Wednesday, February 22, 2012

A Dog Centered Weekend

Last weekend we spent most of the day Saturday in Auburn at the Cascade Coursing Club hosted CAT (coursing ability test). I wanted to see how the border collies would do and although I was hesitant to run course Pax on the type of lure they use (continuous loop), I entered him too since he was there. The border collies both did well. They stayed with the lure the whole time and were fast until the end when they got tired. We didn't stay long enough to see the results, but we guessed that Pax won...which wasn't really fair because the test is supposed to be for non-sighthounds. We have to enter the border collies two more times to get the CAT title on them.

I enjoy this sport because it's really great conditioning for the dogs and requires no training. I did notice all my dogs slow down at the end, which means they need endurance work! We do something with them 6 days a week, but we need a new conditioning plan for them.

Here is what we do now:
Monday - chuck-it + free running at the field 45 minutes
Tuesday- day off
Wednesday- dog park free running 45 minutes + agility for Pax & Indigo
Thursday - dog park free running 30 minutes 
Friday - chuck-it + free running at the field 45 minutes
Saturday - usually dog park 1 hr
Sunday - herding for Goose and flyball for Indigo or Goose and Pax

We need to add more sessions and keep running them longer. We also need to add swimming and free running on the trails following the mountain bike. Some long hikes wouldn't hurt either. I usually run at the gym on the treadmill, but could start taking them with me and run outside.  I also need to get balance balls and start working on strengthening exercises. We have a swim appointment for the three of them on Thursday, so we are off to a good start on their new exercise plan!


Last weekend was especially dog activity filled! On Sunday morning I went herding with Goose and had a really good session. His natural talent is amazing. Diane surprised us with some light trial sheep to increase the challenge for us. Goose and I went in to work them and they all scattered and it was a huge mess. I was surprised since he always does so well. These sheep were so much harder! This made me realize that I need to work on his lie down and give him more instructions to keep a good enough distance from the sheep so they stay calm. After we worked a bit on widening his outrun and an immediate lie down (rather than 3 seconds later), we had those sheep totally under control. It was a very rewarding lesson.


The way it's been lately is that on Sunday, I rush home, grab my flyball stuff and run out to get to flyball practice in time. Last weekend was no different...I dropped Goose of and grabbed Pax and Indigo. Indigo doesn't really need practice anymore, but I do bring her to help with training and for lineup practice. Pax is getting so much better, although I need to start having other people run him because I need to see how his box turn and striding look. The work I've been doing with him has payed off. His times have come down a bit at practice. We was running all 3.7s and 3.6s at practice. We will see if that holds up at a tournament with no gutters.

Pax's passing and speed to the box Improved!

Speaking of gutters. I am proud to say that we finally fixed my most challenging gutter problem!

Georgias striding has been off for awhile, but everytime I put in the standard gutters that help most dogs, she jumps them! She needs to take three strides after hitting the box before jump 5 and to not take off so early for the box. Mission accomplished with lots of tweaking.

Georgias striding solution

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