Thursday, 29 May 2008

As Supadogs has been cancelled I haven't really got a lot to write about other than the dogs and I (or should that be me) are chilling out and doing nothing in particular other than our usual walks. On Tuesday the farrier came to trim Fenella's feet and Dudley and Tom both gorged themselves on the trimmings which was fine until yesterday morning when they both proceeded to throw it all back up again.

My home phone line seems to be b******d as no calls seem to be able to get through but the internet is fine so not quite sure what's going on so I've registered a fault on their website. Let's hope they can sort it out.

Have a UKA show on Sunday so I'm going to use it to see if Tom's weave thing was just SD based or something that may develop into a mental block on my part and grow into huge proportions.

Monday, 26 May 2008

Well once again the weather has had a major impact on Supadogs with the unfortunate outcome of the whole show being cancelled from Monday onwards. This is such a shame but at least I got 2 days of the show. I've decided that next year I'm not going to enter and use the money to go to weekend show that I haven't done before. It's just so big and so spread out that I can't seem to relax and feel so stressed out that I don't feel that I can work my dogs as well as I'd like. The fact that Dudley was back to biting me and that Tom missed five out of six weave entries proves this to me. I'm trying not to worry about Tom and his weaves as I'm sure we'll get back on track but can't help having the niggly voice in the back of my mind which is telling me we've lost it and it'll never come back :)

Now contacts were another thing completely, while Dudley and Suzi seemed to take great pleasure in missing them Tom worked his little socks off and was fantastic and seemed to be doing what Nancy discovered on Thursday. I want to do a couple more shows to be positive but it appears, at the moment, that if I say go as he starts to come down the dog walk he doesn't leap off but runs straight through, I may have inadvertantly and unknowingly discovered the perfect way to train a running contact, Yeah right let's wait til the next few shows before getting too cocky as no doubt I'll never get him to stop now :)

Suzi seemed to be back to normal on Sunday which is good as on Saturday I thought she was still not well as she was very slow in her jumping even though she was quite up for it in her agility but I've really got to work on her dog walk contact. I tried really working the contact using out contact command and I tried not saying anything and she still missed it. I'm not quite sure what to do as she gets them at training. Dudley was a good boy on Saturday and got two really nice clear rounds but on Sunday ankle biting b*****d was back. God this agility lark is hard work isn't it?

Friday, 23 May 2008


At the beginning of the season I had some comments that Tom and I didn’t seem to have quite got the ‘I want to work for you’ bond yet which at the time upset me a bit as I thought we had bonded well especially as we’d only been together since he was 8 months old. I got over that and really thought about what they meant, it wasn’t that they thought we didn’t love each other on a day to day basis just that with agility we weren’t working together as a team in the way we might have if I’d had him as a puppy.

Dudley and I are soul mates I’m sure, we seem to pick up on each others moods and always go back to each other even if we’ve been distracted by other things. Suzi is too clingy for me and annoys me by wanting to sit on me, touch me and lick me all the time when I’m with her to the point where I have to get Dad to call her away from me, it’s very endearing but also intensely irritating as she will insist on sitting on my boobs !! Now Thomas has always loved to sit on my lap but has always been more into Dudley and Suzi than me and will play for hours with them and I love watching their interaction so have probably not spent enough one to one time with him after the first couple of months other than at agility. He also used to sleep in a crate and even though it was in my bedroom I don’t think this helped, don’t get me wrong I think crates are fantastic and he uses his as his bed it’s just that I don’t shut him in at night anymore, and he now sleeps on my bed with me and Dudley (and both take more than their fair share) and first thing in the morning we have big cuddles and then he snuggles in to me for that ‘extra five minutes’. I don’t know if this has made the difference but things seem to have changed and although he does still sniff a bit he comes back as soon as I call, mostly, and then gets on with the job.

OK now I’ve done the deep and meaningful bit I have to say my legs are killing me this morning and I’m not sure if it’s the lesson I had last night with Nancy or the walk at Ide Hill I took the boys on afterwards which was very hilly either way I’ve got Supadogs tomorrow so hopefully they wont feel so bad by then.

I felt that the lesson went really well and even though I still think I need the ‘nice dog shame about the handler’ T shirt I came away feeling really positive with both my handling and Tom’s work and with ideas on some points to do with how I do pull and push throughs which included the patented Obay pointy finger and also with our dog walk which I will do some more research on before I tell you what we talked about (handler/trainer secrets :)). Driving and stopper arms were used a lot too and I’m hoping that my driving arm will stop flapping about uselessly from now on but I can’t guarantee it so if any of you see me doing it you have my full permission to point it out to me as I come over the finish line.

That’s enough for now hope to see many of you at Supadogs and I’ll try and be a good blogger on my days off as I’m not doing every day.

Thursday, 22 May 2008

Bits and Bobs

Well having started a thread on the Agility Forum with regards to classes for small and mediums I'm now going to sit back for a bit and see what develops. There are some people with very strong opinions so it could run and run or fizzle out in a day or so especially now Supadogs is only a couple of days away.

Looking forward to Supadogs I'm afraid I'm not as excited about it this year as I usually am perhaps last year put me off a bit and it wasn't that much to do with the weather either. Let's hope the day parking is slightly closer to the rings as walking backwards and forwards half and hour each time with 3 dogs is not going to be fun. Entries seem to be down this year too as there are only 11 rings instead of the usual 12, still enormous though.

Not much hope of me getting into the finals so I've booked my car to be serviced and MOTed on the Friday suppose I could always take the camper if I do get in which may be a problem as I seemed to have lost the keys to it, I know I had them on Saturday but I can't find them anywhere.

Tom was really good last night but I have come to the conclusion that the sniffing is mostly caused by ME (no suprise there then) if I go wrong even if I'm upbeat with him my shoulders drop and he worries and sniffs so I'm really going to have to watch that.

We did tunnel, seesaw, weaves and the fact he loves weaves seemed to make him go further to the end of the seesaw but he still slows down from the tip point. I treated him every time we did it and then geed him into the weaves which he loves.

He was the same on the dogwalk until I shushed at him going across then he ran off then end, even though he got his contact I did the dogwalk again, shushed him again and he stopped which shows he knows what I'm after.

I was very jealous of Nancy getting a new puppy until this morning when Tom and Dudley both got on the bed for a lovely cuddle and made me appreciate what I've got and not look over the fence for greener grass. Looking forward to meeting Zeki though :)

Tuesday, 20 May 2008


It was freezing on Saturday and even though it wasn't raining I resorted to putting on my waterproofs to try and warm up.

Thomas' first run was the Olympia qualifier and I really liked the course but cocked up at jump 5 and eliminated us then went on to eliminated us a couple more times before finishing. Poor Tom, I must get a T shirt saying 'nice dog, shame about the handler'.

Dudley was really naughty and took every opportunity to make me look even more stupid but enjoyed himself immensely.

Tom seemed to think helter, skelter meant he had to run round each jump before going over but then went to his 3-4 jumping and worked really hard and came 8th which made the whole day worth it as it was quite a big class and had 3 pull throughs and wall. He's really starting to do great finishes and powers away from me which is fine all the time it's a straight line I'm going to be buggered when we get a turn or something :-)

Friday, 16 May 2008

Update on Suzi

Well she seems to be on the mend as she apparently ate her tea last night with real gusto for the first time in a week and this morning she grabbed her daily bonio from me nearly taking my fingers with it.

I'm going to leave her at home tomorrow so she'll hopefully be raring to go for Supadogs.

Monday, 12 May 2008

Little Suzi

I took Suzi to the vet and if you've seen the advert with the dog that is super confident in the car and a quivering mess out of it you will know exactly what she looked like on the table plus she's very good at looking pathetic and she played to the crowd big time.

She had her temperature taken which was normal, heart and lungs listened to everything fine she even had her throat looked down and still nothing. The vet gave her an injection and some antibiotics and said she could be allergic to something or she could have a slight respiratory infection, if it was the former the improvement after the injection would be noticable by tomorrow but if the later she would have to finish the antibiotics before I'd notice much difference. Either way she's got to take the tablets for 4 days.

No training and no BATS for Suzi this week as I want her to get completely better before we do any more agility.

The boys are both fine and showing no sign of feeling under the weather.

Sunday, 11 May 2008


What a lovely show with a nice peaceful (apart from the dogs) venue and gorgeous weather. I went last year and it poured with rain all weekend but I liked the show and decided this year to camp. Thomas really likes going away in the camper he's so chilled out and loves just sitting in the garden watching the world go past and playing with Suzi and Dudley.

I had a fantastic show apart from the fact I've come home with a very red face even though I did put suncream on. Dudley was up for it and got a lovely clear on his 4-5 Jumping but got 5 faults in his agility when he leapt off the A frame. Today he went clear in both his agility and pairs classes but I think I may have to work on his waits though as all weekend he went on 'ready' instead of 'go'. I don't know what's come over him especially in this heat.

Suzi wasn't herself and only ran on Saturday morning where she practically walked round the course which isn't like her so I'm going to take her to the vet even though I only have a vague 'she's not 100%' and no real symptoms as she's been like this for a couple of weeks now.

Now to Thomas, as I've said he really likes camping and it seems to suit him as on Saturday he had 3 runs and got a clear in 1-3 helter skelter and 8th in 1-3 jumping and a 4th in 1-3 agility with not even a hint of a sniff. Today was still good but not quite as good as yesterday. His first run was 1-3 agilty and he did the best round I think we've done so far in competition and went into the lead and was there for most of the class, which was quite big with a 100 odd dogs, but was pipped at the last minute. I was quite disappointed but we got a trophy and a lovely rosette and I'm sure we'll get there eventually. I think I got a bit cocky in his power and speed as so far he hasn't missed a contact in competition so I was expecting this to continue and got a big shock when he missed his dog walk, that'll learn me wont it. In his pairs he got a big sniff on and thinking about it after the class it appeared that it was an evasion thing rather than a proper sniff and I came to the conclusion that he was tired even though he was still keen to work for me so I didn't do his jumping class and just let him and Dudley potter round the garden while I slowly cleared up.

It was nice to just sit and watch the dogs playing and didn't leave until about 5.30 when it was starting to cool down a little bit and got home just after 8. The dogs are crashed out and I'm about to go off to bed to think about all my runs and what I could have changed about them even though it's too late now.

Thursday, 8 May 2008


As I started this blog to keep a diary of Tom's training I suppose I should to a post about it.

Last night I only took him as I think Suzi isn't really up for training since they added the new surface, we think this could be because it shifts under her feet a bit like sand and she hates going to the beach so you never know.

I wanted to really work on his dogwalk to see if I could get him running to the end a bit quicker so went back to using a target which worked well as he was running to a good 2o2o position but once the target goes away although he still gets a good position he doesn't run down as fast. I stopped looking at him so I don't think that's the main problem and as he's getting the contact at shows I'm not going to get all paranoid about it but I would like him to get there a bit faster so I think I'll got back to targeting for a while but maybe move the target a bit further away and release him to it rather than have it right at the end of the contact.

We're off to Godmanchester tomorrow for the weekend so am looking forward to a nice relaxing weekend enjoying the nice weather and maybe running a few agility courses.

Will update next week to let you know how we get on.

Tuesday, 6 May 2008

So near and yet so far

Drove to Bristol yesterday as Severnside had a fully graded 1-5 show and I wanted to support them as you don't often get graded classes for the small and mediums.

The weather turned out much better than forecast and I set off at 5 and got there at 7.15 to find that judging didn't start until 9 which will teach me to read the schedule. I will post course plans later as they were really quite tricky and a really long way round.

Thomas was a good boy but due to a couple of hitches with handling and a huge sniffy bit just in the weaves that caught loads of dogs we didn't manage a clear and poor Suzi got really spooked by something in the agility which made me pull her out. Not sure what it was but it wasn't the equipment as it started about 5 jumps in.

Dudley didn't bite me although he did bark and managed to come 1st in his agility but also managed 1.22 time faults so no move up to grade 6 which is s shame but not something I'm that upset about even though I do say that id he gets into 6 I can retire him :)
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