Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Snooker Video You've Been Waiting For

SUMMARY: Bay Teamer Silvina and Maja demonstrate amazing calm in a difficult situation while earning a perfect score in Snooker.

From Sunday evening at the Turlock USDAA. This was one of the most amazing runs I've seen. Check out that teeter execution as Silvina's puppy T-Cam can't wait to join the fun.
View it now.

(I should note that T-Cam is Boost's full sister, but from a litter 4 years later. Yes, Boost has lost self-control with Tika at home many times and at class once--and, yes, Tika kept going with the distraction. But never in competition and I don't think ever with that teeter--)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, February 15, 2010

Video Fun

SUMMARY: Nothing to do with me, but I enjoyed these.

Very silly, wish I'd thought of that, wish they'd have cut out the muffled snickering in the background. "Dinner for One":

Welcome to my world (and I'm sure that most of you reading this can relate!). "There's Dog Hair in Everything I Do":

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, October 26, 2009

Compare and Contrast: Two Videos

SUMMARY: Team Standard Videos from Labor Day Regional
An agility friend just posted videos of us from the Team Standard--Thanks, Mary!

Here's the course map to follow along:

I almost lost Tika while nursing her down the dogwalk so she wouldn't fly off--and she nearly flipped into the tunnel alongside. Can't quite tell in the video what I did to cause that, but she pulled off it OK and kept going, for a clean run. (Tika and her teammate finished with a 2nd place out of 36 Performance teams at this Regional.)

Boost starts out looking OK but about halfway through we start to lose it, with a spin and some hesitation and the bars start coming down. Still, she didn't E (which is crucial in Team). Just her dumb handler started celebrating before clearing the last bar, bringing down one more. AND that teeter exit was pretty iffy, Boost!

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, October 09, 2009

Why Can't We All Just Get Along--

SUMMARY: Like elephant and dog?
Prepare to dab your eyes:

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, September 28, 2009

About Tika

SUMMARY: May I brag? And list some statistics, too?
Just occurred to me: Hmmm, OK, Tika has been in Performance only since the end of April, but she's done very well in Steeplechase, Grand Prix, and Snooker, and I wonder where she shows up in the Top Ten listings? So I go to the USDAA page and look:

Heh, cool. I know we won't hold this (especially after this past weekend's Snooker disaster, and especially because I'm not planning on doing that many more trials this year, and also because who's likely to beat us at most trials? Hobbes and Brenn), but it's always fun to see our name in lights: Top Ten Performance 22" Snooker as of roughly the end of August.

Although, oh, interesting:
  • According to my records, in the last 3 trials we've earned another 13 points that aren't on there (but then, so has probably everyone else).
  • Out of Tika's 8 P3 Snooker runs, four have been Super-Qs (jeez, wish we could'a done that in Championship!).
  • Because I mucked up something in my database, I just realized that Tika earned her P3 Snooker title LAST trial! Woot all over again!

Not bad, for only a partial year. Not bad, for a dog who took 36 tries to get her first 3 Super-Qs in Championship.

How about Tournament Top Ten? Pfah, nothing listed on the web site that I see. But she has Qed in 6 out of 7 Performance Grand Prixs to date, and 5 out of 7 Steeplechase. Not bad, for a dog who Qed in only 11 out of the 42 Championship-level Steeplechases she entered--almost all the non-Qs with 5, and sometimes 10, faults. Now we're clean. Go figure. We like 22".

So how is my challenging, attention-deficit, fun-loving and now-getting-reliable Tika girl doing in comparison to other dogs? According to this USDAA page:
  • Only 192 dogs have ever earned the Silver ADCH.
  • Only 247 dogs have ever earned their Tournament Master Platinum.
  • If/when Tika finishes her LAA-Silver (only, hrm, 28 Qs to go), that's be one of only -- uh-- don't know because that's not listed on that page or anywhere that I'm finding. Gol dang.
Compare that to 9,946 dogs who have ever earned their Agility Dog (Novice) title, and who knows how many more who've competed some and never gotten even that far.

I think we're doing pretty OK.

Tika's Round 2 Steeplechase run from Sunday. Fairly smooth, not super-fast. It's 7:30 in the morning and we're starting behind the jump right in the center of the video, and I lead out towards the left.
My only real handling faux pas is that I was going to go for a front cross before the blue tunnel but wimped out--which was stupid, because I ended up coming to a complete stop and waiting for her, so I had plenty of time to get there and probably would've eked another second or so of speed out of things. Not sure it would've mattered--1st place dog was 4 seconds faster.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Thursday, July 23, 2009

OK, Last Videos from Last Weekend, plus Standard Analysis

SUMMARY: Three Masters Standard runs: Compare and contrast.

This course was not a gimmee. From my point of view, the toughest parts were 5 to 9, 10 to 15, and 16 to 18. Hmm, that's pretty much the whole course, eh? But I divide them like that because they really presented 3 major handling issues.

From 5 to 9. Coming off the Aframe, the dog's path over #6 is toward the dogwalk, so they have to change leads to get to #7, so now they're heading for the tunnel, and now have to change leads again to get over 8 and to the dogwalk.

You could try a front cross between 6 and 7 if you could leave your dog on the Aframe and trust her to get the contact. But it's a lonnnnng way to go to get to the correct position; you need to be out beyond the North/South 80 line to have a straight line in your path from 7 to 8. So, to cover that huge distance, you're driving towards the dogwalk, which pushes the dog even harder in that direction when what you really want is for them to be turning tightly to get to #7. Some people managed it, but not many even tried.

Most of us sent to #6, hanging back so that we could run in a straight line from near the corner of the Aframe directly towards the far wing of #8, giving perhaps a bit of a serpentine cue for #7. Then rear cross 8 to get a turn to the dogwalk.

10 to 15. Here, you have to ensure that the dog goes through the tire on her way to the chute, which is a Northward push. In an ideal world, you'd like to be on the inside of the curve from 11 to 15, which means that you'd have to be in front cross position on the far side of #12 (around the 40N line) before the dog is coming out of the chute; if you're not far enough, you'll have to veer out around #12 , pulling the dog off #13.

But getting to that position is really tough given the push to #10 and the dog's speed from 10 through 11. You'd have to cover 40 feet in about 2-3 seconds--I'm not that fast! Most people with faster dogs opted, instead, to stay on the Aframe side of #12, give a serpentine cue, and rear cross 13.

16 to 18. The line from the table to the weaves is not straight. If you can leave your dog on the table while the judge is counting down 5 seconds, you could get into front cross position between 17 and 18 and get a nice smooth controlled path into the weaves.

You could also get into serp position on the Aframe side of #17. I think that either of these, if done right, would get the smoothest entry into the weaves.

Boost I don't trust to keep her elbows on the table. Tika might be OK, but I'd have to watch her carefully and not make an sudden moves or gestures or she'd be off the table in a flash. I elected instead to stay on the teeter side of #17, pull as if we were going to #14 until the dog was in line with the weave entry, and then use "left weave". Both dogs executed well, but I think it's a slower entrance than the preceding choices because it's not as obviously a semistraight line to the dogs.

Tika's Run

Tika's time was 43.75 on a standard course time of 54. We lost some time when I didn't get my line from 6 to 8 quite right and she turned the wrong way after 8. Still, it was good for 2rd place out of nine P3 22" dogs--the winner was 3 seconds faster.(3-Dog Video versions.)

Boost's Run

Boost's time was 39.96 (4 secs faster than Tika) with a SCT of 51. I expect her to be faster than Tika--in fact I expect her to be MUCH faster, so with Tika's wrong turn, their times are really disturbingly quite close to each other. The main thing with Boost is the stop on the contacts, which I'm not ready to sacrifice for glory in most cases. Not interested in Top Ten points particularly (except for fun). (3-Dog Video versions.)

Gina's Run

I include this with running contacts for comparison with littermate Boost. Tim has worked very hard on consistency; there was a long time where they weren't making a lot of contacts, but this weekend they were gorgeous. Now they just need to fix the bar-knocking thing. (Sound familiar?) And Gina moves through the course with a bit more confidence than Boost, it seems to me. Her time was an amazing 34.2ish, faster than ANY other masters or p3 dog, including Luka (in the same range) and the fabulous Sweep (36-plus). I love watching them run. (3-Dog Video versions.)

Labels: , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Videos Videos Videos! GP and Pairs

SUMMARY: Grand Prix and Pairs Relay vids.

OK, trying something different for these videos from this weekend, rather than directing you to the 3-Dog Video site. These are all lower-resolution MP4 vids, displayed larger than their actual size so they're sort of grainy. You can click the 3-dog video link to have your option (like the prior day's vids) of which size/resolution to play.

I was able to purchase these videos on an introductory special price. Can't do it every weekend, but it was nice to get some for a change.

For discussions of these runs, see Saturday's and Sunday's posts.

Grand Prix

Grand Prix Boost
See the Dread Border Collie Spin in two places, one for a runout 5-point fault. But the rest is nice. (3-Dog Video versions.)

Grand Prix Tika
See her try very hard in 2 places to take the off-course obstacle but come back to me thank goodness gracious. (3-Dog Video versions.)

Pairs Relay

Tika goes to investigate the judge and gets a runout. (3-Dog Video versions.)

Boost pops weaves, knocks bar, and skips a jump. (3-Dog Video versions.)

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Boost Steeplechase Round 2 Video

SUMMARY: Thanks, 3 Dog Video!

Here is Boost, just two steps to the right from taking home a big Steeplechase purse. :-)

Between the first jump and the tunnel there is another jump; you can see that she is NOT jumping between there. Really, the jump was almost in her way (I lined her up deliberately pointing at it and not at the tunnel) and it wasn't very much of a lead-out pivot at all, but dang she didn't get it. Rest of the run is lovely, though.

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, July 20, 2009

Boost Steeplechase Video

SUMMARY: 3-Dog Video comes through again, thanks Steve.

Boost's Round 1 Steeplechase video. Same deal as Tika's; pick the resolution at the top (when you click the play arrow).

Boost's run was 5.46 seconds slower than the winning dog that round. I've used my stopwatch to figure out some differences; held her on the two Aframes for a total of somewhere around 1.5 seconds; the place nearing the end where she slows down to look back at me, turns back to me, spins, and then finally gets going again is at least 3 seconds.

Running contacts, I tell ya-- plus a dog who'll just keep taking obstacles in front of her!--would be handy.

And here's the course map:

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tika's Saturday Steeplechase Video

SUMMARY: viewing online

Here's video of Tika's Steeplechase (Performance) run on Saturday. There are links at the top so that you can see it in whatever definition your computer will handle, from smallest (web) to high def.

You can see where I sent her offcourse: After the first aframe, the next two jumps are incorrect--I clap my hands in a little frustration realizing that I blew it and then deciding to go on with the correct sequence. The rest of the course is correct, although after the wrong jump, Tika's flow is bad briefly because she's not coming from where she should've been coming from.

Her course time WITH the extra jump and veering out of line there is STILL well within qualifying time, so she was hauling. In fact, looks to me that it's actually even within *Championship* qualifying time. Sighhhhh such a nice run--

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Gamblin' Tika, Why She Gambles, No One Knows

SUMMARY: She's such a reliable, experienced dog.

Despite my unclear handling techniques, none-the-less, she got the Masters Gamble last weekend. About 1/3 of the dogs got it, so it wasn't undoable, but I'd say maybe half of those used the technique that we did--swing the dog into you and back out, or around you, then send to the correct end of the tunnel.

We just barely made time--you can see how much time we spent getting lined up after the buzzer and then getting Tika onto the Aframe and then into the correct end of the tunnel. And she did it all because she's a good reliable experienced dog! There was a time I never thought I'd be able to say that about her--

A friend, Mary P, just let me know that she videotaped our run and posted it on youtube. Here's the video and the course map with my scribbles about our plan and what actually happened.

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Actual Agility Video Footage!


Last weekend I promised to post some videos. OK, here ya go. I take my camcorder to every trial with me, but almost never remember to ask anyone to tape us. Last weekend, I finally did--on 4 runs only.

When transferring from my camera to computer, there was this odd jumping thing it was doing, like it was skipping frames or something. Not sure whether camera, tape, recording, playback--and I didn't feel like futzing with it to figure it out.

Round 1 Steeplechase

Tika wins in Performance, Boost Qs in Championship even with a bar down, because she was plenty fast.

Boost's run: Note that, on the first A-frame, I release her quickly, and on the 2nd Aframe, she doesn't bother actually doing 2 on/2 off or waiting for a release. And at the very end, instead of running ahead of me over the last line of jumps, she's kind of waiting for me and looking back a bit.

Tika's Run: Note a huge wide turn after the first Aframe, because I'm trying to get in front of her to make sure she gets a foot in the yellow zone so she thinks we're going straight instead of turning left.

Boost's run:

Grand Prix

Tika takes 2nd place.

Masters Jumpers

Boost and I still have some issues. Like, I'm trying to give her plenty of room to take a jump right in front of her before rear crossing, but she just won't do it, backs around it, and backjumps it. Most of the run isn't awful; she sends out nicely to one jump but, near the end, comes in around a jump I was trying to send her out to. And a bar down. Ah, well. Mostly she's starting to run instead of looking at me all the time.

Labels: , , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tika Pops The Weaves

SUMMARY: Video from two weeks ago.

At the CPE trial two weeks ago, I commented about Tika being sore and having trouble with the weaves although she's usually a superb weaver (makes entrances, doesn't pop out), and also landing heavily after every jump. Turns out that a friend videotaped her Wildcard run. She doesn't ACT sore, does she! But none-the-less I have nothing else to blame the weave issues on. (And it's hard to tell that she's landing heavily after the jumps unless you really know her.) Anyway, here she is, just a cutie altogether, having a good time running despite everything, and her handler being OK but not perfect as usual.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Things To Do When Not Doing Agility #27

SUMMARY: Trimming Shrubbery


Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Boost Almost Does Standard

SUMMARY: Video of one of Boost's better runs.

An agility video service (Agility In Motion) for whom I did a really tiny favor at the November USDAA trial actually videotaped one of Boost's Masters Standard runs and sent it to me. Here's what I wrote about the run in my private notes: "Very nice--nice table, nice cntcts. Turned wrong way after rear X and missed wv entry on a bad pull (meant to front X but chickened out) but going ahead @end and no ref/rnout." video

And if you want to watch a fun archival video of theirs of me and Jake doing a Masters Jumpers course in April 2003, go here.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Sing Your Puppies to Sleep

SUMMARY: Cute names and the amazing power of lullabyes.

As I mentioned, there seems to be a plethora of puppies suddenly! It's so hard to come up with unique names in agility, and yet people keep coming up with good ones. For the party gal, Jenn, there's Tonic (Jenn and Tonic); for Ash there's now Dash (Ash & Dash); for the lady who videotapes agility trials and whose husband works in high tech, it's the name of one of his products that seems appropriate for a camera person: Tcam.

And for all those puppies out there who won't settle down: Warm up your singing voice! Link forwarded by a friend. (Direct link)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, September 15, 2008

Some USDAA Weekend Classes

SUMMARY: Maps, videos, and brief discussions from this last weekend.

Saturday Masters Standard

The opening of this course was interesting, because I was the only one I saw who ran with the dog on my right. It worked very nicely for both of my dogs, but I have a good "Right Through" (which goes against the Darrett system but is OH so handy in cases like this). Saw lots of dogs knock the #6 jump or get a refusal, as that was a pretty challenging rear cross to get in. 15 of 47 big dogs Qed on this course.

NOTE: As always, the course map doesn't exactly reflect reality: you could actually set the dog into a stay before jump #1 so that she could see the Aframe from that position. Made a difference (to me, anyway) in whether you worried about the dog going off-course into the tunnel--which we saw some of, even with handlers on the opposite site.

Another frequent problem was 12 to 13. Several people who handled it with a single front cross before 13 got an off-course onto the back side of 17. I saw some successful serpentines of 12 and also the front-cross equivalent--both before and after 12. I did a rear cross, as did others, thinking I'd get a tighter turn to the table. Worked OK for Tika but Boost still went wide, although we survived. The other main off-course problem was 15 to 19.

Saturday Masters Gamblers

Posting this mostly because I have videos, in which you can see:
  • while I think that I am directing the dogs clearly and distinctly--my body is flapping around all over the place
  • Tika miss a send-out to a weave entry--and she's supposed to be my GOOD dog-- (and that was twice in one weekend with the same sort of send in gamblers); something to work on
  • Boost go under the tire repeatedly
  • that the reason that I couldn't get Boost out over the jump after the teeter was because she didn't stick her contact and wait for a release, self-released to come towards me.

Steeplechase Round 1

Another case where the course map isn't a perfect reflection of reality. The line over 3-4-18 was a bit more obvious to the dogs than shown here. That's very important to note, because that was the most common off-course.

People probably split half and half on whether they kept the dog on their left and pulled to #5 and rear crossed #6, or led out towards the tunnel to do a lead-out pivot and run with the dog on the left over #5. And about the same number of dogs went over #18 instead of 5 using both handling methods, so your timing and body language had to be good in both cases. The down side to the pull method was that it left the off-course tunnel wide open, which some dogs took.

The most successful lead-out pivots had the handler standing pretty close to the entrance for the #12 tunnel, so that when they turned and ran towards #5, they were running straight at 5, not having to veer past #4.

#7 to #8 was more of a time waster than anything, with the dog turning back to the handler often. Some people ran around the left side of #7 and the Aframe, but I don't think that worked any better.

Lots of people worried about the 10-11-12 line. There were lots of refusal-type errors at #12 tunnel entrance, usually with the handler over-pushing and blocking the dog's entrance into the tunnel, but I don't recall seeing any actual off-courses over the #4.

Another big choice was whether to front cross between 17 and 18. I tried that with Tika, who flew off the Aframe and went straight for the offcourse #6, which I saved her from, but she hit the #18 at such a bad angle that she knocked the bar.

Master Snooker Sunday

Of interest because of the unusual layout and no contact obstacles. Hope you can read it with all my scribbles.

Most Super-Qs were earned with a 4-5-7-7 plus 2-7, although there were also some 7-7-7-4 and sometimes a 5 instead of a 4 in both sequences.

My numbers on the map are close but not actually the way I handled it. If the top of the map is north and the left is west:
  • West over the first red (southwest corner) to the back (west) side of 4a, to 4b.
  • to the southeast red, run around the outside to the 6a tunnel and the 6b jump.
  • South over the northeast red, turning the dog toward the west, which made a straight line over 7a to the south end of the 7c tunnel, to the 7b jump
  • south over the northwest red, wrap to the east, over 7b into 7c and east over 7a.
  • Threadle past the northeast red to the east side of #2 (which was NOT bidirectional in the closing).
  • Might be hard to read, but the jump that serves as both #3 and #4a is set up to force you to backjump. The 4a was bidirectional in the closing, so that if you felt strongly about it, you could bring your dog around and do sort of a figure 8 over the 4a after doing the 3. But that wasted a lot of time, set the dog up badly for the straight line 4b to 5, and also provided more off-course opps to either side. I saw only a couple of handlers try the figure 8. It actually worked very well to blast the dog straight out over #3, because there were no obstacles out there, and as you and the dog blasted into the open area, then you turned, called the dog, and went back over 4a-4b-5 in a straight line, and because the dog had moved fairly far beyond the #3 jump, it didn't have the look or feel of a backjump.

Masters Jumpers Sunday

It was 6:30 in the evening. I was really tired. Tika sailed comfortably through it, taking 4th place of the 12 remaining dogs (lots of attrition at the end of such a long weekend), and I never really did communicate clearly with The Booster--too bad, because I felt that it was a nice, flowing, speedy course.

Labels: , , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Border Collie to the Rescue

SUMMARY: A video with a surprise ending.

In which a Border Collie saves the day again. (From our trial this last weekend, at the ring where I was working score table.)

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Got Video?

SUMMARY: Selected videos and course maps from regionals.

If you want to see nice weaves, all of Boost's runs look pretty good in that way. Otherwise--see notes. Click dogs' names to view videos.

Grand Prix Round 1: Tika , Boost (Tika is called on Aframe; Boost hits 3 bars & has a couple of refusal/runouts)

Team Jumpers: Tika, Boost (Tika is clean; Boost has a wide turn, a runout, a refusal, and a bar before backjumping near the end)

Team Standard: Tika (clean run)

Grand Prix Round 2: Sweep (22" winner), Tika (clean and bye into semis)

Sunday Master Standard: Tika, Boost (Tika dogwalk up, Boost not too bad, one bar, then finally a refusal just before the end when I'm trying to get ahead for a front cross probably)

Steeplechase Round 1: Tika, Boost (Tika bar, Boost runouts and refusals galore, leaving the Aframe without a release, and not the best handling for an early off-course)

Monday Masters Jumpers: Tika, Boost (Tika clean, Boost a mess)

Monday Masters Standard: Tika, Boost (Tika clean but slow table down; Boost slow table down, just a couple of spin refusals)

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Runs from this weekend

SUMMARY: summarytext

Tika's Saturday Standard

Tika doesn't bother stopping for contact zones but is fairly solidly in them. I look completely uncoordinated in these videos. On the field, I feel like I'm sprinting alongside the dogwalk, but here it looks like I'm jogging, and not very well.

She knocks a bar near the end, obviously because I'm not telegraphing the front cross/change of direction well. At the very end, you can see her diving in to grab my feet as usual.

Boost's Saturday Standard

Same course as Tika. It was a Qualifier, but not lovely:
1. After the weaves, there's a tunnel then a jump. She comes to me instead of going over the jump, then barely makes it, then turns right instead of towards the Aframe and I sort of reach over the jump to push her away from backjumping.
2. Three jumps after the dogwalk, she wants to go around but I extend my arm over the jump area again to bring her in.
3. On the table, you can hear the judge pause several times as her elbows come up.
4. The next to the last jump, you can see her starting to look back at me instead of looking for jumps.

Boost's Steeplechase

This is a more typical round:
1. Runouts galore.
2. Pops out of weaves and I can't get control of her to put her back into the correct place and finally give up and take the E just so I can go on.
3. Leaves the A-frame without a release word both times and I make her lie down until she stays down long enough that I was able to release her.
4. At the end, looking back at me and turning back to me.

Unfortunately, due to technical difficulties with the volunteer videographer, Tika's lovely Steeplechase (with bad A-frames) looks remarkably like the inside of a lens cap.

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Tika Status and Chasing That Steeple

SUMMARY: How Tika's feeling and Why we didn't qualify.

After 24 hours of drugs (Monday evening), Tika's feeling better enough to play plenty of fetch, but jumping hurts (e.g., bouncy tug-of-war, jumping for joy at dinnertime). Still licking. But eating fine. Definitely subdued from the painkiller between bouts of playing. Have an appointment with my regular vet Tuesday morning at 8:30 to decide what to do next. In theory, this post will magically post itself while I'm gone.

Meanwhile--more from this weekend. It's interesting to dissect what I can specifically work on with each dog, after rewatching the videos of their Round 1 Steeplechase. Boost: the slightest lateral lead-out. Getting her to look ahead for obstacles instead of back at me, which is in some part what seems to cause missed obstacles. (But I already knew both those things.)

For Tika, she was 4.5 seconds under time but had a knocked bar, preventing her from Qing. But as I watch, I see all kinds of places where she's turning a little wider or a little slower, or both, than she needs to, and taking an extra step or two before jumps, and I'm thinking while watching and listening to myself, that it's because she's not getting the info that she needs from me in a timely fashion. Probably the same thing with Boost, just exhibiting it differently. There was plenty of room for Tika to run a couple of seconds faster on that course.

And me: I look like I'm running to protect my knees, kind of sliding along on the flats of my feet. Among other things. I've been trying to practice staying on my toes and pumping my arms forward and back, not side to side, but it doesn't seem to stick during a run. And I'm just not getting to where I need to be! Plus there are those extra 15 pounds from this last winter...

Anyway, if you're interested, you can watch for things like that (although I realize it's hard with this small video image).

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, July 07, 2008

Boost Jumpers Disaster


Two bars down plus an entire jump, missed obstacles everywhere, refusals and runouts. You names it, we gots it! Plus I feel like I'm running like a wild thing out there, but in the video I look like I'm just lumbering around the course. My knee was bothering me a bit, and you can see me favoring it slightly, although I wasn't even thinking about it at the time. (Oh, and yesterday I said that the judge asked us to leave the course, but in reviewing the video, I think she was just starting to tell the workers which jumps to take off the field, since we were the last to run and obviously didn't need her complete attention any more.)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Sunday, June 29, 2008

Washcloth Lust

SUMMARY: It's catnip for dogs. Dognip.

Maybe I need to do my laundry more often? None of Amber, Sheba, Remington, or Jake ever did this. Maybe I really *am* rotting away as I get older.

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Box Work

SUMMARY: In which I take advice to heart.

Dog agility is all about teamwork and communication. (In prior posts I might have suggested that it's all about the clothing, or the food, but in reality it's all about teamwork and communication. Today, anyway.)

Several people have suggested lately that what I really need is just basic box work with my dogs. I'm always big on taking good advice, and although box work can be a little tedious, still, I figured I ought to put in a little time on it. And I figured I'd videotape it and share it with you.

You can see that Boost needs more work on this than Tika does.

You agility folks--I couldn't resist. You nonagility folks--well--

Addendum 5 p.m.: After you've watched the video, see my Comment (4th one) for a genuine useful training observation.

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, February 22, 2008

Are Border Collies Really All That Smart?

SUMMARY: Funny video (thanks, Cedarfield, for pointing it out.)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, February 15, 2008

Another Fun URL

SUMMARY: One more; made me laugh.

Dreams of a Future Agility Champion

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Assorted Fun URLs

SUMMARY: People send me these things; I have to get rid of them SOMEHOW or they'll end up in a huge pile on my disk drive!

  • Mating call Ringtones: You can play the coyote sample on your computer and see whether it makes your dogs as crazy as it made mine.
  • How a dog sees an agility course (animated), gives some idea of what dogs see in front of them (although not so much peripheral)...if you can stand the addictive/brain mangling soundtrack.
  • Agility dog's-eye view: Camera strapped to dog's head. Looks remarkably similar to the animated version.
  • Animal Planet's Mutt-Maker Game: Select from a few breeds and assemble silly-looking mixes with equally silly-sounding breed names. Watch how the generated breed name changes as you change portions of the dog! A guaranteed pointless time-waster! But cute.
  • The Daily Coyote: Beautiful photography of a woman raising a coyote pup.
  • Off to the Iditarod! Former Bay Teamer who used to run in agility with one of the original Jakes (an Aussie), is competing in the Iditarod this year. (According the the list available from the interactive map on the official web site, Liz is currently in 64th out of 96 teams. Pretty good for a rookie!)
  • Johann the Dog's Agility Squidoo Lens: I don't know what a Squidoo or a lens is, and I do know that Johann is a for-profit (but real agility dog) dog, but Johann's mom does a good job of sorting through things agility and finding cool stuff. Includes videos of other species doing agility.

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Weekend Videos

SUMMARY: Successes and near-successes

A few videos from this weekend. Didn't get most of our runs, including (sigh) Tika's lovely Jumpers, but by putting the camera where I'd have to trip over it to get my next dog out, I managed to remember it maybe half the time.

Here are some runs. I feel like I'm out there zipping lightly around the course, but here it looks like I'm lumbering like someone whose knees are sore, and it looks like I'm running on my heels instead of digging in with my toes. More to work on... plus the pounds I've put on since Nationals really show. I hate winter! (Doesn't help that I'm wearing, what, 5 layers of clothing?)

Tika's Master Standard on Sunday was lovely. Her contacts were very fast, including the dogwalk, and she kept all her bars up. But she decided to come off the table a second too early, for a disqualifying 5 faults. So sad; subtracting the time she wasted, her course time would've been up in the placements (among twenty 26" dogs):

Boost on the same course was fast, but we're just not communicating, as you'll see multiple times here, once resulting in a knocked bar, which was our only called fault on that run:

Tika's Sunday Gamble was lovely, except that she was fast enough that I ran out of obstacles to do and, not thinking well on my feet, ran right past a perfectly available teeter, which would have given Tika 1st place instead of 3rd (among 21 dogs). But her gamble was lovely (it's jump/jump/weaves/jump after the buzzer).

When Boost ran, now I knew that I could fit in two teeters, and did so. Still can see some lack of communication on where I want her to go, including blowing the gamble entry, but the opening was pretty good, with high points equivalent to the 1st-place dog:

Labels: , , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, January 18, 2008

Weaving Maniacs

SUMMARY: Boost and Tika show off.

I had such fun making that tricks video the other day, here's another one for you: Boost and Tika demonstrate sending out past 12 poles and wrapping into the far entrance. (Only a minute and a half.)

Labels: , , ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Remington's Tricks Repertoire

SUMMARY: A ten-minute video of Remington's tricks.

Remington was my tricks dog. Before I'd ever heard of agility, before I started practicing for competition obedience (in which we never actually competed), it was tricks for us. He was so eager to learn--and so eager to get treats--and I could barely keep up with him. When I learned how to do clicker training, it sped up his learning process even more.

This is not a complete set of behaviors that he'd do on command, but it covers most of them. In my experience, simply executing the tricks is only half of the entertainment value; the rest is how to use the tricks unexpectedly with entertaining verbal patter.

This video was my attempt to quickly capture a dying dog's legacy. At the time, I regretted not having filmed them while he was healthy (but how was I to know? He was only nine), because the whole time I noticed how slow and low-key his responses were, where he usually danced, pranced, and bounced through his routines. A couple of weeks later, he was gone, so I'm glad to have anything at all.

This is the first time I've dared to view the videos. His death has always felt too recent and too raw; I've feared that I'd plunge into a bawling jag and ruin my whole day. It has just recently occurred to me that it has been five years. Five. Years.

So I pulled out the tapes last night and watched the whole hour. I didn't cry once, although a pocket of tears kept tapping me in the gut (what an image, huh?). I did kick myself for not moving those agility jumps out of the way of the cameraman. Where was my sense of artistry? (Probably completely exhausted, as was the rest of me, waiting for Remington's cancer to become irretrievably bad.) Mostly, while watching, I smiled and laughed. So then I sat down with iMovie and put together these highlights. This isn't a Performance as such; it's just an Inventory. But for what it's worth, here it is. (And here's a text list of Rem's tricks.)

(Thanks to my housemate-at-the-time, who offered encouragement in the background, and her teenage son, who did a lovely job of videotaping.)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Nationals Videos

SUMMARY: A couple of our runs.

I can't believe that I forgot my camera for every run all weekend except Jumpers and Steeplechase Classic! How dumb is that, to go all that way and not get videos of your runs.


Here's a 3.5 MB video of Tika and her two teammates doing the Team Jumpers, with Rachel Sanders and Fable thrown in for comparison. This is where Tika took off while I was still leading out, then slowed way down as she caught up with me. I count that that little trick cost us 2-3 seconds on course time (I was wondering how we could've been 8 (!) seconds slower than the fastest dog; just didn't seem right).

I sound critical ("That sucks") of my teammate's offcourse because of the broad jump that so many people missed, but it was supposed to be an empathetic comment (that's how I'd feel if my dog missed something). Sorry, Carlene, really it doesn't bother me! But you can see you easily a dog can cut across the side of that dang broad jump for incorrect execution.

Here's a 1 MB video of Tika's Steeplechase Classic. Harder to see in this compressed version, but she definitely picks up speed and drive after the first Aframe, which is undoubtedly what caused her to leap over the 2nd Aframe contact. Then, before the last bar, I say "good girl," which you can barely tell on the video over the background noises, which is what causes her to drop that last bar. Finally, you can see where I'm trying to keep her from grabbing my feet at the end and get her off course.

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Friday, September 28, 2007

FCI World Cup Videos

SUMMARY: Pay-for-view FCI videos.

Our local agility videographer, Eric, is at the FCI World agility championships and is posting vidoes directly from there:

However, he experienced a very heavy site load (gee, ya think there's a market for people watching FCI videos as the event happens? ;-) ) and has changed it today to be a pay-to-register site. Some videos you can watch for free, but to see everything through the event, you have to pay a $19 one-time registration fee. If you're hungry for that sort of video, and if you want to support his effort in providing the free stuff, too, you can register. (Disclaimer: I barely know Eric and have no financial interest in this. I did register.)

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tika Videos

SUMMARY: Not our best runs

Huh, just discovered that Agility Video Service taped two of Tika's runs this weekend--and, of the 10 runs we did, he managed to get the only one where we Eed (Masters Jumpers) and the worst of the rest (Grand Prix round 2 with a refusal and her falling off the dogwalk).

But, for what it's worth, you can view them here. I kept thinking most of the weekend that she seemed slow, and she sure looks it in parts of these videos.

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, June 04, 2007

Team Jumpers Videos

SUMMARY: Bette, Boost, and Tika videos

Here's videos of Boost's sister dog (Bette), then me running Boost, then Tika, in Team Jumpers (about 2.6 MB).

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Boost's Mom MACH

SUMMARY: Tala earns her MACH--I think.

Tala on teeterTala on teeter
Boost on teeter

I just heard that Boost's mother, Tala (Blackwatch Hi C-Era Tala), earned her MACH this last weekend. Surprises me that she wouldn't already have it. Maybe it was a multiple MACH. (Although she has taken time out 3x in the last 5 years for puppies, and they have concentrated mostly on USDAA.)

I found online videos of Tala from 2003 (when she was only 3, with a substitute handler) here and here. You can see why I love it when people say that The Booster reminds them so much of Tala when she runs.

Congrats, mom. And owner/handler Greg Leal. (Or I might be completely out of date on this news--as usual.)

Labels: , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, May 07, 2007

Videos from the Weekend

SUMMARY: Qualifying runs from both Boost and Tika. They're not necessarily our best runs, but they're all that I remembered to have someone tape, out of 18 runs.

Tika's Sunday Jumpers

On this one, I had to run as fast as I could because of the straight tunnels and the distance covered. Watching myself, I look flat-footed the whole way. I need remedial lessons in how to run fast, obviously. In the far corner, you'll see me signaling Tika to turn away from me by raising my off arm. I don't do this. I have never been trained to do this. This is not in my repertoire. I'm not exactly sure where that comes from. The "right!" should do it. Then, as we come in for the closing, where I start yelling "left" and "go go go!" is because I was trying to get myself past the next-to-last jump to serpentine it before she arrived, and I didn't make it--that's because I waited (as usual) way too long on the preceding serp "to be sure she made it" instead of trusting her training and hauling butt a second or two earlier. That missed serp is where she turns in to me a bit and hesitates.

Boost's Sunday Standard

Demonstrating a lovely start-line stay. Video's zoomed out too much most of the time for this small screen, so you really can't see her start to rise while in a down on the table, or run past the weaves (except that she has to come back to me to make a second approach, which she makes nicely). After she leaves the teeter before I give the "break" command, I make her lie down, and then I do the next two down contacts deliberately slowly and controlled.

On this video, you'll hear a lot of voice that sounds like it could be me, but it's not. The only things you'll actually hear from me are "break" from the start line, "Boost boost" and "Come!" on a couple of hard pulls, and then a "woohoo" when she completes the weaves. All the other stuff is going on in the ring behind the videographer.

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, April 30, 2007

Video of Tika's Sunday Standard

SUMMARY: OK, I'm experimenting again.

This is a Quicktime movie again (download latest QT). I'm trying to KISS--figured out how to embed it (I think), so I hope it works for people:

Anyway, this was our winning run. You can see that there's lots of room for improvement in some turns and also exits from the Aframe and Teeter (that's because I'm fighting the No You Don't Have Running Contacts battle while she's the presenting Yes I Do, See? argument). The places I'm most pleased with are:

(1) you can hardly see it--from the tunnel after the Aframe, the dog is aimed straight at a jump to the Dogwalk. You have to pull the dog to the center of 3 jumps and then get onto the teeter instead of the dogwalk 10 feet right or the weaves 10 feet left. She pulled beeyootifully, as my grandfather would have said. Many people went off course there.

(2) after the dogwalk, out of the tunnel through the tire to the weaves, she found and made the entry with me about 15 feet away and at full speed, too. Quite a few dogs bobbled that weave entry.

Labels: ,

Complete list of labels

Monday, February 05, 2007

Snooker Videos

SUMMARY: Tika's ADCH run--and Fable's by comparison

Labels: , , , ,

Complete list of labels