This past Sunday our flyball club is hosted a flyball demo day at the Oregon State Fair! We were super excited to go because since it is not a tournament they were letting "green" (inexperienced) dogs run and practice in a tournament like environment! That means us!
We've been slowly making progress in flyball with Dante and Ziva but we've had a couple hiccups in our training.
Quick Recap - Past 2 Weeks
Two weeks ago, Ziva was minding her own business in a flyball lane all to herself practicing her box turn and was attacked by a fellow teammates Schipperke that came flying out of practically no where if you ask Ziva. A little black flying ninja! After that incident she kept checking over her shoulders and behind her - we didn't accomplish much after that.
|Photo Credit - Animal Planet|
She's also been dropping the ball a lot, something she wasn't doing during our private sessions. In fact she never drops her ball. I think it's because she is nervous at the club, so to help with that I've been working on teaching her "Give", a command that means - put it in my hand. She's always handed me her ball, I don't like bending down for it so I never taught her to "drop it". My goal with "give" is to teach her that if she drops the ball early and I say, "give", I want her to pick it back up and put it in my hand.
At home Dante can do a really long run with two jumps, and a box turn with ball retrieval (using a prop to help him remember to pick his feet up). I'll try to get a video tomorrow if it doesn't rain. I was really hoping to have him to a full run this week at our club's practice but we had a bit of a setback.
Remember that little black ninja? Yup this past week he got Dante this time, we're not sure if he broke skin (it's hard to tell with how dark Dante's hair is) their was blood though, but Dante could have bitten his tongue, happens pretty regularly with him. That little dog needs some work to say the least, he needs to learn to stay in his lane. It's too hard for me to be watching all of the other dogs around us when I'm working with my dog. On a good note, the team is awesome and everyone is helping out. From hence forward we won't be running in a lane next to the ninja. Some dogs just don't like each other, that's ok but they do need to learn to ignore each other.
Needless to say, Dante didn't recover his brain back. We ended his training on a good note but he too was suffering from the paranoia of checking over his shoulders and behind his butt to make sure their weren't any more sneak attacks coming for him.
Sunday - Demo Day
But Sunday was a great day for both dogs! I wasn't sure of the environment so I didn't bring my camera...what a dummy! So here are some fun shots that So Fly was wonderful enough to let me share with you guys!
Check her out at: So Fly - My Life With Flyball Dogs.
|Photo Credit - So Fly|
|Photo Credit - So Fly|
Ziva was pretty freaked about the fair environment but we were their all day and with frequent walks and lots of love she relaxed quite a bit by the end of the day. We got to meet tons of people, she was fawned over by strangers which she loves, and we got to watch the flyball and dock diving dogs!
When the experienced dogs weren't running it was the green dogs turn to play in the race lanes, Ziva decided that instead of doing flyball she wanted to do agility so after her four jumps she cleared the flyball box and the back fence as well! On a good note she did a sharp turn and came right back at me like a boomerang - just like she used to do in agility.
|Photo Credit - So Fly|
Dante once again played the roll of Space Cadet, but he did much better than our last practice. We practiced his "run backs" (start at the flyball box and run back to the start line), we attempted some ball retrievals but he was more interested in the environment and what was happening all around us, and then we got a couple box turns in but mostly it was just a good excuse to get him used to the craziness that is flyball.
Overall I loved the fair environment, I wish I had more opportunities like this to take the dogs out into. We got to practice walking in crowds, heeling in a very HIGH distraction environment, we were surrounded by strangers and strange dogs, lots of barking and excited dogs from both flyball and the dock diving dogs. And they made me proud! They were very nice meeting everyone, elderly adults, and children they were super gentle didn't jump up (except once but he was a pretty tough looking Marine who was super excited about meeting Dante so he kind of asked for it hahaha) and Ziva even had some nice interactions with a few other dogs! I think we've got a nice handle on her reactive dog past at this point. Hooray!!
You know what else? I finally met Blitz, the little ninja and in person he's quite nice. Hopefully flyball practice this week will go without incident.