Puppies can be hard work at times and we can get so wrapped up in training obedience and teaching rules to our puppy that we forget to have fun and build a relationship with them. With a good relationship comes … Continue reading
This morning a notification popped up on my phone telling me that lots of folk were tweeting about #NationalDogDay (don’t you just love technology)! Who knew! There’s a day for dogs?! It’s hardly surprising that man’s best friends has got a … Continue reading
Today we went along to the Dig It Dogs Club Competition. Entries limited to 50 keeping the show nice and small and especially designed for beginners. I’m Show Manager for next month so I thought I best go along. Well before … Continue reading
Not a chore. Not a battle. It should be engaging, pleasurable, beneficial. So many dogs are rehomed because they are “not useful” to their owners. Is your dog useful? Do you get something out of having your dog? We all … Continue reading
I’ve been working on this video for a couple of months now and I’m so excited to have it finished. It’s exactly how I want it! My first movie project of 2015 and the start of a new phase of … Continue reading
Success. The topic of this Dog Agility Blogger Action Day. Success is broad, it covers so much. Success that your dog is fit and healthy. Success that your dog managed to queue without being upset by another dog. Success that your dog came out of that run safely, free from injury. Success that you remembered the course!
The first thing I think about when I think of success, is taking a success from every run. Whenever I write blogs about our shows, (especially when I write about our many Eliminations), I always try to find a positive from every run. Something that we did well. Something that was an improvement. That is my success. It was a success to complete 12 weaves poles. It was a success to get a good stop dog walk contact. It was a success that Guinness waited on the start line. It was a success that we did a nice tight wing wrap. It was a success that we queued calmly.
But success proceeds much further than each individual run. Each show. Each result. Success comes in training. What is your success rate?! How many times was that behaviour completed correctly? It’s an important tool for dog training programs. Did your dog sit when asked 9/10 times. A success rate of 90%!
Dog agility is a human-selfish sport. If we never did agility again and instead allowed our dogs a good run through the woods twice a day, would they miss the agility? I reckon not. Although agility gives us the drive to train our dogs and the means to physically and mentally stimulate them, that can be done without agility. Therefore the biggest success for me is that my dog is fit, healthy and happy. Every time we do a training session, every show we visit and every run we do, I have succeeded if Guinness is happy.
However winning is definitely a very favourable success as well!
Read about what other agility bloggers consider Success as they upload their posts throughout the day: http://dogagilityblogevents.wordpress.com/success/
The first of the Dig It Summer Shows is finally here! Time to start earning some points!
As it turned out this was one of those shows where we had so much fun the results did not matter at all, although it was still a slightly disappointing day.
Bright and early Ash and I rocked up just past 8am. Straight away we got set to work helping, pegging weaves and putting up the shelter, and before I knew it I’d walked the course and they were calling for the first dogs. I was straight in and with only 10 dogs in the class I gave Guinness a quick warm up and we rushed into the ring. Into a down, lead off and he broke his wait. I put him back and we set off for a messy run. One of those typical first runs of the day. Never mind.
Off into the exercise field across the lane and he had a poo. I knew it, I’d rushed him in. Scooping the poop, I looked up and he had gone. Vanished! Sh*t! (Quite literally). It was a huge field but I couldn’t see him anywhere, calling and whistling, I rushed back to the Dig It field, looking up and down the lane, and breathed a huge sigh of relief to see Ash putting him into the car. Phew. What a numpty. Luckily the little lane is quiet and he’d just run straight off to find Ash.
Time to chill out and have some breakfast.
Quickly onto Jumping and it begun jump to 6 weaves. C’mon Guinness, we can do 6 poles easy, we have them set up in the garden. I ran start him to really drive him into the weaves “Go weave weave weave”…. he Go’d too much and entered at the 2nd gap. D’oh, come back, get in the weaves, lovely, off we go. It was quite a tight, tricky course with some knocked poles here and there but some pleasing rear crosses. Another Elimination picked up along the way.
While taking photos and watching the course later on I realised I had completely missed out a jump! I hadn’t even noticed it when I walked it. Oops! Not like me at all.
A bit of a break before steeplechase and Ash had long since abandoned me for Nick, pleased to finally have someone else at shows who was interested in something other than dogs!
Onto Steeplechase and me and Gaz set a good example of how to walk a course… stand on the edge of the ring with arms crossed. Everyone was starting to get a little silly and carrot cake for lunch was certainly boosting up my happiness scale.
A nice but tricky steeplechase course, I decided to test my wait and ran off three jumps ahead. Guinness jumped up and then stopped just short of the first jump but set the timer off with him nose. I released him and he ducked under. The rest of the course was so smooth and clear! Absolutely gutted!!
Power & Speed came next, my first ever games class. A great opportunity to test our contacts plus it started with a spread jump. I ran start again to help him over and he cleared it nicely. A-frame quickly to weaves was going to be tricky so I held his stop A-frame then sent him in. Yes! Nailed the entrance but popped out around pole 9. Second attempt, fail, time to get out of the ring and try to get 12 weaves out at training more often.
Second Steeplechase, another nice course with some different handling options but some tight turns. I was really pleased with my choices and Lydia and Audra both decided to handle the same way. We hadn’t even passed each other while walking the course so I was mega chuffed with myself. Onto the course and 1 pole flew, followed by another, then 3 more, a terrible rear cross and over the line.
What a shamble. However he did manage to keep up three poles in a row of tricky spacing, with a bounce in the middle. If you listen closely he lets of a “huff” noise as he bounces which makes me chuckle (amongst all of the barking of course). As I came out Avril and Katie said they’d decided his downfall is that he can’t bark and jump.
5 out of 5 glorious eliminations! The end of the show was spent filming and scribing and generally larking around while we brought the Steeplechase ring to a close.
Still finding victories somewhere, I was so chuffed with how our waits have progressed and I’m starting to feel more confident, plus I’m a lot happier with taking him back to the start if he does break.
Most importantly this show was so fun it really didn’t matter how we did in the ring, the point was that Guinness was having fun and I was having fun!
This video really sums up the atmosphere of Dig It Shows and particularly the Dig It Instructors, some of my best friends.
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