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