Monday, June 9, 2014

Summer Season Begins

While I try to stay active with my dogs throughout the year, summer is really the time of a million activities. If we aren't dock diving or lure coursing or playing flyball, we are at the park walking, playing fetch, or swimming at the river.

On Saturday, we had to choose between lure coursing or dock diving. Lure coursing was closer and cheaper, so it won. A number of my flyball friends came down to practice as well, which was fun. I like my lure coursing friends, of course, but I love seeing people get their dogs involved in something new, and I like visiting with my flyball people outside of flyball.

One of my friends was even awesome enough to release my dogs for me, so I could stand off to the side and get some pictures of them.

CKC practice-2039
Digging in right after being released, trying to get up to speed

This particular practice we use a reversing lure. The dog runs straight out away from the handler, then the lure reverses and they run straight back to the handler again.

CKC practice-2043
In full flight headed away after the lure

CKC practice-2044
My little cannonball of muscle

This method makes it easy to catch the dogs at the end of their run. Reversing the lure also helps correct dogs who "cheat" by running far off to the side of the lure or who anticipate and cut corners. The lure gets reversed as soon as the dog veers away from it, drawing them back and forcing them to run more honestly.

CKC practice-2050
On her way back, head a bit farther up as the lure slows down at the end

CKC practice-2052
Bounding to the stationary lure at the end of the course

CKC practice-2054
Caught the bunny.

At our practices, each dog gets to run twice, with a nice long break in between to cool off between runs. Using the reversing lure makes the practices run really quickly as well, since there is no need to spend time resetting the lure by hand like we have to when using a drag lure.

CKC practice-2128
Pallo's most graceful coursing shot. He isn't super graceful when running, but is very powerful and absurdly fast for his short little legs.

The first run with each of my dogs, I released them myself, then crouched down to get some photos of them heading away and heading back to me. That's how I got the photo from yesterday's BW Sunday post of Pallo in full flight headed away from me. 

CKC practice-2030
Here is the headed away shot in color
This gives you a good idea of what the practice is like. First the dog heads straight out after the lure. Then the lure reverses at the far end of the field, and then the dog chases it back to the starting point again.

CKC practice-2035
But he returned with the same enthusiasm he left with
Koira is fast enough that I wasn't able to get crouched down and focused fast enough to get a good picture of her heading away from me, but I did get a couple of her coming back. I like the straight on lure coursing photos, but not as much as the side views.

CKC practice-1909
Koira headed straight back to me as well

Has anyone else been ramping up their summer activities? Do you keep having to choose what kind of awesome adventure will come each day?


  1. There were about 4 or 5 great activities on Sunday. Not all dog related, but it was a shame to miss any of them. However, we took the dogs to the Whisker Walk. It is the favorite of the year. They had an amazing day.

  2. Lots of opportunities abound but I can't have "dog weekends" too often or else I end up in the dog house ;-) So I have to save them for my agility trials.

  3. They look awesome! What great exercise:)

  4. Those are some fantastic action shots! I love to see the more agile breeds move. Mine would trip over themselves ;)

  5. Really? Some of the doggies cheat? Outrageous!! :)

    Great action shots, love the cannonball one, I think I'd love to the lure thing too, but I've never tried it.....

    I hope you're having a fun day,

    Your pal Snoopy :)

  6. Beautiful pictures Crystal! I now have a better idea of what Fly Ball looks like. Your "little cannonball of muscle" is impressive. I enjoyed spending time with you and your puppies at BlogPaws 2014.

  7. This comment has been removed by the author.

  8. Wonderful pictures! I wish there were more dog sport activities where we live. Maybe we'll have to start some local clubs :) Or we'll just have to stick with driving forty-five minutes to an hour to do something.