Well it has been a while since I posted – I’ve been busy doing lots of stuff. For the last two weekends we’ve been working well together as a team (Raven and myself and Cypher and myself). Raven has gone clear twice in Masters Agility, last Saturday for a 2nd place after a run off as she tied with another dog for a 1st place time. Then last night she ran clear for 1st place. It looks like we are getting some consistency back finally! Monica Percival (Clean Run list) wanted to know about anyone with running contacts on the aframe who only trains aframes once a week. In other words people who don’t have a frames up in their backyard. I replied that Raven has them in trials. She wanted to know how fast so I got Tim to video her Masters Agility run last night and we put the footage on the computer to analyse how long her aframe takes. We took the time from the frame where her paws first hit it to the frame where all four paws have left it. Total time: 1.12 seconds. I was curious as to how that compares and dug up my December 05 issue Clean Run Mag where three well known US competitors (Kathy Keats, Nancy Gyes and Jane Simmons-Moake) have their say – all of them say that the highly competitive, fastest time to aim for is 1.30 seconds.
So I was more than happy with Raven’s time! I’m starting to take an interest in her mps (meters per second) times as well, last night the course was 195 meters long and she did it in 40.66 seconds. That puts her rate of travel at 4.79 mps. We had about 3 spots where we had a bobble and could have done a much tighter line. A “bobble” for the uninitiated is a deviation of your dog (99.9% of the time due to handler error) from the tightest line around the course. I would say if we’d done it without the bobbly bits we’d have shaved at least 3 seconds off which would have put her mps at well over 5mps. Regardless it was an exhilarating run as it always is with the Raven! We’re slowly whittling away at that Agility Champion title.
Cypher has been an awesome young boy of late. Last weekend he managed a leg in Masters Agility and a 4th place behind 3 of the fastest dogs competing (Indie, Raven and Terra) and in front of several well titled experienced top dogs. However not only did he gain his first pass in Masters Agility he also managed to finish off his ADO (Agility Dog Open) title with a 5th place in Open Agility, that makes his 8th title in 7 months of trialling. This weekend (or rather last night) he went several better – gaining a clear round and 3rd place in Masters Agility behind Raven and Cash, then going clear in Masters Jumping despite his handler have a blank moment mid way round the course and wasting precious seconds trying to figure out where to go. Then to finish the night off he went clear in Open Agility again and came 5th. I’ve been really pleased with his Masters Agility runs, I still feel we’re not working anywhere near his maximum speed and the fact that he is making into the top 3 or 4 placings certainly confirms my suspicions that we are yet to see his full potential on course. He did especially well last night despite having treatment for an ulcer on his right eye earlier that day (probably thanks to some rough house play with the gregarious Spryte!) and no doubt experiencing some irritation and vision interference. We have two legs left to go for our JDM title and three trials left for this year (one of which Robyn is going to be handling him for). It would be more than amazing if he managed to finish his JDM title that quick, so I’m not going to expect it, we’ll just see what happens.
Spryte has been busy too, she has now entered the show ring a couple of times, the first time without competition hence she was awarded Best Baby of Breed and the 2nd time just yesterday where she had competition in her class and she won that one, however was knocked off my her big brother ‘Flyte’ who is a rather handsome young puppy (yes I know his name is more than similar, and its more a girl’s name….I did not name him though and Spryte had her name about 3 weeks before hand!). You can see his page at www.winpara.com under the Boys link. He went on to win Best Baby in Show at the Collie and Shetland Sheepdog specialty. Spryte has certainly started to pick the idea up of the showring, she is certainly outgoing and friendly enough and has figured out that bouncing, hopping and/or skipping is *not* rewarded where as a nice steady gait around is. Re her training; well we’re not doing a whole lot at the moment (three to train is quite time consuming as I am trying to fix up some bits for Raven’s UD, working lots more skills in agility plus trying to get him ready for Novice Obedience with Cypher). So with Spryte I am working on the wait, the three positions (sit, drop and stand) and have just ventured into target work with her, all the while doing the spine flexing exercises Stacy Peardot recommended around the cone. I’ll get some photos done to show what we do.