Monday, February 27, 2012

Three coats of paint later....

If there's one thing I tend to do when making agility equipment, it's that I tend to go a bit overboard on the paint. I think my table has four coats of paint (two primer, two color), so it looks like I'm cutting back. :o)

It took almost a week to actually get it done because I rarely got more than half of it done on any particular day (paint the top, let it dry, turn it over to paint the bottom, let it dry, so on & so forth). But it turned out pretty and should weather the elements well!

I can stripe it this summer if the mood strikes me, but I'm leaving it white for now. My a-frame needs to be painted this spring, so I'll have an abundance of colored paint available. More or less, though, I'm guessing I'll be sick to death of painting after that project and the broad jump will just stay white!
My plan was to use stick in the ground weave poles as the marker poles at the edges of the jump. The ground is still too frozen to get them in more than 1/8" of an inch, though -- go figure! So I had to schlep out a few jump standards, which works just as well as anything else, I suppose.

Daylight is sticking around a bit longer these days, so we were able to have a brief training session when I got home from the shelter last night (last coat of paint was applied before I left in the morning!). I decided to just throw Secret at them and set the spread at 48" straight away without worrying about building her up to anything -- I figured our quicky session when I brought them home was enough for her to understand the concept and I had nothing to worry about.

Secret had already stolen her Jolly Ball out of the garage (naughty girl....), so I went ahead and used that for her little training session. I sent her over the broad jump by itself several times and we had no issues with it, as I expected. I tried to get a picture, but the camera phone doesn't do action shots so well. lol

Since she was having no problem with the jump by itself, I figured it was time to throw it into a little sequence so that she can learn to adjust her striding. We didn't have time for much, so I just brought out two jumps and set them as a 180 before the broad jump. This gave us a few different jump drill options to play with, too. I set the bars at 22".

Secret did great! She seems very happy to do agility these days, which is always nice to see. She did super well with the 22" jumps and had some lovely wraps, push-throughs, back sides, etc. Considering my jump bars are only 36" wide, she really has to think about where she's putting herself to not knock over the standards. Yeah, I made my jumps that narrow on purpose..... ;o) Stupid oversight or not, it never hurts to train on narrow jumps, IMO.

So that's that -- not too exciting, but I never expected her broad jump training to be difficult. I don't anticipate it's something we'll have to spend a ton of time addressing in the future. Hopefully now that she's seen one we will be fine at the next trial. The more I think of it, the more I feel the issue was with me, anyhow. I was so concerned about what she would do at the broad jump that she probably got all nervous because of MY nerves. Now that I know she can and will do it, hopefully I won't sit and worry about it and it will be a non-issue.

Now that we have one to train on, though, it would probably be a good idea to address rear crosses and other handling maneuvers we might need to use at this obstacle at some point or another. I know there have been drills in Clean Run that specifically address this rarely trained obstacle. I will have to go searching to see if I can find them!

Brief Missy update -- I talked to Melissa and sadly, for whatever reason, there has been NO interest in Missy yet. :o( A litter of eight week old puppies recently became available and several applications came in for them. Apparently a couple of people backed out because they felt those puppies (husky/lab/whoknowswhatX) would be too large -- Melissa tried to steer them towards Missy with no luck. Huh. We don't know why she isn't pulling anyone in, but I think I'll start to work on a new video for her to show off what she's learned since she's been with us.

To do that, though, I feel like I need to teach her a few more things. lol Her "tricks" include sit, down, spin & shake (both paws now!) and we're still working on "sit pretty" without so much of a lure. She crates up nicely, she waits until released to eat and to come out of the crate. Considering where she was when she arrived, I realize that's quite a lot -- but it's not very flashy for video. :o) I figure I could probably teach her to do a tunnel pretty quickly (for as food motivated as she is!). Heck, I could probably even get her on a tiny teeter since she doesn't seem scared of anything. Fetch is not in her repertoire yet, so unfortunately we can't have any that fun stuff like I put in Joe's video.

I'll have to start working on something, I guess. Meanwhile my plan is to try like heck to push her off on someone at the NADAC trial this coming weekend. lol I don't have many other options considering we don't have another trial for well over a month and Missy won't have any other exposure!

Speaking of the NADAC trial, I did finally send my entries last week. I decided to run Secret & Kaiser in the four core classes on Saturday & Sunday and then give them two games each on Friday night. Kaiser will do Tunnelers & Touch-n-Go because he is behind on points in those classes. Secret will do Weavers and Touch-n-Go to try to wrap up her Elite Versatility Award. Poor Luke is not running anything Friday night, but I did go ahead and put him in four runs per day at this trial. I was only going to do three (one Regular run each day) to "save money," but then I figured it's just another twenty bucks, so why not just let him play. I think I'm feeling guilty about him not playing in USDAA...

The premium is still not posted for the April USDAA trial at On the Run....


  1. If the paint you used is at all glossy, you can use duct tape to change up the appearance of the broad jump. Some dogs have issues with different broad jumps because the painting can be really different depending on where you show. Just a heads up!

  2. That was my reasoning behind why I *should* paint it -- because every broad jump we see at trials will be painted in some fashion or another. That is a fantastic idea about the duct tape, though, thanks! This is actually nothing but primer, so I could certainly look into throwing on a glossy layer to make the taping idea feasible!