Wednesday, December 31, 2008

so ive been delaying, i know. its been awhile since i posted.

havent been doing a lot of intensive training with the dogs - i know i should be working rahs scent articles since his breakdown at training, but i havent - instead im going for the "ignore it and it will fix itself" hope/prayer. in fact, im not even sure if i posted about last training in the blog! utility went well except for articles - we did go outs with a toy and he did perfect turns off the toy. wow!

im very pleased - rah is eligible for a front and finish award of excellence - obedience- gold for his ASCA scores! so he will be sporting FFX-OG at the end of his name now, for the award :) im so proud of him!!!!

i showed them this past weekend in CDSP - attempting to finish Rah's CD-H and i decided to enter berlin in Nov B as well just for the hell of it. that morning i was so sick, regretting entering her. she hasnt done half the exercises in Nov B i was so full of woe!!!

Nov B in CDSP has: heel on leash, fig8 off leash, moving stand for exam, recall over a jump, and an honor down.

berlin was last in the class, so she honored first. did well.
rah went in first - heeling was perfect!!! such a dream. moving stand was amazing - no verbals needed - stock still. fig 8 i had a crooked halt on the last one (1/2 point off). on the recall he came in so fast he jumped up and kicked me before he came in to front (so i lost a point on that) for a total of 198.5!!!!!!


first, we were HIT so far - the last dog in the class ended up with a 199 and ended up beating us (if rah hadnt kicked me on the front we would have been HIT) but the damned dog had to get up on his honor down? its like 40 seconds of his life? WHAT THE HECK?

then we got to berlin - she set up beautifully, heeling was nice. got a small lag on the about turn but not enough to be hit for it. the fig8 was where we lost the most points - she'd never done one off leash (BAD MOM) - inner post wasn't bad, but on the outer post she lagged and she had to catch up for the halt, and i used an extra command to keep her up with me on both outer posts.

her moving stand was nice - she popped out to the side, but she stayed standing (didnt sit when i halted) and i just moved into heel before i left her, and she did a perfect SFE (not bad for a baby dog!). recall over the jump was great - for a 186.5 - add in the 6 points i lost her for extra commands and we were looking at a pretty respectable score!!!

now the pressure was on for rah, since i needed this leg (since his ad already has his title in it! jinxing myself)... he was a lot more crowdy and forgey, but we ended up qualifying with a 197, which was only good enough for 4th place, but we got high scoring rescue dog and he got his CD-H!

berlin had a similar performance - fig8 was a little better, but during the heel free there is someone walking in the ring as a distraction and this time it distracted her a bit and i gave her a second command for the sit - so again, we had a 187.6, 6 points off for double commands - a nice score for the baby dog! the judge was talking to me afterwards and when i told her how old she was, she was damn impressed - said i was smart to take those points and give her a good ring experience and get her to do her job rather than have her be wrong.

she definitely needs work on transitions - since she was off lead and i wasnt dragging her, once she sniffed the wall and twice she scratched in the ring. but she set up nicely each time (WOOHOO) and she was really great. she is the type of dog that can handle a lot more hands on, unlike rah who i have to keep calm and settled down.

so thats our update. i have to go get dressed, we have a private lesson for the two of them today, and then tomorrow is open training at hunterdonk that im taking them both in. i also need to hit up th eliquor store and the foodstore today. i at least need to get off the couch :)

Friday, December 19, 2008

tired and exhausted and just back from my clinic's holiday party.

training last night went well, berlin was much more interactive and happy.
rah totally blew his mind on articles (something has to break each week, right? thats why they call it futility) but we did go outs with a toy and he was AMAZING...

ive been offered an 8 month 0ld all natural girl and all i want to do is go get her. i am trying to make lydia take her. i want her so badly she's perfect.

the local shelters near me also have a litter of 5 all natural fawn and blue pups.


i do not need the all natural black girl. i do not need the all natural black girl. i do not need the all natural black girl. i do not need the all natural black girl. i do not need the all natural black girl.

i want the all natural black girl.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

say yes!

susan garrett has an awesome post in her own blog ( about baggage on rescue dogs - and she cautions that it is not limited to rescue dogs. kinda a nice tie in to my last post - what holds our dogs back is us. if we're not getting something from our dogs, its really because of something we are doing. i *am* the weak factor in this training relationship!

last night was open - and i came back from class sore sore sore sore sore! i was sore to begin with, and we started with some brief heeling warm up while people chatted (i just doodled around) and then individual exercises. i started with recalls and DOR - rah was nice. i tried slowing down my drop signal for him, but he just drops slower (??) - so i went back to my lightening fast drop signal and he was perfect. ok, i guess he needs fast as lightening signals.

** as a side note - i watched a bunch of people and i noticed that most people dont use signals for a lot of things - they are using verbals to drop dogs verbals to send them over jumps - but i use signals for almost everything - to finish rah, to drop him, to send him over jumps - is this due to his attention? will this bite me if he becomes distracted in the ring? must talk to terry about this - there are only a few exercises in which you can do verbal and signals at the same time - call to heel after moving stand, and directed jumping **

moved to ROH - moved him up to 26 inches too. he did nicely - he has a flat jumping style beacuse hes so eager to get to the db - but hes not taking down jumps, and he has to jump so high anyway (and hes so huge) i dont want him trying to clear the jumps with inches to spare anyway. or at least he looks flat from my side - i dont see what he looks like to the side. i know he doesnt tuck his back feet :) anyway - he did nice retrieves but fronts were only so so .

ROF - i brought the flexi back out and his fronts were better - i just guided him into front. he was eager and very excited. panting and frothing as always.

broad jump - he did nicely, but he's starting to anticipate my sending him over the jump so we had to do a lot of having him wait while i stand next to the jump and DONT send him - i heavily rewarded that. becausei do a signal send, i have to be careful o fthat, especially when the judge will say "send your dog' that he doesnt go on that. will hve to proof that in privates with terry. my dog is just too "quick" at this stuff - he learns what needs to be done and anticipates it all. he could do this entire open routine without me.

didnt do fig8 - took a break for 5 minutes, but he was stlil all worked up for heeling... BUT BUT BUT BUT --

he was so worked up - his heeling was BETTER? he wasnt so pushy, he wasnt making full body contact. he still maintained a good heeling position, he was accurate and happy (and hes starting to do the malinois hop, as i call it - after dune - when we change paces, he pops up in place!!! in anticipation) - but he wasnt making full body contact with me. must research this- kathy said i may want to show him onlky in B hoping that i can get heeling towards the end - or just tire him the hell out before we show him. so did lots of heeling and he was good. and then we moved it into signals and he did AWESOME signals - i did slow those down and made them very clear and he was SO GOOD.

hung out a bit and watched everyone else and rah was a good boy. today i have to make treats to celebrate his ASCA CD and his VC certificate.

we have a trial on the 28th and a private set up on the 31st since i am off that day.
im trying to see if i can afford to put him into BOTh open classes or maybe i shoudl pull him out of utility next session to prep him for showing? i have to get my show schedule together too. someone said i SHOULD enter bayshore, that vicky brown is a good judge... its going to be HELL to park.. .and i cant bring berlin, she will likel ybe in heat. ARGH. ARGH ARGH ARG.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


last night after a convo in chat, i wanted to bring some things up, and here seemed like a good place.

im not going to use names, so the person does not need to respond if they dont want to, and does not need to even address the issue at all. there were just a few things that i dont feel i was getting across very well, and i didnt want them to come across like i was accusing the person of being a poor trainer.

most people screw up their first dog - this is just a fact of life. very few people can say that their first dog was a godsend, that their first dog was an easy dog and make no mistakes. most people are not born natural trainers and things just come perfectly to them - and very few people have the combos of that perfect first dog and being a wonderful trainer in one situation - so the end result is you end up making lots of mistakes with your first dog - going to bad trainers, deciding which methods you do or do not want to use, scrapping this one for that one, finding out that you wish you hadn't done that 2 years ago as a puppy, wishing you had done this, vowing to do that with your next dog. wishing that your next pup will carry around scent articles as a pup, will start directed jumping, will start puppy scent pads at 7 weeks old, will be doing rag work at 9 weeks old, will be socialized with men at least 3 times a week, etc. its easy to view in hindsight what you could do better to fix your current dog.

without going through and making those mistakes on the other dog, you're missing out on that. if there are things that aren't right with your current dog, its not necessarily because your current dog cant give it - sometimes its because we havent been able to bring them out in the dog. hes a young dog, and he isnt done maturing. if he sometimes gives you flash and drive, then he can give it to you more - you just have to focus on it. being a trainer is being able to bring that out. it may just be me personally, i dont buy being a trainer is trading dogs until you get the best dog out there - being a real trainer is training the dog you have in front of you and learning what you have from what dog you have - because sometimes if you dont learn those lessons there, you may just be doomed to repeat them (yeah, santana). if your next pup only offers you intermittent attention and drive, what then? sometimes our dogs issues come from us - i know a woman who got a new dog because her last one worked with poor attention and focus. guess what, so does this one - she is the common denominator. It's why having good trainers is important, too. im not saying dont get a puppy, not at all - but if competitive obedience is your goal, my advice would be to take your current dog as far as you can before you try it with another dog just to get experience.

if you want flash, have flash. but there's a reason some dogs have flash and some dogs dont - and dont get a dog and expect that it wil have flash and be disappointed when it doesnt. some dogs are born flashy - goldens and mals just have it - and why? its structure - its the angle of the front and the neck placement. goldens and mals are born flashy heelers. its what they are - its what they give. goldens and mals will give you flashy heeling even in a slow, even on a fig8. all the time. they just will. that doesnt make them better dogs. it makes their front end structure different than a dobes. me? im a short girl, and my dogs simply dont have to move out that much to heel with me - they are never going to have to float that much on their front end to give me that, anyway - id have to be running to get it on any dog over 24 inches, and that's the sad truth. give me a shorter dog and i could get floating flash, but on a dobe i will likely never have it. but its all excess, and excess isn't what is scored in the ring. in fact, it can be a detractor.

last year watching the national obedience invitational, i watched a younger person complain on a board that the winner (who i believe was a two time winner) wasn't flashy and didn't deserve the win. this dog is a multiple OTCH (meaning it has well over the 100 points necessary to deserve that title in the US - the US OTCH is much different than the canadian OTCH), and the dog is nothing if not a steady, steady competitor. flashy isn't always desireable. that dog is perfect, and maybe it doesn't float on it's front end when it heels, but it maintains perfect position and loses almost no points on any exercise and does so repeatably. isn't that what counts???????

maybe its hypocritical of me - i didnt wait long enough for berlin. i wish i had - i didnt go out looking for her, but she found me and i couldnt pass her up- i wasnt WAITING for a puppy, but her breeding took place and it was too good to be true. but ideally i would have her come to me NOW, not last year. i likely wont be getting another dog in this house for 3-4 years from now, unless its a senior rescue - because i need the solid foundation (and i want the foundation to go up through utility) on them.

this isnt even going into whether i think you need european lines to do obedience (i dont). but thats for a different post.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

goals for 2009

I was just thinking based on a thread on an email list, about the goals I have for my dogs for 2009, and thought it would be nice if we could share them with each other.

Goals for Rah
-attain an AKC CDX
-attain an ASCA CDX
-attain a UKC CD and CDX
-attain a CDSP CDX-H
-attain his APDT ARCHX
-attain his RL1X
-attain his RL2X
-get better go-outs!
-learn to work better outside and get somewhere near the sort of attention i have when we work indoors
-work on his issue with the SFE and not moving to the judge!
-work on his issue with men in the ring and get him comfortable with a male judge
-work on his fronts - teach him to adjust to find perfect front, and then translate that to with the db in his mouth.
-be matching in utility at least once a month or every other month depending on show schedules
and the very lofty one - be ready for utility by the end of the year!
- work on his food stealing and counter surfing

Goals for Berlin
- earn her CDSP CD-H
- earn her APDT RL1
- maybe earn her RL2?
- lofty goal, but maybe have her ready for Rally Advanced??
-start tracking and maybe back into schutzhund
-keep her interested in her work
- match her at least once a month or every other month in novice
- get her to do a full db retrieve by the end of the year, happily
-work on her barking in the house
-work on her barking while she is in the crate while we show rah.
things that make me very happy... I just got this message...

"Did you enter an obedience/rally trial at Pam Dennison's place... about a week or so ago? She went on and on about a VERY large blue Dobe that was doing some AMAZING heeling. I told her that it might have been you.

We talked about it in class this past Thursday. If she was talking about you, I thought I'd spread the good word. It's always nice when somebody notices our dogs and all the hard work that we put into them!! (I hope it was you... If not, then sorry for the mix up!)"

yes, it's always very nice. So that's my happiness for the nice. Sandi from Golden Rule also came up and said something nice again, so it made my week...month... ahhhh
rah finished his ASCA CD today with another 194- he was nothing if not consistent!
his stays were uneventful. i could get use to doing them first :) heeling - i was a heeling demon today - i was going very fast. he set up nicer today and i had a good ring entrance, but his transitions were spotty - he kept dropping his head. i also lost him for the SFE - he needed a second command (no loss of points on that though). he did again step towards the judge when she let him sniff her hand - argh, thats not how a SFE should be done - but i should also train for that. need to work on that for utility and also for UKC and CDSP, he has two more CD's to finish.

his heeling was nice - very bright and with me. on the fig 8 hedropped his head but he didnt push - but he almost didnt sit until i tightened every muscle i had in me to get those sits!!!! bad boy :) heel free was good too - i was going so fast my feet were cramping! recall was nice, slightly crooked but finish was good.

i lost 3 on heel on lead, 1 for SFE, 1.5 on heel free, and 1/2 on the recall for a total of 194 - that was third place.

so the ASCA CD is done! i opted not to stay for the last trial - the title was obtained, i didnt feel good, and we were all tired - came home and we passed out on the couch!

Rah also obtained his VC from the UDC _ i am waiting for the cert from them, but he got it, woohoo. i dont know if i posted that.

and im getting an ad for him in the upcoming DD - it will be a beautiful ad, i just saw the copy and its stunning, if i do say so myself. of course, hes a beautiful dog and it couldnt be anything but amazing anyway!!! i cant stop staring at it. lydia is also getting one for mercury!!! if i had professional ones of berlin id take one out for her too.

im going to go lay down - i have cramps. i also need to train the dogs - work on fronts, db, and stand for berlin. she has a moving stand next week she needs to perform. also might want to teach her a recall over a jump, since recalls are her weak spot :)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

asca, day one

back from the trial- im exhausted!!!!

for those unfamiliar with ASCA - the trial exercises are exactly the same as AKC, except one difference - stays are done BEFORE the individual exercises, which is bizarre. rah was entered in novice B today for the two trials.

first trial - stays done with (phew - i still get stressed). we're the fourth dog in. he had a REALLY nice ring entrance, im really happy with how it went - head up, paying attention, didnt wander at all in the eye department. set up nice, but he wasnt staring at me - he was giving me sideways attention, but it wasnt direct. he did bring his head up though before i backed out of position to get him back up to me, so good for him - but id rather he never stop staring at me! started the heeling and he was good - forgey and bumpy, but not too bad. fig 8 - crooked sit on the last halt, bad!

SFE - rah decided to move his front feet TO the judge (she's the judge who offers her hand first to the dog to sniff, and rah always takes that as an invitation to move to the judge BAD HIM - NEED TO WORK THAT)

Heel free - rah started when the judge said forward and I wasn't ready. He really needs to wait for me, and not move when SHE says forward!

Recall was BEAUTIFUL - perfectly straight, finish was perfect!!!

That trial - 194
lost 2 points on SFE
3 points on Heel on leash
1 point on heel free.

Second trial - stays again uneventful. At this point Rah is in love with the judge, who adores dobermans, and she's already had a love fest with Rah. this spells doom for his SFE which is already spotty from this morning.

Heel on leash - starts out ok - he gets distracted by his own reflection in the mirror (or maybe it was ME that got distracted by me OWN reflection and seeing if he was straight? and rah wasn't sitting - i tightened everything up and bless his soul he sat - and did it just as she said forward - but she gave us the benefit of the doubt! rest of the heel on lead eas goof. his Fig 8 was MUCH better - he was straight for both sits, woohoo!!!

SFE - again, he moved. he loves that judge. she loves him. if he loves her so much why doesnt he marry her? sigh....

heel free - i think here i have a really crooked sit and a poor transition from the slow that i totally missed.
recall - came in crooked on the front, but nice finish.
he dropped his head a few times in this trial, but his ring entrance was once again very good and i was pleased.

total - 193.5
lost 1/2 point on heel on lead (WOW!!!! thats a personal best for us for On lead)
lost 1 on SFE
lost 4 on heel free
lost 1 on recall.

came in second in both trials. in the first trial, came in second to my old trainer (!!!) who ended up going high in trial (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!) - had rah held his SFE, we would ahve been in a RUN OFF FOR HIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
all in all, im proud of him. tomorrow we should finish the ASCA CD and im considering moving up to open for the last trial if i am able to.

we shall see. im exhausted. so is rah.

(i also learned and put berlin out in the car when i was showing rah!)

Friday, December 12, 2008

a training we will go

ill try to remember what happened on wednesday before we get to thursday nights classes.

wednesday we did open only - started out with a LOT of heeling. she had the 7 dogs in a very tight bunch and heeled us up and down and left and right - we ended up very tight in bunches and it was nice to work the dogs and have them have to fight through all that distraction! after about 10 minutes of it, rah did get tired and he was less "poppy" on his turns, but he was still staying with me. we did find that every time kathy said "give a gentle pop" rah would pop up in the air, it's hilarious :)

we then went on to individual exercises. i was so sore at this point (since berlin had attempted to break my ankle earlier). we worked fig8's first - each dog got to do one alone while kathy watched. rah wasn't so bad, but his sits were crooked again, so i have to work on tightening those up again. i told kathy hes crooked because his tongue hangs out to the right, so his butt has to go to the left!

ROF was fine - he went out nice and quick. over the high, the first time he couldnt see the db beacuse it went all the way out to the wall - i will have to proof him for that, because his answer was to come back over the jump and run over to simon and steal HIS db. smart boy, bad move - he knows i want him to bring me a db back, so he just decided to steal someones.
his DOR was nice, but i also worked regular fronts as well since he's showing this weekend as well. his broad jump was nice, and we provided some distraction for luna on her retrieve :)

his out of sights were fine - no moving - but he does this weird thing where he shakes now as tie goes by with the stays. i cant decide if its because hes conflicted (kathy was tossing cheese andplaying the 1.2.3 game, etc) or if hes just nervous. but hes hilarious, his entire body shakes.

watched some utility and came home.

yesterday night was novice. started with heeling again - berlin was having an "off" night - she was sorta very distracted in the beginning - she would absolutely maintain perfect heel position, but her head was swivelling a bit, and she was not pushing me as much as she normally does. i brought out the clicker and we worked on head position and i clicked her for more push out of her. we worked transitions into the SFE and she did fine for that. we worked some fronts and set ups, and i clicked that as well, getting a lot more pop out of them and having her fly through the air to get to the positions - i dont want her to think there's any other way for this to go but balls to the wall! we played a lot of recall games and berlin was totally into them - she loved it.

we sat out open this evening and i kept berlin out and clicked her - first i did positions (isolated sit - for some reason during positions she has a problem sometimes getting back into sit) then played a modified get it get it game into front. then miss THANG had a breakthrough and i brought out the db - and she repeatedly took it and held it from my hands!!! WOOHOOOO!!!!!!!! what a smart smart smart smart girl!

worked utility with rah - started with signals. im trying to slow down my signals because when i go so fast im increasing the likelihood that he's going to miss something. but in doing so i changed my signals - so he got confused. when i did them all normal-like, he was fine :) then we did go outs. i swear to god, these will be the death of me. he now turns and sits slower than any animal on earth, i swear to god. hed prefer to just stand there and wait, since he knows a jump is coming. BACKSLIDE ANYONE? and last night he was a smartass again about the jumps - he has no fear of them now, but he just wants to pick which one he gets, so hes a butthead. very frustrating.

articles were nice - he did 4, and he was spot on (save for a screwup i caused when he missed the turn and sit, so i grabbed his loin and he was so confused by that). did gloves - he did really nice for those too, and he didnt shake two of them at all! his moving stand we didnt do - i actually just did a regular SFE because he's showing this weekend.

i talked to terry after class about a bunch of stuff - namely about what to be doing with both of them. she thinks rah will be more than ready for open in march and we talked about what judges are going to be around and which ones i should show to and which ones i should stay away from. also, i have to figure out what i need to fine tune for us to get where we need to be. then i discussed berlin with her - and how she seemed a bit flat tonight. she liked that i just got the clicker out, and im bringing food back out for heeling for the next few weeks to redirect her focus a bit. we shall see. she commented that no matter what, she is never going to be a rah - she's not insane, she's a bitch, and she's much more serious than him.

i have so much to do today - must get cracking! starting out, i have to dust, cause there is toooooo much dust in this place.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

time to wubba destruction: 1 hour, 15 minutes

i prefer to call it a rescue mission.

whose bright idea was it to put a TENNIS BALL as the top of a snugga wubba? yeah, it took rah about 4 seconds to figure that out. once they were let in the house and really started playing with it, and he successfully took it from berlin, that toy was DEAD.

it never stood a chance.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008


tagged by the corgis over at daybreake, Rah and berlin have been asked to tell everyone 6 things they really like... so here goes nothing :)

1) wrestling with each other. the louder the better. full body slams, teeth gnashing, snarling, legs flailing, bitey faced wrestling. its ear piercing, its fun.

2) food. wide definition here. besides your typical take on food, we can also define food as what once was food, what could be considered food in other countries, what will be food in the future, what was food prior to being eaten and pooped out by another animal... like i said, no accounting for taste. also see # 3 - berlin believes tennis balls are also edible.

3) tennis balls. rah especially, but berlin has a little flair for the green fuzzies as well. rah would love nothing more than to hold them in his mouth all day long, giving a good chomp, bringing it over to you so you can touch it but NO YOU CANNOT HAVE IT, then when you stop paying attention to it he gently drops it - and then the moment you try to get it he PICKS IT BACK UP. it's rah's constant game of keep away and no one enjoys this game more than rah. berlin prefers the precise game of "pull all the fuzz off the ball to ingest (see #2)", but still - the green round orbs of holiness are held up as uber-special around these parts.

4) noise. we're not a quiet household. ive never been quiet, and my dogs arent. they like to hear themselves talk. they bark at each other. they bark at me. they bark at other animals. they bark out the window. any excuse they can use to bark, they will take it - they arent senseless barkers - its not loud highpitched constant - but if they can possibly find something out of line to alarm bark at, they will most certainly find it and make sure they let the entire world (or at least the neighborhood) know they are around. and see #1 - when in doubt, bark at your playmate, it gets the game up a notch. also see #3 - if someone has the last tennis ball, barking in their face often helps get that ball back in your possession.

5) pets. the dogs are lovewhores. rah more so than berlin, but even the uber-bitch has a few people that she goes all retarda-pup for, hits the ground and shakes that behind for, licking all over and just wants them to touch her anywhere they can - my father, pat the tech i work with, etc. both of them do it for tamena, my friend - they LOVE her massages - they will crawl into her lap and stay there for hours if they let her. cant really blame them.

6) tugging. all the good toys can be involved in a tug game. clothes can be tugged on, leashes can be tugged, the good tennis balls can be tugged because mom bought 2000000 versions of the cool toy so we have backups - no matter where we are, what we are doing, both dogs will tug at the drop of a hat without any prompting. tug is heaven. its a godsend, its a stress release, and its just about the best thing on earth. in fact, rah has been known to self-release himself when he thinks hes done a good job and tug on something. smart ass self-rewards.

so, with that being said, i tag:

tab and red
melissa and dante
leanne and lexx
and anyone else that wants to do it :) im too tired to know if anyone else reads my blog reliably that hasn't already been tagged!

Saturday, December 6, 2008

home from the trial today - it was huge, 90 runs today and 90 tomorrow (but its snowing, so we shall see how many people show up tomorrow - i have to go because i left my crates there!)

got up at the buttcrack of dawn this morning to get there because i thought it would you know, go quickly :) i was sorely mistaken - i was there by 7:45 and i wasnt on until 11:30.

we were 20th in the ring for level 2, and we ended up with a 210 (perfect score!) and we ended up taking 3rd place based on time. very nice job.

we then pinned the class, and broke for lunch. i was exhausted, so i fell asleep. and linda sperco ended up coming over and waking me up so i could do the walk through for level 1 - i was the 30th in that class to go - i think i went at 3:30 or so. would have been hilarious if i slept through it... or something like that :)

finally got into level 1 and berlin started screaming again, bad bad bad bad bad girl. rah did well but i gave my wait signal too fast and it looked like a weird stand signal so he popped up - i had to quick pop him back into a sit so i lost a point for that, so we ended up with a 209, and got 4th place.

so thats the first QQ we need for our ARCHX - 4 more to go. wish us luck tomorrow!

(im ignoring training on thursday, it all sucked and my dogs were all bad and we had no communication going on)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

crisis time!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

ugh, i dont know what to do i dont know what to do, i dont know what to DOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOoOo

rescue contacted ME, they contacted ME, about a litter of bluuuuuuueeeeeeeee puppieeeeessssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss

focus kim focus focus focus.

last night rah had open only.

rah was acting very ... special... prior to class. lydia had him all sorts of worked up (that took oh all of about 2 seconds) when she knocked his chuckit down from its throne on the wall and waved it around and rah instantly went ballistic (no pun intended) - YES I HAVE A CHUCKIT THAT LIVES ATTACHED TO THE WALL JUST LIKE I HAVE A DUMBELL PROUDLY DISPLAYED HIGHER THAN RAH CAN REACH IN THE LIVING ROOM - then i took them all outside. and i think rah thought we were going to play in the field and he was torn. he had his e-collar on, he saw the chuck it, lydia had teased him with it - but i was asking him to get in the car. you know those patterns of action - i had done everything we normally do that involves GOING INTO THE FIELD TO PLAY, but then ... just not completed the actions that he loves so much. you could see he was so conflicted - he was coming towards the car, giving me the look, but then kept running back into the yard and wanting to go to the OTHER gate that leads to the field. so i kept calling him back and he got the prancy "i understand what you are asking of me, but i simply cannot comply with your request" feet - rah had a crisis of convictions.

rah's alliances simply lie with the chuckit, not with me.

le sigh.

he would get all the way to the crate door, but just wouldnt jump in. he just looked so forlorn. so yes, i had to pick him up and PUT his front feet in the car, at which time i think he heaved the saddest sigh a blue doberman has ever heaved, and accepted that were not, in fact, going to be playing chuck it IN THE DARK, IN THE FREEZING COLD, (may i repeat, in the pitch black dark?), and heaved his balding blue ass into the car.

so we get to class, and rah then decides that once again, we dont want to enter that crate either. now, unlike berlin who used to have to squish into a 300 crate (before you call the humane society on me, i have upgraded her to a bigger better crate there - and the 300 is now inhabited by leo the alien french bulldog at class!), rah has a gigantor crate at training class that is his, all his. it has always been his. its huge. it smells like him. it has a nice comfy bed in it. no one else uses this crate - it is a somjen crate, like berlins - we are priveledged to be able to leave our crates there as permanent testaments to the fact that i spend the equivalent to half a mortgage payment there a month, or something like that.

but no - tonight that was not a crate. it was a doberman eating MONSTER THAT RAH WOULD NOT GO IN. clearly rah must have grown and he would not fit. he would go up to it stand near it sniff it, but could not pass the door. he would melt, he would die.

my dog. has. lost. his. mind.

with a sigh, i platz him, put the GOOD DOG IN HER CRATE (she enters willingly like the wonderfully trained little girl she is, turns around and plops down, waiting for me to do something fun so she can scream her head off) and turn to address BBD (bad blue dawg).

we commence 2 quick minutes of somjen crate games (an adulterated rip off version of susan garrett's crate games in which rah goes in, gets cookies and immediately runs out and then back in because as we all know rah knows no duration to anything unless repeatedly told to wait and will repeat any behavior ad nauseum if there are cookies present).

in the end i think it was truly all just a method to get me to feed him more cookies before we actually started class. im somehow left feeling like im the one that didn't learn something here...

anyway... class... yeah. out of sight sits and downs were informal since were were looking at pictures and gabbing about work (kathy who does wed classes is a vet tech at one of my competitor clinics HA down the road so we gab about clients and shit) but rah id perfectly.

we didn't do official heeling but we worked on set ups, heeling, fronts and finishes all on our own for about 15 minutes while kathy and other people tried to distract us - set ups while she walked right up to us, heeling directly past someone else 1 foot away etc. did retrieves and she RAN UP to rah to offer him cheese and he gladly complied the first time but realized quickly that it was set up.

we realized that rah is simply too fast for flexi's - thats why i am so bad at them - he runs faster than they retract, so i cant use them effectively. so im off to buy ANOTHER one - and i cant use the ones meant for his size because they are unweidly - hes too big. but his fronts were better. ive also been using a few other methods and combining them all -a nd today im also going to break out pivot books and click that for straightness.

brought out the jumps, etc and worked. she did an exercises with the db where she did the judge and we had to give up and get the db and keep the dogs attention on us heel away, and come back without loosing the dog. rah did well. worked his ROF and ROH on the flexis to bring him in, and it enabled me to cut out all the extra commands and keep him straighter and hopefully eliminated some of the stress he feels that causes the mouthing now at the very end.

DOR was perfect, he loves it. fig8 was nice, rachael the little girl that belongs to mulder the lab likes to be posts and help out so we worked with that. need to straighten him out again hes getting a little sloppy. but he absolutely doesn't care if al ittle kid is a post, which is nice since pat scully did use a child as a post at the tappen zee trial.

broad jump - RAH BROKE THE BROAD JUMP. yes rah is breaker of wooden broad jumps. (he also broke the weave poles in the back yard).

i think thats mostly it.
tonight we have novice (berlin) and utility (rah) and i think im working mercury in open since lydia has to work today for someone else and wont be able to make it to class. should be fun and very tiring. hopefully mercury wont pee on me.

rah - destroyer of worlds.