Thursday, 31 July 2008

Just a quick update

Took Tom training last night and the difference was amazing, no sniffing, attention on me and working really well.

We did some work with sending into tunnels and steading over jumps to start with and I did just over half of the session on that side then took him out for a wee and a chill out as he started to not go on command, Mac thinks thinks this may be because he's getting worried about something which could be anything including the other dogs barking so to break the cycle I should give him a little rest. This seemed to work as we started on the other side and he was back to normal.

This side had weaves and pull throughs so Obay patented finger came into force although I did use just one and not two so only half royalties going to Bernadette.

His first entry into the weaves was a bit tentative but he went through all the way then did two lovely pull throughs then up over the A frame and another jump to finish. We did that in reverse and at the weaves he's obviously realised that it didn't hurt and whooshed through. I left it at that as I thought leaving on a good note and him wanting more was a good idea so we went for a cool down walk and a little gentle massage then popped him back in the car.

Suzi, who hates the surface, caught me out by tearing about as if she was on grass and going exactly where I pointed her even if she should have gone somewhere else :) I really have to watch this as of all my dogs she picks up my body language the quickest and if I use her name she usually comes straight to me which can be a b****r if I want her to just turn slightly or something.

I'm very positive about Aylesbury as it looks as if the weather isn't going to be so hot which means Dudley will be happier and I'm going to knobble Hudson by putting Tom in their garden with Kizzy and exhausting her by making them play :)

Wednesday, 30 July 2008

Haven't really got a lot to say as we had no shows at the weekend and no training until tonight.

People say that Tom looks like a fox but I don't really see that but thinking about it he looks like a caricature of a fox which is maybe why people see him as one.

Found out last night that blooming Andy 'I'm so laid back I'll run my dog with my sun glasses on my hat' Hudson is going to be at Aylesbury and after the fabulous time he's having running Kizzy I'm really considering ways to knobble him so Tom and Suzi get a look in, if anyone knows his weaknesses please let me know :)

Hopefully next time I'll have loads to write.

Friday, 25 July 2008

Well I never

Thomas does not bark in the car if he's wearing his harness!

Why this should be I have no idea but it's a welcome relief not to have him bark at every motorbike that goes past, let's just hope it lasts.

Tuesday, 22 July 2008

Ow that hurts

Took Tom and Suzi to see Julia at Galen Therapy this morning and I always love going there as she's so calm and soothing with the dogs and will always have a chat about the silliest things with me.

Tom was first and although he's not broken he had some very sore bits on his shoulders and back which needed quite a bit of work and at points Tom made his feelings known but having a quick bite of the hand that was doing the good, nothing serious just a gentle gnaw to say 'Ow that hurts'. You could see that he really loved the massage as he had a silly faraway look on his face for most of the time and when she'd finished and was looking at Suzi he kept trying to push in. The sore bits probably haven't been caused by doing agility but as he's a bit wild when off the lead and likes to tug his lead when on he could have done it with twisting and turning and general doggyness but is very probably the reason why he's stopped weaving and may be the reason why he's not going when I say, bit like us getting out of the car after driving home from a show bit sore but OK once we get going. He's going back in a fortnight for another treatment and I will probably not run him this weekend just to let things settle down and then try him at Aylesbury at the beginning of August. Suzi, on the other hand, had nothing wrong with her at all so no excuse for last weekend at all :) Suzi is the one with potential for problems as she's the one that leaps off the back of the chair like a cat but has such good muscle tone and conformation that she just lands like a cat and takes off at warp factor 10.

Tom slept all the way home in the car then bounded out like a loon when we got home which wasn't what he was supposed to do and luckily I caught him in mid air, jumping out of the car puts the most strain on dog's shoulders much more than going round an agility course as they are usually cold when the do it so I'm going to make more effort to lift him out rather than let him launch himself into space. I have a ramp that I'm going to try and remember to take to shows too.

Monday, 21 July 2008

Happy Birthday Dudley - 7 today

He doesn't really do happy, smiley face but to me he's the most handsome boy on the agility circuit.

This was taken at Aylesbury last year.

I can't believe that it was 7 years ago today that I got that fateful text saying 'the puppies are coming'. I remember going to see him at a week old and he looked like a little mole.

He may be an ankle biter and even though he has his silver Good Citizen award he doesn't really do what I tell him he's still my little man and I wouldn't be without him.

Sunday, 20 July 2008

You know those days when you put your dog on the start line look down and know that you should probably just put their lead back on and leave the ring as however you handle them in the ring, if you suddenly became Bernadette or Leah you KNOW that your dog is going to a)make you look as if you've never trained them and b)go completely deaf? Well yesterday was one of those days with Suzi, in her first class we had to do the weaves twice and she got eliminated at both sets then further on I crossed behind her to pull her left and even told her left so she turned right and even at the finish, which was a straight line, she completely ignored the last jump turned right and started to go round again I just stood there with my mouth open and hoped that a hole would open up and swallow me and I could't even pretend I was a grade 1 handler as it was a 4-5 class. She then went on to completely ignore me when I needed to do a push through, cutting behind me to back jump then went on to do the rest really well. In her agility I may take some of the blame for her not doing a pull through but only a little bit as I turned my shoulders, employed the Obay finger and stepped back but she still went over the next jump the wrong way 'friends' tell me I didn't give her enough room but for gawds sakes she's tiny :) She did get all her contacts however so even with 3 Es I could go home with something positive.

Dudley was my little star and came 5th in his 3-5 jumping, the course was quite twisty and he's not the fastest dog but he does curl round the wings really well so we saved some time there and although he barked a lot he didn't try and bite me, unfortunately his agility was right at the end of the day and by then he'd given up so when I made a mistake and ended up where I didn't want to be we both went a bit flat and got the bit E.

Tom is still struggling with the weaves and I think he's having a bit of a crisis of confidence as he has suddenly started to not move when I say 'Go' and luckily his courses yesterday were ones where I could do a running start, we didn't get any clears but he got his contacts and did some lovely bits in his jumping courses so all in all I was pleased with him and in his agility there was a funny moment where as he was in the weaves a tuft of his own hair fell out and blew past him and he chased it making me and the judge laugh, thus showing he's still very much a puppy. He's going to the massage lady on Tuesday so hopefully if anything's hurting him she'll sort it out.

Friday, 11 July 2008


Well telling Thomas 'Go' from the top of the dog walk doesn't work, sure he goes but usually leaping the contact on the way past. I wanted to try this but it seems that I have to wait until he's at least half way down.

I've also learned that Suzi will usually get her dogwalk contact if I'm not racing her to the end and it's even better if I'm slightly behind, Mac suggested that I still race her across but slightly check my stride as she's on the down ramp which is easy for him to say as once I get momentum I'm a bit like a liner and need room to stop as the extra weight I carry propels me forward :)

I've also learned the Dudley does what he wants which may mean he'll get the contact or it may mean he wont. I'm not worried all the time he's still enjoying it as this time last year he switched off completely. He does like it if the judge is close to the dogwalk so he can walk across wriggling and trying to get them to come and talk to him.

Tom did his weaves really well on Wednesday night without once going off for a sniff, I deliberately worked him wide and didn't baby or crowd him and I will have a chat with the judges on Sunday and pick him up if anything goes wrong. I was really pleased with the way he worked for the whole lesson but there were a couple of times when he just stood and wouldn't move from the start and thinking about it they were times when a certain dog was running in the other class. This dog is a bit naughty for running after Wendy's Woody and has chased Tom in the past, she doesn't do anything but is big and loud and I think he was a bit wary, this is something I'll have to keep an eye on as I don't want him to start worrying about big dogs.

The exercises we were doing had lots of pulling/putting the dog between 2 jumps over another obstacle and showed the Suzi follows my body language much more than I really realised as I thought I was pointing through the jumps towards the dog walk when in fact Mac pointed out that as I was starting to look towards the dog walk my shoulders slightly pointed towards the jumps and over she went. I was pleased with what she did as she struggles on the surface but she tried really hard and we only did half the class then watched the others.

We've got Billingshurst on Sunday so fingers crossed the rain holds off.

Monday, 7 July 2008

Paws at Play and Ring Manager in the rain

Chugged off to Cranleigh in the camper for the weekend and couldn't believe the change in the weather, I know I live in England and should expect these things but it was still a shock. Friday night the wind picked up and carried on for the whole weekend and although there were some showers overnight Saturday was dry unlike Sunday when the heavens opened for most of the day.

Tom managed 5 Es over the weekend, Suzi a clear in jumping and Dudley got a 6th in agility. Although Tom got all those Es I was really pleased with him as it was me that caused the problems and not him. We started with agility on Saturday and after he missed his weaves I picked him up and jollyed him through as suggested by Nancy and I have to say it seemed to work as in his jumping he flew through but we now have another problem as for the rest of the weekend he came out of the last two weaves at speed and leapt over the next jump.

On Sunday I was Ring Manager and it was a really long day as although BAA say part of the entry conditions are that you have to help for an hour most of my ring party were the usual faces you see at KC shows, with some hard working exceptions from people who haven't been competing very long, who put in hours and kept coming back. My poor dogs didn't see much of me and although I made time to run Tom poor old Duds and little Suzi didn't get to do anything which was a real shame although Suzi wouldn't have run anyway as she doesn't do rain and mixing that with the wind meant that she wouldn't even come out of the van :)

I'm not sure that I like the BAA way of running all heights of dog against each and I don't think I would travel a long way to do one for this reason but if one was just down the road and there wasn't anything else going on I might. Scoring was all done on a PC away from the rings so full results were usually printed up and available 5 minutes after the class was closed BUT you couldn't see your time unless you got to look at the ticket before it went to the scorer so you had no idea if you were placed or not and I hope the KC shows don't got this way as even at UKA the scoring is done at the rings so you can see your ticket.

I think I need a new fridge for the camper as I couldn't get it going again so I was drinking tepid wine which isn't my favourite way of consuming alchohol.

Wednesday, 2 July 2008

Never thought I'd ever say this but.............

Dudley has gone Senior. Ok it's at UKA but he's had to get 36 points at Novice to get there and 12 of those had to be in agility.

Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Suzi and her blooming dog walk

Last night at training Suzi's first dog walk contact was really good she ran right to the end but what we had to do was go over a jump then turn and come back along the dog walk and the little minx just launched herself from about 6 inches before the contact. Wendy then got me to do it again without saying anything and the same thing happened, we then tried it with a target right at the bottom same thing so Wendy put it on the contact and it was a little better. I'm going to try to not say anything to her as I think to her my command is the signal to jump. She's a monster disguised as a cute, white, fluffy thing with a horrible sense of humour :)

I normally take Tom with me on a Monday and he sits and watches and is very good which makes a change as when it's his night to train he can bark and lunge and be a right pain. Leah let me have a go at some weaves with him, we just did them a few times which I'm going to carry on doing with him at home just so we get back some of our confidence.

Off camping at the weekend at Cranleigh where the BAA have a show, it's just two rings so I'm hoping it's going to be nice and relaxed. Everyone has to do an hour on a ring so it will be interesting to see how many turn up to help and whether the rings struggle at certain times as I'm ring manager on Saturday.
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