January 21st 2008
Well still have lots of updates to do here. I am just waiting on approval to post my Cathy Slot jumping workshop notes and the Stacy Peardot seminar review will be up here soon. Stay tuned. On other fronts things are moving along quickly. I’ve realised today there is ten days left before I have to go back to work. I really wish time could slow down during holidays that would be a very handy trick.
So the Spryte is 18 months old today! Officially legal for competition now. Our first real competition will be at the beginning of March at our Western Classic. I am entering her in the NFC (not For Competition) entry for a while first though – she’ll get a few runs in just to get some experience and for us to figure out what we need to target in training. I know we still have loads to work on and she is no where near the skill level that Cypher was at this age but then again I now have three dogs training and less time to train them with. We have made a concrete decision on the contacts – she is doing a 2on2off dogwalk and a running a frame. She’s played on the seesaw a couple of times but we’ve done no formal work on it yet. The weaves and the dog walk have had the most attention and now I am focussing on flat work and body cues and the turns/change of sides. She is not one of these dogs who will just train and train and train, so in a way it is good that I have three to train because it means I don’t overface her on stuff. Her toy drive is slowly increasing and I have to be very careful about when I use them because bringing them out at the wrong time certainly causes them to devalue in her eyes. It’s exciting though, having a new dog to take into the ring, I’m looking forward to it whatever it may bring.
Cypher had a great start to his 2008 trialling season on Saturday night. He had one run in Excellent Gamblers class and finished 1 point behind the winner yet quicker by several seconds. So that was a well earned 2nd place and his 4th leg of GDX, one to go! Then he had one run in Jumping and one in Agility for the fun teams event and pulled off two lovely clear rounds. I really think the grid work and exercises I have been doing from the jumping workshop have helped. So he helped our team to first place. Things I want to work on with his trialling this year is tightening up his turns and experimenting with transitioning to running contacts in trials.
Raven also had a great start to the year, still in remission (despite Simone being paranoid at one point, booking an appointment with Ken and then being told quite happily that I should go home and enjoy Christmas with my very much still in remission Border Collie) and enjoying life to the full. She has the equivalent of a puppy coat on now, which is great for summer but does make her look so much smaller and younger (till you spot the grey on the face!). I was a bit concerned that perhaps I had been too relaxed with her over the break as when we came back to training she was knocking bars all over the place. Then I started to do some grid work and set point work with her and it must have helped. Three runs last Saturday for three clear rounds! She won the Masters Gamblers class with 99 points for her 2nd leg (her third go at GDM) and then she pulled off two clear rounds for the teams event despite being the Reserve dog! So she helped us get rid of a DQ and faults score and put in a cracker agility round. She was quite simply a star and I was absolutely chuffed with her. I really hope this sets the tone for the year but one can never count on *anything* with Raven!
So the big events coming up – Greg and Laura Derrett arrive on Thursday and are here for workshops on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. We have two trials on the weekend – Friday and Saturday night as well. So it’s going to be pretty hectic. The club goes back on the first Tuesday in February and that is going to be full on, we have so much to to try out this year. The big event for today – apart from Spryte turning 18 months, is that Tim’s new camera arrived, a Nikon D300 and of course we had to go down the Canine and test it out (despite the heat and the rather stark sunlight). So below are some pics we took today. I must say trained dogs are certainly easier to get photos of.
just look at that face!
Especially when she gets the opportunity to
beat Raven somewhere. For a girl with short legs
she sure knows how to use them!