I am in awe of the people that find a quote that exactly matches their theme of their post on their blogs! I think it would probably take me an extra 3 days on average to find a quote I wanted to use! So I haven't bothered!
Well I have lots to write but I don’t know in what order or whether to put it all down in writing anyway!
I have some thoughts on some things that have happened recently, agility-based and non, and I would also like to tell you all about how the dogs have been doing at their first couple of shows of the season.
So I guess I will start with the dogs’ progress and see where we go!
Easter we were at Kernow K9, we had a tradestand so we were kept very busy all weekend. All our products seemed to go down well, and we had sold out of a couple of types of toy by the end and very nearly run out of headcollars! The rope toys were really popular, they are my current favourite too, especially as there is pink rope and we have some new special pink camouflage webbing in for the handles! Great for Princess Phaze who actually can get through toys nearly as quickly as naughty Cruze, so she can look girly with pink but we have a hardwearing toy!
I was a little disappointed at the lack of Graded classes, 3 grade 6 dogs and not a single graded class for the entire 3 days, not brilliant, there was one class down as graded but as that was the Pro-Plan Qualifier it became a combined class, I certainly felt for my friend who was the fastest Grade 6 run, and only needs one more win to Grade 7, she came 2nd behind a Grade 7 dog and when running it thought it was a graded class. She took it better than I would have done!! We had about 7 clears over the weekend, the best runs being Cruze came 3rd in a jumping and Magic came 4th in a 5-7 jumping. Cruze was also clear in the
qualifier but with a couple of bad turns was a couple of seconds of the qualifying times. At the time I was despondent, but looking back on it, at least I seem to be able to get round the Qualifiers now, where as last year I was flailing around failing miserably!! Olympia
Phaze ran really nicely, her agility runs were combined 3-5 classes so a little more technical than would have been ideal, as I just wanted to give her some confidence in the ring. She was slower in the ring than she is at home, but listened beautifully. This is her first ever run at a show, and if I’d said tunnel (!!!!!!!!) would have been clear! Ooops!
On Saturday she had a clear round and one really wiiiiiiiiide turn and came 2nd!
The following weekend was
, nothing to report there of any real significance! Magic was out of sorts on the Saturday and when Dairin had a look at her she had some tight muscles in her abdomen, so she had lots of hot water bottle treatment and massages – which she was really pleased about! Wallingford
Knock Out pairs with 2 pairs plus 4 normal runs to run first thing on the Saturday was a nightmare! Don’t think we will be trying that again!
Phaze and Magic had a lovely clear in the Rainbow Rebels team
The experienced dogs weren’t quite so good in the SWAT Team! Whoops!! Maybe Toni will want the well behaved girls in the Crufts team instead of the grown up merle boys!
Last weekend was Cornwall/Dartmoor. And Magic had an absolutely amazing day! 3 out of 3 clears and she won both the Agility and Jumping, so she is half way to Grade 7 in one fail swoop! (And again overtaken the boys as she is a girl and better behaved!!)
Unfortunately no video of her wins, but her Agility round was stunning, lovely running contacts on all 3 pieces of equipment, nice to see she can do it in a competition environment. Her jumping run was poetry in motion! Really nice course, some technical bits and some bits where Dan had the advantage with his ability to run! There were about 6 or so of us watching and with each jump she took you could feel everyone willing her on and leaning forward at each jump! At the end she got a lovely round of applause :o) If that had been me that would have been one of my highlights of the year I think! It’s nice when people get behind a competitor on a run, you often only really see this at finals nowadays, but it made such a nice atmosphere.
Magic SC run C4-7, 6th place
Phaze had a 7th in G3 jumping
We had been at the Grade 6 ring for the last hour before this run and I had walked this over 2 hours ago, there was no queue and they were about to close the class so not too bad a run seeing as I didn’t know where I was going half the time!
I had said my aim for this run was to get a decent wing wrap turn into the weaves, which we managed, so all in all pleased with 7th.
Shame about the pole but we would have been holding our seesaw anyway!
I had planned on holding her DW in this run, but the Cadet swinging backwards on his chair at the bottom of the contact put paid to that idea!
We only stayed for an hour at
Dartmoor on the Sunday. The weather was due to be horrible, shows further up had already been cancelled so we were expecting the worse weather to approach by lunchtime.
Phaze ran an amazing Agility round! For the first time she felt like she does training at home! I held the Aframe in this class! And put in an extra jump for good measure ;o)
The Merles all ran the G6 jumping, Cruze worked really nicely, but there was 9 weaves in the ring so he missed the last one. This is something that REALLY grates on me!! Some people say oh well the dog should know to keep weaving until there aren’t any weaves left. I strongly disagree with this! If you look at how we train weaves, 2x2/channels etc, what you are teaching the dog is a pattern, which in my mind includes ‘enter on this shoulder’ and you ‘exit on this shoulder’. For this reason I never train 9 weaves even though some judges stick them in grade 6/7 courses, I don’t know what the logic behind this is, but I stick to my reasoning for how I train weaves and therefore if 9 comes up and the dogs pop the last weave they are not asked to repeat them.
We decided not to stay and wait around for the Agility, Magic had worked really hard on Saturday and I was going to pull Cruze out anyway as the course was using the Aframe twice and currently Cruze and I are having Aframe issues and as I am unable to train my Aframe at home as we don’t have one I didn’t see the point in hanging around and running in the rain when chances were Cruze wouldn’t complete the Aframe correctly.
It is a real issue not having an Aframe to train on as Cruze is suggesting to me that now he is completing his contacts quicker he is not as comfortable stopping on it, he is a big dog and he does pound into the ground on 2o2o with the Aframe, he uses the last raised slat to slide and jam his back paws onto and pushes his front legs into the ground, this is something that concerns me and I spent the winter thinking I would retrain it once I had an Aframe I could happily do repetitions on safely.
So new Aframe is on order and hopefully my entire season won’t be wasted without any Aframe criteria! Not ideal for a Grade 6 dog, but these things happen and I will not insist he runs a piece of equipment how it has been trained if I think he could be doing it more safely for his needs.
We are going to UKA this weekend followed by Vyne on the Monday, and I will update the bog after that as it will then be linked to our brand new SWAG website so one of my duties is to keep up to date with our news on here!
The video camera is charged and ready to go so if nothing else at least there will be some video footage! Thank you again to Pat for the videos on this post as they were all done by you not us! Don’t know how I am going to manage without my official video-er this weekend!!