Wednesday, April 21, 2010

sports car/utility vehicle

On Tuesday night I missed one session (doing a media gig about living with disabled animals) so ran Brody and Sally virtually together - no wonder I can't handle for beans ...

Brody is a Ford Focus - little but steady - pick up isn't all it could be but brakes work when needed easily and steering is effective even if it takes a little work - if he was a bigger dog he'd be a perfect farm truck - nothing fancy but super uber reliable. He trucked around the courses working off rear crosses if needed even though they aren't exactly motivating for him. Nothing phased him actually.

Sally is my mum's old TR7 - zippy, edgy not exactly reliable but a whole lot of fun!
If you over steer you end up flying wide on corners or a little tighter than you thought. Brake suddenly? DEAD stop - major whiplash session indeed.

Sally got a little unbalanced on the dogwalk last night - rather than stopping and thinking about it she simply leaped off it. Crazy dogs and padded floors go together thank heavens. She did 12 weaves quite nicely. She is something else.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

another practise ...

what good dogs ...

Sally worked on a cool umping drill - basically a pinwheel with a table and tunnel in - but we did threadles and turned the jumps inside out rather than ust running ever more out of control circles - she worked like a charm ...

her course work was ok too - weaves still challenge me but her dog walks and teeters were heavenly - the frame is very exciting to her ...

Brody just zoomed around doing whatever was in front of him - such a sweet dog to work with (as long as you aren't grooming him!)

Saturday, April 10, 2010

why do my dogs have good jumping form?

I think it is a multi pronged answer actually

1) I am very aware of good form and take time specifically to teach jumping skills - distance, form, landing, varying rates of approach, angles for approach etc .. all those years riding pay off

2) I watch how they jump and make adaptations to my training program when needed

3) They all have the opportunity to practise naturally - we walk through woods, across strewn logs up and down dales and hills .. cross fence lines
they have a chance to put what they learn in training into a real world application

Fitz (the first picture**)taught me that clearly - he had NO FORM at all when he came to me - I still wish there had been room at home for one more dog in training when we fostered him - he had serious potential

** I found some shots I hadn't moved to the computer yet today - what fun!

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

practise makes perfect

well perfect practise does anyhow

tried back to back classes last night

I was exhausted by the end but both Sally and Brody had fun - the new facility is just amazing!

there were only two dogs in the first class .. Gail and Sally

very different but both are energetic and active ..and both jump 16 inches no problem

we began by warming up with a tunnel jump weave sequence then did a bit of teeter work then aframe a couple of times ..Sally is worrying a bit about the frame but she hit all her contacts all night long - her dog walk is quite fabulous if I do say so myself ... I cannot imagine letting her have a running contact though ... I just can't see having that confidence in her - and I need brakes ... contacts work for that with her too :)
the little course we did was fun - it was nice to be able to run with her after the ankle debacle :

Brody was thrilled to be back at it - serpentine, threadles weaves to table - he didn't care what we did he blasted it ... and then blasted it again
what a SOLID rock star that dog is - last night was the first time in well over a year we have been AT ALL serious about training and he was right there .. he needs work but if he didn't get it it wouldn't be the end of the earth

we were partnered with a little dog whose owner kept saying "WRONG" - gosh I hate that - Brody was not too distracted but it drove me mad ... the woman seems to be quite experienced and willing to work hard but not schooled quite the same way I am .. it is interesting to watch different training methods though ... so I will keep my eyes open and my mouth shut and see what I can learn ..

my brain isn't all that engaged yet - it's been awhile since I've had to think about handling - and it shows ...

Monday, April 05, 2010

the big dogs had fun

and Tom had fun (though I think he may have killed Sally - what dog lies like that for hours?)

they went to the farm for a couple of long walks and hit the beach near week day home too

the littles and I attended a large pet trade show where I run the adoption area (I've been at that show for 16 years - OH MY!)

no doubt at all Tom and the big dogs had a lot more fun

with the lovely weather the show was pretty quiet Saturday and Sunday ... we did get some good leads - adopted out a rabbit, 2 hamsters and 2 guinea pigs ...