Saturday, October 30, 2010
I know there are some people who do give away dogs on a regular basis. It happens in dogs all the time. Breeders especially seem to always have dogs coming and going. I understand this- keep the best, place the rest. That's what breeders are doing afterall (or should be doing) breeding only the best. But I do wish that all breeders were responsible as to where "the rest" are going.
Dog Sports are even worse- people on the search for the perfect dog often cycle through 10 or 20 before finding "the one." This annoys the hell out of me. Frankly I cannot stand it, and try very hard to not be friends, or even friendly with people who do this. If it takes you 20 dogs to finally get the dog that can get you to worlds- are you a good trainer? Or just lucky?
And then you have the general public who seem to be able to give away dogs without a second thought. Check out your local online ads- Kijiji is always interesting, and very sad. Do you know how many calls I get a week of people looking to surrender their dogs to rescue? More than a few. (and I live in a small city)
The excuses are usually the same...
My kids are allergic
I'm having a baby
I don't have time
I can't afford it
She got too big
She growls at the kids
She's too hyper
the list can go on, and on, and on....
It saddens me, and makes me nauseous. I just don't get it. It is hard not to judge.
It is even harder to stomach when it happens to a dog that you know. The dog in question came through rescue two years ago. A young, hyper dog who needed work. We found her a perfect home where she has been loved, well exercised, and well trained. Now, she is looking for a home. Her owner is unwilling to deal with her on leash dog issues. The dog is easily overstimulated by other dogs when the owner is present. She lunges and snarls, and has gotten into her fair share of dogfights. The owner is not willing to work with her anymore. She feels that there is no hope, and that it is not fair to the dog, or to herself. I started out having sympathy. After all, this person has tried VERY hard with the dog, and has provided her with a great home. But then my sympathy ran out. I do not care that it is hard. You committed to the dog. You LOVED the dog. How can you just give her away? The dog in question is coming back to me. She will be placed in a dogsmart foster home, and sit there for months probably until we stumble upon someone who is willing to love her unconditionally. It makes me so sad.
I am serious in that I could never, ever do it. I have dogs of my own that aren't quite what I wanted- but I love them. How could I look at myself in the mirror after trading them in for a better model? Does it annoy me that Vito is too lazy for agility, and that Boone is spooky, and unreliable? Yes. But would I place them in a "pet" home just because they don't live up to my expectations? Never.
Anyway, just needed to rant. It has been an upsetting week. I just don't think I will ever understand.
Friday, October 29, 2010
No costumes this year, instead a very bright bucket. :)
Each dog got a chance to play around with it. They boys were only interested in it when there were cookies in it. As soon as they were gone that was it. The girls however had a good time. Wicca fetched it right away, and Pixel packed it around, knocked it over and then declared that it was a perch....
Thursday, October 28, 2010
His family is very busy and don't have time for such a busy (naughty!) little bulldog puppy. I've never trained a Frenchie before- so it's been interesting! He is very much a bulldog- independent, stubborn, and not easily motivated. He is doing pretty well though- he has learned his name(!), sit, down, come, that "outside" is not optional, and neither is "kennel."
He has starting leash manners, and other basics such as leave it. He is smart, but has such a short attention span that he certainly would not be called an easy dog to train.
The best part of Stevie is how funny he is. He does the weirdest things, and seems to like to make me laugh. He loves his stuffed tiger, and not always in an appropriate way if you get my drift. :) He and Pixel are buds, although she is greatly offended when he tries to mount her. Everyone else hates him and have been teaching him all about dog body language.
But he's a cute little guy to have around- well except for the gas and the snoring that is...
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, October 25, 2010
Pixel is still very much a novice dog- I had a few jump commitment problems (which we hadn't had before), and weaves. She could not weave almost at all. She was stuttering through them and didn't have any rhythm at all. It was very strange. She got every entry, but after that no weaves. Interesting, but a pretty easy fix. Bring back the weaves at home. Contacts were also a HUGE problem. I am not very good at teaching running contacts apparently as pretty well she took a flying leap on every contact, there was no head low, running to the end. Sigh. Saturday wasn't bad, she left early but wasn't jumping, Sunday was awful. I have some thinking to do about this. I am not really comfortable asking her to stop in a 2on2off position so am not sure what my options are really. Corgi people- what do you do for contacts?
Pixel did have two really awesome runs. Her jumpers was clean, but overtime. But she ran it so well. We could have shaved off a few seconds had I fronted instead of reared, but I think that her overall speed was down because it was the end of the day. Her steeplechase was clean aswell- but overtime- this was due to having to repeat the poles twice! I am proud of her this weekend, we had some really good stuff, but there is LOTS of work to do! I think a full weekend is too much for her. I may only do two or three things with her a day for a while...
Here is the breakdown for Pixel's weekend.
Jumpers 5.51 seconds overtime. Clean
Gamble. lol no. we've been working, and the gamble wasn't overly hard and she still couldn't do it.
STD 1 20 faults weaves
STD 2 weave issues and missed dogwalk
Steeplechase 3seconds over.
STD 3 weaves and contacts
STD 4 weaves and dogwalk- amazing flying leap. it was pretty comical. everyone loved it.
Snooker- jump issue- I think she was tired, and couldn't be bothered. lol
Wicca was incredible- all weekend she was listening, and trying really, really hard. It was one of her best weekends ever. And of course I couldn't find my video camera. :(
We had no weave issues at all- she nailed every entry, and didn't pop any poles. We only had two bars- all weekend. Seriously, that is incredible. She Q'd in Jumpers. I almost cried. The course was wonderful, and she worked hard. I didn't get lost, and it was just one of those moments. We work so hard and it really, really is an incredible feeling to see it come together.
Here is a break down of her weekend.
Jumpers Q!!!! 5.27 YPS/30.17. 2nd fastest time. The fastest time went to a malinois who ran it ins 30.16 seconds. The next fastest time was 31.20.
Gamble Q! 90pts We got the mini twice, and she had no problem with the gamble. It was a turn over a jump out to a dogwalk, then a turn into a tunnel and an out over a jump.
STD 1 bar 41.39 sct 69
Steeplechase Q 34.08. A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! She ran full out like a crazed dog, and still managed to get every contact, weave entry, and jump. Again she had the 2nd fastest time- beat by a Border Collie version of herself (Rondi).
STD 3 lots of faults. :) We were a bit off. I think we even had an off course.
STD 4 Q!!!! awesome run- paying attention, and I knew where i was going. It was quite technical, and there were lots of complaints from people during the walk through. I am proud that we q'd on that course.
Snooker not so awesome. we got tweeted right away when she flicked away and took a wrong jump. naughty corgi. But really, how could I be mad after such awesome runs throughout the weekend?
All in all, a super weekend!
Friday, October 22, 2010
After last weeks moody photo I thought a fun and silly photo was in order. Boone had a fantastic time with the giant wubba. It's the biggest wubba made- called a King Wubba. He mostly shook the snot out of it, alternating with biting it.
The girls dogs and I are heading out to an agility trial this weekend. Should be a good time! I am traveling with Maureen and her aussies, and the awesome corgi Crawford. :) It will be like Corgi-ville.
My goals for the weekend are to have fun, and not get lost. Sounds easy eh?
Wish us luck!
Oh, and the boys are staying at Wendys- so you could check over at Crazy and LIttle for photos...(hint, hint) :)
Thursday, October 21, 2010
I am so thankful for my dad. :) He's awesome. Oh, and SUPER funny. He actually did cut the tree down like that- the whole time acting like some sort of deranged psycho...Creepy, but funny. :)
One that savagely attacks small dogs and old woman? A dog that is a nuisance to the public, that shouldn't be allowed to be in the city (because big dogs shouldn't live in small yards)?
Well, according to this lady that's how it should be... /link/
Neena (the dog in question) belongs to a friend of mine. She used to be my roommate. She is not a snarling, vicious dog- although she can be a little nervous and without a doubt was barking at the woman screeching on the ground. Seriously, how dumb are people? According to the neighbors, who watched everything from their kitchen window, the little dog was running up and down Neena's fence and neena was going snakey. She managed to get through the fence and ran around in circles around the woman- barking. The woman then plastered herself to the ground and started screaming. Awesome no?
In any event, Neena's mom was not to happy about it, and in the heat of the moment said some not so nice things to the still shrieking woman on the ground. The shrieking lady then called the police, and then a few weeks later wrote this nice letter to the editor. If this didn't involve a friend it would be funny. I mean, the letter is not written well at all, and is totally outrageous. Anyone who reads can see that this is just an angry woman venting. It is not factual, nor written with a point. I am pretty surprised that the paper printed it. I guess they will print anything these days?
I've suggested to my friend to say nothing in response to the letter, and just let it go. Although if it were my dog in question I am not sure that I could. Neena doesn't care, and has no idea the ruckus she's caused. She was just being a dog. Oh and I do agree that yes the woman had a right to be scared but I think that she is overreacting a bit.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
Wicca continues to listen SO well. It is amazing, not sure why she is suddenly being so good. It's like she finally gets it. We did serps and threadles and she rocked them.
Pixels contacts were smoking. Super fast, and consistent. I am really looking forward to adding more challenges to them and seeing how she handles them. The bit of handling we did went well- she is very responsive, and continues to do exactly what I tell her. It's refreshing. :)
I did a bit of distance with both of them. Pixel is really lacking in that department. We worked on go on, and outs, aswell as obstacle independance.
I am taking them out again tomorrow. I hope to set up a mini jumpers course, and work on myself and my memory. :) And some more distance for Pixel.
Monday, October 18, 2010
Pixel is going to learn how to "hold" an item. Namely her dumbbell. This is the very last part of "Fetch" that I teach my dogs.
Wicca is going to work on...wait for it...Stay. Every second day we are going to a new place to do an out of sight stay. Will have to bribe friends, or family to help but it will be worth it.
Vito is going to work on his people skills. As in approach and meet three new people this week.
Boone is going to practice recalls- twice a day. This may be a bit lofty of a goal, but we'll see how it goes.
Oh, and I plan on getting out to the agility field once with the girls. We have a trial coming up, and I want to see how the distance stuff I've been doing at home with Pixel will transfer to the big kids stuff. :) I also want to work on some handling with Wicca.
And that's it. Written down it doesn't seem like so much- but believe me when I say this will take up pretty well every minute of my "spare" time.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
One of the things I love about Pixel is her determination. Even in a simple game of tug she gives it all 100%. Dogs can sure teach us a lot if we let them.
I found myself frustrated with both of them today. We went to a new training building, and while I expected them to be a bit distracted I was dissapointed in just how badly they behaved.
Wicca was really distracted, which is not like her at all. She missed the retrieve for doG's sake. That is not like her at all. I wonder if the stress of the stays, which she knows is coming is affecting the rest of her routine. I m just at a loss as to what to do. She broke her sit stay as soon as I walked out the door, so I went back in and put her back. She stayed for the rest. I know that really all it is is practice, practice, practice. But frankly, I am sick of the frustration.
The dog trainer in me doesn't want to give up but I wonder how fair it is to my dog, and our relationship. It's not like I am giving her major corrections for going down, or moving. But she knows that she is wrong and gets sulky about it. Wicca and I have been down this path already, and it took a very LONG time to make Obedience fun again.
Pixel was also super distracted, and was very sloppy. I didn't feel that she was paying much attention even though she was looking up at me the whole time. It was like we were disjointed or something. With her I think it is the lack of reward and talking. She needs it broken down a bit more before we piece it all together. Because she is a young dog I expect her to be distracted and a little weird in new places. As she gets more experience she will get better and better.
I am still planning on entering them both in Lethbridge. But I did change Wicca's entry to Reddeer from Open to Rally. I have to go to reddeer to scenthurdle race, and had entered obedience just to have something to do there. But after today I think I am pushing her too much too soon. I felt better the second I sent the email to change the entry! And that says a lot.
So not giving up yet, but just a slight change of plans.
Friday, October 15, 2010
"Courage can't see around corners, but goes around them anyway." ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1960
I saw this quote and knew that it would be perfect- both for my photo this week, and for Boone in general. His fear doesn't define him, but it is a part of him. He tries very hard to be brave, but there are certainly times where he becomes overwhelmed.
We've had a few minor setbacks in the courage department since Boone's escapade. He bolted at the park the other night- thankfully he stopped before actually leaving the park. He had been doing very well, and really is back to his normal self- mostly. He has always been a nervous dog, but generally gains confidence from me, and the other dogs. We will have to work on rebuilding some of that.
I had a good dog training week- partly due to the fact that I didn't have any classes to teach. :)
Scenthurdle was super, we are getting consistent scenting from all the regulars- which is awesome.
Obedience was good- I did a full run thru with each girl. Pixel's heeling was pretty good, although a tad wide. We need to work on our slow, and our figure eight was a bit choppy. Her stand was great, and she did both stays. Wicca was a wild woman, but she had been crated all during scent and was a little excited. She anticipated the retrieve over jump, and most of her finishes. Things she has never done before. And she went down on both sits.
I don't know why I torture myself. This battle with stay seems so stupid. Why won't she just stay? We've done it a thousand times, and she still doesn't get it. I know it's something I am doing, or have done. Maybe it's me who doesn't get it.
On a better training note- Pixel can shake a paw. Really. She is cute about it as she really doesn't want you to touch her foot...
Next week she is going to learn how to be "sad." A trick a week. And I'm only a week behind.
Going to do some training this weekend with the dogs too- hope to even get some agility in.
Thursday, October 14, 2010
long time blog readers will recognise this handsome weiner as Perkins!
I used to dogsit Perkins regularly, but when Jolene came onto the scene she stole him. Now, he spends his "holidays" with Jo. :)
She had him last weekend, and brought him along to Cowley to hangout. He's such a handsome little guy I had to take a few photos.
Perkins is a pretty famous dachshund around here. Everyone at work loves him, even other clients. It has totally gone to his head, and he believes he rules the world....
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
I love my dogs. They love agility (if they didn't I wouldn't make them play). I keep my dogs fit, and in shape. Are they structurally built for agility? No. But they play to the best of their abilities and I am realistic about their abilities.
But. Like I said my dogs are fit. And in shape. (yes, those are two different things.)
They are small for their breed- Pixel at 24lbs and Wicca at 28lbs. They are not 50lb Cardigans (they do exist, just look in your nearest conformation ring). My dogs have muscle, not fat. (well, wicca might have a little fat). My dogs are also small- not just thin. They have light bone, and are not clunky dogs. What I am trying to say is that there is a right way and wrong way to play agility with a corgi. The right way is to have a smaller dog, kept lean, and in shape. Part of being in shape means regular exercise. Not going to class once a week and trials on a weekend. Every day full out running- as fast as they can go. That is staying in shape. And that is what my dogs get every day.
I think that there are a lot of dogs who play agility (not just corgis) who really shouldn't be. Either by being too fat, or out of shape, or just structurally not sound enough to do what the owner is asking. On the other hand, I don't think it is fair to deny the dog something they love just because you are worried about the what ifs. But you need to take precautions- warming up, cooling down, fitness games, exercises to build strength, physio, supplements. All of that will help to keep any dog (even a less than ideal agility candidate) fit and healthy. I think that the key to doing agility with a dog that may not be best suited is to train as safe as you can, teach the dog to do their job, handle your dog!, and above all else keep your dog in shape. Sounds simple eh?
Vito is long, really long, and is kind of noodle like. He has a horrible front, and a narrow rear. He is not built for agility. We putter, but that is all. He doesn't LOVE agility which makes it an easy decision. :)
Wicca is an incredilble agility dog- she gives it all every single time. She is only six years old and has had numerous injuries, she also will be retired at a young age. She is not built well, even for a Cardigan. With a weak topline (just a tad roached!) and a bad front...Most of her injuries are due to her not understanding her job, and my bad handling. All the late cues I used to give, and asking her to stop on the aframe contact, not teaching her to collect into poles- all play a part in the injuries...
Sam had the makings of a great agility dog- until a disc problem cut his life short. He was a dog that again was just not put together well. A major, very visible roach in his back should have been an idication of a problem. I don't know for sure that agility was the cause but I don't think it helped. I actually think it was leaping off the stairs and into the neighbors fence is what did it...
And Pixel. She is built well. She has a nice front, lots of power, but light on her feet. A solid topline, and a small frame. Oh, and good training. This dog should last a long time in agility.
Will my next agility dog be a Cardigan? No. I love the breed. A lot. But I am realistic and know that it is not the best choice for agility. Also, I like to try new things. :)
anyway, just as an example of two dogs who love what they do, and who do it two very different ways..
I am off my soapbox now... :)
Anyway, she isn't even officially available at this point due to her weird allergy/OCD issues. If given the chance she will lick/chew herself raw. She had holes in her thigh and legs so deep that the vet wasn't sure if the hair would ever grow back. Thankfully, they are finally healing. But only because she wears a cone 23 hours a day. No kidding. She has it off for walks only, or if I can focus completely on her. It is a pain in the ass...well, leg really. The backs of my legs are all scratched up from that stupid cone.
Aside from the cone we are managing her itching with diet, and prednisone. Because the cone limits her access to her body she has now moved on to her face. She has been licking her lips- often when she is bored, or tired. I have no idea how to prevent her from doing that so I just try and keep her mind busy, or too exhausted to lick...
Don't get me wrong- she is still a happy, playful little dog. She has totally settled into a routine at my house and is perfect with my dogs, and the cat. She is really easy to have around. Her two favorite things are toys, and walks. Imagine her happiness when we combine the two???!!!
The toy serves a few purposes-
1) it keeps her busy and completely non reactive the whole walk.
2) she then wears off all her energy in a 15 minute fetch session at the park
3) she carries her own icky, slobbery toy home.
it's only a few blocks home but I am always amazed that she carries it the whole way- even when she stops to pee every block. She's a tad compulsive....
Hopefully the itching will subside soon, and she will be well enough for adoption. I don't mind her at all, but she really deserves a home to call her own.
Monday, October 11, 2010
Happy Thanksgiving to all my Canadian friends and family!
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Saturday, October 09, 2010
I took the girls to Cowley this morning for a bit of Scenthurdle and Obedience training. It was lots of fun.
We stopped on the way home for a few photos. I love my girls. They are both beautiful and very special to me.
Friday, October 08, 2010
Just in case that happens I set up a hotmail address- firstname.lastname@example.org, and now I can't log into it. It just has a white screen. Strange.
Anyway, this weekend is the Canadian Thanksgiving. I am super excited about a long weekend, and the yummy turkey!
Tuesday, October 05, 2010
After his traumatic experience last week I`ve been spoiling him with extra goodies, and of course all the cuddles and attention he wants.
I saw this giant cookie at the pet store and couldn`t resist! He didn`t get to eat it in all one sitting, but he sure had a yummy time of it!
Boone is doing awesome- his foot is all healed up, he`s been eating like a horse (see above cookie!!!), and is his normal silly self.
He went on his first off leash run today since he`s been home. He played fetch with the girls and was a barking, spinning, fool!
He is totally and completely back to himself. It`s very nice to have!
Monday, October 04, 2010
I am planning on entering the Lethbridge show in November to try for her CD. Her stand stay was her weakest exercise and she has been steadily improving. She did it at the funmatch with no issue. Her heeling took a bit of a nose dive, but I have been doing five minutes a day and I have my prancy pixel back. :) And those pesky fronts are looking great these days.
Contacts have been a main priority. I am teaching her running contacts and am very pleased with how they look. In training she is consistent and fast. Now we need to transfer that into sequencing and trials.
Weaves are coming- she can be pokey in them but I am just going to focus on entrances. My theory is that if she can nail any entrance she should be able to keep a fast pace all the way through.
Distance is something we`ve just started to work more on. Her directionals are great on the flat- now I need to add them to equipment. She understands the difference between an out and a go on, and has a turn. She is in Advanced Gamblers so will definitely need these skills at a bigger distance.
She is doing really well and has figured out the game. She has doubts sometimes and likes to drop the dumbbell and recheck them all before bringing it back. But she knows to sniff them now which is the hard part! I am very proud of her- she caught on really fast and certainly seems to enjoy herself!
The toy diet took a bit of a hiatus and some boring toys have been reintroduced. I couldn`t take the constant pestering and fighting between the dogs! With nothing in their mouths they were biting each other!
I had made a goal for myself to teach the dogs one new trick a month. Somehow I have managed to teach them all to Vito and not to anyone else. :) Poor Pixel doesn`t even know how to shake a paw!
Saturday, October 02, 2010
Some video from the FCI Championships in Germany. I didn`t subscribe to the live feed, but found this video on Fanny Gott`s youtube page. How amazing are these handlers and dogs! They are all great teams- what an accomplishment! I particularily love Silvia and La at the end...not that I am partial to Pyr Sheps or anything.....