Monthly Archives: January 2012
The morning started off with an AKC agility trial. Maybe Jenn will get the videos up that I recorded. Enzo looked awesome and won one run and missed an a-frame contact in the other run. Around noon, Jenn finished up with agility and we headed to a disc dog clinic.
I usually help out more with the clinics, particularly with people new to the sport, but we got there a bit late and things were already moving along. We did, however, make it in time for the mock toss/fetch competition. Tooney, Enzo and Slayte had their first taste of competition, even though it was just for fun. If we are on a big field with a bunch of people watching, they know it’s game time.
I think my throwing technique is continuing to improve. I had no warmup, but my throws were still going 47-50 yards. It was crazy. I went 1st with Slayte and I got two long throws out to him and he caught both. I had about 30 seconds left when he returned and Jenn and I decided to call the round at that time. He’s young and we want to keep it intense and fun. It was very warm and sunny out and he tends to run to the shade, but he didn’t do that. It was a good call and his round was a huge success. For Tooney, I had a solid round with her, but she had one miss. At the end I went with Enzo and he did awesome, catching every disc in the air at nearly 50 yards. He got 18 points, enough for 3rd place and won a free toy for Slayte to destroy.
Jenn got to play with all three dogs also. She had good rounds with all the dogs and I think each dog had one miss. She stopped her round with Slayte after three throws for the same reason I stopped my round and again it was a successful round for him.
I have been meaning to put up a list of goals for the 2012 disc dog season. My hope is to look at this at the end of 2012 and see how well I followed through and maybe check it throughout the year to remind myself of what we are trying to do. These are new goals or things that I still need to really work on. I will go in order of seniority.
– 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.
– Don’t throw anything short of the maximum point line in toss/fetch. Past 40 yards is normally my target.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Continue doing her exercise ball at least every other day, preferrably 4-5 times a week to keep her 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.
– 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.
– Here’s a lofty goal – set a masters division record at our Skyhoundz Regional for either freestyle or toss/fetch points.
– 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)
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Try to put up a few big scores in toss/fetch because I know he can do it.
Wow – that is a lot of stuff.
As we have said quite a few times, Slayte is non-stop. I can’t imagine a dog that has more energy than him. We take him herding, practice agility, frisbee and add to that balance ball exercising, tug sessions and all the play time he has with the other dogs, all within a 4-6 hour period. He still barks at us to do something else with him. I hope I survive this dog long enough for him to mature and settle down. He keeps saying “more more more more more more more more more more more more…”
See here for example:
(the following quotes are excerpts from the back of Slayte’s Disc Doggin / Agility sports card)
Windsor’s Slay It! (Slayte/LG)
Born the pup of proud parents and a family with a long lineage of champions. From a young age, this athlete has shown the athletic skills and potential to be a champion in his own right. An athletic mold of perfection from strength, blazing speed and jumping ability, the only lingering question is whether or not he has the determination to be a winner. As a first round draft pick, the expectations are high.
You aren’t born into Team Furrari. You earn it. Coming up on a year old, Slayte needs to start thinking more seriously about his future. He is considering the training, skills, focus and leadership skills required to move up from the practice squad to be a full starting player.
Stats: 4 disc competitions, 14 points total.
Funny trivia: Known as LG (short for Little Guy)
The first part was Jeff and now this is Jenn typing. On a more serious note, Slayte is making a lot of progress in his training. He has tons of drive and speed. He’s awesome at tracking frisbees, retrieves to hand, and loves to play. His retrieves are way faster now as long as he is not too tired. He really seems to like agility a lot too. He’s doing short sequences now, low teeter, and I am working on his running dogwalk on the plank. His main issue now is sustained focus. He is easily distracted by people and dogs and he also tends to quit and run to the shade in frisbee when he gets a little hot. Hopefully these are things that maturity will take care of. He still barks at us when he’s bored but at least it forces us to do stuff with him and not be lazy.
I love my LG, I’ve really bonded with him more than any other dog we’ve had. He’s my constant shadow. It doesn’t matter how much of a pain he is, how many things he destroys, or if never end up accomplishing anything, I just love him! I don’t how a dog can be so sweet and such a butthole at the same time!!
We decided to take pictures of the dogs with the major/finals awards they won. They earned many, many more than these, but we were only keeping major/finals awards, so all the local competitions got thrown out or donated back to the club right away. I didn’t want to try and figure out which dog won which award, so let’s just say they both won a lot of awards and we’re very proud of them both. I decided not to get in on the pictures (same with Jenn) because the dogs are the ones that won the awards. They work hard, have fun and go out there and do their best. Luckly, we have two dogs (with another in training) that are at the top of the game. My part is pretty easy compared to what they have to do, so they won these awards. Everything was thrown out after the pix except for the award presented to Enzo and I by the club as the 2009 champions because that award feels personal and has our names on it.
Enjoy the pix, they worked hard for these!