After skipping tRicky T-Day last week and then only posting someone else's trick video the week before that, we felt a lot of pressure to post a trick this week!! LOL! So we made a very quick video this morning showing the beginnings of my new trick - stand in the corner! We were inspired to learn this from Dazzle's corner trick (video we posted two weeks ago) and then we also saw Blue over at Trublue Art and Agility learned this trick recently too! Mom started by putting a piece of painter's tape in the corner and having me touch it with my nose. Then she stopped putting the tape and just pointed and told me, "Corner, nose!" Eventually she will just say, "Corner!" and won't point and I'll just do it. Not sure if she'll ever get me to sit in the corner though. She tried and I just don't like it!
We ran two runs today in the Columbus All Breed Training Club Agility Trial held nearby at a Sports Barn (usually the building is used for soccer so the surface is artificial grass carpet). It was our first time competing somewhere other than the horse barn. So new place, new surface. Mom decided that she wanted me to get used to spending some time in my crate at trials, so my friend/trainer Deb let us set up with her. That part was nice, but I was not too comfortable in my crate! (I like my crate at home but this building was hot and noisy - too many people and dogs!). Mom didn't make me stay in there very long - it was cooler outside than in and I also spent some time sleeping in the car.
Any way, we ran our Open JWW run around 11:00AM. It went pretty well - mom quickly gave up on the plan she had for running the course and started running on the outside of the jumps - it worked - I sped up and fortunately finished the course just under the standard course time (STC:42/My time: 41.88)! Here is the Open JWW course map:
Then we waited nearly 5 hours for our Open STD run! We hung out in the car, we walked, we hung out with Deb......it was very boring! When it finally got to be my turn, I was less than excited (even with the prospect of meatballs)! I sniffed the ground before I got on the aframe and the judge called a refusal. One refusal is ok in Open. Then the chute - I surprised mom when I came out faster than I usually do. Then when I was supposed to be going into a tunnel (mom clearly told me "tunnel"!), I thought I saw something near the table and headed that way. Mom yelled, 'HEY!" and I turned away and took the tunnel. But the table was next and I stopped to sniff and darn if the judge didn't call another refusal (so now NQ!). I wasn't refusing to do these obstacles, I was merely sniffing, but apparently the judge didn't know that! The rest of the course went well - good weaves and faster than usual dogwalk. We finished a little over course time (not sure of the timings but I think it was 10 points off so we could've Q'ed if it weren't for the second refusal!). Here is the Open STD course map:
And last but not least, here is the video of both runs:
It was a pretty good day! I have two legs toward my Open Jumpers title (just need one more) and I made some progress in the Open STD run - at least we didn't get whistled off for running out of time like we did the last time we tried an Open STD course. Maybe we'll actually Q next time! Tomorrow I get to stay at home and mom is going to volunteer at the trial. I am looking forward to my day off after working so hard today!
On Friday mom and dad took me hiking in Hocking Hills State Park! We had been there before but not yet this summer and it was a perfect day weather-wise so we all decided to go! We took our lunch and had a picnic in the primitive campground. Then we went to a place called Cedar Falls and hiked and hiked! Our photos didn't turn out too great - the lighting is difficult and we only had mom's cheap camera. But we are sharing some pictures any way!
This is Cedar Falls - absolutely not one drop of water coming over the Falls - it has been a very dry September! I was forced to pose in the dappled sunlight at the bottom of the steps I would soon have to climb! The entire area is cliffs and caves and boulders and beautiful big trees! Taking a break from strenuous hiking! Wish the photo was better (funny because if you were there, you would've marvelled at the quality of the light)! Any way, we had a great time! I was super tired and slept all the way home!
Then on Saturday mom said it would be our last sunny, nice day for awhile, so she set up a course in our backyard using all of our equipment (except a broad-jump type jump). She made the chute the first obstacle because we see that in trials all the time now. The weaves were the third obstacle (she wanted to see if I would do them early in the course since that was a problem at our last trial). She also put in a little distance stuff for fun. The dogwalk is going well except that any time we take the hoopy thing away from the contact zone, I jump the contact zone. We're not sure how we'll ever fix that issue. (I bailed on the dogwalk in class the other night when mom ran well ahead of me and tested me to see). But I did my tunnel/DW discrimination and then ran fast through the pinwheel that mom handled extremely unconventionally (on purpose?). It was very fun! On the video is my first try. We ran a few more times but the first was the best.
Hope you all had a great weekend! Congratulations to Team USA competing at the 2009 FCI Agility World Championships especially the Medium Team (including Jenn Crank and Blaster) winning the silver in the team competition! Way to go, Jenn!
The weather has been so nice here that we are just practicing agility and not training tricks much. We have worked on the lift back leg trick a little, and we run through most of the tricks I know about every other day. We also try them in new places - at the training building, at the park, etc. I guess when the weather gets bad (winter is coming all too soon), we'll have lots more time for tricks. We want to try to put a freestyle routine together too using Honey's advice, but we are definitely waiting for nasty weather to work on that!
However we were really inspired yet again by one of Kat's videos of Dazzle doing tricks! We have watched most of her videos - Kat and Dazzle are also an amazing agility team - and we thought we would share her latest with you all!
Isn't Dazzle awesome? One of our favorite tricks was Dazzle being a bad dog standing in the corner! So this week we started working on that - mom put a piece of painter's tape at my nose level in the corner and has been sending me there to nose touch it. I am a little manic about it and want to touch it as fast as possible or scratch at it with my foot, but we're just taking it slowly.
Sara blogged about her class with Oreo the other night and told us about the distance work they did and also about the puzzler that they worked on. She was nice enough to include the course maps, so today we printed them off and tried to set them up in our backyard. Each had to be modified a little to fit, but we think we got the general idea. (Sara, Oreo and Misty also practiced the puzzler in their backyard and video-ed it. ) It was tons of fun! The distance part went well - we only tried it twice but did it both times. Maybe having the weave poles as our not-so-imaginary red line was an unfair advantage? Then the puzzler (#1-11) went really well the first time. Mom lost it on the other times we tried it. At one point she experimented with unconventional handling and it really speeded me up, but she forgot the course! Any way, here's the video:
Thanks for sharing those exercises, Sara! We really enjoyed working on them today!
We've been busy with agility practicing and not as much trick practicing. Mom is teaching me to lift my back leg up (she says we are going to call it "Are you a boy dog?" but we haven't gotten that far yet so I'm not supposed to know). We made a short video to show you my progress - watch and you'll see me lift my leg once really high without using the books!
I am back in the novice competition class on Wednesday nights - remember I was taking that class last spring and then stopped so that I could take the handling class outside in the summer? Well I love being back in the training building! Last week and this week we had really good classes! Mom brought the meatballs and I was super enthusiastic. We think having our own dogwalk is helping me with the real dogwalk at class. And last night I even did the weaves fast for me - you know I am used to the stick-in-the-ground poles I have at home and the regular poles slow me down some. So far the sequences have seemed very easy to mom and me - we must've learned a lot over the summer. It makes mom much more confident in her handling and then that makes me confident and faster too. She even ran all the way around the outside of some jumps last night - long path for her and unconventional handling - but it really motivated me and the instructor was cheering us on!
We were going to do a trial this weekend at the horse barn, but the issue about the sandy surface has not been resolved yet and the trial was moved to a place about an hour and a half away. Mom decided we're not ready to travel that far yet (spoiled as we are by trials 20 minutes away!). Our next trial day is Sept.25 - here in town at a sports barn - sort of artificial grass I think. That will be a completely different experience for me - hope my new found confidence transfers to that new place!
I've had my dogwalk for a week now and I am loving it! On Sunday mom set up a little course with jumps, weaves, and tunnel/dogwalk discrimination. We made a video focused mostly on the dogwalk, so we did some stuff off-camera that you can't see and also edited the video a lot. Hope you enjoy it though and agree with me that I am making some dogwalk progress and my enthusiasm for it is affecting the other obstacles too!
My name is Ricky (Covewind Little Ricky, AX,AXJ,CGC) and I am a six year old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. I do agility and I like to learn tricks too! This blog is about all that and some other stuff as well!