Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Friday, February 27, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves update

After getting to 6 poles the other day, I decided to give him a day off from practice. Today I had moved the poles to a new location to make it easier to have jumps on either side, and just to mix it up a bit for him and make sure to take location out of the picture.

We have this little ritual we do before practicing weaves. I get the squeaky tennis ball, and we head out the back door. Rip then zooms over to the training building, and we play ball for a few minutes in the building first. Then we go out the back door of the building, and lately he runs to the weaves and hits them for his ball reward. Today I took him out and we played, and then he ran out the back and looked around for his weaves. It was pretty funny - he's all "hey, where did they go??". Then I showed him their new location and he hit them without issue.

As it was cold and windy today, I only had him do a couple jumps into the weaves. Probably twice from on-side, and once from off-side, but all were 100% successful!

Its supposed to be nice out this weekend so I expect to get out there again and probably film it.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 19, 6 Poles!

We are now doing 6 inline poles! The interesting thing is, Susan Garrett suggests that when introducing the last set of 2, that they should be setup offset at the beginning or the end of the 4 straight poles. I was finding that with them offset, Rip would hit the entry, and then skip by the other poles and suck into the offset poles. He did this a couple times. I then just put them straight and he hit them every try.

We will now work on entries over a jump around the arc. I need to pull the anchors out and move the poles over so I have equal room for both side when incorporating the jump, and so Rip gets a different look, facing a different direction just to make sure they are proofed and he can hit them wherever I put them. Soon enough, I will look to introduce the next set of 6 poles as suggested by the DVD.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 18

I took Rip out today sans camera again, to play and do some 2x2's. Before we went out, I had moved the poles straight (I didn't tell him I was doing this)

He ran out and hit those just like before and didn't notice the difference! He was 100% on the 4 straight poles - such a good boy! We did probably 6 repetitions and I didn't see the need to do more as he was hitting them.

So now I will add a jump into the poles to make sure he's OK with hitting the entry after another obstacle. He doesnt seem fazed by my running beside him or crossing behind, so I dont suspect adding a jump will cause any issues.

I look forward to adding the last set of 2 poles into the mix!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 17

No video today, and just a very short session. When I grab the squeaky tennis ball, Rip gets all excited and will race out to the training field ahead of me. Today when we got within sight of the weaves, he went right for them at a 90 degree angle, collected and did his 4 poles. He did a great job. I then had him do the poles 5 more times, including running with him, and rear crossing him, and he was 100% today, so I need to move the poles to the straight position now.

Next session will be with 4 poles straight, then introduce a jump into the weaves, then it will be to add poles 5&6 to the mix.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 16

As I mention in the video, I was able to get the stakes out of the ground to move the 2x2's closer. They are only offset by the width of the base now, maybe 2 inches.
At first, Rip didn't know what to do, but then he figured it out and hit maybe 50% of his attempts. Once I can move them together, which I expect to do this week, I will add in a jump into the weaves before adding the last set of 2 poles.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

QQ streak is over

Would the opposite of a "dry spell" be a "wet spell"? Well, anyway, Skye and I did two days of the 4 day AKC trial at the Denver Stockshow. Since last fall when I got into Excellent B in both JWW and STD, we have managed to get a Double Q each weekend we trialed. This weekend it wasn't meant to be. Though we did Q in both our JWW runs, we NQ'd both Standard's this time.

We also ran in Open FAST and got the Q on Sunday.

Saturday in the Standard run, Skye jumped both the AF and DW contacts, and to top it off, he ran around the chute once again (re: last week's USDAA trial). I brought him back around to the chute and we continued. Looking at the tape, that runaround wasted 6 seconds, and without that, our time would have been good for 4th (out of 50-some odd dogs).

Saturday's JWW was nice - he could have been faster in the weaves, and if his speed in the first 1/2 of the course was as good as the second 1/2, we would have placed higher, but still we managed a respectable 12th place out of 65 dogs I believe.

Sunday's Standard was doomed from the start. Sometimes Skye will get all crazed watching a dog run before him. He was barking and carrying on when we entered the ring. He then would not sit for my short (but necessary!) lead-out. I even tried to physically push his butt down into a sit and he resisted, so as to not waste too much time, I just decided to go with the 1 step lead-out that I had. Jump, Jump, Offcourse Jump was how we started. Ugh. We got back on track, did that chute without issue, hit the AF contact, did weaves and then another offcourse wrong-end-of-tunnel entry, and hit that DW contact just fine. We finished out and though it wasnt a disaster, I was bummed as I really wanted to keep that streak alive!

In Open FAST, I did not walk the course as the timing of the walkthrough was during my STD run. Had I walked it, I would not have gotten greedy and tried for all 80 points, so though I did Q (with a 2nd place of 13), I was just over time and didnt get to finish my plan.

Finally, we finished Sunday with JWW, and I ran trying to squeeze some extra speed out of Skye. He did a great job for me and his time was pretty good - 27.something, compared to the real fast Sybil / Lucky / etc. dogs who were pulling in mid 23, or 24 something. If I can get within 4 seconds of Sybil, I am happy. Scores were not posted when I left, so I dont know where we placed - I will have Katrina get me the scores when she goes back tomorrow.

Oh, with the two Q's in JWW, we are just 1 Q away from our MXJ title.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, not much to say

The cold weather has frozen the ground, and with it, the anchors I used to hold the 2x2 weaves in place. When we had the spell of 60 and 70 degree days a week ago, the ground was accommodating and let me pound in the 8" spikes to hold the weaves. Now the ground wont let go, and I cant adjust the poles to a straighter position!

At this point, Rip is hitting almost 100% from onside entries. I haven't been doing many offside, as rather than frustrate him, I am doing offside with just a set of 2 poles in the training building so that he gets the point of them again. He is doing great with the 2 poles, and they are basically turned straight, maybe close to the 1&7 position, but he gets it with 2.

The weather hasnt been very cooperative, with cold and constant gusty winds making training outside less than enjoyable. At least the little bit of snow we got was gone the next day. We're getting a small amount of snow again tonight, but I doubt it will be enough to worry about, though it probably wont get above freezing to melt it until Sunday.

This weekend Skye and I are doing 2 days of the 4 day AKC trial at the Denver Stockshow location. They have a lot going on there, with conformation, obedience and agility. There should be lots of vendors - I may pick up a new collar for Rip. He chewed up his nice brown one that matched the leash I bought him - "brother" Ice took the collar off him, and then Rip decided to chew it in half.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Couple pictures from the Kansas trip

What Skye does when I'm gone picking up some dinner

Rip making himself at home on the bed

A foot makes a good pillow too..

Skye is never too far away from me. The closer, the better, in his opinion.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 15

After being away for 4 days, I was curious to see how Rip would do on his weaves today. A camera malfunction prevented me from getting the session on tape unfortunately. He did really great for his on-side weaves, and probably hit 6 out of 7.

On the other hand, he again really struggled with the offside entries. He got maybe 1 of 6. I felt really bad because his energy level dropped as the misses piled up. Instead of continuing to push it, I played ball with him and got him excited to play indoors. Then I took out a single set of 2x2's and had him hit those about 4 times indoors and he got them no problem.

For his misses, he is just not collecting and seeking out the first poles. He is running around them and going to the second set and looking for the ball throw. So, I will probably have to reinforce the offside entries with the 2 poles a couple more days until I ask him for them again on the 4 poles. For onside, I will let him do those as he is really getting it.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Back from USDAA. Couda been betta!

Well it was a nice trip to Kansas for the USDAA trial - warm weather (70 in February!) and a relaxing environment.
On Friday, we only had two runs, Gamblers and Snooker. Double NQ. Ugh. Skye ran a nice opening in Gamblers but then spazzed on the gamble. He botched it before it even started - I thought the Jump to Tunnel part was easy, and then it was going to be tough from there, but he jumped, put his nose to the ground and spaced, then back jumped. I'm going to give that one to Skyeboy. Snooker was using a tunnel/jump/jump sequence for the 7pt, but Skye knocked one of the bars, and then in the closing, he knocked the bar on the #4 jump, so we were done. Lets give that 1/2 to me and 1/2 to Skye.

Saturday started with a repeat of Friday - a Gamblers and Snookers, then Grand Prix, Steeplechase and Standard. We had a good run in Gamblers and got the gamble for a Q.
Snookers looked like it was going to turn out great. We opted for doing 4 reds, but after my 4th red, Skye cut behind me and took the 4th red again. Done. Skyeboy scored another one!
Grand Prix was an absolute disaster after the 8th obstacle. Skye went into a curved tunnel, and then came back out the same entrance. Havent seen that before in competition. So we continued from there, but after a few more ooops's and then finally his skipping the chute, I told the judge we were done and we walked off.
We then ran Steeplechase, and we had a decent run and got the Q and advanced to round 2 for the next day.
Finally, we ran Standard, and almost got the Q except for my causing Skye to jump the AFrame contact and bypass the darn chute again. My fault though, one for me.

I was hoping to salvage this trial and have a successful day on Sunday, and it was moderately so.
Sunday we did Standard, Jumpers, Pairs relay and Steeplechase round 2.
Standard was almost a nice Q again, but not quite - Skye actually fell off the dogwalk when he was almost at the top of the up ramp. He's never fallen off one before - but he went right back up on it and wasnt shaken or hurt. Jumpers was next and we ran it well, but one bar down. I probably FC'd too close to the jump and caused it.
I ran Pairs next and my partner and I managed a Q - we both were clean. Finally, Round 2 of Steeplechase came. We ran 3rd out of 5 dogs. A couple of the dogs had off courses, and we managed to get 2nd place - Yea! My first time getting cash for playing agility!

So at least the weekend ended on a positive note. Looking at other positives, every one of our dogwalk contacts was good, and I have been letting Skye run through them. He strided nicely down into the yellow every time. We only missed the 1 AFrame contact that I caused by crossing too close in front of him. Weaves were good this weekend too, though somewhat slower than usual. We dropped more bars than I like to see though.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 13

Today I moved the poles back outside, as I had been working them in the training building the last 2 times. I moved out because I was needing to stake down the poles so Rip wouldn't move them. Since he was doing well, I rotated them a bit more, close to 4 straight poles.

As I mention in the video, he was at a 50% success rate after a couple minutes. We then hit a series of misses from the offside and he seemed to be getting a little frustrated, looking around and driving less, so I waited for him to hit it right once more and we finished with some fun tennis ball play in the building.

This session I also mistakenly rewarded a miss, and though I was upset with myself for doing it, I figure it was going to happen at some point! Its tough to time the reward correctly!

I'll do another session tomorrow with the poles in the same place, and will continue with the same positioning until I see at least 80% success. Then, Thursday we head for a USDAA trial in Kansas, so there won't be any weave training until Monday next week.

Rip moves to level 3 class & weaves day 12

Tonight Rip had his first level 3 class and he did a great job. He had focus and drive through the whole class, never visited any dogs and generally did what I asked of him. Such a good boy. He does get very amped up when other dogs are running, and he will bark at them and want to herd, but I know its going to happen so try to keep it to a minimum.

We got to show our progress with the 2x2 weaves in class while the other students ran their dogs through the weave-a-matics. I have generally been staying away from weave-a-matics while training the 2x2's as I dont want to confuse him.

We did a couple minutes of weave practice earlier today, and then a couple minutes in class, so this was his day 12. I expect in the next day or two that I will be moving the two sets of poles to be in straight/inline position, though I need to move back outside for this so I can anchor them to the hopefully not frozen agility field.

Check out this picture - Skye is being a very proper boy with his sit, and Rip is in a "I'm ready to move in either direction at 100mph" sit. Goofy boy.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 11

No video today, but I did practice with Rip. I am getting very close to closing the 4 poles to the straight position. He seems to be "getting it" and as he is hitting the poles and moving them, I want to stake them down outside and see how he does.
The squeeky tennis ball is a fun motivator for him - he really likes it and wants to play.

Due to his self-entertaining nature, I was sometimes having trouble getting him to bring a toy or ball back to me as he would instead want to just toss it to himself. Now though, he's bringing it back and wanting me to throw for him. This definitely helps with the training!

Shadow Rip

While the other dogs were outside playing, Rip was in the house with me. He usually doesnt get to play with them because he likes to herd (read: cut off and annoy) Ice. So this was Rip watching out the window, and yes it's dirty with dog nose spooge. Anyway I thought this 'shadow' picture of him was cool as the sun was shining into the room brightly.

Then later, while watching the super bowl, I still had the camera next to me and snapped this shot of him asleep with his head resting on the bottom of the coffee table.