Sunday, April 28, 2013

Flyball Hangover Time Again

Actual update coming later this week as I am exhausted and I have a puppy to wake up to early, for now a picture of my friends Matty (running Demo in start) and Jbiz (running Trophy) at this weekend's tournament.

Two more flyball addicts in the making!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Spring Photo Drop

Already growing up too fast.

Everyone's playing Chase Demo (a favorite game) around here.

High flyin' Panda Bears

Tug wiff me!

She has her own little water bowl, but she wants to be a big dog.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Bossy Aussie Pants

When i started researching some breeders late last year as options for my next dog, i had some goals in mind, as this would be my first dog purchased from a breeder.

-not looking for a litter prior to fall 2015 (So Demo would be around 4y.o.)
-one of the following breeds: English Setter, Mini Aussie, Border Collie
-preferably bred from a sport dog background, able to compete in flyball and agility, but a breeder who is in touch with the history of the breed and their instincts (herding or hunting as the case may be)
-must be male
-highly prefer black and white (black tri only if a mini aussie, as full sized aussies can be bi-colored black and white, but minis arent, for some reason).

And, um, well.... we brought this thing home Thursday.

This is Eviction, or Eevee for short. Eviction as in I'm seriously in contention for being evicted for getting an 8th dog, and Eevee is my favorite pokémon (judge me, i dont care :-P).

She is an 8(ish) week old red tri Aussie.

I'm hoping she will be under 25 pounds full grown, but the jury is still out.

Still working on her full name, as my sister and I are co-owning her and we're fighting over which prefix to use, and im not sure (prefix)'s Get Da Fuq Out is quite acceptable to put on all her paperwork. Maybe (prefix)'s Time To Move? (Prefix)'s Clothes On The Lawn?

She is the sassiest little munchkin with the sharpest teeth ever. She is also the most fearless little thing EVER. And i do mean fearless. She in infatuated with Baxter, for goodness sake! The other dogs are doing well with her, Pan in jealous, Demo is surprizingly curious and polite, Trophy is the only one to play with her yet, Baxter is trying his best to be nice, and the others have just ignored her.

We are alternating feeding her out of her bowl and using her kibble for training time. She almost has sit on commandand, and is working on down and release. Also been working on body awareness with a paw pod, both flat side down, and curved side down so she has to balance on the wobbly thing. She also attended her first flyball practice already where she did a couple chase recalls for a tug on flat ground. Potty training is going really well so far. At 8 weeks old she will sleep for about 6 straight hours overnight. One accident in her kennel, 2 in the house, but she's pretty easy to read when she has to go.

She is a rockstar, please dear doG let me not mess her up and help shape her to her true potential!!

ETA: her full official name I have decided to be BrokenButt's Notice to Vacate

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Photoshop Agility

So a friend video taped two runs of the same course at class, and of course both runs were major disasters with small highlights in each.


I edited together the good stuff. :)


Thursday, April 11, 2013

What The Hell Am I Doing Here?

Tonight's blog title brought to you by "Creep", the cover done by Glee, which has been stuck in my head almost all day long.  It really has no other bearing on tonight's blog post, other than I got lost a few times on the course tonight. haha.

Before we dive in to the break down I'd like to say hi to my agility instructor who is reading tonight.


And then, my promised video comparison of Trophy Versus Demo on the dog walk.  I felt that Demo was more controlled than he has been, which could be due to the dog walk being at full height for the first time, but you can still very clearly see how different he is from Trophy. Trophy was in the middle of a run and has some momentum while Demo was starting from a standstill.  We have decided, after viewing this, that I'm going to try to teach Trophy to run for a target/reward so he has more drive across the dog walk.

Ok, now on to the class break down.  Due to storms and Pan's thunderphobia, I left her at home tonight.  So it was just me and the boys at class.  Trophy's class had a really fun course with some interesting and challenging jump sequences.

The drawing tonight is especially sketchy, and absolutely not drawn to scale.  I'm imagining my agility instructor cringing and rolling her eyes at me, and probably threatening to beat me when she sees me next or something...
So you are coming into what I labeled 1 from the weaves, so dog is on the right at 1, front cross on the landing into 2.  Fun 360type post turny move at 3-5, front cross into dog on right for 6.  Then came the really fun part: distance!  My dogs are learning distance and I'm super proud of how Trophy handled this as I *know* I'm going to need to know how to do lots of this for Demo.  So my path was to cut from 6 to the landing side of 9 where I would front cross into 10 while pushing Trophy out and around 7 and 8.  He did this SO FREAKING BEAUTIFULLY the first time... and then we pulled out the video camera and it all went straight to hell.  But anyway... I freaking love that feeling when we are so connected and working in sync   I love my dog, have I mentioned that?  No one else tried to add the distance, but I went for it.  What's my agility catch phrase lately?  That's right, Balls Out. lol. :)

9 through 11 is pretty easy, dog on the left. Slightly tricky entry into the tunnel, as Trophy did it correctly once, and then went into the wrong side of the tunnel.  First time he went into the wrong side I was calling here and totally signalling forward motion.. Second time as I'm trying to keep  up with him I'm leaning back to try to signal collection, but yeah, still moving forward, so he still entered wrong.  So third time, totally over exaggerated ALL SYSTEMS STOP, and he turned and went in the correct side of the tunnel.  Of course it works when you listen to your instructor (no, I'm not really sucking up here, promise. maybe.)

So I really did enjoy working through that sequence.

Then on to Demo's class.  Like I said earlier, I really felt like he was much calmer and collected tonight.  We worked on a small sequence with the A-frame and a turn on the flat.
I'm waiting for some bad-agility-course-drawing-police to come arrest me. Seriously.

As this was our first sequence, baby-dog was a bit bonkers the first run through, so we did it again right away and it was slightly better.  After everyone ran through it and we attempted it a third time I really felt him settle in, we were connected, he waited for my directions, and I didn't feel like he was crazy-dogging it.  Now, it could be that he just learned the pattern I wanted, but I'm going to try to make myself feel better and say it was team work.

After that we went to the dog walk, which you can see on the video above.  This was their first time running it at full height.  Demo was slightly slower and more collected than before, but I'm ok with that, really.  Then we did a small sequence, tire jump at a perpendicular angle to the entry of the dog walk so we kind of had to shape their entry, which is difficult with wild man, but he still did it well.  Then we did the opposite on the way back, with us running between the dog walk and the wall.  On the second run through of this sequence we added a front cross after the dog walk before the tire jump.  On that last run through I opted to not use treats in Demo's target lids,  it worked the way out (tire, dogwalk), but I should have given him something while i tried to do the front cross as he broke his contact for the first time in a while.

All in all, very happy with how everything went tonight.  Pan will be back next week, so get ready for some crazy antics from her!

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Beginner Flyball Class

I'm teaching my first ever beginner's class for our flyball team. Having been in the sport for such a short time made this a very daunting task for me at first, but 3 weeks in and it is going extremely well. And when i don't know what to say, luckily my teammates do (unfortunately some of them like to talk over me, but i'm letting it go because they've been doing this longer than i have).

Week 1 we did a lot of talking and demonstrating, then we practiced restrained recalls.  The most important part of the lesson being "don't look at your dog, RUN!"  Everyone did very well, and we added one jump before a long run out for the dogs to start learning jump sequences to a reward.

Week 2 we had lost one student due to medical reasons, but gained another.  So our class roster is this:
1. Cocoa, the Havapomesian Squeewok
2. Salli, a Koolie/Coolie
3. Solomon, GSD
4. Layla, Lab X Cattledog mix (like Trophy! only she has very little ticking isolated to her back toes)

But, Cocoa and Salli were the only two at class this week.  We made a lot of progress with Salli who learned to sequence all 4 jumps down and back VERY quickly.  Cocoa struggled with this, but she excelled at turns.  For this class and for homework I had them just teach the dogs to "bounce" over a prop, the goal being to teach them to quickly go and come back over a low jump.  Cocoa did so well the next day her mom asked for some one on one help (since she's a friend of mine) and we started teaching her an actual box turn.

After the class Jbiz and Salli's owner stayed for our practice so we let them run our experienced dogs (Jbiz will probably be running Trophy at an upcoming tournament).

Week 3 we had our full class back.  We again worked on jump sequencing, then we started working on turns on the board. Cocoa is phenomenal   We adjusted the props slightly to make sure she was learning to jump up high enough that she would be in a good position to grab the ball.  We also ordered special squishy balls just for her and sent her home with a few to learn to retrieve them and play with them.  Solomon struggled a bit with his long body to understand what we wanted, but he got it in the end.  Layla did very well, and Salli also caught on very quickly.  Then we worked on some jump sequencing again, and ended on some restrained recalls with out jumps to end on a happy note.

Since Cocoa's mom stays for our whole practice, at the end we gated the 4 jumps and worked on motivating her through all four jumps since the distance between the jumps is going to be her biggest difficulty being as she's so small.

During our practice, again Jbiz and Salli's owner stayed so we gave them more practice with running experienced dogs.

Week 4 is this up coming weekend.  We aren't having a full practice, just the class.  But I'm pretty excited to see what these guys do.