Yearly Archives: 2011
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.
The little guy, AKA LG, has caught his first disc at 4.5 months old. Very proud of him. I have not given him very many discs in the air – almost all rollers. As a matter of fact, I think I only gave him discs in flight 1 other session. I was able to tell at that time he was still too young. I told Jenn this past week that he is going to catch discs soon. In our previous session, I didn’t even think of throwing one for him. Just slipped my mind. Today I went out and towards the end of the session decided to throw one. He missed the 1st one but jumped for it. I threw another – jumped for it and missed. I got him all wound up and made a perfect throw and he caught it! It was very cute. He was tired and as soon as he caught it, he ran to the shade and sat there with his trophy.
Very good! He won’t be seeing a lot of discs in the air right now, but it’s good to see he caught one so early. I will probably give him 2-3 throws at the end or middle of a session just to keep him familiar with the flying disc, but for the most part, everything will be on the ground as I want to focus on fundamentals and basic skills.
He is already an expert at ‘around’ and ‘circle’ (the opposite of ‘around’). He learned how to go around after just 1 session. He’s a scary-smart dog. If he channels that intelligence and is able to focus it… LOOK OUT!
Slayte is growing fast. He’s going to be bigger than Enzo. Probably 8-10lb.
He is a little monster and in some ways worse than ever. He bites everything constantly. He is in constant motion and rarely sleeps it seems. He has more energy than Enzo and Tooney put together at that age. He has more energy than Jenn and I along with the other dogs all put together. It’s kind of scary. Tooney was super hyper at that age, but would run for 15 minutes then sleep 2 hours. This little guy runs for hours and hours and hours on end. Will not stop.
He’s starting to retrieve discs and loves to chase rollers. We spend most of our training doing restrained recalls and doing some lefts, rights, sits, etc.
He is absolutely wearing me out. My shoulder hurts from tugging and restraining him on recalls. I hope he gets the focus he needs to harness that energy.
Sometimes Slayte does some things that are kind of scary smart for a little pup that is not quite 4 months old. Yesterday we took him by himself to the school that is in our neighborhood to play. He pulled the whole way there like he knew where he was going but that is pretty straightforward. On the way home, he was pulling again and passed up the first street and then turned right up our street. Once he got on our street he started scanning, looking to the side and sniffing the ground on occasion but still pulling forward. Once he got to our house he pulled hard and right up the driveway with no hestation at all. He’s only been over to the school maybe 4 or 5 times total and always with another dog before!
He weighed around 22 lbs yesterday and roughly 15.5″; tall at 16.5 weeks. Enzo was 16 lbs at 17 weeks according to the vet reciept that I found yesterday so Slayte is definitely bigger.
Oh and here’s a video from last weekend. Enzo really rocked the dogwalk contact. He’s been leaping a lot when I practice in the backyard but does good in competition and mostly good in class. Right now he seeems to do better if I hang back a bit. Before he did better if I ran hard and ahead. Go figure.
This weekend was one of our biggest competitions of the year. Saturday was the qualifier and Sunday was a disc dogathon equivalent competition with 4 different events (without freestyle).
The best news is that Tooney had 2 rounds of toss/fetch, 1 round each of freestyle, time trial, spot landing and bullseye and did great and seems to be showing no problems from all of the work and was running strong to the very end. Her injury seems to be cured and her stamina is almost 100%.
Saturday started with Tooney freestyle. She did good and I felt fine (at the time). Enzo did really good all weekend for both Jenn and I. Saturday he did very good in his freestyle round and only had 1 drop… HOWEVER I dropped 2 discs during my 2 most difficult throws. I didn’t think much of it but I came off the field thinking it must have been because my hand was cold (it was windy and cold all weekend). I normally never fumble those moves. I had my toss/fetch round with Tooney next and I threw discs all over the place with most being out of bounds. It was strange. Things were getting worse with my coordination. I haven’t thrown a disc out of bounds in several years. Then I went out with Enzo’s toss and fetch and I shanked a disc waaaaay out of bounds. I never do that!!! I came off the field and at that time I knew there was something wrong with me but I wasn’t sure what it was. Adrenaline may have been masking the real problem… Enzo had made the cut in freestyle, but I was starting to feel progressively worse. Very tired, almost sleepy, with no energy and super weak. My stomach wasn’t feeling very good. I wasn’t really hungry all day and just had some snacks. The night before, I wasn’t very hungry and had only a yogurt and banana for dinner. I did not feel like going out for my 2nd round of freestyle, but I fought through it, then I was just completely toast. We went home and I forced down some dinner despite not being hungry at all. Me not being hungry at any time for any reason is usually a bad sign. Now it’s been 2 days of no appetite. Honestly, I have no idea what the problem was, but I felt really horrible. I didn’t sleep very good that night, either, but Sunday morning I woke up and felt GREAT. The mysterious illness was gone. (FYI, Sunday night I ate like a pig)
On Sunday, the wind was WAAAAAY worse and probably 70+ competitors. However, I felt normal and was able to throw like I should. For Enzo’s toss/fetch round he had cross-wind that was absolutely ferocious (30mph?). I knew there was a chance for 0 points. Wind never intimidates me – I throw for 40 yards and don’t care about throwing everything out of bounds. Never will anybody see me throw 20’s or 30’s just to get some points and be conservative. Fuck that, I’m not a ho. The dogs and I have fun with the long throws, so that’s what I do. I was in some kind of “zone” because I threw all 4 discs right in the 5 point zone (40+ yards) and Enzo blew away the competition with 21.5 points. It was some of the loudest cheering I’ve ever heard, I couldn’t believe it. That was his best Skyhoundz toss/fetch score ever. He did good in the time trial event also, but as usual struggled in the spot-landing as I simply have not figured out a strategy with him yet despite doing it quite a few times over the years. This year they changed the rules slightly so it made things nearly impossible for Enzo’s jumping style to get points.
With what is becoming a habit, Enzo’s toss/fetch was truly amazing to watch. So exciting! Work on your weaknesses. With time and dedication, they can become a strength. I never imagined Enzo would be one of the top toss/fetch dogs around, but I am loving it now!
Slayte is growing some legs!   He’s a little high in the rear right now.  Still crazy and quite a handful.  He’s definitely not as biddable as Tooney and Enzo as puppies but has way more drive than they did at this age.  Some things he picks up amazingly fast and other things he’s just not that interested in doing.  He’s doing well in puppy agility with the foundation stuff.  Still not super food motivated so I have to try lots of different kinds of treats.  He tugs really well though so that’s good.   He’s also finally starting to retrieve a little.  Funny that when we tested the puppies he was the only one to retrieve to hand but then when we got him home he just wanted to run off with the toys.   He loves doing restrained recall to a toy.  Well the recall part anyways.  He’s not so big on the restraint part.  barks and bites at us.  lemme go lemme go.  lol.  He likes chasing rollers now but we really need to work the retrieve more.   So far he’s really friendly with people and seems to like most dogs.
Here’s the videos from the AWI qualifier that Enzo won! Finally! Tooney did pretty good too. oh and Jeff too!
Enzo’s Round 1 Freestyle
Enzo’s Round 2 Freestyle
Tooney’s Toss and Fetch