Sunday, 26 October 2008

Magic learns the foundations of agility and is a future flyball star

Thursday and the Pachesham pups Are Go!!! A milestone lesson as they were exposed to the foundations of agility. Any pup who hasn't got them is not going to have an agility career. Magic was a bit distracted by the surface of the indoor school and by the need to scent mark everything including my legs. NOT the foundations of agility (lol). However he did show some promising speed and capability when he did get himself focused. He tends to want to run round jumps and isn't yet seeing a sequence but it's early days yet and it's coming.

On Saturday there was no agility so we went to flyball training. This was Magic's second lesson. Ray decided to put Rupert in the class with open lanes and Magic in the class with netting. As we've got 2 dogs and I need to interpret for Jordan we decided we'd do both dogs separately and start with Rup in the open lane.

After Rupert performed reliably but without his agility drive, Guy decided to try Magic in open lanes and work backward. He did argue that he was a Bryning after all and maybe Ray was a bit unambitious for a Bryning...!!! Magic had absolutely no problem working in open lanes so was promoted to the open lane class. By the end of the class Magic was a star, not only runing to retrieve all the way up and down the open lane but also triggering the box. Watching him and knowing it was only his second hour of flyball, he made it look a bit well...easy. He's trying his best to look like Dad when he turns and needs to work on that!!!

We also worked on Jordan getting him to run when the dogs have the ball. We need to get him to work them up a bit more and run back faster. Unfortunately my hand gave in and I'm not sure if I'll be able to handle either of our dogs for the foreseeable future. It's a shame that we have the clash between agility and flyball commitments but I must get Magic into a starters when he is a year old. And get photos when we go in 2 weeks and Magic turns 1.

...Meanwhile Rup continues to race to the box but lovingly chomps on the tennis ball running back. If this was a match he'd be runing back to get the next dog's ball!!!! He has been known to run with 3 balls in his mouth.

Monday, 20 October 2008

Agility as it used to be

On Sunday we decided to check out the WAG agility shows in Whitstable. They're run by the Croxfords and promise to be agility as it used to be - small, friendly. It seemed to be just what we needed to get Rup gonig in indoor conditions so we made the hour and a half hour journey to Kent. Another cold, foggy morning...!

Amanda Pigg was judging so the weather was lovely and, when we arrived the tide at Minas Bay was out. So all 3 boys decided to spend some quality time on the beach before course walking. Magic took one look at the seagulls and was racing them to France, but eventually recalled. He then decided to catch up with them down under. I was freezing but all 3 soon waded back in and got soaked and I hadn't brought a change of clothes for J.

The courses were lovely and due to the small size of the event it was possible to really input into J and Rup re the weaves. Finally in the jumping they got it and did 12 weaves without faults. Shame J forgot to line Rup up at an angle at the start and got E'd. They did a lovely helter skelter and came 6th over all - all heights.

We rounded off the day with fish and chips at a pub on Minas Bay.

If this was how agility used to be why did it change?

Friday, 17 October 2008

Tennis Ball Week

It's been a real week. Our first weekend of indoor shows.

It all started Friday when Rupert accidentally(?!!!) chomped a tennis ball in half and chewed one half. It was eventually(!!!) removed from him but a great deal of it was missing. Some was found in the garden, some wasn't.

The next morning was a cold winter morning with fog everywhere. We drove south to Weald show. Rupert was clearly not his usual focused self. He barked and barked. He flew see-saws; came off the dog walk twice; jumped from the top of the A-frame. I decided he couldn't cope with the background noise at indoor shows and decided to give him skull cap and and valerian the next day at Warnham and keep him outside as long as possible. I also realised that with the noise of the indoor school he can't hear Jordan's little voice and Jordan is unaware that he needs to be much, much louder indoors.

The next day wasn't much better. Rup barked and barked, came off the dog walk (again!!!!) and knocked me over. Nearly got a clear in the jumping with J but lost focus in the weaves and shot out and into the tunnel. Got so loony he ran the 1-7 helter skelter on his own - well J followed as fast as he could - luckily Rup went the right way and they won.

The next morning Rup was gagging and sicked up tennis ball all over my pillow - don't ask why there!! He panted and panted so off we went to the vet. £200 later the vet could find no more tennis ball. But she told us to monitor him. The next day more ball came out.

We went to Pachesham on Thursday. Well, Rup seemed OK. He was a bliss to handle. Did beautiful wait starts for the first time in his life. Not himself at all. Back to the vet....!!!! Who could not understand why I thought it was odd that he did sit stays at the start and didn't charge off with his usual bat outa hell starts. However she did say the loopy behaviour was more akin to stuck tennis ball.

Meanwhile the Pachesham pups are seriously go!!!! Magic is doing well. He can loose focus when he has women on the brain, or scent but when focused is showing nice drive. I must take some photos of him. He is confident on the wobble board; getting the hang of the dog walk and contacts. Like Rupert he doesn't like to work away from me as he needs hand signals and lip patterns but the aim is to teach him from the start to go on unless told otherwise. He still has a tendancy to take short cuts to his reward.

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Magic's First Flyball training

As we weren't doing any agility this weekend we rejoined the Wimbledon Whizzers on Wimbledon Common for flyball this morning. It was Magic's first trianing session. We arrived early to walk the dogs and as I was getting the dogs out of the car a black lab-cross ran out of the car park and onto the busy south circular. I rapidly shut the cockers back in, slammed the boot down and told J to stay with the car. By the time I got onto the South Circular to try and get the dog off it was badly spooked and was runnig in a blind panic. I manged to get it off by throwing sausages as it was so badly stressed it was not coming near me. Thankfully a hunky rugby player from the Harlequins came to assist and we managed to drive it into Asda, where it cowered in the bushes by the delivery vans. It was not at all safe.

While I rushed back for my car ...and Jordan. The hunk called the dog warden. After I got back he departed (shame!!!) leaving us with the dog. We sat very calmly hoping the dog would relax and stay where it was and that seemed to work and I was able to approach it. It had a collar but no tag (fume!!!) and would not let me touch it. After about 30 mins the owner came, who'd lost it out jogging and took the dog off without even waiting for the dog warden (fume!!!). Yeah I gave my lecture about no tag and getting it checked as it may have been hit....!!!

Well by then we'd missed the first 25 mins of flyball and I was a nervous wreck. J wasn't much better.

We put Rup in the beginners with Magic to take him back to basics to give him more focus and try to stop him merrily chomping on the ball after he has got it out of the box and get him to run back with his agility speed and drive and not do lallying having a good chomp. Well he only chomped his way through one ball so that's progress.

The star was Magic. We only expected him to learn to pick up a ball and run to us. He was however soon running down the lane, picking up the ball and running with great speed after us. NOT only that he was picking the ball up with a fast, natural turn, just like his father. Ray was really impressed, especially, as he pointed out, he may be his father's son but he has never watched Drake do his famous swimmer's turns but seems to want to do them. (I wonder what Nat does with her pups before they leave the Bryning kitchen (lol)!!!) I can't wait till he's older and we can really begin to unlock his full potential.

Flyball finished and we drove to Wycombe to pick up some cabinets to put all our trophies and medals in. We've finally finished and a large GandT is called for!!!!