Monday, June 30, 2008

What a clever princess

Well, my little princess was a superstar on Saturday at UKA in Newbury.

We had 4 runs plus the Royal Canin final and it was a brilliant day out.

Sew What pairs was up first for us - I ended up having to do a "scratch" pair, as my entered pair didn't make it. We were matched up with Sally Jones and her youngster Rudi, and what a great team! Sally and Rudi did the agility half and we did the jumping. Neither of us went flat out and we took a while to do our baton changeover ... but I'm delighted to report that we came 2nd and will be strutting our stuff in the Sew What Pairs final at Scrambles UKA in September.

Champ Jumping was second run of the day and we were hysterically funny! Sassy and I managed to fit in 27 obstacles ... I think the poor judge was a bit bemused as he had only set 19 or 20! I think Sassy was still feeling proud of her efforts in the pairs ... and I was just being blonde ....

3rd run was Champ Steeplechase and I was a bad handler and changed my handling plan .... and got us eliminated for the privilege.

Champ Agility was next and I decided not to opt for a training run, but rather to try to push my contacts a bit (then put her back on if she came off) .. but she didn't ... so we ended up in 2nd place.

We had to hang around until 6pm for the Royal Canin Grand Prix final to start, and it was well worth it. The course was nice, but a bit too "blasty" to really suit Sassy. That said, she ran really nicely and we ended up in 3rd place, with a lovely trophy, rosette and bag of food!

Just for amusement, I put Rush into the training ring for a minute .... and he didn't run off or do anything too embarrassing, but I am definitely sure he is not going to be a dog who will be ready at 18 months!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Rush training update

Well, we are on 2 weeks break from training at Ant's as he is away on a school trip this week, and then next week he has a training session for the world champs.

With no training with him, I have decided that Rush and I need a "little project", so I have started him on my upright weaves, with enclosures so that he knows where he should be going!
I personally love training the dogs with enclosures as it makes it so easy for the dog to get it right, and to understand about finding the right entry. I also love the fact that you can practise all of the "independence" stuff and vary position and noises / distractions without worrying quite so much.

I still like channels for confidence and speed, and think that variety brings the most confidence in the dogs.

So .... on Monday night I set up the weaves with their enclosures, and Rush only took 3 attempts to go through the whole set before he figured out that it was not a good idea to come out of the enclosures.

After 3 days, we are now at the stage where I can wind him up and send him to find the entry and he will stay in and go to the end without worrying about where I am. I am practising recalling, sending on, me running alongside on the right, me running alongside on the left etc etc etc

Once I feel we are "bombproof" on understanding what I expect of him, I will slowly start to remove the enclosures one by one .... whilst still working channels at Ant's and at home.

In general terms, I am very pleased with how he is coming along. He is definitely a dog who wants to be confident about what is expected of him before he will fully commit to using his speed, but boy when he IS confident, he is stunning!

Sassy and I are really enjoying our season so far. Last weekend at Watford, we didn't come home with any souvenirs, but did have some nice work. Her 6-7 agility was nice, but after quite a few "I'm running really fast and can't listen any more" runs at previous shows, she was trying so hard to listen and concentrate that she got a refusal at the jump after the seesaw (as I had made sure she didn't take the weaves or a-frame). Her jumping run was dreadful, but that was largely due to the fact that they were suddenly calling to the end, and we were rather rushed to the ring. Sassy needs time in the queue to get her head together, and we simply didn't get that so were unprepared.....

We got another double clear in the pairs, but Susie and Jack had a slight "spatial awareness" issue, so it was not a fast one, and we were out of the places. Still, we have got 20 points already, having had 2 x 6th places, and another chance at Wellingborough in a few weeks time

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

oooh .. bad blogger

Ok .. ok .. so I've been a tad slack on my updates.

I'm sure most people know that Supadogs was a washout this year, so don't need to report on that.

Rush is now completely over his op, and is back at training. We had a private lesson with Ant last week and he was a really good boy (Rush, not ANT!!!). We have been working at home on channel weaves and FP for the DW, so I was a bit keen (just a bit!) to check him out to see if he was able to make the connection between the position on the plank at home, and the position over the whole DW. I needn't have worried. I put him straight over the DW and he raced to the end and stopped in FP beautifully, rocking back excitedly in anticipation of being released, and as soon as I released him, he shot straight over the full height jump which was in the general direction I had thrown his ball. Bless him ... don't think he's stressed at the thought of full height (although only doing mini height for exercises still). For the rest of the lesson we did mostly jumping and tunnel combination exercises, along with some more detailed work on the DW.

Then it was the Princess' turn.... As she hasn't had any training for a couple of weeks now, she has been a bit "wilful", and was true to form in the lesson. However, by the end we had got things back together and she was being a bit fat hairy showoff.

Her good form was maintained at Thames on Saturday, with 2 eliminations (but good ones), plus 6th in the Eukanuba Mixi Pairs with our pairs partners Susie Josty and Ag. Ch. Spratt Attack, and best of all 12th place in her Gr 6 Agility. The 12th may not sound like anything much to celebrate, but it was not really our sort of course (quite scopey and spread out, where we prefer the more twisty courses), and she beat some really good dogs so I was delighted.

This weekend we have Axstane, for round 2 of the Eukanuba mixi pairs, so we're after more points there in our bid to get to Crufts next year. It will probably be Jack's last year competing, according to Susie, so we will be doing our bit to try and get him there in the pairs.