Great Trial!

September 16, 2008

We had a great trial on Sunday, the weather was perfect and all the dogs did well.  Riot and Preston ran their dogwalks in every run, Preston had one bad one but the other two were great.  Riots were perfect except she was sucking to the dogwalk allot because she loves her dogwalk! 

I definitely have stuff to work on with Preston, as I was driving to the trial on Sunday morning I realized I had never taught him the table so as you can see in his first run he got on and then attempted to target off the side of it 🙂  Also need more proofing on weaves and contacts before we trial again.  Other than that I was very pleased and he seemed to get more and more confidence in each run.  Here is a video of his first run and a few highlights from the day.

Riot and Preston now have a couple weeks off training as we leave for Worlds tomorrow morning!

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Great Video

September 11, 2008

I’m sure most of the agility world has already seen this video, but here is Susan Garrett’s presantation from the AAC nationals:

We leave for Worlds in one week and at this point all I am trying to do is keep the dogs in good condition and without injury.  It seems we have bad luck with getting sick/injured at this time of year so we have been playing it low key with no off leash parks and taking time to warm up and cool down while training. 

Here is what I have been focusing on these last couple weeks with Chase and Bounder:

-Running contacts, dogwalk for Bounder and a-frame for Chase…we will see how this goes….

-Broad jump – shaping understanding from all angles

-jump grids, lots of bend work for Chase and lots of balance and extension for Bounder

-one jump work- always more value for handling manoeuvres

-Basic handling sequences (threadles, serps, front/rear cross…whatever we can fit in the yard)

Here is what we set up tonight in the yard

In past years we have run allot of courses by the World Chapionship judges but this year we just haven’t had much time.  As part of our team preparation we are given lots of previous courses by the judges and I have spent time going over them on paper and picking out common challenges and working parts in the yard.  When we have our team practice in Ontario we will be running the courses and based on our performance our manager will decide which dogs will run in wich events. 

At the FCI WC there are two different events, the team event and the individual event.  Each event is made up of one jumpers with weaves course and one standard course but there are a few differences.  In the individual event you are running against every dog including other dogs from your country, you have two runs and you have to be clean and fast to even come close to placing.  Individual is all about pushing for speed and taking chances because even if you have two fast clean runs you may not make it near the top.  In the team event you are on a team with three dogs from your country and in your height (small team, medium team and large team- each with three dogs)  Your scores are all added together over the 6 runs and the team with least faults and fastest times will place.  So in the team event it is more important to play it safe because if your team can get 6 clean runs then you will likely be in the top three.  The problem with playing it safe at the world championships is that if you play it too safe you will likely have time faults.  The course times are usually withing 2-4 seconds of the fastest dogs so even though Bounder usually runs clean, if I dont push for speed we can easily have time faults. 

So as part of each country’s strategy you have to decide which dogs will run in the team event (only three dogs in each height) and which dogs will run in individual (only 9 dogs total can run in any heights).  Since there are only three dogs on Canada’s medium team this year I know for sure that Chase will be running in team, and Bounder is likely running team as she is pretty steady, but I don’t yet know who on the team will be picked to run in the individual event.  This is decided based on how everyone looks at the team practice and can change anytime before the start of the competition in case anyone gets sick or injured when we arrive in Finland. 

Besides keeping the dogs healthy I plan on working some more jump grids this week and then revisiting some weave pole entrance work before we leave for team practice.   

My plan is to keep this blog updated with info regarding the Canadian Agility Team and our journey to the World Championships so stay tuned!

Getting Ready for the Trial

September 8, 2008

Preston’s first trial is next Sunday so we have spent the week going back to allot of the foundation exercises.  We have been working on our one jump skills most nights and tonight we worked on our circle work.  I probably haven’t done any circle work for a good month with Preston and its amazing how it really shows.  Both Riot and Preston took a long time to get nice circle work without them going into herding mode and trying to cut me off.  Here is a video of our training session tonight.

We also set up a speed circle with the see saw and the dogwalk to work on discriminating between the two and he had no trouble at all.  We are still working on turning off the dogwalk but the trial will be a good test of what we need to work on and then we wont trial again until this winter.