Yearly Archives: 2013

Muse is the 2013 Pacific Coast Canine Disc Champion!!!

We traveled to Eugene, Oregon for the 2013 Pacific Coast Canine Disc Championships (PCCDC). It included people from Washington, Oregon, Montana and all over California. It was a pretty big event with Saturday lasting until 7 or 8PM. Saturday was a UFO Major (freestyle + toss/fetch) and Sunday was a UFO D-Tour distance event. Between the two days, there are winners for individual events and for the two days combined.

Jenn played with Tooney again in the intermediate division on Saturday and the D-Tour on Sunday. In the D-Tour, she was hilarious. It’s not a timed event, but Tooney would bring the disc back and immediately run back down the field 40 yards while Jenn is yelling at her to come back.

Slayte and Enzo were both very solid for me on Saturday. I am surprised that neither of them made the top 10 cut in freestyle, but Slayte was in 3rd place going to the 2nd round of toss/fetch. Slayte ended up finishing as the top team not to make the cut (beating Enzo!).

My goals for this event were to get a catch over 70 yards in the D-Tour, qualify a dog for the D-Tour finals and place high or win the overall championship. I hoped to do these things with Enzo… to my surprise, Muse managed to accomplish all of these goals herself.

On Saturday, Muse had great freestyle rounds, a solid toss/fetch and finished 3rd overall in the UFO and 3rd in freestyle. She will move up significantly in the UFO standings! She is only 11 months old. It was apparent early on that Muse would be a great toss/fetch dog, but to my surprise (and delight!), she is actually showing that she is even BETTER in freestyle. Anybody that has seen her toss/fetch knows she is nearly flawless. To be even better in freestyle is something that is going to be scary-good for Team Furrari! I see a lot of big wins in her future. I made a strategic error in her toss/fetch round because I threw a short throw as the 4th throw to make sure I could get 5 throws off. It turns out I could have easily made 5 long throws. She’s getting faster and I’m still learning her timing. I actually could have probably got 6 throws off (with 2 short ones), but I wasn’t expecting all the extra time!

For the D-Tour distance event on Sunday, I wasn’t even planning to play with Muse because of her inexperience with distance. She only recently has been able to catch 40 yard throws. I only played with her because she placed so high on Saturday and she would have a chance to win the overall championship. The D-Tour gives you three throws in the first round with your longest catch being your score. The top five teams make the cut for the second round where you get another three throws and the longest catch of those is the winner. The top three are the qualifiers for the finals. The wind was not good for getting long throws. In my first round, I threw a 50 yard throw just to get her warmed up to distance. The next throw went a little over 55 yards. I was happy with this and was going to scratch my last throw and started to walk off the field. The line judge, Tombi, said I should do another throw. I wasn’t worried about making the cut, I just wanted to get a solid score with her (FYI, it would not have made the cut). Muse was running around, biting at the disc and making it look clear she wanted another throw. I walked up to the line and threw one more and tried to get more distance out of it. She caught it at 65 yards and easily made the cut to the next round.

In the final round, I had two throws that weren’t very good. She caught one, but only at about 55 yards or so. There was a slight head wind I wasn’t expecting so the discs were going high in the air. On my last throw, I made my footwork very simple and concentrated a lot on my arm motion and rotation. It was a good line drive throw. Muse ran out to about 40 yards and lost the disc! She is looking around while everybody is yelling “GO GO GO!!!”. She relocates the disc, which is WAY out in front of her. She runs for it and luckily, the disc got some head wind and popped up in the air just enough for her to catch up to it. Then she tipped it! Everybody again says “GO GO GO!!!”. She runs it down and snags it just over 70 yards! It was long enough to secure 2nd place in the distance and qualify for the D-Tour finals. Muse also entered the D-Tour Women’s division with Ellie and placed 3rd and had the longest throw of the women (close to 60 yards in the first round). She is now qualified for both the Men’s and Women’s divisions. I don’t know if any dog has ever done that before.

With the 3rd place overall on Saturday combined with 2nd place Sunday, Muse won the 2013 PCCDC Championship… at just 11 months old. Wow! There were a lot of awards given out for this competition for the various events and the combined events for the weekend. Muse won 7 of the 8 possible awards she was able to win, which is astonishing. Here is the rundown of what she won: 2013 PCCDC Champion, PCCDC Freestyle Champion, PCCDC Toss/Fetch 2nd Place, UFO Major 3rd place overall, UFO Major 3rd place freestyle, Men’s D-Tour 2nd place, Women’s D-Tour 3rd place. Here is a picture of Muse with six of her awards (Ellie has the award she earned with Muse). The D-Tour and UFO awards are dog tags hanging from the big championship trophy:

Here is Muse and her awesome freestyle round:

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2013 Skyhoundz Southwest Regionals and Discdogathon

Saturday was the Skyhoundz World Championships Qualifier. I competed in the Open (freestyle) and Distance / Accuracy (toss and fetch) divisions with Enzo, Slayte and Muse. Jenn played with Tooney in the Masters D/A division. As Tooney is getting older, I want Jenn to get some play time with her and I want to save Tooney for the UFO finals at the end of the year.

Enzo made the cut in freestyle, but I don’t know his final placement. Jenn and Ellie did a pairs freestyle routine and got 2nd place! Jenn also won the Masters D/A division with Tooney. Slayte was awesome for me and I think he only missed 1 disc in freestyle! We finally think we have him figured out for Frisbee and the basic rule is we need to stay as close as possible to him and run as much as possible with him. In toss and fetch, we need to run out to about the 20 yard line and run back with him. It’s a ton of work, but it does the trick and it’s actually fun!

Muse, on the other hand, was quite exceptional. She placed 3rd in the Open division and won the Distance / Accuracy division (38.5 points!), qualifying for the World Championships in both divisions! The Skyhoundz regional is the most difficult qualifier for SoCal competitors because only the top three qualify, the competition here is very strong and without traveling a significant distance, we only have one shot at qualifying. Enzo has never qualified for the Skyhoundz World Championships…. It’s almost beyond my comprehension that a 9 month old puppy can accomplish something like this when my 7 year old superstar has never been able to, despite qualifying for the championships in all the other major organizations year after year. I am not going out with Muse having any intention of winning… it’s just happening and I am honestly not even sure how to feel about it. It’s a very strange (but incredibly awesome) situation for me!

Muse deserves to go to Chattanooga for the Skyhoundz finals, but I can’t justify going. She is only 9 months old right now! I can’t bring myself to get serious with her training like I would with a more mature dog to prepare ourselves for the finals. She is only doing a puppy freestyle routine and I am not going to do much beyond that the rest of the year. I have a number of difficult and trick throws that helps our score, along with Muse catching virtually everything I throw. We already made a big east coast trip this year and we have plans to go to the UFO finals where all the dogs get to compete (they are all qualified for UFO finals). She would have a chance at a reasonably high placement in the Open division since she is averaging right around 20 points per D/A round this year! I believe at the 2012 finals, only one team had over 20 points in the Open division and that was by the awesome Pennie and Psych. Of course I don’t know exactly what the conditions were for that competition but those kinds of numbers are what push a team way up in the standings and those are the numbers Muse puts up consistently. In the Distance / Accuracy division she’d clearly have a chance at winning that outright when she’s putting up 20’s regularly. Her lowest D/A score in Skyhoundz so far has been a 19. I hope I don’t regret not going, but it just doesn’t seem like the right thing to do.

Sunday was a Discdogathon which is a less-serious competition with four different disc games. I want to say my favorite result from Sunday was that Slayte played with both Jenn and I (8 events!) and he was awesome the whole time… but Enzo outshined him with a rock star performance along with my rock star partner, Kirby, by winning the team Distance and Accuracy event with a huge score of 22!

Muse got 2nd place in the Bullseye event which is a perfect event for her style. You stand in the middle of 3 progressively larger circles and throw to the outmost ring. You have two discs and Muse gets a great flow with it as she runs back and forth catching one disc, then the other. She only missed one throw and I got 14 throws off in a minute!

Here is a picture of Muse with her awards.

This is Muse showing what she can do in freestyle. My throw at 0:45 is pretty awesome, by the way ūüôā

2013 SoCal Disc Dog Challenge (UFO Major)

This past weekend we had our UFO major. It always has a solid turnout and this year was no different. For the first time I did freestyle with 4 dogs! It was SUPER COOL! I was totally exhausted at the end of the day, but I loved it.

During Tooney’s freestyle routine, the timer malfunctioned and we ended up going 34 seconds past the normal 2 minutes before I stopped the routine and walked over to the judges to tell them the timer didn’t work. She ended up with a good score, but at 10.5 years old, I wish it would have happened to one of the younger dogs instead!

Muse had her freestyle debut! It was awesome and I’m super proud of her. I think she had only 2 misses and she’s only 8 months old!!!

Slayte had his best outing yet! He was totally focused and had loads of fun. Jenn got 2nd in intermediate toss/fetch with him! Super proud of this one, too! Here’s his freestyle round:

Last, but not least, Enzo was awesome! His first round of freestyle was really good and his second round during heavier wind was outstanding. He finished 2nd in freestyle and 2nd overall! We didn’t record his second round (DOH!), but here’s his first round. This video has also been featured on the UFO site.

Our good friend Ellie, in just her second year of competing, placed 5th in the open toss/fetch division which is pretty exceptional considering the quality of teams at the competition! Proud!!!

We are gearing up for a big two week trip taking us through Missouri, Georgia and Florida to do some agility and disc competitions and visit family. It’s going to be our big trip for the year and will cover around 6000 miles in the motorhome!

First SoCal disc dog competition of 2013

We had a UFO local in Norco. The weather was perfect and the competition ran smoothly. It was really a special time for my group of rabid disc doggies. All four of them got to play and a bit of history was made!

Tooney had a perfect round of freestyle! It was something I always wanted to achieve with each dog. I never expected it to happen at her current age of 10.5, but I am so happy she did it! Interestingly enough, Enzo had a perfect round on the same field last year. Here is her round:

Slayte has been very distracted at disc dog competitions. We’ve tried all sorts of different ideas of how to handle it with little success. We noticed that he tends to be distracted in freestyle with long throws. We decided I would simply keep most of the throws very short and throw a few longer ones at the end. This was our first attempt at it and he did really well with the new idea! I really think this will work in the long run. He did great in toss and fetch (got 5 throws off!) and the result was that he placed higher than Enzo in a freestyle competition for the first time ever! Slayte also played with Jenn and got 3rd place in intermediate with her!

Muse was a huge surprise. She’s only 7 months old, but showed a ton of maturity. In her first round with me, she was spectacular. As the day went on, she got a bit tired and the wind picked up so she had some minor struggles in the other rounds, but it was still impressive!

Not to gloss over it, but Enzo also did really well, especially in his toss/fetch round. He’s had countless great competitions, so it’s time to give the others more face time. I am so elated with how the dogs performed and so lucky to be able to compete with all of them.

Muse is going to likely debut her freestyle at competition in a couple of weeks at our UFO major. I wasn’t planning to do it so early with her, but she’s doing so well that I think it’s time to do it! She isn’t doing any tricks at all, but already can do a nice, smooth and consistent round of freestyle. I don’t have any real sequences yet but I am able to “freestyle” it pretty well with her. She’s easy to work with.

2013 Disc Dog Season Goals

The 2013 disc dog season already started for us with an invitation to the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge in Las Vegas.  Enzo had a great round of freestyle!


Here are the goals for the 2013 season:

Goals for Myself

* Master the forehand throw to a point where it is nearly as reliable as my backhand, especially in wind. A change in grip may be in order.

* Develop another difficult move / throw such as a type of back roll, kick or something similar.

* Ability to throw consistently over 65 yards.

Goals for Tooney

What can I say about Tooney.¬† She’s going to turn 11 this season and as long as she’s having a good time, that’s all that matters.

* My goal is for her to be able to compete the whole year or at least most of the year.

Goals for Enzo

Enzo is officially no longer the focus of my disc dog training and planning for competition, traveling, etc.  He has accomplished so much for me that it is all just bonus from this point forward.

* My only goal for Enzo is to remain healthy so that he can have a long career.

Goals for Slayte

Slayte is a huge challenge for me.¬† In practice he is the model disc dog.¬† He’s fast, jumps high and catches almost everything.¬† At competition, he becomes distracted, withdrawn and sometimes seems sad.

* Unlike last year when I had big plans for Slayte, this year I have one simple goal.  By the end of the year, Slayte is putting 100% effort at competitions.

Goals for Muse

Muse is a special puppy.¬† Right now she’s 7 months old and has all the natural abilities to make a good disc dog: strong play drive, good focus, off the charts prey drive and awesome tracking ability.¬† This little girl has the potential to do some very, very special things in the disc dog world.¬† It is hard to contain my excitement!

* She has shown some distractibility in public.  By the end of the season, reduce the distraction level to near zero.

* Get 5 throws at 30+ yards in a 1 minute toss and fetch round by the end of the season (even if not recorded at a competition).

* Score 17+ in a toss and fetch round.

* Develop a full 2 minute freestyle routine.

* In competition, have an 85% catch ratio freestyle¬†round. Honestly I don’t think this is realistic to expect for a young puppy, but it makes for a nice challenge for me to be able to throw discs good enough for her to catch that successfully!

* Develop the ability to catch highly complex and difficult throws that the other dogs are unable to catch.  I think she has the ability to do it.  My goal is to put 5 of these throws into her routine.

* Consistently catch butterfly throws.  Currently she is 50% at best.  90% is the target.

* Place top 3 at a local competition or top 5 at a major.  Again, this is unrealistic but makes for a fun goal.  Her best shot is at a Skyhoundz event.

Exciting disc dog weekend in Vegas

Enzo and I have been invited to the Purina Incredible Dog Challenge again for the 2013 Western Regional in Las Vegas!  It is a special feeling to be considered for this and we will do our best!

We head to Las Vegas for a extravaganza of disc doggin’ with Skyhoundz and UFO events along with the Purina IDC.¬† As usual, I have only one expectation.¬† To have a blast.¬† Being in Vegas, I can promise that will happen!¬† I will say that Enzo has been at the top of his physical, mental and performing peak for the past year or more and our last several practice sessions have been exceptional.¬† Enzo will have a full week off from disc practice before going to Vegas.

I don’t want to leave out the other stars.¬† Tooney is 10 years old and still able to play like a champ.¬† She will compete as long as she enjoys it.¬† Slayte is coming along fine and I see him becoming a top team this year¬†because his potential is huge.¬† Muse is only 6 months old right now and blows my mind every day with how good she is.¬† At that age, catching discs should be challenging and she’s doing it consistently.¬† At a clinic, she performed 2 rounds of toss/fetch and managed to catch all 11 out of 11 throws!

Maybe it’s time for an agility post.

I haven’t been much in the mood for writing lately but we have been doing quite a bit of AKC agility. Slayte started getting really bad with lead outs so last weekend I pulled him in T2B and then in JWW too. I think he actually learned that I was only pulling him from the first run of the day. After two runs in a row where he didn’t get to play, his lead outs have been pretty solid since then. Last weekend, Enzo got a double Q with two first places, his third for qualifying for AKC Nationals so he just needs one more. Slayte also got his first Q since his dental surgery. He’s been a little wild since then. He had a couple weeks off after getting a root canal on a broken canine and titanium crowns on all of his canines. He goes crazy and bites his crate when when we run the other dogs so they were all damaged.

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Here is his Masters Standard run from last weekend where he got 4th place.

Saturday was a little bit frustrating since I couldn’t get the power side doors open on the van. They latches were frozen! I wasted about 20 minutes on them so ended up getting to the trial later than I wanted too. I ended up not getting any Q’s on either dog. Not really surprising. Today Jeff decided to come with me and do kennel help stuff so that was really awesome. I ended up getting a Standard Q with Enzo and a double Q with Slayte. Enzo’s JWW run was a little wild and he ended up getting a bar.

His standard run was pretty good other than me getting too far behind on the dogwalk. I went too deep to the tunnel and got stuck in soft dirt. It is actually really good for Enzo not to just run straight ahead. He ended up with 2nd place.

Slayte had a pretty fast JWW run even with a spin. We were lucky we didn’t get a refusal. I just don’t do enough landing side rear crosses but I wasn’t sure he would carry out far enough. He was only .06 sec behind Enzo’s time and got 3rd place in 20″!

Standard was also clean but no placement. I think we wasted some time on the line from the aframe to the tunnel. I have to drive forward on the aframe right now to help him hit his running contact so that messed up my line. He also self released off the table but other than that he was a good boy.

We are planning on going to the USASA Nationals at Purina Farms this year so that should be fun! Possibly also going to FL after that for an UFO Major and AWI Qualifier.