So Raven is doing well. She is starting to get some muscle mass and is getting fitter every day. We have to watch that she doesn’t do too much as she can easily over do it. It’s the struggle of having a 9 month old that has the fitness of a 3 month old but we are getting there. She is showing some reluctance to interact with training but I think that is because she is so easily distracted. The outside world is still so interesting that thinking outside our house or garden is just too much at the moment. Her hunting brain is switching on too so lots to contend with! Not going to lie it is really frustrating as there is so much I want to be able to do with her but we can’t because she isn’t ready. It is an issue with my lack of patience, I would say with everything it is pretty much where we would expect her to be so I just have to give myself a kick up the backside and keep working with her. After all if there wasn’t a challenge somewhere then where would the fun be? We have plenty of time to work on her gundog training and everything else.
She has three shows coming up soon, two champs and an open; am not expecting her to do well at any of them to be honest. She looks like a beanpole! I am being serious too, she is so narrow and leggy at the moment, even I think she doesn’t look good. Saying that she does still have bags of potential and she will grow nice but it will take her a long time to mature into the dog we know she will be. She really is testing me, I am not a patient person! Am sure she will do me good.
So next we have Dill….
Due to various reasons Dill hasn’t had as many agility lessons as Paul would have liked but we have still been taking him to shows. At the very least what he needs is time on the equipment and time to work through things. Dill has always been very quick to get over aroused and then he can’t think, he has been like it since he was a pup and so everything we have ever done with him has been calm and clear. It has worked, he knows so many things, he works well and actually out of all the dogs is probably the keenest to work with us now. Agility however is not calm and half the time we aren’t clear either! Paul is still learning and in the video above he made a silly mistake which is when Dill suddenly went “what?!?!” and then they had some issues. To be fair, Dill made it through the weaves, not properly but he did them in some form which is a massive improvement. Weaves are tricky, they involve slowing down and thinking so you can get your body through them, all of these things are not natural for Dill. He is much more a run as fast as you can and don’t think about what you are doing at all! So agility is a challenge for him. He is also five now so we started him quite late but he needed that time to grow up. We wouldn’t have got anything out of him a couple of years ago.
Paul is really enjoying agility with Dill, they have found something else they can do together and really enjoy. They read each other so well and are quite the partnership. Once they get all the bits together they will be flying!
Due to being injured (I have done my back in!) Paul ran Lily at the weekend and she had lots of clear rounds with her and with Mike (a good friend of ours). Paul had to eliminate her from most her runs due to being Grade 1 with Dill – they didn’t want to risk causing him to go to Grade 2 without him being ready. However the course changes Paul made so she got eliminated she did perfectly so she went clear! All contacts, all weaves, she was awesome. They also managed to get an 8th in the ABC Olympia qualifier and if Paul hadn’t got confused (he is still learning!) they could have placed even higher!
Due to my back being quite weak and I am having to slowly build it back up, Paul has a few more shows entered that he will be taking both Lily and Dill to. They can run the ABC classes as if they want to win because Lily can’t win out on them. It gives Paul some really good experience running a different dog and it is a crash course in remembering lots of agility courses at once! Think he is enjoying it though!
Then we have Mozi. Our lovely cuddly boy. I can’t explain how much I love this dog, he is so affectionate, mostly because he is using us for our body heat or our ability to feed him. Either way though he is such a pleasure to have around. He has been so easy to live with, not so easy to get running. He has always loved running but he never really saw the point in pulling in harness. What was the point when you could run off lead?
So we have spent the whole of his first season doing everything we can to motivate him to run in harness. It hasn’t been easy, we have had to build him up slowly and it was really frustrating. A dog you see fly around the woods at ridiculous speeds that wouldn’t then do it in harness – so frustraing! But we kept at it and though most of his races during the season were okay or a bit meh he showed us his potential at Easter. He had his confidence, he was flying, so much so that he took too much speed into a corner and had Paul off. He loved it and ever since has been getting so excited if he see’s his harness or thinks he is going running. It’s like something has finally clicked. So it was lovely to then get his lovely award for coming second in the male bikejor class over the last season. Maybe next year he can push for first! Paul is training hard, we are working hard to keep Mozi fit and in shape, thankfully the weather hasn’t been as hot as last year so we have had more opportunities to get him in harness. We are really looking forward to racing next season, should be good fun.
So I think that is all the updates for now!