Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Practice, train, work, train, sleep. Repeat.

I haven't posted much lately. Not because I don't have anything to write about and not even because I don't have the time. It's simply because this week I've been in a mood to whine. A lot. And to sum it up for the curious people it would have been many, many words about how tired I am lately and how stressful my job is. So you're not missing much.

So other than work I've been doing a lot of training with Apollo and Rampage on their a-frame box. After Apollo got his MACH2 in March I stopped asking him to stop on his contacts so I figure if I want to qualify in standard again I should probably do something to train an actual running contact. Although, ironically in the past 4 days of AKC trialing Apollo has qualified 3/4 times in standard. Of course the last standard Q I'm sure he missed both the dogwalk and the a-frame contact but either the judge didn't see it or the scribe didn't record it. I'm sure my luck won't hold in USDAA though, since the contact zones are smaller and his misses will be more obvious...

So now we've graduated to the next step in the box training method where the box is in a grid with 2 jumps (set at 8") about 5' apart and then the box set out 9' (to simulate the distance for the ramp of an a-frame). Apollo is finally starting to figure out that you do jump IN the box, not OVER the box. Silly boy. Maybe I didn't do enough work with him with only the box but he really seems to get it outside of the grid. I think it's just hard for him to collect his stride to hit in the box. Rampage is really cute in his grid. He runs through the box every time, but doesn't take the 8" jumps every time. He thinks it's faster to run around the jumps! How soon we forget that dogs aren't BORN knowing how to do a row of jumps, they need to be taught.

So I will keep at the grid for a bit more. I need to be able to do a bunch of handling moves around the grid (f/c, r/c, push past) before the next step of moving it to the a-frame. Once it gets to the a-frame Rampage will be taking a break for a while until he's older.

Of course Icon has not been left out in all of this. He gets a day or two off a week, but otherwise he is a world class athlete in training! He's either practicing skills, doing coursework or cross training, even while I'm at work (yes, he's that smart).

Tomorrow I'm heading out for a 3 day USDAA trial. Due to work/training/classes/stupid Safeway employees (don't complain, Channan... don't complain...) I am nowhere near ready for it. Hopefully I'll be able to leave a bit early from work tomorrow so I can finish packing and get to the trial at a decent hour. But regardless, I'm really looking forward to it! Aside from FUN agility we are having a going away party for our friend, Kerilyn, on Friday night. She is abandoning us for rainy Washington to do some sort of double MBA/MHA or a silly thing like that. I'm sure she'll be back right after she graduates top of her class though. It's always cloudy up there in Washington and as someone from Hawaii she won't last too long! On Saturday night there is a baby shower for Karen and Rob Yi, who will be having a baby girl in August! A baby! How odd is that!

Here is an interesting tidbit... At our WT practice in June Geri told me that out of everyone on the AKC WT including our esteemed coach, assistant coach, team leader, team manager and of course team members... only Geri and Ashley have kids! Wow! So AKC let 2 crazy people through out of 16. That's not so bad. We shouldn't hold it against them (just kidding. Kids are ok so long as they're not mine.)

Well I could go on, but the need to whine is approaching again. So I will go off and practice, train, work, train, sleep. Then repeat.


  1. I am curious as to how you are liking the box method for running contacts? I know you are early into this method but do you know anyone who has trained with this method aside from RS and how it holds up?

  2. Your loss is our gain! We will have to plan a Welcome Home Kerilyn party for her;)

  3. Jan, I'm still not ready to comment on the method, but so far so good. Rampage loves his box, so I'm guesseing for him, it's like a big target more than anything else. Rachel really stresses that your dog should have a 'pounce' into the box, but I don't want him to have a 'pounce' on the frame so I'm just expecting him to run throught the box. I will let you know how it goes with both him and Apollo's retrain.

    Tammy, if you don't send Kerilyn back after 2.5 years I coming for her! There is no way any "welcome home" party of yours can equal our farewell party.

  4. will look forward to hearing about the box training goes!