Saturday, November 5, 2011

Again, Training and Dogs

Hmmmm, first I take ages to blog and now I am writing two posts in one day.  Sorry for the schizophrenia, but think the boys deserve a mention tonight.  Oh what the hell am I talking about, they always deserve a mention, this whole blogging depends on my laziness.... or if you want to be more positive.... on my motivation.  And I promise this is a short one.

Recently a group of friends decided to get together on a semi-regular basis and just train some agility.  Various reasons, all good ones and all of us are insane enough to offer up even more time on weekends to dedicate to this strangely addictive sport.  We have had good results, the training has helped, but more importantly it has been fun for all humans and dogs involved.  I think the dogs REALLY enjoy tireless W's antics.  I (and I think I can speak for the hubby on this one too) appreciate the silence and peace after coming home, created by content tired dogs.

While I spend most of my time being proud of my dogs, you know not including those moments where Quake jumps into someone else's Koi Pond or where Volt tries to hump my parents's cat or when Chaos pees on other people's dogs's noses.... you have those moments where everything just comes together and all you can do is stare at  your dogs with this silly (severely psychotic) grin and be happy.  Not necessarily with the dog or with the training or with the performance, but just how everything came together with you and your dog as a team.  Tonight I have THAT exact ridiculously soppy feeling with all my dogs.

Spaz, which just normally bathes in awesomeness, was just even more awesome.  Spectacularly enough I managed to kind of keep up for once.  Now if only I could translate this into shows hey?  /kick the handler. Quake-e-star.... hell how he has gained confidence.  In actual fact, his renewed agility training only happened by accident, as me and him are concentrating on flyball at the moment.  A little while ago, Volt developed a limp on training day, so I figured I might just as well take Quake to have two dogs there.  He already amazed me in that first session, running with other handlers, speeding along with a smile on his face and doing decent poles, so he got to go with again and keeps surprising me.  Today he was flying and displaying a largely reduced amount of environmental stress behaviour.  We are not out of the woods yet, but he did 'big dog things' like REALISING he had missed pole entry and immediately coming back and offering the correct behaviour without me moving a muscle.  And the Stein Wine, what an awesome uber Sheltie-ness.  First of all, he did some more than decent poles in a strange venue, which was pretty cool.  He DID struggle with the poles when there were distractions around, which I feel is more than fair enough from a 14 month old dog.  I ran fairly long sequences/courses with him (up to about 17 obstacles) and he was.... well brilliant.  Brilliant enough for me in anyway.  He is responding very late to turn cues, mostly because he is motoring away at full speed, so I am not concerned about this.  I am sure the training will kick in in different environments soon (as he nails these kinds of things at home).  I suppose for me the best part is, is that he is displaying that EXACT combination of raw talent and training that I wanted (well for his age).  After spending more than a year selecting his breeder and lines and training methods and training plans and all of those REAL nerdy agility things, I am very satisfied with his progress.

Sadly no video.... no excuse, I purely forgot to ask anyone to tape anyone.  Eish, useless Alett I would say, but we will live and will make sure all the important rounds are recorded at the show tomorrow.  Now before you point fingers and tell me that I am turning into one of those EGOTISTIC bloggers (read previous post), I will make a comment on (yet another very corny) aspect.  As kids, we all get introduced to the concept of sports, both team and individual.  No-one can prepare you for the dynamic of Agility.  It is classified as a something of everything.  The team-work  and bonds and frustrations and absolute contentment and pure disappointment and elation and bla bla bla, you know I cannot describe all the mixed emotions.  And the absolute roller-coaster of enjoyment that all of these emotions leads to.  I am not really (well not JUST) bragging about my dogs, I am just trying to share one of those super high and exciting peaks on the roller-coaster with all of you.

PS. Thanks for all the personal feedback (emails, FB comments etc) on my previous post.  Much appreciated.

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