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Who could resist this cheeky little man?

Previously on Agilitynet... Mandy and Ed Melville-Love fell in love and adopted young Dylan, a blue merle collie puppy they had first seen on the Rescue Me page of Agilitynet. Even Mandy would agree that he has been a 'slow developer,' but he is a lovely lad and time will tell. Mandy  continues his doggie diary, following Dylan as he grows up.

 = CHAPTER 8 =

Dylanís training is now full steam ahead. Since joining Veseyans and putting him in their obedience class, heís come on leaps and bounds.  I donít know if itís the obedience thatís helped or the chunks of cheese I use to bribe him!!

Dylan and I finally got to join Veseyans agility training about a month ago and give or take the odd hiccup, heís progressing well.  Last night he had a mock test and will be taking part in the real thing in four weeks time, at which time heíll hopefully move up to the next class.

Now that he knows what he has to do with each of the pieces of equipment, heís working on and doing them instead of watching my hand for his treat. His contacts are generally very good, although he has acquired a love of the A-frame and has to complete it whenever he goes anywhere near it.

He is still getting to grips with weaving, but is now showing the body movement needed to complete them. He also has problems with the pipe tunnel, in that he looks like heís committed, but then changes him mind at the last minute and runs around. Iím now wondering if itís my body position and whether Iím blocking his entrance, so I will be more aware of this in future.

[to be continued]

 = CHAPTER 9 =

Dylanís First Show

We had our first competition on 7 February at the Agility Addicts unaffiliated show.

Our first course was jumping. The jumps were set at 2ft, with no weaves and no tyre. I set him up on the start line and left him in a wait and recalled him over the first jump and over the long jump. He sailed over the first line no problem, then came the dreaded pipe tunnel and yes, he went round it. It took me four attempts to get him in, but then we were back on track. Down the next row of jumps, turn to the left and up the next three jumps, heading back towards the spectators, so of course Dylan had to go and say hello!  Once again we got back on track and finished over two hurdles, into the collapsible tunnel and over the final jump.  I was so pleased with him.  He did everything wrong that I was expecting, but at the same time amazed me with his capabilities.  I fully expected to lose him on the left turn and for him to run around the collapsible tunnel to say hello to more spectators, but he didnít do either.

I then had people coming up to me saying how happy he looked, with Sue Bye saying that he smiled all the way around and looked so happy. That means so much more to me than a clear round at this stage.

The second jumping run (on the same course) was better still, with Dylan going into the pipe tunnel on the second attempt and running the rest of the course beautifully. Unfortunately we still picked up an elimination because he Ďcrashedí through a jump, which threw his stride out, so he couldnít get his footing right for the next jump and went round it instead, taking the jump after. Did I care? Of course not, we were having a great time.

The agility round was a bit of a disaster though Iím afraid.  Again a lovely wait on the start line, recall onto the dog walk, but thatís when it all went wrong.  Dylan decided it would be far better to use the corner of the ring as a toilet, then do about five laps of the ring showing how fast he could really run!  When I did get him back on track he flew over the long jump and over two hurdles into the pipe tunnel (no problem this time), out onto the see-saw, which didnít touch the ground, and then went off again on another lap of honour.  I was determined to get him round  the complete course, so got him set back up again, did the next couple of jumps, then came his favourite piece Ė the A-frame Ė and guess what, yes he missed it out.  I decided that I really had taken up too much of the judgeís time at this stage, so got Dylan over the last jump and left the ringÖ.I was still smiling though.

I didnít put Dylan round the agility again as I thought he wouldnít improve much, if any, from his first run and also three runs at his first show was plenty.

We have a training day booked with Alan Bray so fingers crossed heíll learn even more.  I have entered him at the Tuffley show next month and even if heís still not jumping 2í 6Ē Iím going to enter him just for ring experience.

With things improving all the time, Iím certainly hopeful of a bright future... well it certainly wonít be dull!

[to be continued]


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