A "Rockhound" is one who is eager to find and collect rare minerals and rocks. Our kennel name Rockhound is approved by the international kennel organization FCI in Belgium. The puppies we breed shall have the name Rockhound's [puppy name]. We have chosen to let our puppies have mineral names or geologically-related names when we register them. We own and breed rough (long-haired) Collies and Shetland Sheepdogs (Shelties).
Another great weekend. It was the first hint of summer, actually a lot more than a hint with temperatures around 25C and bright sunshine – until a heavy thunderstorm poured rain over the last competition on Saturday.
Saturday began with Ag3, and Astra was so stressed that she started before I allowed her to, and then she continues her own way without looking or listening. I took her right off course, as she is not allowed to stress. like that. Later she ran a perfect Jump3 and a not so perfect team run. The thunderstorm did not bother her. She did not really want to go outside of the sheltered area, but once she was out there, she ran the open jumping class perfectly . However, I was one step too close to a jump, so she took it the wrong way.
Sunday she had one clean run and one disqualificaiton. We’re getting there!
May 1st – what a day!
I have participated in the May 1st competition in Moss (southeast of Oslo) every year since 1999 when I had my competition debut there with my first collie Cindy. It is a tradition to “celebrate” the labor day there among flags in this labor city. We have had everything from the first really nice day of spring (1999) to the worst torrential rain where you could net see the bottom of the weave or about half the contacts due to lakes on the ground – and everything between. Seems like we had most rains, though. This year the sun was out, temperature about 8-10 C but the wind made it a little colder than it could have been, and it also blew down several obstacles during the day.
Astra and me: We started with Agility 3, and when I was done running I thought we had made a clean run. But those watching told me that Astra had jumped off the seesaw too early. Entirely my fault as I had decided to wait for her, but did not. So we came in as number 5 with the third best time. Next out was jumping where we did make a clean run and came in as number 5, about 2 seconds after the best one. As all four ahead of me already were champions, the CC was ours That is jumping CC number two, and we only need NKKs ”large CC” before we can call Astra a jumping champion. The goal is of course this year, and the same goal is for agility champion where we still need one large and one small CC. Our final run was the team run, which was also clean. Two clean and one with one fault – this is a new record for us. (We also did that as a class 2 participant in May last year when we had our last clean agility 2 run in order to qualify for class 3 and the Norwegian Championship a week or two later – plus another clean and another with one fault.)
Stovner teams: Being a team leader for the small teams in our club Stovner is a bit of work as we usually have 3-4 teams running in every event. But it is more a pleasure, as we generally have several of our teams among the three best. This time Stovner had four participating teams, three of these among the three best; two of these made clean runs. The other 6 participating teams eliminated. We did it again!
23-25 March: Three day training with the national team and the recruitment team for the national team (where we are). Wow- was that wonderful training! Saturday started with training for all approximately 40 participants: Small combinatiuons, every two combination with a trainer, and the rest self-training, where one in each group was told what the prupose was. I was the one, probably because I am a certified instructor. Jan from the Netherlands, Roger, Jon, Eivind, Peter – they all did a great job. The next dayw we were divided in National team with Jan and Peter, and the Recruitment team with Jon and Eivind. We had larger combinations, actually mainly whole courses. Eivind and Jon (my normal instructor) had the same comments and worked better as a trainer team than the Jan and Peter apparently did. I was way high up in the sky after these three days!
2-3 February 2013: Now was the first chance to practice what Åsa told me in class a couple of weeks ago, and it worked We came back from the two-day competition in Moelv with an agility Cert (CC). I was a little too close to the weave so she got in on the second pole in a jumping 3 class, but the rest of that run was fantastic. That means that we can do it – again. We did eliminate in a couple of runs, but that did not matter compared to our CC on Sunday. Even in those not-perfect runs we had several good points: She did a good sit and stay EVERY time; I knew how to chose then right path, which worked as I was able to be where I had planned most of the times. From now on – more success! The plan in having two titles by the end of the year: NAgCh and NAgHCh (however they are spelled That should be feasible. And then the international ones after that……
23January: Weekly class with Jon, and again a good one with lots of challenges. I left a bit early as I had to take Astra to Dad for a week while we were going to the US, leaving early next morning.
19-20 January: What a class! Åsa Emanuelsson made me understand how I can select the right path for me in order to do a good run. And use blindcrosses, which I have rarely used because Astra is so incredibly quick. To recap it: Choose the shortest path for myself. During the course walk decide where the change of driection is, and make sure you are in front of the dog there to reduce her speed and to guide her into the new direction. Stay in front of the dog the whole time and use her speed to easily guide her by using my hands to get her here and there. The speed, Jaako’s and blindcrosses will make you ahead of the dog and the dog will have few options but to follow you. This theory is what I have missed during my more than 10-year carrere! I was surprised than even while I was in front of her I actually had to wait for my speedy dog a couple of places! I have always claimed that Astra has a fifth gear over the dogwalk, and Åsa confirmed that by saying that Astra’s dogwalk is world class. Too bad her owner is not, but now that I know the new things to work on, we can only be better than we were. Funny thing, but this way of handling is actually what we also found out by trial and error this week in group I instruct, even if we did not use as many blindcrosses as Åsa suggests. See http://www.rockhound.no/?page_id=1065
16 January: New good training session, and especially the jumping part was good this time. To be in the right place to take the dog between, over, jump back, around was a challenge, but I was happy when we finally managed it.
12 January competitions in Bø: This Saturday had two sets of competitions. We did not do well, but I am thrilled that we were able to do things that we have not been able to do before. We have had competiton break since early September, and Jon’s instruction really has made us better! Astra actually stayed on the startline each time! Yes, I did back away from her and told her repeatedly STAY, but she did stay until I was where I wanted. Lots of other smaller details also worked. One jumping class we did everything right until the third last jump, where I did not have any more breath so I was not able to get her around the jump. Geez – irritating, but that’s asthma for you – or me, actually.
09 January 2013: New year, new challenges, and new goals. Astra and I are still on the 3 Elite group for training, with Jon G. Olsen as wonderful instructor. It is great to have a person who always finds something that can be improved. Se started with a course where I had to be on one side of the dogwalk and Astra ran in a tunnel underneath it and then into a next tunnel and back into the first tunnel again – all while I had to stay on the other side of the dogwalk. She has occasionally refused the tunnel, and so she did today also, until I walked to the other side and showed her where to go. She should know better.
22 November: Again another great training with Jon as instructor. He pushes us very hard, which I like. I have learnt so much these past months, so now we are ready to start up competitions gain. Dogs4All this weekend is the first competition I have done since beginning of September.
16 November: We were several people and dogs at the facility at 10 AM on this Friday morning. Lots of good courses and great help from everybody to everybody. I worked hard on sending her, and she does a lot better than before.
14 November: Still hard of breath, but I was able to run a lot better than last week. We had a good course where Jon pushed us hard to send the dog to place ourselves where we needed to be next.
07 November It was a good training session, but my cold and cough made it impossible to run more than a few meters. I left early.
25 October Spent 90 minutes on the normally 45 minute drive. Queues out of the city at 3PM; it gets worse and worse. Anyway, I built a straight line of a half-circle tunnel at the end, then one jump, one dogwalk and two jumps. The goal was to send Astra to do the obstacles on her own. Full speed into the tunnel (did not work too well), before me on the dogwalk and over the jumps. I left goodies at the end and that works wonders every time she thinks they are there. But not always when she does not. However, this was a good session alltogether. Then it was Trixie’s turn. I worked her on obedience for some 10-15 minutes, which she likes, incredibly enough. I need to start on some new things there, and I will next time. Then I took her the same round as Astra on the agility, but on 55 cm height. She is not very quick so I am able to be at the end of the dogwalk almost before she arrives. I work her with 2-on-2-off there, while Astra has running contacts. Then it was time for being the instructor for others.
24 October: I skipped the training as I was not feeling well.
16 October No training last week, but I took them there today. Astra did a decent job while her handler was not totally up to speed. I also took Trixie in, but she was way too stressed, and barked and did whatever she wanted, totally disregaring my instructions. If she wanted a tunnel, she’ld dart over to the tunnel. After a few minutes I gave up and took her over to the obedience where she cooled down somewhat. All in all not a very good session. It may have had to do with me, but Trixie was also to blame as I tried to be very calm with her.
04 October I took both dogs for a training session before I instructed my class. We worked on both obedience and agility. As soon as I get Trixie into the obedience mood (= no stress and no barking) she does really well. I think we could work a little more and then be ready for competiti0n in class 1. But do I want to??? Someone else were there as well so we could do a 2-minute lie down and stay while I was quite far away, first with Trixie and then with Astra. Good girls!
Agility: Astra and I worked on me sending her off to a jump while I ran in the opposite direction along the dogwalk. It worked to some degree, but we need to work more on that as I can’t keep up with her speed. She must be more secure in finishing obstacles while I run away. Trixie knows the obstacles, and is also very good at following me when I take her through, over, back, and between jumps. I will start working on full height with her soon. I have let her jump on low heights in order to speed her up. I don’t know if it is a good idea or not. We’ll see.
27 September: I used one of the courses from the weekend two weeks earlier, and everyone was really tired after all that running. Se http://www.rockhound.no/?page_id=1065 for details in Norwegian.
26 September: Astra training, and Jon still does a very good job pointing out what I do wrong and telling me how to do it right. A lot of this is sending her so I can place myself. I am so happy that I have him as my instructor!
15-16 September: Training weekend with the recruitment team to the national team, and what a weekend! We received theory that I did not know regarding how to decide which option to choose when walking the course. I know I have frequently chosen the wrong one, but I did not know how to make the decision. Hopefully this will help me. We had great, challenging courses, and we were able to run them several times so we could improve the performance. My main problem is that I can’t send Astra as far as I would like to, which makes it difficult to move to where I need to be when she is so much quicker than I am. The final session on Sunday we had a competition with the national team. Great competition training! One very positive thing about this weekend was that Astra behaved like she does in compeitions. That means that I really could work on her sit-and-stays all weekend – and it helped. In normal training she always does what she is supposed to, and I can walk away as far as I want. But in competitions she has forgotten what it means to stay. Inger slipped and fell on her wrist, and found out later that some small bone had broken. She had surgery two weeks later and will be in a cast for quite some time. Agility is risky sport, too, especially for old ladies. She is definitely not the first one to break a bone, leg or arms.
09 September: Drøbak, and I had planned not to participate. But one person on the teams got ill, so I was asked to come after all. That is a decision I do not regret, as we made a clean run in the jumping class! We came in as number 2 after one champion, so the CC was ours – our first one! The five first small dogs, all with clean runs, were from our club. Several of these are on the national team, that will participate in the world championship next month. Astra did a good job with the other two runs as well, but we did not succeed as well there.
01 September: Not very happy about the results for this competition, but Astra did well in parts that I though would be a problem. Only one run was decent, but we had at least one refusal. As I write this a month later, I frankly don’t remember. I have decided not to compete more this year, maybe with the exception of Dogs4All. There aren’t many competitions left, anyway. We definitely need more training. Yes, we are in class 3, but we are not really ready for class 3. I have booked housing for competitions in January and February already.
01 August: John and I had the whole course to ourselves, and we worked with each other. What a treat to have a good personal trainer! We used a course from the new Swedish magasine “Agility Nu” and worked on it like it was suggested in the article. Half of the course first, then the other half, and finally the whole thing.
26-29 July The Midnightsun-Jump in Tromsø, Northern Norway: This four-day event is what I have been looking forward to throughout the year. It is definitely the nicest, non-stressing, and most fun competition, with only one ring and about 40 participants, divided into three classes and three sizes. Astra had 1-4 competitors in 3 Small, and about 12 in the open classes. We were not able to do what we had come for: Make a clean run in class 3, in either/both agility and jumping. But we made three clean runs in the open classes, which are somewhat easier than class 3. Two of these were in agility and one in jumping. (Click the words and you will see them on Youtube) Astra’s agility speed was close to 5 meters per second in one of these. She was only beaten by 2-4 seconds by a border collier, but of course that is just a theoretical exercise as we do not compete with the other sizes. And the next one with a clean run had about 5 seconds more than Astra. She is quick, and this is one of the reasons why I have a hard time following her. The prizes for my three clean runs were fantastic: One large size of sm0ked salmon, 4 kilos Hill’s kibble, and one night for two at a hotel in Tromsø- talk about prizes!!! In a way I was happy that I did not win Ag3, as it would have been impossible to take 12 kilos Hill’s kibble home on the plane. I had Astra in a crate on the plane. I believe it is better for her as she has a lot more room than she would have in a bag underneath the seat in front of me. Tromsø Dog Club will not have the Midnightsun Jump next year. They are few people and it is a heavy job to organize it. But in two years they will – and we will be back! I also showed Astra two of the days. She receiverd one Excellent and one Very Good. I think her show carriere is about over. She received three or four Certificate Quality when she was quite young, but we have never gotten any further. No CC’s and I doubt she will get it. She is Excellent, but she does have some faults – and I know it. One of the judges that weekend said that she lacked muscles. A well-trained agility dog without muscles??? That one I don’t believe.
29 July: Mina showed Ifa with the necessary results. Ifa is now Agility Champion and Jumping Champion and she is less than 2 1/2 years old. Congratulations, Mina! Ifa sure beat her mother to this! Tom also showed Trixie but she performed with Jelly-legs and had forgotten everything we had trained her to do. Show is boooooring, she said.
03 July: Latest news: Rockhound’s Cosalite (Ifa) and Mina got their last Ag CC and now only miss a show result to call themselves NAgCh and NAgHCh. The last jumping CC was two weeks ago, when she managed to win 3 CCs in one weekend. Mina is a fantastic handler with a very good dog. Congratulations, Mina! -siri
03 July: Gunnvor and I built a jumping course created by Ton van de Laar, which was challenging. We were able to do it after a few trial-and-errors, Astra and Penny, and also Trixie to a certain degree. Trixie follows my directions a lot better now than she has before, but we have to work on speed and accuracy….. -siri
27 June: Training with several people from the club before the BBQ and cake “seremony” to celebrate our club’s many winners in the Norwegian Championship. The course was good and challenging, and Astra worked well so we were able to get several clean runs. -siri
17 June: Sandefjord competitions. Jumping3 was a tough course set up by judge Lee Gibson. Astra did great until she took a jump from a wrong side, and great after that as well. So I was quite happy with the jumping. She followed me nicely all the way, and the one failed jump was not easy. Agility3: At least as tough as the jumping, and we were able to go through, though with a few errors. She came in as number 7. 16 disqualified, so she was in the best third. Not too bad, I think – but definitely room for improvement. Tunnelcup was fun: 16 tunnels, and only a jump first and last to determine the time. We participated both days, and she had one refusal each day. The first one was definitely my fault, but I am not so sure about the second one. For a while she has occasionally refused tunnels, so for me it was just a great training session with lots of tunnels. This was our last competition for 5 weeks, and I think it will be good to have a break. We will of course do some training, but classes also break for the summer. -siri
Ifa (Rockhound’s Cosalite) and Mina had a great weekend: 2 jumping CC and the final for the title jumping champion. 1 agility CC and she needs one more before she has the agility champion in place – plus show results also before it is officially awarded! Congratulations! -siri
Cassie (Rockhounds Cassiterite) and Colleen had a beautiful jumping 2 run, which was the last one needed. She is now in class 3, but5 still needs 3 clean agility runs before she is in agility class 3. Congratulations! -siri
15 June: ready for a training session in Kongsberg where we will focus on contacts and which tools we have to ensure those. Then drive to Sandefjord for a weekend with Gunnvor and Marianne in the “Rock house” when we are not at the show and agility competition. Astra will do agility and Kida will do the puppy show. -siri
13 June: Three good courses and we were only 6 dogs, which meant running all the time and no waiting. One course looked very difficult but was easy. One course needed back-chaining when the dog was supposed to take three jumps behind the bent tunnel. It worked a few times, but mostly not. In a real competition I would have chickened out and run with her around the tunnel. The last one was a challenge with my bad knees and Astra’s quick running. But when Irene borrowed her it worked perfectly. Sad for Astra to have a slow handler. I sure hope that me knees will improve soon. :-( -siri
12 June: Trixie training. She did not concentrate on me, and was a nightmare while we were waiting for our turn. -siri
10 June: Competition in Hønefoss, about one hours’s drive from home. I am so irritated by a body that does not do as I want it to do: Run as quickly as needed. Judge Magne had set up courses that needed running like mad, and I was not able to. Also add that parts opf the course was new grass and parts of it bumpy roads – definitely not ideal when you also have to see where you put your foot so you don’t sprain the ancle or knee. Eliminations in the two individual courses Ag3 and J3, and got through the team course. Our team won with a total of 10 faults, so I got my second and last needed team qualification for the Norwegian Team Championship in November 2013, a small week after the 2012 Championship was finished. I am sure it will not be the last qualification I receive. The forecast was showers, but they did not materialize. We actually had sunshine and good weather. Should have brought shorts instead if the extra jacket and rain jacket I had to bring all three dogs, and Trixie was a nightmare, barking and stressing terribly. She tore and broke out of the crate while I was running Astra, and took off to the course for big dogs where she ruined a run for someone. Kida was a good little girl, but as she shared the create with Trixie she also took a little round for herself. Thankfully friends picked them both up. The rest of the day they spent more or less in the car. Next weekend is Sandefjord, and then a 5 week gap before the Tromsø event. I think this might be a good break for me and my knees, which I hope will be better after the treatment I am undergoing. -siri
06 June: Another very great training session with Kirsten as instructor. We set up a rather complicated agility course (class 2-3), where there were lots of different paths options for the person. She did not tell us the starting sequence, and let us all on our toes before she started us. Sometimes she said it was one person, then let that person be replaced, and once with me she got me to the starting position and she started to move the obstacles, claiming they had been slightly pushed. She was in our way, ran along the dogwalk, and managed to get most of us a bit stressed – which was the intent. She also timed us. In all: A competition setting. I hope I can get the course drawing, as this was a fun course also. Then we were timed in a part of the sequence, so we could try out the best way through a half-circle tunnel with optional entrance. -siri
03 June: Finals in the Norwegian Championship. Our team had 3 eliminations of the four participants – not a very good job, though we all agreed that we did indess come to the finals. Preben and Figo was the only one not to be emliminated either day. Stovner’s Rookies showed that we ARE rookies 18 months till the next NC, and by then we should also have 18 months more training and be better prepared. Rockhound’s Ifa was on the team that WON the NC size Medium, but they are in a different club. Congratulations, Mina!
Stovner did well this NC: Team Large: Gold, Team Medium: Silver, Team Small: Gold and Silver. Individual small: Gold, silver and bronze and the only ones not to eliminated in jumping or agility (lots of nerves out there), Individual Medium: Gold and silver. -siri
02 June: First day of Norwegian Championship was not a big success for me: Individual jumping and agility were both eliminations. Team jumping: Our team came in 6th, and we were the last team to be qualified for the final the next day. Astra did a great job on the team run. Quick, short turns, and followed my cues perfectly. Too bad I showed her the wrong way over the jump. If I had not, she would have had a clean run, and our team would have come in third. However, as we disqualified in the finals it did not matter much. -siri
01 June: No training, but very exited about tonight when Kida’s sister Seff will visit. Astra will have her two 7-month-old girls here. I am sure she will also tell Seff who is the boss. Kida learnt that very quickly the hard way, and has behaved perfectly ever since. But Seff was the leader of the D-litter, so she might not give in as quickly.
I am also very exited about tomorrow’s Norwegian Championship with Astra. The goal was to take part, so I am actually quite calm about the whole thing. Hopefully that will last through the weekend. First goal is to be among those who qualify for the final Saturday. -siri