Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Royal Wedding

We had a lovely non-dog related day on Friday celebrating the Royal Wedding with friends, and we were supposed to go to Dordale both Saturday and Sunday, but it was such a lovely weekend we decided to only go on Sunday, it wasn't a good show for us, i don't think we really got into the swing of it and decided to call it a day at lunchtime - Maisy had some great moments and really is powering into some very fast weave entrances but her contacts are going backwards! really don't know what to do about it now, so I'm just not going to worry about them for now, it's so frustrating though because it just highlights the fact she isn't listenng at all at that poing on the round so I am very dissapointed with that as I thought we had at last made a breakthrough. Summer had a nice clear in her agility, but it was slow! she is so up and down, one class she is really driven and the next she gets her nosey head on and trots around without a care so Amy wasn't in the mood to see what she was going to offer after lunch and I had had enough so we called it a day. Yesterday I took Rupert to an obedience training day, It was really nice to be doing something completely different with him, and he was as always a star, I have plenty to work on and already this morning have started to put it into action. he has a little UKA show on Saturday, he's only in one class which is first in the ring, Masiy is also entered but I may not bother with her so i could be home really early! then on Sunday it's Darian Day, something we all look forward to.

Happy 18th Birthday to Ellen, we hope you had a great day XX and another well done to Jo with Zippy & Ronny for their ABC qualifier - you really are on fire at the moment, I can't wait till July when hopefully some of your luck will rub off X

Monday, 7 March 2011

Wonderful Weather

Well what a difference a bit of sun makes! Rupert has now mastered the weaves, I'm still keeping his guide on the first and last poles to help him get those entrances, but I'm really pleased with Rupert and myself for working through the method and getting a great result in a little over 4 weeks. We were at Jo's yesterday after a long break, she had put a short course up using all the contacts and weaves and he was very good, but it did highlight our problem areas which we shall be working on over the next couple of weeks - the dreaded pull in's and his see saw, I haven't really done much with it as I've been concentration on his weaves so it's nice to have another area to work on, including full courses.

Crufts on Friday, we have to be up really early as we want to be in Hall 1 for 7am giving us plenty of time to settle both Rupert and myself before we go in the ring, Sheila has trimmed him to perfection so all that remains for me to do is make sure he has a good bath the night before, luckily he has swimming on Thursday night so thats half the job already done!

Tuesday, 1 March 2011


I am getting a bit fed up of this dreary weather now! Rupert goes from being lovely and clean to filthy after every walk!
We have had an eventful weekend, at the MBCC breed assesment day on Saturday Rupert was a stooge dog, Amy was meant to handle him in preparation for Crufts, but unfortunately he had other ideas! he found the whole experience without his mum a bit too much so we had to swap, after which he settled down and worked quite nicely, however this does mean that I will now be showing him at Crufts! this was never in the plan.
At training on Sunday morning I decided to try him on closed weaves, he did them without a hitch, not only once bu 100% of the time, so after the training classes I decided to put his guides on the upright set to see how he went on those! not good, he failed every time, I think it's because they weren't quite level so I put them back on the swivel ones and again 100% success, maybe I rushed so a few more sessions on the swivel before I try again.
On the swimming front, we had a brilliant session on Friday, Jane used the underwater camera this time to watch his back end, I had said last week he didn't seem to be using his back legs and the camera proved he was being lazy and relying too much on his floatation jacket, so this week we motivated him with a tennis ball and he soon started zooming around the pool using his back legs to propell himself along. Next week we might try taking his jacket off to see how he goes.

Thursday, 24 February 2011

Weaves again

Well I've now managed to close up weaves 1,2,3 & 4 leaving just the slightest of angle on the others with a slightly bigger angle on 11 &12 still with the guide bands on the first and last 4 poles. He is taking them from any angle and any distance, steadying himself on the approach and then powering through, there is even signs of single footed action so it's all good. Hopefully they will have the swivel weaves out at training tonight so we can proof it in a different environment.
Today I recieved his new dogmatic leather headcollar, he already had a Tuff stuff one, but I never thought it looked all that comfortable, so I decided to go for the soft leather one, it certainly looks and feels very nice so I'm hoping it fits properly and will give it a go at training tonight, and make a start on his control and patience while waiting his turn.

Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Bit of a handful!

I'll start off with a weave update - I've purposely left his weave training for a few days but this morning I went down and tightened up the swivel bases so he can't push them open on his way through so easily, then I closed them up so there was only the very slightest of angle left open. I was expecting a lot of fails, but I was mistaken, he not only got about 80% success he has also started single footing. Still getting all the silly angles and i've even started putting jump sequences in front just to make it more interesting for him, and still he gets it right, so I'm very happy with his progress and will slowly continue adding other obstacles and close them completely over the next few months.
Last night we had training at Deena's and someone said to me "he's a bit of a handful isn't he" don't get me wrong, this wasn't a comment made with any malice, just an observation, and it made me think. I have made both my dogs excited, it's just the way I am, and I like to have a dog who is rearing to go on the line rather than one who has to be motivated into action, however unlike Maisy who will then take this uncontrolled excitement onto the agility course once Rupert is on the line I have complete control, so where's the harm - Well the reality of the situation is that I want control walking from the car/caravan to the course so this is an area I am going to have to work on, and sometimes it takes a comment to make you think and redress your training stratergies. So watch this space for updates.

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Hip Scores

So yesterday the big brown envelope arrived containing Ruperts hip scores. he was scored at 3:3 which I am delighted with.

His weaves are really starting to shape up now, hopefully in a couple of weeks we will be fully closed, we are almost there now, but the tighter they get the more fails we get, so I'm determined not to move on until we get 80% success, His entrances are spot on from any angle even after a tight jumping sequence he is still making the entrance, so I am very pleased indeed.
Because our training with Jo has now come to an end for the winter I have enrolled Rupert with Deena Freeman's Foundation class on a Tuesday evening, this week was the first one and we really enjoyed it, It's really usefule to prove his skills in different environments, this venue is an outdoor all weather arena with spotlights so it's something completely alien to him, but i'm very pleased to say his starts were rock solid and his directional skills and tight turns were lovely, so we must be doing something right!
He has swimming lesson number 3 on Friday, I'm not sure which one of us looks forward to it the most! It's like having a school child with all the afterschool activities he has! I must remember he is NOT a child.

Monday, 14 February 2011

Ups & Downs

I can honestly say i'm really pleased to have got the past 2 weeks out of the way, not only have Amy, Steve & I had a nasty bout of flu we very sadly had to have our beloved Dylan put to sleep! So no training and all dogs have been on rationed exercise.
Luckily I've now started to feel much better and began training properly again this weekend. I gave up with the 2x2 weaves in favour of the swivel channel weaves and have been really pleased with the results so far. Rupert is very good at finding the entrance from any angle so I have now started to close the gap, he is almost at the closed stage, however this morning I came accross out first real failure, He works the first 6 weaves brilliantly, but then seems to get a bit lazy or crafty I'm not sure which and slips out to get his toy! he did this a few times this morning and I was just about to open them out again when he got it! and I did a couple more, still he got it, so I moved onto a jumping sequence and went back to it and he still got it! He was just reminding me to be patient!

He's also started swimming lessons at our local canine hydrotherapy pool, at first he was a little unsure but not he loves the whole experience from getting his warm shower to being blasted dry at the end. It's a great form of stamina training, and hopefully will give him the confidence to swim with Maisy when we go on holiday later in the year.