Sunday, November 01, 2009

first winter training day and a bit about Sing

I love winter training day. I only started doing winter training days two years ago and I just loved it. I've got to practise what I need to improve from the last season and also to learn from different instructors with their methods, then I will start thinking which one suit me and my dogs better. Also, it is a good way to bring a young dog out to do agility in different places, different equipments and different people and dogs ...
This afternoon was our very first winter training day with Andy and Nancy Hudson. These two are the top handlers in this country and they both run shelties too! I have signed up with Sizzle on this training day. We were in a very nice group of 3 Border Terriers, a JRT, a Sheltie and a Beagle. We started with the Drilling with Andy in some simple jumping sequences. Sizzle was a bit slow to start with but he soon pick up his speed again after a couple of runs.
We did the weave entry but Sizzle kept pulling out at 10th/11th pole, Andy told me Sizzle didn't like me to go past his shoulder, so when we did the weave again, I was careful to either hang back a little or stay at the same level as his sholder and he completed the weave nicely. Now, I have something to work on ... to run ahead of him and make sure he is still complete his weave! We have also learned to stand upright (a lot of small dog handlers like to bend over to be at the dog's level and I did that a lot eventhough I am fairly short!!!) and to stay in a nice distance away from the dog when he weaves, this is also to teach the dog to do the obstacle indepently.
We also did the wrap the wing. After a couple of practise, Sizzle wrapped the wing tight and perfect and we also got to learn to use the command left and right correctly. We also did the cross behind after the tunnel to jump sequence. I am very pleased with Sizzle how he picked up the things so quick.
After an hour and a half, we swap to Nancy to do the contacts. Sizzle loves the contacts. I guess I reward him everytime he did a nice contacts. This is also make me feel sad and guilty that I didn't reward him enough in Jumping.
After Sizzle missed his running DW at the recent show, I was a bit taken aback about his running DW. I started training him to run his contacts and I know the risk and I want to stick with that but how am I going to imporve his running DW? Sing is much easier dog to train but I am not given up on Sizzle. He is a challenge for me.
I have been practising his running DW this week at home, only 3 or 4 reputations a day, not more than that and I am very happy with the result. I want to prove that he can do the same at different places and today it proved my hard work has paid off. We have done a few DW and he has not miss a single one and he hit the contact point the way I want him to hit. I only reward him with his toy once at the bottom of the DW and he was shocked about the reward coming his way. I did verbal priased a lot.
We still need a lot of work on the see-saw. He still try to jump off before the see-saw tilt.
Overall, I am very happy with Sizzle, he really is a fantastic dog to train.
Sorry no photo or video, I did asked Colin to bring the video camera, hopefully he would film our work so I can watch it at home but he didn't do any of the filming.
I thought I would share this video of Sizzle did the 60 weave pole challenge back in early September at Paws in the Park. He missed the last weave pole which was a shamed but I didn't want to redo, it is very long and tiring weave:

Now, I have a little trouble with Sing ...
If you could recall Sing was poorly last Thursday? He hurt himself mysteriously before the Shrewsbury show? Well, I think it was me played the ball badly with him and he got injured very badly. Sing and I have a silly routine ... every night, when I have my dinner, I always sit on a little stool in front of the TV having my dinner on a little table. Sing always bring me a ball, so I chuck the ball for him at the same time eating. This has been going on since I have him as a puppy. That Thursday, we did the same thing but after a couple of throw, he yelped. To whoever that do not know Sing, he is a very tough strong dog, he hardly yelped eventhough he is in pain. So when I heard him yelping, I thought he must be really hurt but he wouldn't come to me, so I went over to stroke him. I didn't see what has happened to him, this is why I didn't make a big fuss and didn't realised it badly affected him the next day.
This week, I went back to my usual dinner time play with him, he wouldn't want to fetch the ball I throw, not like him at all. Sing lives for a throw of tennis ball. He even hide or run away when I throw the ball, very funny. If Colin is there, he will run to Colin for protection!!! He is fine playing ball in the garden and in the Common but definitely not in the lounge. We have tried so many days now but everytime I took a ball out, he ran away. I guess he must have been very badly hurt. I wish I have seen what has happened so I can help him to get away with the phobia. I am very surprised with Sing's reaction to it as he never is a sissy dog.
I am feeling very guilty and sorry and hopeless.


Diana said...

Dogs get hurt when they play. Try not to feel guilty. If you were the one hurt while playing ball with you dog, would you want the dog to feel bad? Its just part of life that sometimes happens. Hopefully Sing will like to play ball in the lounge soon.
Sizzles lesson sounds really neat. What a great opportunity. Diana

Vonnie said...

Sizzle look at you go wee man! That is some weave to do! Nice jump at the end!

Awww Sing, what has your mum done to you! Hopefully he will get over it and be back into his dinner routine soon! BIG wet sloppy licks from Khandi x

Ricky the Sheltie said...

I agree - don't feel bad about Sing getting hurt while you were playing with him! You didn't mean for anything to happen and you two have played that game a million times. It was just a fluke! He will be better soon!

Sizzle doing the 60 weave poles was amazing!

His winter training lesson did sound great! He did very well but you also got a lot of useful information from the teachers.