Thursday, May 31, 2012
For the first time ever I am not the least bit nervous. I am looking forward to a great weekend running with my little Pixely. <3
Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Nolen is growing up so fast. He is cute, and sweet, and very smart. Too smart for his own good! He is also a typical boy- a little naughty and doesn't like to listen. lol. Good thing he is cute!
|he thought the stick was fun, but the sheep were boring.|
|we could hear the frogs but didn't see any...|
|Togo and his girls.|
|The Watchers- one watching sheep, the other for frogs..|
|I didn't let Brit work at all except to get the sheep in the pasture.|
|Slow Motion...I think she thought I wouldn't notice. lol|
|Must. Stare. At. Sheep.|
|In the pond, even though we told him not to.|
|Brit couldn't believe we were leaving. lol.|
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I teach my dogs attention heeling- which means they need to be looking at me in order to move. If they look away we stop and restart. Brit is becoming a great heeling dog- she still doesn't have a ton of power but slowly it is getting better and better. We've got loads of enthusiasm now, and I am very happy with the progress. Pixel is a fantastic little heeling dog- she loves the cookies. And will work for a long time to get one. ;)
|This is the cookie face. Her tongue actually quivers. lol|
Sunday, May 27, 2012
I swear the hardest part about herding is remembering all the stuff!!
So here is a list of things, that I need to remember the next time I go out and train.
- Hey! Is a crutch. Stop it. Use my there, and follow up with a block if I need to.
- On the Settle (which we completely blew each time today), I can block the sheep too! If at all possible be in front of the sheep on the way there and be in control. Don't push them off though- a sudden movement and then plant my feet will get them to stop. My dog should stay lying down until I tell her differently.
- In big, open areas use my there, not my lie down. It's time to not be so afraid of my dogs motion and let her open up and work. I tend to use my lie downs when I need to think, or reposition, or am not sure what else to do. I need to use them when I need to- not all the time. But in close, tight areas use the lie down and mean it. Her downs were kinda sucky today- especially her second lesson as she was pretty amped up.
- Watch my sheep better. I try, I really do. But I also need to watch that my baddog is doing what I've told her (flank, lie down, etc). If they are following me, and calm keep moving. Don't stop and admire them. lol
- Before I Lie her Down she needs to have moved the sheep- even just one step. This will help to build some confidence.
- There. I need to practice my words. It seems strange. Apparently I need more of an accent or a drawl or something. It should be short, not drawn out. There. I feel ridiculous. lol
Louanne of course makes it looks easy. She actually did the whole course with her dog from the post. Just telling him where to go. One day we'll do that!
It was an awesome day- a little rain but not to bad at all! I am certainly not made of sugar so no chance of melting. ;) I wish every day could be a herding day! Thanks again for the great day Louanne!
My friend Liz took this photo when we were at her place the other day. It is awesome- just so Boone. He always does his own thing, often completely oblivious to things (dogs) around him. lol
Thanks for the great photo Liz!
Saturday, May 26, 2012
The yellow flowers are called Buffalo Beans. Weird eh? Liz is a nature gal and knows all the cool names of stuff. The dogs sure look pretty in them!
|Vito, making sure I was coming!|
|Vito, in a hurry to somewhere|
|Tinbie, flirting with death (Vito)|
|Tinbie, remembering about Death...lol|
|looking pretty? among the buffalo beans|
|suspicious vito- does Liz have cookies, or not?|
|Catching her breath before she and Puffin took off again.|
Friday, May 25, 2012
Poor Pixel didn't get to come along on the walk though- and she was not very happy about it either. I did that for a few reasons- A)I wanted Wicca to come along and Wicca and Pixel play too much. B) Pixel needs to save her energy, well her excitement at least! and C) She just had a bath a few weeks ago and I really didn't feel like bathing her (plucking out burrs etc.) if I didn't have to..
Anyway- the walk was great and it was fun to watch Brit and Puffin play. They had a blast chasing each other and generally just being crazy. They are well matched speed wise- and took turns being the chaser, and the chasee.
when I got home all the dogs are chill, except Pixel. Miss crazy eyes brought me her hippo to throw...
maybe I should have just let her come on the walk!
The excitement for this sort of thing is contagious. This year we have more GDG students competing for their first time, and they are all excited, and a little nervous. ;)
This is Pixels second Regionals. Last year was her debut and she did fantastic. I think she was clean in almost all the runs, and got both gambles. We were very prepared and had trained hard prior to the event. She placed 2nd. Squashed between two very fast, and talented Papillons. It was a great weekend.
This year things are a little different. No Wicca (which hurts my heart still). And I am not afraid to admit that my training hasn't been as good. The training I have done has been good- little bits here or there- but nothing hardcore like last year. You see Wicca was the reason that things had to be so hardcore, so MUCH training. I have felt like Pixel doesn't really need that- or do well with that. So instead we have been doing small amounts. Mostly gamble skills, and some basic handling drills. And I am left with this feeling of not being very prepared.
But we are, and we will do fine. My dog has good skills. And so do I. With Pixel I have this strange confidence that I never had with Wicca. In part because Pixel does what the momma says, and as long as I keep my shit together we do well. Pixel is not a free thinker. ;)
This weekend I will do some handling drills, and I will do one more Prep class- a gamble, and then before you know it, it will be Friday and I'll be in Medicine Hat at Regionals.
This week will fly by I'm sure!!!
Tuesday, May 22, 2012
|I'm coming back for the cookie!!!|
|oh yeah, this thing!|
|is this the right one?|
|maybe you would prefer two?|
|she's got the jumping down pat though!|
and Rocky- the loaner height dog. ;) He is a rescue Pembroke that belongs to a friend. I am training him to be a height dog on our team so Pixel doesn't need to race every single heat. He is a good boy- very enthusiastic. But needs a lot of work- he is a party animal so is always into whatever looks the most fun- and often that's not his dumbbell. The hard part with training a loaner dog is the lack of relationship. Rocky sees me as the cookie lady, which is good. But not much else. lol. We have to work on that!
After the disaster that was practice I added some scent articles to both Brit and Pixels training at home. Pixel is a pretty solid scenting dog but needs to remember to hold it until I take it from her. After our issue in the open ring I am enforcing that for every single thing related to dumbbells. And Brit needs to learn scenting so articles are essentially the same thing! Tonite she did awesome. But there was low distraction and excitement. Tomorrow we'll up the distraction a bit! If the rest of Brit's team is ready they may be racing in July. It wouldn't look very good if the team captains dog forgot to retrieve her dumbbell.....
Now if only I had some spare time....
PS. Photos by Wendy!
Vito's Life Lessons Week 20
If you inspire other to dream more, learn more, and become more, you are a leader...
I got a lot of great photos this weekend- but I kept coming back to this one. Togo (the guardian dog) was enthralled with my little dogs. Especially Vito. It was interesting to watch him follow them around, and even mimic them at times. He actually tried to play with them! He is a pretty mellow dog so it was neat to see him get a little wild. lol. This photo was taken on a morning walk through the field. Vito was looking for gophers, and Togo was checking each hole that Vito already had.
In looking for quotes and ideas to go along with the photo I came across this one by John Adams. I instantly connected to it- my dogs are my inspiration. Truly. They make me want to be a better dog owner, a better trainer, and a better handler.
And being Corgis (or part corgi) the short ones really do think they are in charge. ;)