Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Tired Rip boy!

Rip just couldnt keep his eyes open after a busy day yesterday.

On Monday night, I took him to his first agility class and he did great - he went through a tunnel and did the chute after a little coaxing. He did some ladder work for rear foot awareness, began targeting and was introduced to the weave-a-matics.

I have been working on left & right commands which he caught onto quickly. He is not liking the wobble board and isnt wanting to do "bang it" on the teeter, so I am going to work on some "perch" work in the house to get him more comfortable about getting up on things.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

AKC trial at Latigo, July 26 & 27

My Skyeboy did me proud this weekend at the AKC trial at Latigo. I went into the trial needing 1 Q for both my AXJ and OA titles. Skye got those Q's for me on Saturday (two first places too), and decided to get two more Q's on Sunday to go 4/4. Yea! My boy also got all his weaves, which always makes me happy.

Sunday's Exc. Standard course tricked a lot of people - the Q rate was less than 25%, and of the Exc. A dogs, only 3 of 27 managed to Q. Skye was one of the very few!

Sunday's JWW was our first run in Exc "B" and our first opportunity to earn MACH points. We managed a Q and now I have 6 points.

Rip went with us (along with Ice and Rush) and he did awesome. Wow this was the first time since we got him a week ago that I actually heard him bark, and what a loud bark it is! I was having him watch some of the runs and he was all excited and barking & bouncing - a good sign for a future agility star. More of his personality comes out each day and he is such a sweet boy, he has made lots of friends, both human and dog.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Rhett (now Rip) and his sister

Brought the camera outside today when taking the dogs out. Here's Rip and his sister Rush together.

Also, I weighed Rip yesterday for a baseline. He is a skinny 35.8 lbs. I havent measured his height yet, but its probably close to 21". Supposedly he is going to be 22" tall - that'd be great by me!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Rhett is here....

After a long, delayed flight, Rhett arrived at the Denver airport on Monday Night (7/21/08). We didnt get home until almost 3am. Poor guy began his journey from Pennsylvania about 5pm, so almost 12 hours of travel.
He is a Great dog! I am thinking of changing his name to "Rip", short for Riptide - though I am catching grief about changing his name from my wife and daughter.
I took him out to watch some agility classes this week and he really wanted to run out and participate with what those dogs were doing. He's very loving and people oriented, and yet he gets along with all our dogs and every dog he has met so far. The only one who has hassled him is his sister Rush!
Here are some pictures from yesterday when I had him out playing with Skye.

Skye's Weaves

My boy's weaves make me crazy. We can do a trial and have him hit every weave without an issue, and then the next trial, he will miss entries and pop out. Absolutely no consistency from trial to trial. No doubt, I am "feeding" that when we are running and probably contribute to his missing them with worrying about it. I consciously try to not worry about them but who knows.

In training, he has excellent weaves, though even in training he will on occasion miss an entry and though rare, he may come out at pole 10. I haven't really been happy with his entries though because I have to shape them more than I'd like. I am always impressed by some of the very advanced dogs that can seek out and find an entry anywhere. Also, I haven't been pleased with Skye's speed in the weaves - I know he can go much faster, and I recently proved it.

So, I've decided to start making a bigger effort to improve weave performance. First, I am incorporating his favorite game of frisbee with doing weaves in the front yard (not in the more stressful training field). I am also going to follow some of the guidelines by Rachael Sanders and Rhonda Carter on proofing weaves.

Here's a video showing his fast "frisbee" driven weaves and some other weave related clips.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Rhett - the next chapter

Sometimes we get lucky with the timing of life's events. After last weeks group agility class with Kaylen, I had decided to pull her from any further agility training (see other post). Right about that time, we found out that a sibling of our border collie "Rush" was going to be sold by its current owner.
That pup is named "Rhett". He was going to be used in her breeding program but an issue arose regarding one of his testicles being up inside his body, which would not make him a good choice for breeding. We contacted the owner about the possibility of us getting him and to find out about his drive level and if he would make a good agility dog.
So... he is going to be coming to live with me! As I have only trained rescues who were already mature, training this guy is going to be a new experience. He is about 9 months old now, so we can build a good foundation.
Here are some pictures of him from his current owner -

Monday, July 14, 2008

Backwards steps for Kaylen

I was hoping that our little Kaylen would maintain the new found confidence that she developed earlier this year with regards to agility training, but it's just not the case. As soon as summer arrived, and the first thunderstorm boomed, I no longer had a dog during class. If we were working indoors on the weave-a-matics, or doing a teeter bang, she was ok but still quite reserved/concerned. Once we headed outside to work on everything else, she completely shut down, and as soon as she was offleash for her turn, she would leave me and go stand by the door or slink away somewhere.
She's developed such a fear again that I must give up her training for the last time and officially assign her the role of border collie pet. She likes frisbee if the sky is clear, and she makes a great lap-collie, but I am afraid thats going to be about it for this ol' girl.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

USDAA Rocky Mountain Regional, July 4th weekend

Well the USDAA Regionals are over for another year. All-in-all, Skye and I did OK at our first regional, considering that we dealt with highs in the mid 90's, some east coast type humidity and a lot of conflicts with 3 rings.

My Regionals started off with an Advanced jumpers course that was a lot of fun - I dont think I ever had to walk a course so many times to be sure I would remember it. When it was done, though we knocked 1 bar, we had the 2nd fastest time of about 30 dogs.

We ran Performance Speed Jumping and were fast enough to get into round 2, where Skye decided that he was done weaving for the day (our 7th run on Saturday), so I excused us after the 2nd failed attempt at the damn poles.

We also ran the Performance Grand Prix. We got 4th place with a clean run in round 1. Round 2 didn't go as well, as we got an offcourse jump at the end of the dogwalk.

We did get 2 Q's & 1st place in P2 Snookers which earned our title, so next time we will play P3 in Snooker. We also got a Q & 1st in P2 Gamblers.

We managed to NQ all 3 of our Standard runs (Grrrrrrr). The first one on Friday was a real mess with an offcourse and not completing the weaves after 3 tries. In our second standard run, Skye pulled his famous "seek out the tunnel under the AFrame" maneuver and netted us an offcourse. The third standard run was actually a nice run but I we got called for a dogwalk contact (I swear the contact zones were about 12 inches).

For the team competition (Performance Versatility Pairs), I had partnered with Ana Melara and her young black lab Meg. This is a points accumulation over 5 runs - a Standard, Snooker, Jumpers, Gamblers and a Pairs Relay. We did pretty well as a team, and managed 9th place out of 18 teams. We did get the team Q - they average the top 3 teams' scores and then determine the number of points needed to Q as a percentage of the top 3. Ana & Meg got Eliminated in their Jumpers run, otherwise we would have placed much higher.

So, Skye does not do so well outside in the heat. He was pretty slow overall, with the exception of the first run of each day. Weaves are still a major stress for me and Skye. We will be working on that, incorporating weaves with his favorite game of Frisbee in the front yard - well, maybe his favorite game is "find and chase the rabbit", but I am not sure how to incorporate Frisbee into that one. Also, ol Skyeboy didn't want to down on the table. All 3 times in Standard, it took anywhere from 5 to 10 seconds to get him to lie down - maybe heat related??. We had a couple dropped bars here and there, a couple contacts missed, but generally over the 17 runs we did well, just not fast.

So now we can say that we qualified for all the events at the USDAA Championships (Grand Prix, Steeplechase and Team).

I enjoyed watching the action in the Masters ring with all the fast dogs, especially in the 22" division, with all the "notable" handlers.
Though not many FAAD folks attended, those that did had a good time and were good company.

Greg & Skyeboy