Dec 1st – Edmonton Trial

My surprise for this weekend: Streak is officially healthy enough to compete in disc again. We are taking it slow and only did enough this weekend to get his throw’n’go updif Q. Legit did not think this would happen this year after he dislocated his hock in May but he is a trooper.

A huge shout out to the Veterinary Mobility Center for getting him back a couple months earlier than expected and giving us this opportunity. 💙

I’ve been teaching Streak to loop around an object in order to get more distance for my far out rollers. We started working on that first with hotdogs, then with a disc reward. 

The disc reward made me realize that I could also use it to help with his tracking issues in toss & catch by pushing him out to set up an intercept versus a pursuit path. We played around a bit and our sweet spot for nice collected catches seems to be: 
 – looping around a cone about 3 yards out and a few feet in front of me (helpfully where the line marker would be for toss’n’fetch league) 
  – Streak checking in at 1 to 3 yards until throw
  – Sal throwing straight ahead vs angled towards where Streak will be

I also played around with using a supersonic taffy versus the opto bite but can’t actually tell if it made a difference since i was tweaking the other factors. 

Current plan: 
 – solidify the loop distance/throwing area
 – compare supersonic vs opto bite (1 round of each) 
 – collection work
 – fix hot mess that is our disc hand-off

Weird reasons to be annoyed at your dog: his catch rate was really high. 

I dedicated this practice to try and get some good high-speed video of Prowl bopping the disc with his teeth, and, well he did it a couple times at least. I’ll probably keep setting up video until I get a large enough collection to make a plan. 

Current plan:

 – Get video of wonkiness
 – Collection work

We had a trial this weekend and you could tell the boys were fresh off a dog-sport break.

The scores themselves weren’t as bad as I thought they’d be (except for Streak’s level2 4WayPlay runs) and beat our average. However it definitely felt like we were a gong show and could have done much better. Apparently I’m starting to have higher standards for what is a good run.

The good news is Streak did much better with disc management so plus there. And Prowl and I got our poop grouped for the last run of the day and got a new personal best for level 2 4way (though it still felt like we could do much better).

Bernoulli did really well. She completed her first round of timewarp (and just missed the second round because I suddenly couldn’t throw) and she got two quads both times we played 4way play. She also stayed focused for all her runs, though she got a bit spooky for her fourth run. I’ll stick with 3 rounds only from here out until she starts throwing temper tantrums late-afternoon because she wants to play more.

We also played human timewarp during lunch which is always fun (any of the human updog games are really). My team (where I was the dog) came in second, and my team where I very crapily threw floppy discs came in fourth(I think?). It will def become a fixture of our trials I think since everyone really enjoyed it – I’m thinking human Spaced Out for the june trial I’m hosting.

Next trial is in two weeks up in Edmonton Saturday (then a flyball tournament Sunday in Saskatoon because why not?). The Panic brothers have 6 runs each, Bern has a throw’n’go and a 4way play run, and Ratchet has a throw’n’go run. I’ve got some arena time this week to try and iron out some of our issues from this past weekend and I’m hoping that our regular practice field is nice enough for the weekend after that we can get some time in there. 

After the trial, I tried light discs with Streak just to see how it would go. He def caught the floaty discs a bit better, but it looks like I’d have to be replacing discs every couple runs so we’ll be sticking with a heavy one – though I may try the eurablend fastback this week. 

Stuff to work on

Bern: getting more comfortable with the z-pattern for 4way play
Prowl: neck massage and games refresher
Streak: continue disc management and team communication

Prowl got third overall in Women’s Far Out!!!

I’m so proud of him. He also tied for 11th in 4way play with 37points (3quads + 3 zones). The other games were okay but not spectacular. I made a bad decision and went with rollers for TimeWarp because he was so worked up watching Streak play with my friend right before which did not help with our score. Our freestyle runs were not horrible all things considered (ie:// Sal completely forgot the performance round routine right before). I need to get a better dress for the performance round as well because the one I have was too slippery so Prowl deeked on his vaults and rebounds. We did get a lot of good feedback on our use of field for our freestyle. Apparently my panic-induced “must move” looks good and takes a lot of training for people to learn.

Streak did good – disc management issues definitely popped up so that is going to be our spring-fix goal. I’m still disappointed that he didn’t measure into mega – I’m going to double check his height at flyball and if he measures above 23" there I’ll get him measured with AAC. His was really solid for his LCQ freestyle routine considering we only had 4 days of practice and he had two days of cooped up travel. I’m still sad that I totally botched his far out sweet shot throw. I definitely need more work to fix my head. It’s gotten so much better, but it is still giving me problems.

My nerves also got the best of me for Ratchet’s run – which actually led to multiple people to track me down afterwards to help calm me. I had at least three people yelling at me to breathe and relax after that. Bernoulli did okay and didn’t check out on me, but she was not a happy puppy with everyone watching her. I’m officially retiring her from high-level competitions instead of putting her through that stress again.

The new car setup is amazing. The bed is so comfy I ended up sleeping in the car after Streak decided to keep everyone up one night by growling at the space heater the first night in the tent. The inflatable pad is a bit of a pain to inflate when travelling, so I’m thinking I’ll invest in a junior camping pad that can just stay out full time. I also need to get a new water jug since the current one has a cracked valve. I still want a kennel that is easier to see through for Bern, but the stacked medium RTKs aren’t too bad (and I can peer through the holes to see a little when Bern isn’t using them). I might also want a new in-car MP3 player since my current one looses it’s place in the middle of a track when I turn the car off.

Also super bonus – I ended up dipping a bit into my banked luck. I won a couple game raffles and I won the biothane basket from sprydog on Sunday which I am super-stoked about. I really wanted the long line (after Streak almost pulled me into the creek Saturday), but I also really love the leash. I might poke them later to see if I can get smaller car leashes.