Lately, I've been trying to find a reason for a problem that we've had since the first competition on. In 90% of our agility runs at home, he runs full speed, but in 90% of our agility runs on competitions he doesn't run full speed. At first I thought this was because of new agility equipment, (and I still believe this to be one of the reasons), then I thought it was because of so many scary dogs around on competitions, then I thought of many other reasons and I think they are all partly true, but the process of overcoming this problem will take much longer than I thought, since our progress is very very slow. I tried to take him to every competition possible only to overcome these fears of his, but I'm not sure whether it helped much. Sometimes I just had to go home with a tear in my eye, it is really not a good feeling to drive a long way and spend your last savings only to see all your efforts fail.
Our second project lately has been to improve cik&cap. Again, no progress here, so I started the whole thing all over again, without bars, around the trees and jump wings. I never thought this could be so hard to teach, but I just have to find a way to make him love tight turns.
The only improvement on agility are turns after dogwalk. I've started with a jump straight after the dogwalk and then removing it further and further back to the left or right. It's looking quite chaotic, he only runs according to my body language, doesn't care about left and right at all, all he wants is to run and run and run over that dogwalk, but with a lot of tries, he learned to turn tight to the left or right after it. Of course, never missing a contact, oh my God, does he love that dogwalk, so funny :D
So I am not really satisfied with our agility lately (except for the dogwalk), but no, I am not giving up, I just know someday we will overcome this!
Other than that, we are busy with frisbee, new tricks (it's getting boring, he now learns a new trick with just two repetitions!, oh my, he is turning out to be too smart for me), hiking and fooling around with our friends. This weekend we had a visit from Simona, Bennetton&Nike and it was really funny to watch Ben&Nike playing togeher, tugging (Ben NEVER tugs with any other dog), and all three playing piano, doing tricks and running in the fields. They are a true dream team: crazy wrestler Nike, funky weirdo Ben and good old uncle Bennetton :) Since my camera is still dead and I have to buy a new one, I haven't been able to make any new tricks/agility/frisbee videos yet, and I have to thank Simona for all the photos. I have many videos in plan, but it might take some time...