Life is strange at the moment isn’t it? We live in a peaceful world (mostly) with people who love to spend time with their dogs. For us particularly, that involves training our dogs to be great at agility. With no shows to attend for the foreseeable future, we’ve taken the opportunity to establish and enjoy more relaxing routines and weekends.
Our dogs have been brought up to utilise their energy and enjoy regular training. They’re fed high-quality food to enhance their performance and maintain tip-top fitness. With no shows or training classes to attend, like many agility competitors we’ve scaled down the agility training.
In our household we currently have four border collies and a terrier-cross and they love learning and being active. They’re on a training programme of: learning how to just chill-out and relax around the house and garden; learning how to loose-lead walk and practicing social distancing around the extra people, bikes and horses we meet on our usual walks.
The Border Collies and Pikachu’s all love working, and although running round an agility course is the most fun in our house, anything that involves figuring out what we want them to do is fun too.
We’ve started using other activities to channel their mental and physical energy. These include:
Waiting in their beds patiently while their dinner is being prepared.
Waiting at doors & gateways until they get called individually.
Waiting for their turn to fetch their toy (Torro (old boy) doesn’t get this and gets 3 x as much exercise whilst we are doing this with the others). And Pikachu was a bit snooty of joining in, but now has her own toy which nobody else can have.
Doing sit, down, stand or a left / right turn before or on the way to their toy.
Loose-lead walking – in the past the main time they were on a lead was on the way to the agility ring and no one was interested in doing that calmly. J
Walking and balancing on logs.
They play most of these games all together, which challenges them further and its intriguing how they learn as a pack members and as individuals.
As we come out of lock down and small training classes are restart, it’s noticeable how some partnerships have definitely got tighter with this extra time we’ve been spending at home with our dogs. We’re going to keep up some of the fun training we’ve been doing as we all enjoy it.
We hope you and your dogs are keeping safe and well.
This afternoon’s CSJ Agility Open course plans. Notice the very tricky weave entries in both classes. In fact, the entry looks easier on paper in the Pent Jumping 2. In fact, the dogs have to make quite an adjustment after the tunnel to get in the correct weave. Of course, some are making it look very easy.
Two more clears for young Steve! This time in the CSJ Championship Jumping Round 1. Currently lying in 3rd with Digit and 6th with Future, whose round is posted below.
So… in the Biathlon there’s a jumping and an agility round and the scores from the two are added together. A very unlucky pole from Digit put them in 8th place, with 6 clears above them, so all is not lost if they excel in the agility – and others don’t, of course! Here’s their run. Future crashed a jump and Steven Richardson wisely retired her.
The courses here at The CSJ Agility Open demand top level skills from dog and handler (@!**!#) difficult, in other words!) but of course there are always handlers who make you wonder what all the fuss was about. One such handler is Sarah Millwood (I hope you don’t mind my posting, Sarah!) with her dog Phaze. And as you can see, I had a bird’s eye view of her run. So many dogs are going from the weaves into the tunnel – it’s very close – so props to anyone who didn’t get eliminated there!
Rather annoying refusal for Steve and Digit in an otherwise flawless Pentathlon Jumping 2.
A ‘tail’ of two halves, the one in which Atom leaves his ears at obstacle 3 and gets them back at 8! Fantastic second half. The second half of this run is amazing…. Hayley doesn’t break out of a walk!
Two fabulous runs from Steven Richardson is in the Pentathlon Jumping 1, putting him 2nd with Digit, so far, and 3rd with Future. This superb run puts them in 1st place in Pent Agility 1 – for now! Also a nice run from Future…. that’s a very tricky weave entry!
Well this year was the first time the Retriever World Cup has come to Wales.
The outstanding picturesque estate at Glan Usk was the venue overlooking some of the most outstanding landscape in Wales.
Nigel Probert, the course designer had done a fantastic job with very challenging long retrieves on Llangynidr moor on the first day. He used the full location of the estate and river Usk for the technical retrieves on the second day. What an excellent job.
At the gala dinner on Saturday night, teams from all over Europe were entertained in the land of song by the Bois Goitre Wen Male voice choir. That was an event in itself.
Now onto the event
The ever consistent Scotland, winners for the second time in succession. England came a very close second and Denmark in third.
Wales trailed this year in 9th place, a big disappointment but things just didn’t go well for the home team. At the end of the first day Welsh dogs were prominent with Vickie Stanley leading the field closely followed by Alan Rees and Hayden Willmott. Mike Jones found things a little difficult for his young dog.
The second day followed much the same pattern with failures for Mike, Hayden and Vickie but on a course like this there were numerous bunkers to be overcome.
Hopefully we all have learnt from the experience and will benefit from it in future events.
A big thank you from the team, we all appreciated the support from numerous gundog people that had turned out to support us as well as some of the best dogs and handlers in the world.
On behalf of the team I would like to thank Ceri, Phil and all at CSJ for their continued support.
Wendy and Calli did well, achieving solid pass grades in all three phases.
Marks were A: 79, B: 84, C:85, Total 248.
Out of 129 dogs entered, 107 achieved pass grades and Team GB came in 86th place. Considering that this was Wendy’s first World Championship event and only her second ever entry at IPO3 we are delighted with the result.
Thanks again for the support – the jackets looked great and it was good to fly the flag for CSJ.