K and I headed up north on Friday to train with Cat. We’ve been talking about venturing up to do a little flyball training for ages, so we did!
I took Dylan and Rio, although Ri was an afterthought. She got to play a little bit of agility but I didn’t expect a lot, and I didn’t get it! She’s never trained outdoors, hasn’t trained for nearly 7 weeks, and being with all her favourite dogs as well pretty much blew her mind. She couldn’t focus for longer than 30s and was just overloaded with information. She did do some nice work and it was fun to run her again, if nothing else! Plus Cat took some beautiful photos of her, bald as she is right now. (I can’t tell you how much I love this dog, seriously).
Dylan was there to give me something to do, but as it happened, we made FatBoy work for his supper. K decided that the time was ripe to start tackling Dylan’s striding issues in flyball; he has always had a tendency to take off too early for the first hurdle, and so although he does take three strides from box to hurdle, it’s not pretty or efficient. We put a stride regulator in and stripped him right back to two strides into one hurdle, and rewarding for hitting his take off point. His poor little brain was working overtime; he found it really hard work! Maybe in time he’ll actually get the hang of it.
Rio also started flyball training again. She’s working her target really well, but we have to do some more work on ball swaps. Rio’s ball swaps are great when she’s alone, but if she’s in an environment where either she’s reaching adrenalin threshold or she’s surrounded by other dogs, she struggles. She has a tendency to want something in her mouth when she’s really excited anyway, and it becomes hard for her to spit in that situation. I suspect it’s also a little bit of resource guarding in the case of the other dogs; she’s reluctant to let go of something that the other dogs regard as valuable.
I have work to do!