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My name is Penny & I'm an agility addict

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wee Wednesday

I entered Boo in the Wee Wed trial this week - we did snooker & jumpers.
The snooker didn't last long, my fault, nearly punted him out of the tunnel, then got a little out of place & got in his way, so he backjumped, which is not a habit of his.
He smoked the jumpers course - ran really well, & seems to be starting off faster, which is what we've been working on, so it was all good.

Today I took the young'uns out to Wet Ck for a practice.
Blast did quite well paying attention - had one little run off, but was good for the rest & there were a few other dogs there, so that was good.
We did some jump exercises, I worked on getting him to play with a toy as a reward since he doesn't always want to do that when he's not at home. Weird, since at home that's all he wants to do!
Bizzie did awesome, we've been working on her start line since she likes to run off as soon as the leash comes off. We did some rear cross work & that's coming along nicely.
Her weave poles are still needing work, but she's doing offside quite well now.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Practice Night

Well, we had a practice at the Fez Dome last night. I was very proud of myself for sticking to my guns & stopping Blast after every 3 obstacles to treat him. The first run he was quite distracted, but still came for his treat...The second run, we did every 5 obstacles & he was great. At the end of the night he did a whole jumpers course with no running off! Yeah Blast!

Bizzie has been practicing her start lines (as in not bolting when I take her leash off) & keeping her stay. She did pretty well, ran off once to visit a cute schipperke...

We ran the 2007 Regionals jumper course & she was actually clean the first run - she did a couple of spins, but not where they would be faulted.. but I was more impressed with her focus than the fact that she ran cleanish... she is getting much better obstacle committment, but we still need to work on her go on.

Boo was awesome - ran clean & fast, just would like to tighten up some of his lines. He is starting off faster now. He really seems to like this arena - hope that lasts for the next trial there!

Wayne was actually working on some rear crosses with Cactus. I think that would really help them on many of their runs - just because you can run fast doesn't mean you need to do ALL front crosses !

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Goals for 2009

OK Amanda.... here they are!


Work on Focus (using the Control Unleashed book)
Reward More Often
Practice shorter sequences
Work on skills:
start lines
weave pole entrances at speed

Try to use toys more as a reward


Improve Focus

Reward More Often

Practice shorter sequences

Work on skills:
running contacts
start lines
rear crosses
weave pole entrances
commitment at a distance

Try to use toys more as a reward

OK, do we notice a theme here? They both need the same work for the most part....


Continue to work on distance skills

Work on skills: directionals

better teeter performance

speed off startline

tighter lines

De-sensitize to judges in slickers, big hats, etc...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Practice, practice, practice

I sat down recently to make a list of my goals for my dogs this year, having been inspired by Amanda to do that, & wow, do I have a lot to work on...

I realized that I haven't been using my practice time the best way, so this year, we've joined another agility group so we will have more practice time in a different environment, and I'm going to try to stick to my plan.

We've had two practices at the Fez Dome in the past 2 weeks where we have a course set up at one end & just random equipment at the other, so we can work on parts of courses, or whole courses or just specific skills, so I think this will be really helpful.

Bizzie has been paying attention better. I had someone stand in the middle of a course to be a "judge" & she looked at her but didn't bark, so that's some progress.

Blast was quite distracted with the new environment & new dogs, etc... Wayne ran him once & realized that maybe he won't pay attention to him any more than me, so it was a bit of an eye opener for him.

Boo ran awesome both weeks, he seems to really like the sand surface for some reason. I do have to practice rear crossing into the weave poles, though...

Anyhow, it was great fun & I feel that I'm heading in the right direction now.

Monday, January 12, 2009

First Trial of 2009!

The first trial of 2009 was an excellent start for Boo. I entered him in 5 runs since I"m still not doing a full trial with him. He Q'd in 4 out of 5 runs, so he was a good boy! I've been trying to get him off the start line faster, so I"ve stopped telling him to wait, I just tell him to sit & try & get him a little rev'd up before he leaves the start line, so that seems to be working not too bad. He should have got the gamble, but I screwed him up - it was an awkward weave pole entry & I should have trusted him, but I didn't, I called him & he shot past the entry & got a refusal.

He Q'd in Steeplechase, Standard, Jumpers & Snooker - first time we've done snooker since before Nationals! What a good little fella!

Bizzie on the other hand, was quite the little brat. She ran off several times, once to bark at the judge, always came back, but was creating her own courses. I guess the only positive was she was running really fast! Oh, & she did perfect weave poles, including the entry in the team run. Probably her jumpers round was the best run for her, but I have to remember she needs way more help than Boo so that she doesn't run by a jump, etc. We have more focus work to do with her & self control drills.

Blast was grounded for this trial, when he shows he can pay attention for a little longer, I'll enter him again.

Cactus was her usual self & knocked a few more bars than she usually does, & had a few fly offs. Wayne did get in a couple of rear crosses, which he's trying to work on. He also joined the "Kiss the Dirt Club" when he tripped & did a nice face plant!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Another New Baby!

Yes, it's true!

Here is a photo of the newest addition to our family...

It's a 2009 Honda Element. I got such a good year end deal, I just had to do it.

Sorry Sarah - I wasn't going to get black, but that's what was available... but I really love it, drives much like the old CRV, but way more functional...

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Year's Eve

We spent New Year's Eve at the trial at Wet Ck this year. They offered 3 courses - Masters' Standard, Masters' Team & Steeplechase.

Boo didn't run well on the Standard course, not sure why, but he was slow & ran by the chute - never done that before. He ran better in Steeplechase & Q'd. We didn't enter team.

Cactus managed one of her signature fly offs on the Standard course - big air!

I entered Bizzie & Blast in steeplechase just cause they were there. Bizzie was naughty & took off the minute I took her leash off - obviously something we need to work on - but after that, she did a good job & finished the whole course with no faults, but had some weave pole issues, so we were over time. We decided to let Wayne run Blast & he ran well - no zoomies, but Wayne got lost & then they had a weave pole entry problem, but it was great progress that he stayed with Wayne. (A little hard for me to swallow since I've done all the work with him!) We had been at the Turners before the trial, so the dogs were all running around letting off steam, so I'm using that as the reason that Blast was more attentive!

After the trial, they played some games, but us "old folk" left to go home, but a fun time was had by all!