Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Imogen and Honeybear

I'm so proud of this pair, they came to me this time two years ago for their first lesson, Imogen had just turned 10 and was such a shy little girl who would barely say a word to me, let alone to Honey. Honey was 2 years old, with a very strong hunting instinct, I remember at the end of the lesson talking to Garth and Imogen and saying 'where's Honey?' she'd gone through the fence and had run down into the valley after pheasants. I gave Imogen lots of homework each week and Ims was always the perfect student coming back having perfected everything that I'd asked. They did a few shows in the summer of 2009 but hit problems with Imogen being even quieter and shyer in the ring than at home, sometimes managing to do the entire course without talking to Honey - Honey responded being the sensitive little soul that she is by trotting round next to Imogen's side and occasionally stopping for a sniff or a wee mid-course :) towards the end of 2009 their ring-confidence started to grow and Honey had broken into a canter, they won a couple of jumping classes in August and then at Dashin Dogs in September won several classes including a 1-3 agility taking them out of grade 1.

2010 and a couple of small limit shows to prepare them for Crufts, Honey more speedy and Imogen louder. Crufts came and went, Imogen getting a 4th in the semi final (top 3 go through to the final) their downfall being Honey didn't understand a quick release in the ring having never done one before and didn't want to release from her contacts!

Two weeks later and Honey was hit by a 4x4 the first time I'd taken Imogen to a show on her own, she ran off chasing pheasants - the screeching of brakes and her screaming as she took off in the opposite direction to where we were will stay with me forever, as will the comfort in so many people immediately coming out to look for her and the relief when I was 'tresspassing' through private property with big 'keep out' signs when she came happily running towards me through the reeds, seemingly completely fine. She went to Lowri's and was pretty much ok apart from some bruising, we think she must have bounced off the car rather than being underneath it.

Their agility success continued and they won out of grade 2 the following month and then grades 3, 4 and 5 pretty much each time they became eligible for the next level. They hit problems in June/July with Honey being in season and deciding she wanting to naff all to do with agility and it was as much as Imogen could do to get her off the start line let alone run with any enthusiasm. This continued all through July and poor Imogen accounted for all of their efforts in the Agility Club Starter finals and the Agility Club Junior finals where Honey wouldn't have looked out of place back in grade 1. Imogen had luckily gained confidence ten-fold and had no problem giving Honey loads of encouragement in order for Honey to donate any energy that she had to running the course.

Finally at the beginning of August with Honey having the enthusiasm of a dying fly, I decided that action was required! For those of you that can remember dad's Bex before she was spayed, she was incredibly hormonal and did not want to be anywhere near agility after her season. Last August dad got her a vitamin jab and she was a different dog, absolutely flying, in fact dad couldn't keep up with her! So Garth took Honey to the vets and gave her the jab a week or so before KC fest.

Well, that's certainly something worth remembering if anyone else has a similar problem! Imogen and Honey had the most succcessful month in August, at the KC fest they won the YKC Jumping Semi Final qualifying for Crufts, qualified top for the KC Novice Final although Honey broke her wait so they were e'd on the 2nd jump in the final! But better than the previous month where Honey did not even want to go! They also qualified top in the International Junior competition as well as winning a grade 5 agility. I think one of Imogen's highlights will be beating Bernadette in the KC novice cup jumping, I think Imogen had a 2nd and B and Itz were 5th, Imogen was soooo thrilled as Bernadette is one of the few people that Imogen will always spot from miles away (or maybe hear the shelties yapping hehehe) and want to watch, so it was great for Imogen to realise she could be competitive against her if she really put her mind to it.

We followed this on to Dogs in Need where Honey was just fantastic getting a clear in all the classes she entered and I think she had a top 5 in all these classes. The icing on the cake was Imogen winning the DINAS Junior Under 12 final with Honey doing a brilliant run and showing what they were made of.

Grade 6 certainly hit Imogen hard with Imogen realising she had no time to let Honey break her waits, and Honey was now giving Imogen no let up and 'breathing time' to remember the course mid way round! They got their first win towards grade 7 mid September and then had a couple of close calls with 2nds, one of which was absolutely stonking and probably the best round they have worked in terms of difficulty... with Honey breaking her wait at the start and catching Imogen off-guard - Ims certainly realising that there was no room for error with just 0.1 between her and 1st!

We then had Honey spayed in October as can't be doing with those horrible moody seasons! Honey is looking fantastic now and has lost a lot of weight as she was looking rather porky by September. Much to my amazement she also has lots more self control with Garth able to call her off a pheasant which is rather remarkable considering last year she had no recall regardless of whether there was a pheasant there for temptation or not, lol. Imogen has qualified for 3 classes at Crufts 2011 - YKC ADOTY, YKC Jumping and YKC Small Agility. We've not been able to do any agility because of the snow but I know Imogen is looking forward to her lesson with Dave on Thursday and then we've got a couple of training days booked in with him over the next couple of months.

All in all it's been a fantastic year for Imogen and Honey and I am just so proud of them. Imogen's now Miss Confident (and Miss Argumentive too at times ;)) which is a huge difference to the little girl I first met two years ago who wouldn't say boo to a goose. 2011 will hopefully be a great year for them and I can't wait to see how the pair develop in grade 6/7.

Sunday, 5 December 2010

First weekend back training

Scandal's had almost 13 weeks off agility and I thought what better way to celebrate her 2nd birthday than to do some training - didn't bank on lots of snow and frozen ground though!

We did some training yesterday on an almost flat plank and I am thrilled (not) to say that Scandal seems to think that the contact is electrified and should be leapt over at all costs. Something to work on at least!

We also did Honey's first training session since she was spayed 7 weeks ago in October. She faired much better than Scandal and was pretty much 100% with her contacts. Vid of her below.

I also uploaded a viddy of Scandal training in the ring in August doing her contacts how she is meant to - soon as I take the toy in the ring I am miss confident so Scandal is too. At least it gives me hope we may get there.

Today it was a beautiful day and the ground finally defrosted completely. We did some hill running this morning - this is fast turning out to be Tia's favourite game in the world - she squeals like crazy racing Scandal up the hill to the tennis ball, bless her. This afternoon we did the balance grid - we back chained starting with rewarding after 2 jumps, then 3, then finally 4, to which she could not decide for the 4th whether to bounce or clear both the 3rd and 4th in one go. She did not make the decision quite quick enough so went for a combination of the two and landed on the 4th one, ouch. After that she was fine and jumped beautifully, but I think we have a long way to go :)

Saturday, 13 November 2010

Lee and Todd

How awesome do these guys look - Todd is Lee's first dog, such a lovely team :)

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Love my Scandal

Loving Scandal... not loving autumn/winter and the short days!

Thank you to Cat for the lovely pics :)

Today I met up with Laura and Be today and we took the all dogs out for just over 2 hours, including some hill running. Scandal and Be looked great and although tired were not overly so, however I think we nearly killed Tia (she is fine ;)) so I am going to have to scale it back a bit with her as I don't want her damaging her cruciate again. Although it's brilliant exercise for them, and me, my legs are aching now, maybe at this rate I will get fit too :)
Walked 5 miles with all 3 dogs yesterday and they all did great, Scandal especially, her hind leg seems to have settled now and no problems at all, so the proprie stuff seems to be working.

Really want to start training Scandal again now but am determined to hold off until December to give her a proper break. Plus, as soon as it starts raining I'm sure I'll lose all enthusiasm for it, so just a matter of time!

Sunday, 17 October 2010


Scandal went to SMART for a few days last week. Hasn't been lame or anything but in my paranoidness I am always sure she is breaking or about to break.

I have been awfully lazy with doing her proprie exercises lately... infact we have hardly done any in the last 5 months. And it shows.

Scandal doesn't use her abs, which isn't really suprising considering I have done nothing to get her to use them since 5 months ago. So she is not weaving/jumping as well as she could (well, was not... she hasn't jumped since mid Sept).

So Lowri's given me some exercises to do with her and I've been thinking of a few of my own. Scandal loves working again! She really struggles with 'crawl' - this just happens to be something Tia is a total pro at (one of the few things!) so Tia gets to play too :-) so we are working on that... her crawling with each individual foot rather than jumping with her back legs and somehow her front legs under her chest (so you cant see her feet) with her head on the floor, not the best way to crawl!

Also doing some skateboard work, which I can't say Scandal's entirely convinced by, and the balance ball and wobble cushion. And some handstandy stuff but not against a wall, against a sofa so it is lower, but is involving her using her front end.

Oh and we are doing hill sprinting (Scandal, not me, so she, not we ;-)) twice a week.

Ohhhh and to top it allll off Munnings is moving to Newbury - how BRILLIANT :) I am so happy that he will only be an hour away and we won't have to tackle the M25!

I am actually looking forward to starting agility again with Scandal in December, I think I'm going to get a much more mature doglet than a few months ago. Well - I hope!

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Scandals 19 months

Made this vid a couple of months ago but forgot to put it on here. Scandalbabyyyy.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010

The good and the bad...

Well we've only got one more show to do this year, and 2 more finals.
Everything kind of went a bit pear shaped after June... having no lesson since May is definitely showing, my handling has gone t*ts up! We didn't have a clear after Weardale until DIN where Scannie won G4 jumping.

We only competed 1 day of KC Fest as Scan escaped out of the garden, ransacked someones caravan/bbq/other food source, burning her nose and getting the worlds biggest belly in the process, was really sick, and took a few days to recover from it, poor girl.
Edited to add a nice pic taken by Cat Clark :)

We had the DV final at the end of August. Scandal was superb, Lee was judging and having won a couple of Lee's semis/finals I was keen to win this with Scandal ;) well she flew round, and then Char = wally, panicked at the end instead of holding my ground just ran at the last jump, and Scandal ran round the penultimate jump, a wall, which she'd never seen before. She crossed the line in 33, the winner was 34. Was really chuffed with her, she was soooo good, I just couldn't quite hold my nerve.

The weekend just gone we had the Olympia semis, didn't get off to a good start as Scandal hated the big wings, running round jump no 3 like it was going to eat her and doing a huge jump over the next (the joint aid jump), she then ran awkwardly and kinda fell up the aframe, somewhere over the course she managed to split her dew claw. I vet wrapped it, and she then decided she would act like a frog and could only walk in leaps, so that had to come off for the final, luckily it wasn't a bad split but of course poor Princess I just wanted to wrap her in cotton wool :)

In the final Scan was great, just me again not holding my nerve, I walked the course and just lost every ounce of faith that I had, normally I walk a course and even if it is hard, I am excited about running it but all the excitement just melted away leaving me dreading it and not looking forward to running it, I have never not looked forward to running Scandal. After the weaves I didn't pick Scandal up correctly so she didn't have a clue where she was going, and got a refusal at the next jump. A 5 would've got us in but she made sure we didn't by taking a pole... she's only taken one possibly 2 poles in the last 2 months of competing so I guess fate just has a way of making sure :)

I was really gutted, and actually cried like a right baby about it that evening... not the fact we didn't qualify, but the fact that the last 2 weekends I have let Scandal down sooooo much, and made her look absolutely rubbish, when in fact she is not. However looking on the bright side, it has taken all of the pressure off as I can now give her 3 months rest, and don't need to worry about keeping her in peak condition when the hours are short, and I won't be getting home from work until it is dark. I am still not happy about her hind leg so hopefully we will be able to work on this over the winter so she will be fully weight bearing on it next year. And of course next year she will be more mentally mature, and I won't have the thought of a massive final bearing down on me in the next 3 months which I am sure would not have the greatest effect on either me or Scandal!

Hopefully I will update this again soon when I have more time... just very rarely on the PC now I have internet on my phone, I can check my emails on the go and so don't go on anything else!
Ohhh one last piccie of my Princess :)

Sunday, 1 August 2010

Rugby, Weardale

Oh dear getting behind again...
Scandal's first grade 4 was Rugby and she was great getting a 3rd in G4 agility, was really pleased with her. Felt like we were starting to click.
Tia managed a 4th in grade 7 agility, bless her as there were 120 dogs in the class.

Weardale and Scandalbeans qualified for the Olympia semis with a 2nd :-) YAYYYYY!!! Out of 260 dogs in the class. She also had a 2nd in the G4 jumping.

This weekend I was a bit crazy and decided we'd do Ag Club on Sat as Imogen had Starter and Junior Finals, but I really wanted to do Derby as it had an Olympia qual... Imogen had a 3rd in the Junior Final but Honey is being soooooo difficult just does not want to know... yet a couple of weeks ago she was flying, and probably will be in another couple of weeks, damn spaniel, give me a collie any day :-)

Our day did not go well yesterday with Scandal missing her dog walk in the 3-5, much to my horror. I know it was my fault as I was not clear enough telling her it was a run, but she still should not have jumped it anyway, grrr. We redid the down plank ok, then she went in her weaves and came out at the 3rd, so we left.

Into the practice ring we went, and she couldn't do the dog walk in there either... 1 way, towards the tunnel... the other way was fine, Grrrrr. She could do both by the end of all the millions of sessions we had tho ;-)

Then in the jumping she had a lovely run but bobbled in the weaves 2 jumps from home, but we carried on as no point making a big deal of it.

Today in the Olympia I said "go" after the aframe instead of right, and she did, again we carried on. Then her dog walk, as she went up it, she lost her balance, nearly fell off, got her stride completely wrong and pretty well missed the contact again... hard as I wanted to say "good girl for trying to stay on" but at the same time please can you try and get the contact anyway ;) Gary the judge let us redo it and she did it perfect this time.

Jumping she was lovely just had a pole but worked soooo nicely.

Then the agility, the dog walk was near the end and 2 jumps on sharp angle after it, all I wanted her to do was a nice running dog walk didn't care about the jumps after it, so put her toy out of the ring by the score tent in a straight line with the dw, she did a stunning run and then we did a "go go go" to her ball, she did a perfect contact so I was really happy :) apart from the judge did ask why we didn't want to finish, I don't think he quite realised how important I thought it was to reward Scandal for doing a brill contact and abandoning the last 2 jumps :)) but anyways I am happy.

Honey was a bit better, 1st in G5 jumping and 2nd in Junior U12s, Tia got a 4th with 5f fastest time, she and Imogen are working so much better now.

Week off next weekend, then KC fest, woohoo :)

Sunday, 4 July 2010


Just a short(ish) post as nothing too exciting happened.

On the Sat, Scandal's first run, she won 1-4 jumping, it was a pretty fast course and I didn't say too much to her, just left her to it and put the directionals in at the right places, she was a good bean. Her bro Chilli came 3rd :)

Grade 3 jumping she did some crazy bounce work all lovely, came out of the 10th pole on 12 weaves, again i have been ready for her to do this so we 'happy Char'd' it back to the start and she was fine, rest was lovely.

KC 3-5 ag (may as well write E on my ticket before I've even booked in). Was having an absolutely blistering run, then scrambled up the dog walk as went on wide, re-corrected her stride to do a perfect running dog walk, and I was so stunned that for the snake which followed I said "right" but didn't turn my shoulders so she ran round the 2nd jump, what a twit I am, my brain just can't react fast enough, it's faulty, wish I could swap it for a better version!

Today in her CSJ agility she felt quite floaty, weaves were a bit steady, she fluffed her aframe contact although got it fine, but she did a 'ahhh' moment where she went up it with a bit too much momentum and then had too long a stride on the way down. Then took the pole after the dog walk, I need to do a lot more control work after the dog walk, but seeing as she won't even do a RC in training at the moment I think it will have to wait. Then at the end again my brain had gone into the faulty section and I couldn't remember her wing wrap commands, so we re-did the sequence... oops. Oh and to top it off she did the worlds slowest seesaw. Yay.

In the G3 agility it was Graham Taylors, 'interesting' but I loved it. Scandal worked the first part fantastically, almost sliding seesaw (which i held), tight turns, perfect aframe, then wing wrap to weaves she almost went back up the aframe instead of the weaves, found them at the last moment, took herself out round the first pole and as I was miles infront couldn't quite get the entry and went in the 2nd. So we redid and she was lovely, then did the next bit lovvely and we did a stop dog walk, for no particular reason other than we need to do more of them, and it wasn't miles speedy but she ran all the way into position. Then went in the wrong end of the tunnel which was last obstacle.. hmm going to have to work on this as she's done it twice now, found the wrong end of a tunnel (instead of staying on my line, flicking away).

Then the Alpha 1-3 agility, I'd decided to train it as we are away for the final, well Scandal was lovely did a nice stop on her seesaw, I didn't say much to her on the jumps just let her find her line as she was trying sooo hard to keep the jumps up, perfect aframe, then did the best stop dog walk shes done, back feet right on the last inch of the contact :) and a lovely go on to finish, she finished 5th, so I was really happy with her.

Absolutely adore running her, she is the best little girl in the world. I even cooked her an omelette tonight as she was so good :O

Imogen has been at Dashin Dogs this weekend with Honey and Tia, and has done brilliantly, Honey winning 4 classes and a 2nd, and Tia having a 1st and 2nd in juniors! Yayyyy :)



Running a week behind! I entered the Saturday of GT but somehow forgot to enter Scandal in the Sunday of Lansdown, even tho I entered Ricky and Tia lol??

Had 4 runs at UKA but only ran 3 of them, as the gamblers still had at least 1.5hrs to go and we were all hot and bothered and home seemed much nicer than melting.

Ohh and I got Scandal measured, my friend Laura's dog Be was measured standard and we both decided Scan was smaller than Be, so I wasn't worried... hmm I think I should have been! Cut off for standard is 500mm... Scandal was measured as... 499mm :O so she got in by the tiniest of margins... I can't believe she's 20"... especially as people told me last year she'd be medium, lol!

Decided before I'd even got to the show that I was going to do all 3 runs NFC as I think Scandal needed a confidence boost. I managed to miss walking all 3 of my classes, the only one I walked was gamblers which I never ran, ahhhhh, scatty head on! Well I didn't actually arrive until 8.45, which explains why I missed the first one, but the other 2 I was just being ditzy.

First run was jumping, and I rewarded her wait at the start, then rewarded her weaves. Her weaves felt slower than usual but hey we're ignoring that, she did them, that's all I care about :) then did a nice bit next, but tried to bounce a jump on a wide 90 degree angle and crashed through it, she looked a bit suprised so I called her to me and gave her a stroke before we carried on - made me feel better anyway!

Next was steeplechase, rewarded her wait again, and sort of made up my own course so Scandal wouldn't have to do lots of bounces, but she bounced instead in 2 places where the jumps must have been at least 8 paces apart :O crazy long stride. I did 3 wing wraps with her and rewarded her on 2 of them, the 3rd one we did coming out of a tunnel, I said 'cik' and she really digged in and turned sharply, so I was happy.

Last run was agility, again rewarded the wait, did perfect aframe, then 3 jumps, perfect running dog walk, tunnel, and I rewarded at this point, then jump weaves, rewarded after the weaves, then couple of jumps seesaw - which she got but didn't hold position, so we re-did the sequence of jumps-seesaw and she got it nicely.

Hmm more seesaw work, although I did realise that we didn't do any on the one day we trained last week, oops. I'm pleased with her weaves being good, and of course it was really nice to be able to reward her dog walk, as I haven't rewarded any since our last UKA show. Such a good Scandalbean, she tried so hard!

Monday, 28 June 2010

Newton Heath

Thought I better write another post otherwise Dan will be moaning... ohhh wait, he already is :P

Here is the video of Thames and Newton Heath

Scandal seemed to have gone up a gear at this show - although by the end of it had gone down a gear - more on that later.

First day was great - she won the G3 jumping with a really flowing run, steadied nicely for a pull through, did weaves that were almost fast, and tried really hard. We also had a 3rd in G3 agility with a held seesaw. I screwed up the wing wrap before the dog walk hence she went up the dog walk really slowly as she wasn't sure if she was right or not. Ohhh I'm an idiot!

Then it all started to go downhill on the Sunday. Her 3-5 Olympia agility went 3 jumps, dog walk, jump, pull through. I was so impressed with her speedily running down her dog walk that I was a fraction late with her wing wrap command, and then bent down, rather than standing up straight with high stop arm, so she ignored me and went round. Then did a perfect seesaw, then went in to the tunnel after which they had to turn right. I said "Scan scan scan" shoulders facing right way etc, but nooo, she completely ignored me and took a jump that wasn't even near, at which point I got cross and said "SCANDAL, NO" pretty loudly. She was alright after that and did speed back up again, but I was cross with myself for getting cross with her.

Her C3-5 jumping I cued her for a turn after 2, which she went to do, then flicked off, now this annoyed me as Tia does this but I've made a real effort to do loads of work with Scan so she doesn't do this, anyway so we had an almighty wide turn where she nearly took the wrong jump, then did 3 more jumps and she knocked this damn jump that she'd wanted to take in the first place down... then her weaves.... arghh. She's been trying SO hard on her weaves and has been perfect in them barring her first ever run at Hinckely. So she skipped a weave pole... cue horrified Char... wtf do I do when she misses a weave pole? (I am rubbish if I don't have a backup plan).

So I sent her back in from where I was stood, which was a 90 degree angle for Scandal to get... she missed it. I sent her in again, and she missed it again. So I sent her in straight, and she paid me back for this by walking through them and then stopping at the 6th pole... excuse me while I just die of embarrassment.

After that I decided that I'd have to really grit my teeth and stop pratting around as I sooo want her to get confident and of course she isn't going to if I'm not positive.

Her final run was G3 agility and started jump-weave. She came out of the 10th weave pole, think her confidence was given a big dent in the above jumping class. Put her in again (happy Char) and she flew through them, and then did a lovely rest of the round, incl a perfect running dog walk so I was happy. So a really great run apart from the weaves. I am not worried about the weaves, I know it will come back, I just have to make sure I am not shocked or suprised when she does it, and handle it a lot better, grrrr I need a slap!!

Saturday, 26 June 2010


Ok I'm a bit behind, but never mind.

Thames, Scandals 2nd show, she was lovely, had some great runs, on the Sat in the G3 jumping she ran past the last jump, it was on an angle and I thought she'd pick it up and she didn't. Then got a clear and a 3rd in G3 agility, slowww seesaw due to me handling like an idiot!!

Then we had a lovely round in the 3-5 combined agility which was a CSJ qualifier, and won it by 0.6!!! So out of grade 3... hmmm a bit soon, I only went for it coz it was a qualifier and they are exciting!

The next day in the G3 agility she was having a gorgeous run, felt like she meant business :D did a rather scary aframe but I didn't correct her as could see she really didn't mean to do it (and this proved correct with her doing a perfect af in the next run), and then did a getting-faster set of weaves, and then went into the wrong end of the tunnel. I could have helped her into the right side, but she must have just decided the entrance she could see was the best. I then tested her seesaw and she flew off it, well didn't fly off, but came off a bit soon, so we re-did it and she did the same thing again, oops.

In the 3-5 Olympia, I messed up and she took a pole, did a lovely aframe, and then launched down the plank of the dog walk instead of putting a stride in. She got the contact but I don't want her doing a dog walk like that so we re-did the down plank and she did exactly the same thing, so we did it again and she was ok. And another slow seesaw to finish.

The 1-4 jumping was next and she was gr8, ran early and then we left, and found out when we got home she won it - yay for Scandal :D she felt really floaty in this run and not trying... but she must have been trying if she won - I struggle with her striding, it's soooooo long and effortless, that it's not mad scrabbly like Rickys which is what I'm used to, and so feels really slow. And I'm not pushing her at all, I'm just trying to get in the right place, say the right commands, and that's hard enough :D

Love the baby dog :) x

Monday, 7 June 2010


How exciting, what a lovely show, I've never been before but will definitely be back again, was such a friendly show, thought the tannoy woman was great :)

First Ant's run with Ruby in Leah's 6-7 agility - loved this course! Ant and Ruby made it look so easy, like a walk in the park.

Tia... 4 classes, I just ran her in 2, didn't even enter her in Champ as knew my mind wouldn't be on her this weekend. She ran ok, my handling was as usual dreadful, but Tia did nice contacts and... hmm thats about it.

Honey was entered on the Sunday and as Indy was at her grans I ran Honey... last time I ran Honey at Wye Valley she went like a slug so I can't say I was particularly looking forward to running her, however she was very good, she's still a lot faster for Indy, but at least she didn't insist on facing the back of the score tent this time!

Scandal baby beans... ohhhhh she's my princess!

She was sooooo good, I am so pleased with her. Very exasperated at myself for handling like such a dork so much of the time. Ok so a quick (long) run down of her runs... first run g3 jumping - not really focussed, neither of us were, I was still cross that she'd bitten me in the queue, not hard but enough to hurt, I didn't really know what to do with her as she wouldn't focus whilst I was walking her around and couldn't get her to calm down like I could the past few UKA shows. She ran round I think 3 or 4 jumps and couldn't find the lines for the jumps at all, also missed her weaves. Then the runs just got better, graded 3/4 agility she was fab... but again I was an idiot, we'd done the dog walk, and the weaves, and were clear up until no 14 which was the aframe. Straight line after the aframe = frame... go. What do I say? Frame. GO GO GO GO GO. And Scandal did. Straight over the apex and I think only got 1 paw on the aframe on the way down. Apart from wanting the floor to swallow me up we quickly re did the contact, and she then completed the course nicely, I am sooooo so cross with myself for saying this as it's precisely why I don't - she'll take her stride too deep. However looking back on the vid it's almost like she was expecting the next plank to be a dog walk type, as she didn't drop down over the aframe at all.

3rd run, CSJ 3-5 agility, I did a stop on her dogwalk which she did, with a nice nose touch at the end, then due to my crappy handling she ran past a jump, aframe a little cautious and high (altho she got the contact) but anything's better than the previous attempt. Nice weave entry which she straightened herself for, and nice seesaw. Went over the last jump and she went off SNIFFING!!! Someone had left a treat on the floor, which she was very pleased with herself for finding.

Dog Vegas 3-5 agility - loved Matt Goodliffe's course, did a lovely running dog walk and I was so impressed I forgot to tell her where to go afterwards so she did a wide turn after the jump, then seesaw, hmm well she almost got 1 paw on the floor before I released her :D then nice aframe, slightly wide snake but I was v pleased she didn't run out the ring to get her toy as I'd seen lots of dogs do, thinkin they'd finished! Nice weaves, wide wing wrap, and nice straight bits to finish. OMG was I excited when we did OUR FIRST CLEAR :D woop! She got a 2nd, wow, what a star, I am so pleased with her, and sooooooo relieved we didn't win, as I desperately don't want to be out of G3. We also qualified for the Dog Vegas 3-5 Final - yayyy clever Beans!

G3 jumping - Scandal was so much more focussed, came out wide after the tunnel so I just said 'poles' and she brought herself back in and wrapped round the first weave pole, you can't really see from the vid how wide she was but I was so pleased that she found them, I'm determined to let her find them herself and not help her too much. Did a wideish turn after a snake, then a nice go on to finish and another CLEAR!! She got a 3rd in this, what a great baby.

Novice Olympia 3-5 agility - loved Graeme's course, thought it was just right. I didn't help Scandal enough for directions when she came out the flat tunnel and she turned the wrong way, I haven't done this nearly enough and really ought to practice it a bit more as think I've set it up in training like... twice in the last 6 months. Seesaw I dorked about on and hesitated, so Scandal hesistated, and then realised I was hesitating and ran forward for the next bit, which was followed by a left turn, so I turned soooo late, and Scandal tried so so hard to get over the jump, but knocked it, again I am uber cross with myself for handling so badly as she hates knocking poles. Rest of it was nice, bit wide, but Scandal being good trying very hard to listen and understand what the hell I am doing. Nice running dogwalk-tyre to finish.

I can't believe how amazing she has been, after the 1st run, I got my ass in gear and had (more) control over her around the rings, so she went into the ring focussed on me rather than what was going on in the neighbouring rings. So, we walk around with food up until the dog on the line goes in, then I take her lead off and we play tug, or rather she goes bananas ragging the tug... but again seems to work - will try various things in the coming months and see what works best for her. She is so much fun to work and tries so hard, really pleased all her weaves were perfect apart from her 1st run, yes they are still not fast, but she's able to do the correct action for the most part, which considering she couldn't/wouldn't last month is a big improvement. Love that she listens so intently and doesn't do her own thing. I just need to be a lot more decisive and actually move into the correct position QUICKLY rather than gawping at her. Oh and maintain criteria for the seesaw, and practice running past it, rather than waiting for her to do it. Just didn't want her flying off it at her first show, as she is a woos and would spend the next 6 shows crawling up it, lol.

Wow, this has to be the worlds longest blog post. Can you tell I'm a bit happy? :D

Friday, 4 June 2010

Scaredy beans

We've done 1 training session in the last 8 days, I have been in very non-agility mode, Tia hasn't had any training for 12 days, we've been for some lovely long walks, had a BBQ, my guys have got to play with Todd, Be and Copper, and just had lots of general chill out time. We had a lesson with Dave on Weds, and that's it until her first show tomorrow... Hinckley... I nearly died when I got her running orders, I feel so nervous, I haven't run in 'novice' for over 5 years and am quite excited to be going back there, love the fast and flowing type course. Scandal is working so well and trying so hard, she can be a bit 'floaty' but I think gradually when she gets more ring-savvy the confidence will come through. She is so so biddable and I am looking forward to working a quiet girlie who tries her little socks off.

Scandal was great at Daves, her jumping has got tons better, she doesn't 'loop' so much now, isn't jumping so stupidly, and I don't have to rev her up as much, she genuinely looks like she has some interest in running! Weaves, once she's at about the 4th pole she'll swim them, she got all her entries and didn't bobble once, pleased she found her entries as they were next to the dog walk so she discriminated nicely. Her dog walks were bad, have lost her stop contacts, although I think it was partly coz Dave was stood behind with the toy, so she got to the middle plank of the dw and turned around to gawp to see where he was, grrrr, she then did a few ok-ish ones, then when we did a running one she leapt down the plank and was high, so downed her and then all the rest were perfect. Aframes were nice as were the seesaws apart from that she was sliding down and stopping at the bottom and then deciding when she deemed it fit to carry on herself :)

Oh and some have asked about her chase drive... well it's still improving all the time. I called her off a deer last week, she came, first call, did such a wheelspin that she kicked all the dust up :) so we are getting there. She hasn't run off on any of the walks we've gone on (touch wood) and she sticks close by rather than going off hunting. She's still obsessed with the farm animals, particularly cows, but again I can call her away from them and she will generally come first call.

I will leave you with a video of Imogen winning 1-4 jumping, they still managed to win by a couple of secs despite the blip at the end... from a dog who was sooo obsessed with the finish jump you couldn't pull her off it, to one who's choosing the weaves over the finish jump... hmm, I guess it's progress of some sort!

Monday, 31 May 2010


I decided not to do SWAT on the Saturday as last week Tia took it upon herself to a) jump in her top cage of the van whilst the door was shut and b) run into the patio door whilst trying to get away from golf ball sized hot air balloon in the distance. She was a little lame after (a) so I gave her the week off any agility.

Then I had some kind of food poisoning on Saturday night, however as I ate so much food that day it was hard to isolate the thing which caused it. So I felt really rough on the Sunday morning, plus I'd heard that the ground at SWAT was a bit bumpy, Tia, agility and bumpy ground really don't mix, her class was on first thing so would have to run on wet grass = decision made, stay in bed.

Did a fair amount of revision, then heard from Garth that Imogen had her first grade 4 classes and had won the 1-4 jumping by a couple of secs. She trained her agility but Honey was 100x better than the last couple of weeks, stopped on the dog walk and Honey slightly came off her aframe but reversed back on. So Honey's now partway to G5, eeek, not yet!

Laura also won the G2 jumping with Be on the Saturday, woop woop am so proud of them :-) only their 2nd show.

Jess and Lee had Rix over the weekend so they could run him in veterans, however veterans was on so late that in the end they didn't run him in either class, still, Rix enjoyed his holiday. Tia and Scandal have been total pains the last week, Scandal has SO much energy, and doesn't think that me sitting down revising is good enough, and spends her time either dropping things in my lap, trying to lie across my papers, or play fight with Tia making so much noise that I cant concentrate.

So yesterday afternoon as it was such a lovely day that we took Scandal Tia and Honey for a walk near Chew Valley Lake. It was a 6 mile route that looked out over the lake with stunning views, going through several lovely little villages too, the dogs loved it. Tia and Scandal were tired when we got home :)

Friday, 28 May 2010

Scandals 1st win :)

Scandal was sooooo lovely at UKA Phoenix. She was like a different dog, so much easier, we had NO BARKING between walking to the van, queueing, running, and going back to the van. AMAZING progress :)

She won the beginners steeplechase out of I think 60 dogs. I trained her nursery, it's the first time I've asked her to dog her stop dog walk in the ring, and as you can see, she was a bit like "wtf?" But then the 2nd and 3rd time was lovely, and she did a lovely running contact too. Her training has gone really well this week, she has been very enthusiastic, we are looking forward to seeing Dave next week, hopefully he will think she has made a bit of progress :)

Thursday, 20 May 2010

Blackdown and Leamington

Still behind but hey getting there :) am trying something different with the videos so it's not cutting out half the vid, so hope it will work!


Well Tia had a pole in her 6-7 jumping but did a BRILLIANT weave entry :D she took the pole before the weaves, coz I came to a halt to give her space to find the weave entry herself. So pleased - its the sort of entry I train but then in the ring bottle it and make sure she gets it, rather than letting her find it herself. But now I'm making an effort to test the things we do in training. Good T :-D

5-7 jumping - OMG, one of my favourite courses ever. Soooo hard, tested lots of skills, but if you handled it right (ok, I didnt :)) it flowed superbly, we had a ball, Tia was brilliant, listened soooo hard, which after the last few weeks where listening skills have been optional, it was appreciated we had them back :) we got e'd, but got e'd quite late on, which I was pleased with, as there were about 100 places we could have done, but just about managed to save most of them :)

Agility, Tia had a pole, but perfect contacts, straight down into position, so again very happy :-)

Indian and Honeypot won the 1-3 jumping by a couple of seconds, and then had an abolutely storming run in Neil Ellis' SUPER G3-5 agility, prob the hardest course Imogen has done in the ring, she and Honey were fabbo and did a super clear to win it, they would have won the G4 and G5 parts by 8 and 9 seconds respectively :O only problemo is Honey now appears to think she has running contacts, which are getting progressivey higher each week, lol. Back to training them in the ring next month I thinks :)
They have now got 20 wins in KC competition in the last 2 months :O


Tia only had 1 run - 1-7 jumping - as I said 'go' she went to go over the jump and then stopped, think she thought I'd said a test word (green, gas etc) so I said 'go' again but poor T was right under the jump and only just cleared it. You had to do the straight tunnel twice and the 2nd time Tia fell over in it at the end - not sure what it is with her falling over in tunnels at the moment? She was really good bouncing jumps, no poles, and not too much barking either, came 4th, good T-bag.

Imogen and Honey had 2 3-5s, Honey broke her wait and missed her aframe, naughty wait, but Imogen said "come on" on her aframe and Honey obediently did, lol. Then had a 2nd in the jumping, and then a 3rd in 1-7 jumping which was great. Honey didn't seem quite 'with it' a bit of a sleepy spaniel I think!

Also had a practice ring so I took Scandal in and they were really nice people, very generous with the time as no one was waiting, I took her in twice, rewarded loads for brilliant waits, only one aframe she did was a little high, we also did left and right turns after the aframe which she did nicely, jumps wise she was great but she is bouncing everything tho - scary! Also did a couple of seesaws which were good.

Only letting her weave at home atm - still got the first 4 as channels and the next 8 as uprights - she's starting to power through them now, yay, head down and swims them nicely. Hope this week we'll go onto all uprights - eeek! Phoenix on Sat then her first show is Hinckley **faints**


Tuesday, 18 May 2010


Ok running a week behind so here goes


Did UKA at HJ Agility on Saturday. It was a really nice show with lots of thanks on the tannoy for everyone who'd given up their time to help, rather than moans/threats about people not helping, which made a nice change :)

Scandal had 2 classes, nursery agility and steeplechase. In the nursery we did our own course, the aframe as the third one. She got the contact with a front and 2 back paws but at the moment is a bit doubtful when she comes over the top of the af so isn't going as deep into the contact on strange af's. However I think the more she does, the more confident she will get.

Still have a problem on strange dw's - the first dw she did she got the contact but it was high, so we did it twice more and she was much better. But we don't get 2 trys in the ring - ahhhhh! I don't know what to do for the best as no point stopping at the moment as she'll do the 'fine, I won't bother' rather than enjoying herself like she is right now. Oh, and I couldn't remember my wing wrap commands, and was all over the place... idiot.

In the steeplechase I opted to train it again. Oh dear my handling is appalling. 3rd jump was slightly offset so I turned my shoulders to make sure she didn't run round... except I should have done this on 2, not 3, so on 3 she had no idea if I wanted her to run in a straight line or turn, so she bounced the jump but knocked it, poor Scan, she hates knocking poles, can just imagine her thinking 'wtf are you doing mum, idiot!!'

Pleased she turned tightly after the straight tunnel, see, she isn't always WIDE ;) then the next bit she picked up nicely, but then the only slightly harder thing, ie the 2 jump snake, I screwed up, wtf was I even doing? No wonder Scandal didn't have a clue, I don't have a clue what I was trying to do either! And she did the sequence much better when I worked her from behind the 2nd time. Guess I am too obsessed with trying to get in front/handle like I'm working Tia, which I don't need to do. Just my comfort zone.

End result = Scandal gone up another gear in enthusiasm stakes, Char gone down a level in handling abilities!

Thursday, 6 May 2010

Proud :)

Lee and Rix at Shrewsbury in anysize, coming 3rd... Rix is 11yrs 3 month and I'm sure he's running faster than he was a few years ago!

Jess and Cop at Shrewsbury, just 1 pole

Winning Grade 1 agility by over 2 secs :D

3rd in Grade 1 jumping (lol at Lee's comment at the start :))

Laura and Be in their first KC show

I'm proud :D

Tuesday, 4 May 2010

Shrewsbury, North Somerset and training

Just a small update as I am meant to be revising!

Had a nice weekend at Shrewsbury, Tia was mad, and very hard work, arguing lots and taking 1 pole per run, barking way too much and not really listening. There were some nice bits she did in each run and some bad bits!

Then at North Somerset she had a lovely run in Graham Partridge's 5-7 agility and won it, she did a lovely run apart from a deviation when I said "weave" instead of left, weave, she carried on in a straight line and went round the ring pole, and then into the weaves. But she barked a lot less and it felt like she concentrated a lot more :) in the jumping she had a pole near the end and then I called her too early before she went in the tunnel, so she span. But again felt like she was working a lot better. Then in the other jumping the beginning and end were good, just a bit in the middle was a bit rubbish!

Imogen and Honey had their first grade 3 classes and ended up with 6 wins and a 2nd, all fantastic runs, they had 2 other classes with brilliant 5fs, Imogen is working much harder with her now and it is showing, as Honey is so much more up for her runs :)

A big big well done to Jess and her springer Copper for winning the large grade 1 agility by over 2 secs, and a 3rd in the jumping, 0.1sec from 1st. Laura and Be had their first KC show just in jumping classes and did 2 stunning E's, both E near the end, but amazing stuff, perfect front crosses, Be working fast and very tight, lovely weaves and lovely send ons. Made me very proud to see them working so fabbly!

Scandal was super all weekend, very little barking, and if she did bark, it was really easy to get her attention back on to me. She is 16 months old tomorrow - eeeek! We did some training tonight and I think it was our best session to date, she was uber up for it and worked soooooo well, boy do I love her :) well, most of the time :) have been up on the Mendips for an hour chasing rabbits with the 3 dogs, they are all very tired now, especially Rix, poor boy, he didn't stop running the whole time, don't think his legs appreciate it afterwards!

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

WBSDS and Scandals training

Ok well first of all I now spend quite a lot of time when I have Scandal out practising 'flicky feet' it seems to have the desired affect in getting her to concentrate and take her mind off watching the dogs working. Here's a little vid of her doing flicky feet.

Ahhh I love it, just have to increase the duration of it now. When we're walking round the rings she flicks her feet even more, very very bouncy and excited!

Her weaves really have not been improving so we have gone back to channel weaves. On uprights she was doing 1-step, 2 step, followed by a cross-over-paws-step, so she's back on channel now, they are really close together, probably an inch apart, but she's a lot happier on them and single steps. So over the next month hopefully we can close them up again.

And now on to WBSDS.... hmmmmmmm!

Ricky wasn't great in his 2 anysize classes, I can barely get a wait out of him at all now, he's so naughty, and he is 11 after all so I'm not going to throw his classes to get a wait back! He was a bit clumsy this weekend, he jumps loads better on medium, as he actually has to jump, rather than just step over them. We had lots of lovely comments on how fast and keen he looks, which is nice :)

Tia... omg, we have never had anything like this before. She just blew her top. She'll be 8 years old on Saturday and I don't think I've ever taken her out the ring before. Well we walked out of 2 classes on Saturday. Crazy beans. Out of the 5 runs we had over the weekend, she only did 1 perfect wait, the rest involved numerous amounts of creeping. On Sat, Mike Bacon's 6-7 agility, more of a FCI type course, LOVED it, thought it was hard (for me anyway :)) but couldn't wait to do it. I recalled Tia and put a front cross in, which sent her ploughing through the jump. Then, on a 3 jump star thing, I was stood in middle of the star, said right, shoulders etc facing right, and she just randomly flicked off and went left. Then the aframe/tunnel combination she ran past altogether, then when she finally went in the tunnel, she cut across me when she came out. And then finally when I asked for a pull through, amidst lots of barking she again took the pole and did a wide turn... so we left! She got in more barks in that 1 run than I think she does in most days of competition, it was like she'd left her brain at home.

So then 6-7 jumping and she worked it a lot better, had a pole due to me not collecting after a turn, then the fricking weaves! Ahhhhhhh! She got a great entry, then bobbled at 5. So we did it again and she came out of the last weave.... I was pulling off towards the next obstacle, but still expect her to stay in the weaves, and as she was already e'd, great chance to practice. So we tried again, me not pulling off quite so much, and she came out again. So we left! Bad Tia. More training.

The 1-7 jumping was one of the easiest 1-7s I've seen, and the only slightly 'tricky' bit, if you could even call it tricky, ie through a box, round, and back through, despite my 'come, come' command, Tia pinged off diagnally. Actually, on the video, it was totally my fault, for flumoxing around too long and then slightly stepping over towards the jump Tia took. But I would be grateful if she didn't bark quite as much so she at least looked partly like she was listening :)

Sunday, we tried a different tactic, getting Tia to do tricks etc in the queue so she couldn't get so wound up. Much better, we had a 'skin of your teeth' clear in the agility which i was pleased with as lots of E's. Wasted too much time dithering at the end so just out of the placings. Tash and Maddie won it, can't believe Maddie is 12 years old, she was absolutely stunning and just flew!

Then T did a nice round in the 6-7 jumping and a simple pull through at the end, again I didn't collect Tia for the next jump and she ran past it, duhhhh handler. However it was nice that Tia was listening again. We didn't do our last class as I hadn't walked it and figured it'd be good to end on a goodish note!

Imogen and Honey had their last 1-2s and won 3 of them. I got in a bit of a strop in 1 of the jumpings, Honey missed her weave entry because the 2nd and 3rd weaves were horrendously wonky, the dogs would have had to bend soooo hard back to get the 2nd one. However, after Imogen ran, the judge re-pegged the weaves SO THEY WERE COMPLETELY STRAIGHT!!!! THAT IS NOT FAIR! And when I pointed this out to the judge, she said they weren't wonky in the first place, however, why put an EXTRA 3 pegs in to the first section of the weaves, if there wasn't a problem with them? Grrrr, fine if you're going to have wonky weaves and it's the same for everyone, but don't change it half way through. CONSISTENCY!!! Rant over, I feel better now :)

Phewf, long post!

Wednesday, 21 April 2010


Lush show, lush weather :)

Firstly Imogen and Honey were AMAZING, Honey speeding up all the time and their last run of the day on Sunday was fantastic, Honey going almost the same speed as she does in training. Im made me smile in the agility on Sun, Honey in the tunnel and Imogen yelling "COME ON!!!!" they are both really enjoying being in the ring now. 4 runs in 1-2 over the weekend and 4 wins, winning on Sat by 2 and 5 secs, and on Sunday by 3 secs each class. The week before I had promised Imogen that if she worked hard last weekend/this weekend she could have whatever dessert she wanted from a restaurant... so we went to Pizza Hut so Imogen could have her profiteroles 'to share' for herself, she managed 12 out of the 14 profiteroles which I couldn't quite believe!

Ricky had a clear in anysize on the Saturday and loved his tripe stick or whatever it was that he got at the end. He was hopeless on Sunday knocked 2 poles and kept pinging off to try and do whatver he wanted, made me smile as at the end he normally grabs his toy and runs back into the ring, and I can't get him back. Well this time he picked his ball up and promptly dropped it and ran to the lady giving the tripe sticks out :) I'm sure lots of people prefer rosettes/trophies for this class but I sure know what Rix prefers :)

Just ran T in the G7 jumping on Sat and she did a roly poly in the tunnel :O which the dogs went into on an angle, altho the tunnel itself was straight. Well most dogs slightly collected themselves before the tunnel but not Ditzy. She did a massive stride IN to the tunnel and promptly skidded in it and I just saw Tia's upside down legs in it :O so I called her to me rather than carrying on, to check she was ok. She was very excited and barking so once I'd gathered all 4 legs were still working we carried on and she finished nicely.

Then Sunday she had a lovely run in the agility, was flying, got her weave entry but then skipped the next weave, put her in again and same thing. 3rd time lucky. Watching the vid back she is absolutely flying, extending probably the best she has ever done and is barking more than ever (grrrr) it was long jump weaves and she hit the weaves really fast, more fast than she is used to I think lol. Just one of those things and I can't expect any more of her as I don't train the weaves at home as it's a lot of pressure on her back and legs, maybe I need to think about it tho and just do 4 poles so can practice entries.

Did some nice bits in her jumping but again T barking so much that she ran past the weaves, think a combination of Tia barking, vvvv loud tannoy and me not having shoulders in right direction (mainly latter!). She is so much faster though, we need to do much more training!!!

Oh and I have to blog about how brillo Scandal was. She was better on Sat than Thatcham thank goodness, I told her off twice when she went ridiculously OTT and was being generally horrible,the rest of the time a 'sweeties' when she is looking at a dog in the ring and she's straight back to watching me, and is then rewarded about 10 sec later. Well, Garth walked her round the rings on Sun afternoon, grrrrrrrr Scandal is so good for him!!! I think she barked once, maybe twice the whole time, he's mr calm, so she is miss calm! She completely adores him, and he only has to calmly say 'Scandal, no' to her and she's back casually walking by his side, head relaxed, none of this bouncing/growling/barking stuff that I have! So she can do it, I just have to be calm and relaxed, oh and not stop to chat to people, as then Scandal gets bored and diverts attention to competing dogs.

Sunday, 18 April 2010

Daves training

Ok I'm getting behind with the blog, this post is nearly a week late.

Imogen, Laura and myself went to Dave's last Tuesday, Garth drove, yay :D we had a lovely time and then went to Sandwich Bay afterwards which is a private beach which was lovely, then went and had Fish and Chips on the beach which was lovely too. Was nice for the dogs to have a good walk after training as I think it's good for them to be able to unwind.

Imogen was as usual brill, she picks things up so quickly, Honey was great, and even bounced a jump right at the end which is good as she'd had an hours training. We do an hour with each of them, but break it into half hours, so we all do a half hour, then all do another half hour, gives them all time to rest in between. Was pleased as it's the first time Scandal's had an hour, the other times shes had 45 mins, and she was still remotely up for it at the end which is much better than she has been before.

I absolutely loved this lesson and was probably one of my faves, got so much out of it and have been practicing the stuff this week and feel that we have made lots of progress but still lots to work on. Scandal's dogwalks was good she hit every one nicely, they only thing she did was on one of them she was expecting me to throw her toy afterwards so ran round a jump. Aframes were nice apart from the first one when she did the apex-contact, and didn't put a stride in, time out for 10 secs and she didn't do it again. The seesaws were the first seesaws she's done anywhere except mine, and she was lovely on them, did a fast one too. Not too worried about the speed of them as think will come eventually plus it looks slow on vid as she'd done about 50 mins work by that point so was flagging :)

So we did loads of work in collection after a turn rather than me just doing the turn and assuming Scandal's following, me cueing but not too early or too late as I tend to do one or t'other :) Scandal was great at collecting herself for a front cross but I was not great at collecting her afterwards. I'm sure she had sped up as at times I did feel like she was leaving me for dust and I was trailing. The one thing she was not good at was lots of cross behinds on a staggered line of jumps in a straightish line, she decelerates nicely but doesn't tend to shape into a turn after. We did some work on cross behinds after this and they were good, it's just the staggered line for us to work on. Actually I think looking at the vid we've got quite a lot to do in the way of working on her finding a line and powering off to it, she now (thankfully) can power down a straight line, but if she's ahead of me and I say 'right' and she has to power 5-10metres to the next jump she won't go full speed, I think it's coz she wants to be sure to get it right, she's being careful :)

Also did the most full height stuff she has ever done (not much!!) and she was so much better than I thought she would be, I don't think it's gonna be as much of an issue as I thought it'd be. She's still much more comfy on 22" but then we have still got 6 weeks or so before our first KC show.

Laura's Be is looking amazing and the difference in her in the or 5 lessons we've had with Dave... well looking at the first vid from back in October it's hard to believe it's the same dog as the stuff Dave has got her to do has so helped in sorting out her striding, learning how to jump, and powering to the jumps.

So all in all a good lesson, got another one end of next month just before Scandal's first KC show eeek!

Thursday, 15 April 2010

Scandal's first UKA show

Mixed weekend with Scandal - i took her to Wye Valley on Saturday and felt like we made massive progress, she was much calmer round the rings, sitting quietly, no lunging and only a bit of barking... almost civilised.

Then at Thatcham, omg, what a pain. I forgot her headcollar so we kicked off to a real bad start with me resorting to muzzling her as it calms her down very slightly and means she can't bark quite as loudly. All the good work from Saturday was immediately undone, if I have her out long enough she calms down a little bit, still bounces around but no lunging, but then she didn't calm down at all on Sunday I think due to having no headcollar, which evidently has more positives than I thought it did.

Here's the video of parts of her runs, editing out the toy playing, and a bit of stuff we did at Dave's on tues, more about that in another post.

Her first run was beginners steeplechase... 1-8 she did brilliantly, then on a turn I said 'left' and she did, so I said good girl (=toy)... and so she ran past the next jump :) so we did the turn again, which she did nicely. Then she got totally confused on the last bit, it was a sort of arc shape, which most of the baby dogs just couldn't do... infact I think the only ones who managed it were the ones who ran the 'long' way round, but with Scandal I wanted to cross behind - however have taught her cross-behind = sharp turn, and she just couldn't understand what I wanted and kept pinging off to pick a jump up (a mile better than when she was clingy) so I got on the inside of the arc and made it easier, in hindsight I should have done that at the beginning and not seen how she got on.

In the agility, the start was jump-dogwalk and I'd decided we were going to do a running contact, she did a big leap down the down plank and just got the contact, ... so we did the down plank and she did it great, so we did the whole thing (expertly captured on camera... not ;)) and again she was great. Then we did aframe, jump tunnel and she was nice again. Apart from Garth pressed 'stop' on the camera as Scandal went up the aframe, and start just as she left. I was well moody after that, oops! And then did a simple jumping bit to finish, which I was chuffed with, she's trying soooooooooo hard.

Must must must work on my waits. Again in both rounds we had 'sit. wait. one paw forward. one paw back. one paw forward. both paws forward.' I get so excited that she is keen and wants to go but I have got to insist she sits properly else I think very soon we won't have waits at all. I will work on this over the next couple of months but then in training she has a very upright sit, doesn't lean over at all. Not like in the ring! I am really pleased however that she is very enthusiastic, which is completely opposite to what I thought she'd be like!

Saturday, 10 April 2010

Yay the sun is here :)

Just come back from Wye Valley, lovely show, even better with a river to play in (not swim in, Sandals won't go in further than her elbows, she has forgotton how good she got at swimming last year!)

I ran Honey in 1-7 circ jumping and she didn't like it one bit, and went on a plod, on set up Imogen has recently taught her to set up like Bernadettes Zen (I think) where the dog comes and sits between your legs, well when I did this with Honey she decided she'd go the other way and sit facing out the other way, ie the opposite way I wanted her to go, so she could wait for Imogen to release her! Think she got a low place in that but would have been interesting to see what she'd have got if she had her speedy socks on!

Imogen redeemed herself after last week and worked brilliantly, in the 1-3 graded Honey was flying and at the end just came off the seesaw a bit too early, but was something like 16 secs faster than the winner of G2, and 4 secs faster than the winner of the grade 3. She then won the 1-3 graded jumping in G2, winning by 9 secs, and her time would have put her 2nd in the G3 part. So all smiles :)

Did 5 mins with Scandal at Bincknoll on Wednesday working on running contacts and she was lovely, I did the last plank a couple of times and then the whole thing, she was scrummy :) nice aframe and weaves too. Yay for Scandal :) we've only had a chance to do 5 mins of training up at the field this week and just spent it working on one jump doing lots of rewarding for turning the right way, tightly. Going to Thatcham tomorrow, Scandal's first UKA..... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!

Monday, 5 April 2010

Great weekend at TAG

I'm exhausted. I had forgotton how draining camping shows are. Especially with two kids who want to play Connect4 at 6.45am!!!

Tia was amazing, I couldn't be any more pleased with her, she did everything I asked, she loved every second of it, by the 3rd day she wasn't arguing with me quite so much on turns and the 4th day in the jumping I finally got a round out of her that I thought was almost perfect... apart from the bit where she ran past the last jump... oops.

She hasn't trained on 26" for about 3mths as has been training on 22, whether this made a difference or not I don't know as I think in 4 classes she had 1 pole, although 2 of them were on wing wraps with me dropping my steady arm, so totally my fault.

I think training with Dave over the winter, and him giving me tons to work on (with Scandal) has also transferred to Tia, I have only had 1 lesson with Tia, and that was about 15 mins as it's all she can do, we have got another lesson next week and I think I may do 45 min with Scandal and 15 with Tia again.

I am so different in my philosophy of shows and classes now, at one point I wanted to beat person X, or win class Y, but now I couldn't care less, of course I am still really competitive and want to do well, however my aim is to beat the course, and I think it is the first show that I felt like I could handle the courses and be confident in Tia. I didn't run 2 of her classes as one I thought the ground was too slippy, and the other I thought the course was totally inappropriate for the ground conditions, everything was minimum distance with sharp turns that required the dog to bounce, and the dog had to do several jumps several times, so the path was a mud track, and I wasn't prepared to put Tia round that. For almost all the other runs the ground was nice, soft but the dog could still get a grip on it.

Rix was good, winning anysize with Lee on Friday, and then just having a pole in most of his other classes. Still a fast boy at 11 yrs :)

Imogen did well getting 3 wins and was then pants the next 2 days, grrr naughty child. Jess and Copper span did great getting a 2nd in agility, and 7th in 1-3 jumping.

OOoooh and small handlers look out for Sam Lane's GORGEOUS 20month old chocolate working cocker spaniel, won out of G3 this weekend at her first show and just oozes drive, she is lovely.

And thanks to those of you who recommended Asics shoes, I got a pair the day before TAG and they are LUSH, they are cushioned and I feel like they have springs in them, they are the most comfy pair of trainers I've ever bought and I want to get another pair already :)

Tuesday, 30 March 2010


Well Scandal had her first show on Saturday. We went to Bincknoll as Scandal could do nursery agility and 1-3 steeplechase on medium height NFC. As it was they also did a nursery steeplechase which was the same as the 1-3, so Scandal got 2 goes at it :)

I was dead chuffed with how she did, have been panicking at how she'd do. Infact the reason I wanted to do this one was because they only had 1 ring indoors and 1 outdoors, so there wouldn't be agility going on for her to watch. As it happened when it was Scandal's first run, there was a bit of equipment fenced off with barrier netting, and I took Scandal's lead off, and she took off towards the fence, not speedy, but a bouncy trot with her trying to work out how she could get through the fence I imagine! I called her back and she came straight back and for the rest of the show no problems. Her waits were a bit naughty on all of them, the first one she moved her paw (we are very strict - sit wait = sit wait and not stick one paw as far forward as you can) but I let it go as I was excited that she was looking keen! We broke it down and did 1-7, 8-12, 13-18 (ish) as I just wanted her to get everything right and have loads of opportunity to get rewarded so she thinks that staying in the ring is more fun than going off to chase other dogs! In the 2nd round (on the vid) we did pretty much the same except I did the tunnel as well before giving her the toy in the first bit.

In the agility it went jump-dog walk-tunnel, I've decided to stop her on her dog walk until I can get in the ring at UKA and train it properly, so set her up to succeed, didnt want her first experience to be leaping off the dw! As it happened I said "target" and she ran down the contact and then looked like she was going to stop but then trotted off it, great... so I called her back and went to the top of the down plank and did it again, with me stood behind, and she went down and did a lovely target, and then bit me when I gave her the toy, thanks Scandal. So then we did tunnel and a couple of jumps, then I gave her her toy again before the aframe, because it was a straight tunnel aframe and she hasn't been doing full height aframe for too long (god i'm rambling!!!) so again I didn't want her soaring off the aframe. So we did tunnel aframe and she did a nice aframe, good girl.

Anyway if you are still reading this! here is the video

All in all very pleased except still got massive prob with her chewing toys, Garth made her an 'indestructible' toy with some very very strong rope and she chewed through it within about 5 minutes :O the problem is she is much more keen to chew the rope part than the actual toy which is fairly annoying. Naughty Sandals.

Imogen and Honey were on form too, getting a 1st and a 2nd. Coupled with Honey getting out on to a road when we were walking her and getting hit by a car, brought us all back down to earth with a bump!!

Took Honey to Lowri's on Monday so she could do a fitness assessment (to be on the safe side after getting hit) but turns out she needs some treatment, so then off to Garth's vets we went which was Langford veterinary centre... well, I am still cross about it now! They wouldn't just write us a referral which is what my fabbidy vets would do, no, we had to go in and see the stupid rude vet, for 5 minutes, for her to poke Honey around and tell us she needed x-rays, to which I replied, thanks, but no thanks... now, can you just write a referral to SMART in Cardiff please :) well, you should have seen the look on her face, if looks could kill! She did tell me that this would mean Honey would probably be out of action for a long time, as if this specialist is going to try and keep Honey out of the ring for a long time? Cheeky moo, as this won't be the case I'm sure! After giving me a massive death stare she disappeared off and then came back a few minutes later to say that would be fine but she wouldn't be able to write us the referral until tomorrow. And then charged £29.50 for the consultation. OMG, I know vets need to make a profit, but that to me is ridiculous. I am so cross. And it makes me appreciate what an angel my vet is ("hi, Ricky's lame, I want to go to xyz, can you write a referral please?") lol!

So I am going to Lowri's tomorrow with Rix, Tia and Scandal, and taking Honey too, my lot haven't been for 3 months and I can really tell with Ricky, he's much stiffer than he has been.

Imogen trained Tia yesterday and she was brill, although I suddenly remembered that Tia's been jumping 22" for 3 months and hasn't done any 26... never mind.

We are off to TAG in 2 sleeps time, OMG I can't ever remember being this excited about a show :D :D

Monday, 29 March 2010

6 (& 7)

Ok 2 posts combined, im getting behind.

Trained Scandal for 10mins on Thurs I think it was, or maybe Fri, she was great lovely aframes but was high on her dog walk twice, nooo idea why, but was doing lovely rights and lefts and picking up jumps really well so I was pleased.

Yesterday just did snakes and wing wraps mixed in, haven't done many snakes so kept them on small, only did about 5 minutes tops, she was just brill, think she was perfect every time, seems to be clicking what wing wraps are finally! Also did seesaw and think was best seesaws she has done, gaining confidence in running to the end when she knows I'm not gonna hold it.

Did some gridwork with her today along with Lee and Jess's dogs and Scandal was the worst one of the lot - ahhhhh! Really struggled with gaging distances after the first 2 jumps, just jumped longer and longer and closer and closer to each jump, before jumping the last 2 as a spread. Did some work on it placing the toy in the gap, just doing 3 jumps etc but soon as put it back to 5 she wanted to do the last 2 as 1, so we did 4 and left it at that. She was fine with the moving grid and we will do the progressive next week. The other 2 dogs Cop and Todd did fab, both quickly adjusting and jumping nice and balanced taking off in the middle between each jump. Lots of work on this in the future!

For those that want to know - Honey was seen by Lowri today for a fitness assessment and has got a sore shoulder and hind leg, so is off for treatment along with my 3 on Wednesday. Think she probably got bumped off the side of the car rather than being hit infront - it was a 4x4 that hit her so if she'd been infront would have probably gone under the car, rather than living to tell the tale.

Scandal had her first show on Saturday - nursery agility and 2 x steeplechases, we ran them all NFC and took her toy in for all and broke them up into small sections, as it was Scandals first time working in an uber exciting environment I wanted to be sure to be more exciting than anything else, as still paranoid about her running off, will blog about it tomorrow.x

Tuesday, 23 March 2010


After having a chat with Nancy on Sunday about Scandal, I decided that I would ease up on Scandal's training for a couple of weeks as she was so flat last time I trained, probably due to her season finished, and I was putting in more energy than she was, she didn't want to be there! So rather than working against her, and building up anything negative, just not train.

So today I went to Jess's, took Scandal with me and thought I'd give her a go and if she didn't want to I'd just tie her up and we'd do some with Copper and Todd. Well, Scandal was great :D she was very keen, happy to be there and wanted to work. Her weaves (still only 6) were faster, we didn't do any dog walks, just the aframe, not sure what to do on the aframe as she was working a lot faster, and even just doing 2 obstacles before (on a turn, so not even a massive straight-on to the aframe) she was trying to do a 1 hit aframe, ie she flies over the apex and touches the contact, which of course I don't want as I think it's dangerous. But its hard as then she has to go slower to get her two hit, and then I moan that she's not going fast enough! So we made it easier and I just did the aframe from closer up, the reason she was doing a 1-hit was because I was infront to pick her up after a turn, so she was playing catch up. Then we did some stuff on me doing a front cross on a turn and her dropping in tightly, not sure how to describe it hmmm but once I got my timing sorted she was great :)

I think we did 2x 5 minute sessions. Not going to ask for longer than that for a while, it's hard as then I feel like I can't get everything in, but need to keep her happy. Ahhhh she was a good girl. Well, that was until I tied her up for the 2nd time and we were doing stuff with Todd, Scandal LOVES Todd and they play so nicely together. Scandal decided she wasn't having any of this so chewed through her new (very thick) lead, and then proceeded to chew through her new ball on a rope too! So I retied the lead, and she chewed through it again, grrr naughty Sandals. Then she did some good work where I kept her with me (off lead, seeing as I had no choice grr) and Jess worked Todd, and she stayed with me, no chasing Todd. Yay for Scandal having a little bit of self-control :) There is hope!

Sunday, 21 March 2010

Happy days

Lovely day at Chippenham, firstly thank you to Bernadette who offered for me to put Scandal in her car, Scandal got to camp next to the wonderful Zen :O I can only hope some of Zen's awesomeness rubbed off on Scandal and eagerly await our next training session :) well done Bernadette on winning the ticket it was a stunning run.

Imogen and Honey did well in the jumping, winning 1-2 jumping by a second, think there were several dogs who did it in 22, and Imogen did it in 21, which she was dead chuffed with. In the 2 agilitys Honey was a bit pushy, she's getting far more confident in the ring now (which of course is fantastic), did lovely dog walk in one, and lovely aframe then moved off when Imogen moved off, so Imogen put her back (wow - progress!) and then in the 2nd agility Honey self-released off her aframe which was a shame as lovely up until then, however Imogen was very self-disciplined (again - wow!) and put her back. Which is nice as they'll still be grade 2 for all of April now which is good.

Shona also did really well with her Welsh Springer ceri getting a 2nd in 1-3 agility, considering they've only done about 4 shows and their last show was August, is brill. Shona put Ceri in the back of the car with Honey, so her mum could drop her and leave her at the show as it was going to be a long day, hence the reason for Scandal going in Bernadette's car. It amazes me how well adjusted the dogs are and how they don't stress about going to different vehicles and take it all in their stride.

Well done to Nancy and Zeki winning 1-3 jumping and going grade 4 :)

Love doing shows when it's sunny, I'm so looking forward to the show season!

Got a 1500 word assignment due in Tues, which I've mostly done, and a journal, which is 10,000 words, due in Thurs, which I've done :O and after handing in the 15000 word dissertation last week, I'm feeling all typed out. But great as we break up from uni soon and it will just be tons of revision, which I can do out in the sun, and much better than having lots of assignments hanging over you! Woop, can't wait till TAG :)

Saturday, 20 March 2010


Didn't do much today as Scandal was quite flat which made training soooo much effort - think I was more tired than she was by the end of it!
Dog walks were 100% and aframes I think we probably did 8, one she didn't do a 2-hit on the down ramp the rest were lovely including turns, infact she went deeper into the contact on turns.

Am putting some jumps on full height and although she is stretching out over them she is getting herself underneath the jump and then ends up miles past it, rather than doing a nice arc shape. Think I will keep the jumps on 22" for a while longer (training on my old jumps today so they only have medium and large, no inbetween) and then raise one end to 26, so she doesn't notice such a difference, she's fine with 20 and 22, just seems to be 26 is a bit more difficult for her.

Have brought 4 weaves home and am planning on putting her through them once, 3 x a week to get her dinner in the evenings, so she starts to value doing them speedily a bit more! She seems to quite like doing them, quite often she'll take her toy off and then walk through them carrying the toy... emphasis on the walk - long as she doesn't have to do it fast she is fine! Grr!

Friday, 19 March 2010


Went to Jess's yesterday - thank you Jess for letting us use your field and for filming :)

Scandal was a good girlie even with distractions of their chickens which she got a great view of stood on the top of the dog walk :) her contacts were 100% too which I was even more pleased with... ok so her stops weren't perfect but she's driving down quicker now, she understands she has to stop, just when she is going faster her momentum takes her a little further on, which I'm not worried about at all right now, main thing is that she gets as much reward as possible to build her confidence.

I back chained her dog walk so did 2 of the down plank and then the whole thing, I expected some jumps but didn't get any so that's cool!

She was a bit steadier but as it was a new venue that is just how she is, she is careful and that is fine, as her confidence comes and she gets more reward for being right, I think the speed will start to come :)
Here's a vid of Scans...


Written a couple of days ago... Trials and tribs of Scandal's RCs continue. Sunday they were great again, so got Imogen to run round playing with Honey (as Scandal looooves Honey), Scandal would look across, when we weren't running, but when we were she was as good as gold and concentrating really nicely, contacts great.

So couldn't think of what else to do so got Garth to hold one of their chickens and stand about 5m from the dog walk. Hmmmmmmm. Once I'd persuaded Scandal she couldn't just stare at the chicken, she did some good stuff. Her dog walks were slower but still held up 100%, was really chuffed as thought they'd be all over the place. I did fear for the chickens life at several points but luckily it's a very brave chicken, who's used to Scandal and Tia thinking it's a sheep.


Thursday, 18 March 2010

Crufts again

Forgot to add a couple of things

Firstly was thrilled to see my obedience trainer (not that we've been for over 6 months now!) win the Crufts dog obedience championships with her supper Aussie Buck, who is only 3 years old, think he entered 4 or 5 ticket shows last year and won 3 of them, Susanne doesn't campaign her dogs heavily and Buck will now be retired from obedience and compete in WT where he's already WDex. Buck to me epitomises what obedience is all about - style, accuracy, drive and precision, without being OTT with an awkward head carriage that seems to be becoming more and more common. Absolutely loved this dog since seeing him in novice a couple of years ago, he took my breath away back then and has done every time I've seen him work since then.

I think worst part of Crufts for me was seeing a horrendously lame collie competing in YKC ADOTY, a big chunky collie, who skidded after number 2 and was clearly holding his leg up, despite several shouts from the audience (me included) that the dog was lame, she carried on, I know when under pressure people don't notice these things but the dog was running on 3 legs and was measuring terribly, it made my blood run cold to see a dog running in so much pain, they really do give everything even though their body is telling them to stop.

Watched a bit of the breed show BC judging but not for long, the BC bitches seem to be tiny, and most of them to me are barbie type collies now, with hugely long coats that are kept trimmed, I would love to see some of them do a days work. Was nice that Sarah's Skye won her class as she isn't OTT (in my expert opinion :)) so nice to see these more normal looking collies getting put up.

Should have a new video up of Scandal by the end of today :) x

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Haven't had time to do a blog post for ages... have been swamped in uni work... handed dissertation in yesterday, seems strange now I havent got it hanging over me, just one more assignment to write and a journal to hand in (well, write!) next week and then revision revision revision for easter, exams starting in May and finish 2 days before Scandal's first KC show, so will be nice to do the show without having to worry about revising.

Crufts was great, we stayed up there weds night to saturday, sooo knackered after each day. Imogen had a 4th in YKC ADOTY on thurs, lovely run, top 3 qualify for final so she was just out of the placings, which was a shame, but great considering they've only been doing agility for 14 months, has also taught her that she does have to push, and can't fanny about like she can in grade 1! Honey is working amazingly well in training and could easily hold her own up against grade 7s, fabulous little bitch, her attitude has changed so much in the last year, complete nutcase now, hope that as Imogen gets her confidence they will start to enjoy being in the ring a lot more.

Show season starts now - Chippenham on saturday, then a show every weekend from then on.

Tia is back home and touch wood there have been no fights and not even any grumbling, shows how much Scandal's season must have affected her. They've been playing loads and are loving chasing each other and trying to outrun one another on walks. Tia was a bit stiff yesterday after running, I think it's because she hasn't done it for about 3 weeks, hopefully it won't be long before her muscle is nicely built up again.