Today was the day that we put up a little course for the youngsters with weaves in for the first time. I was hoping it would go better than what it did. We set up 2 courses and broke them up and did segments of them before putting the whole thing together.
This week I attempted 12 poles with Roxy.....she managed all 12. She is not too happy with me on the left so we will stick on 6+6 for a while longer to make sure she is doing them more succesfully. I have also stepped up her training, so hoping to see her in the jumping ring next year
So Mondays are our relaxed training days where we do some basic exercises. Last night we worked on weaves. We are now finally on 12 poles and Rush is loving it. He is so eager to do them, I am very happy with how we are progressing.
We have now started adding a jump and from this evening will work other obstacles to the weaves.
Here is Rush's video from last nights weave training, the one he entered too fast and skipped a pole, we had a few missed entries....but all still work in progress!!
Yes Roxy is in training, I have taken it very slow, perhaps because I didnt start off correctly with her. She comes along to the training sessions and I have been jumping her on the more simple exercises. We have started weave pole training and almost on six straight. She has a great attitude for jumping and she absolutely loves it....but what she also loves is telling me to hang on while she quickly goes to greet someone standing nearby. This is my social butterfly and she loves everyone, so it gets frustrating at times when she runs off to say "hi". We will work on that a bit more and but has improved alot, even bringing the toy back to me has improved so I am confident we will get there.
For now we will keep at our training and hopefully be able to enter some dog jumping rounds next year, SO watch this space......
Here is Roxy's video of a round from training last week
So the night before EP champs it poured, I lay awake wondering what the day had in store for us, ok I will admit I lay awake and I was a bundle of nerves. By the time I got up there was blue sky and the sun was peeping through....I knew it was going to be a good day.
I bundled the dogs into the car and headed of to art in the park where the EP champs was being held.
Brandi ran like the wind in our first round, her weaves were good and we ended round 1 with the fastest clear. She had 1 hair raising point where she went a bit wide at the 3rd last jump and I was hoping to be able to pull her through 2 jumps and that she wouldnt decide just to take the wrong one. I was ecstatic as I knew that we were now in the final and had a shot at the title.
Walking the jump off course, myself and I think a few others were "shocked" at the weaves being in. We are just not used to weaves being in a jump off, and then we had to do them twice!! Brandi's weaves are good but the last couple of shows she has been breaking down in the weaves so I knew that I had to keep my head together and work like we know we can. I walked the course with a front cross before the weaves, I knew that if I didnt cross in the right place she would knock, but took the chance. She didnt knock and flew into poles. Coming out of the tunnel for the weaves a 2nd time I walked it on both sides, but felt more comfortable being on her right but that meant I would need to cross after the weaves. She came out the tunnel, I connected with her and bam she nailed the entry. A few jumps and we made it, clear. We were the 2nd last to jump so we had to wait for the last dog to jump to hear who had won. So far we were in the lead.
We won EP champs 2012, I couldnt have been happier. I was SO proud of how Brandi ran, she ran her little heart out against good competition.
Here are her 2 rounds.
Thanks Nadine Shortland for the video
Brandi and I after winning EP Dog Jumping Champs 2012
Last night we set up an exercise, the 1st one of our new series.
Brandi had some lovely runs but some with wide turns, I managed to get 2 of these on film, I then worked a few of the sequences where we had wide turns and tried different crosses
Here is Brandi's 2 rounds
I then ran Rush on the exercise and I was happy with how he worked. We also had wide turns out of the tunnel and then also worked on a few pieces where we struggled a bit. We then tried 12 poles as he has been doing well on the 6+6.....he nailed them....so chuffed.
Here is Rush's rounds and his first attempts at 12 poles
Last night we set up an exercise which concentrated on collection and extension. The first exercise we worked on a height of 550mm and as the youngsters did so well we changed the height to 650mm...they all managed that too....very happy!
Afterwards we set up and exercise and ran this with 2 different routes
Here is Rush's video with both exercises, and a little trick at the end :)
Our evening weather has just been so awsum lately that it gives us plenty of time after work to head out and just train!
Last night we set up weaves, still on 6+6 and wow was I impressed with Rush's weaves. We had a terrible set back some time ago when we started on 6 and basically had to go back to the start. However that was only for 1 day and Rush was then doing well. Tonight we did have a missed entry and then we also had a super entry, all in all very happy with his progress
Here is a clip of his weaves from last night
We also set up some jumps and worked on turns and driving out of turns
Here is a video of Brandi and Rush jumping exercises
Saturday was a stunning day and we used the opportunity and went down to one of our clubs that we havent been training at for a while due to the grounds been waterlogged.....
We set up the A frame with a tunnel underneath and worked on discrimination. Brandi's A frame was good...not spectacular, we have some work to do with her speed on the down ramp and her release. But not once after recieving the "walk on" que did she even look at the tunnel...pleased with that as my dogs love the tunnel!! Brandi has realised staying 2o2o on the contact she gets rewarded and for a terrier, FOOD is the best thing in the world SO she wouldnt come off. We will be working a bit more on the release......
We then took the tunnel away and just worked on the A frame with the "pups" ( big, bouncy 14 month old pups ) I think referring to them as pups will just stick :)
I was pleased with Rush's A frame....he knows what to do and I am sure the speed will come once he is more confident.
OK....so we dont only just train....we do have some fun.....
Beach trips, learning new tricks, swimming and just sitting in the garden chilling and enjoying my dogs company
This past weekend after running round 2 and 3 of NAL and training pups on course we headed off to the beach. The dogs had an alot of fun, chasing the ball and splashing in the waves. I am sure they wished they could do this everyday....the only downfall...they get bathed when we get home!
Here are some pics taken of the dogs at the beach on Saturday evening.....
I am busy teaching Rush a few tricks, perhaps one day we will put together a little routine
Here is a very short clip of him mastering the beg :)
On Sunday afternoon Rush had a swimming session at Millbrook Hydro and had an absolute ball, he just loves the water. And if the toy starts sinking, dont worry Rush will stick his head under the water to retrieve it. Thanks Amanda Young for the session :)
Here are 2 pics of him next to the pool after his session
So..the last time I skipped a few months of blogging I vowed never to do that again...well I did.
Bloemfontein shows, Inter Provincial, Grahamstown shows, some local leagues have all come and gone..and I havent blogged about any of that. There is just too much to try and catch up, plus I have also been very bad with filming. But my excuse for that is my training partner who normally records also runs a small dog in the same grade, so it is difficult for us to film each other as we always run after each other, so I do have an excuse for that. I will try and find a solution for that....in the meantime some highlights of the last few months.
Brandi and I travelled to the Bloem shows in August ( yes I know that was a whole 3 months ago ). We had some lovely rounds, some ok rounds and we had some really bad rounds. But so we learn and that is the important thing for me. If you have bad rounds, that you take it home and learn from them.
We also ran in the EP B team for the inter provincial. We had 2 lovely rounds ( with faults ) but I was very happy with Brandi's attitude and new venue experience.
Here is a picture of Brandi with her team mates
Thanks Nadine Shortland for the photo
Here is a photo of Brandi at the end of the weekend with her Rosettes
Thanks Nadine Shortland for the photo
Next up was the Grahamstown shows. Rush was entered in the breed and did extremely well, so proud of my boy. He got 2 CC's, 2 BOB's, 2 Best puppy's and a 1st in the puppy group
Here is a photo of him after the show weekend
Thanks Nadine Shortland for the photo
In September Rush did his Canine Good Citizen test and passed all his tests first time. I am so proud of this boy, everything he attempts he does it with 100%.
Brandi also has now passed her CGC bronze after having to redo 1 test, proud of you my girl
Two weeks ago we had our July champ shows. The weather was good and I had some goals I had set myself. I wanted to get our last DJ qualification, which I knew if we worked as a team we could achieve it. It was our first round in grade 2 NC so I just wanted to have a nice round and have fun. I wasnt expecting too much in our contact round as I feel we still have work to do, so we going to proof. Our first round of the day, DJ and I felt it was a nice course, not too easy but one thing I thought was maybe a little "tricky" for the lower grade. A go round straight out of a tunnel. Well we are here to be tested, so as always we were going to give it our best shot. Brandi was certainly "on" and I had a feeling that this was it. She was off to a flying start, did the go round superbly and we were having a great round. I didnt give her the best line to the jump before the weaves and she did a little circle before doing the jump and flying into the weaves. As the scribe was on the course with the judge, no one could say if it was a clear round or not. I certainly thought it was.....well not to be. BUT we enjoyed every moment of that round and I was very happy with Brandi's attitude. Next up was a contact round. I found the course relative to the grade and nothing too tricky, approach to the dogwalk could have been better. Well certainly after that I know that we have plenty of work to do still. Brandi knows the 2o2o position but in my mind lacks confidence on the contacts. Her contacts were slow but the rest of the round was good. We have open shows coming up so I will be really working the contacts, we will eliminate but I want good contacts and willing to throw some rounds. And so our NC round was approaching. Feeling a bit of nerves with it been our first round in grade 2, walking the course it seemed do-able. I thought Brandi and I could do this. It was a tricky start but was a nice running course and if that is one thing Brandi can do, is run!! We had a superb round, she did everything expected of her and she was quick. We got a clear round, so our first qualification in grade 2. Oh boy was I chuffed. We had 1 more round to do, DJ. Walking the course there was a tricky section where there was not a big gap between 2 jumps that you had to go through to enter the weaves. It was queried and the jump was moved out about a meter. This meant the approach to the tunnel coming back wasa little harder. Again a nice running course, I thought well if we want a qualification now was our chance. We did it! Again a lovely round to end of the day. I was extremely happy with Brandi that day, she worked well and I couldnt have asked for better. I think I was in a very good frame of mind that day, it clearly paid off. Next up is a open show weekend before we hit the road to Bloemfontein.
Last week Rush and I started weave training. I decided to use the 2X2 method as this is the only method I have tried but it worked. I didnt see a reason to try another method considering I had success with Brandi using this method.
I must admit I expected more from Rush during his 1st session which maybe is a bit unfair, I mean he didnt know what was expected of him when we started. So our first session was not as successful as I had hoped.
Our second session was a huge improvement and Rush definately knows what is expected of him. He is charging through the poles, from all angles. We had a few mistakes but he managed to get them right eventually enabling me to reward....
Last nights session I did all the angles with the first set still straight, 100% success. I have turned the poles and he managed a 100% success...we will do a few more sessions and then add the second set.
I dont want to rush my weaves, we still have lots of time and I want them perfect.
Friday 06 July Brandi and I travelled to Knysna to attend our second SADAA regional trials. I was far from ready last year and this year I set goals for us, nice, fun happy rounds, and nice contacts. I must admit I was nervous, not of been eliminated but I wasnt sure how Brandi would cope at a show with lots of spectators. I have had a experience previously where she kept coming out of the weaves or shutting down with lots of people around the ring. We started with a gamblers round. Brandi worked superbly doing everything that was asked of her. The whistle went and we needed to make our way to the gamble. The gamble seemed easy enough and I thought if we could just complete that, we would have had our first SADAA qualification. Brandi had other ideas. Having taken her to relief herself 3 times before our round, she felt the urge to go on the course. I was very disappointed. SO we were eliminated, but I quickly reminded myself what our goals were and that we had actually achieved them. We DID have a nice, fun, happy round, so I played with her afterwards and started looking forward to the rest of the weekend. Next up was snooker, we managed to get through the opening sequence and during our closing sequence Brandi released herself from the A frame. I put her back knowing that had I carried on that could have affected our contacts for the weekend. So our 2nd elimination however back to our goals, they were achieved. We had a jumping round for the afternoon still. I must admit I was hoping for a qualification and unfortunately it wasnt to be. I cant recall too much of that round but we eliminated. There were times during the weekend inbetween rounds that I thought " oh no Brandi seems a little off" because she isnt normally quiet and inbetween her rounds she was snoozing. However I was happy once I realised that she was taking power naps and once we were out of the gazebo with her favourite "squirrel" she was her normal self, tugging like a loony toon. I went home that evening "happy" with 3 eliminations, because I was happy with how Brandi was working and her attitude on and off course.
Brandi and Chak catching a snooze between rounds
Friday evening we had a relaxing evening preparing for the next days rounds. Saturday morning we started with a contact round. I did get this round on video and will upload it and discuss it as a seperate post. Next up was a jumping round. Looked like a nice course which I really thought she should easily get through. We started off well, with speed and we were clear up until obstacle number 10, Brandi just needed to turn left out of a straight tunnel and it was then a straight line, tyre, long jump and 3 jumps. While she was in the tunnel I wanted to get ahead. That meant she needed to do the tyre behind me. I thought she had gone through so we ran our legs off to complete the last 4 obstacles. I then heard that she had gone through the side of the tyre, how disappointing. So that was another elimination, but again happy with the rest of the round. Next up was a contact round. Course looked nice, not easy but nice and challenging for grade 1. Brandi started off well, did the A frame correctly stopping 2 on 2 off. Then she did a very nice dog walk, again assuming the 2 on 2 off position. We were still clear and I started getting nervous as we now just had the see saw to do. I felt confident as our see saw in the previuos round was good. The see saw was the second last obstacle and if she managed to get the see saw right there was just 1 jump in front of her to complete the round. I decided to give it my all and pushed for a lekker see saw. Brandi did it, a nice, fast see saw and took the last jump. Our first SADAA qualification and our first contact qualification ever. I must admit I was on a high for the afternoon, I just couldnt believe it. I know that I have put in alot of effort with her contacts, but sometimes Brandi can just be, well Brandi, a little stubborn and was hoping she would keep it together.
Brandi took first place for this round, which made her mom very happy :)
Brandi with her first place
Saturday afternoons jumping round looked like a nice round. Obstacle 1-4 I walked quite a few times making sure I was turning in the right place to give Brandi the right line to approach obstacle 5 ( the weaves ). I was quite confident that if we got that piece right we would be on our way to a clear round. I put Brandi in a wait, turning to remind her to wait as this was a longer lead out than what we had needed the entire weekend. At the "right time" I called Brandi over 1, turning while she was going over 2 to give her the line to 3,4 and 5. Brandi did it perfectly, and when I looked up I was doing obstacle number 3 perfectly too. Brandi AND I both did jump number 3. Oops eliminated, but carried on with the course. The rest was clear and was a nice, happy fast round. Disappointed, imagine how Brandi would have felt if she knew any better. Bet she would have called for a new handler.
Sunday, our last round for the weekend, a contact round. Walking the course I found it nice, not easy but suitable for the grade. I dont agree that grade 1 courses should be easy straight lines. I like have tricky pieces when I need to concentrate on tight turns, having a slighty difficult weave entry and having to think on the course. We started well, good weave entry and lovely dogwalk. Brandi assumed her 2 on 2 off position on the dogwalk. I wanted to make sure she was going to stop so my aim was not to release too quickly. Next up was the A frame, she flew over it and really did make an effort to stop, she popped off and then made an effort to get her back feet on. I was happy with the elimination, as I know that if she doesnt get away with self releasing or not stopping this will help us in the long run with perfect contacts. The rest of the round was good.
I can honestly say that having 5 out of 6 eliminations, I didnt go home unhappy. I had a rocky start with Brandi's training, we have worked through so much and I am extremely happy with her attitude on course at the moment. Perhaps I gave a weak signal, perhaps I pulled her off a jump, or she missed a weave entry, I know that these things will all come together. But for now her attitude is great and I am looking forward to lots of nice, happy fun rounds with her.
The beginning of this month we went up to East London to enter the Kusa Champ shows. I went with some expectations and am pleased that we achieved some of them.
Our rounds on Saturday were "ok" not great, they were slow but Brandi did what was asked of her. We knocked a bar in our non contact round, otherwise the round was good. Dog jumping round Brandi went clear ( again she wasnt her speedy self ) and we went clear in the jump off to take 1st place with a qualification. I am not sure what was bothering her on Saturday but Sunday's round she took off like lightning. We eliminated our dog jumping round, I gave her the wrong line to the weaves and she took the jump next to it instead. But I was happy with her attitude and that she was back to her normal self. Our non contact round was SUPERB, and I didnt get it on film. Yes 2 cameras batteries died.. We went clear with a qualification to move up into Non contact grade 2!!
Our 2 contact rounds for the weekend didnt go as well as I was hoping. It was our first contact round in champ show but I was hoping Brandi would hold it together and get her contacts. Needless to say it wasnt to be so its back to lots of proofing.
Here are some videos I managed to get of the weekend
So..quite some time ago I started contact training with Brandi. I chose the 2 on 2 off method as I had never trained contacts before but I liked the results I saw from fellow competitors that had used this method. It wasnt easy, lots of blood, sweat and tears ( ok no blood but LOTS of sweat and tears ). I knew that if I wanted solid contacts I had to put the time in and persevere, we would get there. During times like this when you battle through a stage, it is so easy to give up on a method and just run the contacts and hope that your dog gets them. That wasnt what I wanted.....so we trained....and trained. Often I thought that Brandi had the position, however when proofing this I realised that we were not solid so it was back to the drawing board. The day came when I could see that she knew what she was doing and she knew her position, she even backed up onto the contact. Yay a break through. We then got to the point where she could do the obstacle and assume her position. Although a bit slow I knew that we just needed to proof and build her confidence. So we did lots of praise on the contact, I wanted her to "want to be in that position". We are now at a stage where her confidence is up and she is really enjoying doing the contacts. We have just started proofing in our local leagues and this weekend we will be travelling to East London and will be entering our first agility show. I am not expecting too much, just want to proof her contacts and have some good rounds.
After this weekend we will have a better understanding of where we are and what we still need to work on
Well the April shows came and went and I must say I expected a better weekend to what we had. Unfortunately some people just go out to make things difficult and unpleasant for others but we gave it our best shot over the weekend. We did get a qualification in DJ but I was not entirely happy with the round. Although the round consisted of a table which we have never done before, Brandi did it!! I know we have so much to learn and need to gain more experience so we will be enjoying our rounds and just making sure that Brandi does what she has learnt and that we work on the areas that she is battling with.
Our contact training is coming along nicely. We are now doing full dog walk and A frame and proofing this in our open shows and other local events. I am happy with her last performance at a local event. We had to to do the A frame twice in our round and considering this was her first "course" with a contact she did the A frame and assumed her position at the end of the contact....allowing me to reward and continue with the course. YIP I was chuffed and will now continue proofing...We are still working on the see saw and I am happy with her progress!
Now on to "my boy" - Rush
This is my first border collie that I have owned and worked. After working with a stubborn terrier I am finding this SO much easier. He is so willling to please, just wants to work, wants to do stuff..... It is alot different to running a smaller dog and I am having to learn alot at the same time, a tight turn for a small dog is far different to a big dog! I am happy with his training so far....sorry boy if mom is a little "moron" at times....
We are also trying to fit some breed training in inbetween and will be attending our 2nd Champ show in East London in 2 weeks...looking forward to that.
Here is a pic of Rush at 7 months
And a pic of Rush in training
Thanks Nadine for this superb boy and the stunning pics :)
Sunday 06 May we had our open shows. I entered Brandi in the contact round to proof our contacts. Unfortunately we never had the dog walk in the course but we had the opportunity to do the A frame. Think it was on my bad part that I never gave her a confident que for the A frame and she ran past. I sent her back into the tunnel so she had the same approach to the frame, she charged up and just popped off at the end. Was happy with the fact that she knew what she did wrong and placed herself back on the frame, rest of the round was good and we just had a nice fun round. Next was our non contact round. While walking the course I got to a piece which I thought was rather tricky for grade 1 but knew that if we worked each obstacle and did what we have trained we could do it. We had a SUPERB round, clear with a qualification. Unfortunately we didnt get it on film, but it was one of our best rounds by far. I was very happy with my little girl. DJ round we were not so confident and popped out the weaves, which I didnt quite expect. Then a wrong entry into the tunnel saw us eliminated. We continued with the rest of the course and ended on a positive note.
Hopefully I will be able to keep my blog up to date and not have to cram a few events into one blog. And hopefully to remember to record our rounds...always good to be able to look back and see where we can improve!
Brandi and I attended of first away Champ shows, and I am extremely proud of how she handled it...and surprised at how I handled my nerves. We were having a few "issues" at our local shows in the week prior, so I decided what I want to achieve. I wanted us to work as a team, to do what we have been training, and to do our best while having fun. We achieved most of that. I was a little disappointed with her weave entries in 2 of the shows, but the rest of it was good. She ran her little heart out, listened to me when I gave her the correct cues, and she definitely had fun. We eliminated both our non contact rounds....1 of them being my fault, I sent her over the jump from the wrong side ( bad mom ). In our first DJ round we got 10 faults ( once again, bad mom, weak signal ) but the rest of the round was great.... big smile for a happy mom! In our second DJ round we got 5 faults, but it was a bit messy and untidy. Although she did do the funny "dobermann" jump and a wall jump....yes it’s a big thing for us, we don’t have that kind of stuff here :-)
All in all, I was very happy with how the weekend went, and I am looking forward to our next big weekend….PE April shows.
Ok so I have started 2x2 weave training with Zach but have taken it very slow...spent some time on the entries, which he understands. He is on 4 straight and last set angled. This video was taken after not having done it for a whie, but we getting there. Still lots of work to do, but work in progress....