Friday, June 8, 2012

FLYBALL RA!!

I'm not dead - I'm just busy.


I FINALLY had my first flyball class last night. It was hugely fun - more fun than I thought it'd be.

I was worried that perhaps we'd focus a bit too much on the basics (tug, etc) and not the actual sport. Obviously the basics are important, but they're not sexy.

We started the "hit it" game, where we have the dog target a wall as high up as they can reach, then push off in the direction they naturally turn for their reward. We started teaching the dogs to circle a pylon, and rewarding heavily for digging in and pushing their way around the last half of the turn. Then we added a jump to the pylon behaviour, then two, then more distance between the jumps and the pylon. Then we did some restrained recalls over 4 10" jumps.

Cohen did really well in all the exercises. Obviously they're not rocket science, but she maintained enthusiasm and speed despite the warehouse where we were practicing being stiflingly hot. She single-strides the jumps with ease, and seemed very happy by the end of it. Also, she's a barker, so I was told she'd fit right in with the rest of the crazy flyball dogs.

I wasn't going to sign up for the class since I'd promised my fiance that I'd only do dog stuff two nights a week (Monday I teach, Tuesday is agility) but he was sweet and encouraged me to take the class since he knows how long it's been since I've been waiting for the class to go ahead, and how badly I've wanted to take it. He's great.

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ALSO Cohen earned her advanced rally title a few weeks ago, plus a leg towards her excellent rally title. It was a long day, and our second run was far from pretty, but we made it.

With the heeling/motivation issues I'm seeing in obedience sports, I'll probably finish up the RE title then take a break 'til next year as far as competition goes. We'll practice maintaining proper position and enthusiasm over the winter and see where we end up next year. I'd like to take her up at least as far as Utility (in Comp Obedience) but we'll see if it's in the cards.

3 comments:

  1. Sounds like fun. I hope you guys are doing full wall turns though, with all four feet. Just using two feet on the wall results in two footed turns, which can be really hard on the ankles and shoulders of the dog.

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  2. Way to go, you guys.

    Are you thinking of specialising/only doing one sport for a while after you've finished up her RE title? Or are you going to be doing both agility and flyball for a while?

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  3. Sophie, I like to focus on multiple sports. Partly because I get bored, partly because I like to keep Cohen's skills sharp and well rounded, and partly because I think each sport can compliment the others in interesting ways.

    K-Koira, I'm pretty sure we're going to be doing 4-footed turns. :)

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