Saturday, November 29, 2008

the match show

both dogs were entered in the match show today as was mercury (at up front farms)

it was our first time there so for all intents and purposes i treated it like a show for them. i was surprised by all dogs in good and bad ways.
berlin had two novice entries and rah had two open entries (mercury also had two open entries).

when we got there the novice ring was running early the open ring was running really late - so i had to switch up my plan (rah was supposed to be on 45 minutes before her).

ran back put rah in the car and got berlin - brought her in, warmed her up - but it was really cramped in there! got some nice moving attention but there was a sheltie that kept hitting her and she kept popping all over the place out of her platz (i keep her in a platz right before we go into the ring and kinda power heel her into the ring).

brought her into the ring and set her up and started off - she was all sorts of swivel head -s he kept with me, but it wasnt pretty. then someone took down a jump in the ring next to her and she wasn't able to focus on me through that - again stayin with me, but it wasnt pretty. we worked through it and i brought out a cookie, brought her into heel position for the fig8, and she got better - she nailed the SFE and for the off leash ironically she was much better. i did a short recall (not full length) and then since we had extra time i asked to do another on lead part and she was much better.

got to rah - rah was on! great attention setting up - he dropped his head when we were heeling a few times but he came right back (his heeling has been spotty - i wonder if it would be better to have him in the B classes and maybe have DOR, ROF, ROH first before we heel to jazz him up?) up to my face immediately despite the fact that i almost fell - i had no footwork! i was too worried.

his DOR was perfect - he loves to drop its amazingly cute! ROF was nice - he zooms out and gets it, but his fronts weren't great - much better than wednesday night but needed repositioning.

went to the high jump and he anticipated the first one - i ignored it (i wont correct him not with all his past issues with the high jump). just took it when he came back and set him back up, threw it and promptly watched it go out of the ring :) platzed him, stood in front of him, and waited for the judge to bring it back. finally got it right and he did nicely.

broad jump was good, and we were done! oops - no we werent, judge forgot the fig8 and we went back and did it :) not amazing, but not bad!

i was proud - we went back for out of sight sits/downs and rah ROCKED THEM. overall im VERY happy how he did at this match considering this was his first time at a new place, first time matching in open!

berlin's second run was MUCH better - much better attention (still not perfect though) she was much better on all accounts still rocked the SFE, off lesah better than on (notice a trend with my dogs?), did a longer recall.

she was tired at this point so i opted not to do stays with her, since rah's second ring time was coming up. my friend judy was our judge and she's TOUGH so i was prepping him for that.

got him in the ring, he was ON ON ON ready for the heeling. he was doing ok, but he dropped his head on the slow i reached down to pop him and missed her calling me to normal so i didnt transition that. on the final halt i also had poor footwork and almost fell!

fig8 - he was forgey a bit and crooked on the halts.

his DOR was perfect and he was so cute and quick that he slides with his front feet out and she was laughing. lydia said hes so eager to get things going that his finish is SO FAST - i wish i had it on tape! i can see him quivering he cant wait to GO GO GO.

ROF - he went out quick as a whip and brought it back- crooked front, nice finish.

ROH - broke it down. first throw out of the ring, i platzed him. second throw i was too close to the jump and he couldnt get back to me so he landed too close to me and couldnt find front. third try was better, but judy noticed that i pull the db from his mouth rather than having him truly out it and then we worked his fronts in the ring. worked them so long we didnt get to do BJ.

i opted not to do a second set of stays for rah, since he had ACED his first set, why chance it?

overall im pleased - berlin worked very well for a 14 month old puppy at her first match, considering im not bringing her out for easily a year or so in AKC, if not longer. rah im VERY happy with how he did - he trains pretty much as he shows pretty much as he matches, which is nice for a dog - whats broken in training is broken in showing is broken in matching.

i think lydia had a breakthrough with mercury took, with his ring stress - she was pleased.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

happy thanksgiving

no class tonight (obviously) because its thanksgiving...
happy turkey day!

on a side note, am i the only one that cant get DT to load? im having DT withdrawal!

trained last night with rah. i actually went an hour early because i was bored and my house was cold, so i played with berlin for a bit. we're having db issues again, and so i worked on moving stand (we failed) and go outs, then fronts and drop on recall. she rocks at drop on recall, my dogs just get this. who knows why.

did stays with rah - i forgot his collar, but he held them without it and he was so good, what gooooooood boy. such high level of distraction, kathy was telling them to down and he was like uh uh not going to do it!

did some heeling. rah was weird and didnt want to heel near the wall? every time we went on that side of the room he kept pressing his entire body up against me. and i accidentally poked him in the eye with my watch when we went into a fast my poor baby. heeling was all over the place :)

worked some DOR - the get it get it game gets him overworked he loves it so much! but his DOR is nice and quick.

his broad jump was nice - hes coming in for straighter fronts but its hard - hes fronting a bit to my right leg. i think its just hard for him to get around. i need to keep his guides up so he doesnt cut the corner. maybe having a bigger broad jump - i dont think it was his full length last night.

ROF was nice, but we're having some bad issues with his fronts - also transitioned to ROH. hes stressed so he starts mouthing and doesnt want to come into front, he is slow, he inches, he comes in crooked.

its potentially a few things and likely a combo of BOTH of them

1) the db is so rewarding to him (i dont reward him necessarily for retrieves because he loves them so much - the retrieve itself is so fun for him, he loves it and the db IS his reward) that he doesnt want to give it up

2) he's SO in drive that he cannot even think about what is asked of him - hes focused so much on what is in his mouth, he really cant think about what else i am asking of him. plain and simple, ive overloaded him.

there were a few other things we considered, but i think these are the two most likely - especially considering how long we had to work to get him to bring me the db back, period. his real want is to just take it and run. he loves his db so much its all he desires. if there was a class that was all db work, he'd win it every time. last night in fact, he tried to make up a new exercise - DOROF - drop on retrieve on flat. i was dropping him for the recall, but he retrieved someones db while he did it.

so its back on flexi for us. GRRRRR. gotta work this to get him ready for open. who would have thought his best exercise would be his worst. clean up his fronts and i think we're ready for open.

Friday, November 21, 2008

a little work never hurt anyone

training classes wed and thurs...

wed night rah had open. heeling was nice - he was attentive but not too pushy - almost floaty. very nice for him. i was sore from all of it by the end, but it was nice.

worked on straight fronts off the ROF and ROH - he did a fairly nice job of it, but i still need to build him his front box - thats on the menu for today. i bought PVC in 1/2 and 3/4 inch, we shall see! he went out for the DB every time enthusiastically though. his broad jump was nice, we played maint. games for it.

didnt do any drop, because i wasnt sure if i was going to be showing him or not. i ended up skipping the shows yesterday and today, but oh well. i talked to kathy last night and i think i want to move him up to open and get him ready for it. i think he wants to go go go go go !

his fig8's were nice, he's moving out of my way, it looks much better. finally after 2 years!

stays were perfect, out of sight, im very proud of him!

last night, berlin worked novice. her heeling was nice, she was working nice attention. she's starting to set up a little crooked so i am working on that - she's getting her butt straight, but her front feet are just the slightest bit off center, so im working on keeping that straight. we worked on heeling with distractions - then we did recalls and she did nicely, but she gets so exciting coming into me, that she always forgets the front!
her SFE - she didnt want to do the stands, i reminded her and she did them, but shes still popping out to the side, must work against a barrier . she's broken! broken broken broken!

stays were uneventful. took open off last night, and then rah worked utility.

signals were nice - except the one i did like the moving stand :) oops!
articles were PERFECT - im very proud of him!!!!
we worked go outs - hes still very confused by me trying to call him off the food without him getting it, they think i should try to put a toy out there and call him off the toy instead, because the food is just overloading him. of course my ineffecient timing wasnt helping, either. his DJ was good though -but he cant think he can control where i send him! so every time he thought he knew where he was going, i sent him to the other jump.

we thought we could do agility yesterday morning but the lesson was cancelled, so he ran around and we just played with some jumps. hes so goddamned fast....

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

some work at the house...

well, syracuse is over and done with. i ended up not staying for sunday - rah was off his game in a big way, and his skin was worse than ever. came home and started meds - he's on steroids, chloramphenicol (antibiotics), and im going to start atopica again on friday after the show. he cant live like this, my poor man. the good news is, even with just two of the three, he's feeling much more comfortable and can lay down now without chewing himself raw. and he's not bleeding all over the place now!

monday we took the day off and just took a nice long hike (i never post pics here, im so bad, so here is one!) and the dogs had a blast.

we're back in classes tonight, it's been TWO WEEKS that we havent had class on wed, and three i think on thurs since i missed all last week - HOW WEIRD!!! i still haven't decided if im showing rah tomorrow morning, but...

yesterday i started berlin off on some utility stuff. she learned some basic go outs, and she thinks they are hilarious - in fact, later on i tried to do some pivots and heeling, and i walked her up to my gate and she tried to touch the stanchion for a cookie :) GOOD GIRL - now to understand that its not just get the cookie, its go out STRAIGHT until i tell you stop :)

also worked some marking of cookies - specifically i put multiples down and had her mark only one, and that was the one she was allowed to go get. she did well!

if only she had a good solid retrieve, i would be able to start scent articles - i think i may have a way to start some basics for her without a good retrieve though - doesnt involve retrieving, she can indicate without it. but we DO have to work on this whole retrieve thing.

then i brought rah out -worked on his go out with a turn and sit - BEFORE he gets to the stanchion. he seemed to understand it - its very tight timing though on BOTH our parts.

today im going to take them outside and work on some directed jumping - berlin will learn it, rah will proof it. berlin has really nice jumping form though, so it shouldnt be an issue.

i just dont know about showing rah tomorrow... but id hate to end his novice career on such a crappy note. wouldnt be so bad if i didnt have to leave th ehouse at 5:30-6 each morning to show. POO.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

well, i think our syracuse trip is over!

berlin did well today too - i ROBBED her of first place and her 99 by having to redo a station because i forgot to tell her front!!! she was standing in front of me and since i didnt say front, she just went back to heel - ARGH! would have been nice to have three blue ribbons - as is, we didnt place at all in this class, but thats ok - we ended up with a 96. so her scores were 99 - 94 - 96 in this cluster - her attention wasnt as good, but i can tell she's getting tired. but two first places, and a new RN :) WOOHOO BERLIN!

rah is a mess. i dont know if i posted it, but i cultured his skin prior to leaving last week, and it came back - as some nasty stuff. he has MRSI -- methicillin resistant staph intermedius. which is bad bad bad bad bad - MRSA (methicillan resistant staph aureus) is the nosocomial infection you worry about getting when you are in the hospital, and rah has a similar one. he's sensitive to TWO antibiotics right now - one that can harm his kidneys and the other that can hurt ME by causing aplastic anemia...

anyway, i didnt start him on anything, since i got the results monday, figuring i would do it when we got back (true to form, i picked the drug, chloramphenicol, that would hurt ME _ cant risk rah's kidneys!) - but his skin is getting worse with all the rain up here, he's a big red raw pustule. he's so itchy, i had to start him back on steroids last night.

my poor baby- once we get home tomorrow im starting him on antibiotics and im going to start atopica again - i just need to get metoclopramide to stop him from yacking, and i need to freeze the atopica. his skin is getting out of control.

anyway, they cancelled the match at the show today - combined with my feelings of doom and rah's just general blah-ness, i think im not going to show him tomorrow. we will stay in the hotel because, lets face it - we all seem to like hotels and i already paid for today anyway, but tomorrow morning im going to pack up and just come home i think, rather than show him. his class doesnt start until noon, and we wouldnt be able to leave until 1-2 pm, putting me home at 6-7 pm or so. rather, i think ill leave at 10 am and get home at 2-3 pm so the dogs can hang out at home and i can do some cleaning around the house. get some stuff done. laundry. probably clean the rabbit.

im still angry that i broke rah this week, but i feel like we can overcome it. i wish we had the match to do some work, but im going to approach training this week like always and see how we do. it sucks that were on first thing at both shows this coming week in reading - we shall see if terry things i should show him or not. ill talk to kathy and terry wed night.

a new day

well, todays a new day in syracuse. berlin isn't on until 1:15, so we have awhile until we need to leave for the show. im not showing rah today because its a male judge, but i will hopefully get them both into the match this evening. and i want to take a trip to the big building to shop with them both!!! berlin deserves a toy for her title :) maybe a monkey stick like rah got?

im trying to be more optimistic about rah - hes an awesome dog and he can be fixed. this stress in the ring can be worked through.

i will fix it. i will fix it. i will fix it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

syracuse updates

well, here they are.

im happy and sad and frustrated. rah is sucked and not performing as well as he should be, and its my fault for making dumb decisions for him. i DID show him yesterday because he warmed up so well, but i worked him too much and he did a great SFE but everything else fell apart in the ring. today berlin barked her fool head off while we were working and he had a lot of trouble working through her screams, but we were qualifying(not pretty, i think we had a 180?) but apparently he repositioned during the long down and NQ'd us while i was walking away. however, every dog except him and the dog next to him broke and started running around the ring and HE HELD HIS DOWN SO THAT IN MY MIND WAS A HUGE BIG MOTHERFUCKING STEP IN THE RIGHT DIRECTION.

tomorrow they have a match i think and i am going to enter him in it, i think. and work him through this crap. crap i CAUSED.

berlin, on the other hand, is a supa-star. she took first in NovB both days (rally) and finished her RN WOOHOO and beat like 15-20 dogs each day. she's been a super good girl except for her barking while rah is working. poor rah.

i regret showing him monday. UGH rah deserves better than me.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

pulling rah

I think I've made the decision to pull rah from two of the shows in Syracuse - the two i am showing to men. practiced some SFE's to men, and he's not up to where I want him to be - and rather than risk him 1) having a bad experience in the ring 2) learning he can get away with it in the ring or 3) god forbid, someone views him as a dobe acting aggressively (even though hes a weenie) - i cant risk it - so terry and i think its safest to just pull from those runs.

which sucks - i had hoped he would be able to handle it, but i dont want to have BAD runs... terry said i could just skip all of syracuse - but thats a lot of entry fees (almost 200 bucks) -- but i would save myself like... over 340 bucks in hotel fees, gas, and food? but berlin should finish her RN this weekend... i SHOULD go. i SHOULD.

i shouldnt let rah's pulling from half the trial taint the rest of what we can do up there.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

im sending my computer to the computer gen-yus to be fixed since it has trojan viruses all over... and hopefully he can fix it.

anyway, class last night - did novice with berlin (and yes, she's moving up to next week!) for half of the class, then my lungs gave out and lydia worked her. then i did a drop in of open with rah, with not a lot of heeling (again, my lungs).

berlins heeling was pretty - she has moved up (which is slightly forgey, but pleases me because it reminds me more of rah) - her sit cues are there, she's sitting straight, but i have to watch she doesn't get too loose an interpretation of heel. im toying with getting more animation from her. she was so nice though to heel. did attention games and she did well there, too.

lydia did her fig8 and SFE and they were nice from what i saw. i still need to practice with her not popping out to the side - she has a lovely kickback stand from heel position (so when you tell her to stand, shepops her back feet out from behind her but doesnt move her front feet at all) but she does so sideways!

lydia then did fronts and finishes and they werent bad. stays were iffy for her - lydia handled her and i handled rah, and the honest truth is, she's not ready for me to do that (she kept staring at me)- especially because

RAH DID HIS FIRST OUT OF SIGHT STAYS AND DID SO PERFECTLY. even with lydia and kathy throwing cheese right in front of the dogs for the stay :) rah was quivering by the end, seriously, visibly shaking... he wanted that cheese so bad.

woohoo rah :)

rah heeled a bit and it wasnt anything to write home about - not ugly until
kathy threw cheese RIGHT in front of rahs face and he turned his head to get it. then i caught him by a collar and yelled :)

then we did exercises. its so nice to have a dog that finds the actual work so rewarding - he gets drooly mouth he's so into it (he froths) and he jumps 5 feet in the air. the minute i tell him to wait with the db, he stares out and shakes anticipating where i am going to throw it. on the drop on recall, he shakes when i drop him, just waiting for me to call him back into me.

i love this dog. LOVE him. love him to death. we may not be perfect (yet!) but no dog can match his enthusiasm for everything- he will do this all day long for the pure joy of the sport because there is nothing more fun for him than work. what did i do to deserve him???? and then to get berlin, a rah in the making? (if only she would think the db was just as much fun as he does... we will get there, we will get there...)

i love my dogs.

im still coughing.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

a no show

i have caught the plague, and had to skip the show today. alas, rah has spent the day lounging about, chewing on himself, and berlin has spent the day driving us all crazy.

me, ive been coughing up a lung to the point that my head is pounding and i think i broke a rib.

so im thinking im not going to be showing tomorrow, either. ive finally got something in my system to suppress coughing and im going to attempt sleep soon. my dogs all have had the past two days off from training. maybe tomorrow i can scrounge the energy to leave the house and take them for a run somewhere.