2011 Las Vegas UFO
The disc dog season is continuing with Enzo on a roll! He won the 2011 Las Vegas UFO competition and should also be at the top of the UFO standings for a while now, with a perfect score of 40 so far. We drove there early in the morning, competed, then drove back late after the competition. Long day, but it was worth it. Tooney got to play again and had fun. Jenn got to play with Enzo again and it was pretty funny in their first round. The disc was going all over the place because Jenn didn’t warm up, but Enzo gladly caught them all and paused to peer into the audience to look at all of the people dressed in yellow (that looked like me)! He was completely confused. Yellow is my color of course, but it also the Las Vegas group’s color (Atomic Dogs). See their club photo:
Enzo had a great toss/fetch round and was PERFECT. He is making toss/fetch look EASY. I think he had the highest toss/fetch score of the day around 15.5 probably. He also had the highest freestyle score of the day.
Jenn and I have made a general decision with all of the dogs that it will always be in the best interest of the dog’s development to do things that will give them a chance to learn and be their best, whether it’s disc, agility or anything else they do. For disc, this means to throw in such a way that would give them the best opportunity for the most possible points. I prefer to throw nice floaters at 40 yards that any dog should be able to catch. With some wind conditions, this type of throw is impossible. Based on wind conditions, don’t throw the conservative method where your best chances are 10 points if you are perfect, throw so that your best chances are 20 if you are perfect. It may be a higher risk situation because we are likely throwing in such a way that is more challenging for the dog to catch. Whether or not they are successful in terms of catching, they are successful in terms of experience and the dogs always enjoy a challenge.
With that said, wind during the toss/fetch round was not very good for Enzo, being a left-to-right wind. Strong left-to-right or strong tail winds
are were his nemesis, which happens to be the preferred way to throw for a right-handed thrower such as myself. It pushes the disc down making it fly like a line-drive instead of a nice floating throw. I could have potentially thrown from the opposite side, but then there are a whole host of problems from the thrower’s standpoint – mainly with the disc being pulled way off course to the left if putting too much hyzer on the disc or by doing a nose dive into the ground if putting too much anhyzer on the disc. Basically, I would need to throw much better if I throw from the right-to-left cross wind side. I CAN throw good in those conditions, but if I throw from the left-to-right cross wind side, I WILL throw good and Enzo will have a chance for a big score.
When the disc is at 4-6′ in the air at 40 yards, Enzo has a tendancy to blow past the disc by running right under it without any reaction or he will mis-time his jump. We’ve seen this over and over again. I have had so many 0’s in toss/fetch because of this I can’t even tell you. However, I keep going out and giving him the chance to learn. It has turned out to be a great decision because I rarely ever see him make these mistakes. He is adjusting his stride and has great timing with almost every throw, even in practice.