Salsa is running really well in agility. My goal for this fall is to finish her MACH. She needs one more QQ and a little over 200 points. That’s a lot of points, but she’s gotten faster and more consistent. Salsa’s agility career has been broken up by three maternity leaves (but only one actual litter), so I feel like she is finally getting a chance to reach her potential. I’d love to get her qualified for the agility nationals, but I think the 500 point requirement is going to be out of reach for us. I’m trying to get Salsa more comfortable reading rear crosses on course. She’s a very visual dog and tends to run better when she can see where I’m going, but as she is getting faster is hard for me to always be ahead of her.
Juno is on a break from agility right now. Her lack of focus inability to think when aroused was putting us in constant conflict so we are taking the rest of the season off. I’m working on a retrieve with her so we can do open obedience, which may be more her speed. Juno reminded me last week how much she likes doing pet therapy visits, so I’ll bring her on our monthly trips to Berks Heim. The sport Juno is best at is tracking, but my work schedule makes doing TDX or VST tracks really hard, since they have to age 3-5 hours. Maybe at some point we’ll get the chance to try nose work.
In my next post I’ll talk about the 3 baby dogs.
The weather is turning cooler and the days are getting shorter. The option of spending time training outside after work won’t be possible for much longer. As the dogs and I adjust to a new schedule, it’s a good time to look at how their training is progressing and to set new goals and reevaluate old ones.
For Chili, my main goal is to keep her fit, happy, and doing the teeter. I’ve started using some blind crosses in agility to get her moving faster on jumpers courses, but mostly we are doing maintenance training. We will have limited agility practice time over the winter, but that works for Chili.
Maya is working in open obedience. Her whining on the stays has improved during outdoor training, so I hope that carries over once we move inside. She does the rest of open pretty well, so hopefully we’ll be able to get that CDX soon. I’m also hoping that Maya has some puppies in her not too distant future. In the meantime we are doing limited agility trialing. Maya likes to play agility, but isn’t fast enough to be competitive.
In my next post I’ll talk about goals for the rest of the pack.
Today is the last day of a 3 day agility trial, the second weekend in a row that we have done 3 days. Normally we stick to 2 day weekends, but after having most of the summer off it was nice to get some extra trials in.
To start with the positive, Salsa is running great. She’s been consistently Qing and picking up points, even a few placements. We are up to 18 QQs, but will need points for her MACH when we get to #20. She seems to feel better and be less fearful when I keep her entirely on a raw diet rather than kibble. It’s interesting that her symptoms were all behavioral when I had her on kibble, but raw seems to be the way to feed her.
Chili is also running well, almost. Last weekend we were outside and she was great, Qing on 5/6 runs and getting placements. This weekend she is not doing the teeter:(. This was a major issue early in her career that crops up sometimes, usually when she is stressed. This weekend she is not acting unhappy in any way and is running great otherwise, but we don’t get many points from jumpers so she really needs to Q in standard. I’ve put a lot of time and effort into retraining her teeter more times than I can count and I’m not sure I’m up to going through the whole process again.
Juno has been a big source of frustration, so much so that I’ve cancelled the rest of her entries. She is fast and has the skills to run Masters level classes, but in the trial environment she knocks bars, misses contacts, pops out of the weaves, and is next to impossible to turn on course. Worse yet I have to drag her out of the crate to run and she regularly runs out of the ring. Most people are assuming its young dog silliness, but Juno is the same age as Salsa. She just isn’t that interested in agility (at least not in doing the obstacles in the numbered order) or in any type of reward and isn’t biddable enough to do it because I’m asking her to. The sport is just too expensive to continue running a dog who has no connection to me on course.