Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This week's class was a graduation party of sorts, with fun games and a jumpers course. Chaos abounded! The games were

"snakes and ladders" - 60 seconds to run as fast and far as you can - the course wove up and down the training hall , making 4 loops - reach the end and turn back if you have time. Sophie was a dream to run, stuck to me like glue - her aframe contact is still weak and the weaves need work but her focus was beautiful .

"Tunnel Snooker" - instead of red jump - obstacle, it was tunnel - obstacle (up to 4 times) then a short numbered course. Our first attempt at playing the snooker game, and we didn't get flustered and ran cleanly, getting to the 4th obstacle in the closing and ending up with 40 points.

Straightforward jumpers course - soph was getting tired and drifted off to mug the trainer, but I was able to recall her and get her back on course. I got lost and missed a jump but I was able to regroup and keep soph with me and get back on course - another lovely run!

"Mat gambles" - now this was a hoot and a half. You carried the mat with you, and if you felt you could send your dog to an obstacle or series of obstacles, you'd toss the mat down to stand on and send the dog forward. MUCH laughter and dramatics for this one.. Soph kept trying to lay down on the mat at first (gotta love pattern training!) but once we got going I was able to send her to a jump-tunnel sequence and a couple of other jumps. Again, she stayed with me for most of the run. GOOD girlie and THANKS renee for a stellar evening!

Our entry for the Nationals Steeplechase Challenge has been registered and posted, so Spruce Meadows here we come!

(This weekend we are doing a dog sports show at a large community picnic - wonderful opportunity to perform under stressful and distraction-filled environment

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Last night's class had some lovely courses for us. The drop and run is really helping with her motivation.. I was revving her up verbally and really got her motoring. Also had the 'judge" (our trainer, one of sophie's favourite people) in the ring for the last run. She drifted off at the start and then crated herself (self-punishment?) but I was able to get her back on the start line, rev her up again, then she ran a beautiful flawless course.

Sent in my entry for the steeplechase - now we wait for confirmation (hope we get in!) and then start with the flight and vacation plans...

Sunday, June 20, 2010

today was open house for our training hall, so we had the opportunity to run some full courses with a small audience. Sophie did VERY well in the first two runs, staying with me through some tricky points (running straight towards the crowd, I got in a front cross which put me between the crowd and my girl, and she nicely stayed with me over the jump directly in front of the peanut gallery, to curve to the teeter and back down to the centre. She also did some BRILLIANT "get outs" to find the middle jump off set in a group of three, AND I was able to pull her past the "trap" end of the tunnel down to the correct end, at two different places... what a girl! Very proud of her tonight

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Apologies for being lax for the past week.. bad blogger! go to your crate! I've been busy with non-agility chores.

Our Saturday practice went very well.. dug out an old Clean Run and set up one of the Alphabet Drills ("R" ) and had a blast. Did some tough discriminations , front and rear crossing, and played with some lead outs as well as drop and runs. I've pretty much decided to knock Soph down into specials and let her jump what she prefers, which is 16. She *can* jump 22 but there is a marked difference in her enthusiasm and performance, so why fight that battle? Our home practice has been limited to occasional weave poles , we're starting to work the clock from offside, with some success. No rush for that, she'll get there. I've been using a jump after the poles to steady her speed as well, again, with limited success.

Class this week was interesting - she's decided to be a bit of a clown and play keep away with the number cones at the bottom of the dogwalk.. not sure where that comes from, they don't look veyr much like the 2o/2o target.. goofychick she is sometimes!

Will try to be a bit more diligent with training and blogging this week...

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Did some more work from the agility nerd page - working on "around the clock" sending to a jump... went very well, worked up to about 6 feet away, all the way round the dial... good girlie!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today was a rest day - class was a bit stressful last night so I need to regroup a bit. Sophie has fixated on the treat pouch and shut down completely in class, so we need to work through fazing this out. Interestingly, she works HARD for her leather tug or treats hidden in hand/pocket or home, so this is definitely a site-specific issue. But we'll work through it..

Did a few reps of offside weaves and that was all.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Tonight is class, so we'll be taking it easy today - will be trying out Webb Anderson's exercise with two target plates, as well as a short bike ride for some fitness-building

Monday, June 7, 2010

This week's home practice is based on this site: - working both on solidifying her startline stays and fast releases, as well as... well, pretty much everything on an agility course! Should be some fun work...

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Did a bit of front cross work (figure 8's around 2 jumps) soph is loving this exercise and her leather tug toy. Can't believe how driven she is for this toy... we'll see how it works for class on tuesday as well.

Stays - at doors and in front of a jump - getting good focus forward rather than on me.... this week will be putting "mark" on cue as well.

Resurrecting this blog to chronicle and monitor our next training voyage

We're going to the Olympics! Well, not really.. but (gulp!) I've set a huge goal for myself - running Sophie in the steeplechase at this years' Nationals, at one of my all-time-favourite places in the world - Spruce Meadows.

So we have a few things to work on.. today is an indoor day, and we'll be doing a bit of work on stays and fast releases, as well as focus exercises. If it clears up and the yard dries a bit, we'll move outside for some one and two jump work, or maybe a bike ride for conditioning.