Thursday, 27 November 2014

Up to date doglet video

I was feeling a bit wistful looking back on videos from the summer and thought I'd make a compilation video for our YouTube with clips of our four working. Here it is, sorry its a bit long but we have had such a fun year and there were so many more clips I wanted to put in it!

Monday, 24 November 2014

Agility Madness!

So on the last day of our stay at home holiday, I took Sparkle to a show to do one nfc run...mad or what?! The reason for the madness? A wooden seesaw! She has been doing my plastic one confidently for a couple of months (she is now 21months old) and recently has mastered aluminium seesaws as well. The problem is that you never know what you are going to get in the ring! So the hunt was on to find a wooden seesaw with rubber that she could play on. I noticed that one of the independent shows allows training rounds so off we went! My plan was a set of weaves and a seesaw in the ring for the first time. Well...clever puppy exceeded expectations :-) Perfect weaves and lovely seesaw-straight into position, tugged and waited for her release. Couldn't ask for more! Here she is with a bit of celebratory popcorn-it makes me laugh!!

It got me thinking though. Our first two dogs were not as lucky, they did club training once a week. All the equipment was wooden so at least that was consistent but we started competing them when training rounds didn't really exist. Brodie and Brax just kind of learnt on the job really! They hadn't been to different venues, worked on varying surfaces or met different equipment. Luckily for us (and says a lot about the nature of them both) that they just got on with it and worked! I would have loved to have seen how their agility careers had panned out had we known what we know now about training.

Sparkle is the first young dog that we have had since owning our own equipment. Brooke was 14 months when we got it and that was when she started weaves and contacts properly...her training up till then had been very sporadic with the odd lesson or workshop. Sparkle and Brooke have benefited loads from doing nfc runs and playing in the ring. Bracken was 3 before she started competing and Brodie was two at his first show. Brooke and Sparkle both were in the ring at 18 months but only playing nfc! I have done some jumping runs at KC shows with her for competition (as you can't do nfc) but there is no way she is ready to do agility in the ring yet. What is the hurry?

I know a couple of dogs who are the same age ish as Spark. One has gone up three grades since coming out in August and the other has gone up almost four grades and they aren't even two yet. Not meaning to get on my soap box but it makes me sad as both dogs already have ropey contacts and have slowed down since I saw them come out :-( Sparkle will be racing up and down in Grade 3 classes while they are tackling G6-7 and champ courses! Spark is still very much a baby, she gets tired mentally quite quickly and lacks stamina. I'm not saying that we are right taking so long but we want our dogs to be as happy and confident in their agility as possible. We do soooo much foundation work so when you come to trickier handling and things like seesaws they know their job already. I do think that training running contacts takes longer than stopped though, well thats my excuse!!

Wednesday, 19 November 2014


Matthew and I are having a lovely week off off work. For a few reason decided not to go anywhere but instead we thought we would stay at home and spend some time doing things we enjoy and going for some nice dog walks locally. The weather has been kind to us so far and hope it continues!

Here are some photos from our long walk yesterday-this is the track 5 mins from our place. We are lucky!

Brooke showing off her lovely heelwork :-)

Three shelties in a row!

Stopped for a sniff

Also shot a very cute video of Brodie and Brooke in the field this week. I love Brodies cheeky face at the end of this! Brooke and Brax have both had 4 weeks off doing agility so Brooke was very excited! Brodie will have his agility break over Christmas and Sparkle will have hers when she comes into season. Its nice for them all to have some agility down time

Monday, 10 November 2014

Shelties Love Agility!

As Matthew and I are on the ESSC Working Section committee we help to run the Sheltie Agility Show which was at the Dog Barn in Banbury this year. Lian did a great job as show secretary and sheltie owners are so nice and really helped us keeping the ring running smoothly. The shelties entered ranged from newbies at their first show up to Grade 7's and there were some amazing dogs entered! Watching them really sums up how almost feline shelties can be. I don't mean it in an offensive way for anyone who is anti cat but anyone who has a sheltie will understand what I mean! They are so agile when they move and jump, very dainty and effortless to watch. (Most shelties clean themselves like cats if they are dirty as well!)

Only Brodie was entered and he only did pairs with his best mate Rommy. Rommy was foot perfect but Brodie was bonkers and did a tunnel send to the other side of the ring by accident...he had great fun though and definitely made everyone laugh! Our judge Marie Douglas was lovely and set such well pitched courses :-)

Kevin Hicks was there with his camera and got some lovely pics of three of ours-poor Brooke was in season so had a very dull day being taken for short walks up the road and back. And she missed out on her photo being taken-her second favourite thing to agility!

Here is my most gorgeous boy-I just love this photo!

And little Brax

Here is a funny pic that Kevin got of me and Sparkle! She was an honorary sheltie for the day (she thinks she is one anyway!)