*Oh, and I didn't mention on Monday in my tournament recap (because I didn't know yet at the time) that Koira achieved her next title at the tournament last weekend. She now officially has the Flyball Dog Champion Gold (FDCh-G) title. Next up, Flyball Master!*
And now, the flyball pictures!
This one is Pallo tugging like a maniac. The tug in flyball is used as a reward at the end of each run. (Check out the tug making tutorial I posted yesterday.) Some people use food or a ball or other toy instead, but I prefer to tug with my dogs. The tug also acts as a way to control where the dog is- if the dog is on the end of the tug, they aren't rerunning themselves, chasing balls in the run back, or otherwise getting in the way of other people or dogs.
And then this one is of me and Pallo as I am releasing him to run. I used to launch him off of my lap, with me kneeling and his back legs up on my hips. But I decided he was tripping too much from that position, and went to releasing him from a standing position. You can see that he crouches down, almost laying down, and then gets very amped before being released.
For comparison, here is Koira being release by the same method, where I just stand over them holding their collar until I release them. While Pallo crouches down and gets amped, Koira tends to rear up and look straight up into my face, then almost bounce forward. Unfortunately, it makes for very irregular start times since the amount of bounce changes each time. Because of that, I am working on finding a different, more effective starting method for the two of us.
Koira really flattens out when jumping, but certainly clears the jumps with room to spare. Our agility instructor (did I mention that we took an agility class?) said that Koira jumps too flat. I think it is probably because of our flyball practice. And I like her flat jumping style, it makes for a faster flyball dog!
And then, a box turn picture of Koira. Unfortunately, she doesn't really have much of a box turn in this picture... Neither of her back feet ever actually touched the box during this turn, which I am not too fond of. But, if this is what her turn is going to be like, at least I get to play with my dog, and at least she gets to have fun.
In any case, I'm super thrilled with all these pictures. Memories are so much better when you have pictures to look at to bring them to mind. It also makes me want to take pictures at the tournament next week. I've been really holding back on taking pictures at flyball tournaments for a while, both because I've been busy and because I just wasn't enjoying it that much. So many people take advantage and just assume someone will take great pictures of their dog and give them to them for free, and it was getting on my nerves (especially after I spent a lot of money on a new camera and a new lens this past spring). But, I enjoy taking pictures, and I think I'll try to get some more of them at this next tournament.
All photos shown in this post were taken by David Eastman, and were shared on this blog with his permission after I purchased digital copies for personal use.