January 31, 2009
This morning (while it was still dark) I managed to get my van out of the ice that had it trapped in my driveway the past few days. That in itself was a feat for me because I'm a night owl and rarely see the sun rise :-) Plus, it was only 5 degrees outside and I try to avoid being out in the cold if I can. But it was SO worth it!!! Thankfully once I got off our driveway/road, all the roads were clear and dry except in a few spots where snow was blowing across them from the wide open fields thanks to a strong bitter cold wind.
It was a little north of Dayton Ohio (2 hours from me) at a Tractor Supply Company. I had my doubts about what that location would hold. Imagine my pleasant surprize when I opened the door to the side of the main entrance and saw a complete dog training center! 3 large gated rings, agility equipment, ring mats, the works! A very nice training area actually! And there were lots of people attending, though I'm not sure exactly how many. I'd guess 30 people?
Morene Stickrod and her helpers (sorry I don't recall their names- shame on me!) covered freestyle basics along with some of the WCFO rules and even taught us a full routine we had a chance to practice! Dazzle did really well, even with the down time between active learning/practice sessions (downtime he and I both needed), though that was the hardest part for his young brain. :-)
I'm now more jazzed about freestyle than ever! Novice level is actually easier than I was envisioning, so that's encouraging. I'm looking forward to putting together a novice routine and getting a video made for submission (& sharing on this blog of course :-). I think I'd also like to try the heeling to music stuff. I have a routine I plan to do, but I think it's more advanced and will take some time to teach him all the moves. So while I'll continue working on that project, I'll also be working on selecting music and modifying the routine we learned today for a novice level submission.
I may have helped a few people better understand clicker training as well during breaks and after the seminar, so I'm happy about opening those horizons for them to explore.
My van is once again stuck at the bottom of the driveway on the ice (hopefully it will get in the garage at some point before Spring!), but my head is swimming with all that I learned today and I hope to put it to use very soon! Thank-you to everyone who helped make the seminar a success!
I should have taken some photos, but I was too busy learning and/or occupying a busy Mal. :-)
P.S. I did stop at the store and get several bags of salt, but I'm not sure it will do much with 8.5" of snow and ice. I only spread one bag in front of the van tires, so we'll see how that does. They are saying it will be above freezing tomorrow, so hopefully that will help. Of course they are also saying it could rain or snow, and knowing this area, means we will probably end up with more freezing rain. :-( I sure hope not!
Is it spring yet?
January 29, 2009
Dazzle has made it to 6 months of age! I'm not able to get out to get him to a scale since my van is currently stuck at the end of the driveway on a solid sheet of ice. I also didn't get any photos because of dealing with the van and hurting my back shoveling snow trying to get it out. I really hate snow and cold and SO wish we could move to a warm southern state!!
I measured him today and was surprized to find he hadn't added any height this week (I think he added length though), so he's still at 21.5" tall. I thought Dazzle was big, but I was looking on the litter's webpage and it appears that out of the pups that have weights listed, he is nearly the lightest. One of his brothers is nearly 60 lbs! When I weighed him last week he was just over 37 lbs. It would be interesting to see their heights too. Maybe he won't be the tall dog I thought he would be, but that's ok too! He's still eating an incredible amount of food and he's a healthy weight, so I'm happy.
January 28, 2009
Dazzle has been LOVING the snow! He is constantly going in and out through the dog door. He is obsessed with the big plastic ball and although he seems frustrated that he can't roll it in the snow, I think he likes that it's fighting back too. :-) However, it seems that everytime he's doing something cute outside and I get the camera, he sees me and comes running in! Just a few minutes ago, he was completely burying his head under the snow and laying out there rolling in it, but of course when I got the camera he came running in. DRAT! I did manage to get a few clips and strung them together and added music ("I'm in a hurry and don't know why" by Alabama.) Enjoy!
This clip is Buster and Dazzle playing in the living room. It's kind of dark, but I lightened it up as much as I could. I also added music to this one instead of leaving the TV and Coyote barking in the background. :-) Dazzle has really helped keep Buster young because they play quite often. They like to clack their teeth at each other and "face fight" and body slam but mostly it's all in fun. It gets a tad heated at the very end, but as you can see it's over as quick as it started. I think sometimes Dazzle bites too hard or twists Buster causing pain and Buster lets him know. Not sure what started it in this clip though.
Finally I got a clip of Dazzle playing with his talking Babble ball. It's really dark, but it's the audio that is funny, not the video anyway. This thing is TOO funny! It's funny when he comes running in the room and looks at you as you hear it say something like "hey, what are you doing?"
Sort of in the order it talks on the video, it says:
I'm gonna get you
Ha Ha Ha ha ha ha
Na na na na na na
Hey, looking good big daddy
Ow Ow Owooooooo (howl)
Oh, you GOT me!
Come here pupper
Hey, what are you doing?
On No -growl/buzz-
Ouch, don't do that!
Bada Bing Bada Boom
Oh, that tickles!
Hot diggity dog
January 26, 2009
I have been thinking a lot about Dazzle's behaviors in the obedience ring. His stress behaviors bother me, so I have decided (if I'm allowed) to only do a non-judged "exhibition only" run at the trial on the 7th, use verbals and a few treats and quit the run after the heeling (skip the stand, recall and stays.) This will give us both a chance to find, see and work in the new location, let him be rewarded earlier in the routine in a big way with going directly outside to tug after the heeling and not completely waste the entry fee :-) We have rally in the same location the next day, so I think it will be a good lead-in to that. Update: Just found out that's not allowed. So I'll just go "hang out" with him for a bit, play a bit and go home.
I plan to back-chain the obedience routine since it's always the same order of behaviors. This will help him learn that his reward will be outside the ring after the leash goes on following the recall. Of course that means I need a ring to practice in :-) I'm looking at ways to build innexpensive and easily portable ring gates for the side yard and I'll soon be a member of Kuliga so I can use their building/rings. I think once he understands the concept of the reward being outside the ring, his confidence will sky rocket and his stress will go away.
On a different subject, I said in an earlier post that I had been working on previously filmed videos and I have posted several below...
The first video is his second session with the light switch. I have it set to nose height. Even though the switch makes a click, I'm still clicking him. This video really shows how much he has grown in just a short while! It was taken on Dec 15th.
The next video is the following day when I raised it up for the first time. Once he had to put his feet up to reach it, he started scratching the board. In reviewing the video as it's loading, I realized I have a typo. Where the text makes no sense, substitute the would "should" with the word "started." So it should read, "I started with it at nose height..." I DID work on getting him to just put his feet up on the wall calmly, which he was doing. But I guess it didn't translate to the lightswitch board with the switch there as the target. It's a bit stressful for him when he gets confused, but he works it out!
The next video is just after a play session and you can see there was some latent learning. He's doing much better with it at this height. Some of my clicks in these videos are really late (especially the one that accidently happens while I'm digging a treat out of my pocket!), but he seems to understand in spite of my poor timing. :-) Eventually I just let the switch click him.
The last lightswitch video is when he had reached the full height he could easily reach. This was not quite at a wall switch height though, so after a few more sessions to tweek the behavior, we stopped working on this till a few days ago when I had him operate a real switch as I said in a previous post. At the end of the video, he got extra treats for not diving on the one he dropped. :-) You can see I was playing around with the available effects for the title :-)
Another video shows us starting to play with left and right cues. I'm still using mostly body cues but add a few verbals near the end when I can anticipate his behavior. It's clear he prefers left turns over right turns. :-) More recently, but not on video, I have been using the cues as he comes out of the tunnel to indicate which jump uprights he should go through. I know I'm going to get confused though since I'm using my right hand across my body to cue left turns and my left hand across my body to cue right turns (as I will in agility.)
Lastly is a video I took at my parent's house. Dazzle was "playing fetch" with my dad, but doing a lot less fetch than digging. Good thing the ground is mostly frozen! :-) I set it to music because the background noise was a TV and my mom and I talking (well, me "squeeking" since I was losing my voice.) You'll have to watch till the end to see if he will actually get it back to his grandpa. :-) Through most of the video, my dad was trying to encourage him to get it and bring it back. You can see the temp fence we set up for when I visit with the dogs. Dazzle loves the cold and snow! Look at that tail going non-stop :-)
I'm guessing that it won't take long for Dazzle to learn how much more fun frisbee's are if he catches them in the air :-)
January 25, 2009
Today was the obedience Show n Go at Queen City Dog Training. Same place as the Rally Show n Go yesterday. I saw several people I knew and based on comments I heard, it seems Dazzle already has a reputation to live up to! Uh Oh! :-) He does seem to be living up to his name though!
I think he does better in Rally than in obedience because I'm constantly engaging him (and no dumbbells are being tossed in the other ring :-) But in Obedience, there are breaks in the exercises and when I stop and don't reward, he becomes unsure if he's doing it right. Plus, I talk to him less in Obedience (though I still talk more than I should :-)
His runs were still REALLY good for a puppy under 6 mo. old! I'm very happy with his performance and especially his ability to "bounce back" after a big distraction. But we definitely have more to work on with obedience. As I have said before, it will be easier to work on it once I am a member of Kuliga and can practice in a real ring. Kinda hard to have others tossing dumbbells in the basement (but he will hold a stay there if I toss his favorite ball or Bear's dumbbell it's just not the same.) He needs to learn that his big reward is going to be at the end and be found outside the ring. For that, I need a ring in which to teach him.
I also tried hard to remember to pay attention to where my shoulders were pointing, especially on turns, but I'm not sure if Dazzle noticed or not. He seemed to be closer to me (not so far wide) on the Fig 8 the first time through, but was still lagging. Second fig 8 he was in la-la land when he was on the outside :-) WAY too much interesting stuff outside the ring :-)
He completely lost focus on me during his first run when the person in the next ring was using really loud cues to send her dog out and then when the dog came back over the jump, that just blew his puppy brain! I was able to get him back to work though when she was done with the send outs, so I'm thrilled he's willing to re-focus at least! It's SO hard to be the puppy! LOL
I'm not sure (I'm sure I'll get several emails) about what I'm allowed to do to try to get his focus back. I know I can't make contact with him, though I figured that was the safest thing to do when he started running the fence even though catching him as he ran by along the fence wrenched my back (that is just after she turned off the video.) Not sure if sounds, words or hand movements are considered "extra" cues? Which is worse, the dog across the ring or extra cues? :-) Do I just go on without him letting the leash stay tight if he's on lead or let him be across the ring if off lead? I did try to go on without him in the second run, but that stressed him out and he started jumping on me and biting at me again. I know that having to ignore the action in the next ring is REALLY hard for him and trying not to pay attention to it causes stress for him. He really wants to go play be he knows he's supposed to be with me so it's hard on him. I have no doubt he will learn to cope, but I'm just going to be patient while he figures it out.
I'm very happy to report that he did his 1 minute sit and 3 minute down stays perfectly! He had a Novice ring behind him and the tempting "Utility" ring was in front of him across the ring (behind me) and he watched what was going on around him but didn't move. On his down, it was clear he was bored and he even started playing with his collar, but he didn't get up. Best news of all was that he didn't leave any sweaty footprints (a sign of stress) like he has on stays in the past. So I'm also thrilled about all of that! The person acting as the judge was not doing any scoring, so Idon't know what his score would have been. I think on the first run the major distraction would have disqualified him? If not, his scores should have been decent! Maybe someone with experience can watch his videos and give their opinion about his score (disregarding the treats I was giving him of course :-)
I have him entered in a Nov. A obedience class on Feb 7th (at Hamilton DTC, a place I have never been) just 2 days after he turns 6 mo old. But after that, it's all Rally shows (Feb 8th, also at Hamilton DTC and the 13th, 14th and 15th in Indianapolis.) I think that's all I'm going to enter for now because I know he's getting close to the stage where he will seem to forget everything he knows :-) I just hope he can get his Rally Novice (RN) title before that happens. I only have a few show n go's on my calendar till late March when I'm thinking of going to Cleveland for the C-wags trial and maybe a herding clinic at Hado-Bar. I've been there before and it's a nice facility with really nice sheep. Hopefully by April, when he's 8 mo old, he will have his brain back and we can start showing again :-) We'll see!
The videos are below. The person I asked to video us didn't leave the camera running, she only turned it on for each exercise. So I had to splice the videos together. Which shouldn't have been all that hard! But it ended up taking several HOURS because first I had to figure out how, then the system got a glitch that didn't show up till AFTER I did all the editing and tried to save it. So I did all the editing again and still got the glitch. So I looked on-line for any patches or updates and found one that took several minutes to load. Re-did the video a third time and still had the same glitch. So I dumped the whole program and re-loaded it, created the video again (which took about 30 minutes each time!) and FINALLY it was done! Then I had to edit the second run. Thankfully that one went smoothly. Loading to the blog takes quite awhile too, but at least I can type while it's uploading. Not exactly how I planned to spend my afternoon :-)
But speaking of video uploads, I did spend more time last night clearing my camera card to make more room by editing and saving several older videos. I'll upload those at some point in the near future. A few were video of when he was first learning to work the light switch and really shows how much he has grown! I think that was just a month and a half or two months ago, but it's a clear difference in size! I found out last night he's tall enough to reach the switch on the wall now. You should have seen his ears fly as far forward as possible toward the switch when the light came on! As if he was saying "How did THAT happen!?" I had to laugh and of course reward heavily!
Now it's time to feed the dogs and go play.
January 24, 2009
January 23, 2009
Will you PLEASE get off the computer so we can go train?!The weather was actually very nice today! I took Dazzle out in the side yard (not fenced) to work on obedience outside. At first he was over excited and distracted, especially with the rest of the dogs barking behind the fence! But he quickly settled into work when he saw the tennis ball. Then he had to go tease his brothers: "Na, Na, Ne na na I have a ball and YOU don't!" (I did go and play with all of them when we were done. :-)
January 21, 2009
January 18, 2009
Well his first obedience "show" was good and bad. It was a non-sanctioned match, so it wasn't an official AKC show, which is why I could have him judged before he is 6 mo. old. He did manage a "score of 135" which is in quotes because all the Nov A dogs NQ'd and so the judge awarded scores and prizes anyway :-) So he got third place out of 4 dogs.
His heeling on leash earned a 37.5 out of 40, so I'm thrilled with that! It was all "tight leash" 1/2 points so if I had given him more leash, he might have had a perfect score! He did get a bit distracted on the about turn near the Open ring where dumbells were being thrown, but came right back to me. Here's the heeling pattern we did, which I thought was a bit long but what do I know :-) The pattern actually re-traced the lines, but for clarity sake I drew it without re-tracing the lines.
He did a perfect stand for exam. His heel off leash also earned a 37.5, but some of those points off were my error for too slow of a pace according to the judge. As I said, all the dogs in Nov. A NQ'd (Non-Qualifying round) because they all failed to recall on the first cue. With Dazzle, an instant before his name came out of my mouth, a dog/handler came in the back door just to his left and he was staring at them when I called his name. He did not respond to me, but then I waited till he was looking back at me, called his name and said "front" and he returned immediately. Unfortunately, he went directly to heel. I have purposely NOT cued him to go from front to the heel position, but his heel cue is so strong that he skipped the front position even after all the practice we have been doing. In hind sight, I should have gotten him into front position since we were NQ anyway on that, but I let it pass and when the judge said "finish" we both just smiled since Dazzle was already there. :-)
On the sit stay, he got up once to check out the arm band number I had to place behind him. So that was another NQ and the reason he got third instead of 1st place. He also got up on the long down after a LOT of thought and attempted self control, but the dumbells being thrown in the next ring were just too much for his young brain to resist. :-) He stood and moved closer to that ring gate (which was right next to him since he was first in the ring.) When I started walking toward him, he saw me, and got an "oops! I just couldn't resist!" look on his face and went back to the down position. I just had to smile at him. The judge didn't NQ him on that, so the 30 points were counted for the long down, not sure why, but I appreciate it!
I'm kicking myself for not getting a video of his first run because it looked so good! But I was the first to go in the ring and I was called about 5 minutes after we got settled and I needed to get him in working mode, not worry about finding someone to film.
His second run (not for a score- exhibition/training only) was a disaster! I think he was stressed out by not having gotten any reward during the entire first run, so then he was wondering if he was correct? Of course THIS was the run I got on video. LOL He seemed a lot more stressed and worried on the second run but I can only guess about why. Even though I had treats on me for this one, I had a hard time keeping his focus and he kept trying to stop to scratch (stress) which he didn't do during the first run. I should have just quit, but in hindsight that might have rewarded the unwanted behaviors, so I'm glad we continued. His heeling is "ok" for most of it, but he did get a lot more distracted by things outside the ring and I was going too slow and waiting for him, which only made it worse. The judge also commented that I was anticipating her cues. Then Dazzle got frustrated and started jumping on me and biting at me trying to play tug with my sleeve. I was able to get his focus back, but during the fig 8 he decided he was going to visit one of the people acting as a post and I had to gently remind him he was supposed to be with me. The stand was great although he seemed to forget what his stand cue meant at first and it was clear he was stressing out (yawning, lip licking.) Heel off leash was worse than the on-leash and he had a few melt downs. When I was setting him up for the recall, he decided he HAD to have the piece of tape that was on the ground marking the spot for the exercise. So I had to cover it with my foot. He did manage to recall to front, but was crooked even after I attempted to re-adjust it. And when I did cue him to heel, he didn't quite get there.
So over all, a mess for the second run, but he was stressed out and tired and fussy. I was still VERY happy with his performance for such a young dog! Especially his first run. He continues to amaze me! I practiced his long sit and down just outside the ring when the second group went in to do theirs. I didn't take him in the ring just in case he would get up and be a distraction for the others. He literally fell asleep on the down, so I know he was really tired. We got our "3rd place" prize ($2) and score sheet and then packed up and headed home. He was asleep by the time I left the parking lot and slept the whole way home. I wonder if he slept much last night since I left him out of the crate. For all I know, he was playing outside! Mike said he heard him woof at the cat in the dining room during the night and told him to quit. Then Dazzle went to the place by the door where he had slept the previous night and flopped down. He's currently napping while I type this (though he did have a play session with Buster when we got home.)
So, I know what we need to work on now the most:
Distractions of thrown dumbells and things set near him :-)
I plan to try and back chain the parts together, with his reward being on a chair outside the ring. We have an advanced class tomorrow, so that's what I'll be doing then. Tonight, we have a party to go to, so hopefully he gets his rest :-)
Dazzle was left loose part of the night last night. On purpose, I put him in the crate when I went to bed as usual, but I didn't latch the crate. At some point during the night he figured that out and Mike said when he got up to go to the bathroom, Dazzle was laying in the doorway to the bedroom -closest to the cool air of the laundry room, but still able to see us. I'll try leaving him loose tonight again. He had a long day today so he should be tired.
I hosted a troop "badge day" at the house today, well yesterday actually (Saturday) since it's past midnight, and several people and dogs came over to work on earning Dog Scout badges. We were in the basement training room and Dazzle wasn't too keen on being left upstairs while I instructed. He did a lot of pacing, so that's why I figure he should be tired. :-)
His training and classes are going well. I have been working on a few freestyle moves and it boggles my mind how fast he learns things. He's also progressing really nicely on a trick I have worked on in bits and pieces- "hands up" in which he stands on his hind legs and balances with his front legs held up high. Eventually I'll couple it with "assume the position" or "against the wall" where he runs to the nearest wall and puts his paws up. LOL
On Friday I had a breakfast meeting followed by a regular meeting and Dazzle did fantastic! He settled in at the restaurant and even slept a bit while we talked and ate and then after a short drive, he again rested under the conference table after being a little antsy for a while. I thought this was exceptional for his age and the fact that we skipped our regular training session and went straight from the morning routine to the van for the 1st meeting where he needed to settle.
While the blog is about Dazzle, the other dogs are doing well too. Buster seems more energetic and playful since Dazzle arrived and they play and run a lot together. Often they go out in the yard by themselves (regardless of the weather) and chase each other or wrestle. the other day Buster came in COVERED in packed snow, so I know they were out there wrestling on the ground. :-) Bear also tollerates Dazzle pushing toys in his face and clubing him with a front paw and will even play back if he thinks no one is watching. :-) But he prefers to be up on a chair or couch or under the dining room table while he plays. Bear has gotten really attached to Mike and I often find him sleeping on his lap or in the bed if Mike takes a nap. Mike said there was only one time he threw a fit when I left the house without him, but I don't know why that one time set him off. Usually he sees me quietly out the door and then goes straight to Mike's lap. Coyote's eyes have gotten worse and the last few times I tried to take him anywhere he didn't want to get in the van. So I know he is happier staying home where he knows where everything is by sound/smell and limited sight. But I still take him and Bear to the training room from time to time to work on their skills. King is now the one who acts like the "elder" that no one messes with and he's still Mike's shadow.
I have photos of the troop party last weekend too that I'm not sure how I missed posting:
Here's most of the group, Dazzle is the back left side of the photo:
He really liked wrestling with several of the dogs, joined in chase games and played well with the toys/balls too.
Apparently we had several ball crazy dogs at the party and Greg is holding the toys! But I'm sure that a really cute caption could be added to this photo :-)
Tomorrow we will be at the CCDTC non-sanctioned obedience match. I entered 2 Nov. A classes. It's currently 1:15 AM as I'm editing this, so I better get to bed!
January 11, 2009
Today was just as good as yesterday. Dazzle now has a National AND International conformation title! He won best of breed puppy both shows today, placed 3rd in group for show 3 and WON group in show 4, which meant he got to go in the best of show ring. He put in a really nice round in the best of show ring (at least I liked his first round and his down and back) but he didn't win a ribbon. I was still thrilled with his performance! Especially since this was our very first show experience and we have had NO training and almost no practice for it!
I didn't bother to try to take photos today, but the show photographer took photos of the group and I had a portrait done with his medals and the judges. So I'll post that whenever I get it.
It was a very nice venue with friendly people and friendly judges and I loved the written critiques each judge gave.
When we won the group after show 4, I thought I would have to miss the troop party. But I realized I had time to do that and then come back for the best in show. So right after we won the group, I changed clothes, loaded up and headed to Kuliga for the party. Dazzle did fantastic playing with the other dogs! I thought he might be a bit spooked by the running, barking and high activity but he was in there dishing it out as well! In fact, he was playing so well once the tennis balls came out, that I left the room to get some food and he didn't care that I left! That surprized me, but I was glad to see the velcro isn't as strong as it used to be. :-) After a little more than an hour of steady play time, we headed out to get back to the show. He had no problems with his energy level in the Best in Show ring!
For those that want to see what the judges said in each show, read below. For those that don't care, you can skip to the next post :-)
Show 1 (Saturday):
Judgement: Very nice sound puppy
Overall impression: Good potential/ good type
Coat: Excellent color and texture
Head: true to type
Bite/mouth: sound correct mouth
Eyes: dark, well set, expressive
Ears: set on and carried well
Chest: good depth, adequate forechest
Front Angulation: well angled for age- needs layback
Back Angulation: balanced to front
Top Line: level, strong
Tail: set and carried well
Movement: clean and fluid
*placed "4th" in group*
Show 2 (Saturday):
Judgement: very promising, great color and annimation
Overall Impression: very nice immature dog
Coat: beautiful, healthy
Head: very pleasing, beautifully marked, great color
Eyes: nice dark, a little too round
Ears: correctly placed properly
Chest: lacking at this point
Front Angulation: well angled, matches rear
Back Angulation: same as above
Top Line: a bit soft behind withers
Tail: correct and places well
Movement: great rear, needs help with front
(note: he was shaking his head A LOT because of the show collar, so all of his legs were all over the place as he shook his head. :-) I switched the type of collar for Sunday and he didn't shake his head nearly as much unless I tried to put it back up behind his ears.)
*won the group*
Show 3 (Sunday):
Judgement: nothing written by the judge on this line
Overall Impression: young puppy, promising
Coat: nice texture for age
Head: good for age
Eyes: Alert expression
Ears: could be smaller (Huh??)
Chest: good for age
Front Angulation: good
Back Angulation: Excellent, good bone
Top Line: still soft, would like shorter loin
Movement: excellent feet and movement
*Placed 3rd in group*
Show 4 (Sunday):
Judgement: typy young male, attentive and well tempered
Overall Impression: Athetic and Agile
Coat: richly colored; dark mask
Head: strong- wedge shaped, masculine
Eyes: dark, piercing, set well
Ears: erect and mobile, held well
chest: adequate depth and fill for age
Front Angulation: well set on, shoulder blades a bit wide
Back Angulation: well turned stifle
Top Line: Slight rise to loin
Tail: sickle shaped
Movement: clean and free
All the judges commented in person about what a wonderful temperament he has. At one point after a down and back, Dazzle trotted right up to the judge and flopped against his legs! LOL After the best in show class, the judge that really liked him said he would love to see a champion title on him as well as several performance/sport titles. We'll see! I would love to get as many letters before and after his name as possible! I think it would be fun to take him through this again as an adult to see how the evals look. And the best of show ribbons sure are beautiful! :-)
January 10, 2009
January 08, 2009
We had our first rally class tonight and I'm looking forward to more. Dazzle was really distracted by the squeeky toys being used as rewards in other rings, but did manage to do a nice run through the three signs that we started with when I held up a spoonful of raw food :-) The favorite tug toy wasn't cutting it. The possibility of getting a food reward from my pouch wasn't cutting it. He had to have the food to visually focus on to give me full attention and nice heeling. But I'm not worried. He's only 5 months old, it was a new building, new dogs/people in class, and HIGH distractions in the other rings. So I still think he did really well! You can bet I'll have a squeeky toy for him next week though!
Tomorrow he gets the second bath he has had in his life to prep for the conformation show this weekend. In talking to others, it sounds like the entries have really taken off, so it should be a big show! It sounds like a LOT of people are doing it just for fun and the possibility of titles like I am. :-) I'm sure it will be interesting if nothing else :-)
January 06, 2009
January 04, 2009
Dazzle did GREAT during his two runs in the show n go this morning! For those that don't know, a show n go is a "practice" show. You are allowed to train and reward the dog in the ring as someone (acting as a judge would) puts you through the same exercises you would be asked to do in a real show. The photos are all from our second try in the ring because I forgot to ask someone to take photos during the first run. No idea why I didn't think to bring the video camera! Doh!