very proud, bless him.

I went to Thames today just for one veteran jumping run with Ricky, which he won, yay!! He won by 0.9 secs, he ran SO much better than he did back in April, where he'd been a tad stuttery on medium height, but he was lovely today, however I thought he'd had a pole, as I pushed him as hard as I could and just pegged it, and he rattled all the poles on the corners, but this time luck went our way and they stayed up! I didn't realise we were clear, went back to the van chucking his toy, and dad came marching back very annoyed as I'd pushed him out of the trophies with Sarah's oldie Maddy, ooops! Bless. I then spent the rest of the day rather bored analysing how I'd have handled Tia in the Chum qualifier (lush course) and the grade 7 jumping. Oh and I did a tad of ring partying too, but my hayfever is really bad today, everyone kept asking if I'd been crying, but no, my eyes were red and sore from being itchy from hayfever grr, so I didn't want to help much as I kept sniffing and needing more tissues, gross! (Sorry Lee for the detail, if you ever by any chance read this lol!)

Dad's doing one day of Golden Valley next week, I have nothing. Although I have an obedience show on Wednesday, again rather random but heyho. Then I've got Axe Vale obedience the following week and then Lansdown agility where hopefully Tia will do anysize, ahhh, the excitement!

Saturday, 7 June 2008

Tia et agility

I am rather pleased to report Tia has just done her first agility training sesh! Ok it was rather short, I think 5 minutes would have been pushing it. But wowww she has missed her agility, think she put her devil horns on today she was so keen to get going. I couldn't make her do a proper wait so in the end set her about 10ft back from the jump and just let her shuffle forwards, I don't want to knock her enthusiasm as we don't get it very often! She did the jumps on 6", and my god she absolutley flew, squeaking all the way as she went in to the tunnel! Only did it twice, but bless her she was so happy. We also did the seesaw as Lowri said it will help her balance and back leg muscles. Tia did this really fast, without dithering on the midpoint, much to my suprise.
So that just about concludes the training sesh, lol!!

Also, Laura came round again with Be, she's so scrummy! And her GSD, Elmo, was fab, he's driving so much more now, really enjoying his agility. And Laura did some heelwork with him too, and OMG, he's stunning, Laura only said she dabbled in it so didn't think it'd be brill, but it's good enough to win a novice, if she sorts her left turns out! Hopefully her first show will be Burnham on Sea in July. I can't wait!

Tuesday, 3 June 2008


Some people have asked me for a vid of Ruby (who I want my pup from) so here is a very short clip of her! Hopefully I'll get some more at Thames.

Monday, 2 June 2008

Maybe... "Be"

A few months ago my friend Laura was looking for a pup, I've trained Laura for a couple of years, she has 2 GSDs, and won out of grade 1 and had a win in grade 2. Her youngest GSD had some leg problems and she wasn't sure how much he'd be able to do agility so she decided to bring forward the time to get a pup. So she asked me to help. Woopee, I love puppy hunting!!

I really like the pups that Jaff has produced, so I emailed John and Kate and they said that Mary Edgar, who breeds the Kipcroft line, was going to repeat the mating in the next few weeks. The first Kipcroft litter are 3 years old now, there was 3 in the litter, Meg, Lex and Tig, Tig is already grade 7! All 3 pups are fabby. I emailed Mary to see how big the waiting list was, and she said that there was a chance, if people picked the right way, and there were the right number of girls and boys, that Laura would be able to have one.

One small problem... Mary was in Scotland!!! I wasn't sure whether Laura would be prepared to drive all the way up there, after all it is a long way to go! Anyway so Laura and I saw week by week pics of the pups growing up, there were 2 boys and 2 girls. Laura definitely wanted a girl. Out of the girls there was a red and white and a black and white. Laura didn't want a really headstrong bitch, and the red was more headstrong. I personally prefered the black and whites markings, as she was marked like Ricky. Then by coincidence I got chatting to the person who was first in line for a bitch, Sarah. She had her eye on the red. John Wykes, Jaff's owner, was having one of the boys, but wasn't picking until 6 weeks, so no-one else knew before then. I thought this was a good way actually, as some breeders like you to pick at 3 or 4 weeks.

Then Laura got the news to say John had picked the red tri boy, and Lisa had picked the black and white boy. Laura booked a flight to Scotland, on the same day as Sarah, knowing there was a chance Sarah would have the black and white... but Sarah stayed with the red!! So a couple of days later 'Be' was home, and Laura's going to call her Kipcroft Maybe, as it was maybe, maybe not that she'd get her. Laura brought Be round yesterday and she had great fun playing with Bex, Bex thought it was fab that she had a new playmate (altho Be was rather bemused by it all!).

This is Be, Lauras pup (I am trying to upload a vid but at the mo it wont work!)

And Flame, the pup that Sarah picked

The whole litter were totally stunning, I wouldnt have liked to have had to pick one, they were all lovely!