Monthly Archives: July 2011
Our regional USDDN competition was this past weekend. The weather was almost perfect. around 80 for a high with moderate wind. The divisions are Super Open (freestyle + toss and catch) and Super Pro (toss/fetch). It’s a qualifier for the International finals in Georgia. The top 5 in each division qualifies.
Super Open (freestyle + toss/fetch):
Every year Enzo has competed in the Super Open division, he has qualified and this year was no different. He earned a 4th place finish. The first round for us was pretty rough, having a bad routine per Enzo’s standards. We had the highest toss/fetch score in the division at 19.5. Enzo’s second freestyle round was awesome and we finished 4th overall!
On Enzo’s next to last T/F throw, he caught a disc at 40 yards and was under 10 seconds left. That’s nearly impossible to get the disc back and get another throw off. I was calling him back as best as I could and he sprinted to me. He dropped the disc right in front of me and I picked it up with 1 second left and threw another 40 yard bomb for a beautiful catch. The disc wasn’t in my hand for even a half second. That was exciting! Although certainly not the highest score I’ve had with Enzo , I told Jenn after the round it was the best communication and flow I’ve ever had with him in T/F. It was a thing of beauty.
Tooney didn’t compete in Super Open this year because it was too much for her to do with all the rounds that would have been required. Enzo had 5 rounds. I felt she’d be better suited to just do the Super Pro division, figuring she had a chance to win it.
Super Pro (toss/fetch only):
Enzo had 2 solid rounds, but I wasn’t throwing my best for him.
Tooney, as usual, was great in her 2.5 rounds of t/f. She had a .5 round because there was a timer malfunction so we had to redo our round. It turned out good because I ended up with a better score the 2nd time, although Tooney was more tired and I only got 5 throws for the redo. She caught all of them, though, for 19 points. It put her in 3rd place after the 1st round. The 2nd real round was really good because I got 6 throws off for 20 points. Tooney was running really fast and looked beautiful out there. We have some videos that will be put up some time. Freestyle may be more exciting to watch, but when you see a toss/fetch round with a dog like Tooney it’s really worth watching. Tooney scored 39 points in her 2 rounds and finished 2nd place with another qualifier!
Enzo got his 6th Double Q for AKC Nationals last Friday! I got some videos from the weekend too. The JWW course was kind of tricky and he jumped big on my double front cross but that was not exactly unexpected. I felt like that was the safer handling strategy though. He Q’d so it worked out.
I decided that the best way to ensure that I got the correct end of the tunnel after the dogwalk was to do a front cross. I had to leave the weaves and then run like crazy! I got there but just barely. Poor Enzo did a face plant but he didn’t seem to care. Got first place on this run 🙂
Then Saturday we did frisbee which Jeff already talked about and Sunday Enzo and I went back to agility. Enzo got first place in JWW on another twisty sort of course. He kind of launched over jump 3 but the rest was pretty tight.
Sunday’s standard was a nice flowy course. Enzo had a really good run except for the part where he thought he should do a running table! That’s the second time he’s done that in the past two weeks so we worked it some in class on Monday.
Slayte is doing really well. He’s a really fun pup and follows me around everywhere. He was 26 lbs and around 17.5″ at last measurement. All of his baby teeth are out and he is tugging like a maniac now. Hopefully we can use that to improve his speed on retrieves. Pulls like a sled dog on leash so had to use the Easy Walk Harness on him. He did go through a little fear period but seems to be coming out of it now. He was acting a little shy with people for a week or two but now he seems to be all over people again. He still wants to bark at dogs that he sees at a distance but he is ok when they are close. Definitely much better than Enzo at this age. Not even a comparison really. He’s also incredibly smart and figures out things that we really don’t want him to (like stepping on the garbage can pedal to open it!).
Tooney won another disc dog competition this weekend. The competition had 3 games: hopscotch, pie plate and speed disc. Hopscotch is set up just like the kid’s game, but with squares 10’x10′ starting at 10 yards away. You get 3 attempts per square and need to hit them in order from 1-8 and there is no time limit. After 3 misses at a given square, you are done and the highest # you got is your score. This is the hardest game for sure. Pie plate was a circular shaped set of targets at about 20 yards. A bit confusing to describe, but you basically try to hit the target zones in order, 1-7. In speed disc, you hit a square target at 15 yards and then get 1 throw at 20 yards and 1 throw at 30 yards. Once you finish the 3 targets, that is your time. Maximum of 60 seconds.
The turnout for this competition seemed to be really huge. It felt like 100 teams showed up, but probably more like 50. I will see when the results are posted exactly how many there were. We had 2 fields running at the same time and it took several hours to finish.
Last year, I told somebody it was impossible to hit all 8 targest in hopscotch. He said he could do it. I offered him $100 bet and he turned it down. He was the only person that hit all 8 targets last year (wishes he took the bet). This year, 2 people hit all 8 targets and the tie breaker is the one with the fewest throws. That was Tooney! We did it in 14 throws. The other team did it in 20 throws. Out of 50+ teams, only 2 finished it. It’s not easy! I only got to 3 squares with Enzo and Jenn got 0 with him!
Tooney had solid numbers in pie plate and speed disc and ended up winning the competition!
Enzo had a blast, but this is not his sort of thing. He launches himself over the targets in every direction imaginable. I have given up trying to come up with a strategy with him for these types of events because I just get frustrated and it’s not worth it. Every strategy I try fails for one reason or another. I just throw the discs and let him have fun flinging his body all over the place, making super easy catches look extremely, incredibly difficult. It’s OK. He enjoys it and we enjoy watching him have fun. These same discs Enzo misses by a mile or launches himself 10′ past the target, Tooney catches in the center of the target without any effort it seems.
Slayte earned his first points in a competition with points in every event! He even caught a disc at 29 yards on speed disc. We got a lot of compliments about him. His catching and tracking ability is phenomenal for a 5 1/2 month puppy.
Jenn got to play with Enzo in all the events and played hopscotch with Tooney. She had a really good round in hopscotch with Tooney, finishing half of the course (very few people got that far). She had similar experiences with Enzo as I did. Everything seemed to not work for every reason imaginable. These games are not ideal for dogs that do not understand the idea of slowing down or exercising a bit of restraint.
Slayte has shown a lot of improvement in his disc skills. This post is to talk about his “graduation” and how I see his outlook at 5 months. He has graduated from doing mostly rollers to doing mostly throws now. He’s only 5 months old but is showing great tracking skills and a strong interest to jump. I’m trying to keep the disc in a place where he doesn’t need to jump, but there’s always variations in the throws and sometimes he has to jump. When he does, he looks real good. I think he’s going to be a dog that can catch anything – which is the 1 quality Enzo doesn’t have. I started throwing forehands, overhands, thumbers, etc yesterday for the first time and he caught them just like any other disc. I’m really stoked.
It is pretty clear to me that he is not going to be the pure athlete that Enzo is. If Enzo’s a 10 on the athletic scale, Slayte right now looks like a 7. However, Slayte is a 10 with intelligence and is showing tremendous ability to catch discs that Enzo wouldn’t even be close to at that age. Heck, he’s catching discs I’m not sure Enzo could catch now! I think Slayte is going to be more successful than Enzo as a disc dog. I almost can’t believe I’m saying that because Enzo is my pride and joy and he has that something special that very few disc dogs have that I can’t put into words. The only way I can describe it is by demonstration – with Enzo standing still right in front of me, I toss a disc 2′ in the air right in front of me and Enzo jumps up 5′ in the air, landing 10′ away from me in a fraction of a second. 99% of dogs would turn their head and just catch the disc without hardly moving… not Enzo, he’s going to do everything with the absolute most effort and intensity possible. But in terms of disc talent, Slayte is progressing significantly faster than Enzo did and is showing me things I have never seen in Enzo. I think he will be somewhere between Tooney and Enzo. He will have more jumping ability and speed than Tooney but will have her tracking and catching ability. Maybe it will be the perfect mix, because I think it has significant potential to being the exact mix required to be a great disc dog.
Honorable mention to Tooney for being cute and Enzo for being supa fast.
I ran Enzo in an ASCA agility trial this past weekend while Jeff judged a local UFO and played Toss and Fetch with Tooney and Slayte. I’m sure Enzo would rather do Frisbee but what he doesn’t know won’t hurt him and I would really like to qualify for ASCA Finals in 2012 since they are in Bakersfield. He has a blast running those ASCA courses though. He ended getting 2.5 Q’s in standard and 4 Q’s in jumpers. He broke his speed record and ran one jumpers course in 7.00 YPS! He also had one standard course that was almost 6 YPS. He has a total of 9 points towards finals now. I think the half Q’s don’t count towards that.
Jeff played with Slayte at his first ever competition and he did awesome. Really happy with how his retrieve looked. He’s a lot slower coming back when we play at home. I believe that he’s still struggling with whether he should bring it back or run off with it at home. He also didn’t seem to mind the sun and at home he often wants shade. Anyways here’s the video!
oh and latest measurement was 17″ and weight was 25 lbs.