Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Puppy Love

We had a great weekend in California. Pallo was awesome all weekend, running clean every time. Even I didn't mess up at all, and we had no ball dropping, jump skipping, or early passes at all. His times were good for the most part, in the 5.2-5.3 range, even on Sunday afternoon. My passes made him get some times more in the 5.6 range a few times, but overall, we both did really good.

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Warm up with the prop, nice high box turn

Koira was entered in singles. It is basically the same as regular racing, only there is one dog in each lane instead of a team of four. Singles is offered only in U-Fli, which we don't compete in often (NAFA is much more common in our region). During our warm up time, I had Koira do both close up box work with the prop, and a few full runs with the prop. Her turn was okay for a few runs once the race started, but I pulled her from the last few heats in both races on Saturday, and didn't race her at all on Sunday, we just used our warm up time. Her turn still has a long way to go.

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Running without the prop. Koira's rear is low, one foot not even up on the box. We have some work to do!

I spent a lot of time taking pictures of the other dogs running (and major, huge thanks to the people who used my camera to get some pictures of Koira running!). This mastiff was about the most adorable thing ever at flyball. He was hilarious to watch. His first run of the day, he went over one jump, then casually veered to the side to try to get some pets from the spectators. The rest of the weekend, he was much more solid on his jumps, but hilarious at the box. He would either jump up, put his feet on top of the box, and lick the box loader, or else would stand in front of the box for a moment before grabbing the ball, without ever touching or triggering the box. Very cute, but the rules require the dog triggers the box with the ball still in it, so he got a lot of flags for this. He did get his first points ever though because of interference from the other team. And really, he was a crowd favorite every time he ran!

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Cutest dog ever doing flyball

We ended up packing up and leaving before the end of the racing day on Sunday. I had 8 hours of driving ahead of me and wanted to be home before midnight. We skipped Koira's last singles run and left shortly after Pallo's last run with his team. I like to stay for the end of racing and awards, and have never skipped it before, but that drive was motivating for getting out of there. 

Before taking off, I had to load the car back up with everything from the weekend, plus a pair of flyball boxes that my team purchased and that I needed to bring north from me. Flyball people are awesome, and one of the people Pallo was running pick-up with brought the boxes over from Las Vegas, where they were made. Everyone was worried about me being able to fit them both in my rather small car, but it didn't turn out to be an issue at all.

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All packed up for the drive home


  1. Sounds like a fun weekend, but, whew!, an 8 hour drive is a huge deal! I limit my agility trials to a max of about 90 miles one way. Fortunately, there are plenty to be found in that distance span during peak season.

  2. Hi Y'all!

    What a long drive!

    Love the pictures of the flyball turns!

    Y'all come by now,
    Hawk aka BrownDog

  3. Looks like fun! Curious...why did Koira compete in singles and not team? And did you pull her because her turns weren't going well?

  4. Koira was in Singles instead of with a team so that I would feel no pressure to keep her in if I felt I should pull her. And she was pulled because her turns were low and not looking good at all. Running a dog for a weekend with a bad turn can undo months of training.

  5. At first glance, I thought Koira was wearing leg warmers and I was SUPER PUMPED. I won't pretend that I know anything about Flyball turns, but it looks FUN!

  6. Gotcha! BTW the mastiff is ridiculously cute:)

  7. Did you find Koira was confused at all by running singles? We only run NAFA and I don't know of any UFLI tournaments up here in Southern Ontario, but I'm curious how fast Rem would run without me screwing up a pass. He's done a 4.7 before in lineup but we're more commonly at 5.4's.

  8. Koira doesn't have any issues with running singles. She does run faster if there is a dog in the other lane, though.

    Pallo, on the other hand, would probably not do well in singles. When I try to use him as a start dog (not something that happens often), he sometimes gets very confused and spins instead of running. So, I think it would depend on your dog a lot. Something to keep in mind, though, is that U-Fli lights are timed differently than NAFA lights (1.2 seconds instead of 1 second), so if you start in NAFA, it may be hard to get good starts in U-Fli at first.

  9. What we did at Trophy's remedial box turn practice was to use a board with a ball velcroed to it WITHOUT a prop from a short distance and practice NOT relying on props and then moving distance back and back and back as long as he retains the turn. I would also throw his reward away from the box to help encourage him to drive off the box. I just haven't had time to practice enough at home to make anything worthwhile. Maybe that would help her as well?

    8 hours is a crazy drive! I did 6 for a tournament in December, and 5 to CanAm two years... it's killer. I can't imagine 8!

    Have I mentioned Koira is adorable??