Wednesday, March 28, 2012


After packing everything needed for a week on the road Lisa and Darby went off to the Southern Specialty last weekend. Two days on the road and 100s miles later and they arrived in Texas. The next morning started off with obedience. Not only did Darby qualify for his second CD leg but he went High In Trial. Later that day in conformation he went Select Dog and First Award of Merit. Way to go and worth the long trip.

Out of the last 4 greyhounds specialties, Aragon greyhounds have gone High In Trial at three of them.

Western Lompoc July 2011 Ch Aragon Morning Mist RA BN CD aka Becca and Donna

Eastern Specialty Sept 2011 No Aragon dog entered

Fall Greyhound Club of Northern California Oct 2011 Ch Aragon Black Ice VCD1 RE aka Echo and Helen

Southern Specialty Texas March 2012 GCH Aragon Aroi Silver Lining RE aka Darby and Lisa

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Tanner's Rally Debut

This weekend, Tanner had his debut in AKC rally obedience.  It was a very small trial with a limited entry held in a building that Tanner is very familiar with.  These factors all added up to create good supportive atmosphere for the two of us to enter our first trial.

On Saturday, I was pretty nervous.  A training buddy came down to help cheer us on and she reminded me to smile at Tanner and to keep my posture upright.  These are the little things that tend to slip when I (and most people) get nervous.  When it was our turn, we did pretty well.  But, we could have done better.

Well, let me rephrase that, I could have done better.  We had to repeat a station because we were out of sync.  A couple times, when he lagged a little in heel,  I turned my head to look back at him.  This made me drop my shoulder back as well which is a signal to him to drop back.  You can see where this is going.  I pushed him back out of position.  As a handler, it is important to keep your body pointed forward, even when you are turning right and your dog drifts out of your peripheral vision.  Looking back at your dog makes the dog lag.

Anyway, you can see the video here:

But, the good part is we still scored a 93 out of 100 which is a respectable score.  The best part is, he earned his first leg towards his Rally Novice title!  Our judge was Sue Cox.  She is a really nice judge.  Her pencil doesn't miss much but she is fair and kind.

On Sunday, we did do better!  I kept myself calm, I remembered to breathe and smile.  I didn't look back and just trusted that he would be where he needed to be.  There were a lot of right turns on this course!  I still had to repeat a station because I sent him to finish to the right instead of the to the left.  Nonetheless, he responded well to his smiling handler and earned lots of compliments.

Here is the video:

We earned a score of 95.  Our  judge, Marsha Carroll Dandridge, was very complimentary on his heeling abilities.  She literally gushed over how wonderful he worked for me and what a great dog he is! Of course, this made me very happy!  I love my boy and it's nice when everyone else loves him too!  We enjoyed showing under Marsha.  Her pencil was sharp as well but she was fair and good to her exhibitors.

We just need one more novice rally leg in order to be able to add RN after his name!  He will be the 4th one in his litter to add a performance title! 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Whisper's Agility Weekend

Along with Lyric I ran Whisper in agility at the three day agility trial in Santa Rosa California. We are trying to get ready for the Nationals in Reno at the end of March. So to improve our time I decided to try to leave Whisper on a stand stay rather than a sit stay. As the videos clearly show she didn't believe I really meant for her to stay so she left early-almost every time. By the end of the weekend I had changed and placed her back into a sit stay-and she held her start.

On the first day not only did Lyric qualify in Excellent Standard but Whisper QQed for her 9th towards her MACH2. The weavepole entry was especially hard but we made it although not graceful.

On the second day in standard we tried a lead out from the chute. Although it seemed like a simple move we had never practiced it in class and she went around it to come to me. It was probably the only time we have failed before we even started the course. Oh well jumpers was fun and she Qed. It felt very strange to have Lyric Q on the course but not Whisper.

On the last day trying to push Whisper to go faster on the standard course I noticed she was not holding her contacts. The dogwalk on the last day was a good example. We didn't get called on it so she earned her 10th QQ(with a little help). It seems like when something improves something else slips. I guess that is why agility is so fun, it is not a static sport.

Saturday, March 3, 2012

BISS GCH Aryal Aroi Stoney Ridge VCD1 RE AX AXJ SC

Lyric earned her AX qualifing 4 out of 6 runs and with all 2nd places. The tire jump has been her nemesis-a large part of why she hasn't done standard agility.She always jumps kicking with her hind feet and it scares her. That and the fact she was injured in a tunnel as a youngster has caused her to distrust the agility ring. With enough time and rewards she was willing to try to play the game again. She earned her jumpers titles and it was time to figure out how to overcome the tire jump issue.

I can not figure out why she takes the tire jump the way she does. I have tried changing her take off position, running at it fast, running at it slow, nothing changes how she jumps the tire. I have noticed her jumping style is not the same as Whisper's. In fact when she takes the regular jumps sometimes she jumps normally, sometimes she high kicks. But I did discover how to convince her to take the tire most of the time. Notice my hand coming up to the tire-I am "throwing" and telling her to "go". At home we practice with the actual tire jump and she is more than willing to go through it. Just prior to entering the ring we practice throwing food over the practice jump. So she is hoping food will appear on the other side of the tire jump.

Now my goal with her has been accomplished, an AX and AXJ and with 8 MACH points. I wish her third AX video hadn't been cut short. I was so excited she Qed I started making a huge noise. She got so excited she got the scooties and circled me several times before I could catch her. Anyone who knows Lyric knows what a serious dog she is-she was as excited as I was.