Wednesday, January 30, 2008
I decided to bring the boys and let them play. I have been teaching them the stations, but haven't really put it all together yet- but they did pretty darn good!!!
Boone was very happy and up beat and only had one little moment and recovered beautifully!
Vito REALLLY wanted the cookie and couldn't understand why I wasn't feeding him at every station. But he was happy and eager to be playing!!!
It wasn't a super productive session as she did really well on most of everything we did- she had one pop out on the weaves- which was brought on by my lateral motion and we also had three bars which were her fault ;o)
I got an email from Kim Collins today reminding us of all the things that we should be working on before the next outreach- which is in two weeks. I have no idea where I am going to find the time......
Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Monday, January 28, 2008
The weekend was spent doing doggy things and relaxing. Saturday I worked for a few hours at the daycare, did some training with the beasties and finished the day by playing cards with my family. Sunday started off with an Obedience funmatch.
I entered her in Novice and Open- just to get the heeling practice in.
Her novice run was awesome! She was very up beat and happy to be there. Her recall sucked though. We still did well though and got a 190 (I think)
Her open run started off great. I made sure to play with her between exercises and it seemed to keep her spirits up. Her drop on recall was perfect- I threw the dumbbell far to the left on the retrieve over jump and she started to come around the jump. And on the broad jump she walked it the first time, and did it no problem the second time. I think with Wicca it is a momentum problem- in that she isn't focusing ahead really so she isn't able to get the momentum to get over it. This is something we have been working on for a while.
I also did one run thru of Rally and she was awesome. Attentive and tail up and waggin the whole time. It was only 13 stations and really simple but we haven't done rally in a long time so I was really happy with her! (and me for remembering all the signs)
On the Obedience front I just got two really great books- Marie Sawfords Ring Ready- I have only browsed through it but am really excited to start reading it. There is a ton of hints, suggestions and ideas for common obedience problems. I also finally ordered Beyond Block Heeling by Terry Ryan- there are lots of great fun games and drills in there for my workgroup class when I start it again.
And that's all the news of the weekend....
Friday, January 25, 2008
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
Wicca's exercises of the evening:
We warmed up with some good old Stays- I really need to make a better effort to teach her. Whenever she breaks I tell myself it is my fault for not teaching her...It makes me work harder!
Start Lines I used thrown food past the jump to try and get her to sit like a vulture- and increase her desire to take the jump. It worked really well, she broke twice, but not really to take the jump....not quite sure what she was thinking.
Start line position changes I am doing this to make her more aware of me at the start line. I wonder if some of her startline problems are becuase she is so focused on what she wants- agility. This makes her think and she is doing really well. She is scooting forward a bit at each position change but it is getting smaller and smaller.
Weave entries- 90 degree entry- no equipment before or after, just sending her ahead to three poles. 3 reps great, and then fell apart- I was rewarding in the wrong spt (surprise) so she started missing the last pole. Fixed it by using a target- first time with target stole the food without weaving- little bugger.
Weave Entries with speed- used a ball to get her driving out of them more- did great 4 reps
Weave Entries with distraction and speed. - added a jump- (do you like my little sketch)
o o o o
did great- five reps perfect. ball as a reward
2 reps of reving her (holding collar until she was barking and pulling) failed 2 x. Had to give her an extra verbal cue. 3 reps with ball reward- good.
Next session I want to work on Jumping patterns- threadles, FC on 270's and handling.
Goals- FC practice on pin wheel and discrimination
bar down on jump 3- A starting to move for FC.
wall contact- did not bottom on first Cue
redid wall- great contact, verbal and physical praise
A said wall- meant tunnel, dog not listening anyway- did correct (tunnel) obstacle ;o)
Broke Start line.
I didn't move quick enough to get over to do a FC so pulled back- resulting in the knocked bar.
Wicca didn't drive to 2on2off- waited it out to see if she would offer- no such luck. made her get off and redid it.
late FC- W took off course jump
Perfect- timing better. said name to get a tight turn.
*Barked when asked to repeat things
Boone- focus and jump work- building reward system (goodie container)
1- lift off immediately
2- C/T for getting on and immediate down, C/T for duration. Started lift but self corrected when cookies stopped coming
3- add speed jump-table...lift but self corrected C/T
4- didn't go all the way down- did not self correct- after 5 sec. called Off table.
used three poles only. rewarded with GC for fast and accurate
broke start line- A started asking Wicca to change position (sit.down.stand) before releasing- Wicca scooting forward at each change.
Boone- building value for GC- weave accuracy. restrained recall over jump to weaves (building speed) Very happy!
Tuesday, January 22, 2008
A month ago I went at him with thinning shears and he looked great- but it took a really long time and he was still uneven and too long. I talked to Natalie and she suggested I go and find a long clipper comb- as long as I could and see if it would work- I picked up a 1 1/4 comb- and away we went.
He looks great- he still has lots of hair- but it is short enough that it isn't going to tangle quite as easily. He handled the shaving very well has he had been shaved right down by his previous owners a few times. He also did great when I cut his nails!
He looks pretty spiffy- too bad I forgot to take a picture and didn't bring him today!!!
Monday, January 21, 2008
Some things I can remember off the top of my head (without consulting with my notes that I left at home)
So- the number one thing I learned this weekend and can remember off the top of my head is- REWARD WHERE YOU WANT THE DOG TO BE. Sounds simple right? Wrong. For the life of me I don't know why I do this but unless I catch myself I reward my dog with her head up on contacts- and sometimes even right next to me- I should be rewarding her with her head down and/or away from me. I know this- and I still do it wrong.
Wicca's bar knocking is/can be triggered by my arms. Interesting eh? Kim noticed right away, and then my record keep noticed aswell. So basically if I do a fast or tight front cross cue my dog knocks the bar- if I hold the cue a little longer the bar stayed up...Interesting...
I have taught my dog to release on motion. And not just any motion...but head motion. Yup- a nod or turn of the head and my dog thinks she can blast away...
my table sucks...it took one trial for it to become a major issue...Wicca's not gonna know what hits her when I set up a table in the living room and she has to do a table 20 times a day ;o)
Some things that we did at the seminar that I am not sure I want to do:
Nose touch on contacts- I don't want a nose touch on my contacts. My dog has great contacts and we faded away the nose touch long ago
get rid of my arm flip. I LOVE my flip and use it often- Wicca was one of THREE dogs who got a really nasty (and I do mean nasty) weave entry due to my flip. Kim doesn't like it- not because I taught my dog to flip away from me but that she does it on an arm cue- she said that it can confuse the dog because any sort of arm cue should mean the dog comes into you. She said that a verbal cue would be better....hmmmm
to get better speed across the dog walk she had people race their dogs across- do a FC cue in the middle and have the dog jump off (a low dogwalk) I chose to skip this station. my handling sucks sometimes and if I do the FC cue late/early whatever my dog must ALWAYS complete the obstacle I have sent her to.
I signed Vito up for the puppy sessions and he had a pretty good time. There wasn't a lot of working time for the pups but I learned alot and now have some more ideas of what I need to do with Vito
We started with a shaping exercise- no luring, and you had 5 minutes to get your dog to lie down with his head on the ground. Vito did it and held it for three seconds ;o) He is pretty clicker savvy and tried hard to figure out what I wanted. She has some great ideas for foundation work and I am excited to implement some of them. We did lots of plank work and she really splits behaviours down for the dog.
I will bring my notes tonite or tomorrow and retype them aswell as construct a training plan- for each dog which I will post here- so that I will be reminded every day to work on it.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Wednesday, January 16, 2008
Last night I took Vito and Boone to the barn. I have never been more proud of a dog than I was of Boone last night. He was perfect- he was happy, and he wagged his tail all night. It was so nice to see that he can be normal in an active, noisy setting. We worked on various skills- targets, one jump work, building a motivator (a goodie container), contact work, and some weavepole stuff. He is not very comfortable working off my right side so we worked mostly on the right.
Vito did some dogwalk work- and we worked on the teeter and some one jump exercises. He's pretty cute and is getting more and more confident. I have to remember sometimes that he is only a baby- and is doing pretty good all things considered.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
It has been a GREAT year and I am very proud of her. She gives her all every time we are in the ring and I couldn't ask for a better partner. I expect next year that we will be Number 1 as she just keeps getting better and better. Thanks for a great year Wiccie!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Friday, January 11, 2008
Yesterday I took Wicca and Vito for a run with Sarah's dogs. The dogs had a blast together-. She got some great pictures! you can see some more pictures on her Flickr Site.
Last night I did my orientation for some new manners classes and brought Sam along as the demo dog. He had a lot of fun, and was VERY excited to be out!
We are off for Calgary tonite. It should be fun!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
We are going to an agility trial this weekend- and last night I worked on some specific skills that could be a problem at a trial.
Wicca has been doing great with weaves lately- rarely missing her entry from all angles and speeds- last night I did some proofing with a tennis ball. She did great and even with a tennis ball flying past her head nailed her entry and weaved faster than I thought possible. We did a few repetitions of this to be sure it wasn't a fluke :o)
Knocking the first bar. This really sucks at a trial. Three times out of five she knocked the first bar last night in a jump exercise. Ugh. I have been struggling with what the consequence of this should be. She knows that when she knocks a bar she is to lie down and stop moving. But with the first bar I'd like to make her leave- that's it, done. I am still considering all my options...On the plus side she didn't knock any of the other bars....
Contacts- Wicca's contacts are pretty much rock solid- she will stick a contact anywhere, with any distraction, but I like to proof this occasionally...so again- the flying tennis ball came out...we raced and I kept going, I sent ahead, did some distance stuff and again tested with the ball.
And of course we worked on start lines ;o)
So hopefully we will have some good runs this weekend.
Tuesday, January 08, 2008
I am sure you have all heard about the 4 week old Puppies who were found in an outhouse. I got an email initially from a friend who lives in the Pass who was involved in the rescue. It has now spread to the Tv and Radio news. It is pretty disgusting and is a pretty good example of just how horrible people can be. Unfortunately abandoning or throwing away dogs or litters of puppies aren't all that uncommon. We have had four cases of just that in the past three months. There is no end in sight to this sort of thing I guess it all comes down to education.
They were discussing this on the radio this morning and one of the hosts said something to this effect "you could at least put them in a box and leave them on someone's door" how is that for sending a message to the public. I didn't hear this first had mind you, but a concerned friend called me to vent about it. I am not quite sure if the host was joking or serious but either way he is sending the wrong message...But perhaps that is what he thinks and knows???
Now bear with me here, as I am a bit on the cranky side today....
If you don't spay your dog, who lives out in the yard, or gets loose one day and ends up having puppies- whose responsibility is it???? That's right- yours.
When said puppies are 3 weeks old and start to need actual food- whose responsibility is it to feed them??? That's right- yours
When said puppies are 8 weeks old and need to find new homes- whose responsibility is it to find loving, caring, homes??? That's right- yours
When said puppies are 7 months old and have ended up in a shelter, pregnant themselves, or tied up on a chain starving and cold- whose responsible- that's right- You are.
I will post more later when I am less cranky.
Saturday, January 05, 2008
Friday, January 04, 2008
- sounds- loud, sudden or unusual
- city bus- probably related to sounds
- crossing the road- I know, weird.
Thursday, January 03, 2008
This is Kate. She almost never gets mentioned, and never gets her pictures on the blog. Part of the reason is we don't do any training at all anymore. She hates it. So we just don't go there. She also spends almost all of her time at my parents house now. She hates the corgis and is horrible to them. Which makes it hard for everyone- Kate gets in trouble, she is sensitive so she takes things very personally, the Corgi's are upset or excited (Wicca tends to be overly submissive to her and things quickly get out of hand)...It is a vicious cycle. Kate also has seperation anxiety which for whatever reason is non-existent at my parents. She has her only dog friend at my parents- their Rottweiler cross Drew- who is her buddy and best friend. They love each other and play alot. It was a hard decision to let her live away from me, but one that has made a big difference in how she is and how our relationship is. She is a dog that I put a ton of work into but in the end it was more me wanting to do it- not her. So our working relationship went from bad to worse until I finally said she could lay on the couch and just do normal doggie things. I love her alot, and thank her for putting up with all those years of making her do stuff- but she truly is having the time of her life now...Kate's life story is a complicated one (and about 10 pages long), and although she has been a challenging dog I wouldn't change her or trade her for the world. This dog taught me so much about dog training, and life in general. She is a great dog.....anyway, here are some pictures of her...
This one was taken at the dogpark the other night. It is a horrible picture but is the most current one I have.... :o)
and now for some old ones- but great ones!
this was taken a year or two ago. It is one of my most favorites.
anyway, just wanted to let all of Kate's friends and fans know that she is in great health for an old dog, and is enjoying her retirement!!! One day I will share with you all her story
Wednesday, January 02, 2008
This is Ally when she was a baby