Last fall I had talked about my training plans and goals for each of the dogs, so it seems like a good time for updates. To keep post lengths under control, I’ll make this a four part series and talk about 2 dogs each week for the next month, from oldest to youngest.
Chili is still competing in agility and hunt tests and doing really well. I try not to think about the fact that she will celebrate her 10th birthday next month, but I know that I should enjoy this time with her. She hasn’t really slowed down in agility, but has never had the fastest ground speed between obstacles. Over the past year I’ve added a lot of blind crosses and new handling moves, which have helped her speed a lot, especially in jumpers. If you can’t go faster, it helps to at least run the courses as tightly as possible. I don’t train agility much with Chili, but she does still enjoy learning new turns and I think this keeps her more interested on course, which can mean more speed. This fall I am doing an online prep course for the Agility Invitational, which Chili will attend for the sixth time in December.
I have come to the decision not to continue working on open obedience with Maya. The out of sight stays are so stressful for her that she started really shutting down when I asked her to work in new places, even in the Pre-Open class where stays were not a requirement. We are still competing in agility on a limited basis, but Maya will retire when she finishes her Master titles in standard and jumpers. She currently needs one leg for each. Maya enjoys agility, but has never gotten the idea that speed is part of the game, so making time in a big challenge, even in preferred. Pursuing a PACH just isn’t going to be realistic, as she usually trots along at about 2 yards per second. Maya really likes therapy visits and helping me teach CPL puppy class at the women’s prison, which will make a good retirement job for her. I may try nose work with her over the winter also.