Wednesday, 28 August 2013

Restrained recalls - help!!

Quick question before I launch into what we have been up to. Has anyone else who reads this (all 4 of you, lol!) had a problem with their puppy disliking restrained recalls? The shelties were never keen about being restrained by other people but would happily tolerate me or Matthew. Sparkle is happy for me to restrain and send her to a dead toy but as soon as someone else restrains her she gets stressed (could easily be mistaken for her being keen to get to me)  She tolerates it the first time but then won't go near the person again, even if its Matthew. I have been working hard to put it on a command which means go to the person I'm pointing at and let them hold your harness - so far she is getting it well but I'm not moving that far away. Anyone else got any tips about how to make it a more pleasant experience for her? I know its not the end of the world if she won't cope with it but its odd as she is such a bubbly, happy little puppy. I'm not sure if its part of the teenage stage? I have to say generally though that since my last post she has been great again so maybe she was having an off couple of days! Back to walking nicely, not screaming at dogs running and being much calmer. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far!

I took Dolly and Sparkle to Hawbridge on Sat and the spaniel did good! Dolly dog managed to get 2nd in the Gamblers (didn't get the gamble though!) but she worked her contacts lovely :)  She had a pole in the Beg Steeplechase but would have come 2nd and she came 2nd in a big Beg Agility class. She shot through the weaves like a rocket!

On Sunday we went to FAB Dorset (only 2 hours away so not too bad) for the final IFCS Qualifiers. The older two only had two runs (Agility and Snooker) as they had spread the four qualifying classes over the two days again. Brax was a little star and came 3rd in the agility, very close to the first two dogs. She had a weird moment at the start, I'm not sure she heard Matt release her?

Brodie along with all the mini's got E'd in Agility. I was pleased that he did his dog walk as it was the first time after being blown off. Both him and Brax got a qualifying score in snooker. Brodie was just wild!! He loves snooker - lots of running around!!

Little Brooke was a good girly as she had to concentrate with Lian there and she finds Grandma soooo exciting! She couldn't hold it togther in the Jumping and had an airy fairy moment but redeemed herdelf in the agility with a lovely run that won her the class!!

Hopefully we will find out about the IFCS Qualifiers results soon - little Brax was very consistent but then so were many of the toy dogs. They were probably one of the strongest categories with many dogs already having competed internationally. Also we didn't do all of the qualifiers whereas some did so that puts us at a disadvantage points wise. We have had great fun doing the courses and learning more about running games. Also it has given me some things to work on! Whatever happens we are on a fun agility journey :)

Monday, 19 August 2013

Dealing with a teenager..!

Sparkle has suddenly become a teenager! Its like someone flicked a switch on over the weekend and she has been CRAZY!! My mild manner ickle pup has been pulling on the lead like a tank, swimming in her water bowl-grrr and getting overexcited walking round rings and barking/screaming at dogs running. I know its a phase that will pass but we need to iron out the niggles now before they become habits. Two of the shelties didn't really do the teenage thing in a big way - Brodie and Brooke's naughtiest moments were running off after a flock of birds and not coming back!! Nothing was chewed, they didn't pull or make much noise. Matthew had to remind me that Brax was a pain in the a*se which I must have forgot looking back with my rose tinted specs on! I had forgotten that she pulled to the point we used a headcollar as she was choking herself (even on a harness) trying to chase anything that moved. She was such a dreadful car/bike/jogger chaser and would work herself into a frenzy. You wouldn't believe it now - she is so fab at everything bless her.

 Who me??

Naughty?? Never....!!

Spark has been really good about coming back and up until this weekend hasn't pulled on her lead or been excited walking round rings - we are just going to have to do some focus work as I don't want her getting into the habit of screaming at dogs running. She wasn't bad all of the time but def some homework needed! I have been getting her used to wearing a headcollar in the house just in case we need to use one. She isn't big at all (all 7kg of her, lol!) but it would be useful to be able to turn her head away from the action. I have found a young dog multi skills class that would be good to take her to as well so she gets to work around other dogs.

Having said that she is being a bit of a teenage, I couldn't fault her on her first public demo - I only took her which in hindsight was a bit silly as I had no back up if she had been overwhelmed. She rose to the occasion beautifully and LOVED the cuddles at the beginning and end! She worked through all her tricks and nothing phased her at all - even though some of the patients are wearing oxygen masks and had machines beeping.

Here she is after her demo - hoping I'll drop some cake! :)

We went to Teejay UKA show yesterday. Poor Matthew has been feeling a bit rough so only managed a couple of NFC runs with Brax (dogwalks) and ran her in pairs with me and Brodie. He didn't run Brooke as he needs 100% brain and leg power for her!! Brodie was a good boy, winning his steeplechase but then fell off the dog walk in pairs. I carried on running him as he landed pretty much upright for a change but pulled him from the next class. He seems fine today but I'm doing heat packs and lead walks for a couple of days to make sure. Dolly was the star of the show!! Her first run was the Beginners Steeplechase qualifier and she was soooo fast that I mistimed a front cross and she cut behind me and shot past a jump so we got a refusal. I carried on running her and she finished 4th with the fastest 5 faults (despite the refusal she was 3 seconds faster than the winner) so I'm kicking myself a bit! Her next run was jumping and she came 3rd - clever choccy wocker :) I'm really pleased as there were 12 weaves and she just got her head down and got on with them without looking at me at all. Her confidence is definitely on the up! Her last run was another steeplechase and poor Matt was wilting by then so I don't know whether she was 1st or 2nd but she did another smashing clear!

Here are another couple of my fav photos from the week - the first is two of Sarah and Simons hounds - Tom and Ali after their playtime in the field. They just love running around and it makes me laugh watching them bound around having fun after the difficult lives they have had. They have the best home now, lucky boys!! The second pic is the two ginger girlies having a snuggle while Matthew was away-they definitely felt sorry for themselves!

Monday, 12 August 2013

KC Festival

We went to the KC International Festival on Friday and Saturday. We had Brodie entered in the British Open Cup classes and Brooke in the Novice Cup and some 'normal' classes.

My aim for Brodie was to get two clears if possible, not for the sake of qualifying for the semi final as there were so many amazing dogs entered but just to get as much practice running tricky courses clear! My little midget did me proud and although the jumping round was naggy and messy, the agility run felt nice and we really worked well together - I love that feeling :) I managed the layer and was really pleased that he kept the spread up-in the video you can really see him stretching to get over it!

He didn't get placed in either run but was so pleased at the fact we got round both clear! Well done to Paul and Chester Beagle who also managed two clear runs and unfortunately for them were the highest placed pair not to qualify for the semis. Blooming good going considering that the top 15 was made up of Grade 7 dogs and loads of Agility Champions, Chester was the highest placed Grade 6 by miles :)

Jenni and Rommy also had an amazing weekend! Rommy finished 6th in both the Novice cup jumping and agility and made it through to the Semi final (top four go to Crufts)on the Saturday. It was nail biting stuff watching as there were a lot of dogs getting eliminated and five faults. Helen and Sweep were going so well until Sweep refused the A frame. They did really well to finish 6th. Jenni and Rommy made it all the way round to the dog walk and the Rommy took the wrong jump and got e'd. They did so well though as the arena is packed with spectators and Rommy took it all in his stride for such a young dog. Very proud of them making it through in the first place out of over a hundred dogs!

Here is a photo of Brooke pretty sister Savannah - she is the spitting image of Brooke in tri. She did really well over the weekend getting at least a couple of wins and lots of good placings - mediums watch out!!

 Brooke puppy had some great runs but no clears. She found having her Grandma Lian there quite distracting but did get better on the Saturday. Her agility runs were good on the Saturday, nice quick contacts and much more focused. The lovely judge of C4-5 Agility came out of the ring after Matthews run and said she just had to come and tell him how lovely Brooke was and how it was great how positive he was handling her even when it went wrong. What a fantastic thing for a judge to do - I guess it would annoy me watching loads of people blaming their dogs for their handling mistakes.

Sparkle enjoyed meeting loads of people and watching the action in the main ring!

Here is Brooke and her family! From L-R Brooke, Daddy Sing, Brother Sonic, Older full sister Tig and Mummy Samber. What a lovely family :)

One tired Brooke puppy after two days competing!!

Shelties in the field doing some proprioception work today! Yes Mr Toad does like pink!!

Sparkle baby is off to do her very first demo tomorrow for a local hospice - please let her be more interested in working for me then all the people with cake...!

Monday, 5 August 2013

More training...

Last friday we took Brooke to a Natasha Wise training day which we were really lucky to get on due to a cancellation :) Brooke worked well and Matthew had to work blooming hard too on some of the sequences! Like me he really struggles with doing the European blind crosses, I think years of 'don't turn your back on your dog' have been drilled into our brains!! Tasha was lovely and very patient!! Here is a video of Matt and Brooke which includes a blind cross by the tunnel

And another sequence from the training day

Yesterday we went to a FAB show in Oxford so not too far! Brax and Brodie were running in four IFCS qualifying classes. Agility was up first and Brodie was E'd on the third last obstacle as his silly mummy handled like a twit! Brax went storming round and ended up in second place behind Lian and Sizzle (well done guys!!) not bad considering the both Sizzle and the dog in 3rd place have fast running contacts! Lian kindly filmed her run

Neither of ours managed the gamble which was a send out to an A frame but both of them sent away over a couple of jumps which we didn't think they would! Brodie did well in Snooker and Brax was E'd due to Matthew forgetting to call her off the finish jump, lol!

The jumping was a really clever course, lots of handling and turns. Brodie listened well and went clear ending up 2nd. Brax had an unfortunate run past a jump resulting in a refusal but came 3rd. Again thanks to Lian for the video :)

Well done to Lian and Sonic for winning the Grand Prix Final :)

Less said about Brooke at FAB the better...!

Agility Pupdate

Matthew and I were off this week so we could do some training with the doglets and a couple of shows. The dogs have had a very tiring week and enjoyed having Matthew around - Brooke puppy is distraught that he went to work this morning. I have never seen her so miserable :(

On Wednesday we went to UKA Nationals and did Masters with Brodie and Brax and a couple of NFC runs with Brooke. She was brilliant, fast, focused and replicated her speed over the contacts that she gets in training-yay! Really pleased with little bean!

The Masters jumping was a really fun course but with loads of tunnel traps so Brodie and I got a big E but we did managed the tricky weave entry and pull through :) Brax had 5 on the weaves but her hatred of curvy tunnels stood her in good stead for the rest of it, lol!

The agility was a fantastic course as well - really testing obstacle discrimination but fast and flowing. Brodie just didn't have his head in gear and we had 10f at the weaves, 5r for a run past the seesaw (my fault for calling him too much) and then he landed on his head coming out of the cloth tunnel so I picked him up and took him out. He was a bit sore on his shoulder for a couple of days but seems fine now. Little Brax stormed round the agility getting 10 faults for VERY naughty dog walk and A frame but a stunning time which meant that she WON the Masters Overall!! This qualifies her for the Grand Finals in December, clever diddle! :)

Lots more to update but will have to wait as I'm running late now....!!