Welcome to the Blog of Rosie Ison & her Scruffy Hairy Mutts.

I do hope you enjoy reading about all the various exploits of the Hairy Gang !

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Chiropractor

This morning I took Fozzie to see Marissa my Chiropractor. I wasn't sure whether I wanted her to find something drastically wrong, which would explain his funny jump style or whether I would have preferred her to find nothing.

As it was she found 3 small things wrong. 2 minor tweaks in his neck and one half way down his back. She put them all back as they should ,but in her opinion didn't think they would necessarily account for his jump problem. She said she could find nothing dire at all. However having said all that she did say some dogs may have found just those few things uncomfortable enough to make them jump differently(as she called it !!)
So the plan of action is to rest him for a couple of days and then see how he jumps. I have no plans for training this week as I am off to the Easter Celebration show on Thursday . If its not pouring with rain (or snowing) I will put him round my courses when I have set them up as I am judging there.
If he is jumping better then Marissa definitely wants to see him again in about 3 weeks, however if there is no change then its just a question of teaching him how to jump properly. She agrees Grid work is a must, as is rear end awareness exercises and also core stability exercises.
Fingers crossed.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Updates.

Well I've had a busy time over the last week. My Mum( who's in her late 80's) was taken into hospital to have a serious operation. She had a cancerous lump in her stomach. They did pioneering surgery on her. She had keyhole surgery to remove it and apparently the operation was videoed to be shown round the world as there have only been 2 such operations done this way. They went through her belly button. Her recovery has been fantastic & she was out within 6 days of her surgery. Mum has now gone down to convalesce with my sister in Chichester.Hopefully it won't be long till she's fit enough for us to continue our dog walks together. My Mum is great and still can still walk 2 miles or more with the dogs. Dad is still in the nursing home, Mum is his carer and until she is 100% fit she can't look after him. So last week I was busy visiting Mum at the Royal Surrey Hospital in Guildford, visiting dad at the home in Woking, training my dogs etc etc.
Here's a picture of Mum & Dad taken last year on the 60th wedding anniversary, and another of us out on one of our walks, also last year.





So back to my dogs. I have started doing some grid work with Fozzie. He is good at it and is jumping quite cleanly. I have at last managed to book a grid jumping day at the end of April, so I'll learn how to progress on with it. His jumping style is the worse I have ever seen. He jumps like a deer, takes off too soon and lands sometimes on all four feet. He can't wing wrap cleanly because his legs are just not right !!! I have him booked into to see a chiropractor next week to get him checked out , it was suggested to me that maybe his neck/back was out which is causing this action.


His weave training has gone backwards !!! The week before I mentioned how it had progressed well, now he is struggling again and has slowed down :-( I am thinking that if he has got a neck problem this could be causing him to be funny in the weaves as well.

Contacts...well I am really pleased. I started doing the ball training at the end of the dogwalk and am happy with the result. Last week in class he flew across the dogwalk and at the last minute the toy suddenly appeared ( from someone else) at the bottom, he really drove to it and stopped beautifully. I have now put him on the lead as well and am only doing the down ramp for this ,I have started to throw the toy as he pulls against me. Its working well so far.


I just love the way the words in that song ,that I put on that video sum things up so nicely !!!!

His seesaw has also sped up.


I am still having really bad concentration problems with him and if anything distracts him, he's just terrible.

So hopefully on my next post I will be able to tell you what the Chiro found and we can go from there. I have been feeling very depressed again about him, I think I am just very tired ! I am worried that I won't be able to get him to jump properly. One things for sure if he has got a neck problem all bouncy tuggy type games(which he loves) will have to stop. I will have to find some other form of play reward.

Woody is doing really really well. He is still having his weekly swims & I have now jumped him over a few medium jumps and he seems fine. I am taking it really slowly, but boy is he happy to get out to play.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Jumping style !

Agility training with Fozzie is going well. We have some really good training sessions and then not so good ones. Its his level of concentration that I am struggling with at the moment,he gets so distracted at the slightest thing.

I am putting the jumps up to full height more and more now. What I & others have noticed is his jumping style. Because of this I decided to video him, and then slow motion it to see if there was a particular reason for his style. He jumps close to the jump and then goes a long way past, sometimes tucked up and landing nearly on all 4 paws.

It was suggested to me that maybe he needs to see a chiropractor, just in case he has a physical problem, but the few people who have seen this video just think he needs some grid work so he learns how to jump and judge distances.
I was so hoping to get to Gemma's grid training days, but I haven't been able to because of my work. So I have scoured the Internet for info on grid jumping and watched countless YouTube videos, so until I can get to a proper training day I am going to work on some grids in my field.

On the very plus side, his weave training is coming on in leaps and bounds.He gets his footing right more often than not now, and so his confidence has grown.

As regards his dog walk. Thanks to the Manners Minder he knows his criteria for the contacts really well ,and I have fazed the Manners Minder out completely on the A Frame. He has a lovely fast A Frame and 2 on 2 off position & I am really happy with it. I wanted to faze the MM out for the dogwalk also, as its such a big unit to take everywhere with me, and I still wasn't getting the drive I want. So I am now working on sending him to his toy. The MM has been great for getting the correct position,so I am sure he'll be fine with the change. Thankfully Fozzie likes a dead toy and will go to it happily. So I've started leaving the toy at the bottom of the dogwalk and will gradually extend the distance it is placed from the end. Ultimately I'd like to be able to throw the toy and Fozzie still stop, a lot of work I think !! Any help or tips gratefully received !
He is painfully slow over the seesaw so I've got to work on that a lot more as well.

I have decided not to enter him in any agility classes when he comes out until I have more or less what I want in training. I'll put him in the ring in jumping only classes to get the ring experience at shows. Maybe by June/July he will be ready for agility classes, but if I don't do any agility classes at shows all year then so be it.

On a really good note, Woody is 100% sound. I started jumping him over small jumps yesterday and he stayed sound. He has also started to go on hour long walks through woods etc and has also remained sound. Next week I will jump him over medium jumps and then the week after some full height. I don't think I will be competing with him till the end of April, I want him to be completely jump fit.

Here is the video of Fozzie jumping

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Fozzies First Competition

Today Fozzie did his first competition. It was a fun show at Scrambles. I entered him in the jumping and steeplechase class at medium height. I just wanted him to get some ring experience, complete with queuing etc.

First was the jumping. He did a great wait,but the first 2 jumps were a little tentative, however once he got going he sped up and was doing fantastically. I was going to run past the weaves(a set of 6 poles) but Fozzie thought otherwise and went straight into them! not bad considering this time last week he couldn't weave, He got his entry but the weaves were incredible wobbly (infact they took them out for the large dogs!!) and Fozzie skipped a weave. I just kept going and he finished beautifully. I was so so pleased with him.

After a little wait we then did the Steeplechase. It was a lovely course with a few handling bits and a few nice straight bits.Once again a great wait & Fozzie flew from the start. He powered into the tunnels & was extremely confident & no weaves to worry about in this class. He got very slightly distracted for a nano second by a dog in the adjoining ring coming down the dogwalk, but he didn't stop and we went clear. I had to leave immediately afterwards, but imagine how surprised and flabbergasted I was to find out later he had actually won the class !!!! Maybe he will be ready to compete properly at the end of April ??

Unfortunately I don't have video of either runs, because although 2 people videoed for me, both were uncertain how to work the camcorder so missed the runs :tears:

On Saturday it was the first show of the year, Mid Downs. I love this show as its so nice to catch up with all my friends after the long winter.

Chip was a naughty naughty boy. He was totally over the top and broke his wait in his first class. He then went on to miss his dogwalk contact as well !!!

In his second class , he did wait for a little longer but still broke it. I kicked myself for not leaving the ring with him, but I wanted to do his Dog walk contact if he missed it, which right on cue he did !!! I rectified it, and then took my own line out of the ring via the Aframe, which he got.
In his 3rd class( a jumping class) I decided no matter what if he broke his wait I would take him out immediately. I queued for 3/4 hr in the cold to run, set him up in a wait , got to the other side of the first jump and wham he broke (little b**** ) I downed him before he took the tunnel and he dropped like a bullet, I retrieved my lead and then called Chip out of the ring.
Last year I did exactly the same for the first few shows and it certainly worked. He soon learned that no wait meant no play !!!

Disney in contrast was a real star. I have been deliberating whether the time was right to retire him as he will soon be 12 yrs old. I therefore made the decision I would enter him in the first few shows of the season and see how he was. If I felt he was struggling at all I would stop. I want him to be remembered for the dog he was, not for what he had become. I asked several people to watch his first run, and Lians husband kindly agreed to video him for me( as I didn't take my camera with me) so I could see for myself how he was doing. Well he was great. To be honest I was so happy to be running him and so enjoying him I don't really remember if he got faulted or not. I seem to remember his dogwalk may not have been too good.

So I decided to stay and run him in the jumping class as well. We were going out for a meal when I got home, so I wanted to run him and dash so I went first in the class. I said as I went in I didn't care what he did as long as he has fun. Well he was FANTASTIC. He was fluid and fast. Well I had to wait and watch the next dozen or so dogs and he remained in 1st place for quite a while. Eventually he was knocked down to 3rd so I left. There was still a huge queue of people so I thought he'd probably be knocked out of 3rd place quite soon. Once again imagine my surprise to find he remained in 3rd place, beating many of the fast much much younger good dogs. Unfortunately no video of his run , just a wonderful memory. So Disney will continue for a few more months, I just love him to bits.

Obviously Woody didn't compete because of his recent injury. He is doing VERY well , he went to the chiropractor this week and she said he was 100% sound. If all goes well this week we can start jumping him again on low jumps and see how he is. It is now over 2 months since the original injury.

Thursday, March 04, 2010

Weaving, Weaving ,Weaving

Well the weather has picked up, the sun is shining and my field is drying out, so I thought I'd get cracking on Fozzies weaves. Phew its hard work ! I have never had such a difficult dog to get to weave, well maybe Libby my Standard Poodle comes a close second, but even she only ever had one hiccup !!

Fozzie just couldn't get the hang of straight weaving, so I resorted to putting guided on the weaves. I hate guides but I thought at least it would give him the idea what straight upright weaves were. He'd fly though the V weaves only very slightly out, but as soon as they went upright, it was a huge no no.

After I had put the guides on I took him through on the lead. I then let him off. He just jumped over the guides, so I put them higher. He then ducked under them !!!

I then totally despaired !!! So I decided to do something I had never done before and I lured him through with food a couple of times. After about 6 attempts he weaved albeit slowly.

I had a couple more attempts with him, put him through the V weaves to get his speed up and then left the weaves alone. I finished with a couple of contacts on both the Dog walk & A Frame, plus a couple of jumps and then went inside.

I decided to video so I could examine what was happening.
Here it is


I had several peoples feedback on this and several said the guides were in the wrong place, but as I had already tried the guides in several places, I decided to take them off altogether. Today I went out again. I also videoed once again and I saw the problem instantly when I played it back. Its his footing. If he paddles through he does them all correctly, slowly but correctly,However if his feet tangle he just cannot complete the weaves. I also had quite a bit of *I won't do that, you can't make me* attitude today..very very poodle like and very frustrating..as it always is with Fozzie. I really think I'll get a Border collie next time !!!!
Anyway here is the video of today highlighting his foot placement problem.