Wednesday, October 29, 2008

ASFA National Greyhound Specialty

SEGA hosted the ASFA National Greyhound Specialty for lure coursing. I never allow my greyhounds to see lure coursing and I have been successful thus far. So Katie, Reagan, and Riley remain unaware of the plastic bunny. The reason for this is that there is simply no reason for them to see it. I do not course them. I do not want them that excited especially with no way to release it (no fun for either of us). I enjoy being able to work or play fetch with my greyhounds before and after the trial and at lunchtime. I probably wouldn't be able to if my greyhounds had any idea what happens on those fields :-).

But I like to go occasionally to see other people's greyhounds running. The event is usually held on a huge, beautiful farm in the middle of nowhere.

The farm also had a kennel of foxhounds.

At lunchtime, I competed Reagan in the puppy bitch conformation class. I thought she would get bored of stacking, but she played the show dog part well and placed 3rd out of 4. No doubt those crooked front legs had something to do with that (she toes out). Travis definitely has her beat in that department, but I thought it would be fun to do while she still qualified for the puppy class.
I was able to work both Riley and Reagan (one at a time) on a long line while they fetched. Reagan has had plenty of experience dragging the line and fetching. I would almost dare to say she didn't need the long line, but although fenced it was an enormous field.Riley fetched much better than I expected. A couple of times, the smell of lunch lured her into the wrong direction, but that's the beauty of the long line. I can call her and if ignored, I can make it happen with the leash. Usually when I start them fetching on a long line, I will start by throwing the toy towards a barrier so there is something to naturally slow the dog down, so they do not hit the end of the line. You have to be very careful. The area needs to be free of trees, people, objects, animals, and anything else that a long line can be wrapped around. Its a great way for me to exercise in a unsecure area and to start feeling better about my off leash control for future agility trials. It should not be used for just letting your greyhound with no training run full tilt in all directions. It is a very useful training tool, but it does require some training to be used safely. You also need to build up to a long length over a period of time. I also got to see some greyhound puppies and a monkey. Ok, not a monkey, but a cute greyhound/borzoi/deerhound (I think) . She was adopted from a rescue in CA. All in all, we had a fun time.