I swear these days I'd forget my head if it wasn't attached to my body. Everything feels like it's running nonstop -- which more or less it is, since I come home from work and get to the task of wearing out a certain Kizzy dog. ;o)
At any rate, I meant to post this earlier in the week and never got around to it. Over the weekend Bud Houston posted a course on his blog that I thought looked interesting (discussion here). To summarize, this course was submitted to Bud for review by a friend of his. Bud thought it was "too difficult" for the average AKC competitor and they both agreed that it would not be a popular course. Bud made some tweaks to come up with his own version of the course, but I thought the original one looked like loads of fun, so I grabbed a copy to play on when I found the time.
Wednesday ended up being our training night this week. I did consider that maybe I need to start setting up some NADAC stuff to work on, but this just looked like way more fun.
Despite Bud's protests about certain aspects of this course's design, I felt it ran quite well and we had some fun with it. I will admit, though, that if I ran into this in a trial you'd probably hear me grumbling under my breath at times.
Secret surprised me and went wide after the 11 jump numerous times, taking the off course number 2 jump. Bud even mentioned this trap in his blog, but Secret being the velcro-type dog that she is, I just *assumed* that she would follow my motion if I threw her over the jump and took off. Not so much! Bud rightly marked that spot on the course as a "handling challenge" and I'm sure one of the reasons Secret struggled as she did was because I was NOT handling it. I was, instead, trying to gain some ground to beat her to the backside at 14. Aside from that spot, Secret did very well on the rest of the course (I had to get creative in how I built it out, as I was short equipment).
If any of my dogs were going to go wide at 11 I would have expected it to be Kaiser, but I don't think that little stinker took the off course jump even once! No, his trouble area was between 4 and 5, an off course option that I don't believe ever even went through Secret's head. As a result, I had to hang back and rear cross the top sequence with Kaiser because if I pushed to stay ahead I pushed him straight over the wrong jump. Kaiser also missed his weave entry a couple of times, but aside from that he did quite well on this course.
Kizzy is cruising right along in her training. I'm doing some simple sequencing work with her and tonight we built our way up to five obstacles (consisting of tunnel, jumps and a hoop). The spacing is all fairly close at this point (think TDAA) to help with her focus, but there's certainly no worry about her drive. She seems to be catching on to the game and is figuring things out.
Crate games are also going swimmingly. I've started to do the collar grabs to help build up drive/speed back to the crate and she is taking to it well. Collar grabs are something we continue to work on. Outside of play I can touch/hold Kizzy's collar all I want with no reaction. When she's high, tugging or focused on something, though, a collar grab can result in a quick lash back at my hand (I have the bruises to prove it). We continue to work on it and it's getting better. I'm just sacrificing my hand modeling career in the process. ;o) Tonight I got a few bite-free collar grabs that seemed to really rev her up in front of the jump, so that's great progress.
Sadly for Luke, ragweed season is in full bloom here and it has really hit him hard this year. Last year was so nice, but it was largely because we didn't really spend any time hiking on the bike trail. In previous years Luke's allergies were just god-awful because we used to walk the bike trail every day at work during lunch so the dogs could run. Despite hosing him off several times a day, every year he'd itch horribly and lose a ton of hair. Benadryl didn't seem to help at all. Last year, simply by how things worked out, we were not on the trails really at all and bam, no real allergy issues. The trails are my favorite place to run (because the dogs can be off leash until we meet people), so we've been going out 3-4 times per week on average, and now Luke is paying the price.
Yesterday I noticed that in addition to hair loss along the inside of his front legs, Luke also had a nasty looking sore starting on his left front paw. That's it. No more bike trail for Luke. Kaiser has also started itching right up on his withers where his Advantix was applied. Not sure if it's because of that or if he's suffering allergies as well, but last night I decided to leave the boys at home and just took the girls out for a run. I have to admit, just having the two dogs was so much easier and less stressful... I'm going to feel bad leaving anyone at home with any regularity, but it's for their own good. I'll have to find a way to give everyone the exercise and attention they need and deserve, while at the same time making sure the crazy ones get worn out each day (ie: Secret and Kizzy).
We have a NADAC trial here in La Crosse this weekend. Secret and Luke are each doing three runs per day; Kaiser is doing 4 tomorrow and 6 on Sunday (free day I won in the last worker raffle). I'm most interested to see how Kizzy does after several weeks of crate games. Anything would be improvement over the last trial. :o)