Thursday, August 28, 2008
I've been taking Rip to two training classes a week for the last couple weeks - he is in an Agility 1 class and also participating in the Puppy class, though he really is outside the "puppy" classification.
I am really happy with his progress. As I had mentioned, when he arrived to me just over a month ago, he had no interest in any toys, tennis balls, or any kind of "play" interaction. He has really come along and will play quite a bit now. I bought a stuffed rabbit toy that he really likes, and he will tug and play with a cow udder toy, as well as run and get a tennis ball and bring it back to me. Good boy! Funny thing is he thought the greatest toy ever was this roll of duct tape that was about used up. He was tossing it and chasing, generally being a goofy puppy with it.
We've been working on a lot of foundation and its going well. He even will happily get on the wobble board and is OK with its movement - he wouldnt get on it at all before.
Though I am planning on teaching a running contact with Rip, we have done some work on locating 2o2o contact positioning.
I am still working on his confidence, especially when meeting new people. He is still crouching down and acting a little afraid, but when they bend down to meet him, he will be a snuggle boy.
He went with us to the USDAA show in Laramie, and he did good on the 3.5 hr ride in the truck, though he spent a lot of time sitting and watching instead of sleeping like the other dogs. At the USDAA show, he was very intent on watching the agility action just like he does here. One time I asked Katrina to hold his leash while I got something and she somehow had the leash slip out, and Rip went tearing into the ring while someone was running. Ugh! The judge let the person rerun, and they Q'd so no love lost, but that was not a good moment.
I'll update with a weigh-in tomorrow. I am hoping he is closing in on 40lbs.
Monday, August 25, 2008
Skye and I were up in Laramie at the USDAA show this past weekend. Since I have to wait for yet another install to complete for my computer that needs to be rebuilt (a whole 'nuther story), I will write about our results.
I am happy to say that we had a really good weekend. We drove up on Friday, as the trial wasn't starting until 4pm. We only had 1 run for Friday, which was the Steeplechase round 1. You had to do the weaves twice in this course, and Skye missed his entry (what weaves dad?) twice, but after stuffing him back in them, he completed the course and we managed to Q and get into round 2 to be held Sunday.
Saturday we ran Gamblers first and we missed Q'ing that by a wrong tunnel entry in the distance challenge, but generally it was a good run. Next was Standard which we Q'd with a 1st, and nice weaves! I did try to step on Skye when he came out of the chute but we talked that over and he forgives me.
Then we ran Grand Prix (ok the performance equivalent Perf. National Standard) and we got a Q with 1st place! That was worth a "buy" certificate into the second round at a Regionals. Nice big blue ribbon too!
Finally we did Jumpers and got a Q & 1st there too.
Sunday we started with Pairs, and I did something I had never done before - I skipped part of the course! It wasnt a matter of forgetting the course, like a "where am I" kind of moment, it was a "here's the baton, you start your part now" I am all done kind of moment, then when the judge blew the whistle, I realized I skipped a jump, the weaves and a tunnel, but the way the course was designed, it was easy to do, and I wasnt the only one who did!
We then ran Standard and we got a Q & 1st again. No weave troubles there!
Next up was the Round 2 of Steeplechase. I was having a great run but damnitall if I didnt get the wrong end of the tunnel on a really tough sequence. I could have handled it better, though Skye pretty much just decided he knew where to go. Our time was really good and we would have taken 1st if not for the oops. That probably would have netted me about $15 in winnings!
We finished the day with Snooker, and it was my first ever P3 Snooker run (think Excellent). The weaves were the 7pt obstacle, so since we were actually having a good weave weekend, I decided to go for a couple sets of weaves for points, and he did them great. We had a good run, but with Skye acting somewhat goofy and causing a little bit of time wasting, the buzzer went off when he was in the weaves during the closing so we didnt get the final 7pts. We did Q, but just missed our first "Super Q" by about 1 second.
Greg & the weavin' Skyeboy
Friday, August 15, 2008
Rip has gone to a few level 1 agility classes now and is learning some new skills. I am working on improving his confidence and drive, as he is a bit "soft". He was not brought up in an agility home, so for them, a soft dog was a good thing - very well behaved, but I want him to be a lot more rambunctious.
When he first arrived a few weeks ago, he had no interest in toys or balls. This has improved considerably and he is now running to get a toy, playing some tug and tossing a mini tennis ball around. He really likes this particular cow udder on a rope toy. I am still working on his desire to bring the toys back to me when he runs out and grabs them, so I need to pick up a couple identical toys that he likes and play games with him.
He is getting very good at Perch work and is perching and circling around for rear awareness. Funny thing is I brought out a higher perch (3rd height change) but it was made of slippery metal (an old popcorn tin) and he didn't want to perch it. I need one of similar height that is made of plastic or something.
Today I took him out to the building for some simple jump training, as he wasn't too interested in doing the jump when we tried in class two weeks ago. This time he was jumping and having a lot of speed and drive which I was quite happy with. He was even seeking it out and jumping to earn a treat. I am keeping the jumps low for now (12") as he is still young and inexperienced.
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
Monday, August 11, 2008
Saturday, August 9, 2008
I weighed Rip today and he is just under 39lbs. Thats good because he was a little thin when he came to us about two weeks ago, so he's put on 3 or 4 lbs since he got here. His brother Kelty weighed about 48 lbs a month ago - a big boy. I will see if I can locate the picture of his brother.
So Rip certainly enjoys breakfast and dinnertime and eats very fast. You can see that he's making sure we didn't leave any kibbles behind in this bag...
I've been teaching him to "perch", first on an upside down food bowl, and then on a plastic box that is about 6" high. I want him comfortable stepping up on things, such as when I am asking for the teeter bang. Boy is this pup smart. It took him all of about 15 seconds to figure out what I wanted him to do, and on our second session I could already get him to perch and move all the way around to the left or right while staying on the perch.
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
Well in case there was any doubt, my Skye boy does NOT like to run in the heat outdoors. I did the 3 day AKC trial at Arapahoe park near Denver on Aug. 1-3. It was triple digit temps and blazing sun. Each day we ran STD, JWW and FAST.
Friday was 102 degrees and I know that contributed to us getting no Q's. Skye missed his weave entry in Exc. STD, and though it was a slow run, it wasnt bad other than the entry. I then had to run my novice FAST to try and finish that title (its the last novice anything title I need). I mishandled it and brought him over the distance line so NQ. Then we ran in Exc. JWW with about 65 other dogs and he came out of the weaves about pole 9. He was really just walking through them anyway with zero motivation, so I just finished up the course.
On Saturday it was a similar story, though this time we did manage to Q our novice FAST and earn our NF title. We got 2nd place, 1 point behind 1st though our time was faster. Similar issues as Friday with STD and JWW, as again it was I think 101 degrees. Just slow slow slow Skye boy.
Finally Sunday was supposed to be cooler (ha, like only about 96) but at least the morning started off comfortable. We ran a nice consistent Exc. A STD and managed to Q with 3rd place. With very little time to breath, I then had to go run my Open FAST and though we did get the distance bonus, Skye would not weave and caused us to waste too much time so the buzzer went off when I was way on the other side of the ring and we didnt have enough points to qualify. The JWW run was actually nice, he wsa running pretty darn fast until his nemesis weave poles came into view. He nailed the entry, I started cheering him on to get through the damn things, and about pole 7 he decided it was too hot and too much work to be weaving, so we just continued on and finished the rest of the run. NQ again.
So for us, this was a really bad weekend as far as Q's go, and I am pretty sure I will not be entering any more outdoor trials in the summer - just not worth chancing that its going to be 100 degrees.
We left the other dogs home so they could stay cool. They still had the sad puppydog faces when we were leaving without them though.