Friday, 31 December 2010

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Olympia ABC Speed Jumping 2010

Here are the final results. Olympia - ABC Speed Jumping

1st Mark Douglas and AG CH Cories Ruby Tuesday 27.68 seconds
2nd Anna Brayley and Revel Without a Pause 28.61 seconds
3rd Jay Gardner and Chaffords Prodigy 28.62 seconds
4th Jo Hyslop and Bonvivant Objet d'Art 29.01 seconds
5th Nicky Holden and Kenward Casca 29.64 seconds
6th Jane Anderson and Cories Boomerang Bindi 30.41 seconds
7th Jackie Kenny and Cories Kinder Surprise 30.92 seconds
8th Neil Ellis and Pelham Tully 31.85 seconds
9th Nigel Staines AG CH Dragonheart Dark Destroy 5 faults 28.07 seconds
10th Sue Leech and Blackthorn's Red Devil 5 faults 30.91 seconds

Thanks to Marie Douglas who I believe filmed the event and posted it on to You Tube.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Speedy Cliffe - a Ronny puppy

Just received a couple of pictures of Speedy that were taken by Jackie on her mobile phone, he is a very handsome boy, apparently he is a beach bum, he loves the sea !!!
Im thinking it must run in the family as I know most of the puppies love the water, none more than Ronny !!!

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Cool Agility Show 2010

Today we have been at the Cool Agility Show, it's a really nice local show with such a nice friendly atmosphere, plenty of free tea, coffee and mince pies to keep you going. What made the show extra special today was all the doggies ran really well, Ronny won the jumping class followed by Zippy in 4th place and Keisha 5th, then Zippy went on to win the Touch and Go Class beating Keisha into 2nd place. The other jumping rounds were really good, just the odd pole being knocked, we did have issues in the agility round, Ronny was in manic mode and forgot that he was supposed to stop on his contacts, Zippy and me lost timing at the end of the course and actually ran passed the final 3 obstacles and Keisha wrapped the wing far too tight and took a pole.

Still ...... a good progress check, more work needed on the start line wait and more contact work needed to try and speed Keisha and Zippy's up (Ronny just needs to stop).

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Wow, Olympia was amazing !!!

Wow what an experience, Olympia is definitely something I would love to do again, the arena was just amazing and the crowd were something else, I loved every moment of it.

Above is the jumping course for the afternoon session, it was definitely a sprint all the way round and by the time I got to jump 18 I had the worst lactic acid possible, thankfully Keisha flew by and finished ahead to stop the clock. In this round I set Keisha up sightly wrong at the start and she actually had a wide turn after 2 as she was looking at the long jump, after that she ran spot on and did a really nice round to finish 4th, for a dog that doesn't really like to sprint she definitely held her own against those Kelpie rockets.

The agility round didn't go quite aswell, after jump two I got in Keisha's way and pushed her past the weave entry making her take it the wrong side, I think the nerves got the better of me and I insisted on helping her which infact ended up being more of a hindrance, you think by now I would have learnt to let the dog do the obstacle on their own, after all I do train it that way !!! Still on the positive side, although her contacts were slow (making Keisha do the obstacles twice, in this case weaves, always makes her slow for the rest of the run) she did actually get them all, so training did pay off. We finished on 10 faults in the end as naughty mummy ran off to get to the end which made Keisha crash jump 18.

So yesterday was a great day, a great run and a not so great run but so much learnt, how nerves affect my performance which makes me do stupid things, in this case crowding my dog. But what a fantastic dog I own, who instantly forgave me for my stupid mistake and actually didn't feel any pressure of the whole experience, I am so glad it was Keisha who gave me the opportunity to run at Olympia, thankyou Ratty. x

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Olympia tomorrow !!!

OMG I cant believe how quickly Olympia has arrived, I am soooooooo very excited and actually cant wait for it to happen. I must say a massive congratulations to Dave and Rusty who finished 3rd in the senior class on saturday, what a great achievement and I hope I can continue to do the Belgians proud in the ABC tomorrow.

So Keisha and me have been training really hard, we have worked so hard on our contacts and in training they are perfect, I would have liked to confirm them in a few competitions before tomorrow as I know Keisha can be quite sharp on them in competition but sadly that didn't happen, I just gotta hope she doesn't get too excited and ping the horrible things. As we are running 2nd I have no option but to just run them flat out. It appears the final is being shown on BBC red button tomorrow night so I have asked my dad to record it so I can see what goes well/bad, the coverage starts at 6.45pm and we are on at 7.35pm. As this is our first year it will be a great experience, we get to see the course plan before we run and then actually only have a couple of minutes, if that, to walk the course, I hope I will remember it !!!

Good Luck to all the other competitors tomorrow, out of the 10 competing 7 are Kelpies, I predict a Kelpie will win !!!

Monday, 13 December 2010

Not long until christmas

Time is flying by, up until yesterday I hadn't even got a single present, the internet has been very handy for christmas shopping this year and after surfing the web last night I have reduced my list to only two more to get.

So yesterday was our broken start line wait course, we came back feeling quite disappointed with the workshop and there were a couple of people on it that seemed to ruin the atmosphere, on reflection we did learn a couple of techniques which im sure Emma and me will try out, it was Zippy's first ever course and he was such a well behaved boy, so much so that he actually made me look like a liar as he hardly broke any of his waits, NO EXCUSE NOW MR ZIP.

Olympia starts this week, it's very exciting, Keisha and me don't run until the final day which is next monday, we have been working really hard on our contacts and touch wood, fingers crossed etc etc it has all been going well, it would have been nice to get a few competitions under our belt to test them but I guess there is no point in worrying about it, if nothing else it will be a good day out.

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Start line wait soon to be sorted

The weather this week has been very very cold but ive actually enjoyed walking the dogs in it, especially as there is not a single snowflake in sight, for the first time this week the temperature will get above freezing reaching 3°C tomorrow which will probably feel quite warm now.

This sunday Emma and me are taking our little horrors Maisy and Zippy on a broken start line wait course, it will be perfect for us as we have both been very naughty and allowed our little furry friends to get away with it for far too long. This way, once we regain control of that start line wait I can officially tell Emma off if I catch her allowing Maisy to break it next year, no doubt she will do the same to me !!!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Snow has gone, no more please !

I'm thinking the dogs may prefer wearing trainers in this weather, the ground has been so cold and icy and they must feel the difference on their feet. Anyway, the weather has improved over the last few days and with the rain last night the field is clear of all snow. Let's just hope we don't get anymore snow this week !!!

Last night I took Keisha to FCI training, I thought she might of been a bit wild due to us not getting much training done but she was actually fantastic, her contacts are looking much better now I have reverted back to 2o2o method, I really made the effort to layer the dog walk and let her work alone on the other side, normally I would not chance this as she is a bit of a cling-on but to my surprise she was absolutely brilliant at it, im definitely gonna take the opportunity when it arises in shows next year.

This morning we trained at the field, the ground was actually in good shape and had thawed nicely by the time we started to train, Zippy is doing really well with his skills, we are now up and running with pull-ins from both directions and his A-Frame is looking great. Ronny had very few poles today which was so nice to see, if I have learnt anything from this dog I would say it's TIMING, even now I find him hard work as he is soooooooooo into by body language and any slight movement at the wrong time he will always let me know.

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

Training is still going ahead ......

We are refusing to let this snow get the better of us, although we are very restricted we are still doing our contact training, it would be nice to move it back outside though but looking at the weather forecast it doesn't look like its going to be any time soon.

Last Sunday was the Agility Club annual awards, Keisha finished 2nd in the Grade 4 league this year and won us this huge crystal trophy, I think it may be the best and infact the heaviest trophy I have ever won. Well done Ratty (Keisha) !!!

Sunday, 28 November 2010

Training gives way to snow, but it doesn't stop play ......

Man I hate the snow, although its not that bad here its still inconvenient and im already dreading getting to work this week, last year was a complete nightmare with the trains and roads and with all the cut backs im sure the council will try and save money on the gritting side of things. There is one positive for having snow, the doggies absolutely love it !!!
For obvious reasons training was cancelled this weekend, I think I might try and find an indoor venue to hire as I think this winter is going to be a bad one and I cant afford to keep missing training sessions, if any of you have any ideas of a local venue and/or fancy training and sharing the cost please let me know.

So this weekend I decided to take the dogs for a long walk both day's, they absolutely loved it and ran non stop for most of it, although it was cold the sun came out and made it a very pleasant walk.

Ive just brought the doggies an early christmas present, now the cold days have arrived and the risk of injury is so much greater I have brought them a 'Back on Track' coat, they may be expensive but in the short time of having them they seem to be worth every penny, last year Ronny and Keisha both picked up injuries in the winter so with my massage training day and the new coats im hoping it might help to prevent this.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Needs must

So im finding that these dark nights are making it impossible to do any training in the week, with Olympia fast approaching im starting to get a bit twitchy, so I decided on sunday that the next best thing would to bring training indoors.......... well that's what I have done, I now have one of the dog walk planks in my front room, a bit drastic I know but my brother came over to visit tonight and he didn't even batter an eye lid, now ive put that down to one of two things, he is either very blind or probably the more likely reason is that he is used to me doing strange things in my training world !!!

Now with Keisha's A-Frame in a complete mess ive decided to revert back to the 2o2o method, originally I was planning to run it but she just cant seem to grasp it and either jumps from a great height or does some sluggish attempt at it and to be perfectly honest I just haven't got the time to do all the repetitions that are needed to train it. All is not lost though, watch this space .............

Sunday, 21 November 2010

That hit the spot

Yesterday I had booked Ronny and me on a K9 massage course, it was such a brilliant day and I have learnt so much from it, Ronny was in his element and I must admit the benefits did shine through today at training, he had very few poles down and he looked so good in his movement.

Today we were at the field for training and I was mainly concentrating on the A-Frame, Zippy just seems to be a natural and he is really starting to fly over it, Keisha is the complete opposite and just doesn't seem to get it, which is actually a complete shock as she usually picks things up really quickly and always way before the boys, I guess I have found her weak point. Ronny was a real star, I did a sequence of very fast releases and then threw the odd 'hold the position' to make sure he was listening for that release command. This afternoon Emma brought Maisy and Rupert down, they are both flying through their sequences which was really nice to see, I know it's a bit early but I am really looking forward to seeing them in action next year !!!

Thursday, 18 November 2010

Dyson Groom

I brought this little beast last weekend at Discover Dogs, its called the Dyson Groom and retails at £40, ive been trying it out all week and thought I would post my feed back on here in case you are interested in getting one.

Essentially all it comprises of is a slicker brush stuck to the end of the suction pipe but it comes without the mess of flying hair left in your house that a normal brush would leave.
All my dogs are fine with the hoover, on the first experience of the Dyson Groom Puddy was not keen, I think it was more the hose part swinging around and occasionally knocking into him, however, his second experience was like he has never known any different, he is completely happy with it now and actually sat there ages getting brushed. Ronny is a massive fan, he loves being hair dried so being hoovered is an extra bonus for him !!!

If like me you have got an older Dyson model then it doesn't matter, it comes with an attachment to fit either old or new shapes, this has been a complete hit with me and what better timing now the winter has arrived.

The one thing I would say though, if your dog doesn't normally like the hoover then this would be a big no no, I know the new Dyson models are alot quieter but like I said all my dogs are completely happy with the hoover so it was never really going to be an issue getting them used to it.

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

Discover Dogs Update

Discover Dogs on sunday was a great experience, as it was my first time going I hadn't realised it was actually a competition rather than just a display/training in the ring I was hoping for. Well anyway, I had already made up my mind I was going to push for speed and just have fun, try and get Keisha running on in front again and to take a chance once in a while rather than just go for a clear. Well the jumping was first up and quite a nice flowing course, Keisha ran lovely and seemed to cope with the carpet surface very well, we finished 4th and actually only finished less than a second behind the leader.

The agility round in the afternoon was a really nice course, with my contacts completely stripped back for training and currently in a complete mess I knew we were going to miss our A-Frame and Dog Walk contact so I wasn't disappointed at all, how can you complain when you haven't trained it properly !!!

On the positive side Keisha ran the rest of the course brilliantly and had one of the best times, she was so enthusiastic which was so nice to see, lets hope our contacts are up to standard when we go to Olympia !!!

Friday, 12 November 2010

Brownie Points

Today I have had the best day at work (I know, I cant believe im saying it either) anyway, I cant go in to too much detail but we have caught one of our nominals that has been on the run for the last 4 weeks, the gaffer's always put pressure on us to get them in but today was the day, me and my colleague Gaz have scored massive brownie points so we are definitely in the good books for the next week or so, YIPPEE !!!
On top of that, one of our other nominals has finally been 'caught out' shall we say and we have got even more brownie points coming our way, for once I will be looking forward to going into work next week.
Discover DogsThis weekend is another active one, tomorrow we have got bags of training to get through then sunday we are off to Discover Dogs, Keisha and me have been invited to take part in the agility display in the main ring, this will be our first time running on carpet so it will be a great experience. I'm taking mum along for the day out, neither of us have been before so we plan to do lots of shopping between the displays.
I have brought Zippy a new bed, I braved it and decided to give it him last night, he was proper snuggled up in it at bed time, I had a stressful night sleep wondering if he was going to get up like elephant man this morning, well thankfully it seems to be fine and Zippy still has beautiful eyes, phew !!!

Thursday, 11 November 2010

Results are in .....

The results are in for the first BSD WC selection Day which was judged by Lee Gibson, here are the current top 8:

1st - Gill Raddings and Check (Terv) - 52 points
2nd - Jo Hyslop and Keisha (Mali) - 49 points
3rd - Claire Bacon and Emmy (Terv) - 46 points
4th - Dave Leach and Rusty (Mali) - 44 points
5th - Andy Brown and Thor (Mali) - 43 points
6th - Tony Parmiter and Poppy (Gron) - 41 points
7th - Louise Challis and Delta (Gron) - 29 points
8th - Andy Brown and Storm (Gron) - 27 points

As you can see it's incredibly close, all to play for next February when the last of the two selection days is being held in Kent.

Sunday, 7 November 2010

Still in the running

Today was the first selection day for the BSD World Champs, yesterday we had a really good training day so I was going in feeling alot more confident than last week.

I dropped the boys off at mum and dad's this morning and set of for the long daunting task, I must admit I was feeling really nervous this morning and the drive there seemed to take ages.

Anyway, the first run was quite a tricky agility course, nothing I felt Keisha couldn't do but the trap for us was the tunnel laying next to the dog walk, first time round it was to take the tunnel, then second time to take the dog walk. After practicing this combination I felt Keisha may take the dog walk rather than the tunnel so I had already made up my mind I was going to try and force her line more towards the tunnel and to try and cut the dog walk view. Well I definitely cut the view off from the dog walk but in my stupid panic to do this actually ended up pushing her completely past the tunnel and forced her to take a jump getting us eliminated. This was definitely a case of not trusting my dog, I was so annoyed at myself for doing this and putting us both under pressure, any other time I would have left her to it and she probably would have had no issues.

So back to the van, a massive telling off for myself and a case of getting my nerves under control. The next agility round was quite straight forward but alot of traps and definitely a need for obstacle discrimination, this time I had already decided I was going to trust Keisha fully, not crowd her and just be there to help set the nicest line for her, she ran it beautifully and even managed a lovely A-Frame and Dog walk contact so I was proper chuffed with her, a lovely clear round, phew !!!

Then on to the two jumping rounds, I always feel so much more confident in these classes, Keisha is a good technician and a clean jumper so its just getting her round, well thats what we did, two really good clears, in the last round I had given Keisha a bad line and nearly forced her to run past the long jump, I just realised before it was too late and stuck my arm out in the hope she would react, thankfully my little honest dog did and somehow managed to clear it, I was so amazed by it, I can remember shouting good girl to her as she landed, now that's what I call TEAM WORK.

Im not sure where we are currently lying, the results are due out on tuesday so we will have to wait until then, we gained a 2nd, 3rd and a 4th today so I reckon we are probably about 4th-ish, the top 8 qualify so I think we are still in the running for one of those qualifying places.

Sunday, 31 October 2010

Go to work and come home ........ all in the DARK

So that's it, the clocks have gone back so we are in for darker gloomy nights, I walk the dogs in the morning in the dark and come home from work and walk the dogs in the dark, im sure it's very much the same for you guys, im already wishing for the summer to arrive.

So it's this time of the year when training becomes incredibly difficult, infact the only time I can do it is at the weekends, still it's better than nothing so im trying to have a full schedule for the dogs every week.

This week has been a very mixed bag of success, some brilliant stuff but also some horrible stuff.

Ronny: Well his weaves are looking awesome, I cant believe the entries he is getting, I even caught him steadying himself to wrap his neck around the first pole, I know that don't sound exciting but if you know Ronny then you will understand he actually only knows one gear !!! Ronny's training is going really well, he did some lovely box work sequences this morning, he did knock a few poles but I think my timing is slightly out which Ronny always watches like a hawk.

Keisha: Well she is a problem child at the moment, she was hitting some brilliant weave entries yesterday and this morning but last night at FCI training she was missing most of them, infact FCI training didn't go well at all last night, she has decided she knows best which is making running her a complete disaster, THIS IS NOT GOOD TIMING CONSIDERING BSD WC selection Day 1 is next weekend.

Zippy: What a little star, he is looking great and his A-Frame is really starting to take shape, infact his whole range of skills is looking so much better. Ive decided to just train Zippy on the same sequences as Ronny and Keisha, his weave entries are spot on and his jumping sequences are really starting to come together, we have just started to work on his pull throughs, he is slightly struggling with this one, he understands the 'in' part but to push back over the jump is the bit we are struggling with, ive got a few different things I want to try so hopefully we can put them into action next week.

Monday, 25 October 2010

Training troubles

It's a bit mad having all the weekends available for training now, my body hasn't quite adapted to training mode and I must admit im feeling pretty exhausted by the end of it, god knows how I managed to train 5 dogs last year, im only training 3 this time round and im just shattered.

Anyway, training so far is going to plan, well for most of it anyway. I seem to have this problem with contacts and as expected Keisha's A-Frame has taken a nose dive, with the selection day fast approaching it is not looking good.

I will be relying on the rest of our skills and thankfully the jumping sequences and our weaves are looking alot more promising.

Although Ronny and Zippy are not going to the selection day I am chuffed with where their training is at, Ronny is now hitting some fantastic weave entries which is something I thought he would never do, im still learning how to run this bl**dy dog but I think I have had another small (very small) break through, only time will tell. Zippy, who I absolutely adore running, is looking fantastic, his weave entries are looking great and are almost as good as Keisha's, he is really starting to drive through with his single footed action, something that he found difficult to do at the start of the year. I will try and get some video of them all in action over the next few weekends.

Sunday, 24 October 2010

Happy 2nd Birthday Zippy

Happy birthday 'W' litter

Have a great 2nd birthday Reno, Speedy, Megan, Eva, Zippo and of course my lovely Zippy.

Friday, 22 October 2010

The Good, The Bad and The Annoying

This week has been full of action, some good, some not so good. Yesterday was horrid, work turned out to be a dreadful day and infact most of the week has been just as bad, im beginning to think my clients don't like me (as expected I hear you say), then to top it all off when I got back to the train station my car had a big fat parking ticket slapped on its windscreen, apparently I was parked too near a junction BUT I BEG TO DIFFER !!!

It has been made better by the good bits though, I have been spoilt as normal by my mum and dad, a new Kodak camera to take some snaps of my doggies, hopefully I will get chance to try it out over the weekend, I have also just ordered a new training aid, it's due to arrive early next week and im very excited, ive got a feeling its going to be a great hit with the doggies.

This weekend is planned around training, only 3 weeks left before me and Keisha try out for the BSD WC selection again, im feeling the pressure already and with the added worry of Keisha's A-Frame not being ready im beginning to doubt our chances this year, still we can only give it our best shot and if we try and get everything else as accurate as possible then you never know.

Sunday, 17 October 2010

Training so far ........

The last two days of training has gone really well, yesterday we started back on our 2x2 weave training, Keisha and Zippy are on a refresher course where as ive decided to start Ronny on it this year in the hope he will learn to steady for the entry, I did start it with him last year but halfway through he picked up an injury and I was unable to complete the training, however, seeing the results from Zippy alone this year im definitely wanting to get Ronny sorted with hitting some tough entries.

Well Keisha and Zippy are flying through, they have had 100% success rate and are demonstrating that they really understand the entry point. Ronny has been amazing, so much further on than I anticipated and he too is hitting some great entries, he averaged a 90% success rate on his first session but today he finished on 100% success rate.

This morning we had our jumping session, straight lines and tight turns for Zippy with the scoop as the new skill to learn. Ronny and Keisha worked on the same but instead of the scoop we worked on "go round" the back of a jump, something that popped up quite often this year.

Wednesday, 13 October 2010

Training Training Training

This last week has been all about training, well mainly the A-Frame that is, Keisha and Zippy have started well and we have just completed all the ground work including the grid, today was our first opportunity to actually move onto the A-Frame itself. With the first BSD WC selection day fast approaching I am trying to rush Keisha through it, infact I make it 4 weeks this saturday before it arrives so not much time left at all. Well I decided to run Zippy over it first, I only worked him from the down plank and he got the target about 80%, he is quite a sensitive dog and actually doesn't like to get things wrong, so much NOT like his dad !!!

Keisha on the other hand hit 100% of her targets when working on the down plank which I was really shocked but pleased about, I decided I would go straight in and push her to run the full A-Frame, it was actually quite successful, she averaged 85%-90% success rate just failing on the targets when I was ahead and racing her, although the success rate was quite high tonight im expecting it to peak but then fall as training always seems to do, im just hoping the fall doesn't coincide with the selection day.

........... and im also conscious to the fact that im still using my training aid and I don't anticipate taking that away until at least december so it will probably be hit and miss on the day if she gets it. Realistically I know that 4 weeks is not enough time and with the added pressure of making sure all her other skills are up to standard it's going to be a hard slog to be at our best for November.

Anyway, last sunday was our first jumping session, Ronny, Keisha and Zippy are all currently working on speed, speed and speed and working at a distance, with them all moving up the grades this year I have found the courses to be quite naggy and tight, Zippy seems to have been affected the most and has lost the confidence to just RUN, so now it's my job to allow them to stretch out and take what they see for a change. I'm planing to keep it like this until christmas and then tighten then up before the season commences again next year.

Thursday, 7 October 2010

Time Fly's

This week is flying by, lots going on at the minute, work is mega busy, no sooner do I arrive im leaving, there is just not enough hours in the day.

It was sad not to be at an agility show last weekend but to be honest being at home, going shopping etc etc felt like I had never been away. All the dogs are still on rest, im in the dilemma of when to start training, Keisha's BSD WC first selection day is fast approaching and we've got so much to do to prepare for it, oh man, why cant we have a 48hr day instead ???

Zippy is back to full fitness, he had me seriously worried for a couple of days, I cant believe it was all over a vet bed, it seems a bit mad !!!

This saturday mum and me are off to the NEC to see Grand designs, never been before so don't really know what to expect or if it will be any good, at least it is only up the road so it's not too far to travel. Anyway, lots to do, will update again soon.

Sunday, 3 October 2010

Bed bother

I think I have finally found the cause for Zippy's nightmare week.......... his new vet bed that I brought him last week. I gave it him on monday night and on tuesday he woke up like elephant man, I then took it off him and he did improve over the next day, then it finally dawned on me that Ronny, Keisha and Puddy all had the same beds and it was their bed that set his second allergic reaction off. The vet bed must have been sprayed with a chemical that Zippy obviously doesn't agree with. Thankfully he is pretty much back to normal and there is no sign of it returning, who would of thought a bed could have caused that much agro, I guess I owe Zippy a new bed that is completely chemical free !!!

Friday, 1 October 2010

Poorly Zippy

This week has been horrible, Zippy woke up on tuesday morning in a bad state, his eyes had rolled to the back of his head and all you could see was his mucus membrane, I rushed him to the vets who diagnosed a bad allergic reaction to something, he was given medication and I was able to bring him home, wednesday he showed signs of getting better, his eyes were back in action but were just very swollen and glazed, he looked extremely tired but at least he was starting to look a bit better. Then yesterday dad called me to say Zippy looks worse than ever, I rushed home from work and took him straight back to the vets, again another bad allergic reaction, more medication and back home to rest, he is now on the mend again but im not sure what has caused the allergic reaction in the first place, im currently systematically trying to single things out but as yet nothing has come to mind, im just hoping I work out what it is before it happens again.

Monday, 27 September 2010

Weekend catch up

So that's it, the season has come to an end, Ronny, Keisha and Zippy all ran their hearts out at the weekend, Ronny had no clears but as always gave it his all, Keisha ran a lovely agility to finish 2nd and had a nice jumping round to finish 8th which wasn't bad considering I gave her the longest line to run, naughty mummy (I don't think she cares one bit). Zippy ran an excellent agility round in the money class to finish 6th and earned enough pennies to buy a new toy, he also ran a great jumping class to finish 5th. So overall a really nice weekend to finish on.

Lots of congratulations from the weekend, firstly to Emma and Maisy for FINALLY winning into Grade 3, what a fantastic way to finish the season. Anne and her boxers, ive been reliably informed you had some great runs including that 3rd place !!! Lucy and Milly for winning into Grade 2 and to Dick and Chip for finally getting that last jumping win making you Grade 6, yippee !!! Well done guys, all truly deserved.

Today I had booked the day off work, I wanted to clean the kennel out and move Keisha and Pudsey back into the house so we can all be a proper family again (I know, I must be MAD) In order for it to be a smooth transition I decided the best way would be if the dogs were truly tired. So after a 2.5 hour walk over Kenilworth Castle grounds the dogs are currently fast asleep, even Keisha who never stops. Infact today has been a very productive one, this morning Keisha and Zippy were training their A-Frame contact, I brought Zippy one of those space hopper toys which he absolutely loves but I let Keisha train with it today and she is mad for it, im going to have to buy her one over the Internet now.

Then this afternoon, Ronny, Keisha and Zippy all visited the chiropractor to get their backs checked, Ronny had previously been lame and I thought he may still be carrying the stiffness of the injury which Bronwen (chiropractor) confirmed, it appears to be his back right muscle so plenty or rest this week for him. Keisha was tight between her shoulders which would make sense why she has not been keen on doing the see-saw, her pelvis was slightly out of line too so she has been fully mended and also on a few days rest. Zippy was the best, nothing much wrong with him, he can still join the other two on a well deserved rest.

So that's it, winter training is due to start on saturday, it's not long until the first selection day of the BSD world champs which is closely followed by Keisha running in the ABC at Discover Dogs and then Olympia in December, I am really going to work hard on the contacts over the next few months especially the A-Frame.

Thursday, 23 September 2010

Last Show of the year

So this is our last show of the year, I do enjoy the Dog Vegas Shows so it's definitely a nice one to finish on. Ive checked the weather and apparently it's going to be dry but cold, I don't mind that as long as it doesn't rain !!!

Ive already decided this weekend im just going to have fun, im going to run the contacts with Keisha and Zippy, if they get them then great, if not then oh well, my main aim for them this weekend is all about speed. With Ronny im going to work hard on my handling again, good arms with early commands etc etc etc, if we get another clear then I will be over the moon.

Good luck to anyone else who is competing, especially to Emma and Maisy still needing that last win to G3, keep me posted.

Ive managed to upload some of the runs from last weekend at Bromsgrove

Sunday, 19 September 2010

Weekend Results

This weekend I had already decided I was going to concentrate hard on my handling, especially with Ronny, did it work .........

Well yes I think it did, yesterday Ronny ran a really twisty, naggy course that I never thought he get round to put in a lovely clear finishing 4th, today he didn't have any clears but some brilliant runs, 5F for knocking the top slat off the wall in his jumping class followed by a great agility run but just took the wrong end of the tunnel to get eliminated then in his last jumping run he knocked a pole.

Keisha on the other hand has been a proper little madam, im glad the season is about to end as we are starting to loose our mojo. She did manage a lovely run in the same jumping class as Ronny to finish 6th so at least it wasn't a complete disaster. Let's hope we can keep it together for our final show next week.

Zippy is still a little character, no clears this weekend but he is looking really promising, some great work powering on and working ahead and some great weave entries too, he also knocked the top slat off on the wall otherwise he was clear, I think he just wants to copy his dad. The one thing I have learnt with him this year is I NEED that start line WAIT as that's what is letting us down.

Other news: Kody has now gone to live with Conor and Kate and their Labrador Brian and two Mali's Heidi and Megan, they plan to keep his agility career going so hopefully I will see him out next year.

Finally ...... Well done to Ellen and Hamish for winning into Grade 3 this weekend, what a great way to finish the season, it was always going to happen !!!

Friday, 17 September 2010

Bromsgrove this weekend

This weekend we are off to Bromsgrove, a nice local show so at least it wont be an early start for once. This is our penultimate show so we are just going to have fun, the dogs have worked hard all season and I don't want to finish it by nagging at them.

Let's hope the weather is GOOD !!!

Wednesday, 15 September 2010

Weaves - Wooden or Plastic ???

Ok, im fed up with this obstacle, all season they have caused me grief, it's not because I don't enjoy training the dogs through them or running them as part of a course, but there is one big problem that is beginning to haunt me ........

Ronny my oldest boy keeps breaking them, at first it was a bit of a shock when it happened, then it became a bit of a joke, but now it's becoming silly and infact sometimes dangerous. I'm not talking about an odd one every other month, infact last weekend he broke 4 in the same day so as you can tell it's quite frequent.

The problem is it's starting to effect our runs, if Ronny misses his entry or skips a pole I very rarely put him back through incase the poles break 2nd time round, sometimes the judges put out a set of 6 weaves that needs to be completed twice, so if he breaks poles on the first time round he will always get eliminated second time round as there will be poles missing. We have become known as the weave breakers and at first it was funny but now its just embarrassing, I even know people who try and get in the queue before us so they don't get held up waiting for new weave poles to arrive.

However, why should it be like that, would we accept a dog walk or A-Frame that collapses when the dog is on it, or a see-saw that snaps in half ???

I'm not one to just moan but take no action, I have previously mentioned my concerns to those companies that make the plastic weaves in the hope they would look at it, but as of yet nothing has changed, my dog isn't the only one that breaks weaves, I have stood in the queue many of times and watched other breeds snap the weaves. Surely in this day and age when we ask our dogs to power forward and get round the course as fast as they possibly can we should have equipment that will stand up to the test. 

If anyone has seen Ronny do the weaves then you will have noticed that he doesn't move his head and the body just follows, I dread the day if a weave pole were to ever snap and stab him in the body or even worse in the eye.

I appreciate it doesn't happen to all dogs, both Keisha and Zippy hardly touch the weaves when they go through them, we can teach a dog to weave the best possible way but ultimately the dog will find his own style.

Does anyone else have this problem ?

In relation to Wooden or Plastic ........ Ronny has never broken a wooden pole yet, hopefully he never will !!! (touch wood), infact if the poles are wooden I always look forward to doing the weaves and if we do go wrong then im always happy to take him back and try again. so im for WOODEN.

So what is it, Wooden or Plastic ???

Sunday, 12 September 2010

Wigan is full of WATER !!!

Well after a 2 hour drive on friday night we arrived in the pouring rain, we had to be pushed onto the field as the ground was a mud bath. Well it didn't get any better, it rained all night and most of saturday, the rings were a complete mess but we paddled on, Zippy started us off with a lovely clear in his agility to get 4th, Keisha followed in her agility class to get 2nd place even with her slipping over and landing head first into the mud.

Then last night the heavens opened, it rained hard all through the night and when I got up this morning the ground had turned into a bog, needless to say the show was cancelled and all that was left was to get off the field and go home. Wigan members were fantastic and came down in a mass to push the van out of the bog and tow our caravan off the site, we were lucky as we were one of the first to leave, there is probably people still getting towed off now.

Still the day wasn't wasted, we arrived home at noon in the gorgeous sunshine Coventry had seen ALL weekend, not a spot of rain in sight, I decided to go to the field and do some training for a couple of hours, the dogs then had a paddle in the swimming pool before I dismantled it for the winter, I cant believe how big the garden looks again !!!

Let's hope next weekend isn't as bad. Thanks to Alan Score for taking this fab picture of Keisha

Thursday, 9 September 2010

Where has this week gone ?

This week has flown by, I cant believe it's nearly friday, work is really busy and there never seems to be enough hours in the day, by the time im getting home it's dark, OMG winter is coming !!!

Anyway, the dogs have been swimming every day this week, I think they would stay in the pool forever if they had their way, it will be a shame when the time comes to pack it away for the winter.

This weekend we are in Wigan, Ronny and Keisha only have 2 runs a day which are all agility runs, bummer ! It would have been nice to have at least one jumping class. Zippy has 3 runs a day, one of which is a jumping class so thats a relief, hopefully the weather will be kind to us, there is nothing worse than getting wet.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Keisha has qualified for Olympia

This weekend turned out far better than I ever expected, on Friday Ronny kicked off the weekend with a lovely run in his jumping class to finish 1st, he then went on to do a lovely clear in his C6-7 agility but sadly a miscommunication between which jump was next made us loose vital seconds which was enough to kick us out the placings, Zippy had a good day and ran a lovely jumping class to finish 7th. The only thing at Letchworth this year was the ground was so dry and dusty the dogs were slipping all over the place, im glad I was just there for the day.

Then on to saturday, I was dreading this day, I have never been before and was questioning myself if I had made the right decision in not entering all my dogs in an agility show to run one dog in the ABC semi-final, added with the pressure of my nerves which would no doubt force an error. Well the warm up run went to plan apart from the very end when Keisha decided to jump her A-Frame contact, the judge hadn't marked her but my natural reaction was to call her back and remind her of the job, I think everyone was a bit amazed but if I give Keisha an inch she will definitely take a mile and it was something I really didn't want to happen in the final.
Then on to the final, we were drawn 21 out of 100 so it was always going to be run from the front and not play safe, it turned out to be the right decision as there were some incredibly fast dogs. Keisha's run was a decent one, a brilliant A-Frame contact but when we arrived at the dog walk it was definitely not a solid one, a bit of luck on our side shall we say. The worst part of her round was the see-saw, infact it was pants, the worst she has done for a long time, I don't know if I over worked it but she seemed to be on there for an eternity, anyway we finished clear and ended up in 9th place meaning we have qualified for the final in December. Out of the 10 that qualified, 7 are Kelpies, 2 are Beardie's and Keisha is the only Belgian, we are being invaded by Kelpie's, COME ON THE BELGIANS !!!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Rest Week

What a nice change to have some glorious sun, thankfully im not back at work until next week so I can enjoy the weather in my own back garden for once. As the dogs have had a hard couple of weeks they are currently on 'do what you like week', in the sense of plod around the garden, sniff what plants are left or gang up on Ronny in tag team wrestling, I even filled up the swimming pool so they can have a splash around before it's put away for the winter (probably next week knowing the Great British weather).

Friday we are off to Letchworth agility show for the day, I usually stay for the whole weekend but this year Keisha is competing in the ABC semi-final on saturday at Stoneleigh. I think we are just going to enjoy our day out and expect nothing, especially as her contacts are not reliable at the minute. Then sunday we are at Prestbury Park, I have never done this show before so hopefully it's a nice one, Ronny and Maisy are in pairs as are Zippy and Summer, ive got a feeling Zippy and Summer will come out as the better two !!!

As ive only got 4 weeks left before we hang up our running legs for the winter ive decided to make a start on my winter training plan, all equipment needed has been purchased and arrived, each dog has been given a list of necessaries for training, Keisha it's contacts, Zippy its tightening him up and Ronny, well ......... possibly more grid work in the hope he will keep the poles up. I might even try Puddy again to see if I can get him going next year in the ring. Failing that he can stay as Team manager.