Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Blog Moving

After writing about dogs and dog training (which is really people training) here for many years, I am consolidating all my blogs and web sites to  See you there and thanks for reading this blog...

Friday, December 10, 2010

Patriot Obedience Practice

I took Patriot to a new obedience class.  It is fairly close, which is nice but $20, which is double what I used to pay.  Patriot NQed on the broad jump and the retrieve over jump at the trial, so I wanted to practice and proof both.  He did not walk on the boards like he did at the trial but did go around a few times when he was deliberately distracted by the instructor.  His retrieves were pretty good but he does space out sometimes and not go out.  He is not the retrieve maniac that Wyatt is but I am hoping I can qualify.  He did go down on the long sit in class - we were directly behind him - but I think he will be more reliable than Wyatt and the sits and downs. 

Sunday, December 05, 2010

Sad Day

I put all the agility equipment away for the winter.  I think it's good that we will rest up for the winter, do a few trials and classes, but focus more on obedience during the colder months.  It's a good time to repair equipment too.  All my weave poles need retaping and the bases need to be cleaned and painted. 

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Obedience and Rally Results

I was thrilled that Wyatt and Patriot came in first and fourth respectively under Celeste Meade in Rally Excellent B on Friday.  Wyatt also earned another RAE-2 leg.  I think he has 5 now.  They both did great.  I loved seeing 2 whippets place in such a large class. 

Patriot had his first try at Open A obedience and I was very encouraged.  He did well in heeling except for sniffing the judge and stopping in the figure 8, which was unusual.  I should have given him an extra "come" command much earlier.  He had a good drop on recall, which has been Wyatt's issue.  I gave  a short and wide throw on the retrieve over high jump and he needed a second command to go out and then stopped at the jump.  He also walked over the broad jump; I am not sure why.  He never does that at home.  Maybe I need to start him farther way?  He was rock solid for sits and downs, which is also Wyatt's issue.  Wyatt has one of his best Open A outings of late.  I did get one automatic sit.  He followed me on the recall (strange since he usually freezes).  He did drop though.  His retrieves and jumps were really nice, as usual.  He went down on the sit and came up on the down!  It is clear that when I am far away, he is stressed and makes mistakes. I would have to trial and proof him much more if I ever wanted to pass Open A and the NATCH/MEDAL is my number one goal right now. 

Whippet Sydney and his handler Lesley got their first Open A leg Saturday, which I was thrilled to be able to witness. 

Friday, November 19, 2010

Obedience and Rally

I entered one day of the Thanksgiving Cluster at the Big E.  I have Patriot in Rally Exc B. He needs one more leg for his RE.  I have Wyatt in Rally Adv B and Rally Exc B.  He has 3 or 4 RAE-2 legs.  I also entered Patriot in Open A for the first time.  He may not be ready.  His heeling has been great but he is a little hesitant to go out for recalls at a trial, he has been cutting the broad jump at home, and can go down on the long sit if I am out of sight.  Wyatt is entered in Novice B and Open A.  I may scratch one of those depending on what is first and how things are going in Rally with him.  I work with both dogs almost every night in obedience but have not been going to class or proofing.  Should be interesting!

Monday, November 01, 2010

Tunnelers Video

I have been talking about "that feeling" you get when you are working well with your dog.  This is an example for me and Wyatt from Sunday.  It is so fun when everything clicks.  Yes, I can can brag about the yards per second, placement, fast time in the class, Q, but it's really about "that feeling."  We had it quite few times this weekend and I am still feeling it. 

Saturday, October 30, 2010

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

I have been thinking about the meaning of Qs lately (qualifying runs, which for us, are perfect runs with no mistakes in NADAC Elite.)  I have been feeling a little discouraged lately in our quest for a second agility championship in 2 different venues.  We need 9 more Qs in NADAC Elite Chances.  We got our first 3 last year and only 1 so far this year.  Wyatt is 8 so I wonder if we will ever make it.  I try to just run for the fun of it but the quest for this title is a motivator for me.  I would not feel as discouraged if I had not been working on it so much with daily practice and also taking some classes specifically for distance this year.  Changes was next to impossible today.  No dogs qualified in Elite or Open and only 1 qualified in Novice. 

I got a reminder today of why I do agility.

After a rough start feeling out of sync with both dogs this morning, that magical something kicked in and we got 5 Qs in a row, all firsts.  Wyatt had a really nice, fast jumpers run as did Patriot.  Then Wyatt really rocked Elite Hoopers.  These courses have been getting much harder and today was not exception with a bunch of complicated numbered tests.  We went right down to the end with Wyatt going right ahead doing all 4 test hoops pretty much on his own.  We then executed a complex 6 hoop test, which was basically a figure 8.  We then did a pretty easy 4 hoop U and ended with a 4 hoop serpentine.  I was able to connect these tests into a course with good flow and minimal distance. 

Wyatt is good at Hoopers and it reminds me of CPE Snookers, which we also used to like.  He was the only dog to qualify and there were no bobbles or restarts.  It was a thrilling ride.  Wyatt next rocked Elite Tunnelers with a blazing run and one where we were perfectly in sync.  Patriot also had a nice tunnelers run.  The difference between Wyatt and Patriot is in the speed and handling.  While Patriot moves along on a good run, Wyatt's drive, speed, and responsiveness makes it an exhilarating experience when everything is working right. 

So what I got today was it is not the Qs themselves that are important but the feeling you have everything is flowing.  That's what it is all about, at least for me.  I don't expect it all the time and I always strive for it and appreciate it when it comes.