Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Envy agility training update.

I haven't written much about Envy's training. She attends a class once a week, but more importantly, I try to work with her a little bit nearly every day.

She has moved up to jumping either 16" or 20" jumps and is a very nice jumper and does not hit the bars.

About two or three weeks ago I started training her on some channel weaves. Prior to that, I had introduced her to weave entries using a 2x2 weave. She is doing really well after an initial period where she worried about them. Each day we practice them, I see more and more confidence.

Here is a short video of our weave practice last week:

We are also working on our teeter performance. I have been following a DVD by Jen Pinder on teeter training. This is coming along great.

As for the dogwalk and Aframe, I have decided to train a running contact. I initially thought about doing a solid 2on 2off performance, but I know myself and I would expect that the performance of 2o2o would deteriorate as I got into a trial atmosphere. I also am not a big fan of the stress that stopped contacts puts on the dog, especially the Aframe. I was hesitant on doing a running contact because of how unreliable they seem to be - at least with those people that I know who have trained it using Sylvia Trkman's method. They really seem like an effort in frustration, where it's beautiful when it works, but so difficult to fix when it doesnt work.  I am trying Dawn Weaver's running contact method. I will give further updates on this as we progress.

There is still a ton to work on, and I am in no hurry to get into the ring before we are completely ready. I would think that we would be ready before she is 2 years old (in February 2015), but we will see.

We've done all the obstacles, but of course spend most of our time with jumps and tunnels at this point.

She is a lot of fun to work with and loves to tug tug tug for her reward. She also likes the floppy disc frisbee's which work great as tug toys and throw/catch toys.  Envy is more of a 'thinker' than a 'doer' type dog. She does have a good work ethic though and doesnt shut down if we repeat a sequence multiple times. She just really seems to enjoy our training time together!

Monday, May 19, 2014

USDAA fun in Pueblo

This show is always our first outdoor show of the year and the weather can be crazy cold or steamy hot. This year was pretty nice with 70's and 80's and sunshine so there were lots of people sporting sunburns!

They moved the location from the University of Colorado campus to a bit further south from us as apparently the university is replacing the grass in the soccer field that we usually use with artificial turf and the work is still in progress.

I had to laugh because the club president told us that we may not go back to that location after the turf is in because the turf can get too hot. This is funny because we are almost done putting in some nice used turf on our outdoor arena. We cant wait to have turf outdoors to run on!

I had entered Rip in everything except the Master Challenge courses, and Skye was entered in Jumpers, Snooker and Gamblers each day.

Saturday was a bust for Rip with no Q's in his 6 runs. The rundown is this -

  • Gamblers - it was a distance turn from a tunnel under the AFrame, onto the frame then to a tire. He came out of the tunnel and came to me instead of going up the frame.
  • Standard - decent, kinda slow, but he dropped a bar and ended up running around the chute.
  • Jumpers - didnt get video'd, and was a nice run, but he hit one bar.
  • Steeplechase - two handling errors caused a lot of wasted time. We were clean but did not make the cutoff.
  • Pairs - not our fault - Rip ran his side well, but our teammate had a run-by on the aframe which cost a lot of time plus the 5 second penalty put us less than 1 second over time.
  • Snooker - had a good plan going in the opening but tweaked my knee and couldnt get where I needed, which caused him to backjump a red.
Skye on the other hand was a superstar on Saturday, going 3/3. 
In Championship, there was only 1 dog that got that gamble. In performance, 4 dogs actually got it, with Skye being one of them. He's really done well on gambles lately.
In Snooker, he ran great and got all the way through the closing.
Jumpers was nice too - just good ol Skyeboy.  All his runs were either 1st or 2nd place.

Sunday had 5 runs for Rip. This turned out to be a way better day. 
  • Standard - Rip ran well, decently fast, but I rushed him and he came out of the weaves early.
  • Grand Prix - I ran it trying to get some speed out of Rip but wow he was slow in his weaves, slow on his teeter and really slow on his dogwalk. In the rest of the run, I did a number of blind crosses to keep moving and he did great on that, and we ended up clean with a Q. Only 5 22" dogs Q'd this course (out of 22 I think), and we were 5th.
  • Gamblers - So close - he did the gamble correctly, but it involved a dogwalk and he missed the contact. This was the only contact he missed all weekend!
  • Snooker - I ran Skye in this first and used the same plan for Rip, but the run order put me back-to-back in running this, as Skye was the last Performance dog, and Rip was the first Championship dog. Though I was totally out of breath, I did 4 reds and got through 6 in the closing, and ended up getting a Super Q!  I am sure we would have finished the 7 if I could have actually run. I gotta get in better shape!
  • Jumpers - The last run of the weekend was Jumpers and it was a pretty challenging course. Rip was in a mood to run well and he ran clean for 3rd place!
On Sunday, Skye again did really well going 2/3. He missed getting a Q in gamblers as he had run past the first jump of the gamble earning a refusal, but he did the gamble correctly. He did get all the way through the closing in Snooker for 2nd place and ran a nice Jumpers run for 1st in his group.

Overall, pretty successful, with getting that last Grand Prix Q that Rip needs for nationals. We still need 1 more stinking Steeplechase Q as I keep finding a way to screw that up. We have another USDAA trial coming up early in June, so maybe there.

Envy had a great time hanging out and being a border collie. 

Here is Rip's jumpers from Sunday

Skye's Snooker from Sunday: