Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Spring Fever

We have been working on planning Spring events for the dogs. Here's what we've got so far..some of the dates are tentative

Feb 18th AKC coursing ability test in Auburn, WA
March 4th AFSA lure coursing Auburn, WA
March 24-25th NAFA tournament BC
April 7-8th UFLI Victoria, BC
April 28-29th UFLI Amana, IA
May 5-6th NAFA tournament Greenfield,MA
May 19-20th NAFA Seekonk, MA
June 22-23rd NAFA Coconut Classic  PA
July 7-8th Starkville, NY ASFA lure coursing
August 11th-12th UFLI Richmond ON
August 18th-19th Rocket Relay ON
 Oct 12-14th Indianapolis, IN CanAm

Ben is taking a break from agility until he finds a new trainer in Massachusetts and will probably just focus on Indigo and less on Pax. We are mostly doing flyball and lure coursing this year.

 We will be driving across the country in April. We will drop our daughter Finley in Reno with her grandparents and then Ben and I and our three dogs will drive across the country. We plan to stop at one flyball tournament that is on the way in Iowa. It's always fun to play flyball in a new place. Indigo and Goose will run on pickup teams.

 I've been going sheep herding a lot lately with Goose and feeling bad that I haven't taken him more. He is so good at it and it's been lots of fun. Our instructor, Diane from Deltabluez Stockdogs thinks that we have the potential to enter a novice trial. If we get sheep someday I'd like to be more serious with sheep herding, but now it seems very unachievable. Either way, Goose and I have fun on Sunday mornings going out to the farm together.  It's a pretty drive and I always treat myself to coffee and a scone from Caffe Ladro, my favorite coffee. They give out biscuits so Goose doesn't mind making the stop.

Sometimes I'll take Indigo for the ride. She knows the farm and has no interest in working the sheep. She is a true performance bred border collie. She runs out of the car, past the gate that leads to the fields, finds a stick and brings it to me to throw and crouches, waiting for it. This usually involves the pond and me throwing the stick into the pond. I did bring Pax once, but quickly realized that whippets and small farm animals aren't the best combination. Lets just say I can tell he would be a good hunter!

 We finished our recallers class and I actually really enjoyed it and found it to be extremely valuable. I plan to continue to use lots of Susan Garretts games and may even take the her online puppy class. I'll keep taking her courses, but I draw the line at a certain amount of money. I certainly wouldn't pay $5000 for any training class.

This weekend we are going to attempt to go to the AKC CAT with the three dogs...even though it's kind of a joke for Pax to do this type of lure coursing. I really want to do it with the border collies and I can't just leave him at home! On Sunday we will hopefully go herding and to flyball practice.

Speaking of flyball, I have a new favorite drill! It's something I've done a lot with Pax, but I need to do it more.... I'm going to try to do it at every practice until the next tournament in March. The things he needs work on are passing into another dog, speed TO the box, tighter, more controlled turn. This drill accomplishes everything I need to work on. Here is a video of us working on it last week at practice  .  The first dog does a full run and then I have someone release Pax from where I would normally pass him, but I am standing up at the box and calling him. Because I am calling him, he is focusing less on the pass and is running faster to me/the box. As he hits the box and run into the middle of the lane and pull him off quickly, not giving him an opportunity to go wide. I can really see the difference in this video. After March, I plan to run him in singles a few times but not on a team until he gets used to his new teammates and figures out his striding.

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