Was lucky enough to have not one, but TWO flyball practices yesterday!
First, our normal Saturday morning practice with our team. My friend Megan, who is going to be traveling with us to the tournament in York, PA in December and running Trophy for me came to learn how to pass. Now, this is a really difficult task considering our building is not tournament length and so she's going to have to relearn on the fly at the tournament, but she needed to start getting the overall flow of running a dog down. Eventually she's going to be bringing her Aussie back to practice with us, so she needs to learn it anyway.
I've been working with a client's dog for several months to get him out of the hosue and work his little brain in adition to giving him extra exercise. We're starting to have a break through with him. He has already chained the jumps and loves to do jumping. Now we are working on box work and taking a ball off the box while maintaining a nice turn. I took some video for him mom to see since she can't be in the building while I work with him (he used to be able to work for me, but suddenly because worried/protective of her). I've been working on boxturns for months, and finally got him to do a nice turn off the box with no ball (using his butt on the box and not being lazy) so now we're trying to add taking the ball off the box. This dog is going to be a ball spitter, I can just see it, but that's another issue (chasing is also going to be another big concern of mine with him, but one problem at a time!)
Demo was getting some pretty crazy turns in and coming up high off the box. I didn't take my video camera, so I can't replay it and see what was going on. Pan was awesome, as usual, and since I had a prop in the whole time Trophy's turns were nice. which brings me to my second flyball practice, which I'm calling "remedial box turn practice".
Remedial Flyball practice was held at another facility slightly closer to my house (by like 5 minutes) with a woman who runs her dogs on a team from Michigan. Her dogs are amazing and fast, so I took Trophy to get a second opinion and some ideas on how to re-re-fix his boxturn and get him to engage his butt on the box. He's gaining speed while his turn is getting worse. If I can fix his turn I just might have another dog who can run under 5 seconds and not retire early with shoulder issues (the latter being my primary concern). She gave me an exercise to work with him to 1. build confidence taking the ball and 2, get him to lower his turn slightly on the box without using a jump board (as it's high with a prop and non existent without a prop).
I also took Demo along to analyze his turn and brainstorm what he was doing in the morning practice, which of course he wouldn't replicate. Practicing at another facility was good for him though and instead we worked on getting his turn off the box to be snappier and also worked on making it tighter since he's such a looong bodied dog.
And in a non flyball related news, here is a picture of my Foster dog, MACaroni. Ain't he a handsome dude? He has a shoulder injury we're still trying to figure out, so no flyball in his future, unfortunately.