Friday, March 16, 2012

A regular indoor practise.

Just a quick video of practise tonight.  Inca was working really well.  She doesn't have nearly the drive that she shows at a trial.  Inca was very focussed and worked quietly beside me off leash while other dogs were working.  She didn't even look at anyone else.

Inca needs more backside jump practise.  She did them but seemed to want me there with her.  She looked at the wrong end of  the tunnel during the first couple of drills but stayed with me.  During later trials she didn't even look at the opposite end.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Angles and Dots

I am auditing Helen King's structure class through Daisy Peel's online classroom.  I am learning lots but want to do each exercise because I think that will really help me to extend my understanding.

Inca is a three year old Kleinpudle or moyen which is in between the mini and standard size poodle.  Inca was entrusted to me by Karin at Karbit Poodle to whom I will be forever grateful. 

This is my friend Sandra, helping me with positioning my squirmy worm Inca.  "I don't want to be no conformation dog!!"  Inca is not relaxed at all in this pose so it may affect things a little.

I really don't know much at this point but will try my best to apply what I am learning about structure.

I think Inca has a nice tail set. Her tail is usually up and waving all around but when she is thinking about something it is down more like a border collie.  Her pelvis seems to have a nice slope to it and her femur and tibia seem to be equal in length.  I think she has a slight rise over the loin as well, although perhaps that is a result of her being tense?

I find it much harder to see the front assembly.  But here goes:
Inca's front legs seem to be set quite far back almost under her withers.  She seems to be well balanced.  Inca has a ewe neck but her neck seems "just right" neither too long nor too short.  Her upper arm and shoulder both seem to have a nice angle to them.

Here is she all "dotty".  Inca was more relaxed in this shot.

You can't see the dot on the base of her tail but it is there!  It would be just before where you see the tail bending the way Sandra is holding it.  Inca's pelvis is a little shorter than I thought prior to dots.  Her femur and tibia look well balanced and equal in length.

Inca's neck looks a little "squished" in this shot.  I think Sandra is holding her head a little high (mainly because she is a squirmy worm!)  I think her upper arm is shorter than her shoulder and maybe the shoulder is straighter than I thought.  Inca's legs seem set right under her withers.

Hmmm.... well that's the best that I can do at this point in my learning.

iPhotoSo I have been reflecting on Inca's dots.  I really don't think they are quite right.  While I did my best to get them located in the correct spot, I think that placing them on top of the curls allows them to shift a bit.

I have uploaded the picture into Skitch and added pink electronic dots as I "felt" Inca up as she sat on a table beside me.  I think everything is very close but tweaked a little.  Her wither's are almost directly above her elbow.   Inca's ischium is down just a bit from where I originally had it as is her knee and hock.

And finally, here is Inca with her lines drawn in.

I would like to see Inca with her head and tail held a little more naturally.   Her shoulder isn't as sloping as perhaps I would wish but I wouldn't call it straight either.  Her front legs could be a touch further back under her body as well.

Her pelvis is moderate and a little more slope would be beneficial.  Inca's femur and tibia appear equal.  Inca has a moderate croup and thigh width.  Her back appears a little long but there does seem to be a rise over the loin which hopefully provides a little more strength.

Overall, I guess that adds up to PERFECT!  At least for me.

Inca's Journey: Angles and Dots

Inca is not completely balanced.  I've been trying to figure out where the imbalance is coming from.  If her pelvis were more severely sloping, her triangle lines would match up better and yet it would make her back much longer and create a smaller croup.  If her shoulder were laid back on much more of an angle then that would be a better balance.  It would, however, make for quite an extreme angle with her upper arm.  I don't know how that would affect Inca's performance ability.  I actually think that Inca has a long hock.  If her hock were a little shorter, that would lower her rear and I think help to balance her out overall.

I'm not entirely sure what a long hock does to performance.  I think I read that it provides more bounce - think bunny rabbit.  That certainly fits with Inca.  She goes from 4 on the floor in the kitchen to one bounce up on the counter top.  How that affects agility, I have no idea.

I love my girl!  She keeps me on my toes.  Inca is athletic.  Very fast and turns on a dime.  Overall, I think her structure is very good and will give her the support she needs to excel in any activity.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

February 4, 2012

AARF at Spencerville, ON
Starter Jumper Starter Gambler Starter Standard

Success Criteria (what I wish to accomplish in these runs):
1. Run with enthusiasm and with drive.
2. Hold start line stay - although I will not push her understanding.
3. Take each jump without going under or around any jump.
4. At each contact run through yellow and complete 2O2O at bottom.
5. Run at table, jump and immediately down into position.
6. Enter weaves correctly.
7. Complete weaves correctly.
8. If possible, test a serp, threadle and/or "lala".
9. Eat a treat and play with a toy entering and leaving ring.
10. Have fun!

1. Inca had a ton of drive today. She ran like snot! For the jumper and standard run she worked with me really well. The gambler run was her fastest – faster than she chases squirrels – but wasn't connected with me and ran around doing the stuff she liked best.
2. Inca did not break her start line stay. I did not really lead out though – more lateral distance to get past the wings of jumps.
3. Inca performed each jump correctly. She did not knock bars, go under or around any jumps with one exception as described below.
4. Inca's contacts were lovely. She didn't miss any, however her 2O2O was often shaky or absent.
5. Inca ran to the table, jumped on and downed immediately. However, she counts faster than the judge and decided the table was done at “3”. While she downed several other times, Inca would not stay down. I didn't want to give her the impression we were done with table when she decided so we kept working it until our time was up.
6. Inca initially ran past the weaves from the teeter but came back and got the entry on the second try.
7. Inca completed the weaves OK. She did them completely independently but not exactly with drive more of a bounce.
8. We tried a “lala” jump in the gambler course coming off the dog walk. Inca had no understanding and kept running around and around the jump. There was no opportunity for a threadle but did read a serp really well in the standard when I was quite behind her and sent to a tunnel, I serped a jump and ran on to the teeter.
9. Inca very happily ate roast beef both in the crating area and before and after runs. She was reluctant to play with a toy but I did get her to engage with a tug before her first run.
10. We had tons of fun! Inca got more and more excited as the day went on. She decided she likes this game and wants to play with me.

Next steps:
1. We need to consciously develop a pre-run routine that we also use in practice. Today I took Inca out of her crate and spent about 5 minutes massaging her, then we went outside for a potty break. We then did on leash obedience/rally exercises for treats. We went into the ring area about 4 dogs ahead of us where we did 2-3 jumps over the practice jump on leash (conditions were terrible and incredibly crowded). Then we did circle work, heeling, sits, downs and stay while we waited for out turn. As the previous dog is halfway through the course I picked Inca up and took off her leash. I carried her into the ring and held her until we are told to begin. I put her down, she sat and I released right away.
2. I need to keep working on commitment point for tunnels. I peeled away a little early from the second tunnel in jumpers and she came with me. Good girl Inca!
3. I need to keep working each jump in a sequence. In the jumper course, the second last jump (double) Inca came barrelling out of the tunnel and toward me, I should have indicated the jump but was out of breath and desperately trying to keep up and neglected to do it and she ran beside the jump.
4. We need way more distance work. Inca is only confident with me working right beside her.
5. More weave work:)
6. More contact work especially at speed and distance.