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 :)