Agility with Veto seems to be finally getting back to where we were in March, before things went pear shaped. The Suprelorin implant is working its magic and I have my lovely relaxed boy back. He still has his moments but I know him pretty well these days and provided he gets what he needs he is a lovely dog to have around. It is a huge relief to be able to have him out with other dogs at agility without him being offended if any dogs so much as look at him. I will always need to be aware of what is around us, there are always potentially going to be dogs that stare at him around, then do my best to get him out of the way if I need to. But I am optimistic that those times will be significantly less now. He will be visiting the vet in September to make it a permanent arrangement.
No trials for us since Geraldton and I'm starting to get withdrawls! The Sheltie Club trial was scheduled last weekend which actually would have been twelve months since Ve ran his very first class (and also means twelve months since that awful day when he hurt himself). But the trial got cancelled thanks to a very, very wet day and unsafe conditions for the dogs. This weekends forecast is looking much better so I'm hoping we finally get to be back in the ring.
Veto's training is going well. He was doing some really, really nice stuff before we went away to Singapore but I feel like since we got back we aren't quite back there again. I know we were only gone for a couple of weeks but it's amazing how the baby dogs don't seem to retain the skills if you aren't working on them all the time. I've never been one to train my dogs on agility equipment everyday but for whatever reason Veto really thrives on it. If I don't train him he gets fidgety, unsettled and kind of annoying. Monday to Friday I normally do a session on equipment with him every day after work. We mix it up so he's not doing jumping drills every day and we will alternate with some work on the contacts. Physically his body is holding up really well but these days I am anally retentive about his warm up and cool downs before and after every single session. We have a no warm up no train rule.
This week Veto and I got to work with Dave Munnings at a seminar that was hosted here in Perth. I had been looking forward to it for ages as it's the first opportunity I've had to work Ve in a seminar with an international trainer. I was so pleased with how hard Ve worked for me. If they are trying their hardest you really can't ask for anymore. I need to work a lot on my timing with my handling, particularly with things like blind crosses. Also my position when I'm cuing a turn. I'm so focused on getting into position I'm not taking enough notice of where I'm turning and the impact of that on where Veto turns. So I'll have to set up some of those sequences and work on those things. When I got it right Veto was paw perfect. I am really happy with how he is stretching out and powering out of straight lines but I really hate his turns at the moment. Nowhere near enough power and drive and he bleeds off way too much speed. I had been working on turns before we went away and I think they had improved so will have to put that back on the list of things to focus on.
|Singapore - High Tea @ the Raffles|
Not forgetting my little birthday munchkin Cassie, I ended up giving her a total break from training before we went away. She was so not into anything I was doing that I figured there was no point pushing it. I took all the pressure off (again) and then of course we went away for a couple of weeks as well. On a positive note, last week at training she was on fire. Totally in to it and for the first time in ages she chose to engage with me, rather than me begging her to do something which I really, really hate doing. I'm keeping her sessions very short and not doing any courses. I had hoped to do some Not for Competitions runs at the Sheltie Club trial but after it was rained out that didn't happen. She is entered at the next Geraldton trial but I'm not sure what to do with that trial yet as I'd hoped to do an NFC trial first.
Our Singapore trip was really fun. Judging was a bit nerve wracking to begin with and I wasn't sure how my courses would be received And I had no idea what their skill level would be like. Because the ring was a very unusual 40m x 17m it made designing the courses really interesting. Probably the thing that made it doable was that I could use three tunnels in the course design which helped to send dogs back on a line into the course. I kept all the courses as open and flowing as I could to allow the dogs to stretch out with plenty of handling choices that could be used. They had some lovely fast border collies who ate the courses up but some of their small dogs struggled a bit making course time. That happened even when I was pretty generous and set times for the course level below. But I think some of that could be improved with more efficient handling. The agility crew there are only small in number but so passionate, not to mention lovely and welcoming. We had a great time and it was really interesting to get to experience agility elsewhere in the world and I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity.