Friday, 21 January 2011

Scandal beans

I've been wanting to post all week but just haven't had the time :( tooooo busy not enough hours in the day! Tonight feels like the first time in ages I've been able to sit down and relax which is just bliss!

We had training with Dave on Saturday, this was the first time I'd ever trained Scandal on a t-day, it was brilliant not having to do any 'readdddy' stuff as she actually wanted to have her go because it was sooo exciting watching the others. It was nice doing sequences and watching the others to see how theres did it and also picking some ideas up from what others were doing with this.

I did have a tantrum with Scandal right at the end of the 2 and a half hours (we both needed a sleep :)) because she wouldn't weave... looking back with a clear head its completely obvious why she can't weave... because apart from our one-to-one with Dave in December, we have done no weaves since September, and haven't trained them since August. Our last 'show' was the Olympia semis in Sept where Scandal ripped her dew claw we think from slipping on the weave pole cross bar, so probably confirming to her that weaves are evil and something to be avoided at all costs. This she did, running past them, and then going in the 2nd pole even when I was stood a metre from the weaves. Felt really really dishearted as she was terrible, find it harder as both Tia and Ricky picked it up quite naturally, and couldn't understand why Scandal just cannot.

Sunday and Sian came down from Kent as Ant was training in Bristol, I was really gutted that I couldn't train with her as think she is fantastic and her Canen bred dog Flick really reminds me of Scandal. However Gemma O saved the day by saying that I could use her field which Sian was going to use too - thank you so much Gemma :)

Gemma lives the other side of Bristol to me, I always think of it as quite small and takes a max of about 15mins to get through lol, however it took a good 45 minutes and is really close to the Hand stadium which I didn't realise. Ahhhhh geez, soooooo glad I went, it was BRILLIANT, Sian is AMAZING :D we did a bit of work with Scandal on the uprights then went on to pretty closed up channels. Sian I think is the most exciting person Scandal has ever met, I have NEVER seen her go soooo bananas! And she did the fastest weaves she's ever done in her life, although to start with she'd do 3 or 4 and then come out and want the toy - she very quickly got the hang of it and was then absolutely flying with her confidence flooding back and some. I know where I am going with her weave training now so am verrrrry happy. Yay for Scandal hopefully having good weaves for the summer :) :) :)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Weave pole proposal

How novel, having time to do blog posts! I think I've done more in the last week than in the last 6 months!

The agility liaison council meet on 20 Jan to discuss several proposals. These can be found on
One of these is an amendment to weave pole spacing. At the moment the distance between weave poles varies hugely, anything between 18" and 24" is acceptable. There is a proposal to standardise the distance to 24". If any of you reading this blog agree with this proposal I would be really grateful if you could email your reps (if you can't attend your area meeting) and voice your thoughts. The contact details for the reps are at the bottom of the page on the link above.

Watching dogs weave on the continent when we went there in 2009 was a bit of an eye opener as to how much easier it looked on their backs... so many dogs over here end up weaving with their spines in an "S" shape wrapped around 3 poles at once, but this should help ease that. It will also be better having one consistent distance rather than each week the dog not knowing what it will face. Something I feel very strongly about :)

First lesson

On Thursday me, Imogen, Lee and Jess had a lesson with Dave. It was my first lesson since May, at Dave's new place in Newbury. It's a lovely venue with lots of miniature shetland ponies dotted around, much to Scandal's delight. It's lovely and flat ground which wasn't too squishy at all, just right :)

Well me and Scandal were pretty terrible, I thought we were gonna be bad but not quite as bad as that! Scandal had little enthusiasm to do anything apart from straight lines, didn't want to weave and I was so unfit trolloping round the course I was worn out after about 5 minutes. Even the foundation stuff Scandal didn't want to do, ambling to the jump wings despite my efforts to excite her. Dave had a little go with her and got more out of her than I managed to, but still nowhere near what she can give. We did do 2 running dogwalks at the end and she did these really nicely so I'm pleased that we did something well!

So Friday I went out with my jump wings to our local park which is perfect as it's so flat and nice short grass. I trained Rix and Tia first for a few minutes each and by this point Scandal was screaming the van down, so I got her out and boy did she want to train, I can tell this by her nice sharp teeth leaving a bruise on my leg... naughty Scandalina. She was 100% better than yesterday, really keen, firing towards the jump wings, turning nicely on my position and driving in to me when I turned and said her name. I find it hard with her as she loops quite badly rather than driving to me in a straight line but Dave gave me some ideas on how to work on this, she looped once at the start and after that made a real effort to turn on the spot rather than continuing on her own path.

Watching Dave's DVD has made me realise I haven't done anywhere near enough foundation with her, his dogs can power into a turn, whip round the wing and power back out... Scandal powers out but generally at a 90 degree angle to me so she can do a bit outrun, so more to work on and build up slowly.

On a different note I was sad to hear Silvia T had lost her oldie Lo, one of the first Pyreneans I ever saw and took a liking to. Ricky will be 12 in two months and it scares me silly that he's now getting old. Dad's springer Zac was put to sleep a couple of weeks ago at the grand age of 16. He was the first dog I ever ran in agility... Zac didn't particularly want to do it but did it in the hope of a biscuit at the end of a course, bless him. Life is just too short...