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Tuesday, 13 July 2010

Diamond Dogs

We had a great weekend last weekend at a new venue. Diamond Dogs had their first agility show, and although there were a few snags, ie only 1 tap for all of us campers to fill up on, and running out of Rosettes and trophies, all in all it was a lovely show, and we will definitely be going back if they have another.
I have been to Toni Keating for a lesson recently as I decided a new approach and a new set of ideas may benefit me & my dogs. It was quite an eye opener. Obviously nearly all my fault not the dogs, but I had great fun and will be returning regularly to Toni for training.
1 of the main problems was me being far too late with my directional cues for Lily. She needs to know well ahead where we are going next and its a hard one to get right. However I decided to try it on Saturday in all 3 classes. The difference was amazing, with Lily turning much tighter than usual, and we had 3 clears out of 3, being placed 3rd and 5th in both Agility classes and 4th in the jumping!! The other issue was with Olli's waits. He is always pushy and I never get much of a lead out, but a simple change and he was vastly improved. I usually leave him in a wait, walk away and he almost always gets up and goes. By saying READY,...... STEADY as I walked away he waited, knowing that the next word was GO! Simple but effective, and although still a lot more to do he was loads better this weekend. He was 6th behind Lily in the jumping and I was thrilled with that. His contacts however are back to being almost non existent so I think that we can forget any qualifiers this season, but by next year he will be solid, and he is only 3 yrs old.
The weekend was great fun too as we camped in a group, more like a shanty town, with a lot of our now good friends, so a lot of laughs were had. Gorgeous sunshine and a lovely woodland walk on the edge of the site made it a thoroughly enjoyable weekend.
Twiggy was not only walking confidently round the rings, and playing very hard with her tuggy, she also had cuddles and tummy rubs from her new Aunties! A huge improvement on the shy timid little girl from a few weeks ago. She also started watching 1 of the rings and actually squeaked with excitement as the dogs went through the tunnel. She is starting to realise just how fun her life is now.

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