Monday, August 27, 2012

a new striding training method

Unfortunately for Pax, he is my practice dog for training striding. His natural flyball striding isn't great, as I may have mentioned many times. Had I started him differently, I have no doubt that I wouldn't be having this much trouble now.

The only way I can get the striding I want ( 3 strides in and 3 strides out between the box and last jump) is by putting gutters at 5' and 10' from the box. I wonder if a dog that has already run for a year or more can change their striding with gutters? It hasn't had any sort of permanent effect on Pax.

Last weekend I tried something a little bit different. I slowly moved the last jump away from the box slowly and kept sending him and videoing his striding. At 15.5' he still took 2 steps in and 2 steps out, same at 16'. At 16.5-17.5 he took two big strides and one little stutter step and still mostly 2 strides out. Then I moved it to 18', which is the limit for where I would be willing to move it. And that's where he took 3 strides in and 3 out. This seems a little bit ridiculous because dogs much bigger than him easily take 3 strides in 15' and I believe that with more space Pax stretched out even more. I figure his striding can't get much worse than it already is, so my plan is to leave the jump at 18' and than very slowly over time move it back in and hopefully taking 3 steps will be so ingrained by then that I won't need gutters.

To do this training, I really can't also be running him in tournaments. So Pax, is getting the big "P-WORD"...PULLED after Canam, which we already committed to. It may not help, but I would always regret not trying and I still have my Indigo to run.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

blah blah blah

I feel like Pax has been the main topic of my posting lately. He's just such a project! Indigo is a finished product in my opinion for flyball. She is cured of ball spitting and she is consistently running to her potential, considering her training. She is running on the A team in flyball. and possibly the most consistent dog on that team. Goose is still spitting his ball, but thats because his trainer sometimes slacks on working with him. Otherwise he he running really well too!

Ben has stopped doing agility with Indigo and Pax, which is sad considering the amount of training that she had. He just isn't the type to go out and practice a few times a week and so agility really isn't the best sport for Ben. Also with starting Vet school, time is an issue as well.

With everything that is going on in our lives outside of dog sports, we've decided to focus on flyball and whippet racing/lure coursing for now. When things calm down I'd love to find a place to take Goose herding just because he loves it so much.

Speaking of lots of craziness in our lives right now, the last thing we need is for our dogs to get Skunked. So of course one day last week just as we were about to go to bed, we let the dogs out one more time and sure enough our entire house starting smelling like the nastiest onion smell. We step outside and Pax puked and couldn't open his eyes after getting sprayed in the face. Goose got it all over and Indigo even managed to pick some up too. After consulting with the internet and our facebook friends, Ben ran out to the store to pick up Hydrogen Peroxide and we make a mixture with that, baking soda and dish soap. We applied it to the dogs without water and let it sit on them for 30 minutes. Then we washed them off. By this point it was 1 am and Finley was fully asleep. The stuff worked really well. We put them in their crates and aired out the house all night long. The next day I took everyone to the groomer for a deskunk treatment. Luckily, everything we did helped a lot and now only Pax's neck stinks.