Thursday, 4 June 2015

Starting KC Competitions with Finn

This is Finn & my first year competing in Kennel Club competitions.

We've a lot to work on still, but Finn and I have attempted two KC rounds so far:

Castle Ward 9th May Agility Grade 1-3

I was really pleased with this round despite the elimination at the weaves, because for the first time he didn't dash onwards and take obstacles without being sent to them.

He did a couple of spins back to me when uncertain where to go next - so I need to work on getting my directions to him more quickly and clearly.

Ballyrawer 30th May Agility Grade 1-3

Still not getting the weaves right, but his contacts were great, and apart from one small spin before the last jump he seemed totally clear about where to go... :)

I was also delighted with how he took the long jump - I think this is the first one he has ever encountered!

Flash Back...  June 2014 Finn's first attempt at a Jumping round at a Cooperhill Fun Day

This video shows just how far he has come in a year....  Obviously an elimination, because he doesn't follow directional cues much at all here, but I think this shows a certain raw enthusiasm.  He was very pleased with himself!

As far as Training goes:

We continue to attend club training, and I have been given fantastic support and encouragement from Castlereagh & District Dog Training Club.  Of course the fact that they have now moved their training grounds to our paddock makes it much easier for me to get out for training sessions.  No need to load the scooter into the van and travel now!

I have also joined Susan Garrett's online H360 course, and we are working our way through various exercises so that I can call clear instructions to Finn... Thing's like "Na na na" meaning to take the back of a jump and so on.  We haven't put many of these into practice in competition yet, but his skills are expanding and soon I hope to do most of his handling at a distance and using a combination of Susan's verbals, and our own quirky communication signals!

At the moment my health limits me to attempting only one competitive round a weekend, which is frustrating, but just part of having an illness like ME.  Actually, I am very grateful that my health is sufficient to allow me to do this, as many ME folk suffer to a much greater extent.
This helps explain my dilemma with doing agility: Well enough to drink coffee?

Oh and here's to my happy, willing dog who does his very best to work out what I am trying to tell him. I had no idea when I gave him his Kennel Club name, just how true it would turn out to be! xx

Some Finn Extra Special