Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Trophy's going to be an Agility dog after all!

Trophy had an AMAZING class tonight!   His weaves still need a little work, but he was really picking up speed.  He was so HAPPY to be on the course, everyone said how excited he looked.  Maybe the cooler weather was agreeing with him?  Even his jump sequences were rockin'!  The fact that almost every run had a teeter was just icing on the cake for Trophy. Haha :)

Tonight my instructor asked if I was ever planning on trialing with him.

Yes, I answered. Do you think he's ready?

Her response was something like  "psshhhyeah". lol!

So, we are planning his agility Debut for January as I will be taking a break from Flyball tournaments this winter, so I will have the money to enter a trial or three. :)

I'm really excited with this change in attitude with the addition of hotdogs to his training program. :)

Only downside is that the trial she wants me to enter is an AKC trial... I was hoping to NOT ever give the AKC money... BUT  it means I can aim for a MACH with him...  haha... yeah right.  :)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Trophy's New Game Plan

Last week I was seriously considering pulling Trophy from Agility.

Between his recurring back issues where he's had pinched nerves in his spine from several vertebrae that are frequently moving out of alignment and causing issues and the fact that he has been so darn pokey and uninterested on course I was ready to throw in the towel and call it quits.  He wasn't having fun so I wasn't having fun so he was having even less fun... it was a vicious cycle.

So my instructor ran him for a bit and really got him revved up and really into the game again.  His back was still out (didn't have time to take him in to the Chiro until yesterday) so he wasn't in top form, but for the first time in a long time we were having fun.  A fellow student gave us some hot dogs to up the rewards (Zukes apparently isn't good enough for agility) and both Pan and Trophy got into it more.

Fast forward to today.  Took a huge container of hot dogs with us.  Took a deep breath.  Promised Trophy we'd have FUN.  and off we went.  The course today was really fun and challenging without being frustrating. Started with a jump to Trophy's favorite obstacle - the teeter which I'm sure helped him - to the table and then a tricky set up where the dogs needed to NOT get sucked into a tunnel while we did a front cross in front of the second jump to the weaves.  I think Trophy and I were the only team who really nailed front cross correctly.  Also, his weaves were really, really good!

His sends out to jumps was also very good.

I'm really happy with how today went.  One week at a time with him.  Maybe we'll actually get to a trial yet. :)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Demo Update

I will save a Trophy agility update for later this week after I see how we do after some major changes to our game plan.

In flyball, Demo and I had an extremely (understatement) discouraging practice last weekend.  One step forward two steps back.  Scratch that. One step forward eight steps back some weeks with that boy. Two weeks ago we were practicing at home and he was doing awesome, then we went to practice and it all completely fell apart.  He stopped driving to the practice board and he completely lost his boxturn again when the ball was introduced.  I think everyone was trying to help, but in doing so we were changing entirely too much. Demo was frustrated.  I was really frustrated.  It was bad.

I only got one short chance to work with him last week. So I didn't know what to expect when we got to practice this weekend.  I handed him off to some teammates so I could go potty Josh, a papillon mix I'm training for a client from work.  And when I came back he was doing really well - driving down to the practice board and finding his jump after.  We completely omited the ball for him this practice.  So his second session I worked on extending the number of jumps before and after the box turn.  He was doing extremely well, so I had a teammate bring out Trophy.  We did full runs witha  boxturn (off the actual box!) both with Trophy passing him and passing into Trophy.  I'm extremely happy with his focus running with dogs in his lane.  Next time (no practice this weekend) my goal is to have a dog before him, a dog after him, and a dog in the other lane.

At this point I'm not going to worry about him taking a ball as long as he maintains good form on the box.

CanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAmCanAm :)