Sunday, July 24, 2011

Fun from another angle

This past weekend our dog sport club was proud to be host to the first disc (frisbee) seminar in Saskatoon. This has become my new addiction and while I still adore playing flyball with the Inseguire gang disc offers some new and exciting challenges for both the dogs and myself. It was a hot, hot, weekend and we spent the better part of Saturday working on our throwing skills without the dogs. Most dogs will catch a frisbee quite readily once they turn on to it, but they can only be successful if the disc is thrown correctly to them and that is what Saturday was all about. We threw hundreds of discs with different spin, angles, and grips, and only once we felt confident we could offer our dogs "nice" throws did we pull them out into the heat. All the morning work paid off when we did a mock "Distance and Accuracy" event where longest, successful, catch wins. The dogs were running out and for the most part able to catch at least a few of our throws.  Sadie has always really enjoyed this aspect of the game and happily tracks the discs wherever I throw them. Once I can reliably hit a target Kiwi's speed should be an asset to her but she lacks the tracking skills of her mother so I will really need to up my game for her to be successful. We took a short brake for an early pot-luck BBQ dinner and then were back out in the field, again without the dogs for our own "D&A" event which consisted of throwing a disc between the standards of a flyball jump at 10 and 20 meters then running to the other side and throwing it back, into the wind, between a jump placed at 10 meters. It was a lot harder than it sounds as it is a very small target to hit but our group did well and we could really start to see the progress we were all making especially in the areas of disc control.

Thankfully Sunday was a little cooler and we switched gears to freestyle tricks for the second day. This is where my real interest lies. I love the flashy freestyle routines performed at disc events and demos and the girls love working on their aerials and tricks. Up to this point Sadie had not been too keen on jumping up for discs, she has always been quite content to track them and snatch them up as the reach eye level but she has left the flashier leaps to the younger dogs. I was more than a little surprised, but quite pleased, when she readily vaulted off my leg and left 5+ feet into the air after a disc. After that there was no slowing her down, she worked on back stalls, foot stalls (standing on my feet) and vaulting with an enthusiasm I have not seen in her in years. It was really wonderful to see her turn back the clock half a decade and out jump her much younger daughter on multiple occasions. Now Kiwi is no slouch, her vaulting is impressive and her back stalls are really improving but she has always been a careful and thoughtful terrier and add to that the fact that she is still easily distracted and she is much more of a challenge to work. I have to constantly keep her moving - catching, tugging, jumping - and I need to make sure she is successful as nothing disengages her more than too many missed throws in a row. Like everything else at this point, all she needs is a little more time in the sport and a little more maturity and I think she will have a bright future.
Tov attended the seminar as well as she has been showing a keen interest in discs and a natural ability to catch them from all angles. This little girl never ceases to amaze me and wowed everyone with her drive and athleticism all weekend excelling in not only D&A but also in the freestyle tricks as well. She is such a fun little dog.
All in all it was a fun weekend. We learnt a ton, spent 2 beautiful days outside with friends, and I got to enjoy a weekend doing something new and different with my girls. Now to sit at home for the next week and watch Cali as she gets ready to whelp, I did however promise her that once the puppies were out mommy had some great new games to play with her - hopefully that speeds along the process!

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