Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Packington Agility

So, we have a weekend off flyball and what do I do? I book 3 days of agility shows instead! Lol I had entered Dog Vegas on the Saturday but ended up not going and having lots of people come to see puppies instead (I’d forgotten about finding time to fit that in! lol), lots of lovely people came to visit and now all of Lori’s pups have homes which is great. There are some new pics of this lot Here

We set off bright and relatively early on Saturday morning for Solihull and Packington Agility show, this was a nice little show and not too busy. I had entered both in 3 classes on Saturday but had decided to pull Faith from hers and put her in the anysize jumping instead, see whether I could actually get her to concentrate for an entire round and complete everything! The course was already running so I watched a few dogs go and it was fairly straightforward, it was early and quiet so I went and got Faith and she seemed fairly focused, she set off great and was really listening…so much so that when I forgot the course (yes…I did…and it was really easy!!) and she was heading the right way…I called her off the jump and she came! Good girl Fi but what an idiot I am!! 5f but a finished course and a well behaved attentive dog!! Woo Hoo!! Doesn’t sound much but I was very very pleased. That was Fi done for the day at 9.30am…Teal’s first class didn’t start ‘til 1.30pm!! I went and had a cup of tea with Michelle (who owns Haze…B. Summer Breeze, an Oz-Pip daughter) and spent some time with Moody playing with him around the rings and in Michelle’s garden with her other dogs. Moody is the very dark blue/white boy from Viggo and Dazzle’s litter born back in November who was sold as a puppy but returned to me a few weeks ago, apart from chasing and barking at the swallows in the garden (which is mildly annoying) I have yet to find any fault with him so I was starting to look for a new home for him when it started to dawn on me that I might not want to let him go again, with very limited input he’s very into me, keen to play and ‘do’…I actually really like this dog, although he is not one I would have chosen from the litter he has a super temperament and great working attitude, he’s a big strong powerful dog with bags of potential...hmmm….the following day I bought him a new lead and a training tug toy and we’ve re-named him ‘Woody’…nuff said! lol

Woody just loving a tug toy!!

They announced a rather impromptu measuring session over lunch and amazingly (for me) I was organized and had all my record books in the van so took the opportunity to get Teal’s second measure. I started to get really nervous while waiting that she might not get small again and I’d have come all that way and not be able to run her…stupid I know! She easily got her second ‘small’ measure, comfortably under the hoop…phew! That’s her done now, she won’t need measuring again :o) So, her first class was 1-2 agility, quite a fast flowy course but 12 weaves…I have a real hang up with weaves…it is definitely me and not the dog, I need to trust them more but I just really seem to struggle and don’t cue them very well! She did a beautiful A-frame but missed her dogwalk contact, ran the whole course nicely but just didn’t pick up the weaves at all, I took her back and sent her again, she went in at 3 and came out at 10, I ignored this and carried on to the finish…she tries her best and I don’t want her getting a hang up about them too! 1-2 jumping also had 12 weaves, again she did a lovely run but missed the entry again, we re-did them and she got her entry but came out in the middle and then completed….argh!! the 1-7 helter skelter (no weaves!) was a cracking course but you had to leave them in a wait and position yourself by 3 to get into position to get them over 3 and 4, I was sure we’d go clear in this but….she broke her wait!! (Shock, horror!) so ran over the first 3 before I got in position and then sailed over the wrong jump…big fat E!! Rather disappointing :o( We were all done by 3pm so set off and met Joy and Becca at Sally’s garden centre where they were moving the agility equipment to a new field, we did a bit of training and I proofed Teals dogwalk contact and we did some weaves…proving our weave issues are me and not Teal when she completed them perfectly every time for Joy!

We set off early again on Sunday morning, back up to Packington, no anysize class so I decided to try Faith in her normal classes. First up was grade 1 agility, she had a late running order so I waited right ‘til the end of the class before bringing her out and running her. Amazingly…she was pretty good! She went under one jump, just before the dog walk…something she often does when she gets that up-plank in her sights! But did a really lovely dogwalk and seesaw, was listening and completing her jumps, ran over to the pole picker to say ‘Hi’ after the long jump but came back, did a lovely A frame and weaves (because I hadn’t expected to get that far I hadn’t worried about them so she just did them by herself! lol) and completed the course! Again, this sounds like most people’s idea of a disaster but this is serious progress! This was the high point of her day, I pulled her out of both the jumping and helter skelter when she was back in her usual ‘eyes everywhere and not concentrating’ mode and going under jumps. I’ve decided to enter her in anysize classes where I can and failing that, agility only…I definitely struggle maintaining her focus on jumping only courses. Not ready to give up on her just yet!

Teal’s first class was the 1-3 agility and at the last minute we decided to try Joy running her, see if we could get her to complete those damned weaves! Right from get go this turned out to be a non starter, Teal was very hesitant and not at all happy about the fact her mummy wasn’t running with her…big baby!! She did finish the course (good girl) but didn’t complete the weaves as she was too distracted looking for me so I guess she’s lumbered with a crap handler! lol The 1-3 jumping was a fairly straightforward course but I hadn’t got to walk it and got there just as it was closing so didn’t have much time to think about how I was going to handle a change of sides, I decided to cross behind which was the wrong decision because she wasn’t far enough ahead of me…she stopped in front of the jump and I nearly stood on her…she actually squeaked in terror at the prospect! lol We carried on and completed the course with 5f…I was so mad with myself!! I think this affected her (and my) confidence in the 1-7 helter skelter later in the day which was in the same ring and we just went for a nice steady clear, no point pushing to compete with the fast and experienced G7 dogs, I just wanted her to have a nice, uneventful run and we did, good girl.

We had a nice weekend anyway, got to catch up with folk and see quite a few of my pups running, we’re entered at Wigton (near Penrith) this weekend so I’m planning to drive up each day for that, another nice small show (some of Teal’s classes are tiny!) but chance to gain a bit more experience. We’ll see how that goes.

Pontefract Flyball

WAY behind on the blog (again!)…am so busy at the moment…there’s an awful lot going on with the dogs and family and I’m struggling to find any free time at all. Here’s a ‘relatively’ brief catch up on what’s been happening starting with out last flyball comp…

We ran at Farmer Copleys at Pontefract the weekend following Dinnington and boy…was it hot!! I got well and truly fried! We had entered 3 teams for the first time, Jovi was making her divisional debut and Sqiurrel was coming back to us from Tyne to make up the 3rd team (Demon Pawz) with Fly and Pip. Well, that was the plan anyway…I arrived on Saturday morning, just before that team was due to go in, opened the van to get the girls out for a warm up and….realised I’d forgotten Squirrel!! I couldn’t believe it…doh! Mad panic, we’d only got 12 dogs for the 3 teams so had no spares so I racked my brains trying to think of someone that might have a dog old enough and ready to go into open but hadn’t run for their own team yet and landed on Knott…the dog from Brigg that had been running with us in starters but is waiting ‘til they have enough dogs for a second team…bingo! Sonya agreed to run him with us so we had two dogs (and one handler) making their open debut! What can I say, they all did brilliantly, running a fastest time of 21.74 (which broke us out) and winning the division! Can’t tell you how pleased I was with Jovi, she was paw perfect and never batted an eyelid at having to suddenly run her own height (12”) instead of Squirrel’s 8! Jo and Knott accumulated their first flyball points…190 so just 10 short of their flyball dog awards :o) Knott will run with us again at Rotherham in a couple of weeks and then will go back to run with Brigg who hope to have their 2nd team up and running in July.

Our second team (Demon Racers) consisted of Mac, Dottie, Lexie and Ethan and were running on their own seed time. Paul did a brilliant job of running Mac start dog, 100 times better than the job I’ve been making of it recently! Some good consistent starts and nice consistent times form the Macman too, running between 4.6 and 4.8 all day. This was a seven team division run during searing heat so I was pretty pleased with that. Gemma was running Dottie who, I have to say, has been rather off form recently…not really sure what’s wrong with her?? I ran Lex 3rd dog and she ran really nicely, very consistently like Mac running between 4.7 and 4.9, not back on her best form yet but still lacking fitness (as is Dottie). Lastly Rachel was running Ethan who just seemed to be all over the place, to be fair to him he hasn’t run much over the last 7 or 8 months and I think he was just a little over excited! He had a lot of bad ball fumbles because he wasn’t concentrating on the box so his times were very erratic. All in all not a bad team performance, they came 4th having been seeded 6th and ran around their seed time. More to come from this team though me thinks.

Sunday saw us running our starter team, some nice solid performances from Knott and Jovi (as expected), Viggo completely lost his head, Maisie was good but has developed a habit of chasing back in so we’re just going to have to run her last for now and Fynn was ok but needed a lot of shouting to keep him focused on his own lane…work in progress! They came 4th but did run the fastest time (when they were all playing ball at the same time!).

We ran the Speed Demonz in Div 1 later in the day and had a rather frustrating day. Teal was very erratic (she hates the heat) and was running between 5 and 5.4 (not back to her best yet either), Dylan was on fire and consistently running sub 4.1 going start dog, Alison had a good handle on the lights too so got some good starts with him. Paul seemed to struggle with Faith and couldn’t get the changeover consistent but she ran ok. Bailey was right off form, running between 4.3 and 4.6, something really not right with him :o( somehow though, we came 3rd with the fastest time in a 3 way tie despite only having run 18.39…half a second slower than we ran at Dinnington (that was the leg Bailey ran 4.6). We have a couple of weekends off flyball so time to rest the dogs (and us!) and hopefully come back refreshed and fighting fit at Rotherham on 12th June.

Here’s a few pics of Eabha (Bryning Prime Time) from Dinnington the week before anyway…