Sunday, 23 January 2011

Everything is looking good

Well ive made some changes and have decided to just train on my own for a while rather than attending an agility club. I do like the dogs to get experience working around other dogs but for the time being we are happier just doing our own thing.

I have finally decided its time to start training Roxy for agility. Ive left it far longer then i ever meant too but she matured very slowly mentally so i just never felt the time was right till now. Also i already have 2 good competing dogs and one who can do the odd run when in the mood so I'm in no rush for anymore right now. Im just working on straight lines, wing wraps , go ons and lefts and rights. She is so sharp and picks up things so quickly so i really have to make an effort to show her the right way first time as any errors i make she remembers and then works the same way next time. Thankfully we really seem to be in tune with each other which is a surprise to me as Ive never really bonded with a bitch in the same way in the past and would normally always choose a dog out of a mixed litter. She also loves what we have done so far and screams in the van if i don't get her out first to train. So far things are looking very promising and she doesn't seem to have the same long out of control stride Cai has, so is much neater and tighter.

The others are all showing some improvement too. Cai's weaves are starting to look quite good and he is now managing to slow to make the entry 90% of the time. Ive also being doing a lot of work on making his turns tighter and we may be getting somewhere. Cant wait to get out and do a few shows now to see where we are at.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Maidstone Flyball Tournament

What a day! we made Power Paws history by running 3 teams in open compertition for the first time. Im very lucky to have such a lovely bunch of people and dogs to train and i always feel so proud of them regardless of how they do as the dogs always do their best and never let us down.

First up we had our brand new dogs running under the 'Power Paws Triers' name for the first time. We knew they probably wouldnt get placed highly as two dogs were at thier first ever show not even having done starters. One of them has only been training with us about 3 months and only turned 18 months 2 days ago. The other has been training with us for about 18 months but was terrified of the box until a few weeks ago. The other two running were Meg and Skye with Maddie as reserve.

They put in a good performance but just coudnt match the times of the other teams in the division and finished 5th. But they all ran well and gained thier first ever flyball points so no one went away disaopinted.

Next up we had 'Power Paws Flyers' consisting on Poppy, Barney, Storm and Campbell. We were feeling positive after some good training sessions over the winter. We had declared faster as our seed time was 23.64 seconds which we knew we would beat even though we were running the same dogs and over 14" as our height dog had moved down to help the Triers. Apart from loosing our first race we won all the rest to finish 2nd gaining a new best time ever of 21.22 seconds.

Last up were the 'Power Paws'. We had gained a new dog Harry over the winter from another team and he fitted in really well with Jess, Alfie and Charlie. Again we won all our races except one to finish 2nd with a new fastest time ever of 20.18 seconds. Im hoping we can sort our changes and starts out and go sub 20 at the next tournament as we are so close now.

Quite a few dogs got certificates today which was a nice end to the day Alfie got his Flyball Dog, Jess got her Flyball Dog, Ben got his Flyball Dog and Barney got his FD Intermediate. All in all a great day spent with lots of great people and dogs.

Saturday, 18 December 2010


Well this year has had some amazing ups and some very disappointing downs. Ive got a lot to think about regarding the future. I have really struggled with motivating myself towards the end of this year and have realised i need to ignore the negative people in my life and train my dogs in a way that makes us both happy. Lots of changes need to be made me thinks!

I have found agility very frustrating as its not easy training a dog with issues and i have more than one! i find other people can be so thoughtless and just because their dog can walk through a gap an inch wide with lots of dogs barking at them doesn't mean every ones can. Please next time you are maybe blocking an entry into the ring at a show or the entry into a venue think about how someone Else's dog may struggle with the pressure of passing yours as such close range.

Flyball has been great and its been horrible! I've really enjoyed training and developing all the dogs at Power Paws regardless of their speed and all the handlers are lovely people who i enjoy spending time with. We have been unlucky and not really managed to have stable teams this year so our times have been a bit up and down but i am very excited for the future as we now have 3 open teams who all seem keen to get out there and compete in 2011. We have grown a lot during 2010 and I'm not sure we will be able to take on many more dogs which is a shame. The British Champs was a bit of a disappointment as none of the 3 teams my dogs are in did very well but there is always next year. I'm looking forward to Crufts in March and feel we have improved so much this year that we really have a chance of doing well but that all depends on the draw so I'm keeping my fingers crossed we get a good one in the first round.

Saying that Campbell, Cai and Chico have all done better than i ever hoped. Chico ran at the British Champs and gained his first every flyball points. OK hes not going to set the world on fire with his 6 second times but at least hes giving it a go.

Campbell's flyball times have really improved this year and he very close to those magic 4 second times but im struggling with his focus as he has started crossing and chasing the dog in the other lane if i run him from more than 5 foot back from the start. I'm not sure this is ever something ill correct as he has such strong eye. The few agility shows he has done have been good. He won the Jumping at Eastbourne agility show and moved into Senior at UKA. Nearly every placing hes had this year has been top 5 so hopefully we can fit a bit more agility in next year.

Cai has turned a corner this year and is now out and competing in agility with no sign that i ever had a problem once he is working (although actually getting into the ring is still a challenge!) He has been placed top 5 every time he has gone clear which I'm so pleased with. Hes been an amazing flyball dog as always and pulled off some 3.8 second times over 11" and ran under 17 seconds with the Dream Team. I have also signed him up for a training day with Kelly Robbins-Walt & Aaron Robbins from Rocket Relay in Canada to see what they think we can improve on.

Roxy and Rayne have had an easy year just being pups... well OK Roxy is quite an old pup but as i already have 3 dogs competing i don't feel the need to push her to quickly! Roxy has now started flyball training and is showing promise and Rayne is now working lovely with the clicker and offering all sorts of cute and odd behaviours! She is so different from the collies and I'm enjoying the challenge.

Sunday, 5 September 2010

Dream Team Tournament... We did it!!!

16.98!!! woohoo we did it!!! What a weekend. The dogs just felt ready (well apart from Tess who has never been to a flyball tournament let alone competed in one) They were all on top form which is lucky as looking at the video afterwards our changes were horrendous! Who knows what we can run if we actually manage to tighten up our changes.... british record next? ha ha ha. All the dogs were turning nicely on the box though so we dont need much work there.

We finished 2nd which really didnt matter as i still had goose bumps from earlier. The racing was so exciting and it really felt like all the teams were pushing themselves to their limit.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

Crufts 2011 Qualifier

The Dream Team haven't managed to make it to any of the other qualifiers this year as they were either too far away (Scotland!) or on the weekend of our own shows so this was really our last chance to qualify. We made the journey up to Prestbury Park again which is where we qualified last year. We left a heavily pregnant Michelle back at home running the Dream Team Tournament and thankfully she managed not to go into labour. Prestbury park is a lovely show and part of me would have liked to stay for the weekend and do the agility too. Maybe next year.

For the first time ever we had a lucky draw and got an easy team in the first round and only had to win two races to qualify. We coasted in the first round with 20 foot late changes winning 3 - 0. The second round didn't really push us much either and we won that 3 - 0 too qualifying for Crufts 2011!! We then raced Sheffield for 1st & 2nd place and again won 3 - 0 to finish 1st. I had really wanted to qualify for Crufts again and would have been gutted if we hadn't managed it so I'm glad the pressure is now off and we can relax till March next year. The dogs really feel like a team now. Cant wait for tomorrow as i can feel best ever time coming. Sub 17 seconds? maybe.

Dream Team Tournament


Just Chico running today with the Dream Team Maddogz. After his promising start at the Champs i was looking forward to running him... hmmm.... shouldn't have bothered! he was so naughty. He refused to run in the red lane and kept stopping and cowering like someone was about to hit him and sniffing the floor. it turned out a fox had pooed in the ring the night before and he was scared of the smell! He ran ok in the blue lane though. Annoyingly we took a second off our seed time but lost quite a few races due to Chico being a wally and ended up 5th out of 7. I'm really not sure if i should keep racing him as i don't know if he is enjoying himself or not, hes such an odd dog.

Sunday, 29 August 2010

Shooting Stars Flyball Tournament


Power Paws were seeded 4th in Div 5. After being disappointed with the dogs (and handlers!) at the champs i was hoping we could get it together this weekend. We always seem to loose our first few races then win the rest. I think this is partly down to nerves (handlers) and inexperience on the dogs part as 3 of the dogs have only raced in open this year at less than 5 shows. Well as normal we lost the first race! we then seemed to gel better as a team and ran some really good races with consistent times rather than slowing by 1 - 2 seconds in the afternoon. We ended up running the best time of the division and winning the race against the eventual winners so not a disappointing day. We also ran our best time ever of 20.23 seconds. We finished 3rd so improved on where we were seeded too.

Cai and flea entered the pairs and finished 2nd. It was run over 11" which obviously suits Cai and quite a few people came up to me after and said he had been running 3.8 seconds which i think is down to us going back onto the boomerang box. On the combi box i could really see him sticking to the box but he is not able to do this with the boomerang and his turns have really sped up.


Our open debut for Power Paws Flyers today. only one dog had run in open before and kept dropping the ball so i had no idea (or expectations) on how we would do. All the dogs ran very well. Charlie our start dog ended up running some of the best times of the weekend earning himself a promotion into the top team. His average was well under 5 seconds and his starts were 0.00 - 0.06 so as near to perfect as we will get! The other dogs did well although both height dogs slowed considerably but Skye didn't drop the ball so very pleased with her progress. Storm who has only been out of netting for one week ran perfect all day with some respectable times.

Dream Team Supreme were seeded in division 1 as normal. It was an interesting division as there were some different teams than we usually race but all with the potential to do well. Breeze was missing from the lineup this week due to injury and Flo was back from injury taking her place! We had to go up one inch to 13 so i expected some slower times as the dogs adjusted. Well how wrong was I! Cai ran 6 legs in a row under 4 seconds and stayed under 4.1 all day. Flash and Skye ran some cracking times too and Flo was back to running 4.2. We went on to win the division and get a new best time ever of 17.32 which I'm so happy about as we have had a disappointing year getting a few 2nd and lots of 3rds and 4ths. We also ran 16.99 with a light that was only just a light so next weekend we are really going to push to go sub 17 seconds... things are getting exciting!

Monday, 28 June 2010

GT Agility Show

Well i found i had a free weekend so decided last minute to go along to GT Agility as its only a couple of hours away from me and i really wanted to get Campbell into senior this year. He only needed 4 agility points so i felt confident i could do that in a weekend. I love going to UKA shows as you get a good choice of classes and can choose to train in the ring which is always helpful. I went up early Saturday morning and arrived when it wasn't too hot although it quickly heated up to a level that i almost didn't want to run my dogs in.


First up Campbell had Novice Agility. Quite a sensible straight forward course (some of the novice courses i did last year were horrendous!)that i knew would run quite fast. I wasn't looking to get a place as i was happy with 2 points from a clear so didn't really mind that the faster dogs would probably beat us. Well to my surprise Campbell did a lovely round to come 4th, although i was far from happy with his contacts but that was my fault for handling him differently than how i do in training. That gave him his final 4 points and moved him into senior which i was really really happy about. He's such and honest dog and tries so hard for me and i really enjoy working him. He might not be the fastest but he is tight and accurate.

Next up he had Novice jumping and did a nice but slow round due to the heat to finish clear. I didn't want to do anything more with him as it was far too hot and he had worked really well in the first two classes. He also came 3rd in the 'Tough Enough' qualifier as he had a double clear in the agility and jumping but only the first two qualify so he didn't quite make it this time.

Cai had Beginners Agility first. It was the same as the Novice course but i didn't feel it was too much for him. He did a good round that was pretty slow for him as he still doesn't have the confidence in the ring that he has in training but there were lots of nice bits. His contacts were lovely and he got his weaves on the first go. He just had 1 pole down and ran past one jump. He also waited on the start line which really surprised me as he usually buggers off the minute i let go of his collar and i have to make a mad dash to catch up with him! I still cant believe when i finish a round that ive actually done it with him. I never would have believed even last year he would be out competing.

Next he had beginners steeplechase. Again a nice round but had 1 pole down and missed one jump! i hope this doesn't become habit! The annoying thing is it not always in the same situation he misses a jump sometimes he still just starts cutting across me for no reason although a lot of the time its his massive stride that causes him to land almost past the next jump so doesn't give him time to adjust to take off and forces him to run past.

Chico got two runs today. Beginners agility was actually not that bad! just came off the seesaw a bit early so he finished on 5f. He was a bit slow generally and his weaves were painfully slow and creepy but at least he actually did them. Beginners Steeplechase was ok and a fairly good speed but he had the first pole down so again finished on 5f. Sometimes i wonder why i both with him as he really doesn't put any effort in and can get quite stressed if he has to queue but screams if i leave him in the van without a go!


Campbells first day at senior. I decided to train one round and do one for competition. First up he had senior snooker which i decided to run as he usually does well in games classes as its not all down to speed. I walked the course and almost changed my mind as it was horrendous! We both did our best although i did hesitate at one point as i was sure we had been eliminated but the judge didn't seem sure of the rules so i carried on going and he finished 3rd so now has his first 6 senior points. I decided to train his agility round as i wanted to know i could put him back on the contacts if he didn't stop. I was in two minds while walking the course though as it was a lovely course with a good mixture of handling required. I decided i really need to sort his contacts out before we loose them again so did a training round. He didn't stop on the seesaw which was the second obstacle so i put him back over after and that he stopped in a perfect position on the dog walk and A frame exactly like he does in training so hopefully that has helped to remind him that i expect a stop at shows as well as in training.

Cai had 3 runs. 2 nearly runs in the Agility and steeplechase and a cracking round in the jumping to finish clear in 3rd place. That's his first clear round and place outdoors on grass so i finally feel we are getting somewhere.

Chico just had beginners jumping and decided he couldn't weave again! little bugger.

Had i known how hot it was going to be id never have gone but i was really pleased with how they all did in the heat.

Monday, 31 May 2010

Dream Team Starters Tournament

We had one team in today. Not quite the line up i'd planned but due to as few broken dogs and a handler unable to come we ended up running Charlie, Barney, Onyx, Alfie, Florrie and Campbell. After a bit of messing around we actually got Charlie running. We have discovered he can only go first as he needs time to focus or looses the plot. Laura was handling him and did very well considdering she had never been to a flyball show before. She pulled off two perfect starts a 0.01 amd a 0.02 in the afternoon. You cant get much better than that! Onyx was a bit distracted but ran well the times she compleated. Barney and Campbell were obviously tired and Alfie run without any problems. Florrie who just refuses to run in training was a little star and managed 4 good legs with not bad times so there is hope for her yet. We managed a few 23 second times but only won one race. We ended up in a 3 way tie for 3rd and for once won as we had the best time so ended up 3rd. I think most of these dogs are ready for open now so maybe ill be brave and enter two teams next time.

Sunday, 30 May 2010

Dream Teams first Flyball Tournament

Well what a weekend! i arrived home exhausted and felt like i needed a week off work to recover. I turned up at Frimley at 7pm on friday night, i got the tent and garden set up quickly then went to help Michelle and Roland with the set up which was mostly done as they had been onsite since 9am that morning. The ground look superb and probably as good as you will get. The arena was almost perfectly level and the grass was short and thick. I couldnt wait to get out there and race our dogs. On Saturday i just had the Power Paws in. It was there first time in open under our own name as we have only run in Multibreed and under the Dream Team name up till now.

I really had no clue what times we would run so submitted 23.80.... Michelle thought i was mad and put us down for 23.20 which was exactly the right thing to do as we ended up running a 22.44 in our first leg of the last race against the Terriorists and would have broken out quite a few other times on 23.80. I didnt realise till that evening that no one on the line noticed we had broken out so although we were actually awarded the win for that leg we shouldn't have been given it. We ended up winning 4 out of 5 races just being beaten by the Terriorists who we couldn't match on speed without breaking out. This put us into 2nd and bettered our time from Wimbledon by 1 second.

We had our usual team of Barney, Poppy, Ben and Campbell running with Maddie as reserve. I also decided a few days before to give Alfie a go as he has been doing so well in training. I felt we would never get a better chance to test him than running against the Terriorists as they know staffies and would be happy to grab him if he ran into their runback area... and probably forgive him if he ran out into there lane! I went and spoke to them before to make sure they were happy for us to run him and they were lovely and said im worrying too much and just to get on and run him. Well that told me! We did run backs with him in a few of the races before and he was so focused so i started to get quite excited. I decided to run Barney, Poppy, Maddie (as she was fresh not having raced all day) and Alfie in the final race. The did a fantastic first leg and got our best time of the day. In the second leg maddie slowed right down and we lost that leg. In the third leg she lay down at the box and just refused to move so i had to pull her and run Ben who by now was quite tired. They managed to pull things back and win the third leg with out second best time of the day. So now it was 2 all and getting quite exciting! Sadly the Terriorists just found that extra bit of speed and beat us on the fifth leg by 0.01 seconds. They were lovely though and came over and gave me a hug and said how well Alfie had done.

On Sunday it was just Cai running. We were in Division 1 as usual. For once i was looking forward to it as we were set to race the Jolly Jumpers who had come over from Belgium. They are the current European record holders and their dogs all have lovely box turns and their changes are just to die for. They were so friendly and i spent quite a bit of time chatting to them about training and managed to get quite a few tips. Lots of them were things i was already doing with our new dogs so feel like we are heading in the right direction. They came to watch Cai run and thought he looked good but feel i can get more out of him so im going to work on some of the things they suggested. They felt i could get 0.2 - 0.3 off his times with work so that would take him down to 3.7 & 3.8's which ive always felt he had in him. Ill just have to wait and see now!

In the first race of the day we managed to pull off a 17.64 which is our best time this year. Unfortunatly for us there was a problem with the lights and they made us re run the whole race so we lost the time and didnt manage anything quite as good all day. We ended up 4th with a best time of 17.77 seconds.