Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Barking to Start Scent Discrimination

Gotta love Wyatt. The other day, he was barking to get started on scent discrimination. There are probably not too many dogs that do that. He does not do this all the time but it does appear to be one of his favorites. I have been using string cheese too, which is a high value treat for him. I doubt he would do this in a trial setting but to honest, I would not care if I got points off for being overly enthusiastic...

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Wyatt Cleared But...

Wyatt was cleared yesterday for agility. The vet determined that he was not in pain and had improved his tense back muscles and his flexibility but still needs more work on the latter.

He ran great at practice last night; the best dog in advanced class but was showing some avoidance behaviors especially on the last run. Whether this is physological from before, whether there is still pain, or whether he was just cold and tired (we did do a couple of hour long runs this week; one on the same day as practice), I can't say. With the snow and cold, he will get more time off. I will try and get to a run through ASAP so we can see where he is at in a trial setting.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Breeding an Agility Whippet

We have been thinking about breeding our next generation of whippets for versatility. We want to breed Patriot who has great conformation and is good at agility, obedience, and coursing. We might look for a bit more drive and natural retrieve. However, we got him at 2 and he was only trained for the ring so who knows how he might be different if we raised him from a puppy. Wyatt does seem to have more retrieve and drive, but again, we got him at 1, so I am not sure how much his first owners did. {I do know they played with him in frisbee and took him to obedience classes.]

I guess it can't hurt to pick your best breeding and temperment test the puppies. But, of course, there are no guarantees!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Proofing Yesterday

We went to the Hartford shows to see 2 of Patriot's puppies show in conformation. Major went RWD. I thought he should have won - he was just stunning. Dashielle, the other puppy, looked great too. But the best thing is that Dashielle is in a great home. The owner just loves him and will do all kinds of activities with him.

I did a little obedience and rally proofing with Wyatt in a very busy ringside area. He did pretty well but I did use a lot of treats to keep the focus.

We did heeling and a few retrives.

Wyatt has an appointment this week to check on his back. I am hoping for a lot of progress of course but need to remind myself to be patient. He does seem a lot better though. He is jumping like a kamikaze around the house. This typically takes the form of a running jump onto a couch, sometimes right over Patriot.

Reflections of Time Off

My attitude towards competing has been changing since Wyatt has been injured. I beleive that I was pushing jim too hard, not picking up on clues that something was wrong, and too focused on my own goals. It is easy to get caught up in the push for titles and ribbons and forget the other half of the team. The break from competing and even practicing agility has been a good one. I can't help wonder if all dogs (and handlers) need some time off now and again.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Ob/Rally Update

We have obedience (Novice B - just for practice - we have our CD) and Rally Excellent B (need one more leg for RE) in March so I am trying to get Wyatt used to less treats. I am also now using cheese, which he really loves. The good part is he performs well and clearly knows we go somewhere else at the end to get the cheese. But he loves cheese so much he will whine and also run to it when he thinks we are done. I have been doing complete novice routines. It seems so easy now that we have been training open and utility for a while! I have also been putting together longer sequences of rally exercises. That also seems easy now that we have worked on backup 3 steps and left pivots and have them down. Of course, who knows what will happen in the actual ring!

Monday, February 05, 2007

Patriot C-ATCH

Patriot and Dawn earned their CPE agility championship yesterday! Way to go! Wyatt is still out of competition but I hope to have him back this spring and summer. He is close to his C-ATCH too.

Saturday, February 03, 2007