Saturday, November 28, 2009

Last post

I've made the leap and integrated all of Lucy and Walter's blogs into one single blog. So from now on, updates on Lucy's agility fun will be at Hope to see you there.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Chris Zink seminar

Lucy came out to play at the Chris Zink seminar today. Details are over at Walter's blog.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Morning Star trial

The way the schedule worked out I decided to enter Lucy in only one event, Advanced Standard which was a nice course. Lucy was definitely on the slow side and though she did have a few loopy moments there were no zoomies. I'd rather see her in fast mode even if it means the crazy offcourse zoomies come out! Note to self: Must practice having her ignore the timer and scribe when they are located right next to her at the start line. She broke her stay to go visit them. Little miss socialite. A couple other distracted moments, one of which took her over an offcourse for our only faults of the run. Great news is she did a nice 2o2o on all her contacts, unlike at Dream Fields a few weeks ago.

Would have liked to run a few more classes with her this weekend but it just didn't work out. But no worries, if she stays healthy and well there should be lots more runs to look forward to next year.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Dream Fields trial - Day 2

Today was Lucy's first time at Dream Fields on Masters day!

Although she was there the whole day for only one run, I think/hope it's good for her to spend time there just getting more used to the place.

So anyway, her one run was Jumpers which was the third event of the day. Overall, I'm quite pleased with how it went. A great start, including a part where she had to turn 180 away from the direction of the exit gate. That was a great success. A bit later, I did a bad job of cueing a tunnel, but she came right back which is another success. But then a weird part where she crossed behind me and then went to check out both exit gates. Great timing on the part of the gate wrangler in closing the gate! But, she did finally come back, so that's good. Pressed the reset button and finished with the last line. Nice that there were no contacts to blow which probably accounts for why I liked this run a lot more than yesterday's.

Q or no Q, it sure is fun running her when she's in a good mood. Love how she dives into AND out of that tunnel at the back! Walter felt so slow when I ran him right after. But, he's my good boy, always wants to do the right thing. Love running them both when they're feeling good.

Here's the video, Lucy followed by Walter:

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dream Fields trial Day 1: Deja-vu?

Started with Advanced Team. We were supposed to be paired with our friends, but there was a mix-up so we ended up in the draw. I would never put Lucy into draw given where we're at right now, so I felt bad for my partner! But she was totally understanding, and it turns out neither dog went clean, phew. Lucy didn't do 2o2o on the frame, but she had touched the yellow so there was still a chance of a Q, so I kept going (another reason not to do Team regularly yet!). Missed the weave entry coming out of a chute, and then popped toward the end in her rush to go over the offcourse jump into the box of our teammate, not sure if it might have been related to the dog being a very handsome intact male, or just "because". She came back quickly though and we finished the last two jumps.

Our second and last run of the day was Advanced Standard. She had a good opening line including happily holding 2o2o on the teeter, but then she didn't do 2o2o at all on the frame, same as in the Team run except this time she went running ahead toward the exit gate and the rest of the run was a "bit" of a mess. Oh and I would have redone the dogwalk but was sure we'd run out of time any second, so didn't. Anyway, the video speaks for itself:

Sigh. I don't mind NQ runs -- I was thrilled with her NQ Standards a couple of weeks ago at Morning Star -- but when the exit gate is a magnet for her, it's just not fun. Although, she doesn't look too unhappy in the video... I don't think? Perhaps it's more that she's eager for her treats rather than she's eager to be out of the ring? That will be my optimistic interpretation. But the whole exit gate magnet thing has been a recurring theme for her at Dream Fields.

I'm disappointed at today's exit gate magnet issue, but not discouraged. I don't think Lucy has ever had a single nice run at Dream Fields, not sure why, but we'll keep trying. Hopefully today was just a minor blip and she'll be back on track again soon!

Of note, she hadn't done any agility since Morning Star, so I think I need to take her for a practice a few days before every trial for the next while, to remind her about contacts and get in some weave practice too.

Monday, October 12, 2009


Was just entering the weekend's results into my database and realized Lucy's yps in the Advanced Jumpers was 5.47, which rounds up to 5.5, not 5.4... Even more awesome!


Sunday, October 11, 2009

Morning Star trial - OMG!

Perhaps Lucy's best ever trial!!

(As background to this post, note that the last time Lucy ran at this facility, in March 2008, my blog post was titled "A-frame shame"... It was not a fun time.)

Originally Lucy was signed up for just one run, Advanced Jumpers on Saturday, first thing in the morning.

Well. She kicked that course's butt!!!! It was I think our best ever run together. She was bouncy and hyper before the run, so I knew she was feeling good and would most likely be in FAST mode. So I prepared to run like stink! And run like stink I had to! She was just booting it. Unfortunately the run didn't get on video, but I must have done a half decent job of giving Lucy timely information on where to go next because she didn't run off zooming and instead stayed on track the whole way. It felt just great. One of those runs that you feel you're flying by the seat of your pants, teetering on the edge of chaos and brilliance. The best kind of run. Granted, there were only 11 dogs in the whole event, but her time of 27.7 seconds was the fastest clean time, and she was less than a second off the fastest dog. Her yps was 5.4, which according to my (incomplete) trial results database, is the fastest yps that either she OR Walter has ever posted on a clean run. I know lots of dogs are way faster than that, but dang she really impressed me. With this Q, she now moves up to Masters Jumpers! (She's in Advanced everything else.) Since there is no video, my special memento will be the course map:

Since Lucy was feeling so happy both in and out of the ring, and since the trial hosts were accepting additional day-of entries, and since her a-frame re-train is complete, I added her to an Advanced Standard. She was slower for this run, but ran really well. One weird moment where she ran right past a tunnel and then went to tea with the timer and scribe, but she promptly came back and finished the run, woo hoo! A few more glitches with the rest of the run, but whatever, she was happy. She stuck all of her contacts, and I did something I've NEVER done before, which is to pet my dog on course. What's a mere 5 faults for the chance to really let your dog know they did something special? Not sure why I've never done that before, and in fact after this I did it a few more times this weekend with Lucy, and even once with Walter for sticking his dogwalk. Here's the video:

I know I should have left well enough alone and called it a day, but... the Masters Jumpers course at the end of the day was in the enclosed ring... and it was a gorgeous course, flowy with lots of front crosses... and Lucy was still bright and perky hanging out in her crate... So, I threw caution to the wind and threw Lucy into the run! It was the first time I ever got to run both Lucy and Walter in the same trial run, well except for K9 Kup which is a just-for-fun thing. They were running tall to small, so Walter was first. I forgot to call him coming out of a tunnel but made sure to fix that for Lucy. She was quite slow and hoppy, not much gas left in the tank! But, she still looked like she was having a good time. Her running and jumping style in this run reminds me of her look-alike, Tippy Toes, who runs in 10" vets. They are both very cute :)

So that was Saturday.

Since I don't want to run Lucy in the ultra-distracting wide open ring until we are firmly back on track with each other, I limited my options of what runs to add for her on Sunday to what was offered in the enclosed ring. There were two Advanced Standards early in the afternoon, so that's what we did. I'm very glad I resisted the temptation to put her into Snooker as well - we need to keep far away from Snooker for a while yet. So anyway, for some reason, she ran around the first obstacle (or two) for both of today's runs. Weird! And there were other goofups too, like me forgetting she's a baby dog (in agility, not chronologically - she's almost 7) and needs a bit more guidance than Walter, and also some distracted moments. But really I'm sooooooooooo, sooooooooooo happy that she was happy out there! I love watching these videos and seeing her happy face on all her contacts and the table. YEAH!!! A far, far cry from her last time here (see link above).

This is the face Lucy wore all weekend. Relaxed and happy, tail a-waggin'.

What a fantastic weekend. This is the Lucy I once had, the Lucy in the photos at the top of this blog. I lost her for a long time, and dreamed of getting her back.

Dare I say it? I shall.

Lucy is BACK!!

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Krazy Kanines fun match

Ran Lucy at today's fun match hosted by the agility club we belong to. She was nice and peppy for the first two runs (a straight-forward Advanced Standard), but for the third run (a curvy Starters Jumpers) she was quite slow. So for the last run I just took her through a few easy lines and threw her food tube.

Also had a try at running a friend's shelties: the vet Tucker (who often does team with Walter), and the crazy spinning Ceilidh. So much fun!

Saturday, October 3, 2009


Got a chuckle from seeing the confirmation for our next trial. Poor Lucy, so neglected.

Walter All Canadian 12558 MA5 MA6 MJ1 MA7 MS2 MJ2 MJ3 MS3 MA8 MA9 MA10

Lucy All Canadian 13091 AJ1

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Dream Fields trial (in which Lucy does her best kite impression)

[Warning: Long post. How I manage to write such long posts about single-run trials is beyond me!]

Well, dang, I messed up today and Lucy was not in forgiving mode so she stressed as high as a kite during her one run, Advanced Jumpers. The course looked nice, there were a few spots for potential offcourses or run-bys but I wasn't worried about that, hoping just to have a good connected run with her, who cares if it would be clean or not. She looked good before her run as we hung out, relaxed and focused with a happy look on her face. Put her over the warmup jumps a few times and she was pretty peppy. A nice non-sniffy start-line stay followed by a good opening line, faster than I was expecting, then she went for the offcourse tunnel. Just as well because my front cross there would never have worked -- I had been expecting the pokey Lucy from our last two trials in which case the front cross may have worked but on second thought, probably not. No pokeying about today though. Then coming out of the offcourse tunnel the poor dog never saw my front cross so she didn't know what to do next -- and I lost her.

Zoomy time!

My videographer stopped recording at this point figuring she'd save me from the horror of having to watch footage of crazy Lucy, so the rest is a bit of a blur, but my best recollection is that she (Lucy, not the videographer ;) ) did a few laps, taking some jumps and tunnels on her way. We did get back on track for the last two closing lines during which she continued to fly like a bat out of heck. On the homestretch line she totally left me in her dust -- NO WAY can I keep up with her on a straight line when she's running like that.

Don't get me wrong, it's fun running Lucy when she's in fast mode even if it means we don't go clean, but it would be a lot more fun if she were running fast because she's having a good time rather than because she's in frantic stresscase mode.

Watching the video back it looks like Lucy totally locked onto that tunnel, suggesting she was somewhat stressed to begin with (she'll tune me out and become obstacle-focused), but then it's totally my fault that I lost her after that with the front cross that she never saw.


Okay, so here's what i'm thinking for next time to reduce the chances of Lucy going frantic:

  • Take her for a good walk before the trial to hopefully take some nervous energy off;
  • Plan the course for FastLucy just in case it's she who makes an appearance; and
  • Always be in the right place at the right time. Sooooo much easier said than done as we all know...
Walter's turn tomorrow. I'm very lucky that he's so predictable, and forgiving...

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Hanging out at Guides Canins

Lucy was a good sport and a pleasure to hang out with at Guides Canins for Walter's trial this weekend. She's entered in a few trial runs later this fall but not at Guides Canins as it's just toooo distracting with so many little critter smells everywhere.

Monday, August 24, 2009

ADC video posted

The video of Lucy's ADC run has been posted.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Woo hoo! HADC at last.

I am very pleased to announce that at today's Dogz trial, six-year old Lucy earned the last Starters Standard Q required for the Agility Dog of Canada title! But more importantly, she ran the course in happy mode! I give you Lucy, HADC (Happy Agility Dog of Canada):

The last time Lucy ran Standard in a trial was... oh my, over a year ago, in May 2008. I knew it had been a while but didn't realize it had been that long. We'd taken a break to fix her a-frame and work on getting our agility groove back.

Although she had been licking at her feet in her crate earlier in the morning (no raw spots or anything though), while we sat around before her run she seemed really relaxed and comfortable, with a nice perky look on her face while I handed out treats.

The course was extremely easy, even for a Starters course, but hey, no complaints from me. Only two changes of side which were at the table and a tunnel, and only six weaves.

So in we went, I set her up in her stand stay and led out just a few feet (the video's missing just the first little bit), then off we went. At the contacts I waited for her to offer eye contact before starting off again. She gave me her nice happy face each time, woo hoo! Afterward it occurred to me that waiting for her to offer eye contact on the contacts is something I should probably do every time as it's a nice opportunity to reconnect. It's also a great way to gauge how she's feeling because when she's stressed out she either doesn't do 2o2o, or she does 2o2o but doesn't look at me. A new meaning to the term "contact" obstacle! Granted, it can eat up a lot of time -- she was just a few seconds under SCT -- but taking the time to check in with her is worth it.

Some trouble in the weaves, but Starters rules are pretty forgiving so there are no faults for having to restart them.

I must say, I'm not thrilled about the impact on her front end when she hits 2o2o on the frame. A few years ago after I saw video of Walter doing 2o2o I changed him to a point-and-pray running a-frame. Soon after I did the same for Lucy, but in her case this led to stress issues since she no longer understood what her job was. But, since Lucy has a lighter build, and since she really likes knowing exactly what her job is, 2o2o it will be. She'll never have a heavy trial schedule anyway, and I'll limit how many frames she does at any given practice or trial.

So, that was our day, just the one run. She was also entered in the second Starters Standard, but since she had run so well and it was starting to get pretty hot, we opted to go for a nice walk in the woods instead.

Oh and the best part is that Lucy's favourite dog buddy, Sammy, also got her ADC title on the same run! Lucy and Sammy have both had their share of issues in the trial ring, so the ADC title was a few years in the making for both of them.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Looking much better!

This week Lucy went for three practices at the place tomorrow's Starters trial is being held. We didn't work anything specific, just did two runs on a Standard course each time. Did our pre-run routine and treated our time in the ring like a real run except for giving food rewards. Yesterday and today her enthusiasm level was great! Nice speed on the dogwalk and weaves, no walking through them as she did at her last fun match. It was like running the old Lucy!

Here's a step back in time, a course we ran at the K9 Kup in July 2007. If you can get past my atrocious handling, the video is a nice example of the enthusiasm Lucy used to have in the trial ring and which I hope hope hope we can get back to. I love her happy wagging tail and her expectant face on the contacts. She's just so darn cute and bouncy. :-)

Sunday, August 16, 2009


First time doing any practice in over a month! Her feet are looking better these days -- still licking at them, of course, but no raw spots.

A short practice consisting of a brief contacts/mini-table/weaves refresher and two runthroughs of a simple Standard course. She was a willing participant, stuck all her contacts, no weave issues aside from one 10th pole popout, but she wasn't overly excited about the whole thing. Hopefully that's just because it was pretty hot: 22 degrees, 30 with humidex, and this at only 9am. Crazy hot weekend this is.

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Scratched (licked?) from trial; allergy woes

Darn, darn, darn. Lucy's foot-licking issue has been getting worse this week to the point she's got a sore spot on her left back foot now, between two toes. So, I scratched her from today's Dogz trial where she was entered only in Advanced Jumpers. Too bad, since this is a place we train at so I was looking forward to the chance to trial her somewhere she's comfortable. But she wouldn't have been comfortable with her foot in the state it's in, so it's a moot point.

Poor dog. She's pretty much always tended to lick at her feet and she gets recurring ear infections. Vets have suggested both may be due to an allergy (maybe food, maybe environmental) so last fall she started on a strict allergy diet where she ate NOTHING but a certain type of kibble for three months; no change so we did the same thing again with a different type of kibble; still no change. So, at the vet's recommendation we started her on an Omega 3 oil thing about a month ago; no change. Now that it's been getting worse lately I started her yesterday on benadryl since that's something we haven't tried yet.

Hopefully she's not allergic to the cats! ;-)

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Fun match

Lucy shared a spot with Walter at the fun match, taking the two Standard runs.

Her first run was decent, but she entered the weaves a few poles in and was uncharacteristically slow on both the dogwalk and table. The table might be because she's used to the 22" table and hasn't yet been trained on the short mini table.

Her second run, her start line stay was very distracted and she ran around the third jump which told me something was off. I was going to stop the run but the judge gave me a timbit to reward her with and she immediately pepped up, though her reward up to then had been dried chicken which I thought should be pretty good.

I really need to figure out what is going on with Lucy's right back foot. She gets this skin condition on it; I thought it was looking better but I'm pretty sure it's still bothering her. I wouldn't want to run and jump if my foot was sore either. Offer me a hundred bucks to do it and yeah I might pep up a bit but that doesn't make the discomfort go away. Sigh.

On the bright side, her a-frame is looking nice with her happily sticking 2o2o.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Today at All Dogs Lucy ran in her first trial in nine months. Just one run, Advanced Jumpers. No contacts or weaves to worry about. She had been doing well in practices so I decided to give it a go, especially since this class was the first of the day so it wouldn't be too hot. She ran in specials for the first time -- she seems happier with the lower jumps and at 6 years old she's almost a vet anyway.

I just watched video of her last trial run which was in this very same ring last September (K9 Kup): there were four separate instances of her running distractedly past obvious obstacles, plus she sniffed at the fence. Well, I am VERY pleased to report that there was none of that today!

Her run was the highlight of my day :D

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Dogz fun match

Lucy's first fun match at this great venue since last spring because last year most of the dates coincided with K9 Kup.

There were a few attention lapses and sniffy moments, one of which was rewarded by her finding a treat on the ground - d'oh! Her sniffy moments felt like ages at the time but actually they were pretty short. Ah, the benefit of video. Thanks again L.L.!

An unfortunate moment in her second Standard run of the day where she stung her toes on the second jump which was right before the a-frame. By the time I heard her crying, she was already on the frame. She was fine after a few seconds, but sheesh, this is not exactly the kind of thing we need given the a-frame issues we've been working through. Oh well, not the end of the world.

She had no weaves to speak of today. She kept flying past the first six poles. This is something Walter sometimes does, but out of character for Lucy. When I switched to offside she did a lot better but popped. Actually come to think of it, she hasn't practiced weaves lately since the ones at our practice field are all wonky.

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Fun match!

Today's fun match at Red Gate was Lucy's first agility event since last September, and her first fun match since way too long (July).

For the most part I broke the runs down into segments with lots of food rewards.

I couldn't have asked for more: She was focused and engaged and stuck all of her contacts, including an a-frame which she naughtily snuck over and did when we were supposed to run past it since we're not done with the re-train yet. Still I'll happily take that over her refusing the frame which she started doing last year in conjunction with our a-frame criteria chaos.

A few off courses where I had failed to provide her with a road map, but it was no big deal and she got a treat for being so innovative. Weaves were good, just one last-pole pop which I didn't bother fixing. She wasn't particularly fast today, but looked pretty happy.

We did just three of the four runs since she had done so well and I didn't want to push it.

Rather than bore you with the full runs on video, I'll just bore you with this compressed version:

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Club practice

At tonight's club practice we ran one of the Standards from the 2006 Nationals. Broke it into chunks for Ms. Starters Lucy, and didn't do the frame since it was at full height. She seemed happy. Several off-courses at a couple of tricky spots, but only one brief episode of running off. Good dog!

Monday, May 11, 2009

A-frame practice #2

Quick practice today, second session back on the a-frame:
- first time asking for a full a-frame since last fall. not yet at full height - currently on link 25. happy 2o2o. threw in a few short sequences: tunnel to frame, frame to tunnel. (tunnel in front of a-frame, not snaked underneath)
- practiced some lead-out pushes. how nice to have a dog who calmly holds a sit-stay.
- tried some rear crosses but she wasn't driving ahead so it was awkward. need a new viewtainer as our old one broke today.

Sunday, May 3, 2009

The verdict is in

2o2o it is for Lucy's a-frame retrain which officially began today!

After much thought and flip-flopping, I decided on 2o2o because Lucy adores knowing exactly what her job is and I'm just not convinced that our main alternative, the a-frame box method, would be as clear for her. And, it should require many fewer reps since she already knows the behaviour from the dogwalk and teeter, so the down side of it maybe being more uncomfortable to perform than a running contact is countered by the up side of not having to do a lot of frames. Lucy will be in specials from now on, so the frame will be lower which should hopefully make 2o2o more comfortable.

Today was Day 1 of the retrain. We started by putting the table next to the dogwalk and having her hop onto the table then go down the ramp into 2o2o since she already knows 2o2o on that obstacle though we never did this table backchain thing before. Then we did the same thing with the table next to the a-frame. She does it in Princess Mode, certainly not diving into 2o2o with any speed but then I don't think I want her charging down into position due to the physical aspect of it, so basically, whatever speed she chooses is fine by me, like Walter on the dogwalk. She seemed happy enough doing this today, though not overjoyed. Too bad due to her allergy diet she still can't have any treats, but I tried to make up for it with jackpots.

We also worked on rear crosses (one of our weak spots for sure) at the teeter and jumps. She surprised me by reading them pretty well!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Fun at Red Gate (again)

Thanks to Lyne we got some nice video of Lucy at Red Gate tonight. It was the first time Lucy came to this group practice session. She ran well but I should have capped it at two runs instead of four as she started to slow down and lose enthusiasm after that, though she stayed engaged nevertheless. Here's some video from her second and third runs, and some of Walter thrown in too:

Monday, April 13, 2009

Practice at Red Gate

Lucy had a great agility practice today. We worked on most of the exercises Walter did and I managed to remember to use a more baby dog approach with her. She was feeling great! This is the kind of Lucy I hope to see in the trial ring again some day: happy and engaged. She's just so darn cute when she's having fun. Here's some video:

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Lucy's long lost cousin?

Lucy spent the weekend hanging out at the trial with Walter. I finally got around to taking a photo of Lucy and her look-alike, who has her Bronze and Silver and is working towards her Gold!

For some reason Blogger doesn't want to show the photo any bigger than this, but clicking it brings up a larger image.

Both dogs were rescues from local humane societies, and both are hounds through and through, though her look-alike is a few years older. She's one of my favourite vet dogs to watch, especially when she's feeling especially spry like she was yesterday.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Practice at Red Gate

Had the day off so took the dogs to Red Gate. Set up the video camera just for fun and I'm glad I did; it's nice to watch it back and see happy agility Lucy again. Didn't really work on any particular skills and didn't do the frame at all except for a couple of times when she went out of her way to take it without being asked.

Note to self: Throw reward more often so she's not so handler-focused!

Boy could Lucy ever benefit from a jumping program!

The camera battery died so I couldn't film Lucy and Walter's playtime at the end chasing each other round and round. It was so much fun; they went zooming through tunnels and over jumps while taking turns chasing each other, all the while Walter carrying his flying squirrel. That was the best part of the practice.

Anyway, here's a little video from today, just because. :-)

Saturday, January 31, 2009


Andrea over at Agility Addict posted some really nice quotations. Several of them hit home when I think about Lucy and where we're at in agility right now. Thanks Andrea for the inspiration :)

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Back to agility practice

Lucy had a nice long break from all things agility until recently. She joined Walter's every-other-week practice group today and last time. Not working on anything specific right now, just basic stuff, front crosses, simple lines.

However, she won't be touching an a-frame until we've done all the pvc box groundwork. Depending on how that goes, it may mean she will have had a full year hiatus from a-frames as her last one was in September!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Lucy's new sport and blog

Lucy has started rally-o. So, of course I had to start a new blog for her rally adventures. :)

Friday, January 16, 2009

A-frame box resources

Mentioned some of these a while ago, but have come across a few new ones too, so here they all are in one place. If you know of more a-frame box resources, let me know and I'll gladly add them here.

The following links take you to people who are training or have trained their dog's frame with the a-frame box. Interesting to see people's different experiences* and the variety of breeds working with the method.
*Disclaimer: Although these videos use a pvc box on the a-frame, the methods shown may or may not follow the method/criteria outlined in Rachel Sanders' a-frame box program.

Running frame DVD

During Lucy's a-frame hiatus I've flip flopped a lot in my thoughts about what to do with her frame.

One option would be to drop her to specials where she'd have a lower frame, in which case maybe I would go back to 2o2o since she loves knowing exactly what her job is, and 2o2o really fits that bill. But, she never really seemed comfortable performing 2o2o so maybe that's not the best option.

Briefly experimented last spring with a hoop and running frame but realized it would take hundreds of reps and would she really understand what the criteria is when the hoop is removed?

Rachel Sander's article last spring Clean Run describing her a-frame box method looked interesting. I made a box and started a bit of flatwork with Lucy last summer but had some problems even at the beginning stage so we didn't make much progress. Then her DVD came out and after thinking about it, finally decided what the heck, why not get it and learn more about the method. So, I finally got around to ordering it and got it this week.

Watched it through once the other day and really like the program. Will watch it more closely again when we start to work through it. One drawback to this method is there is a prop which will need to be faded, BUT there is the benefit of having what seems to be a clearly understandable criteria, without the need for hundreds of repetitions which some running contact methods seem to require. There's definitely no room for an a-frame in my house or yard and we can't get to the practice field every day, so anything needing lots of reps isn't an option. Compared to 2o2o, which also has the benefit of not requiring a lot of reps, I can see Lucy digging the box method a lot more than 2o2o. So, I've pretty much decided to go with this option for her frame re-train.

It will be a lot of work, but hopefully I can get in gear this year and give it a go!

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Goals yesterday and today

These are the goals I set for Lucy last January:

  • Regain her worry-free teeter and dogwalk (she had freaked herself out on a teeter which translated into dogwalk fear as well)
    Woo hoo! Done.

  • Add tunnel/contact discriminations to skill set
    Nope, didn't work on that at ALL.

  • Add "out" to skill set
    Nope. Hardly worked on that at all.

  • Add soft weave entry to skill set
    Nope. Didn't work on that at all except for maybe a few living room sessions.

  • Take time out (from trials) at some point to train a running frame
    Procrastination won out despite Lucy telling me loud and clear that she needed this. Unfortunately I didn't listen until she had to practically scream it to me. She has been on trial and a-frame hiatus since September.

  • Achieve fully independent contacts
    Nope. Hardly worked on that at all.

  • It'd be nice to get her up to Masters in some events to reduce ring conflicts with Walter.
    Nope. She got partway there in Snooker and Jumpers, except with the new rules now she'll need two more Qs before moving up. (Which is fine by me.)

  • To keep her agility tail wagging.
    Nope. She kept her happy table, thank goodness, but a combination of a-frame stress and a general lack of practice led to quite a few stressed out, unhappy runs that I'm not proud of. My poor dog!
Well, 2008 sure was a good lesson that things don't always go as planned. With the exception of that last one and the frame issue, I'm not bothered by any of our failed goals because the plain fact is Lucy got next to no practice last year, which was really focused on improving Walter's skills. (For most of our green fee season it's too hot to leave a dog in the car, and it can be a hassle to dig out the big clunky metal crate from the bottom of the trunk every time, so most of the time I brought just one dog to the practice field and 9 times out of 10 that dog was Walter.)

Moving on to goals for 2009:
  • To get her agility tail wagging again.
Yep, that's it, that's all! : )