Thursday, 29 October 2009

I had a lovely walk this morning on Harpenden common with Brodie (Brax is staying with Matthew at home today as I think its great for them to spend time with us on a 1-1 basis.) It was so misty when we got out of the car that I had to put Brodies high-viz gear on! I took a pic of him wearing it as he looks soooo cute (and a bit funny!!)

I was practising the 'hold' command with the dogs yesterday at work just in case we feel brave enough to do some obedience! They were so good and remembered what to do.

Sunday, 25 October 2009

On saturday, Matthew took the dogs to Shrewsbury for a KC small/medium show.

They had fun by the sounds of it despite the appalling weather! Brax got a 3rd in the pairs with Lians fantastic young dog Sizzle, she also got a 2nd in the graded agility, 4th in the combined agility and WON the grade 6 jumping. Now she only needs one more win to be Grade 7! Matthew drew me some of the courses and they looked challenging but fun.

Matthew also ran Brodie in the G1-3 jumping and the C1-3 jumping. He came 3rd in the combined class which again wasn't straightforward. Brodie was one out of the places in the graded class so thats now the 18th time that has happened this year! I was really pleased with 2 clear rounds though and that Brodie is running so well for Matthew.

Today (sunday) we had the annual sheltie society agility training day and this year it was with Natasha Wise (new World Champion!!) I was a bit dubious to begin with as I'd been put in the more advanced class but I quickly felt at ease as Natasha is really helpful and encouraging.

The first exercise we were working on was getting tighter turns round wings. This is a bit of a problem for me and Brodie and he demostrated his wide turns by going off up the dog walk (miles away!!) We repeated the exercise and as I improved my handling his turns got much better. My lack of coordination became apparent - Natasha was very patient luckily!! Matthew and Brax were superstars at tight turns and Matthew got some good tips to improve her turns even more.

I was really proud of Brodie on the next exercise as we worked on push throughs and I was brave enough to work the A-frame from a distance which paid off. Natasha liked the consistency of his running contacts although we did find he was a bit 'sticky' on the see-saw so I've got a few tips to improve his speed over it. Brodie's push throughs were ok but again my handling needs some work. Luckily one of my trainers, Lisa with her super fast sheltie Tyler was also at the training day so we can practise some of the sequences again!

One of the things that was a real weakness for me was (as usual!!) pull throughs. I need to be giving him an 'in' command much quicker once Brodie is committed to the jump and make sure I'm in the right place!! As we will be getting more pull throughs in shows I know this is something I need to work on without slowing Brodie down too much.

Brax was fantastic at most of the exercises but contacts again were her major issue! Natasha said she felt that contacts had become tense for both Matthew and Brax as he gets worried and shouts touch and she isn't sure about what he exactly wants. More work needed over winter!! Here is a little video of Brax getting her dog walk contact. Sorry about the quality of the videos as they are on my phone!

All the shelties had so much fun and it was so nice to catch up with all our sheltie friends! Here is a picture of Brodie trying hard to impress Genie (who is actually his half sister) but she only had eyes for Lisa's Tyler-there was some serious flirting going on and Brodie does look a bit put out!! I have also added a pic of Tyler looking very chilled out at lunchtime.

Wow what a busy couple of days Brodie and Brax have had!!

On friday Brax wasn't so busy as she was at home being spoilt by Matthew as he was working from home! Brodie had more fun though! My friend and work mate Megan brought her super terrier Hattie up to work to have a run round as she has had time off with a cut paw pad. I got to have a go running her and she such a cool dog as she works so well for anyone, she just gets on with it and knows exactly what to do. Here is a video of me having a run round with Hattie.

Then I had a run round with Brodie and he loved it but had a refusal after the A-frame as I forgot to say 'go' and then he got distracted. Good dog, shame about the handler..! I was really pleased though as he did go off like a rocket! Here is a video of Brodie having a race round. Hattie makes an appearance at the end of the video as she had realised by then that I had sausage in my pocket!

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Brax had fun at the Barking Mad show last saturday! She did really well getting a 2nd in the C6-7 jumping (which included an impressive somersault half way round!) and she also got a 3rd in the C5-7 agility. I took a photo of her with her rosettes and unfortunately they clash with her new blanket!!

Brodie didn't do agility at the weekend so he just got to be silly and snuggle in the new blanket!!

I have been trying to get Brodie to do some tighter turns round jump wings this week on my lunch breaks as he has a tendency to do very wide turns! He has this amazing toy which is helping to speed him up. Its a perfect agility toy as its small, furry and has a long tail to play with. Unfortunately the box of toys was called 'roadkill' which is quite appropriate as they are very 'flat'!

Monday, 12 October 2009

I just went out for a lovely walk with the dogs and they had a great run around the fields which have are still nice and dry! Yesterday we had a fun agility show at the kennels where I work and I enjoyed designing some nice courses and watching our clients having so much fun. I felt very proud of how they all did, some have not been doing agility for long and to see them get a rosette was great. I even ran Brodie at the end for fun and it was the first time in three weeks because of my back. I think we both enjoyed every second!!

I risked a ride on Max this morning and so far the back feels OK. Fingers crossed!! I'm hoping that it will hold out for the Sheltie club training day in two weeks time. I'll see how I get on at training this week and try not to overdo it.

Monday, 5 October 2009

We have had a weekend relaxing!! Its been lovely to have a lie in and a long dog walk. The dogs look a bit confused about not going off to an agility competition but I think they are getting into the swing of chilling out!

Brodie has finally got to grips with his 'shy' command and I managed to catch it on video