Yearly Archives: 2012

Disc Dog Goals for 2012 – revisited

In January 2012, I wrote a blog post with my goals for the upcoming season.  Here are the goals I set and the results:

Me:

– Avoid injury by not over practicing, despite sometimes wanting to practice for long periods of time. Keep it to 1-3 times per month at the park for 30ish minutes.
Accomplished! I followed my own advice exactly and managed to not only avoid injury but got better at throwing and my elbow seems to have further healed.

– Don’t throw anything short of the maximum point line in toss/fetch. Past 40 yards is normally my target.
Failed. Technically I said “don’t throw anything…” and I managed to throw a few short of the maximum point line. The instances were very few, so I’m still happy.

– Work on getting a better air bounce and skip that can be used in routines confidently. I can execute the throws, but not in any conditions and with confidence.
Accomplished! My air bounce is good now and I managed to throw in some nice skips early in the season. As the season progressed, the thicker grass didn’t allow for skips, but the air bounces continued to improve.

– Be confident for the dogs and give them the best chance to excel and have fun. For them, having fun is running, jumping and catching discs. Put the disc where they have a chance to catch it every time.
Failed. I did this very well for Enzo and Tooney but I failed Slayte this year for multiple reasons.

Tooney:

– No injuries. She couldn’t compete most of 2010 due to injury and came back big in 2011 with some great performances and wins. It took half the season for her to get her stamina back, but she’s as good as ever right now.
Failed. She aggravated the same injury but only missed a couple of competitions, so it was a minor set back. We aren’t sure how it was reinjured but we suspect possibly from rough playing with Slayte.

– Continue doing her exercise ball at least every other day, preferrably 4-5 times a week to keep her strong.
Accomplished! Even when she got reinjured, I kept doing the exercises with her and she remained strong.

– Keep it fun for her. If she is still running and happy at the end of every round, then I’m doing the right thing.
Accomplished! Tooney had a lot of fun this year.

– Get Jenn some chances to compete with her. As Tooney is getting older, Jenn’s opportunities to really play with her are less and less. Tooney is the dog that really gave Jenn the chance to do well in agility, so she deserves more time with Toons. Jenn will never ask to have a round with her when I could be playing with her, but I have to do my best to get Jenn some opportunities. She is at the age where competing with two people is not possible, so we need to manage her play time wisely.
Accomplished! Jenn got to play with her a few times during the year at competitions.

– Here’s a lofty goal – set a masters division record at our Skyhoundz Regional for either freestyle or toss/fetch points.
Failed. Tooney tweaked her injured shoulder, so was unable to compete.

Enzo:

– Whatever Enzo does pretty much is golden to me. In my mind, he can do no wrong. (yes, this is a goal… the goal is to continue to think this way)
Accomplished! And I still believe this!

– Continue to put the discs in a place for him in toss/fetch that show him off and rack up big points. I feel so fortunate to have finally developed the rhythm, teamwork and skills to do this with him. Don’t lose it!!! He was good in 2010 and awesome in 2011.
Accomplished! Enzo was awesome once again in toss/fetch and had some huge scores. He Even won the UFO Major toss and fetch!

– Come up with more unique throws/tricks for freestyle. I don’t want to make a higher % of tricks in my routine – just replace some I already have by big improvements to the trick itself or to the flow of the trick into the next sequence or from the previous sequence. Also consider replacing entire trick sequences if I am able to come up with something completely novel.
Failed. I did only a few minor tweaks to tricks in the routine.

– Do more traditional types of things that people do to make their dogs look good. One thing I never did with Enzo was a distance multiple. (short, medium, long rapidly). I am doing this now. This is a skill neither he nor I had in the past. We do now. He looks great doing this. It’s traditional and so many people do it, but there’s a reason. Dogs look great catching lots of discs quickly and running/jumping. He does all of those in 1 sequence that lasts 5 seconds at most, but is a huge impression to everybody watching. Maybe do more things like this in the routine, but without losing my ingenuity.
Accomplished! Enzo has a routine that is a bit more traditional but we are still known as being one of the more innovative teams out there.

Slayte:

– Stay on the field for the entire round. Keep his interest up, especially when it’s hot out or he’s showing that he may be distracted. Focus, fun and energy are the ingredients required.
Accomplished! He never left the field the entire year. His new goal is to maintain high energy the entire round.

– Improve catching ability. Hopefully he learns on his own, otherwise maybe try some softer discs that won’t bounce of the teeth as easily if his timing is a bit off. He tends to either not bite the disc deep in his mouth or he closes his mouth before he gets to the disc. The result is the disc bounces off his teeth.
Accomplished! I did not change discs, but Slayte was noticed by everybody as a dog that can catch everything. An interesting side note – I have decided to use Super Flex discs for 2013 because I think he likes softer discs more.

– Try to put up a few big scores in toss/fetch because I know he can do it.
Accomplished! The biggest score was a 23.5 round. This is the highest score ever posted for Team Furrari!

Well, there it is. We accomplished 11 out of 16 (69%) of my goals. This would be a D if I was in school, but one thing you usually have a chance for is extra credit. I submit the following unexpected season surprises for extra credit:

– Slayte qualified for AWI World Championships, USDDN World Finals and UFO World Cup finals all under 18 months of age!
– Enzo finishing insanely high with #6 at the AWI World Championships!
– Enzo records a perfect round in freestyle on the same day Tooney has a 1-drop routine!
– Enzo places 2nd overall at the Colorado Canine Challenge!
– Enzo invited to the Incredible Dog Challenge!
– Slayte wins a competition with about 50 competitors entered!
– Tooney wins our regional USDDN Toss and Fetch competition at 9 years old!
– Tooney scores one of the highest rounds of FREESTYLE at the California State Championships at 10 years old!

Considering all of those, I think we deserve a much better grade. In the end, I grade the dogs an A for their performance this year and I think they would grade me a C averaged (with Slayte giving me a D-, Tooney giving me a B and Enzo giving me an A+++).

Goals for 2013 will be coming soon!

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So sad

Enzo ended up 1 double Q short of qualifying for AKC Nationals next year. This is the first time that I haven’t had a dog qualified since maybe 2005? Kind of ironic that last year’s finalist couldn’t even qualify. Our consistency is just completly down the toilet ever since he has been doing running contacts. He is just so blazing fast now. Bars are an issue now and so is handling the dogwalk.

So now I’m trying to decide if I want to try for USDAA nationals this year or is splitting my time going to cause me problems qualifying for AKC again? I split my time over ASCA, USDAA and AKC in the first half of this year. Maybe just USDAA and AKC will be ok.

I need to get Slayte worked up to the higher Aframe. I’ve gone up a couple links and so far his running aframe is holding up.

Oh and Slayte did finish his ExA standard title recently so he can start earning double Q’s now! At least I have double the chance to get a dog qualified.

New web site furrariaussies.com and trying to catch up

First, Jenn and I have a new web site.  It’s about 50% complete but we add to it almost every day.  It will include information on our dogs, breeding plans, training information from us and a lot more.  We may try to incorporate this blog into the site some kind of way.  Check it out: http://www.furrariaussies.com.

We had the Crusty Classic (California State disc dog championships) around Halloween.  It’s a 2-day event and the dogs did awesome.  Little muse got to introduce herself to everybody and was a star in her own right!  The dogs got some great placements and recorded some of the highest scores during the weekend.  Here’s Enzo’s round with the bones costume!

Muse also caught her first disc at just 13 weeks old.  We are working mostly on very basic foundation skills including a lot of tug work.  She’s doing really well and most importantly, she’s having fun and Slayte and her are the absolute best of friends!

Introducing Muse aka Mumu (pronounced Moo-Moo)

We got Muse at 11 weeks old from Apropos Aussies and she is a sweetie pie. Although it’s very early on, it appears she has a unique combination of strong food drive, strong toy drive and an off switch. When you pull out a toy, she wants to play, play play. When you put the toy away, she is content to lay in her crate or play with a toy on her own. She is friendly with every person and every dog she comes across. She is having an issue with submissive peeing right now, but we believe that will improve with time. She is the newest member of Team Furrari! Thanks to Marci for the pix!

2012 Ashley Whippet Invitational World Championship

Enzo and Slayte both qualified for the AWI finals this year. Jenn had plans of going to the USDAA Nationals the same weekend in Denver, but told me we should do AWI. The way she said it, she was hinting that it was because she thought we were going to have a good shot at placing high.

We left Wednesday night and I started feeling a cold come on and on Saturday it was at its worst. I was friggin’ sick. Saturday was the AWI Championship. You have a round of freestyle and a round of toss/fetch. The top 15 combined scores make it to the finals for another round of freestyle. There were 45 teams and they were all awesome. You need a great round of freestyle and a great round of toss/fetch to have any hope at all of making it.

Enzo was virtually flawless. Our first round of freestyle was great and we had a very solid score. I knew it all came down to the toss/fetch round and if he caught all my throws, we’d make it to the finals. For toss/fetch we had another perfect round! He nearly got 5 throws off, which has never happened before. Our score was high. High enough for 7th place going to the finals!

In the final round, Enzo was EVEN BETTER with one of the best rounds we’ve ever had. The final scores came out and as they counted off the top 10, we were in 6th place! I can’t be more happy with the result and love my Enzo beyond belief.

Here are his two freestyle rounds:

Little Slayte was very concerned during his freestyle round. He had a really hard time focusing or putting much effort into it. He still managed to catch 81%, which is really high, even at the championship level. However, his lack of interest resulted in very low scores. His toss/fetch round was significantly better and ended up putting him at 30th out of about 45 teams. I am still proud of how he did, especially coming back strong in toss/fetch.

Sunday was another competition with several games. Toss/fetch, 4-20 freestyle and timed course. For toss/fetch, they took the top 15 to the finals. Enzo, Slayte and Tooney all made it to the finals and had great rounds in the finals, too! They all finished very high with Tooney the highest, then Slayte, then Enzo. Jenn played toss/fetch in the intermediate division and placed 2nd and 3rd with Slayte and Enzo.

4-20 is a freestyle event with 4 discs and 20 seconds. The only rule is you can’t pick discs up off the ground. The dog can give you a disc, though. It’s very fast-paced and exciting. I wasn’t even sure if I should enter the competition, but figured I’d try it. They took a cut for the top 10. Both Slayte and Enzo made the cut! Enzo had an awesome final round and secured the 2nd place trophy! It is the coolest trophy ever!

Timed course is 4 discs and you need to get a catch at 10 yards, 20 yards and a catch in a zone at 20 yards. Fastest time wins. All the dogs did very well both rounds for me, but not high enough to place. In the novice division, Jenn won it with Slayte and got 2nd with Enzo!

Slayte made a remarkable turnaround from his confused state of mind on Saturday to a rabid disc obsessive maniac on Sunday (ie, his normal self). He had 10 rounds of disc play on Sunday and was AWESOME all 10 rounds. We just need to give him more time and we believe the problem could be related to the first day of competition being uncomfortable by his surroundings.

One final note. I feel blessed to have these awesome dogs and a wife that supports and helps us along the way. It’s awesome!

CCC 2012, Colorado

Work has been crazy for me. It’s starting to ease up. We decided to go to Colorado this year for the Colorado Canine Challenge. We haven’t gone there since 2008 I think. In 2008 it was a bad experience for all kinds of reasons. This year I felt we should give it a go. This is one of the biggest disc dog competitions in the world and is very tough. I think they said something like 15 states were represented at the competition!

This is the first time I did freestyle with Tooney since she reinjured her shoulder. She did great and ended up something like 15th place. She is awesome! She also made the cut for the toss and fetch but was too tired for the final round to be able to have a chance at winning that.

Enzo and Slayte both made the cut in freestyle! I was so excited!!!! Enzo ended up taking 2nd overall. Yeah, 2nd! I am so proud of him. Slayte is already getting high freestyle scores and he has not really performed in competition like he does in practice. I think that’s going to change soon and I can’t wait for it. He’s so good, but he usually doesn’t have the energy and mental fortitude to be able to do it on competition day. I think towards the end of this year things are going to start improving for him and I can’t wayt!!!

LG is in Excellent!

LG is in Excellent A in both JWW and Standard after just 6 weekends of trials. He is so awesome and so easy right now. Only thing that I don’t like is his startline. I seem to be able to get to where I need to by saying Wait! but he is pretty pushy and always gets up. Actually he always lays down and then stands up and takes a couple steps. Now that we are out of open, I am going to take some pressure off of him on his dogwalk and teeter contacts and see what happens. I’ve been telling him to wait to make sure he stops but seems to be causing a little creepiness so I am going to try to not say anything. His running aframe has been right on the line often but I feel like he should get it eventually. He is not one striding so that is good. He already has two ExA JWW q’s!

Here is his Open Standard run which finished his OA title

Here is his first time in Excellent JWW.

There are more videos on youtube but I am not going to post them all here.

It’s been really hot here too. 90s-100s for the past month. I am ready for cooler weather but I am glad to see that Slayte is ok with working in the heat. When it is this hot my brain doesn’t work that well. Enzo hasn’t gotten a double Q in quite some time so we still need 3 more for nationals.