Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Gamble Work

Last night went awesome. I got a LOT of work in with my dogs and am happy with how they did.
Sarah and I ran each of the gambles "cold turkey" so to speak and then worked later on more specific things.

Gamble #1

We did the 1,2,3- a-frame first, Wicca had no problem with this although her bottoms were a little sloppy. I fixed this by attempting to reward with a toy- but my aim wasn't so hot so in the end I just ran up and rewarded her where I wanted her to be.

Next we did the 1,2,3 Tunnel, Jump. Again Wicca had no problems with it.

Gamble #2

We did Teeter, Jump, Jump first. I was super confident that she could do this no problem- but she struggled!!! She did the teeter no problem but kept coming in and slicing the jump- instead of going around and over. Sarah said I needed to stay still and wait for her to move out and then turn over the jump. We tried this three times before we were succesful.

Jump,Jump, Weave was next. We nailed it. It was beautiful...I did it twice just to be sure :o)

Gamble #3

Wicca did great for the beginning of this one, but sucked into the tunnel. at the end. It was because I was too far ahead and needed to be behind her to direct....Remember I learnt that at Kim Collins....Duh. I ran it a second time and it was better. I made sure to reward straight ahead after the jumps...

After she took a break I came back and did some variation on the gambles...

I wanted to work on flipping her away over a jump...and just a jump gamble in general. It worked great. I had to try two times to get my timing right on my turn but once I figured it out it was good.
And I wanted to try sending away in the weaves so made these ones up. We had no problems and wicca didn't try to slice through pink 2 :o)

Boone came out last night and I have never been more proud of this dog. He did GREAT! We managed to actually train and it was great to see him so confident.

We worked on basic sending to a tunnel and did the standard jump,tunnel,jump type gamble.

He is a huge tunnel suck so I set that up for him and he did pretty great! He sucked twice to the tunnel but when I used my goodie container to help through the "critical" detour to the tunnel he was succesful. Keep in mind that a mere Uh Oh, was all he got for taking the tunnel.

And then we worked on weaves. He is getting very good at home, but as with all things with Boone it takes a while to transfer to new places. He did great and weaved four poles, from a standstill and from a tunnel jump...Yay for Boonie!

We also worked on individual contacts- a-frame and dogwalk. He is a little unsure on the upside of the dogwalk so I am doing lots of jackpotting at the top...

Oh- and of course we didn't do all of these things one right after the other. We worked for our 2-4 minutes and then he took a break.

What good dogs I have!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008


Regionals are less than a month away now. I am not sure how I feel about that! I am not the tpye to be overly stressed or nervous about things like that but I am already starting to "feel the pressure."

Tonite we are going to practice some Gambles... Sarah designed them for our games class, but also for us to practice on...we will go early tonite to train before teaching....
I would say that Gamblers is our strongest point- Wicca has great distance, and obstacle discrimination. I am always thrilled when the gamble has a contact in it because it usually means that we can do it no problem. Weaves are a different story sometimes and if it is all jumps I worry about bars....I have been doing lots of jumping etc. at home when I can so I am hoping that all the extra training will pay off.
Jumpers is our weakest- not because of the jumps really but my struggle to remember the course. Seriously, it is a big issue for me. I have nightmares about Masters Jumpers. Wicca is still in Advanced Jumpers in AAC- mostly because *I* keep getting lost. I have been working on improving my memorization skills, and finding patterns etc. I think it is harder because they are all jumps. On a standard at least you can pick out the differences, and it is easier to remember!
Standards are my favorite I think. I like the challenge and flow that a standard gives, however it will really suck to have no table- in masters standard the table is gone...I will miss my five seconds to think.....
I have my list that I am slowly working on, I am feeling pretty confident with her lately and I am sure that will make a difference as well. I am forever telling my students to be more confident so I need to heed my own advice!!!

Monday, May 26, 2008

Rainy Weekend

Saturday Sarah and I taught a mini-seminar for SAWHDA- because of the rain we had to move indoors and change our plan quite a bit. We had fun though and taught them all the things they can do at home with one or two jumps, worked on adding distance, and some basic handling. It was a pretty fast three hours! We stuck around to watch a bit of the freestyle and I must say that I am quite interested in trying it. I used to laugh and not really care much about it. But- Boone LOVES it, and it might be a good way to boost his confidence...I however can't dance, and have no desire to learn...but from what I saw and have seen it is mostly tricks and things, the handler doesn't have to have rhythm! Now if I only I could find the time....

Sunday we headed back out to Cowley for some Rally fun. There were cash prizes and an actual CKC Judge. It was lots of fun. Lawrence Klassen was the judge and he was great! Very friendly, and a great sense of humour!

The first course was Novice- Wicca did amazing and received a 99- it would have been a perfect 100, except I let her go around a sign at the very end...Stupid, I know. Regardless we came in Jane. Jane was 2 seconds faster with the same score!!! Boone got an 84, he was very unsure about the down,walk around dog exercise- something to work on at home I guess!!! I was very proud of him though- he was happy, excited, and not at all phased by the new venue. Vito got a 76, but really should have NQ'd...he sniffed, alot. But we had fun anyways!

The second course was an Advanced one- and there were signs I hadn't even seen yet! Wicca again kicked some but with a 98? and came in Jane. :o)

The third and final event was a mix and match- everyone put their armband into the bucket and picked a new dog! Wicca was picked by Shirley, an older woman who owns a little Shih Tzu. Wicca did great working for someone else. As long as the food kept coming Wicca said no problem!

I got Shirley's little Shih Tzu- Krissy, and after the initial get to know me she was pretty good. She is not people friendly so I could touch her but she followed me around for the cookie- we came in second with a 94. I got to run another dog too because there was one extra- Maggie, a little Australian Terrier. I had met this dog at other local events and adore her- she is super spunky, friendly, and has the most amazing expression.
I did some research on "Aussies" and they are pretty rare in Canada- there isn't even a Canadian Club! Anyway, I am quite intrigued by this breed and will be on the lookout for them...If you click the picture, I did manage to find one Canadian Breeder...

Friday, May 23, 2008

Oh Joy....

Sam has decided (along with half the daycare dogs) that going outside in the rain is not something he wishes to do anymore. Instead he holds it until it is not physically possible anymore and then explodes in my kitchen. Uh huh. Nice.

You see, it is raining here, for the third day in a row. We don't get rain here. Barely Ever. So three days of the wetstuff and everyone is whining and crying about how horrible and icky it is. I agree. Rain is not fun if you have dogs. My carpeted stairs may never recover from the all the muddy feet...I didn't pick my user name for nothing!

The dogs deal with the rain and resulting mud all differently..
Wicca doesn't go out of her way to avoid the puddles, but she doesn't enjoy it all that much. Her ears go low, and her eyes all squinty...But she would happily play agility in the rain!
Vito seems to actually enjoy the rain. I think he was one of the few daycare dogs yesterday to actually do his business outside. Vito loves to be dirty and will roll, and play in any available puddle.....And like I mentioned before Sam hates the rain..Sam hates water period.....and Boone, well he doesn't seem to mind all that much- he will still go out, race around the yard like mad, do his little Boone dance, roll in the grass and then come in soaking wet, looking like some sort of drowned chicken...he is the funniest looking dog when he is wet...the crappy part about Boone getting wet is the resulting need for a brush. He mats quickly and they are almost impossible to get out after he's been in the rain!

Rain also means more work for me...
All of my "dog" towels have been used up which is forcing me to do laundry on a non laundry day...ugh. I had to go out and get a second mop/bucket for the entrance way as I was sick of hauling my current one back and seems like I am mopping most of the day! The dogs will all need baths when the rain finally stops, and the carpet cleaner will have to come out...
oh the joys of rain...

Oh and to top it all off it is supposed to rain all weekend (until Monday)- which is going to make teaching an agility seminar tomorrow morning outdoors really fun.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

What big ears you have....

Sam spent last weekend at Wendy's and had great fun posing for the camera!


Here are two photos Sarah took on the weekend-

This was during Boone's jumpers run...he looks like he is concentrating hard!

I was so proud of Wicca's weave pole entries on the weekend...Sarah captured the best picture ever- the grass, the bent pole, her shoulder slamming into the's all part of Wicca being Wicca....

you can see more on Sarah's Flickr site:

Monday, May 19, 2008

Agility Weekend

It was hot, very hot- and I of course failed to put Sunblock on at all on Saturday. So today I am paying for it. Regardless it was a great weekend and there were many Q's for our whole group- three of our students recieved their Starters Title and we all had a great time. Congrats to Lynn and Lucy, Kim and Maggie, and Deb and Stoker!

The Flashing Canines put on a great trial and although it was hot it still was fun. The venue was new to them and was very nice- it was on a baseball diamond that actually had quite a lot of shade from the trees. Shade was a hot commodity all weekend- thank goodness for shade tents!

The dogs all did great and I was very proud of them. Wicca's weaves are much better. We still had a few missed entries but not nearly as many as the last trial. Her bar knocking is still the same which is frustrating, but my handling has improved and she is responding much better. Boone had lots of fun and I was so proud of him- he met lots of people, and did great with the new place. Thankfully we were far away from any busy roads, and although he left the ring twice he came back both times. On two of his runs I made the choice to just make it up, run a short sequence and reward- it worked great for him and really kept his motivation up.

Here is a re-cap of the runs from the weekend..

Masters Gamble- got the mini gamble twice, and lots of points- 84. The gamble was super easy so we got it no problem. I think that it like her 5th masters gamble Q...

The Standards were a bust for one reason or another. All had great moments, usually followed by a knocked bar. Her weave pole entries were great though...mostly :o) Her Standard 3 was pretty horrible and I made her leave when she twice popped the poles. Bad Wiccie.

Standard- can't remember which one- the fourth I think. She had a great run despite her table and knocked bar. I am very proud of how well I handled my dog this weekend.

Masters Team- was a great course with two sets of 6 weaves. Wicca weaved great- but we had an off course. Gyp of course ran her side clean :o)

Advanced Snooker- We Q'd!! Yup. Can you freakin' believe it!!!! This from the dog that took years to get out of we move up to masters snooker....What a dog!! Oh, and it was a great run. Three Sevens- which were weaves, and we made it all the way to the end- earning 51 points...woohoo!

Advanced Jumpers- was a bust. Wicca was a complete moron and smashed into four bars before I stopped her. This was the last run of the weekend- and she was pretty frantic.

did great and had lots of fun- he was a little overwhelemed during a few of the runs, but came back to me and was happy to keep trying!!

Standards- we had two great standard runs. He was a little distracted at first but was moving along at a good pace. He had no problem moving ahead of me and his obstacle commitment was much better.

Jumpers- he moved up to advanced jumpers after that last trial and it was a bit difficult for him so we only ran half the course. He did great though- we have to work on keeping him from going so wide though- he has a large stride for a small dog and gets carried away sometimes.

Gamblers- he Q'd! Yay Boonie!! We got the mini gamble once, and between that and the 4 point obstacle we had just enough points. He got the gamble no problem! What a good boy!


Vito came along for the ride and did great in the socialising department. I think mostly he was bored but he was trooper and hardly complained. He got lots of attention and of course cookies! He managed to escape out of his crate when I was running Wicca and made it all the way onto the field!! Thanks to such a nice judge we got a re-run although she didn't have to give me one becuase it was my dog who got loose!!!

Vito's Trial Debute

Friday, May 16, 2008

After the motion...

After Wendy tried to complete her assignment we let the dog just play around in the field...

Wicca Gophered

And ran around

Vito ran around....chasing gophers mostly...

and then said that if Gyppie could play with a bumper so could he....

Objects are FASTER than they appear...

I have a few funny pictures to post....Wendy (from crazyandlittle) is doing a photography class and one of the assignments is to capture know the blurry background type... she explains it better on her blog...anyway, she used the dogwalk, and both Wicca and Vito last night as guinea pigs...

It was a good practice for Wicca's contacts!!! and Vito had a blast the pictures show was actually running...uh huh.
Vito had FUN playing agility....Shhhhh...I haven't told him yet.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

A difference...

Monday night I took Boone out to the field to train a bit before classes started. He was a mess. I was so frustrated I couldn't even post about it. I could not figure it out for the life of me why he was so freaked out. I went over and over my list of "triggers" and couldn't find anything that was different from any other night. It dawned on me yesterday what it was. The Rain. Yup. It did not even occur to me that Boone might have an issue with rain. It only rained for like 4 minutes and it was a spattering, not a downpour. Regardless it totally threw him and I could not get him to even look in my direction. I eventually gave in and put him in the car.

So last night I was determined to make sure that he snapped out of his little funk. I didn't feed him at all- and brought out the "big guns"- his goodie container filled with hotdog...

I had to work hard to get him up but once he was there he did great!!!! He loves to chase the goodies, and will wait expectantly at the container for me to get there to open it. So we played some chase games- sit, throw the goodies. nose touch- throw the goodies. tunnel- throw the goodies. Sarah helped me to find the exact time- 2 minutes- before he reaches his max. I put him away and brought Wicca out. After about 10 minutes Boone was beside himself and really wanted to come out. I teased him with the container and off we went- he weaved 12 poles beautifully! They first time he popped the last 2 poles, I resent him and he was great! I was so happy with him. I brought him out a total of four times- each time working on something different- contacts, table and jumping.

I really need to be careful with him- and take in everything that is around him. I can't believe how frustrated I was yesterday. He had been doing so well, I was upset that there was yet another "thing" that I couldn't figure out. Of course once I sat down and went through everything I came up with the solution.

I have even come up with a game plan to help him get over his rain thing. I will start him in the place he feels most comfortable, (my yard) feeding him outside in the rain, playing in the rain, walking in the rain....and then work up to at the daycare in the outside area, and then out to the field. I don't think it is something that will bother him forever and I am sure that he will get over it.

Wicca did great last night- we ran the course we set for class and it felt good and looked good. We had two bars, but no off courses and my handling was pretty decent. Her weaves were flawless and I really pushed her through them. I am feeling pretty good about us lately!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Toys, Toys, Toys

My dogs LOVE toys, they all have their favorites and over the years I have discovered what stands up and what doesn't. Here is a list of a few of the current favs, and the old stand bys!


Kongs- the dogs won't actually play with them but they get them before I leave the house or as a treat. I have three sizes, and the biscuit ball.

Rogz- they are known for their collars but the da bone has stood up great and is a favorite for sure!

Planet Dog- has lots of different toys, we have the orbee and the orbo with treat spot. The dogs haven't been able to destroy these and they will actually play with them

Westpaw Design- again has a lot of different toys, we have the huck and Vito adores it. He will sit and play all by himself with teeth marks either! We also have the s-s-snake...Sam loves it and will bring it to me to play tug with 100 times a day... (we also have an econap bed which my cat loves....)

Holee Roller- this was Vito's favorite last year and now it sits at the bottom of the toy box. It stood up fairly well though as long as the dog didn't sit and chew on it. Great Tug toy and easy to throw


Fatcat- these toys are by far the best stuffed toys ever. They are not indestructible by any means but they are tough! It is made with a heavy canvas material and they are double sewed and have few limbs. I have the lamb, the cow, and Bill Clinton :o)

Tuffies- these are very tough stuffed toys, that my dogs don't really like. They pretty much ignore it actually (they seem to only like stuffed toys they can wreck) My sisters little American Eskimo cross who is a toy destroyer did great with this toy though and is slowly working his way through the seam...but it's taking a long time!!!

Regular Stuffies don't last but we do seem to have a few kicking around. Vito has a cute little red heart that he adores and treats like his baby- he doesn't squeak it, just packs it around. It is pretty cute! There is also a hedgehog kickin' around somewhere. Those used to be Kate's absolute favorites. The Dr.Noys toys are great- we use them mostly in training so they stand up pretty good- not for every day play though.
I also just make fleece tugs of my own for them to play with- they love to tug- especially Sam so they have rip them to shreds and it hardly costs anything.
They of course all like tennis balls but I don't let them play with them at home much- I worry about their teeth. Kate has horribly worn down teeth from years of chomping on a tennis ball!

Friday, May 09, 2008


Wicca and Gyp have been team partners for the last three or four? trials- they are very good together- both are super fast and Sarah and I have fun. We have deemed them the "TRI COLOR BEEOTCHES" :o) Wicca can be quite the little *itch and although Gyppie appears to be sweet and innocent there is a demon within that shows up once in a while. Anyway- Sarah has posted their last advanced run, and their first masters run.... :o)

'tis lots of fun....

Thursday, May 08, 2008

A little Walk....

The dogs and I went down to Natalie's inlaws farm tonight after work- I got some great photos and of course the dogs all had a great time!

They had a blast playing in the river,

rolling in gross stuff

and just wrestling and running around

We walked for maybe 45 minutes. I initially had debated about bringing Sam but decided he could use the chance to just be a dog. He held up like a trooper and was good about staying close and not over doing it. The dogs all had a great swim- both Sam and Wicca were thrilled to have someone (Rayna) throwing things for them...

Here are some more assorted photos- I also published some on my flickr site:

handsome boonie...

on the run....

Kato full out....notice the one foot on the ground!!!

My favorite picture of the day....

And one more of boonie...

All the dogs are dead tired now, but still of course needed baths after a run like that! Wicca smelled like something dead and Vito was an attractive shade of green. I think Boone brought back all of the burrs he could find, and Sam was just dirty all over.

Boone's Jumpers Run

Here is Boone's Jumpers Q from a few weekends ago. He did really great and I was very proud of him- he wasn't super speedy but as he gets more confident his speed is definitly picking up! Go Boonie Go!

Thanks Sarah for publishing the video for me!

101 Things...

Last night my advanced obedience work group consisted of two dogs so we changed it up a of my students is a recent clicker convert so we played a clicker game to get her timing better and understanding a bit more about what the clicker does. My all time favorite clicker game is 101 things to do with a box. So we shaped our dogs to associate somehow with the box. I I love to see the wheels turning and you could really see Tate working at figuring out what he was supposed to do. Tate is an older dog- 7. And until recently had never been exposed to the clicker. His mom has done a good job teaching him the basic C/T and I hope that she was excited to see how well it works!

Bosley of course made short work of his box and it was pretty flattened and chewed up by the time he was done with it!!! I guess that's the difference between a Collie and a Berner!!!

I brought Sam out to play and he had a great time poking, jumping, standing in the box- Sam is a great thinker and quickly will start offering behaviors...all to earn a little click. The box is a great way to hone your shaping skills and of course practice your timing!!!

Wednesday, May 07, 2008


Last night I brought Boone to class- to again hang out in the expen and get used to the scene. Between classes I brought him out to work a bit. He had a great time! He had a few moments of near breakdown but overall did great. We managed to work on our table- he is in the habit of popping up if I move so we worked on- sending to the table, me moving around, running past the table etc. We also worked a bit on weave poles. I really have to get serious about training them- he pretty much still has no clue- he will happily guess and try over and over again- but for the most part he does them wrong ;o) Which really isn't a huge deal but I really do need to teach him proper weaves...

Tuesday, May 06, 2008


For those of you who have been reading my blog you know that

at one time Vito was a poop eater. I am happy to report that he doesn't do that anymore. Instead he rolls in it. Yup. Nice.

Saturday, May 03, 2008


This morning I went out and did some training- it was perfect weather- warm and sunny.
I set up a double box and put the tunnels on either end of the contacts.


weave pole entries- set up tunnels on either side- raced her through- used food and toys on the ground as distraction. 8 REPS- 7 succesful. Woohoo Wiccie!

180's- wanted to tighten up her path a bit as she tends to go a little wide- also wanted to push for bar knocking. I used the tunnels to build up speed and that is when we had some mistakes.

threadle- she is much better at responding now and we did 2 reps with no bars.

using the box for front cross practice- I did very good and practiced my timing alot. There isn't really alot of room for error with Wicca and I was overall pleased with how we did. My timing is still off- but Wicca did good despite me ;o)


Straight line jumping- practicing Go On's...Vito is energy efficient and after three reps decided that he had had enough. Cookie or not he went a layed in the shade.

Dogwalk- using tunnels to build speed. He did great- and I am working on increasing his drive and speed without me in the picture all the time. I worked on sending him ahead, and also me runnning by- which was hard for him but he did get it after a few reps.

I wanted to work on weave poles but I didn't want to over do it either so ended with him before I got to the poles. Next time I will start with the poles.

did great!! he actually was able to work and learn. He was still worried but I kept moving with him, kept him focused on me and we got a fair amount of work done.

I noticed at the trial that Boone kind of hesitated up the dogwalk- I had never seen him do that before so I started with that and what do you know- he does hesitate- just a second or so, but enough for me to notice. I did some backchaining, racing and jackpotting for fast and smooth- no worrying.

Contacts- played the happiest place game- which he loves, and worked on his "target" behaviour without me in the picture. I need for him to be able to do things himself. I am going to practice more on my stairs at home because once he understands what I want he won't forget again. He's just that kind of dog.

Go Ons, Pin Wheels and Speed. - Using his goodie container really pumps him up so we worked on pin wheels, and forward drive down a line of jump. I am also teaching him how to find a line- even if it is not obvious so we are doing lots of pattern training.

Overall I was happy with all three of them. They each got about 15 minutes of actual work time- Wicca of course would have done much more, but I like to work on specific type things