Monday, November 27, 2006

Still One More RE Leg

Well, we had our first ever NQ in rally on Saturday. I was rushed to the start line - it moved faster than I thought - and I could not find Wyatt's collar for a while. It was another hard course with a backup 3 steps, a halt, pivot left, halt, and 3 semi-tricky stations right near the honor station. I did not keep enough contact with Wyatt and I lost him a few times. One of these was near the jump and he wanted to go over it. He also hit the jump after we finished which was cute. The jump was on the way back to the gate. But I was very happy with his performance. I beleive I had 3 retries which is an NQ but I did not get back in time ot check our scoresheet. He did an awesome halt, left privot, halt with a perfect "side" after pivot. Learning this station has really "forced" me to learn a really good left finish. Live and learn!

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Patriot and Son

Here is a photo of Patriot and his son - Major.

Major looks to be very promising in the show ring. He got 4 reserver winner's dog in his first 4 outings and won a 5 point major today at a supported entry.

Friday, November 24, 2006

One More Leg

We did get one more Rally Excellent leg today with a score of 75. We lost 10 on back 3 steps and 10 on moving stand. I thought we may have gotten some of the back 3 steps (he went back 2 steps I thought) but it was just marked -10. Wyatt stopped beautifully for the moving stand but moved towards the end. I did not (but should have retried).

The course was very hard!!! She put in every single difficult station possible that we struggle with (offset figure 8, back 3 steps, left pivot) and a lot the harder ones (halt, stand, down, moving down). I was happy to qualify. I was sure glad we practised last month. I was very happy Wyatt went backwards at all - we have just started to get that.

He is still off. Even in rally, he would not sit at the start (I asked the judge if you had to and she said no so we just went from a stand but he stalled there. I had to go back and start with him again. Darned thing. He is also nto releasing on his agility contacts. Seems like some kind of stress but I have not been able to figure it out.

Another try tomorrow - the course can't be any harder!!!

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Rally This Weekend and Mixing It Up

Wyatt and I are entered in rally excellent Friday and Saturday at the Big E in West Springfield, Massachusetts. I have been enjoying really learning all the advanced and excellent stations. I have found some of the stations will really help our traditional obedience especially a left finish and back to help adjust Wyatt into heel position and generally increase his awareness of heel position. It is also fun to mix up so many different little "doodles". I have been really trying to keep him guessing. It is so easy to fall into the trap of doing the same thing all the time and then we wonder why they are bored or anticipate a command.

Friday, November 17, 2006


Sorry to have been lax about posting this past week...

Wyatt seems to be getting back to his old self in agility at home and seems to be recovering from his dog walk spill. He is more eager to come play agility, faster, and not sticking as much on contacts. Hopefully, he will be back to 100% soon.

I am having lots of fun training for Rally Excellent and we are making progress on heeling backwards (not easy!), and all the stations that require the dog to scoot in his butt (left pivot, side step right from a halt). We are also working on the offset figure 8 (another toughie). I believe these will help a lot in regular obedience - especially scotting in and moving backwards - in terms of adjusting into heel position.


Thursday, November 09, 2006

Confidence Issue

I am fairly certain now that Wyatt is having a confidence issue after his dogwalk fall. He did pretty well in class but was slower and more tentative than usual. I am continuing our week off from agility at home. He checked out at the vet/chiropracter yesterday. I have had an ankle sprain too and Wyatt does better if I am moving faster (especially on contacts) so this week off shoudl help me get back to 100% also.

Monday, November 06, 2006

Week Off

I decided to take a week off from agility with Wyatt at home. He is still avoiding practice without a lot of bribes and is generally slow and stressed out. I see a lot of stuck contacts and a general lack of enthusiasm which is unusual for him. I am planning of still going to class since he still seems very motivated there. I believe this issue is due to his falling off the dog walk a few weeks ago. I am also taking him to the chiropractor/vet to make sure there is no problem there.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Practice Rally

I am actually practising Rally for a a change. Not that this is good but I usually go to the show, walk the course, and learn the stations I don't know right there. Wyatt and I have 2 more Excellent legs for our RE so I thought I would go through and really practice everything. We are enjoying it and I think I will be much more comfortable going down to compete.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I was starting to think that maybe Wyatt had injured himself when he fell off the dog walk a few weeks ago but he really rocked in class last night. I am still seeing a lot of sticky contacts and avoidance of agility (very new and rare for him at home). I think he is adverse to the place where the bad experience (fall) occured. I have seen this in the past. I told my wife we have to move because it takes him a long time to disassociate the emotion with the place!

I am going to ramp up his treats and see what happens. He went (annoyingly) wild for cheese in class tonight so I will try that.