Monday, June 22, 2009

Videos from the FRAAD AKC trial last weekend

I've posted the videos I was able to get of both the dogs. Unfortunately, Summit's Friday JWW video is only of the last half of his run. Also, in Sage's Sunday Standard run, she drops the panel jump before the dogwalk. The judge waits to call it until after she exited the dogwalk which at first, when I watched the video, I thought she was being faulted for a missed dw contact (I knew she didn't miss it and there was only one Fault on her scribe sheet). But when I watched it the second time, I realized he delayed calling the panel until after he had judged the dogwalk.

Here is Summit's Friday Jumpers run. I way out of position for that FC before the 180. I just kept backing up for some reason. So he definitely lost some time there. Many dogs took the tunnel after the jump that followed the weaves. Summit also had a pretty wide turn after the triple but not sure how I could have cued a tighter turn there. And there it is at the end, that evil outside arm to cue convergence GRRRRRR!!!!

In Friday's Standard run, I was a bit out of position when I released him from the table to the teeter which caused a wide turn. I miscalculated his trajectory over that jump. I really like my double front cross on both sides of the jump before the chute. Most handlers didn't attempt the second front cross and their dogs turned right as they exited the chute. You also had to let your dog exit the chute at full speed so that when they turned, their position set them to take the jump straight on which put them landing right in front of the dogwalk. Handlers who called their dog's name as they were in the chute, caused their dogs to slice the jump which put them facing the wrong course tunnel.

I really like Summit's Sunday Jumpers run. Other than a wide turn from the tunnel to the weaves, I'm not seeing where we lost any time. The start was difficult to get a tight turn. Interesting, I usually always use a LOP (lead out push) but in this case, I liked the speed I would get with a front cross. I don't see much collection happening at the turn but no fast dog really collected there. I think it was difficult for them. There were quite a few good handlers with fast experienced BC's who did not get much collection for that turn.

I love how at the end of the run, the judge turns and looks at the clock to see Summit's time:-)

I only have two videos of Sage's runs. I really like both these videos.
She ran Standard in 38 seconds which would have put her in 3rd place if she hadn't dropped the panel.

And here is her jumpers run on Saturday. I think she ended up with 10th place or so? I can't remember.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Training session

This morning we worked on line of motion and convergence. Summit did not respond at all to my lateral motion to the wp's (handler's red path) and kept taking the green jump. I got a little frustrated because he kept driving ahead and taking the green jump. I finally came to a complete stop and then yes, he did turn and look at me but that is not the cue I wanted him to respond to. So I put him in the house and got out Sage. I was thinking maybe the red path was too difficult but Sage read my lateral motion very well and converged and performed the wp's. Sage is my test for whether my motion is cueing the correct path.

So then I brought Summit back and he did much better this time. I realized I needed to move laterally sooner since his committment point is so much sooner than Sage. Sage will change her path the instant she senses a change in my motion. The exercise looks fairly simple but was not. Especially with a very fast, drivey dog like Summit.
I ran these variations many times with both dogs. Adjusting my starting point (how far lateral to the dog), LOM, and location of lateral motion. The dogs didn't care, they were just into the big tug game at the end of each sequence but the information was valuable to me. I think it is just amazing how much can be learned by working such simple drills.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Sunday's Standard course 1-8

I lead out just past #2 (on my dog's right) and pushed into the tunnel and ran down the line on the right side. I wasn't fast enough and Summit saw my left arm out as he exited the tunnel and took the #2 jump. I ran Sage second so waited just on the takeoff side of the tire until I got her head, then I took off and that worked very well. Many handlers did a FC/BC at the tunnel and ran down the left side. If the dog was fast, they got too far ahead of the handler and turned before the #6 panel jump. If the handler was on the right and the dog got too far ahead, they took the unmarked wrong course jump. Some handlers tried a RC between #4 and #5. Sometimes it worked and sometimes the dog missed the panel jump. In hindsight, I would have run on the left side with Summit since he has independent contacts. With Sage, I needed to be ahead of her at the DW so being on the right worked the best. Either way, it was a very long straight line and quite challenging as the jumps were offset and depending on how fast your dog was and if your dog had independent contacts or not determined which side the handler chose to handle 1-7.

Sage ran the course in 38 seconds and would have taken 3rd place if she had not dropped the panel.

Summit earns his first DOUBLE Q

This weekend we had a three-day AKC trial in Castle Rock, Colorado. Three rings with FAST. I did not enter my dogs in FAST as I've learned my lesson - too many conflicts and walk-throughs that are cut short because of FAST. I decided only to enter FAST at one-ring trials.

Friday was Excellent only. Summit ran clean in Standard that morning and earned 2nd place. I felt very good about his run. He did have a wide turn off the jump before the teeter and so didn't have a straight approach to the teeter (lost some time there).

That afternoon he ran clean in Jumpers with another 2nd place. A Double Q! I think I'm still in shock:-)

Saturday he had a beautiful Jumpers run but I forgot where to place a cross and sent him off course. Sunday he qualified in Jumpers with a 3rd place. Saturday's Standard he dropped the panel jump. Sunday's standard was a little OTT. I think after three days, he had enough. But I am thrilled at his performance this weekend. He dropped two bars out of 6 classes (and one bar was because he slipped before takeoff).

I did do something very silly on Sunday. During Summit's Standard run, I sent him to the table (he has an automatic down), then I confidently turned and walked away to lead out to the next obstacle. As I'm confidently striding away, I realize I don't hear the judge counting. My first thought was, "the table was NOT the correct obstacle." I turn around and the judge is just standing there staring at my dog. Then I realize, "Oh yeah, it's a SIT!" I grin at the judge (who is laughing by now) and say, "Oops, my bad" and I tell Summit to sit.

Sage had an awesome weekend. She had 6 beautiful runs. No QQ's but very close. Friday's standard run I released her too soon from the DW and she missed the contact. She qualified that afternoon in Jumpers. Saturday and Sunday's Standard run she dropped the panel jump both runs. Very odd for her. Although a lot of dogs were dropping the panel at this trial. She does not drop bars very often and I can't remember the last time she dropped the panel. She qualified in jumpers on Saturday and Sunday. I did schedule a massage for her on Sunday but Jim didn't notice any hot spots.

But I have to say, her runs were so smooth and she knew exactly where she was going on the course. The courses had some challenges for Sage (Friday was a DW/Tunnel discrimination), but I'm becoming much better at setting lines of motion (letting her extend over a jump to land deep when I needed to set a line for the next sequence of obstacles or using lateral motion to get convergence or divergence).

So a very good weekend and lot's of fun. The courses were challenging and I'm very pleased with how well both my dogs ran them.

I did take the course map from Sunday's standard run and will set up the beginning to practice. I'll post it here once I get it in CRCD - it was a difficult beginning for fast dogs and it was handled many different ways. Robin Kletke was the judge. He had great courses all weekend but this Sunday course got a lot of teams at the first 7 obstacles.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009


The field was mowed on Monday and I set up new drills for this week. I have several jump boxes set up to work on convergence. One of my bad handling habits is to use an opposite arm to cue convergence. So I am working on just using Summit's name and moving in the right direction. Jump boxes make me claustrophobic and I tend to want to overhandle them, thus that opposite arm tends to come up.

A lot of the jump sequences came from the APHS May article (convergence) and June (discriminations). I put a tunnel under the a-frame and worked both sides. I also practiced rear crossing the a-frame with Summit (something I wouldn't normally choose to do but doesn't hurt to practice it once in awhile).
I usually train Summit first with jump bars at 24". Then he waits on the table while I work Sage. I lower the bars to 16" for her and work the identical sequences I did with Summit. Sage is the final test on how good my cues are. I really enjoy working both my dogs without verbal cues as I can see what affect my motion has on their performance of the drills.
Here are two pictures I took this morning just because I thought the field was so pretty with all the green grass.

Jump drills

Tunnel/A-frame discrimination (red jump, blue jump, to either tunnel or a-frame)

Friday, June 5, 2009

FMFC (Forward motion front cross)

Had a nice training session yesterday afternoon and this morning. I set up a simple sequence to work on FMFC's with Summit. As with most Border Collies, collection is not something that comes easily and we've worked through the entire DJS book last year and at least twice a week, we work on RTH and collection exercises from the book. A FMFC (where I am giving my dog turning cues although I maintain forward motion) has not been easy for Summit. But in the last month, he has been responding well to the cues (outside arm, shoulders rotated in towards dog) and collecting for a nice turn.

This is the sequence I set up. I purposely had the 4 main jumps spread far apart to practice the FMFC. I also mixed it up by doing a FC on the takeoff side as well as running down the line to cue extension.

Exercise 1: white circles. FMFC on landing side of 3. Serp. 4 & 5. Repeat on other side #5-6-7-8 (FMFC on landing side of 7).
Exercise 2: white circles 1-3, black circles 4-7. FC on take off side of 3. run towards 4 and FS to to 5. Turn and run towards 7 cueing extension.
Exercise 4: start with white circle 1. Lateral lead out, release dog over 1 and recall over 2 and run towards the unnumbered jump.
Exercise 5: start with white circle 1. Do not lead out. Cue extension over 1, turn and run towards 3 (cueing extension).

I also practiced cueing a FS to the pinwheel as well as a LS for a 180 (instead of the pinwheel). Summit responded well to both my motion cues.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Four Pines hike

Another busy weekend. Saturday Laura and I did a 1/2 day hike with the dogs up in Chatauqua. Then I had to drive way out to a sheep ranch in Bennet to pick up two Jacob ewes that were culled (meat for the dogs). Then Sunday morning (9-11am), Sage and Summit were demo dogs for the AKC Judges Seminar which was a lot of fun. Afterwards we met Jen, Bode, and Jane at the Four-Pines trailhead for another half day hike which also included playing in the the several creeks we crossed. At one point, two deer jumped out of the bushes right in front of us and took off. I was able to easily call Sage off the deer but Summit was more difficult (he has a bit more chase/prey drive than Sage). The scenery was amazing with all the rain we've had the past month. Green grass, wildflowers, and Border Collies.

Mr. Handsome

The brothers racing to the top of the hill

Bode and Sage (Jane at the very top leading the way)

Playing in the creek