Monday, 29 November 2010

Agility Club Annual Awards

Yesterday we went up to the Kennel Club building to collect our awards from the Agility Club. Bracken won the Small Grade 6 catergory and Brodie won Medium Grade 3 (Brax won small grade 3 last year so its family tradition!) They had to have baths so they looked smart enough in their photos that are taken for the Agility Voice magazine!

I am so proud of our shelties, they really are amazing little dogs and I feel priviledged to be owned by them! Next year we will be doing less KC agility and possibly more UKA so the agility club awards won't be on the cards. So it really was a once in a lifetime moment to receive such a lovely award.

Monday, 22 November 2010

Seriously hairy shelties!

I have been having a serious sheltie tidy up this weekend by trying to get some of their dead undercoat out. It can take ages but fortunately our two are very good about being brushed. Here is Brodie with his pile of hair from one grooming session! Anybody want to knit a sheltie jumper?!

This time of year the dogs are always more into having cuddles as they like the extra heat I think. If you sit still for long enough, Brax will snuggle on your lap like a cat! They both managed to have a lap at the same time the other day!

Monday, 15 November 2010

Brax Training

The main aim for Brax's training was to get her A frame contacts more solid and get her striding better over grids as she is not the most confident about knowing where to put her feet! We spent time earlier in the year retraining Bracken to do a 4 off A frame. She can do a perfect 2on/2off dog walk but always found it hard on the A frame so we thought a 4 off would suit her size and shape better. A few people have asked whether she jumps contacts as she is so small and the answer is YES! Sometimes she looks like she needs a parachute!! Here is a video of her doing her 4 off A frame.

The other thing we worked on was her gridwork. She has almost always refused to bounce jumps (not put a stride in at all) and pops in an uncomfortable little stride that is not necessary. Obviously it not only wastes time but can't be good for her physically as she has to jump in a very bizarre way!

The only way we could get her to bounce through the grid was if Matthew was moving alongside her. Obviously this isn't ideal as she should be able to do it as a recall but its something to work on. What I think we need is to attend a gridwork training day to get her confidence up, any suggestions gratefully received!

Both of our dogs are jumping slightly smaller heights than normal on the videos as they are both competing in a qualifier in a few weeks time that has different jump heights to KC shows. More on this later...
A massive WELL DONE is due to Maria, Paul and Chester the fab beagle who competed at Barking Mad last week and came away with a 1st and a 2nd and their second ever show! The cakes at training were great! :)

Brodie Training

We took the shelties to the kennels yesterday to do a bit of training as we have been finding it difficult to get to group training - we seem to be chasing our tails at the moment! We had a couple of goals to work on with each dog, both needed practice on contacts with tunnels underneath but Brodie needed some tricky weave entries and Brax needed some A frame contacts and gridwork.

Here are a couple of videos of Brodie running. The first is trying to get him more independent finding weaves entries at 90 degree angles. The first time he does the weaves I help him quite a lot but the second time I let him go off more by himself. You can see on the video that he is more hesistant without his mummy there!

The second video is us just having a run round, practising a couple of crosses but mainly to speed up his seesaw which was done with the help of cheese! I also worked Brodie doing obstacle discrimmination with the tunnel wrapped round one end of the A frame. He did have a couple of times where he got it wrong but generally was better when I only gave him a verbal command and hung back to let him make the decision.

Monday, 8 November 2010

Lazy Days!

I can't believe that it has rained so much over the last week, as a result Max pony is now stabled at night and I have been washing muddy clothes like crazy! Fortunately now we have an artificial grass arena at work to train on I don't get muddy paws on me at work :) We are starting to get lots of people hiring the arena for winter training and Crufts practice - it is fabulous and in all this crap weather it hasn't been waterlogged at all, not even the hint of a puddle!!

I had a run round with Brodie earlier in the week and worked on tricky weave entries and going round the back of jumps, next on the list is practising tunnels under contacts in case we get brave enough to enter any champ classes next year! With Brax we have been working hard on gridwork as she is not that confident of her striding and will always pop in an extra stride if shes not sure. Here are a couple of videos of her doing rainy day gridwork - the first one is her first attempt and she squeezes in an extra stride and the second video is her being braver on her second attempt!

Monday, 1 November 2010

Tired Shelties!

My Mum came to visit me last week for a couple of days and we had so much fun spending some quality time together. We did some nice dog walks and had happy but tired shelties as a consequence :) In fact, they decided to make themselves at home on my Mums bed!

On one of our walks we found what looked like a huge dock leaf that was the same size as Brax!

We also went to a local Butterfly centre and had a very interesting morning wandering around. I made my Mum have her pic taken with a giant ant, hehe!

This is me posing by a giant garden fork!