Monday, 23 January 2012

Weaving Bean!

I wasnt sure what to title this one! Loki is more often called Lokibean,
no idea why its just stuck!!! hence the weaving bean title....

Training update!! Loki has started on channels...after much deliberation i decided as she isnt much of a shaper when training, this will be the simpler method for her. I haven't previously trained any of my dogs using them, but have taught others :) it was a big descision between these and 2x2 method for her, being small and not really orientated by anything other than harry!! so far so good, she has had a couple of sessions, and is really running through them nicely :)

Chase & Daizy have also begun on them, chase couldnt really work out what he was doing, he just likes running!!!

both have started doing other combinations now and are starting to work ahead and use tunnels, its showing that consistency is the key, like in most things, when they werent getting weekly minimum training they werent learning as well or as fast, i know for most this is common knowlege, but for others reading it may be something you have over looked :) I know some of my trainee's read this so I like to write as honestly as i can about my own training, as last year i didnt get to do much, with one reason and another! this year ive started off right, and plan on working hard, not only with my dogs, but with myself and my family too, as harry is keen to work loki, as she is HIS dog, as he keeps remiding me!! ...funny how she is mine when she poo's!!!! I have entered Kernow using Iss, all 3 young dogs are entered too, i have gone for 2 per day with each of them, and im hoping the judges are kind and set nice courses for the grades, i have entered the lowest cominations possible ( ie no 3-4 if there is a 3!!) as both chase and dai will start grade 3, loki however will be harrys girl so starts in grade 1! SO very few graded classes for smalls, its very sad! i know when i choose classes for honiton i am careful to see every dog gets a graded run, but a lot this just happen for!! so as a new handler, my 11 year old son has no choice but to enter combined classes with his grade 1 dog :( Once they have their first show under their belt i will start looking into travelling further to graded classes for him so he knows what to expect more for his level, aswell as junior classes too :)

Terra has some hip area stiffness so will only be running in anysize, i had hoped she would one day compete, but i dont think that is a possibility now :( still she wont know any different, as she can still play in anysize with harv :)

Zig & meg have been re training on channels ( ive got channel obsessed!) so far so good, both are working well a small space apart, and are getting better with my main weakness of the dreaded right hand weaves! both dogs come out currently 2 poles before the end, no matter how many weaves there are! so im glad i have gone back to try again, both girls may only compete for this year before going into veterans ( we'll see how they cope this season first!) meg is 9 and zig is 10 next month, so they are both no spring chickens! as long as they enjoy themselves and are physically able to work in the heights and grades they are in, im happy for them to carry on :) its hard to know at what stage to retire them, as most agility dogs are kept well and have good fitness levels etc, combined with good diets, makes for good healthy dogs :) My vet has said countless times that she is amazed that ziggy does so well for her age and the condition of her heart, the murmur hasnt gotten any worse than when she started agility, so she see's no need to medicate her yet, she is fit and healthy, enjoys walks, runs, training and competing, if she had been a pet dog she said she probably wouldnt be here with us still :( so i know with her i am very glad how we keep our dogs!!

This weekend i have my first workshops being held!!! scarey but exciting at the same time! I love training and helping people learn with their dogs, so im really looking forward to it! These ones i know, but the next i wont know, so will be a new experience for me! teaching the unknown!!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

And into 2012!

I hope everyone has had a great Christmas and new year :)
I have decided against new year resolutions this year, as i never stick to them!!!

I, with the help of Lydia as i have a very sore back!! Have tidied and sorted through most of the house, everything has been cleaned and is really to roll for a fresh new year, fingers crossed i will be heartbreak free this year :( This was the first xmas in 14 years i didnt have Jak & Holly, it was hard to not buy them a present this year as i its now part of the ritual, they both would always have a fluffy toy, holly would walk around with her happy grumble wagging her tail and knocking stuff flying, and jak would take off any eyes and ears, he prefers his teds deaf and mute :) i miss them so much, its so hard to not have them here any more, i know its been a while now, but nothing changes how you feel about them being gone :(

I dont have a lot to report really, we have had a good month off away from any agility, and have been back to train a little here and there, working on mainly waits, looking ahead and some grid work, contacts are being done seperatley and meg is now 2o2o 80% of the time, so still more to do!

We have had some nice adventures over the holidays, walks have taken us to several places we wouldnt usually go, Saunton Sands, woolacome bay,as well as Dorset to the in-laws, and our local areas too, woodbury common and the estuary aswell as the occasional trip to the beach!

I have been very ( regrettably) sensible, and decided against adding to my 'pack' as james is still doing courier work via the agency, it makes it not the ideal time, my scans are still not booked as now they want to find out if its a hormone releasing mass, as it could make it harder to remove, so i have a month of blood taking to have done first :) good job im not squeamish of needles! SO even though i had found a lovely puppy, i dont think it would be fair on pup or my lot, or my family even to have another right now :( im very disappointed yes, but if i want any of our future plans to cme together i must wait for now...

All the dogs have endured an MOT with Sandra, my most excellent vet :) i think she is brilliant, she is VERY hot on joint issues, and knows all of my dogs, here's what feedback i took away;

Harv is underweight at 20.2kg - he is usually around 24-25kg, but she thinks he could have the start of liver issues being 11 and not processing his food properly, so i have to keep a check on how he goes, and split him to 3 meals a day to hopefully help with this. Other wise, he is still a bit stiff in a few joints, but nothing too bad. He was a little pale, but after devouring a box of quality street, we are lucky he is as well as he is!

Zig is doing amazingly well, good teeth, good joints, ever so slightly over weigh, but 15.5kg is pretty good still for her! at almost 10, sandra is amazed every time we see her that zig is still doing so well :)

Meg has lost all her coat, hope she finds it soon! she looks so scrawney, but is ideal weight at the mo 14.8kg, her teeth are crap where she has chewed things, metal bars of cages are the usual! leads,toys anything possible will be chomped!! She has some stiffness in her toes on the front feet, probably due to how she throws herself 100 mph at everything! we will see how and what happens this year to see what classes both she and zig will be running in.

Terra, is terra.... no issues, still cant brain transplant, so same old really! weight is good, so much different to the other girls! 18.2kg! but ideal weight wise, she hasnt an ounce of fat on her! She has some slight stiffness in her hips, so wont be competing in anything but anysize classes from now on, she is only 6 but does have a bad hipscore which may be the issue. On her check, sandra says she has a very good range of movement and nothing seems painful, so to keep her fit will help things. We notice mainly after big walks or after a training session, so training is only going to be a few mins at a time for her now.

Daizy, ideal weight, 14.1 kg, perfect teeth, ears, eyes etc. Joints were all manipulated and were good, she was shaking the whole time so was being a real fairy about the whole process!

Chase, he loved sandra, and managed to sneak several licks to her face when she wasnt expecting it!! he didnt like extending his back end in the surgery, i have managed this at home when massaging him etc, but he wasnt happy for her to have a go, so will be roping friends in to do that at shows this year lol! His mish mash jaw is good on one side as the lower canine has pointed out, but the left side hasnt and has made a slight hole for itself in his upper gum line where it sits. his weight she said is perfect at 17.3kg, i think id like him to be almost 18kg as he feels too skinny to me.
Loki, the diddy one of the lot! she weighed in now over a year old so fully grown.... 3.6kg! coat,teeth,ears etc all good, no real issues, she was switched onto vibrate for the whole visit unfortunatley, couldnt get her to be calm! She has been for lots of vsits when its not her to be seen, so not sure why she is so scared!