Thursday, December 24, 2015

Birthday Boy

Veto is now officially a big boy having his first birthday on the 23rd!  I am so happy with him and I feel pretty lucky that it has all worked out so well so far.  It was always going to be a bit risky going for lines that have limited health testing and an interesting combination of structure with the working cattle lines and ISDS working sheep lines.  Looking at him as a 12 month old he is shaping up better than I hoped as an overall type with really nice structure.  He has a massive stride, is extremely powerful and has a really nice temperament.  The only thing I could have done with less of is his barking.  When he wants something (which is often) he barks till he gets it (not that often which means the barking goes on and on and on).  He has the girliest bark ever and it drives us nuts.

12 months
8 weeks
 Training is continuing on nicely.  He's starting to show me a great understanding of his verbals and I was super surprised when I could put out toys as a distraction, give a verbal turn cue and have him  respond to the verbal instead of ignoring me and going for the toy!  For a while there I really didn't think that would ever happen... I don't think I could be happier with his progress on the handling side of things.  Over the next few weeks I have some pretty challenging handling work lined up over a couple of jumps so I'm looking forward to seeing how that goes.  I've decided not to put the jumps up to full height quickly, rather I'll just leave them around 300/400 for a while and then slowly raise them up over the next couple of months.  He is jumping nicely over that height and is rare for him to knock anything which is a good sign.

I have started teaching him a proper 2o2o, as in building a solid foundation complete with proofing etc so I have it as a behaviour I can use as soon as he's ready to start trialling.  I don't want him to just have a running contact and then if it falls to pieces in the ring (which I suspect may happen) then have to rush to teach a stop.  I like the idea of having both anyway and no matter what he ends up doing in the ring I think that teaching him to run to begin with was the right thing to do just because of his personality.  At this stage I don't plan on starting weaves with him until February or March.

Ve got to see sheep for the first time a couple of weekends ago at Simon Leaning's property in Mt Helena.  He was a bit unsure to begin with but settled into it pretty well for his first go.  I will definitely take him out again a few times over summer.  He needs something apart from agility to give him that overall physical and mental work out.  Not to mention it is so much fun watching them do what they were bred for.

The gang - Christmas 2015
I'm so excited with the way that Cassie and I finished our trialling year.  I entered her in two more NFC runs and she probably did the best jumping run so far.  It was flawless and less than a second slower than the very speedy border collie that won the class.  In agility she started off a bit hesitant but flew once she hit her stride.  I'm feeling pretty positive about our trialling year in 2016 and just hope I can continue to keep her happy.  The plan is to enter her in some Masters classes in the New Year and see what happens.  I will be continuing to train her over summer as she has had a very light year and build our handling skills so she is ready for some harder handling challenges.  How awesome will it be to have two dogs competing by mid 2016!  First time for a long time that has happened.

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