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Agility Dylan Training Tricks

Growing Up

Dylan and Jet

Dylan and I had a lovely 20 minutes playing on the agility equipment last weekend – just a jump, a tyre and the single bottom part of the stretch. He’s so much more responsive than Kim is/was already, although he still gets a bit distracted! Especially since his gorgeous girlfriend Jet was there, supposedly practising her obedience for Crufts, but secretly just tempting my boy away.

We’ve had a really good week this week; Dylan seems to have grown again, and he suddenly doesn’t look so much like a puppy anymore. We’ve been working on all our usual commands, and we’ve also mastered “heel” (left side) and “side” (right side), and “through” (through my legs).

The poor lad won’t have much to do next week, since Kim and I are at Crufts. Dylan will be staying at home with my dad and sister, but he won’t be doing any special training.

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Dylan Flyball Training Tricks

Dylan's Blog – Feb

Dylan’s first snow! And we’ve had a lot more of it that expected. Not quite as bad as Wales or the Southern counties, but still a couple of inches more than we were predicted to have. Anyway, Dylan has had a fantastic time playing with the girls and generally being loopy, and he also thought this morning would be an excellent time to go chasing the ducks. So he came back from his walk dripping wet as he swum right out into the center of the res after the ducks, despite the water being absolutely freezing. He didn’t seem bothered though! Dyl was very chuffed with himself, and luckily he didn’t get cold.

Obviously because of the weather, any outdoor training is a bit difficult! So I’ve been working on his tricks again, and this week we’ve almost mastered Speak (bark on command) and Stand-up (on hind legs), and he’s doing Back (backing up) really nicely now too. I can see why people get so hooked on having collies; they really do have a lot of enthusiasm for whatever you ask them to do.

Dylan might be coming to the flyball competition tomorrow with us (providing it the snow clears up!) but he might also not, since it depends on how we fit the box into the car. Due to a whole bunch of unforseen circumstances, my mum has ended up being team captain for tomorrow, and so we have to take the box, the balls, myself, my mum, K & Poppy, Kim & Mollie down to Newark. Unfortunately there might not be room for Dylan! He will definitely be coming to EMDAC with us next week though, and probably to Newton Heath the week after.

On a somewhat unrelated note, I have been completely caught up watching Dare (Altricia Wishing Silver at Borderstorm AW) on her webcam, waiting to see if the latest litter of Borderstorms have arrived yet! Very sad, but we’ve been following Dare’s Puppy Blog since her last litter in 2006, and it looks like she’s got a lot of people wondering what she’s going to come up with this time! From the number of hits on the webcam, it looks like I’m not the only one being nosy …

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Agility Dylan Training

Tunnels & Aframes

Finally managed to get Dylan up to the club! This was our first Sunday training session of the new year, and Kim worked nicely in the morning on her dogwalk contacts in particular. Dylan and I only worked for 10 minutes or so after Kim and finished, just playing around the equipment and through a few pipe tunnels. He really enjoyed himself, and so did I; he’s really responsive, but looks to me for direction a lot more frequently that Kim did. Hopefully his confidence will grow as he works more and more around the other dogs and on working a course by himself. He’s still a bit leggy so his speed can be a bit hit-and-miss, depending on where his legs are going!

The A-Frame was on a lower height as well today, so I took the opportunity to walk Dylan over it a few times. The first time was a bit scary for him (!) but after that he was trotting over it beautifully, completely unfazed. I left it at that; no jumps or weaves, although they were available, since I want to make sure his growth plates have settled before he begins anything overly strenuous. I think that will end up being at about 14-16 months, so we have a long time to perfect everything else first! He also had a great time making friends with Bailey, Tilly, and Farley, and trying to say hello to Woody who shares Kim’s general dislike of puppies, and tried to bite his nose.

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Dylan Training Tricks

The weather has been so bad over the past few days, here as in the rest of Britain, so I haven’t been training outside. Agility training is a bit hard to do in the hallway, so we’ve just been working on little tricks and commands, to keep Dyl’s brain working. Over the past few days we’ve mastered “beg”, which is a bit over-enthusiastic at the moment! Dylan’s paws are enormous, and his beg doesn’t quite have the cute-factor that Kim’s does!

We’ve also been working on “dead”, which is going quite well, providing there’s nothing to distract him. It’s hard to persuade a 9-month old Collie that lying very still is a good idea!

Dylan is looking great at the moment though. He’s very obviously Patch’s pup, but he looks a lot more ‘Border Collie’ than I thought he would; Lassie looks a lot like Mollie, and Dylan does have some of that about him, particularly in the tuck of his tail and his topline/shoulders. He’s also quite dark, which I didn’t think he would be. As a tiny pup he had quite large white markings, but the black has taken over! His face is still quite white but the rest of him isn’t. He’s also developing speckles in his coat, although they are quite sparse still. I wish I could get some photos of him to show you all! Unfortunately the camera is on the blink, so I’ll have to wait until I get a new one/fix this one. It won’t be tomorrow though – Kim is competing and Dylan is going to have to stay at home, despite (or maybe because of!) the fact that his lovely girlfriend Jet is competing in her first official competition tomorrow. Dyl sends lots of kisses your way, Jetly!

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Dylan Training

Dylan's Blog – January

Dylan has had a very naughty few weeks! He’s getting a lot more boisterous with the girls and is tending to push his luck more often when we’re training. He hasn’t been so naughty as to annoy me (but then again, I’ve had lots of practise with the stubborn terrier in Kim!) but he’s definitely testing his limits! I think poor Mollie is suffering the most – and I think she might end up getting knocked down the pecking order in the end. Dylan will already steal her toys, treats and breakfast/dinner if he can, and she doesn’t do too much to stop him. Poor lass!

A very clear example of his general naughtiness is that he has eaten all the harnesses we own – and we own quite a few, since each dog has a flyball harness, a spare, and then some spares. (Although he did leave Mollie’s untouched, for some reason!) He was quite crafty, and ate only the buckles, so the harnesses looked intact but sekritly were destroyed. Sometimes I think he’s just pretending to be stupid!

Training is going really well though, he’s got so much enthusiasm and he’s really enjoying working. Just sticking with obedience and things like trotting poles, left/rights, go-ons still. We start back at agility training in February so hopefully I’ll be able to do some basic stuff with him then – Kim will be missing Sunday training for a while since she’s competing on Saturday’s pretty much throughout Feb – and so he’ll have my full attention.

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Dylan Training

Dylan's Blog – December

It’s been a whole week of new experiences for my Dyl this week! The Christmas Tree has gone up, which was very confusing, but he’s been very good with it. I did find a chewed up bauble this morning, which was undoubtably him, but I think Kim had something to do with it too, since she looked very guilty and ran away when I picked it up. Our normal routine is just generally disrupted at the moment, what with late-night shopping and unexpected guests popping in, and there being no agility/flyball training.

Also introduced him to some “trotting poles” which in theory will make him think about his paws. In practice, he just knocked them over with his nose, but we’ll get over that. We used to use trotting-poles to regulate the horse’s stride, encouraging him to extend or shorten as required. In this case, even if it just gets Dylan thinking about where his paws are and where they’re going, it’ll help for obstacles like the dogwalk, or jumps. Speaking of obstacles, I got out the big hoola-ring today and propped it up with some sticks. It looked like a very enormous tyre, and after some initial wariness Dylan was running through it without a problem. I’d rather introduce him to things like this now, then the “real thing” won’t be as scary.

We’ve also been doing a little bit of target training outside, but nothing too much. Both Kim & Dylan are getting there with it – Kim’s been practising on the staircase, but I’ve held off doing that with Dylan because of his joints.

Anyway, generally very proud of the lad today, he did a full 25 minutes worth of training. I’ve been varying the length of time I work with him, starting off with only a couple of minutes and then 10, 15, 20, and so on. Tomorrow I think we’ll only do 15 minutes or so to balance it out (depends on the weather!)

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Dylan

Dylan's Blog – December

I have been so busy with essays and reading that Dylan has had quite a relaxing few weeks! We haven’t really being doing anything new. His coat is beginning to come through now and it looks fantastic. It was very curly to begin with, but the curls are beginning to fall out now and so I’m not sure how it’s going to end up. He looks gorgeous either way!

I really need to think of a Kennel Club name for him too. Suggestions welcome! I’m not really concerned with it including his call name since Dylan is pretty hard to include. K is plugging for “Something Epic”, but I’m not sure if I could stand the pressure!

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Dylan Hydrotherapy Mollie

Dylan's Blog – Hydro

Dylan had his first hydrotherapy session last night. I wish I’d taken my camera, he looked adorable! Mollie has a session every month to keep her moving, and we thought we’d let Dylan come along for some fun yesterday because the dog that usually shares Mol’s session couldn’t make it. I wasn’t sure whether he could even swim, but he just took it all in his stride and was straight in there, really confident and not at all bothered by the new surroundings or new dogs. I was very proud! He wore a doggy life-jacket for this first session, since he hasn’t quite got the hang of staying afloat, but it didn’t phase him and he was diving in with Mollie and thoroughly enjoyed himself.

At home our outdoor training is a bit restricted at the moment. By the time I get home from university it’s dark outside, and it’s impossible to get anything done. So we’re working in the hallway on just basic obedience, and getting him to “go on” down the hall. There isn’t much else to do right now! Realistically I won’t be able to start even basic agility training with him until February, when he’ll be 10 months old, but I’m not really bothered about rushing to bring him out at 18months. I’d rather make sure he’s enjoying himself and working well before I start chucking him into competitions. So he can start doing tunnels and flat A-Frames etc at that age, and we’ll take it from there.

Categories
Dylan Training Tricks

Dylan's Blog

We haven’t really been working on anything new this month, just improving what we already have. Lefts and rights are nailed, and target training is going really well. Plus all the basic obedience seems to have kicked off – finally! – too. His heelwork is getting nice, presents and finishes are good, and his stays are really improving too. He’s kind of got “dead” too, although my Dyl boy always looks suspiciously alive when he does it, usually because his tail is wagging.

I have to say I’m really pleased because he’s learnt “catch” too. You wouldn’t believe how long this has taken to teach him – for some reason he couldn’t grasp the concept of having to move his head and open his mouth to catch something thrown at him. Toys and treats just bounced off his head! He’s got it now though. I don’t think I’ll be doing Crufts flyball with him in the future, but if I do, this is a great command for him. I’m using the same technique I used for teaching Kim to catch, and Kim is amazing at catching. Dylan is first put into a down, and then he get’s the command “catch”, which actually means prepare to catch. Kim demonstrates this best when she effectively goes into a play-bow, which is ideal for Crufts flyball. Dylan is beginning to do it, which I’m really chuffed with. And then I throw the ball/treat/whatever. It’s such a silly small thing, but it’s an achievement for him!

Categories
Agility Dylan Training

Dylan's Blog

Tuggy-work is out of the window at the moment, because pup is getting his new teeth through. He tries to tug but just ends up splashing blood everywhere, so we’ve working with ice-cubes and treats right now. Poor lad!

Anyway, he is starting on his right turns now, and I’m hopeful that he’ll pick it up. Fingers crossed that those big teeth come through quickly!

Dylan is growing like a mad thing, and is officially past the big 6-months mark now. I’m really pleased with his progress at the moment, he’s responding well to all his commands and is eager to work. His “left” is brilliant, and his “right” is coming on nicely, which is great.

He had his first agility competition trip last week, to the indoor Lune Valley show at Myerscough College (Kim was competing!). He did himself proud, since he behaved perfectly, charmed everyone and wasn’t even the slightest bit phased about the noise, the hundreds of dogs, or the people. He had a great time watching the rings too! Seemed particularly interested in watching dogs weave, which bodes well!

Yesterday we had a trip out and visited K’s house. Dylan had a fabulous time playing with Jet, but we did a very quick 10 minutes with Dyl on tunnels and weaves (well, not exactly weaves – wide open channel weaves, so he only had to run in a straight line). Tunnels were no problem, he was bombing through those in no time. Weaves took a bit longer but we had some good speedy walk-throughs, so I was really pleased.