Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Zippy is allowed to travel

Zippy has been granted his pet passport today which is great news, im hoping if the season goes well both Keisha and Zippy will be eligible for the BSD WC qualifier at the end of the year.

Talking about the agility season .... one more weekend of freedom then 6 months of competing, yippee !!! I have entered all my April, May and June shows and half way through July, im so excited.

Last weekend mum and me cleaned the caravan out and have put all our stuff back in, now it has been serviced and cleaned we are ready to go, just waiting for our first running orders to land on the door mat.

Friday, 25 March 2011

Good Zippy.... rubbish mummy

Last night we did a jumping course, it was really nice just to let the dogs have a blast and not nag them too much. At the start of the session I practiced the turns we had learnt at Toni Dawkins training day, Zippy did them brilliantly, if im honest im not sure if he maintained them when we were running the sequences as I was too busy trying to run him. I MUST TRY HARDER.

This was one of the sequences, it was really good fun, we kept getting a wide turn after jump 12, obviously I was telling Zippy too late so I then started to cue it early, too early ...... and then he would stop short, my timing on this jump was pants, poor Zippy !!!

Then we had a couple of issues with jump 14, I was either rushing off to get jump 15 which meant he was taking the wrong side of 14 or I was pushing him through the gap putting him on the right side to take the jump but still rushing off making him just run past it completely. My timing on this sequence was rubbish.

The other sequence was harder but we always managed to get round it, I think because I have to concentrate more which makes me give clearer signals to Zippy. It was nice to go back to more flowing courses, it has highlighted that I still need to work hard on my basic handling.

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

Toni Dawkins Training day

I always try and do training days with different people in the hope I can pick up some new techniques or find out what faults im teaching my dogs without realising it, some have been good courses and some have been far from it, I guess it depends on what suits you as a person and what methods you prefer to train with. Yesterday I took Zippy on a Toni Dawkins training day, what a great teacher she is, the hours flew past and we have learnt so much. We worked mainly on turns and contacts but also on rewarding or not at the appropriate times. Zippy had a great time and the techniques we learnt yesterday really do suit us as a partnership. I would definitley go on another training day with Toni.

This morning I went down to the field and practiced some of the techniques we learnt yesterday, it was so much fun and already I can see the benefit in our turns. The house is looking a bit bare with no DW in the front room so im going to bring in a couple of jump wings to fill in the space instead, that way we can practice a turn every time we go and make a cuppa tea.

Not long until the season starts, two more weekends of doing nothing and then it starts, yippee. Our first show is Spring @ Shuttleworth and we (dogs and me) cant wait. Kevin our caravan has just been serviced today, we will start to put our stuff back in over the next week or so and then we will be good to go.

Friday, 18 March 2011

Last nights training

I really enjoy going training on thursday's with Alan and Jackie Gardner, we always do some fantastic sequences and last night was no exception, infact I think this has been our best night yet, Zippy is running really well and he is so much fun. The sequences had some challenging parts last night but it was such a buzz.

Sequence 1:

This sequence ran really well, I started Zippy on my left and then almost scooped him between 3 & 4 to get the right line between the A-Frame and tunnel, this worked really well, if I had been running Ronny im not sure a scoop would of been the best option as he is so hard to call off a tunnel, thankfully Zippy is alot more responsive so it worked great. I then kept Zippy on my right and sent him on ahead from the A-Frame to the tunnel to get the weaves on his own. I was really chuffed with Zippy, we didn't struggle at all with this sequence, his line between 3 & 4 was always good and his weave entry was perfect, I was really trying to test his entry (almost trying to get him to fail) and sending him straight into the weaves from the tunnel but he just kept nailing it, what a good boy !!!

Problems on this one: It was mainly the weave entry, so many dogs were going in 2nd or 3rd pole down, handlers kept the tunnel on their right to try and call the dog out left and then run on a bit to straighten them up but the dogs still found the entry difficult.

Sequence 2:

This followed straight on from sequence 1 so coming from the weave poles, I left Zippy in the weaves so that I could get ahead and push around for jump 2, I pushed him around the outside (right side as you look at it) and then pushed through for jump 3 and sent him on ahead to do the see-saw which allowed me to cross behind him, the rest I ran several different ways as I wanted to see which lines suit Zippy the best.

Problems on this: there was only one problem area on this section, all revolving around jump 2 and 3, handlers were either too late in getting there so couldn't push around jump 2 or some handlers tried the push around on the inside line between jump 2 and 3 and dogs were pinging all over the place causing them to get the big fat E.

Monday, 14 March 2011

Last weeks training.

Sorry im a bit behind with posting last weeks club training plan. I loved this course, a great opportunity to test certain elements, sending the dog on, difficult weave entry, finding the best line. Last week we were joined by the international handlers that were competing at Crufts. Sergio from Portugal and Daisy from the USA, both their dogs had amazing running contacts and it was really interesting to see what training techniques they used. Sergio used the funny turn quite alot and made it look so easy, I must say I think I have finally mastered it and it feels quite good now, im going to use it more often.

Anyway, Sequence 1:

Quite straight forward, some dogs were taking a pole at the spread (jump 6) I think probably due to not driving the dog over it enough as they were trying to get a tight turn into the tunnel. The right end of the tunnel was actually facing the DW so if the handler waited too long for the dog to take the tunnel they didn't make it in time to get a nice line onto jump 8 and the dog either jumped too long or they missed the pull through. The right end of the tunnel also made a nice trap for those running contacts !!! 

Sequence 2:

Loved this part of the course, Zippy was ace at getting his weave entries, I took the tightest line from Jump 3 straight into the weaves, I then ran ahead and put in a blind cross so I could be on the right hand side of the long jump, that way Zippy chased me and sent on ahead to do Jump 6 and 7 on his own. This then gave him a tight turn onto the see-saw where I was waiting for him and then a long dash home with another opportunity to send him on.

Problems on this sequence: Missed weave entries or either a really long line into it. Some handlers also had to go to jump 7 with their dog which then made the run home slow as the handler was always playing catch up, a couple of dogs even tried to go back into the weaves after the flat tunnel.

Sunday, 13 March 2011

Crufts 2011

Crufts has been a very successful one for our Mali mob this year. Friday was our breed day and in action was Jackie and Speedy, over the past year they have done really well in the show ring and on friday he looked fantastic, Speedy showed his socks off and won his class, he then went on to get reserve dog which is a great result for his first time at Crufts. The winner of Best of Breed actually turned out to be Speedy's mum, Bonvivant Habibi. Ronny and Zippy are very proud of you both.

Friday was also agility day for Keisha and me, this was our first time competing at Crufts and we were running in the ABC event, agility was first up but it didn't quite go to plan, Keisha jumped her DW contact and then shortly after we got eliminated. In the afternoon we had the jumping round, the course looked great and I was really looking forward to running it, Keisha ran brilliantly, she slipped on part of the course but she still managed to finish in second place, just 3 tenths behind the winner.

1st Nigel Stains and Zico 32.66
2nd Jo Hyslop and Keisha 32.96
3rd Mark Douglas and Ruby 34.32

Today Amy Sadler and Summer were competing in the dogstable event, they are now Crufts 2011 winners !!! Congratulations to both of you.

Sunday, 6 March 2011

Sunday Training

This morning it was club training, it was mainly focused around the funny turn ive previously blogged about, I had been avioding it as I just couldn't seem to get my head around it, however, Yvonne insisted on it this morning so I had no choice. I actually found it much more simpler today, I had Zippy in the first lesson and with him having a much longer stride and therefore a bigger jumping range I found it actually worked quite well. I worked Keisha in the next class, we usually struggle with this turn as she jumps incredibly tight but again we seemed to master it, I think I might start training it again, if nothing else its another tool in our box.

This afternoon Emma came up, we worked on contacts, weaves and the funny turn, Rupert is looking amazing, he is a really good boy in his weaves, considering this was only his second time with them fully upright they are looking fab, his contacts were equally as good. Maisy was also very good, no problem for them doing the funny turn, they make it look so easy.

This is a clip of Zippy doing his running A-Frame on thursday night at training, filmed by Alan Gardner, thanks Alan.

Friday, 4 March 2011

This week was Speed

So this week club training was focused around speed, the fastest possible line without interrupting the dogs stride. This was perfect for us, Zippy loves to just run and this was an ideal set up to work him from behind.

Sequence 1

On this sequence I decided to keep Zippy on my left after jump 3, that way I could send him on ahead to jump 5 & 6 on his own which allowed me enough time to get the correct position to signal the tight line from jump 7 into the weaves, this seemed to work well as Zippy kept the pole up and hit the weave entry every time, I then ran ahead whilst Zippy was in the weaves and then pushed him over to jump 9 to get the best angle for the go-round onto jump 10.

Areas that caused problems on this sequence: Some handlers choose to front cross the dog between 6 & 7 which made the dog jump wide over 7 and then subsequently miss the weave entry, or, alot of dogs were taking the pole at Jump 7 as they were trying to turn in the air to make the weave entry.

Sequence 2

I started Zippy with him on my right, with him having a running A-Frame this was a perfect combination to work him from behind, once Zippy had taken jump 3, I was able to rear cross him to send him onto jump 4 & 5 whilst I positioned myself ready for the tunnel, this worked well as I needed to hold my ground whilst Zippy crossed the face of the tunnel and ignore that first entrance. On a few occasions I hadn't positioned myself quite right and Zippy did go in the wrong end of the tunnel.
Areas that caused problems: some dogs were getting the wrong end of the tunnel due to late commands or incorrect postion, other handlers ran their dog on their left and then called the dogs around their body after jump 5 to make sure they got the right end of the tunnel, although the dogs would have had a clear run it was a much longer line. Handlers also choose to run their dog on their left from the start but didn't always make it to push them back over jump 3.