Wednesday, 25 August 2010


Fly was super at agility tonight, we did a few recalls to a tug and she was good. She had a couple of moments when she had to go see Diva when she had her tug, but overall she was fab. We also did some tunnel work, and to say she's never seen it before she was a really good girl. :D

We've been working hard on her learning her "finish" for obedience and knowing her heelwork position. With Jet, I did her coming around the back of me, but always one for a challenge I decided to teach Fly the opposite way. She's picking it up really quickly actually and is responding well to the clicker.

We're continuing with her hand touches which are coming on nicely, and we've just started sending her away to a target. We're moving quite slowly with it as she just doesn't seem to be picking it up too well once it gets too far from me, but she's getting there.

We also had a bit of a surprise at agility training with her deciding that she can (flyball!) boxturn off the wall?! She did one which was quite nice (not asked for and very unexpected!!!), but I wasn't really intending to do anything with her on the wall, especially at 7months. However, I may give it a go when she gets a fair bit older now that I know she should be able to do it. I've always shied away from it with Jet as she has a dodgy leg, and is quite a heavy dog, but we might be ok with Fly and I've seen some pretty awesome boxturns developed with it. There's a great video from Lyndsy and Rave (Rave Reviews) showing how to progress from a slant board right to the wall, so when she's old enough we might try it.

Tomorrow I think we might do some proprioception work, as it's been a while and also some rear end awareness as it is always useful. I'm really enjoying our little ten minute sessions, she is actually quite a clever cookie!

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

It's past being a "bad blogger" now...

OK, so it has been waaay too long.

Fly is seven months old now and goodness time has flown by, she's now 18/19" to the shoulder but still seems absolutely tiny to me! I've had my exams in May (which I found out that I passed in July!), then I went to the European Flyball Championships in Belgium and finally then we went for a holiday on Anglesey for a week with the High Flyers.

Flyball wise, we've been doing loads of tuggy work and occasionally some ball work. She has a brand new tug, courtesy of Alicia, which is a lot bigger than her other one, but heck she loves it! I have to admit, I have been doing a tiny bit on the chute, not at speed though and just to get the initial shape of the turn. She only does one or two reps, and to be honest, she flings herself on and off things with a lot more force than we are doing here. We've watched all the Spring Loaded puppy videos, which has given me some ideas and pointed us in the right direction I hope. We've also spoken to a few Border Whippet owners from the US, who have been so so helpful.

When we were on Anglesey in July, we did a little bit with her too. Rachel from Alpha Dogz has a canen lines puppy, Boris, who is the same age as Fly and they did a bit too. We started off letting her go at the box to run over 1" slats on the ground where the jumps would be, and she absolutely flew bless her; even though she is so little, she is actually quite powerful. Boris then had a go and bloody hell, Fly went mental! She was screaming and making some horrible demonic noises. Next we put one dog in each lane and raced them doing a recall over the slats. For the first two times she stayed in her lane, but on the runback she ran over to see Rachel and Boris - well, more specifically Rachel and her tuggy. This was the start of me realising that she often finds people a lot more interesting than dogs in flyball - she gets so much more interested if there is someone making a really stupid noise than a really fast noise running. Luckily, the last 2 time she was great and came straight back to me.

She's been doing tiny bits of "agility" in the second session at A4P when I run Jet, with the help of Leanne. We've done lots of recalls and send on to dead toys. She's done a couple of running through wings and over poles on the floor. On Anglesey she did a little bit of the same and really surprised me on how focussed she was! I'm hoping to start teaching her the 2o2o position on one of the dogwalk planks on the floor over the next few weeks. Luckily we have a few puppies of a similar age at All Four Paws, so we are going to run a weekly foundation course so they can all learn together.

Tricks and training wise, I've not really done as much as I should have. She knows the basics; sit, down, stand, close, paw etc....but we need to work on wait! Jet's wait is, not to sound big headed, amazing (as tested on Anglesey, leaving her in a wait on the start line, going to the other end of the arena to sort the tunnel out and to hear Kristian/Alice/Reece shouting "ready ready ready" at her and she didn't move a muscle!) I guess I can't have anything other than perfect for her...which is hard! I've got a few books of dog tricks too which we're working our way through, she is doing quite well with it.

Fly is a very funny puppy, it is hard to describe her really. I take her to shows all the time, and she is totally not phased by anything. She is very focussed on me and often totally disinterested in some people that come to see her - it's not that she's scared, she just isn't interested. Once she knows someone and she's had fun with them, then she loves them (she came back from Anglesey loving the Flyers!). She LOVES playing with other puppies and throws herself all over them,...rolling around like an idiot. At home she is a maniac! Heck, Jet was an angel compared to this thing. She's ALWAYS awake and wanting to do something, always on the go and going and "doing"...whether that means playing with her football (yes, she loves footballs - so much she set off at Rotherham after Ryan/Gromit from Extreme Racers with their football - argh!) or destroying a shoe. At times, I really can see why some people cannot cope with puppies!

When I was looking for a BC puppy, my criteria was that I wanted working lines that I liked, crazy, nice build (not too small, not a donkey!) and fairly slight. Looking at rescues, I homed into "couldn't cope with her" etc, I wanted absolutely insane. In some ways, I didn't end up with any of these,...a small border whippet who to many will appear pretty shy...but then in some ways, the Fly at home is exactly what I wanted! I do have flashes of inspiration that when she gets training in flyball, she'll be a lot more interested (ref: going mad at Boris after her go!). We will make her into a good girly :).

I'm really enjoying Fly, and will keep this a bit more updated. She is a real character! Thanks to all of those people who have helped me with her so far, and in particular to poor Kristian who has listened to my rants/waffle and told me not to be so stupid on so many occasions now. One day I will get my dark faced collie, but for now I'm excited about my blue Border Whippet!