Sunday, January 30, 2011

2nd agility weekend

We had our 2nd agility competition this weekend. On Saturday we had a starters run, another issue with running past a very obvious straight jump, and she popped out of the weaves the first time through. I was not happy with the next run, elementary, no focus and very slow over an extremely easy course.

On Sunday we had a couple of jumpers runs, the first one was a tricky course, finally no running past a jump and I was pleased with her focus but she had 2 rails, as you can see from the video taking the rails while turning. The tricky first half of the course is missing because of crappy videoing! The Second course was super easy, half way round, again she just ran straight past a very basic jump. Other than that ok, she seems to handle the difficult parts fine but trips up at easy jumps, I'd really like her to have a bit more drive too but I'm sure that will come with confidence.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

New computer and agility debut

Last week my faithful laptop bit the dust when it met the hard wooden floor one time too many. Totally smashed. Thanks GOD I had backed up my pictures and things in December so if my hard drive can't be recovered I'll still have most of them. So anyway, I've been compter-less for nearly a week but now have a brand spanking new computer yay. I've been so used to my old faithful and all its applications and photo and video editing software that its going to take me a while to figure this new beast out. We'll get there eventually.

I'm also house/pet sitting for a friend and with work thrown in I've just had no opportunity to blog or visit others blogs. Will try to get round them tonight at work (if its quiet, crossing my fingers!)

So I'm looking after Bruno, a golden lab

and Misty, a weimaraner

(plus a Guinea pig, a cat and a frog)

Walking three dogs is not the easiest thing I've even done but we had a lovely time out at woodhill forest yesterday.

Misty didn't really get on with Pepper initially (Misty was very snappy and growly to her) but they've since become the best of friends and play relentlessly for hours, totally wearing each other out.

Anyway, our first agility competition was the weekend just gone. No pictures/video (sorry!) but I still don't really know all that many people in the agility scene and felt a bit too embarrassed to ask a stranger to video, especially if we were terrible!

This was a "champs" show (so you and the dog need to be Kennel Club registered and the wins and placings depending on the amount of dogs entered, get you points to progress up the levels) as opposed to "ribbon trial" where you don't need to be registered and its a bit more low key.

The lowest level in NZ is elementary but they don't offer that at a champs show so we were in starters. which doesn't have contact equipment.

The first run was fairly straight forward except for a bit of a tricky twisty jump combination at 11, 12, 13. We had a miscommunication at jump two - after the lead out she jumped number one and then hurtled past the second jump and then back to me, so counted as a refusal (5 faults) but the rest of the round was great, nailed her weaves, no problem with the tricky jump combination, and did the collapsible tunnel (chute) which I'd been worried about as she's only gone through it 3 times ever! Luckily the wind was blowing it open a bit so it made it easier. A good start I thought.

The second round was probably easier than the first - again she did the naughty looking at and coming over to me after jump one instead of going on to jump number two but the rest of the round was good, with good weaves, although I would have liked them to be faster.

The next day was torrential rain (A section of the motorway was flooded and several houses in Auckland were evacuated) so I decided not to go, better to give her good experiences in this early stage rather than have her slip and scare herself.

We have another competition (this time a ribbon trial) this weekend, agility on Saturday and a jumpers show on Sunday, I hope the weathers better but sounds like rain is forecast for Saturday, fingers crossed it doesn't eventuate.

Friday, January 14, 2011

All Breeds Obedience

Went to All Breeds for their obedience ribbon trial today and had a pretty good time. It was a scorching hot day and nice that it didn't start until 1.30pm so we got to have a sleep in. (although the pooch is always up snooping around at 7am looking for walks or foods anyway)
No videos or pics cause I was there by myself.

The first elementary class was ok - less focus at the start but improving towards the end. Good recall and stays were fine, although the grounds are right beside a busy train line and in the downs a train came tooting and roaring past and the three dogs to Peppers right (the direction of the tracks) all broke in fright which was a shame for them but I was happy that Pepper held her stay, she was looking very anxious! We came 2nd in that class.

Then we went in Special Beginners but just for training so didn't get marked. She was really good, I had the ball in the ring and we had a good play and it made a huge difference and gave her heaps of motivation.
Then we had a big wait for the huge novice class to finish and we had the 2nd elementary test. Brilliant (for us) heelwork and a super recall. And then we went in for the stays......... and she peed in the ring, haha, damnit! So that was 30 points off and alot of embarrassment. I'd tried to toilet her two minutes before but oh well. She did her stays fine. So instead of getting 1st, because of the pee we got 5th (still, it was amazing to have placed after fouling the ring!!) Another lady from North Shore won the class though so that was awesome.

Then we had the 2nd Spec. Beginners test, she was again good, a few wides in the off leash and a lag in the on leash, but again improved as she went. Another good recall. Sit-stay was hairy, I really thought she was going to down but she didn't. And we ended up winning the class! Yay, I was super proud of her.

Now shes half dead on the floor and I'm so sunburnt I can't sit on the couch. Looking forward to agility next weekend!

Heres some pics of the wee plastic pool we brought last weekend - its been so so hot and with the massive stupid fence around our house turns our yard into a windless oven, so I wanted something she could cool down in. But shes not so keen on getting in to, just likes to bunt her balls around with her nose and blow bubbles instead.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some agility practice

Heres a really quick video of us down at the park doing a bit of agility practice this morning, gotta go early (like 8am) or else its just too hot and Pepper goes off with her ball and hides in a bush panting after about 3minutes.

And some sunset photos from our walk two nights ago.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

New year, lots of new things to come..

Hope everyone had a safe and happy christmas and new years. Pepper loved opening all her presents - some new and some old (we wrapped up old stuffies because its the unwrapping that is the funnest part!)

My work (at an adult emergency department) was quite honestly horrendous, so so very busy. I worked over both christmas and new years and it was the busiest holiday period I ever worked in about 6 years.
Media coverage had our department on both national channels news programmes (unfortunately showing a rather harassed and angry looking me both times) imploring the public to drink responsibly and look after themselves and their friends. Which of course makes no difference. NZ has a huge problem with alcohol and if you doubt that then spend an hour at work with me on a Friday or Saturday night, where instead of spending our time, resources and your tax dollars looking after truly sick people, we spend most of it tending to comatose drunks who vomit, urinate and defecate and people with minor and major injuries secondary to alcohol. The ones who are awake are loud, obnoxious, rude and demanding. I'm totally sick to death of it. Its an EMERGENCY department. You will not get seen immediately for the cut on your hand, even though you thought that leaving the waiting room, taking off the bandage we put on and calling an ambulance to bring you back would get you higher up the cue. It will actually put you right at the bottom. And "at least 5 hours wait" does not mean half an hour or 2 hours. It means 5 hours so shut up and sit down - we're not making you wait for the fun of it - we are busy and trying to save peoples lives! Grrrrr!

Ok so rant over. This is the first trick that Pepper's learning for 2011

Handstand. We've only been working on it for one day and its coming along ok. She doesn't have great balance like some other dogs, its taken her a long long time to be able to beg without falling over after half a second so this will be a bit tricky, we'll see how we go.

We have two months full of dog "stuff" - starting on Jan the 15th with an obedience ribbon trial, then the next weekend our first agility show (gotta find somebody to measure her first though - and its not proving easy over a holiday period). It might be a bit too much of a step up as its a champs show so no elementary class to test the waters and having never run an actual course with Pepper before it will be interesting to say the least, but its time to get out competing so we'll give it a go, I'm sure we'll learn plenty. Brought a new "point & shoot" digital camera today (loving the post christmas sales!) after my old one died a few weeks ago. So I'll hopefully find someone to film our most likely embarrassing first attempts so you can all share in the misery of our hopelessness! Haha.