Last weekend we had flyball at TNT in Midland, MI. Our team has several up and coming dogs as well as a new team member with 3 flyball dogs so we had kind of a weird number of dogs. Too many for 1 team but not enough for 2 teams. I volunteered to run Nikon in Singles instead of on his normal team. That means he runs by himself, head-to-head racing another dog with the same or similar seed time. You do not earn any points for running Singles, so he has not upgraded his title. However it’s a great chance to work on starting a dog with the timing lights. Nikon has been running anchor (last) for almost a year now and I thought this would be good practice for me, learning to start a dog. Lately his team times have been 4.8 and 4.9. At our last tournament he actually ran a 4.7 which was really good for him. Well, I’m pleased to say that he ran a 4.5 this past weekend. In fact, he would have had two 4.4 times if my starts had been better! Tenths of a second are like a half an hour in normal time, lol, so going from a 4.8 to a 4.5 is a big jump. He’s faster than I thought and a mid-4 is on par with most Border Collies who are generally thought of as dominating flyball and agility. He also got several practice turns with some of the Pre-Flight dogs. Pre-Flight means you are basically paying for 7 minutes of time during the tournament that typically happens before racing starts and then during the lunch break. It is used for green dogs to get used to a tournament but aren’t ready to race yet. We have 5 such dogs right now, so we use a dog like Nikon to run alongside them so they can learn not to cross over or get distracted. Nikon is a favorite because he pays no attention to the other dog and due to his size and general presence, the younger dogs do not feel as keen to chase him as they would a smaller or more reactive dog.
Here is a video compilation from this weekend. Nikon’s not on it since he wasn’t racing on the team but Legend is at 4:00.
I’m trying to convince Lee to come play flyball with Brody! I think they would love it 🙂
Nikon’s boy Legend is doing well. He worships Nikon and I wish we could fast forward a year so he can start flyball an agility too.