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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Agility practice today!

Gracie and I had agility practice this morning. Bright and early, a very nice weather day to run agility.

Mum started with Gracie again, doggone it! Why does she do this to me, I can't stand when Gracie gets to go first. And I make sure everyone knows it. You can hear me barking and whining all the way over to the pig farm a mile away from our practice field. (Oh, and dog did those pigs smell good today, whew!)

Gracie did really well, she's even getting some distance from Mum on jumps. She made all her contacts today (Mum led out so it would help her some). She was a bit unfocused at times, especially coming out of tunnels. So Mum needs to get her attention more there. But then she went to the weaves and wouldn't do them - just like she wouldn't do them in our back yard the other day. Mum and Gracie tried a few more times and our trainer couldn't believe Gracie was missing her weaves either and thought that maybe she was hurting some and that's why she didn't want to weave.

So Mum and our trainer rubbed her a little, found a little tender spot on her back, rubbed some more, and tried the weaves again. This time she did them just like the pro weaver that she is. They finished off on a really great note and then it was my turn.

We decided to work on tightening me up on everything. I can get really wide coming out of tunnels, and around jumps lately. So Mum got some instruction on that - staying with me coming out of the tunnels and sending me to the next obstacle so she can catch up with me at a lateral distance; and cuing me early on the jumps, verbally and with her body language. It worked well!

Mum also wanted to get additional tips on getting me faster on the weaves (other than putting a treated target at the end of the weaves). So our trainer had Mum run as fast as she could past the weaves while I am going through them (rather than staying with me), and dog did I zoom those weaves! So we'll just keep working on that this next week.

Since we've been doing more USDAA lately, Mum asked if we could work on some gambles. Our first one was a jump, around to three more jumps in line, then a turn out to the weaves - and Mum had to layer the three jumps as the gamble. So then I was about 20 feet out from Mum doing the weaves, laterally. I did it like a pro! Mum ran way out past the weaves at full speed and she got out my squishy basketball to motivate me. Mum revved me up with the ball, then our trainer held it while I did the jumps and the gamble, then she threw it as a reward for me after my last jump! It was so cool!

Mum didn't want to carry the ball, because she thought it would distract me from doing the gamble, so having our trainer hold it and throw it for my reward was pawsome!

Then we did another gamble - taking a jump into a tunnel, then the teeter. Then I had to turn out from the teeter to two jumps, then turn more out to the tunnel, and then head back toward Mum over a jump. Mum couldn't go any further than the teeter and final jump line. It took a few tries, because Mum was really late on having me turn out on the last tunnel - but she finally got her timing down and it was a beautiful gamble!

Sometimes Mum wonders if she will ever get her timing back with me. Ever since my injury, her timing has been way, way off! And her handling has been pretty bad. A good reason for us not Q'ing much lately. Our trainer thinks Mum and I need to practice more - not for me, but for Mum's handling. Mum's not sure why her head isn't in the right place - she has always been a really good handler, picking up tips and tricks very quickly and applying them immediately. But lately she just seems a little spacey to me. Get a grip Mum!!! I need ya!

On a side note, Mum decided to put both Gracie and I back on multi-vitamins. She gave them to me for about two years after my adoption, Gracie too. But took us off on the recommendation of our first vet who said our food was of great quality and we didn't need them. But since my last injury, Mum thought she would like to see how I did back on vitamins. She thought, maybe it would help with my muscle strength and overall fitness.

Well, she thinks they are making a big difference in my stamina. I ran fast my entire practice time today, and I didn't even want to slow down after we were done. That's huge for me! So Mum and I are both excited and will be keeping me on vitamins for now and measure how I do with them.

Overall it was a great practice session. With the three day weekend coming up, Mum hopes to get us working out in the backyard a little this weekend!

Since Gracie was kind of sore during practice, and our Auntie Bonnie (our vet and Chiro) wouldn't be able to see Gracie until next week for a chiro adjustment, Gracie got a good rub down when we got home. Mum will check her out daily, it may just be a little soreness. But she'll have to be watched. She's not like me and doesn't tell Mum when she hurts, she will just keep working, and working, and working - it's that BC in her, Mum says.

If you'd like to learn more about agility, click the chicklet!

This weekend here in Indy is the Indy 500. The people and traffic are getting kind of crazy around here. We're not going this year, but you can bet I'll be sporting my driver gear in a post come Monday. Stop by and see me, I look cool in my Indy 500 car and my helmet!


  1. Hi Johann! Sounds like you and Gracie got in some good agility practice today! Awesome! Hope Gracie is feeling better soon!

  2. w00f's Johann, we hope Gracie feels better too...and haff u checked out Jan funny Farm bloggy today, iffin u hasnt go check it out...

    b safe,
    ~rocky and company~

    pp's iffin u need the addy lemme no...

  3. Mom got me out off-leash today and did it feel great! I think she enjoyed seeing me make some great Frisbee catches and jump the creek. She keeps saying we'll try agility someday, but I think she secretly doubts her ability to be a good handler. Woofs! Kharma

  4. Oh, Johann, hope everything is fine with Gracie. Glad you are OK and enjoy your agility practice!

  5. my owner tried running faster during my weaving, hoping that i will increase my speed...but it cause me to miss the poles... maybe we shld juz get things right first....

    putting treats at the end of the pole sounds great to me...


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