Friday, January 30, 2009
Thursday, January 29, 2009
and after a nights sleep her tail is a little less...puffy..... thankfully! Isn't she cute?
Wicca is sick of everyone talkin' about how cute pixel is...
Geesh....what's the big deal with the blue dog?
I told her it didn't have a lot to do with her color per say, and although she is cute physically she is also very cute personality wise....Cute is not a word I would use to describe Wicca.
Wicca was offended so had a try at being "cute"
I told her she just looked weird now...
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Tuesday, January 27, 2009
Here are her ears...
Sunday, January 25, 2009
It was nice to visit with dog people I haven't seen in a while and catch up on stuff.
The girls did great- Wicca aced the Advanced course, and I was very happy with her heeling. She was forging a bit, and I need to work on calling to front from a halt- but her about turns, pivots, and everything else were great. We also did some normal Obedience at the end- I am happy to report she jumped the broad jump perfect on the first try and did three great drop on recalls! Way to go Wiccie!
Pixel was very cute, and had no problem working in a new place. We did lots of tugging and playing, and of course we did practice some heeling, sits, downs, stand, and a little conformation at the end. She did very good with the "judge" going over her and was quite the little princess. She is very cute. I can't get over how cute she is. Really.
I dropped the dogs off at home and then did some rescue stuff- we had to take a momma dog and her 10 pups to their new foster home out in the middle of nowhere. Of course it couldn't be without drama. Leave it to Natalie and I. Really, something always happens. Without fail. We joke that we are going to die. Together. In her truck. But this time we thought we'd be disaster free because Alana came with us. Not so much. We got stuck out by Stirling- which is about 1/2 hour from home. The truck made some grinding noises, the engine light flashed, and it didn't take long after that for the battery light to come on. Nice eh? So we waited for half and hour for Alana's husband to come and save us.
And now I am home- with a list a mile long of people to call for rescue stuff, 31 emails to check about regionals crap (our club is hosting this summer) and four (plus 2 extras) dogs to entertain. I am about ready for bed.....
Saturday, January 24, 2009
we've been practicing our show dog stuff for next weekend.
Hopefully she acts as grown up as she looks!!! She has been a little demon lately...
Friday, January 23, 2009
Wednesday, January 21, 2009
Wicca is a great dog, and I am very proud of what I have trained her to do- but there are big gaping holes in my training that at this point are coming back to bite us in the butt....So- with Pixel I am covering MORE of those foundation skills that will help us out in the long run.
3 month plan
The Basics- sit, down, stand- verbal cues only, no luring for any position. We have all of this but the stand still is not quite what I want.
Duration to the Basics- adding a "Stay" cue.
Impulse Control- crate games are going really well- I can totally see how it is building value for working. I have always had dogs who like their crate, but I have never incorporated it into my training. Wow. Is all I can say. I HIGHLY reccomend that anyone training a pup use crate games. Add in more Rule-Outs, incorporate more into training.
Hand Touch- I have hard, repetitive nose touches, now I need to add in "rule outs" (or distractions) At the seminar Pixel had a hard time ignoring the food hand- we need to work on adding more RuleOuts...
Plexi- Once I have a good hand touch, I need to add the plexi in the hand, and then move my hand to the floor, and then just the plexi on the floor. I have a great flow chart from the seminar that has really helped me figure out what the steps are.
Plank Work- staying on the end of the plank (in a stand) no matter my position. This is the first step to a contact behavior. Once all my targeting work is completed on the flat I need to add it to the plank. Her still on the board, staring at my hand with the plexi but not releasing. Once we are past that (with all the rule outs) then you add the release to step off to the target- I won't be quite there yet though in three months. My aim is to have her on the board with rule outs staring at my hand/target.
Accel/Deccel/No Motion Cues- this has been my biggest struggle with Wicca- and it is SO easy to teach....Pixel and I have started already, and she is pretty good- we need to add rule outs (toys)
Jumping Mechanics- jump bumps. which are about 2 inches off the floor- basically we are teaching her to respect the bars- she is rewards for running over them without ticking them. We haven't started this at all, but will be at the end of the three months.
Shadowhandling- basically running with me on the flat- lots and lots of circles, running around pylons, front crosses, rear crosses...She LOVES this game and is pretty good about staying on one side. When she makes a mistake I stop until she comes back to the "right" side.
Body Awareness- backing up, standing in a food bowl (Kim suggested a square plastic tray to start) tricks, getting on the ball, wobble boards. Lots of this we've started, I am excited to shape the food bowl, and we are having fun with the ball and the wobble board.
and amongst all of this I am teaching her heeling, fronts, and finishes!!! It reads and sounds like a lot- but really it is just a few minutes every day- some day we can only manage to squeeze in five minutes, others we can get in a half an hour- but everyday we do something. She is a very smart pup who loves to work for either food or toys, and is always up for a game of fetch. Training her has been lots of fun, and I am pretty determined to do it right this time.
the first run was the jumpers- finally getting a second Q in advanced. It was a great run- my front cross was a little late but it was pretty amazing that I even got there...
The second run was a steeplechase- she had me completely flustered...
Monday, January 19, 2009
I have had a chance to think about the things we talked about at the seminar. I have a lot to work on. Wicca was a good girl all weekend, and I definitely have improved since even a few months ago but I still struggle with arm changes. Okay, I more than struggle. I suck.
My dog is confused- and it's no wonder- she has no idea what a "serp cue" looks like and doesn't come into me like she should. I did get some good exercises to help us though. I am excited to try it. As you can imagine I also struggled with a threadle cue...I did however manage to do one on the course we ran first thing Saturday. It was sloppy, but we did it.
Her weaves were good, and her contacts still are solid- she does curl a little if I am far behind, but for the most part she is driving into position just how she was taught. It really is the handling that is the issue, well that and jumping.
Sunday, January 18, 2009
The seminar was full of great information, and lots and lots of things to work on. Kim challenged us all weekend, and I think that everyone who came got a lot out of it. I know I did.
I am still processing all the stuff we did and will have more time, (and brain power) later tonite to blog about it...
Boone and Vito had a great time at Wendy's this weekend- you can see photos on Wendy's Blog
Oh, and the judging schedule for the show at the end of the month came out...Guess how many Cardigans. One. Just like the good old days. I am quickly reminded why I don't bother with Conformation. Oh well. It is all about experience for her anyway!
Friday, January 16, 2009
Thursday, January 15, 2009
Tuesday, January 13, 2009
I have thought long and hard about what I want to do this year and really want to make time for obedience. This past year I didn't make any effort at all to get in the obedience ring. This year I really want to. Obedience was my first dog sport. I really do love to train it. Agility is just so much more time consuming...
Anyway, on to the individual goals for me and the dogs...
- Succesfully handle a threadle on a course. Sounds easy...it's not.
- Be a better trainer- consistency in the little things....
- Be more open minded. My way is not always the only way. Really.
- Be nice. I am a bit bossy. Apparently I scare people. Really.
- Succesfully complete a threadle on a course. Sounds easy....it's not.
- Earn her MAD, and hopefully an AtCh
- Get out of Advanced Jumpers..
- Get into the Open ring
- Get her Rally Novice title at least
- Play scenthurdle again
- Oh- and place in the top five at Nationals...
- Apply for his stupid PEN # already... (vet apt on Thursday...the first step will be done)
- Get his Rally Novice title
- Train his contacts better :o)
- Build focus, and duration for agility.
- Train for a CD
- More Herding!
- Play in APDT Rally- maybe a novice title
- Train Weave Poles
- Focus more in improving his social skills
- More Herding!
- Build a solid foundation for agility and obedience- lots of things fall in to this category- It could really be a blog post all on it's own- jumping foundation, contacts, speed, handling. All can be taught on the flat with little or no equipment
- Tracking- she has a great nose, and I'd love to try it.
- Obedience- I'd like to get her CD before she is two.
we'll try again tomorrow!
Monday, January 12, 2009
In case you were wondering- seven dogs, and three people crammed into one cheesie little motel room look kind of like this....
It actually wasn't half bad- we fit comfortably. We played cards, had some vodka coolers, ate some chips, and watched the weather channel. The dogs were a little antsy, but mostly well behaved. Pixel didn't pee on the floor, and Kaleb kept his tongue mostly to himself...there was one incident which resulted in Jo breaking out in a nasty, dark red rash...but well...that's what you get for putting your face too close to the flatcoat!
We got up early- and went back to bed when we looked outside. Wind. Lots and lots of heavy wind. Combined with big giant snow drifts make for big giant snow drifts on the highway.
We got up a little later and were optimistic. The wind had died down a bit, and the plows and sanders had been out. We made it to Calgary. A little late, but safe!
Unfortunately we missed the whole Gamblers class. Which sucked. But what do you do. We'll get over it I am sure!
I did make it in time for Boone's first standard run. He was a little flakey. He had a good start line, and was mostly listening. But about half way through his brain fell out. He forgot how to do contacts, and had never seen weave poles before. We ended on a happy note though, and he was pretty pleased with himself...
Wicca's standard run was a little wild- she had two knocked bars.
The second standard was better for both of them. Boone still could not figure out his 2on2off. But he did a get his weave entry which made me really happy. We also were able to reconnect after he had kind of drifted away. There has been definite progress with him, but he still has a long way to go!
Wicca's second standard run was really good- she was listening, and was doing a pretty decent job with the bars. It was me who made her knock the bar. Stupid handler.
I only had Wicca entered in Jumpers. She is still in Advanced Jumpers. Not all that hard to believe when really her only issue is Jumping. Prior to January I only needed one more Q to move to Masters. Now with the new changes she needs two. So of course we had the best jumpers run we've ever had. Smokin' fast, clean, smooth, and my handling was good! Wooohooo! I was so excited. I had doubts about wether we could keep it together as it was challenging for me- but we did it and I was thrilled. Only one other team ran clean in all of the advanced class. It was a tough course with lots of tricky little things in it. It was even taped- so I will have it in a few days to post.
Our friend Jolayne was super sick all night- she either had food poisening (from the egg salad at the concession) or some sort of virus. Hopefully not a virus as I don't want to be sick. We'll see I guess.
She didn't feel well enough to run her dog so Sarah ran him- we joked and asked her how it felt to run a "real" border collie :o) Tag is a phenomenal dog and is going to be pretty amazing when he and Jo get it together.
My dogs did well on Sunday too- I decided to not worry about Boone's contacts. He wasn't understanding the "fix" or "correction" so really I either needed to not run him, or not worry. I decided to not worry about it. Obviously they need LOTS of work, so regardless I have lots of training to do!
The morning started with a very fun Steeplechase. Which was VERY fast. Wicca did great. Except for two knocked bar. Even she is not fast enough to make up 10 seconds. It really was a nice run though.
Boone was entered in steeplechase for the first time and did pretty good! He made it through 12 poles, and didn't give up even when he was wrong. I was pretty happy with him.
His standard run was great! He had a refusal on the table, and a missed contact, but otherwise it was a really nice run. He made it through the poles on the second try, and was really trying very hard to listen. I was very pleased with him.
Wicca's standard run was really nice. Except for me it would have been one of those runs. For whatever reason I did this weird arm thing for my rear crosses and pulled her off the jump. You know it is only because I said that we are good at rear crosses the other day! It was a beautiful run otherwise and I was pretty impressed that I didn't get lost.
Gyp and Wicca were paired together for team and again we kicked ass. We had the fastest time, and Q'd. Wicca was smokin' fast, and had one bar (my fault- calling her name over a bar is NOT a good thing) but with the team rules we can have five faults and stil Qualify. Thank freakin' god. It was a fun course, and I was pretty happy with how I handled my half.
The last event of the day was Snooker. (insert scary song here) It was a really nice snooker course. I was pretty stoked about it. And then she knocked the first bar. And then proceeded to run up the teeter. TWEEEET! Nice. I was ticked. And she knew it.
We left early so I didn't get to run Boone- poor guy! All that way for four runs. But I was glad to be home at a decent time!
Overall it was a pretty good weekend- I have lots to work on with Boone- he won't be trialing now for a while- until I can figure out how to teach him to generalize his training a bit more. I am sure Kim will have some suggestions- and Terry too in a few weeks.
I was pretty happy with Wicca- just those stupid bars. She works hard though, and is all heart. She really is making an effort to listen and is much, much better than even a few months ago. She has come a long way- and I was very proud of her.
Pixel had a great time, and did lots of socialising, fetching, and training. She did lots of sit/down/stand training, and nose touches, and just learning how to listen in an exciting environment. We also had lots of time to work on crate games.
Mostly, it was a great weekend!!!
Friday, January 09, 2009
As sick as it is, I am obsessed with it. I look at least once a day. I don't blog about it because I get really, really ticked off, and then end up ranting for six paragraphs!
But today I found an ad that was both humorous and sad, so I thought I'd post about it. Here goes:
Ad ID: 98373445
Address: 534-18 Street South, Lethbridge, AB, T1J View map
Date Listed: 08-Jan-09
To give away to good home. An absolutely neurotic chihuaua. His name is Oliver and he needs an older couple with no children to spend all of his time with. Oliver does not like alot of people around him. He likes the quiet. I have three children and all of their friends in and out of my house all the time and it is very upsetting to him.
Call Ally ***-****
Okay. There are LOTS of things about this particular ad I hate.
1) Free???? Seriously?? What kind of home are you going to get for free. There have been 127 visitors to the ad already....
2) You gave your address. That is super creepy. Really, really, creepy....
3) "absolutely neurotic chihuaua" awesome. funny. funny. funny....
4) "spend all of his time with, He likes the quiet, it is very upsetting to him" so he has seperation anxiety, probably bites, and is barky....
But at least she is being honest with her dogs issues, and isn't trying to pass him off as a perfect dog. Hopefully the little dude can find a home that understands chihuahua's and will help him to be a better dog. Hopefully he is neutered, and can't make little baby chihuahuas....
Why don't people research before they buy a dog, I bet if she had talked to reputable people they would have told her a Chi wasn't going to be a very good match for a busy household.....
Thursday, January 08, 2009
Wednesday, January 07, 2009
Tuesday, January 06, 2009
Last night while watching tv Pixel came up with a new game to entertain herself. You see, she doesn't have any toys, and decided to play with her bed instead. It was pretty cute. The video quality is really awful as it was shot with my stupid little Razr phone but it still shows how cute she is....
Notice all the toys throughout the room....
Monday, January 05, 2009
Wicca is five years old today.
She is a great dog, all heart and get up 'n go. I love so many things about this dog. I love her zest for life, and her sassiness, her attitude. Everything about her I adore. She has taught me to be a better dog trainer, a better handler, and a better dog owner. She is just amazing.
She gets an extra special birthday muffin today, and will get to play fetch for as long as she wants with her new toy.
She has really matured this year- both mentally and physically. Mentally she is finally starting to get the game- I am a better handler and we've ironed out some pretty big issues this past year. I have high hopes for her this year and can't wait to see what this seasons agility will bring us. I hope to get that elusive ATCH one day....
I also am hoping to make into the Open ring again this year. We've been training a lot lately. I do have her entered in a few rally trials at the end of the month. She loves to work, and we should be able to breeze through a novice rally course no problem.
Happy Birthday Woo!
Here's to many more agility runs just like this one! Bars up, weave entries nailed, and making up for my bad handling!!!