Just a pretty portrait of a pretty dog. :)
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
|Pixel had an ear trim the other day. |
The fringes were outta control. :)
I think the trimmed ears make her look more serious, and a little less crazy.
It always takes me a few days to get used to the new look though.
|and speaking of ears. Brit has uber crazy ears that never do the same thing twice....|
Sunday, March 27, 2011
After scenthurdle both Boone and Pixel were groomed. They both hate it so it wasn't very fun for me or for them. But it had to be done. Pixel was beginning to look like a Papillon with those ear fringes! She looks all pretty and trimmed now- I even did her feet. :)
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Brit has a nickname already. Stalker. She is pretty creepy about it too. She likes to stare at things. Like all the time. The dogs, the cats, me. Seriously- I can feel her staring at me as I type this. lol
I have been managing her motion sensitive stuff pretty well though and already I am seeing a difference in her behavior.
Here is what we are doing.
For the dogs- she is not allowed out in the yard with them until they are settled. (they run out all excitedly and that makes her obsessive).
For the cats- she is learning what leave it means. I use a spray bottle. Also the cats have been spending lots of time outside because of the nice weather so that is helpful too. She will call away from them though- with just her name, but the draw is still there.
She and Wicca are really good friends- it is very strange. They play quite a bit. Brit is already very attached to me and is always at my feet or on my lap. She has wicked recalls, and is just a very fun dog to have around. I am having a blast training with her.
She is learning things at an amazing rate. I am trying really hard to be as clear as I can for her as I know that once is a habit with a border collie. I've started a training log for her, and every day we work on stuff. We've started circle work- and she is starting to understand to run beside me, and not bounce off of me....
For my own use here is a list of things she knows, and things she is learning
Solid (nearly 100%)
Sit- she sits for her food, to have her halti/leash on, to come out of the crate, and will sit during play
Down- she has a very fast down (it was the very first thing I taught her), and it is her default behavior.
Touch- nose touch my hand, any position, and working on repetition now
Stay- in both sit/down position. We are proofing this now with motion and toys...
Okay!- release word
Tug- i had to work at this one! she had zero interest in tugging/toys when I got her
Come- she has a wicked recall and is very fast. she has no brakes though...it hurts.
Her Name- instant check in, eye contact
Shaping to run around a pylon/jump standard
Get In (heel position)
Off! (she has horrible manners. lol)
Impulse Control Games- no mugging, crate games, etc.
She has loads of things to learn still but I think we've made decent progress in just two weeks.
Once I got home I took the dogs out for a walk/run. The sun is shining, the birds are out in full force and it is a wet, muddy mess out there- but the snow is almost gone! The dogs are drying in their kennels right now...
|Brit continues to be awesome. She is playing with the dogs way more than stalking them now...|
|Pixel looks pretty happy that the sun is out too...|
|Boone likes all the puddles and makes no effort to go around them...tomorrow is grooming day so it's okay!|
|Vito celebrated the sun by actually fetching the ball...once. :)|
|and Wicca apparently wants to taste the sun. :)|
Friday, March 25, 2011
Although I hated high school it is interesting to watch. lol
This is their original song from last week. I've listened to it a few times...okay, a lot...
I wonder if shows like Glee are helping all the "loser" kids in highschool to fit in more. I know that I certainly fit into that category and High School, okay all school, was hell for me. We can hope at least that maybe Bullying isn't quite as cool as it was...
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Why then does my dog not really understand Front? I should clarify- why doesn't she know front coming from the left, or from across the room, or with a dumbbell in her mouth. I went back and looked at my training logs and really am not seeing where I have missed a step.
But it is obvious that it is me as Wicca has similar problems with her front. Crooked, too far away, sometimes not even bothering. It is frustrating for me, and I am sure it is frustrating for the dog to not understand what I am asking of her. Sure if I ask her again, or again, or maybe even once more she will eventually get it. But I want it right the first time...
Last night we did fronts around the clock- the handler stands in the center and the dog is put in a stay in various "clock" positions and is called to front. Pixel did very well coming from the center, or from the right. The left was a whole different thing as she did not make an effort to swing her butt over to be straight.
At home we've been using the perch to work on fronts. Theoretically this should be teaching her to stay in the center wherever I move to. We just started this however, but I can see that it has helped already just from the exercise we did last night. A few weeks ago she wouldn't have done that. So I am excited about the bit of progress but still wonder if there is something else I could be doing.
I see all these fantastic obedience dogs with these killer fronts- I want that. Sometimes it is frustrating living in this city where there is such a small group of Obedience enthusiasts. We have no one really to help us except each other, so we are pretty limited sometimes.
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Monday, March 21, 2011
Sunday, March 20, 2011
Her routine was far from Perfect. But I haven't trained some of this stuff in a long time (because we can't get out of open....) But for not having much training she did pretty great! I had to double cue her for the directed jumping. (but she did the hard part of the go outs!!!!!) She needed some help with the articles, and her signals weren't really there. But she did it all. And pretty well. I am so proud of this dog.
Now if only she could get some confidence on those stays for Open, or maybe they will get rid of the stays all together....and then we could seriously train for Utility and not just dabble in it...although I must say it has been fun to train!
This was Pixel's first time doing everything all together for Open and it blew her little brain. :) She tried though. Her heeling was great- she was up, and excited, and focused- and that is awesome as we have had to work very hard to build that! But she was slowly losing it throughout the routine. By the time the broad jump came around she was done. It is very apparent though that as much as we have worked on fronts they aren't fixed...Anyone have any ideas of what I can do for better fronts? I've done a bit of Chutes, and tons of feeding in position, etc. But still she doesn't seem to get it... I am happy with her though- and it gave me an idea of where she is and what I need to work more on....
I brought everyone so Boone did a run through of Rally too- he had fun although was a little stressed by the end of the course. It was long and pretty twisty. He sure likes his pivots though! Vito came out and did some socialising (sticking to his meeting new people rules..). And Brit came out and amazed everyone with her cuteness. :) She jumped up on everyone, and mooched for cookies, and practiced her sits, downs, and hand touches...Oh, and she tugged. Like a mad woman. It was awesome. I think it may be time to reinforce some manners though...
So now I have very tired dogs, and we've been hanging out all evening and just chillaxin'...
Saturday, March 19, 2011
|Carolyn demonstrates a way to get a good tug from Kort|
Friday, March 18, 2011
She likes to learn, and seems to enjoy the challenge and thoughtfulness of clicker training games. She starts jumping and wiggling when the clicker comes out and then starts offering all the behaviours she knows to see what I want.
She has been to the daycare building and has done recalls and attention work. She has been to the arena and has done recalls, some shaping games, and even more recalls. She has been to both of the parks I frequent and has done recalls, the first stages of circle work, and some shaping games. She wasn't phased at all by the new places or people, and seems to be a very well adjusted dog.
She was spooked by the horses at the arena, but I think they surprised her more than anything. And the hairdryer makes her nervous too- she will leave the room and watch from a distance. Once it is off she comes running back over to make sure I am okay. It makes me laugh. I am not too worried about as I think that once she hears it every day it will stop bugging her....
Her people skills are great- she is not nervous to meet people and is very friendly and waggy. She is learning that often people will have cookies for her so she went around at class last night sitting in front of everyone for food, and when that didn't work she'd start poking them...she's just a little pushy...
The gentle leader is a regular part of her life already and she doesn't mind it. She is still very excited by motion so it is a good way to control her excitement and focus. She sees it now as a signal that we are going to do something fun.
I think that she is going to be a very fun dog to train- she is very eager that's for sure! I have gone back and read through Pixels' training plan and journals to see what I will do again, and what I could change or improve on. There is lots that will stay the same, but some things I will change, or do more of, or in some cases less of.
One thing that will be the same is teaching the toy drive and tugging. I have her tugging now- but not 100% and not reliably. So right now we are focusing lots on play.
Running, Play, Recalls, and Shaping will be the focus for the next little while! I want to create another dog who loves to learn, run, and to play with me...
Thursday, March 17, 2011
Tuesday, March 15, 2011
I am sure in part because she already had a name, and after you've called a dog by a name it's a little hard to think about a different name. She came with the name Amy. Which is just not my cup of tea. But there are so. many. name. out there. Seriously. Millions of name sites and search engines. I even resorted to looking through breeder websites to see if there was anything that caught my eye. In the end I went back to one of the first places I looked and found it...
I like Border Collies to have Border Collie names- usually one syllable, and easy to say. I chose Brit in the end because it sounded pretty, and it means freckled or spotted. And she has freckles and spots, so it fits. Also it is not a common name, I don't think I've met a dog with this name before.
We will spend a few days learning the new name together and then we should be set. It is hard to do much training when the dog doesn't have a name. :)
Vito is not a great fetching type dog- he often gets the ball and then will spend 5 minutes rolling around on it. In this case he stole the ball thrower and paraded around with it for half an hour while the normal dogs played with the ball....
Monday, March 14, 2011
, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.
Things she learned today
-Sit means Sit
-Down means Down
-Okay is a release
-Also chasing Wicca is a bad idea.
Things I learned about her today
-That she Woo Woo Woo's when she plays with you
-That she likes very physical play (pushing)
-That she needs a halti
-Oh, and that hotdogs are the best thing ever...
Sunday, March 13, 2011
I don't need five dogs. But when she jumped up and smiled at me I melted just a bit.
I don't need five dogs. But she walked in the house and the dogs were instantly calm
I don't need five dogs. But she has lots of great things going for her.
Still I didn't want to jump into this without knowing the dog.
I am known for my spur of the moment, rash decisions (sometimes bad), in the dog department. I blogged recently (about Dave, the foster dog) about the difference of choosing with your heart vs. your head. I have learned from those I assure you. If this dog didn't have everything I wanted I was set to send her packing. I think I've done pretty well not falling in love with every dog that comes through my door. Dave was very hard, but I knew that he wasn't the dog for me. I know that this is it for me. There will be no puppy in a year- but that's okay because I think that this dog is the right one.
After spending a day (now two) with this dog I know that she is the dog for me. Well, at least I think so.
Most importantly she fits in my house. Wicca likes her. Which is odd. Boone thinks she's cute, Vito still pretends she doesn't exist, and she and Pixel almost played. My dogs are first and formost my pets- so how they mesh is important.
She is very happy, very friendly, and loves everyone she meets. She hasn't met a stranger yet.
She is smart. Learned how to down in five minutes. She has caught on to the clicker already, and we are learning how to offer behaviors now.
She is cute. Good looks are important. :)
She is not sound sensitive or spooky.
She is not soft. This is important to me as I struggle with the super soft dogs and wanted a tougher temperament.
She wants to please.
She is great in the house.
She is atheltic and fast.
She wants to play and has plenty of drive. (I may be sporting a black eye from her enthusiasm...)
She has long legs. :) I had decided that my next dog was not going to be a corgi. I needed a better balanced dog to play agility with, and wanted a tall dog to do obedience with...
She is not without her faults though. Her life so far has been one as just a pet. Her previous owners let her chase/herd dogs for exercise. She won't be allowed to run off leash with the other dogs for a while. She needs to learn to control herself when dogs are moving. Already she is way better in the house. The other thing is that she has no idea what to do with toys. She is interested, but has yet to pick one up. We will be working on this. Toy drive isn't a neccesity although I don't think I will have trouble teaching her to tug and play.
There are many reasons why it isn't ideal for me to have another dog right now. But in my heart I believe that this dog is mine. Sometimes these things just happen. And sometimes the best things in life are the ones we haven't planned for.
Saturday, March 12, 2011
The Leader 10/52, originally uploaded by manymuddypaws.
We went to the dogpark for the first time since fall today. We do run off leash every day, but at "unofficial" off leash areas...
I remembered why we don't go there almost immediately. I wasn't even out of the car when a lab jumped all over me. And then jumped in the car while I was trying to get my guys out. I keep my guys on leash in the parking area now so once we were past the lab, and the parking area they were off like bullets. While the dogs were off sniffing and running around my dad and I had our eyes to the ground- the amount of dog shit was disgusting. Seriously. It was everywhere. No wonder people have issues with dog parks and off leash areas....
We quickly left the main area and then I was able to at least get some photos of the dogs without worrying where I was stepping. Vito, Pixel, and Wicca had a blast. Boone not so much. Reason number #200 why I don't like this dogpark- it's right next to a shooting range. Boone does not deal with that well and had to stay on leash. My dad is so great with him though and while I played fetch with the crazies he cuddled with Boone. :)
Although we won't be walking there anytime soon it was nice to have a change of scenery! Oh, and in case you didn't notice almost all of our snow is gone!!!! So excited for Spring!
Thursday, March 10, 2011
Heeling has been good- I haven't been doing a ton of patterns but rather have been doing short bursts of heeling followed by big time reward. We have been working on our left pivots still- and they are improving. She still will stall out a bit, but with encouragment will stay in position. It's coming.
Wicca is re-learning how to stay in one position and be calm about it. Our placemat is now half the size and she is comfortable in the house for up to five minutes. "Place" is the cue, and so far it has been working well. It will still be a while before we are ready for the Open ring, but I am excited about the prospect of her doing those stays.
At 7 years old Wicca is as physically healthy and fit than she ever has been. Due to her insane speed, and intensity on the agility course she has had some pretty big injuries in her career. She was often lame after a weekend, and sore or stiff after training. I took even more weight off of her, started supplements on a regular basis, took her to a rehab vet and do the prescribed exercises religiously, and bought a Back on Track coat for her. The coat is made of a ceramic fabric that reflects the body heat back into her, increasing blood flow, and helps to prevent stiffening muscles. It has made a world of difference and she wears it most of a trial weekend. I've had it now for a few months and although she hates to wear it (she doesn't like to wear stuff) it makes such a difference in how she feels I make her.
You can read more about the coats at- www.backontrack.com
I am fighting a wicked cold right now and wish there was some magical thing to make me feel better. Two nights now of almost no sleep due to coughing. I hate being sick, and it seems that this winter I have been sick a lot. Maybe I need to move somewhere warmer...
Wednesday, March 09, 2011
This is Ty, an Australian Kelpie. Yes, they are allowed to come in that color. :) I <3 this puppy...
and Arcade, a cute baby border collie...
and finally Wheeler, a sassy little Sheltie boy who was opposed to standing still...