This post is all about Sipzie, my old puppy. Bless her, she is only 21 months. We have been through some tough time together, I mean agility wise. She is brilliant at training and at home in the garden. She completed all 12 weave poles in speed and she can do difficult entries, BUT, she cannot weave at competition! I have tried to relax myself and not put pressure on her ... well, no pressure at all. I have talked to some friends about her performance in the ring to get some advice. A particular good friend suggested "keep going" if she missed the weave or messed up the weave or even any part of the sequences, just keep going, to let her think she win that round. That will build up her confidence and take pressure of her. I have a good think about it and realised that she is RIGHT. Maybe keep correcting her weave in the competition is actually putting on pressure on her. From now on, I will try to ignore all the mistake and keep her happy in the ring for the rest of the season. I am sure whatever mistakes we make, we can fix that over the winter.
I also decided to go back and retrain her Dog Walk contact. Maybe running DW is not suitable for her. She easily get excited and when she gets excited, she leap off miles before the contact area. I have been trying to fix the problem over the last few months and we are getting worst and me getting frustrated. She is not a slow dog, so a stop DW hopefully won't cost us too much time and hopefully when she is more confident, we can convert the stop contact to quick release, we will see.
I have done a lot of ground work before this, basically putting a target out there and send her to it. Today is the first time I transfer the target to the DW:
Sipzie will be running with her mama Ypra and sister Chiqi and brother Ronin in the International Sheltie Agiltiy Show in Belgium in October. I am getting really nervous about it. Her mama is represent Belgium to compete at EO this weekend; her brother and sister are great agility dogs, pressure on, I suppose. All I want is a clear round, so we are training hard to get her weave and DW contact.
This month, I called it "interactive month", all our dogs, all seven of them are fed with an "interactive" toy. I would like to get their mind busy and active. I have about 15 different types of interactive toys, mainly they are those Nina Ottosson toys, Premier's Busy Buddy and some different shapes of food dispensing balls. They all have a different toy each meal, so they have to use their brain to work out how to get the food out. The above photo is Sipzie trying out one of the food dispensing ball. She insisted to hold the ball very tight with her two front paws and used her tongue to lick the food. It has been going on for 2.5 hours and she hasn't change her position ...
... I even tried to get the ball out from her crate to roll it BUT nope! She insisted she should lick through the hole!
Her relationship with Sonic has massively improve since Scara joined our family. Its very funny how she prefers Scara than Sonic to start with. She soon realised Sonic is more fun than Scara and now she and Sonic are best buddy. They play very well together, although a bit rough but he is a tough little man and he can managed.