Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Rush... and Weave training

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.

Wednesday, 11 July 2012


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.

Monday, 2 July 2012

Rush breed shows

In May and June Rush and I travelled to East London and Oudtshoorn to attend the Championship breed shows. I was extremely happy with how he showed. I can see that our training has paid off.

In East London he got 3 CC's, 3 BOB's, 3 puppy group 3rd places and a 4th place in the main group

In Oudtshoorn we got best puppy and 3rd in the puppy group

Here is a photo of Rush in Oudtshoorn for the puppy group

A pic of Rush at 9 months

Thanks Roz and Nadine for the pics

Sunday, 1 July 2012

East London Shows

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