Friday, 25 July 2008

Our first ticket draw for obedience!

Well I got Tia & me got our first draw for Hatchford Brook champ on 2nd August - SCARRRRRYYYYYYY! We've been drawn 22nd out of 56 which is great - I can watch the first 10 or so (and get even more nervous) and then can get her ready when the next lot are working. I'm kinda dreading ticket draws. Running in top 10 is my nightmare as 1. I haven't woken up at that time of the morning, 2. Tia hasn't finished freaking out by then, and 3. I don't have time to watch the round and get it into my head where I have to turn. It'd be like running an agility course having 1min to walk it!

So what have I done with Tia this week?? Not enough really!... Hmm screwed up our sendaway a little bit more, done 2 brilliant scents, 1 of those a C scent which was perfect. Bit worried as tomorrow will be the first time she's done scent in the ring since we've been doing this new thing in training so I hope she doesn't freak out and just go and pick any one up. Her heelwork is going fab, and she's doing the length of a ticket round now, I just need to practise A LOT more fast pace, but I am lazy, and that is the worst pace! Normal pace is fine, I could do that all day, but fast is hard work, and slow feels too slow (but watching on vid it's bordering on too fast!) plus I try and rush the turns in slow, and sometimes I forget I'm meant to be doing slow, and it merges into normal!

Sendaways are the bain of my life... first it was heelwork, then scent, now it's sendaways! So I've been working on her doing great big long sendaways - fab. However I've been doing a lot of this with me running alongside her, as if she thinks its a race she takes off like her life depends on it. She gets to the mat at the back marker and stands nicely. However. If I send her and stand still, she touches the mat then swivels herself round in one swift action to face me. This would be fine, however it then leads on to her herding the mat, so by the time she's reached the mat she is facing me as she's completed her little circle (when she's herding sheep, its always me-->sheep--->Tia, so Tia is trying to do me-->mat---> Tia. Very frustrating! I've used 2 planks of wood to keep her in a straight line when she's approaching the back marker, once she realised she had to run between them, and not add them in as extra jumps! And then touch the front part of the matt with her paws, not the side, and she's not allowed to turn round. That's an awful lot for a dog with no brain to remember! We seem to have turned a corner now so I hope that she gets more confident now.
We have an obedience show this weekend, I am planning on competing tomorrow, and then training Sunday. Hopefully she won't be too bad and I will have a little bit of confidence for next week!
Pic taken of Rix at 9.5 years old

Sam took this pic of me and Rix 3 years ago - Rix looks so lovely when he's doing heelwork like he's supposed to!

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

RICKY!! Grrr!

Well now I have two crippled dogs! Grrr! When will I get some luck??

Dad took Ricky to Caerphilly on the weekend and Ricky got a 2nd and 3rd in anysize, what a sweetie... NOT... he won't even go clear for me! Dad also won another grade 3 agility with Bex on the Saturday. He says Bex is flying now and its very sh*t or bust, and at the mo its more bust, poor dad, his little legs can't keep up with Bex!

So, I took Ricky to the doggy gym yesterday. He got in the treadmill... and then it started to move... AHHHHHH SCARY! Poor Rix clamped himself down on the treadmill as he rolled into the back of it, lol. We eventuallly got him walking on it, not good at all though, he struggled the entire time, did 20 mins on it but was very tired by the end. Only a slow walk, but he found it terribly hard to get any sort of balance and had his head about an inch off the floor... Lowri wasn't happy with how he was moving as his hind legs, from his knee down, have very little lift in them. Then she got me to trot him up and down and he is inverting his back leg, and then when he turns he doesn't use his back legs to aid the turn, he hops around the turn. (This is something I questioned with an osteopath several years ago but she said it was fine). Then she gave him a massage/physio session and he has muscle wastage in his right shoulder (this I already knew as it has a lot of tissue damage), right hip, and part of his back. Ricky's now going to be referred to her properly next week and we'll build up from there. Lowri said if we don't get it sorted then he probs won't be able to do even anysize soon as his legs really are not working properly. (((you imagine I got her to see Ricky when Rix first went lame at 4 ehh??)))

Tia did a really good session yesterday so we will be starting building up her agility training again.

Work is going well, I am suffering a lot less from tiredness now, and can concentrate the entire day, ha ha!

BTW not sure if I mentioned it but I've booked Lee in for a session on 'handling techniques' with Scott in August (same one that me and Tia are doing) so hopefully Tash will be able to sort Lee's awful arms out so poor Scotty has a chance of keeping the poles up, teeheehee!

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Agility... or lack of it!

Well firstly unfortunately Tia's back problem has reappeared so agility is on hold for the time being, which means I'm not doing any more ag shows this year, dad will be taking Rix to Caerphilly and Dashin Dogs to run him in anysize (Rix needs to keep up his fat fighters course). When I went to the specialists on Monday Tia had accupuncture and spent most of the time trying to pull the needles out (something which she's never done before) and then when she got up after about 15 mins, her back leg (the one she had problems with back in April) was totally dead, like it was paralysed, only lasted for a few seconds and then she was lame on it for a few more seconds before going back to being ok. So paranoid-ness goes into overdrive again! Rix is coming next week, he is joining the doggie gym there... I'm sure he'll hate it almost as much as the bike ride he gets in the mornings now! There's lots of progress on his weight, I think he could almost be described as 'remotely slim' now, something that you don't generally use when talking about Ricky. Still doesn't help him keep the anysize jumps up tho :o)

Dad and Bex... dad judged at Tuffley on the Saturday, then on the Sunday ran her in the rain and fell over and hurt his back... I did feel a bit sorry for him although gave him no sympathy when he was moaning about it (I said perhaps he should make some more appearances at the gym??? I'm such a kind daughter!) Then Bex had a 4th? (I think) in 1-7 jumping. At Rugby they were consistent... 3 E's. Dad's been really slack with her training recently and I think this performance has hopefully kick started him into doing something about it.

My job is going really well, I am really enjoying it, my bosses are fantastic, I have learnt so much already, can't wait for the next 11 months :o)

P.S Well done to Ant and Ruby who qualified for YKC ADOTY at Rugby... can't wait to see her at Crufts... just hope Ru comes in to season soon!

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Jaff pup Be

Laura came round today to do some work with Elmo her GSD as she has entered her first obedience show in August... she WAS meant to enter one in July but chickened out and didn't tell me until the entries had closed GRRRR LAURA!!!! Anyway I've given her tons of stuff to practise with him over the next month or so, although he's working fab anyway, I'm just nit picking ;o)

And then on to Laura's pup... she's just scrummy! She's very interactive with people/dogs, but the minute Laura calls her she flies back and is happy to play tug with lots of distractions. Love her, and she's so perfect for Laura. Had the camera out for the first time in ages, here are a few snapz.

Wednesday, 9 July 2008

Poor me! Lol

Poor dogs must be wondering what is happening! I started work on Monday... my day, for the time being, now starts at 5am. Yes, 5am!!! That is far too early, some times I had not even gone to bed by that time, oh my, how things have changed, the only nights vaguely possible for me to go out are now Friday and Saturday, as there's no way I could get up that early after a late night. However on the plus side I should be home by between 4pm and 4.30, so at least I have the afternoon and evening to give the dogs some attention. Thank goodness for flexitime! Plus we have half days on Fridays (even better).

I haven't done any agility with Tia this week, it's been too wet. Took her to the specialist on Monday and she was perfect, so dropping down to once a week now, even better. I've done bits and bobs of obedience this week, mainly sendaways, OMG such hard work! Tia is such a retard, she insists on slowing down on her way to the back marker and then slinkies up to it (like she used to stalk the contacts). I'm now rewarding her for standing at the back marker, and am feeding her, or putting her toy, in a food bowl, to make sure she stands. It's working, as she's running a lot better. But I know when I get her back in the ring old habits will die hard. Her heelwork is superb. Retrieve and DC also good. Bl**dy sendaways! Even harder when I do shorter ones in C, then long ones, with long runouts past the front markers in ticket. So I'm debating about whether to train the next 4 that I am entered in, before her first champ at the beginning of August. However that is a long way to go, just to train sendaway! Hmmmm......

Saturday, 5 July 2008

Training today

This will probably be the last blog post for a while as I start work FT on Monday (poor me). So I'm making this post extra long :o) I organised for a few people I train to hire Laura's field today for a couple of hours. Laura (different Laura) brought her puppy Be, I haven't seen her for a few weeks, couldn't believe how much she had grown! I've made a vid of her for those who are interested, she is Flynntastic Red Jaff of Tarnforce x Min at Kipcroft, she is such a super puppy with a faultless temperment. Great watching her grow up :o)

Jess came up with her springer spaniel Copper, who was lurrrvely. I used to go to school with Jess, she emailed a couple of months ago to say her boyfriends mum had a collie they'd like to do agility with, and asked about doing it with her spaniel who was only about 8 months old at the time. Great, I thought, another flipping spaniel. However Copper really isn't a typical spaniel, so many of his behaviours are identical to a collie (like waiting at the start, where he drops his head and shuffles his paws getting ready to be released, I love it, so cute!). He's 11 months old now so we are just doing FP on aframe, although he can do dog walk and seesaw. I started him earlier on the seesaw than I have done with all other dogs as I don't think doing it once a week 3-4 times is actually as horrifying as a lot of people think it is. He's jumping the height below small, and will go up to small at 12 months. He is so fab to train, motivated by toys and treats, and really enthusiastic, and best of all, Jess has the agility bug big style and can't wait to compete, yippee!

Lee, Jess's boyfriend, brought his mums collie, Toby, Toby is about 18 months now, red and white, absolutely STUNNING to look at. However he was ruled by his man bits, so he got the chop a couple of weeks ago, and did his first lesson today and was much much better, and didn't want to pee on the jumps! Progress! I can't wait to see what he'll be like once all the testosterone has gone completely.

Jo and her kids, and Wesley came up too, I wanted to see how Wesley would react in a new environment... well he wasn't great! He was ok to start with, but then spooked as he didn't want to do the tyre (he spooks when we ask him to do anything new) and then continued to spook when we tried to get him to do the weaves, and then proceeded to snap at Jo and then try and bite me! Eeek, big scary shepherd! We put him away and then I did Jess and Lee's lesson, got him out at the end, and got a different dog! Much happier and less spooky, and he was doing everything we asked. It's so frustrating training him as everytime we try and push his training on we go back to square one with him trying every tactic to avoid it, but once he gets over this fear he is fab. He was like it all those months ago when we did dog walk, aframe and seesaw for the first times (esp seesaw), hated the v-weaves, refused to jump any height except small, and would only do completely straight lines, yet he is now brilliant at them all! He's so good once he gets going that it's easy to forget what he used to be like, just got to grin and bear it I guess :o

Tia was good, I did some at the start with Laura, and again at the end after Jo's lesson, and Jo was kind enough to film some of it for me, so here it is! I'm gonna carry on letting her run her a-frame until I put her back in the ring, just because I am curious as to whether her stride pattern will gradually change so her first stride over the apex of the aframe is further down, which will then take her second stride into the contact zone.

Thursday, 3 July 2008

More improvement in Tia

I gave Tia a rest from agility on Monday and Tuesday after all her hard work at Lansdown (lol) but on Tuesday did some heelwork, sendaways and distance control, which she loved, and was fab. Then we had her treatment in Cardiff yesterday and I was somewhat apprehensive at how sore she'd be... but NO PAIN whatsoever!!! This is brilliant, as even with doing agility AND obedience Tia's had no setbacks, so I'm really pleased.

I did some agility training today and set part of a course Lee had given me, which involved layering a jump on an angle, while at the same time pulling them past both ends of a tunnel. Tia was AWESOME (and I wasn't bad, because I got it right on take 5, haha) she tried so hard and put so much effort in. When she was more warmed up I put the jumps up to medium and again she was lovely, in fact she was better as the height seems to give her a better shape and jumping action.

I also made dad practise it (it's from an A3 (grade 6-7) course) and barring a little issue dad had with layering they were faultess... and I was speechless, as dad had to concentrate so hard to get his handling right, he lost the verbal diarrhoea that he always has.

Then to finish with Tia I set up jump - 10 paces - long jump (4 parts and fairly big) - 10 paces - jump. I set Tia back really far away from the first jump as I wanted her to find her own stride without taking off too late or too soon, and she was perfect again - I guess she is better in training as she is more confident, as take off points are still an issue in the ring. Anyway she jumped brilliantly, 100% extending on straight lines, and I think 90% on turns, which is better.

I've also managed to book a training evening with Natasha Wise in august, woohoo, I've been wanting to train with her for ages!

We're going to Laura's field on Saturday and I'm really looking forward to it as it is the ONLY venue where Tia will put 110% into her work, I have no idea why but she is like a crazy loon at Laura's, full of drive and confidence. I hope I can get that in the ring one day.