Friday, September 26, 2008

while you wait

for something of substance from me (maybe tonight!) you get this...

Dog Show Terminology!!!!


Noted Judge ...............................He put up our dog

Respected Judge .......................He put up our dog twice
Esteemed Judge ........................He puts up anything that crawls

Shown Sparingly .........................Only when we had it in the bag
Show Prospect ....................He has 4 legs, 2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 tail

Finished in 5 shows..............And 89 where he failed to win a ribbon
He has good points.....................But his head is shaped like a carrot
Won in heavy competition.........The others were revoltingly overweight
Multiple group winner...................At 2 puppy matches
Specialist Judge .....................Puts up anything that looks like his own breeding
Well Balanced .............................Straight as a stick in front and rear.
Quiet gentle natured ...................After 4 Valiums
Excels in type and style...............However, moves like a spider on speed
Personality Plus...........................Wakes up if you put liver up his nose.
Large boned.................................Looks like a Clydesdale
Good bite ............................Missed the judge, got the Steward
Lovely head............................2 eyes, 2 ears, 1 mouth, 1 nose
Excels in movement ..............If he gets loose, put on running shoes
Handled brilliantly by..................Nobody else can get near him
Won in stiff competition.............Beat 4 puppies and a 9 year novice dog
At stud to 'approved' bitches.......Those bitches whose owner's Cheque´s are approved by our bank.
Linebred from famous champions.....Ch Whoozitz appears twice in 6th generation
Good Obedience prospect...........Smart enough to come in from the rain But he's UGGGLEEE
Terrific brood bitch...........Her conformation is the pits, but she throws big litters.
Loves children..........................For breakfast, lunch and dinner
Wins another Best In Show........His second, under the same judge, our Uncle

Friday, September 19, 2008

demotivate me

last night was really demotivating for ME, because i found out ive really been screwing up rah for articles, which is why he's so inconsistent for them. last night he didn't get a single article right - terry had put out distractions in the pile (which was clearly too much for him), and then the way i was correcting him was wrong and i was encouraging him to be wrong by stepping towards him on the pile, which was encouraging a random pickup - and making it more likely in the past to have him not want to bring me articles.


Sunday, September 14, 2008

a little privacy?

rah had a private today - good thing we train inside, since it was about 100000 degrees (read: actually 96) out today. hello, isn't it fall yet?

we started out ready to heel - but i brought up that rah is starting to anticipate when i set up and i say ready, and the judge says forward - he will get up and start heeling before i say "fuss". so we worked on that - i am to mix it up - if hes paying attention, sometimes i just reward him for looking, if he tries to break we go backwards in a circle, and sometimes we actually heel! he was thinking abut this so hard it was hilarious - he couldnt figure out which way i was going to go!

we also worked a lot of set ups - come ups, side steps and back ups - rah has gotten lazy with the setups (at least this week) and whats more important, my body language is confusing for him - i rock back and i lean forward, and he doesnt know WHERE heel position really is - so i need to lock my body. i also tend to stare at him and it pushes him back - which is odd that all of a sudden for this ONE thing he is so intimidated by me, but it would make sense - this is his least favorite thing aside from fronting with the db, so he doesnt want to do it. me staring at him just pushes him away further.

finally got to heeling and we did more knee up and when he got pushy i automatically did left turns and u-turns and circles to the left. we discovered that my damned dog speaks english now - when the judge says about turn, he starts it before i get there! BAD DOG! :)

we then analyzed my showing and rah's heeling - clearly rah stresses up, but terry thinks in the ring i am stressing up with him too - when i spazz on him, im just amping him up even further. and i need to STOP RACING HIM. its so hard, when hes pushing me and trying to go so fast, to not just try to heel FAST THAN HIM so hes not forging, rather than just locking up and being in control. terry told me to chant in my head "i am in control, i am in control" - but it worked today. i also locked my right arm more when heeling, and lo and behold rah was in a different position, not pushing (so much), and respecting my space. did a lot of turns (need to work more footwork again - im slowing on the turns!!!!) and halts again, and not bad if i do say so myself. we also worked some drifting to the left to get him off of me - she said i can do this a bit in the ring if he gets too much, and no one should really mark it in the novice ring.

the biggest thing is that i need to stay in control of him when we are working - that i cant let my stress, frustration etc come out - and i cant let him push me around.

worked fig 8's - mostly my footwork, and lo and behold it clicked for him. but not to be pessimistic, it seems to click for him multiple times and i screw it up. i do realize now that my biggest issue is that when i speed up, i tend to lengthen my stride rather than just taking shorter, quicker ones - i need to stop that.

ended the class with a 45 minute talking session, which i find very therapeutic. i really do like these trainers so much. terry seems to think that if i start matching rah in open this winter, i can have him out in open by jan/feb shows, and that having him debut in utility at nationals next year isn't that far of a stretch!

i think thats it. my ankles are KILLING ME. took the dogs to the dog park afterwards for 20 minutes, but it was too hot for much more than a few jaunts.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

oops forgot to post the APDT rally weekend...

last weekend was the OTCH APDT trial outside...

saturday wasn't so pretty - it poured ALL DAY, and we still showed. I got Rah NQ'd in the first level when we "stopped working" when the judge started talking to us. Rah wasn't really working to his ability and he got scared by a blowing sign (such a brave, strong doberman!), so...

By our second run, the rain was in full effect. Pouring, black outside, wind blowing - I was dreading taking him off leash, but I paid a ton of money for this, damnit... for another NQ. But, it was the most beautiful run of the weekend - Rah had beautiful heads up heeling, LOVELY pivots, great attention - all because we screwed up the schutzhund turn! It was the best performance of the day, but unfortunately that is one station you cannot mess up! the day was looking pretty bleak...

Second trial, rah got his second RL2 leg with a second place, but he was fried for the day... and we were both soaked. It never stopped raining the ENTIRE DAY... we just prayed for better weather.

Sunday was BEAUTIFUL and Rah finished his RL2 title and started gathering some legs towards his RL1X and his ARCH! He took first in his level 2 class in the morning, and fifth places in his level 1 classes in both trials.

It was a very tiring weekend, Rah showed 4 times both days - hopefully this will help prepare him for UDX classes later on! He was definitely tired, and by the last class, he got stung (AGAIN) in the ring and was a little distracted - I had to use a very stern LEAVE IT when he wanted to chase a monarch butterfly across the ring

We came home with 10 pretty ribbons and a new title!
now to work on his ARCH and his RL3! (I think we will stick with indoor trials from now on!)

im so bad...

i know its been forever since ive updated... i dont know if its that im tired, busy, both, or just... i dont know!!!

classes this week. we shall start with classes this week - i think remembering classes last week may be beyond me!

berlin's class first. we started with stationary attention while kathy came by to distract. turns out, as with all the dogs in the class - berlin has great attention when i am moving, but when im standing still she is more than willing to stop staring at me and look away.

(i will say while i appreciate her size and how cute she is, having a dog like rah is a LOT easier for me to make eye contact with - berlin gives me back cramps!)

so, we brought food back into the picture and every dog was much bigger - so im working on that. i think tomorrow ill take her to the petstore and work attentionwork.

did heeling - we discussed when we will be removing food from the picture - i took it away for a bit and she still maintained good head position - she automatically moved her eyes up to my face, yay - but her body position moves around a bit, and she moves her body OUT and wraps forward (a la rah). we shall see what kathy thinks. she understands the concept of halts, but she isn't always perfectly straight - she's very cute though.

worked SFE - she's a stand-tard right now, i worked it last night too and for some reason she cannot do a stand! im going to work it again tonight and use my trusty clicker and see if we can get a lovely kick back stand... she gets the concept barely but it never translates right now. we're missing that last piece.

worked fronts, finishes, and recalls and she did well. stays she did nicely on.

then i heeled rah - he was pretty good, but he started to get very pushy and he was literally pushing me over across the floor. our solution right now is that i bring my left knee up really high (not to knee HIM but to put it up and push him off) and it seems to be working - but the negative was it also pushed him out for his halts. his left turns were AMAZING though.

thursday night - thursday DAY sucked and it was berlins birthday (HAPPY FIRST BIRTHDAY BABY GIRL!) - and i missed novice, so rah got to do open and utility instead. did some heeling and he did well again - working on control and good head position (nice attention as always) - snappy set ups, working come up sits, repositioning in the set up position, etc (also did those wednesday). did a lot of slows.

db retrieves were nice and fast - now im working his straight fronts with the db - i put out two high jump bars and he used those as guides and they were pretty nice! they are less intimidating for him than the broad jump boards. did some ROH too (at 24 inches) and he did 2 really hard ones, with nice fronts. so i called it on that - terry keeps warning me not to work him anywhere near full height right now, we cannot afford bad experiences! i want him to be very confident in jumping, which he is starting to be again. DOR - we played some games - good fronts, he screwed his first DOR because he didnt think it was coming (havent done one in over 2 months!) but the second was PERFECT so terry said throw a party!

broad jumps were nice - had to put a bar out on the right to prevent him from swinging his butt out on the front (its all that inertia!)...

onto utility - we started with signals, and terry wanted us to try small signals - giving very tiny ones so that the dogs are very hypersensitized to the visual cues - rah was very confused, so i backed up the distance to very close, added back in verbals, and he still wasnt sure. broke it down, stopped putting them all together, and ive been working on it now and he seems to get it. the thing, i think, is that he doens't seem to associate the "little" cues with the big ones i give - a small raised hand is NOT the same as a big sweeping arm to him - different signals will not necessarily mean the same thing, not to him.

articles - unlike last week, where he sucked, this week he worked the pile like a madman and pulled 4 articles straight out of the pile correctly, woohoo.

gloves - homework this week is to start randomly moving back from him- right now he is marking the correct glove, but when he goes out i move in with him and end up very close behind him - both to 1) minimize wide arcs when he comes back 2) remind him of his job, which is to bring it to front and 3) STOP HIM FROM SHAKING IT. so now once in awhile i am going to let him have more space.

go outs - were AWESOME. so was his directed jumping. terry did 2 with cheese, 2 without, and he did awesome turn and sits - but i need to remember to NOT let him release FORWARD out of the "box".

all in all, good training sessions.

tomorrow we have a private with terry.

Monday, September 1, 2008

as copied from the emails (i am a lazy lazy blogger)

Yesterday, at the Morris Hills DTC show, Rah got his second leg of his CD by taking first place in his class!

The day was a disaster from the start - car troubles, running very late, getting to the show site and having a heart attack finding out that the judge who was originally supposed to be there hurt his back and I ask who is filling in - someone goes, Kathy walker -- I go - BUT I TRAIN UNDER HER!! The parking lot is full and I'm just about ready to turn around when I see someone else who assures me that Kathy made sure to find someone ELSE to judge my class so I could still show (THANK YOU) and they have another judge coming to judge my class... but she's also judging rally. Our class didn't start until almost 4 because of the rally classes, and by then Rah was a LUNATIC, all he wanted to do was WORK WORK WORK.

Great set ups, wonderful attention, PERFECT transitions, nice attitude-- but uh, TOO MUCH ATTITUDE! He was all over me, forging and crowding with the best of them. The comments were "he's a LOT of dog!" He didn't drop his head once in the ring, he was fast, flashy and VERY up. We both came out of the ring panting, but it was good enough for first with a 193.5!

Aside from 3 crooked sits (an improvement for us, something I've been working on) and Rah's adjustment on the front that actually MADE him crooked for a total of 2 points off, ALL the other points were forging forging forging forging, and 2 crowding. Mostly on leash, too.

So, 2 points lower than our first leg, but another first place! Hopefully I can find a way to bring a *little* less dog in the ring and keep him under better control - he overpowers me in heeling when he is that up!