Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Sight Hound Sports & Pax Updates

I dont know why I do this to myself...another dog sport to get addicted to...

To get involved in lure coursing and whippet racing, at least in my area, you have to find someone that is willing to mentor you. Through Pax's breeder I found a family that lives near me and raises whippets and runs events.

Pax and I drove to their home last weekend during the major flooding. I wanted to take the opportunity, despite the crazy flooding and rain that was going on. We even skipped a 5k that we planned to run, but thats another story.

We sat around and talked about training whippets and the logistics of getting involved with sight hound sports. I learned a lot about this breed, realizing how very different whippets and border collies are. This was especially evident when Pax was loose in their yard and ran away from me to go into their dry, slightly warmer garage while I was calling him...and I've worked on his recall quite a bit. Not enough clearly.

Anyway, they set up the lure and showed me a few practice runs with their dogs. Wow! You have to see this in person to realize how fast they go! It is truly amazing to watch. When it was Pax's turn I was nervous because he was cold and wanted to go inside. He got a little bit excited watching the other dogs run, but not especially.

They took him to one end of the field and I waited near where the lure would stop to retrieve him. I quickly learned that I had nothing to worry about! He seemed to run just as fast as the other dogs. When he got to the lure (a plastic bag) he really was trying to kill it. Then he ran off and embarrassed me again with his bad recall. I figured this out quickly and on his next runs, I rewarded him for getting the lure and then calmly took him and walked off. I was very proud.

Next time we will work on putting him in the box and then this Spring I will compete with him!

random racing whippets


In flyball Pax is doing great in some areas. He is doing super fast wall work for either a ball or a tug. Last night we tried him on the chute with a really steep angle, more angled than a flyball box. We put a ball on it with velcro and he got it and returned to Ben for his tug!

He isnt doing as well with dead ball retrieves when another dog is present, especially a really exciting dog. If he has to chose between a dead ball and a running dog, he will chase the other dog. Since he clearly wont have a problem with learning the box, we are going to focus his training on distraction issues.

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