Tuesday, December 29, 2009

a revisit of the 2009 goals.. .

Goals for Rah -
-attain an AKC CDX - DONE
-attain an ASCA CDX - Done!
-attain a UKC CD and CDX - didn't trial at all in UKC this year, unfortunately...
-attain a CDSP CDX-H - still has one leg, but trialing this weekend for our next attempt!
-attain his APDT ARCHX - done!
-attain his RL1X - done!
-attain his RL2X - done!
-get better go-outs! -still clearly a work in progress!!!! but definitely getting there.
-learn to work better outside and get somewhere near the sort of attention i have when we work indoorshmmmmmm
-work on his issue with the SFE and not moving to the judge! ha ha just brought this back up last week and worked on it a few times since then - it's kicking my butt in utility too! still a WIP
-work on his issue with men in the ring and get him comfortable with a male judgethought we had made progress up in NY, but his last show in PA he was still stressed. However, he was able to work through it - our worst score yet, high 180s, but he didn't shut down - just obviously very stressed.
-work on his fronts - teach him to adjust to find perfect front, and then translate that to with the db in his mouth. some progress, some set backs -this will be something we work on for the rest of his career. he was better, but he has a world to go understanding that he needs to have less fun and focus more on a JOB
-be matching in utility at least once a month or every other month depending on show schedulesdone!
and the very lofty one - be ready for utility by the end of the year! and we did it - we have a UTILITY LEG!!!!
- work on his food stealing and counter surfingfull of fail.

Goals for Berlin -
- earn her CDSP CD-H - done
- earn her APDT RL1 done
- maybe earn her RL2? purposefully held her back because of allstars, so didn't even try
- lofty goal, but maybe have her ready for Rally Advanced?? again - she is ready, but i purposefully havent shown her beyond novice to keep her in allstar novice division
-start tracking and maybe back into schutzhund i hate tracking. she did some work and i am looking into other venues but time is still an issue. she says she wants to bite things
-keep her interested in her work were still a work in progress. she has great drive. she wants a better handler. if there's a problem, she says its ALLL me and doesn't want to be seen with me
- match her at least once a month or every other month in novicedone!
- get her to do a full db retrieve by the end of the year, happilydone!
-work on her barking in the house ]ha ha ha ha ha
-work on her barking while she is in the crate while we show rah.definitely a little better. a little.

so that's where we are... now to think of 2010 goals!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

it's been awhile since updates again - we have a bit of a break in training because of the holidays so ive been doing most stuff on my own. last wednesday we had some ring time alone and i worked on weaves (i will post those videos) with the dogs, and did random things. rah did pretty good weaves and terrible go outs! worked a lot of fronts with rah, need to do some stuff with berlin too. i have janice demello's cruise control heeling video, i think ill watch it and try to see if i can implement some stuff.

have a lot of matches coming up in the next week or so, and a CDSP trial on january 3rd where rah will once again attempt to finish up his CDX there. its funny that we havent shown in UKC, and i need to start him in novice there! berlin is also showing there, as a marker as to when she may make her AKC debut.

im debating about whether or not ill keep rah in open or try for utility for all stars - the question will be what sorta scores is he capable of - will talk it over with terry and kathy.

speaking of, both of my trainers came home yesterday with BC rescues - one from glenhighland farms, and another from a BC rescue in VA!

and trained dogs are for the win - rah just found a sock and i asked him to bring it to me and he did. GOOD DOG.

the weaving:

Sunday, December 13, 2009

video evidence!!!

rah's first leg!

training and rah's utility debut

ill try to contain myself and start with training this week :)

we did agility first on wednesday - i didnt train rah because he was on rest because of his weave pole incident last friday...

worked single jump exercises and dog walk, then did some rear cross and wrap work. berlin did well, but she chose to jump off the dog walk at one point to bark at someone (bad girl) and landed on her neck/head when she tripped and put her tooth through her lip. blood everywhere. she also bit me in the finger going for her tug at one point. we bled a lot.

thursday was only her, and she did lovely - great attention, lively heeling _ WONDERFUL fig8s, and we did nice work with the broad jump, retrieves, etc. terry says she will be my more reliable dog once she figures it all out, she HAS the ability to be perfect!

ok ok ok moving forward... we had ASCA trials this weekend - rah was entered all 4 trials - needed one leg to finish his CDX. i toyed with entering berlin but opted not to since i wanted to focus on rah here, and i dont know where she is yet.

first trial, rah was on crack. CRACK. all his freak flags flying and hits off of (his border collie brother-from-another-mother) shane . his heeling was vertical - literally jumping straight in the air. it wasn't pretty... then we got to the drop. and i misconstrued her drop signal so i wasnt sure, so i dropped him and ... he didn't drop! it was bad bad bad :) ROF and ROH not bad, BJ was pretty good... but no CDX.

second trial - rah was still on crack, but slightly more controlled drugs. vertical leaps in the slow that went ABOVE my head. but he did drop and completed the principle parts of the exercises with his crazed fashion du jour and we qualified with a third place for his ASCA CDX!!!

i decided to move him up to utility for sunday, because his open was majorly breaking down and he was anticipating everything, a total twitch and was having a problem controlling it. didnt want to reinforce that, letting him get worse and worse without talking to kathy/terry, so move up he did - figured it would at least be a nice match, since the entries were fairly cheap.

so we're last in utility A...
signals - the judge gives us the wrong heeling pattern, so she stops us and restarts (side note, he seems more controlled with a signal rather than a verbal heel) - we heel and i give him the signal to stand, he nails it. i leave him, cross the ring and he NAILS his signals!!! woohoo!!!!

articles next - im nervous but he runs out and hits the right article first one he sniffs! everyone things this is a flaw... second article we get out and he works hard. picks up the wrong ones and knows they arent right, finally finds the right one, grabs it (by the bell, EEK) and comes back - WOOHOO!!!

gloves - gets the right one, but shakes hard and considers for a flicker of a second not coming back. but he does, good boy!

moving stand - moves a bit during the exam (INTO the judge to be pet -another thing to work on), but he does it.

and he NAILS GO OUTS - RAH QUALIFIED!!! HE QUALIFIED!!! rah got his first UD leg!!!!!!!!
he almost fronted to the judge on the last go out, but he DID IT!!!!
we were the last sole survivor of the class, but he DID It!

im on cloud nine - i took this as a training match opportunity sorta thing, and he did it!!!!!!
of course, the second trial it wasnt as nice, but i dont care - i know we need to work on things. but he DID IT!!!!!

RAH RAH - super dog!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

agility for roo

so the private lesson with roo - i keep meaning to bring the camera to videotape what we've been doing and monitor progress. but i forget. and i want a new camera.

just worked roo because rah is still definitely sore in a hind leg. and we started with the dw - she hasn't even done most contact equipment since we dont have any, but now we have our dogwalk - she didn't even care! she went over fine with me leading her 1-2 times, and after that she was powering over no problem and debbie said i can already start naming it since she's doing it without coaxing. and the first thing berlin did when we got near it was get into 2o/2o at the base, and her first time walking through she stopped perfectly. debbie said normally she doesn't ask the dogs for contacts their first time running the wood, but because berlin is so literal and already clearly understands the concept, we will reward it - if she wasn't offering them we wouldn't ask. twice she missed it - once when she stopped with only one front foot off, and once when she got to the bottom one back foot fell off.

since we did so much weave work on friday we just started with some courses and some nasty wraps, crosses and serpentines. we did some one jump work on jumping to side when im indicating a lead out pivot because she blew past it the first time - she's better to the left than the right, and we'll work on that at home - but she got it by the end. serpentines, she didn't miss a single one of them and we did 3 or 4 different ones. in fact for the last sequence in which we were both missing the rear cross because it was REALLY tight, instead of crossing her i was able to serpentine it kinda and pull her in - handling it from the other side pushed her too far into the tunnel.

she did really well over the course of the lesson, she did get tired but she handled herself well. my little agility star. need to go look at USDAA and NADAC trials...
i really have to be better about updating!

wed training - agility first, we ran the openings to some excellent courses that debbie had this past weekend - some of the tunnel discriminations were really hard (especially for tunnel sucks like mine) so i had to do elaborate yardage-wasting crosses to ensure that my dogs would avoid one end of the tunnel (the close end) and go out to the other end... but both did fairly well all things considering.

utility - rah did really well!!! go outs were AMAZING like at the match - the minute i told him to mark it, he was focused on his stanchion and didn't pull off at all. one time he did turn back and steal the toy, but he dropped it when i told him :)

articles not bad - he had a lot of pressure at the pile, including lydia standing on top of the pile, mulder in a down next to her, annette behind them doing stuff, and terry had bess in a down and was working pickups right next to the pile - he took some time to work through it, but he was able to work the pile and get the right articles with only one grab and pick.

i didnt do full signals - i just worked on firming up the stand with the clicker like i had been doing earlier in the week, and he did pretty well considering we were doing it in between all different people doing multiple things (anne paul working dune on go outs, terry working bess on the broad jump and me just wandering standing rah all different places).

with gloves he wasnt that bad - pivots are much nicer, but we're going to have to work on the finishes since i wont do lefts with him and i want to keep the glove in my right hand (in the left he targets it for the finish and he wont complete the finish, darned long neck!) - so i will probably have to do it with a verbal.

thats pretty much all we did - not bad, and im pleased with how it went - some definite improvement in some areas and i hope the go outs stay as solid as they have been.

berlin was a superstar on thursday - her attitude was spot on, she was in my face and awesome. the best fig8's she's ever done, she was pushing on the outside every time, she was paying attention on the inner post with her head up, and we were just in sync. heeling was really nice too, i have to remember not to slow down on the turns but she was right in position, head up, prancing along. i was clicking her for exceptionally good parts and she liked it!

worked on some recall games - sometime she still forgets and offers me a drop instead of the front, but we will get through it (even though she's never done a formal drop!). also played some db games - first with two others throwing and her doing attention work - she did AWESOME and at one point charlene threw the db and it HIT berlin and she glanced and then came right back up to my face with perfect attention - what a GOOD girl!!!!! then we played db games while they did attention - and berlin was awesome - GREAT speed, very enthusiastic. in fact, she tried to steal eco's db a few times, too.

brought out the bj and had to work on her really putting effort into jumping v. just popping over, its not big enough to require much out of her. also worked rah a few times to get him slowing down and working his parts, he's thinking a lot more about what his job is there and it's nice.

some very nice ROH for her too, i have to reinforce the wait because she anticipates and just takes off, but im fine with it for now. that i can train through!

had a weave seminar friday night - both dogs kicked ass, but rah tired to kill himself and we found that he will never ever ever do channels with guide wires again - ive never seen metal based poles fly through the air. unfortunately, i think he hurt himself when he crashed them and he's just off a bit in his gait (no one can put their finger on it) so i pulled him from his trial sat am (which would have finished his RE).

but both dogs did awesome at the seminar - berlin had a ton of speed on her weaves and i was getting some mad lateral distance from her as well, and we started introducing off side weaves with her. i have some work to do with finding entrances when i am all over the place - but again, we havent done a lot of offside work, so it will come. rah needs more babysitting right now, but considering he's in about 5 poles at once, he showed some good rhythm in the poles and did quite a few full sets of 12 with me about 2 feet away, he's understanding the point now!

we experimented with a bunch of different methods, WAMs, channel, guides, etc - and i think both my dogs do best on just the plain set of poles and the behavior just shaped - better speed and clear understanding of the job.

today we have a private lesson - ill probably just work berlin since im not sure what is up with rah...

Sunday, November 29, 2009

no match this morning because i had a migraine from 3 am until about an hour or two ago. sucked a lot.

yesterday we matched at hk9 - rah had 2 utility entries, 1 open and berlin had 2 novice.

open was interesting - he barely got warmed up and he was flying high as a kite. heeling was very pushy and all over, which followed over to utility. did a B order with ROF first - worked fronts. DOR he was crazy and decided to start anticipating the call to front when i took a breath. a BREATH. dear rah: please note i give you actual verbal commands for that front. not hidden psychic signals hidden in the manner in which i breathe in and out.

bj (reach out and touch someone) was ok - he slipped but still hit a front.

utility - signals broke down majorly because he walked every stand. we backtied him to terry and he got corrected for it which helped, but i worked a lot last night and this morning on clarifying that we need no feet moving, period. the actual signal parts were ok, heeling was too pushy and terry said we need to fix it.

articles - crazy. first one he picked up the wrong article when he felt pressure, second he did a straight retrieve. third try he went out and found the right article, and fourth was fine.

gloves - on the pivot, he dropped his head and marked his glove before i indicated, so i caught him and we went back and repivoted and he kept his eyes on me until i dropped my arm and sent him, it was nice.

moving stand, same issues as signals. worked on it.

our CROWNING GLORY - beautiful lovely amazing go outs. i had put the toy out on the stanchion before i even brought him out of the crate, so he never saw it. and i gave him his look command, he dropped and focused BEAUTIFULLY, intent on his stanchion. i sent him and he FLEW out straight as an arrow to where he needed to be and turned and sat immediately when i called him. thinking it was a fluke, i rewarded that heavily and brought him back, did it again. this time smartass flew out but stopped himself about 6-7 feet from the gate. ill let it slide in a point show (would cover it up, actually), but in the match i grabbed him and made him do the full length go out. third one he thought about slowing up but he kept going so i turned him, sat him, and gave him a jump. fourth one i rewarded heavily out there because it was awesome, fifth straight and fast and i gave him the other jump... and we were awesome!!!! we played and played and played!!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

some training updates have been on facebook, but that doesnt count, right?

thursday class went well - heeling was pretty good, played some games, worked some fronts and finishes. she had good attitude throughout.

did agility yesterday - im having contact woes that really need to work through - after discussing it with debbie, we're eliminating berlins nose touch from her contact criterion because its overshadowing her feet. weaves were awesome for both dogs.

i have two matches this weekend - goals:

berlin - SFE, stays!!!!!, and transitions between exercises. i might do an entire entry of just pet dog with me while we have a bunch of strangers in the ring playing with toys, etc.

rah open - fixing his broad jump!!!! in his reach out and touch someone method.

rah utility - signals - proofing the wait.
go outs - marking the stanchion with ears!
articles - with someone near his pile.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

just another manic wednesday

well, yesterday was the day from hell :) i operated on destiny and took off three more mammary gland tumors and spayed her, so she's sore as hell and whining from her fentanyl patch (but flying nice and high!)...

on a total side note, berlin is currently being tethered to me and we're working heavily on her pet dog stuff.

almost didnt make it to agility class - but it went well. worked berlin well before our runs and in between runs, and she was better. i still have some questions in my head, but she's working well.

started with weaves- berlin was spot on, but not as fast as she can be. debbie wants me to go back to verbal marking each correct pole for now.

rah had a superstar moment and was FAST and absolutely correct with the poles and single stepping. debbie said when he gets speed on him he's going to FLY through them! and he even threw in a foot target for old times sake :)

then moved to doing some sequences from USDAA nationals this past week (my trainer was out there). rah handled the first sequence really well, even though i threw my front cross in late, but it really helps to have dogs that you can send to the tunnel from a distance - and rah loves me using my "oh shit arm" (offside arm) to pull him in, worked great with the threadle!

berlin did well too on that sequence- im trying to run her like she would be in the trial, instead of taking huge lead outs, just giving myself a jump or so. need to work on those stays at the same time :)

second sequence was much harder for rah, because we had to run past the tunnel 3 times and NOT take it - so because of that, i had to position myself in front of the tunnel and it made it hard for me to get to the places i need to be to push him out and round the jump line. berlin had an easier time, but she's not AS ocd as rah is about the tunnel - she's close though :)

hung out for a long time until rah's utility class - i pulled him from the heeling class because it's not at his level right now. its actually an open/utility class so we call it the versatility class :)

we started with db retrieve games - restrained retrieves into fronts, other games, etc - he actually controlled himself really well!

then we played a glove game - quick succession each of us went in and got a glove then left. rah for some reason thought we were doing go outs and kept trying to target the stanchion :) silly boy - but he did fairly nice gloves.

moved to signals- rah broke. of course, he broke because his first one was perfect, so kathy had me do a crouch and run game - so he walked every other stand after that - kathy worked him to try to fix it, but he needs to understand the constructs of the crouch and run and maintain his own position until i truly release him. training point for the next week :)

articles - rah was perfect. PERFECT. worked a pile of 12 articles out, and kathy was RIGHT THERE and he did 4 perfect retrieves. im so thrilled with that.

then kathy and i worked on his bj and him cutting him and him arcing so much on the front - im meeting him out at the spot i want him to land in, and playing with him there - then im also immediately showing him where front is. it actually causes him to power over the jump LESS which is fine - he jumps it so hard and with such extension that *that* creates part of the reason he overshoots. of course, part of my body language is the cause as well. as always.

speaking of db retrieve games - we were discussing all stars this year and they may allow people to compete as "teams" too - one dog at each level. rah wants his team to be called SIX FLAGS. and he cannot wait - CANNOT WAIT - for the db retrieve relay game. he was made for that relay.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

i dont love you anymore?

there's been some stuff going on in my own life (wait, i have a life outside of dogs?????) and it's not that i haven't had time to update the blog - i just really havent. i know, bad me.

training this week was short - no agility because deb is at USDAA nationals in az, no class on thurs since we all showed at the big cluster. so just rah in utility on wed - go outs were pretty nice. like at the match the weekend prior, he had a pretty good lock on his stanchion without seeing his toy, and turned off it lovely. we do need to work on his fronts, since hes jumping so extended (for a change) he's having a problem getting back to me and hitting a nice front. need to ask where i can stand - we worked on it with the jumps and how to fix it, but we can see if it will help the bj too.

articles - i had a terrible time because i got bitter lime in my mouth and wanted to die. but rah wasnt perfect, but he worked through a few things - first, lydia was on top of his pile pressuring him. i also did most of the retrieves restrained which amps him up and is more likely to get him just picking and grabbing without working. lydia saw again up close that if he smells the right article, he will pick up what is underneath his mouth - which if the pile is tight, is NOT necessarily the same article. i tried scenting less and we worked the pile REALLY tight together and forced him to work it out. he did!!!!

gloves - if i can work him in pivots before hand to make him understand that *i* give him permission to look at the gloves, i get lovely pivots. if we don't, he locks onto gloves (any glove) and cant think through enough to pivot, at least not enough to SIT at the end of the pivot.

signals - worked on the flexi again, when i do it RIGHT he is golden :) his issue wont be missing signals, it will be not walking the stand - he's so into this that he knows what is coming back.

showed thursday - biggest trial rah has been in. right before we went in the ring (2nd to last in the class of 25!!!!) rah choked on a cookie and he did his entire show while choking/gulping/licking his lips. i almost pulled him, but he worked through it - certainly not his best trial at all. but we took 4th with a 191.5 i believe (ill get the breakdown later, its in my car). much more relaxed considering he was doing weird things the entire time.

friday rah decided to be afraid of men again. in a nice change, he DID try his hardest to work through it in the ring - we q'd with his worst score ever, a 185.5 - with 2-3 substantials (no sits, no fronts) because of the pressure the judge put. rah kept giving him the eyeball, not wanting to put his back at him. he was 5th, no ribbons for that :)

berlin had her private lesson yesterday and we went back to basics (actually, mercury had one too as did my friends other dobe, eco - three dobe privates, god bless terry). we worked the entire hour on her pet behaviors - specifically staying with me. berlin is now tethered to me and will have to follow in the house with manners and will have to practice "with me" multiple times a day. what she does is when she's off leash, she decides when she is done and will leave me to go visit what she really wants - toys on the floor and food yesterday weren't so bad, but visiting people she knows, visiting with OMG quest and OMG!!! bunny - were the kickers. im sure barking at people she doesn't know will be something else as well.

so, that's where we are - i can see how this lack of commitment to the work we're doing is hurting us both. so now, my dogs become better pets. i am sure that despite the 20+ titles they have earned, the WALLS of ribbons in two rooms, wont impress my family as much as my dogs potentially having manners.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

our first agility trial... the recap

so, we had our first agility trial this weekend. percentage wise it was probably our worst showing ever in terms of wins, q's, placements - but it was probably the most fun we've had ever!!!!

i want to start out by saying how much i love my trainer - she's the one that encouraged me to do this, and she's really been a huge help in dealing with both dogs - not just in agility, but obedience as well - and drive capping, drive building, and just the relationship with my dogs. she can see when i get hectic with rah, when i get too hard on berlin. the walkers have done so much with me in obedience - i just cannot say how much i love my trainers enough!!!

so, this weekend was the trial. lydia woke up early and drove my truck with the dogs down to the trial since jumpers was SUPPOSED to go first in the am, but they ended up changing order since we actually only had one ring... so i got to work, and still made it to the trial in time to run my own dogs. poor lydia was up at 6 am, and i ran them at 4 pm :)

berlin was first in the ring, and i was so nervous. unfortunately, berlin decided on sat that she couldnt hold a start line stay - the course was not that complex, had a pinwheel with two crosses ... started out with three in a row but i didnt get much past the first jump when she went - i wasn't ready, and she had no commitment to the line... instead of driving her, i gave her no cues at all and she ended up taking a huge loop after the second jump and surveying the ring for a few seconds...

im proud of me though, i didnt get hectic - i called her back, she flung herself onto my right side and i sent her over the second jump and we were off... she was FLYING and she looked amazing - so fast in fact i had to change my game plan in the middle of the run and do both rear crosses with her, since i couldnt get in front of her she was driving so far ahead! she did marvelously and ran clean the rest of the course, but unfortunately she was over course time. nadac is all about the speed apparently!!!!!

rah was last in the class - he held a three jump SLS (YAY RAY!) and he took the first 6 jumps perfectly - then mom screwed up and i crossed him at the wrong jump and actually stopped pushing him and driving him - so he started to spin next to me until i sent him over the jump - he regrouped and except for a few more screwed up cues from me (that resulted in his BC like spinning until he understood where to go), he actually also ran clean... but was 2 seconds over course time due to wasted spins :)

so, they both ran clean - it was nice! just no q's...

tunnelers was next, and berlin went first again - she had a SMOKING run but right before the end, mom was dumb and shot her into the wrong tunnel... she stepped in and came right back out, finished the course well under course time, but off course.

rah - at this point we were both fried. my cues were all over, i was running my ass off to keep up with him and it was disastrous :) i think he took every tunnel about 12 times. i couldnt help but laugh - it was all me.

so that was our first day - i was so proud. i dont think ive ever been so proud to nq on all my runs :) the dogs ran outside!!!! (you know how much i hate to show outside and how crazy distractable rah can be with the critters) and they never even once thought about leaving me in the ring. berlin ignored ALL the people in the ring and focused on her job at hand - no barking at anyone even when they came too close to get her leash!!!!! focus on me and the job at hand. and they ran WITHOUT COLLARS!!! and berlin ran IN THE RAIN.

if you had told me earlier this year, my dogs would be running agility completely naked outside in the rain, i would have thought you were on crack.

sunday was a new day - didnt end up running until later, but i didnt get there until 9:30. and berlin's breeder came out to see us for the day (and be my bucket bitch, handling dogs and holding/taping... LOVE HER!) -
tunnelers - berlin held a one tunnel lead out!! and she would have totally q'd had mom not been so concerned about tunnel end discrimination that she sent her around a tunnel, and then when she did it right, forgot to cross her so i literally threw her into the wrong tunnel turning... UGH! rest of it was beautiful and fast.
rah was MUCH better, but we had problems at the same tunnel berlin had... but we managed to run clean and fast until the last tunnel when i dropped my arm assuming he was going into the tunnel... we know what happens when you assume... we were 2 seconds over time again!

jumpers was crazy and berlin blew her stay - but RAH got a Q!!!! a real life, agility q!!!!!!!!

im so proud of him!!! videos to follow...

Friday, October 30, 2009

a little bit of everything

there's been no real updates recently, ive been a bad bad girl.

i have videos from this weekend - rah won open A again, took first in excellent B for his second RE leg, and berlin took second in her rally class (lost first because i made her repeat a call front that was crooked, was a 1 point loss that i cost 3 pts instead! bad bad me. both dogs also got their parade of titleholder/rescue ribbons :)

lots of changes going on in my dobe club - hopefully some fun announcements in the near future that will get us going where some clubs have never gone!

i dont think i mentioned it here, but berlin was ranked in rally novice B for 2008??? in the top 10 for the breed. by front and finish - very proud of her!!!! so both my dogs were nationally ranked for 2008 in some manner!

both the dogs are making their nadac agility debut this weekend - im nervous as hell and not sure why i entered them except that my trainer said they could do it - so i have to have faith! both are entered in tunnelers and jumpers only. no contacts or weaves for us yet in competition.

training this week was ok. lydia ran berlin and ran in agility for half the class since she has to run them in their jumpers run tomorrow because i have to work - we shall see how that goes :) berlin did lovely weaves with a jump before hand and was nailing her entrances - time to start on SENDING her to the weaves. she also handled the sequences nicely, including a serpentine essentially into the tunnel (it was TIGHT).

rahs heeling class i cant recall much of since i was dying from my head cold... however i know i need to work on getting him straighter for fronts and finishes (im consistently losing half a point on each) and i need to stop the sidewinding jumping forge he has going for the slow. he's not maintaining heel position well on change of paces.

utility - moving stand didnt get done, as did articles - but he did them lovely in the match the weekend prior. gloves - i need to work on attention during the pivots because he is too excited to retrieve so he gets all crazy about pivots and puts on the poop face and says "dont make me sit i just want to retrieve". also need to remember to pop him UP instead of back with the flexi. but when he did pivot marks and retrieves - as well as fronts, miraculously (probably because i popped up!) were good!

signals - when kath pressures him by standing almost on top of him, he gets stressed and he starts to walk. i need to work on that - if a judge gets too close he's going to walk right out. if they stay far away he's fine, but within 2-3 feet he cant handle the pressure. same with articles, actually. too close and he just runs and grabs. but when he's thinking and i've got ears, he's dead on.

go outs were a miracle. we worked them on our own (i actually neglected to do much directed jumping after this halloween miracle) - i had the toy out and im still working on good drivey focus on the go out spot - and HE TURNED OFF THE TENNIS BALL THREE - count em THREE - times!!!!! i normally have to wait him realizing he cant get the ball off the gate before he turns, and he turns only partially because he wants the ball. but three times he RAN out there, turned ON my call, and turned straight to me - i think he finally figured out if he does this, he GETS the tennis ball!!!!!

open on thurs with roo - retrieves were good, we proofed with the group of people milling out about the db when we sent them. ROH were good too - im still mixing in cookie marks and she's nailing her fronts and she did an awesome db retrieve! broad jumps are going well too - she anticipated but i cant fault her.

stays sucked and we had a come to jesus on it. and heeling was ok, but she's not paying 100% attention to me and i want to work on that. as always, i feel im the weak part of this relationship and im not getting what i need to get out of mySELF, which is why i cant get it out of her. fig8's i wasnt pushing so she lolled around, but when i pushed she came right in and flew around with me.

recalls were ok - she isn't getting dropped on the recalls, we just work them in games since she actually doesn't have an AKC cdx yet...

things i want to work on:

1) berlins attention
2) berlins ring attitude
3) berlins stays
4) rahs broad jump (with his smack stick!)
5) rah's fronts and his concept of it
6) rahs finishes and set ups
7) all of utility with him, essentially!)
8) start berlin further in her gloves, marks, go outs
9) get berlin to admit she doesn't hate the metal article anymore - since she's EATEN 2.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

videos from nationals...

videos from nationals. Rah finished his RA and his CDX, won 5 of the 7 classes he was entered in, and placed third in a 6th. his last class was an NQ (see video below).

rah's CDX - i got a no front because i rocked and it was a gift on the high jump from this video because he did anticipate a little bit.

no videos from rah in advanced rally, but he finished his RA the day before so i bumped him up to advanced rally:

giving a crappy signal for the drop and rah blows through it (and blows a 197, EEK!)

rah winning open a at nationals proper - the last day of competition, our fronts are starting to break down here.

and not to be forgotten, berlin gets her protection on and passes her WAC (handled by lydia since this is where i got sick)

back to the NJ grind...

had an agility seminar this past weekend (jumping again) - did a lot of discrimination with the tunnel - sending them through, doing 1-3 jumps and then tunnel again to more jumps, back through tunnel. also did some sequences that had nasty turns, crosses and such. rah and berlin did really well - rah did bite me in the arm when he got so excited, and berlin broke skin on my hand. im very pleased with them. rah needs my "oh shit" arm for tight wraps - i can drive him with the offside arm to keep him close. berlins biggest thing is that i have to be in the right place ALL the time - the minute i have any indecision, im not sure where i need to be, etc - she stops. if im in the right place with her though, she's almost uncontrollable she's so fast and driven - debbie says work that dog and ONLY that dog. dont work her if she's not giving me 100%. for rah its a matter of being calm and collected.

agility class yesterday was working rear crosses, weaves, and tire work. berlin and i had a collision but it was my fault - she was fine after and did some really nice work and picked up on my cues for all the rear crosses just fine.

did the heeling class with rah, it was good. between feeling sick and having to leave because of lydia though we didnt do much in the open/utility class besides go outs.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

im exhausted and preparing to leave for home in NJ.

the final tally for nationals:

7 classes entered.
6 qualifying scores.
5 first places.
1 third place.

two new titles (CDX and RA) .

(and amount of money spent at the winning image? we're not telling...)

Friday, October 9, 2009

i cant even put it to words.

RAH RAH CDX!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

won Open A at the nationals kick off trial... and the judge said it was a pleasure to have a dog and handler that know how to heel in the ring.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

too long, too long

its been way too long since an update. classes have gone well - agility is kicking butt, worked on triples and doubles this past week and the CIRCLE OF DEATH!!!! berlin did really well - i pulled her off one jump when i didn't support the line and she came into me instead of taking the jump, but on the second time around she rocked.

entries are in for their first NADAC trial end of this month! eek! we're just doing jumpers and tunnelers and yes im crazy for entering both dogs.

in utility 2 weeks ago, rah had a breakdown on articles (never really got to much else) and spent an hour and 15 minutes working them because he couldnt handle the pressure of kathy near his pile. this past week started a new session when we have an hour long heeling class, and then we do a combined open/utility - i opted to not do much besides go outs on the utility side of things since he is trialing so soon and i really want to focus on that. his ROH was pretty nice - he's gauging the jump (but could be better), and hit the front pretty well.
his ROF that night was damned perfect - hit it dead on the first time, so i didnt do anything else but that one. worked broad jump and he did a nice job but i need to work on him not making such a tight turn, on him jumping the left side of the jump - all so he can hit the front better.

his heeling class was nice - its an interesting class and there are dogs in there all the way from very very novice dogs and handlers to someone working on their next dog who is very close to an OTCH. i of course, get paired with her - our dogs are polar opposites (she has a dog chondrodysplasia named jack - so i called our team jack and the beanstalk). worked transitions into and out of the ring, between fast and slow, etc.

thursday night classes - berlin is in a false pregnancy and i am a bad handler, so we had some issues with things. other things were very nice. i need to be better for HER. she worked novice though so i could put rah into open... worked heeling with him and then fig8's - terry said not to do normal ones with him all the time because he needs it to be mixed up so that he always thinks i might be turning into him, and it will keep him back and tucking. and it worked! i wasnt happy with how crooked he was sitting sometimes, and setting up. ROH - lovely again, for him. his ROF he did one perfect again so that's all he got! worked broad jump with same issues as wed, and DOR was perfect.

yesterday we had a busy day (the dogs are exhausted now and passed out). we went to match out in PA - berlin in novice and rah in open and utility.

berlin we mainly worked ring entrances, starts and halts, some transitions, and playing in the ring. the set ups and ring entrances were nice, but she got distracted the third or fourth time when someone outside the ring started staring her down. heeling was pretty nice and attentive. SFE was perfect (did two) and played recall games. i still feel like im failing her in some way.

rah in open - specifically had dan give me the forward halt pattern, since rah misses that first halt often. heeling - pushy in the first run, better in the second run. dan commented to me "not bad heeling, for a girl!" - dan's such a nice guy - OTCH'd his first terv, now working a bc that is close to it i think? fig8's - the first one i kept turning into him when i felt the bump, the second one dan said was perfect and that rah "knows his job". i loved it. DOR in the first run - nice drop but slightly crooked front. in the second run, it was picture perfect- dan said i couldnt have asked for anything more than that.

ROF - in both runs it was pretty much exactly what i would want from him in the ring - he picked up like a speed demon, he turned on a dime, and he came back fast and furiously to a front. love it. on the ROH, a trainer with her big fluffy OTCH poodle was in the other ring and exactly as rah came over the jump that dog was sent over the broad, and rah turned his head to look at it briefly so he couldnt hit his front. must pay attention to me ALL THE TIME. then he hit the jump with a knee , so we did a few plain jumps - and the next one was perfect.

broad jumps gave us major issues - a combination of a variety of things, mostly being his enthusiasm, the slippery matting, and him trying to cut the corner - so he kept missing the front and coming in crooked to my right (his left). worked on a variety of things, but in the end i just ignored it and stopped because at his speed, he kept slipping a bit and had to do a larger turn to get anywhere near me - he left nail tracks in the mats he dug in so deep.

utility we just did signals, go outs and gloves. not bad.

then we drove back to NJ for a private lesson - had intended to do just rah but my trainer wanted to work berlin but she ended up being too tired to work (PITA) so we did just rah. started with some heeling and set up exercises that were to help him be straighter and it worked and he was anticipating my cues! woohoo - and we discussed what im going t be doing to stop him from pushing and forging - the minute his head hits my stomach, his ass is out and he's going to be crooked, so at that point i need to be proactive and turn, pop him, anything.

then, because RAH was tired too, we worked retrieves with distractions - and the distraction was terrys dog quest. at first he was just hanging out, then he was playing with his toy (which rah also has). all this while rah is retrieving and im being uber-critical of his fronts. then she starts throwing the toy 5 feet away from where rah's db is - and they are doing duelling retrieves, running against each other, etc. then we brought out the jump (since the dog jumping got him in the match) and quest jumped while rah worked the flat, and vice versa. the culmination was quest doing a recall under the flexi leash parallel to the high jump while rah was on his way back - and he still hit that front. he hit them ALL pretty much.

i was very happy with that training session. if my dog can do retrieves with a FCR almost under him doing a recall, and still hit that front - he can do this. he can do this.

and now its time to finish up with my morning stuff because berlin is off to take the ATTS test!!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

i couldnt go to the obedience match today because my dogs could not POSSIBLY get into the car i am borrowing while my truck gets new tires before nationals, heavens forbid NO we only do TRUCKS not cars.

so i trained them outside.

and i wrote a poem about it.

a haiku for rah

i trained rah outside

first retrieve was the best one

i should have stopped then

no classes thursday. had agility, open and utility on wed. long story short - good retrieves, 1 hour and 15 minutes of scent article HORROR, and berlin kicked agility ass. maybe ill get into it. maybe not. i love the fall.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

the jump seminar rocked today. my dogs surprised me- they were by far the most novice dogs there (considering ive been doing agility for 6-8 months or so with roo, and rah has taken exactly 10 weeks of agility in a class setting...

both did very well - we had to break most of the courses down at first before we ran them entirely, but they both pretty much did awesome in the 12-13 jumps. lots of crosses, serpentines, threadles, even 270s (yuck).

i have to figure out how to make the courses on my computer so i can share them with you.

in the meantime, i leave you with this - a picture of rah and shane (his border collie brother from another mother) trying to tear me apart.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

didnt really work the dogs today. but tomorrow is our agility seminar with the trainer on jumping... im definitely working berlin, i may also add rah for a working spot. we shall see.

dogs are passed out because my friends came over and played with them for hours. HOURS.
well, last week rah was broken so he didnt train at all. we just did berlin-

agility was good. awesome. serpentines, running some courses. she did awesome in open the next day too. but over a week later, i cant remember details :)

this week -
start with agility -
more serpentines, handling them from both sides, pushing and pulling (i couldnt get the front cross in, she's too fast). also worked more courses with 180s, then worked the contact trainer. \

rah did open and utility on wednesday - open was only me, so we started with a run through. heeling, dor and fig8 were fine. then we got to ROF...
she wanted to see where he was in his progress and it was bad bad bad - especially since he hasnt been worked in 2 weeks! he was wide, he was sloppy, and he had terrible fronts. so we worked those - trying to change when i say out to clean up the hand off since he hates to give it up (PLEASE CAN WE LOVE THE DB A LITTLE LESS???), and reminding him where he needs to be - and corrections for not trying v. not understanding (always crucial).

worked ROH which is better since the jump leads him in. then broad jump - he's relying on the cues too much and cutting the corner, which means he cant hit the front since he's turning in mid air - we put a bowl down in the corner so if he lands on it, it will discourage him. then we just added a verbal "get out" with an arm movement with the command so that we can get him to jump the far side of the jump, which worked much better and enabled him to get to front...

utility signals were ok, but she doesnt want him doing a moving stand. go outs - changed where the ball was placed and still worked the "look" to get him over himself staring at go out. jumps ok. articles - he missed the first article when he was distracted by his bag, but he got the next three so that was good.

then gloves came. and rah turned into mr. poopyfaceidontwanttodoglovesihatethiswhypivotijustwanttoretrievethem.
so he decided not to work, so we had to get through it - slow sits, slow set ups, NO sits, NO set ups. skipped sending him for gloves and worked him through that - we all know he can retrieve the stuff no problem - then of course he finally gets a retrieve and the flexi is ripped out of my hands and it hits him in the butt!!!!!

lots to think about from that class...

next day we had open with roo - did lots of games and broke down all the behaviors - relay games for retrieves, for broad jumps, etc. worked heeling a bit, LOVELY fig8's, played drop games. overall very good, good attitude.

utility for rah - signals were ok - some anticipation on his part again but worked the stand most of all. articles he got really stressed by the presence of kathy on the other side of the gate working secret and the minute kathy got near him he grabbed and ran - so we had to work through that. go outs and such we did a relay game again, and worked on walking into the ring cold and having to set up for a go out and he did awesome - no jumping today. skipped the moving stand again, since he's showing in open soon. gloves - again, need to break it down further for him, so...

there's our homework for the week. lots to think about.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

a lot to catch up on

ive been meaning to post a lot from the past few days of training, but ive just been lazy and preoccupied and just plain busy!!!

started with agility - if i knew how to upload the courses i made with the clean run system i would ...
we ran two different 9-10 obstacle courses that focused on wraps, crosses, sends, 180s, etc. i ran berlin during class and rah afterwards. berlin surprised me by bringing her SUPERSPEEDY pants and was very good so i could get 2-3 jump lead outs, but she needs me to ride the jumps with her - and im simply not fast enough to do that with her!! i have good sends to some obstacles, but others werent working. the second course had mad wraps and she did well, but i found out that shes too cued into my body to be the clue for deceleration almost - the minute i stop moving, she starts to walk (ie im doing a tight 180 wrap or something like that - so i have to motivate her through it.

it was super fun though to run a course with her, even if it wasnt a full course- she has come so far!

then we took the crazed noodle out... and if the name of the game is DRIVE IT LIKE YOU STOLE IT - rah is drive it like you stole it, youre oj simpson in a white bronco, and you're on that rollercoaster with 35 flags flying. i got halfway through both courses before he started jumping and barking and biting at me. the good thing is that i had some nice sends and good lead outs with him too, and he has a nice go on - but wow some other sends were bad and he's a loose canon.

open class that night - just rah and mulder again. we did lots of retrieve games and rah did pretty well. the biggest thing we worked on was distraction - doing DORs while kathy was behind him waving her arms, throwing toys while we dropped, giving him other commands and tempting him. the hardest was when he had to avoid the spider for the DOR and as i dropped him, she threw the tennis ball right across his feet - but he dropped! thought a LOT about it, but did his job - WOOHOO.

did ROF and ROH with the same type of thing - she got him the first time she dropped a tennis ball near his db, but he didnt make that mistake again. he handled the pressure of her quite well, of another dog near him doing things while he was working, etc. on the ROH, at one point kathy actually hit him with the toy she was tossing and he was so focused on getting back to me he almost missed the db because she said he actually turned his head and headed back for me before he had his mouth closed on the db!!! what a smart boy - he's truly getting the point of all this which pleases me greatly.

started with berlin - a lot of dogs didnt show up for class, so there were only two of us there too (semiprivate woo!). started with heeling and berlin was absolutely marvelous!!! best heeling she's had in a long time - we did the full pattern a few times and she was there the entire time, head up, ears up, in my face - dropped her head a few times but came right back without anything from me, and marvelous left turns swinging her butt. very very happy with this.

next we set up jumps and such and worked the individuals. started with recalls - since both berlin and casey havent finished in novice (heck, berlin hasnt started) we havent put the full drop into her recall - but her fronts were dead center perfect. need to keep the pop in her finish to get her active in it, and i need to work on turning further behind me. terry says pop every time

did some ROH with her - interspersed cookie retrieves for full retrieves, and she's working at full height (24) and she did beautiful fronts from that too.

took a break and brought rah out to do some ROF while she rested, then brought her back out after. rahs fronts were pretty good but he got accidentally popped by me twice when the flexi didnt reach the db! oops.

worked some rof's with berlin - she ran nicely a few times then got distracted - ended on a good one. moved to broad jump and she was doing really well as long as i dont move before she's committed to the jump!

utility with rahman noodle -
started with just plain heeling (since we rarely do that anymore) - he was crazed as ever. then moved to individual patterns called for 2 at a time that included signals - rah was missing the wait somehow though and started to anticipate again - kathy thought that i could get his stand and wait better, so we worked on changing it up and using my right hand for the wait - tossing cookies from it so he's staring up at my face and that way hes on his toes when i leave. he's still anticipating and walking a bit, but now its because he's leaning into me, not because he's just wandering aimlessly out there!

moved to articles - he missed the first article by running out there, finding it, and picking the one next to it. i wonder if i overscented since my hands smelled like meatballs? but he got the next two right and didnt offer such bad fronts.

go outs - worked on his look at the ball and him staying focused while the judge talks to me - through the are you ready and the send your dog, since rah tends to look up as soon as the judge says send your dog since he's looking for me to send him. also, i need to remember not to say ready i think since ready means head up stare at me (even though my arm isnt up) - to avoid confusion ill probably say yes, or something else. but go outs were very nice, did the jumps well.

gloves the pivots are still killing us sometimes because he can do them separate from the gloves, but the minute we put the retrieve in he sometimes doesnt sit. also felt a lot of pressure on the retrieve- accidentally had his dumbbell out 1 foot behind glove 1, so he went out and wasnt sure what to retrieve (unfair!!!), and at glove three he had THREE goldens laying within 2 feet of his glove. once we lessened the pressure a bit he did just fine.

didnt work moving stand because i went back and worked on his signals instead.

friday - rah slipped at work and was a little lame on the hind leg, so i didnt train him when i got home. i brought berlin out and we did some jump grids (good sends, good recalls, pretty good with the running with her), worked on teeter (some unintentional since she decides to go on repeatedly so that she can get clicked after making it pivot. worked weaves, and worked weave entrances - need to work those entrances more!

now rah is injured (rah his paws off at a party today) so no training for him for a few days, at least. which sucks, since i wanted to hike with them this weekend...

Sunday, August 30, 2009

looking back

it's been 2 years this month that rah started trialing. i just found pictures of his first qualifying leg.

in two years, he has become


He has obtained his:
CD (multiple legs)
ATT (2 times)

In addition he has:
one leg towards his RA (not finished because we lost 2 legs since i entered him in the wrong class!)
2 legs towards his RL1X2
2 leg towards his D-CD
2 legs towards his CDX
2 legs towards his ASCA CDX
1 leg towards his CDX-H
2 or 3 legs towards his CD-HCH

Friday, August 28, 2009

trying to be better...

so classes this week -
unfortunately no agility - it was cancelled last minute this week because debbie had to take her elderly terv to the e-vet last minute because he had a foreign body. if everyone could keep zach-man in their thoughts that would be great - at 13.5 he made it through surgery but now he doesn't want to eat!

open - it was just two of us in class so we broke things down. mulder started with the retrieves and a few other exercises, and i started with chaining heeling to fig8 to DOR. did a few of them - need to stay in control of rah and make sure he doesn't bully me along the way, especially on the slows where he starts jumping up into my face. not bad.

trauma drama struck next - we were going to switch off, but before i started retrieving kathy wanted to work a few retrieves with rah. she got him out and was working him in half the room while mulder had the other half of the room (remember there's only two of us for now), and at one point he got stuck in the flexi and she tore a muscle in her back/arm when it pulled and he came back and smacked her in the foot (she has a huge bruise from it)

then, two retrieves later, real disaster struck. rah knows now (on some level) that the retrieve is no longer the fun "rah runs out and gets his lala's on" game, but its get out, get the db, and get your ass BACK TO MOM AS FAST AS YOU CAN and get to front position. unfortunately, we had to knock him down from six flags to two flags (have you guys seen those commercials?) to get it through to him that this is his job - not some optional game that i sometimes take part in.

so on one of the retrieves, the other trainers daughter had their puppy out on a loose leash, and when rah was coming back with a fumbled retrieve, he was so focused on turning and coming fast, he didnt see the puppy walk out into his path because he was focused on holding the db- the puppy got stuck in the flexi and it swept her up - she started crying and it literally picked the puppy up INTO rah (since rah is faster than the flexi,it takes time for the flexi to catch up) - since he knew he had a job to do and the puppy was preventing him from doing it - similar to any retrieve of a beloved object he turned and gave the object hitting him a what-for. he never saw the puppy or knew it was a puppy - kathy immediately yelled at him and ran at him - she didn't want to drop him because it was a retrieve and the entire point is he needs to come in fast and close - and she didnt want him dropping ON the puppy! he didnt make contact with the puppy at all, but made many scary noises that scared the puppy even more - but kathy never expected rah to actually stop when she said stop, so she was not prepared for him to be in front of her when she ran at him and she tripped and fell ON TOP OF HIM...

by the time i got there, we had a baby lab, a rah, and a kathy all wrapped up in the flexi... kathy was the only one hurt (she skinned her hand and her elbow)... and then we all started laughing at the hilarity of the situation while poor rah wondered why he got sat on :)

one retrieve later, and he had forgotten the entire thing (thank god and its a testament to this dog that he can literally have a person AND a dog land on him while retrieving and he will still go back with the same fervor the next throw!!!) - we worked some retrieves and the bj and that was it for the night!

thursday night next...

started with berlin in open. started with heeling and berlin did group heeling again!! and she was great!!!!! i remembered where to look and she was awesome - at one point she was a little put off by imposing jumps but i didnt let her feel it and she just kicked right back in!!!! im very proud of that!! didnt push it with fig8's though - i did those alone and terry said if i can heel WITH her like i do alone, we will be golden. if it were only that easy.

worked on recall games - setting them up and having distractors come up while we set up, roo didnt even care when terry came up talking her eyes were glued to me, and not even when terry grabbed her collar. then we did restrained recalls (i didnt drop her) and she did nice. the first front she missed and instead jumped up on me - too excited- but the second one i reminded her and she came in for a perfect close front. terry said its ironic - my one dog we cant bribe to get close and the other we cant get off of me :)

broke down to individuals - put her away at this point and talked to kathy and elsie about classes for a bit (more on that later). brought her out and did some retrieves on the flat - restrained mostly and she was pretty good. then moved to the high - did some cookie marks and retrieves and two db retrieves and she was fast and PERFECT fronts, i love it. did some drop games in the middle, and then played broad jump games, she did great there as well. that was it and enough for her! she loved all the games!!!!

utility with rah - started with plain heeling - and we did lots of turns and u-turns to get rah back (the new golden lady was enamoured with rah's left u-turns... if only he was that good on regular heeling - i think im harder on him than i need to be!)

then we split up - we did articles with partners - rah didnt do too badly. his first time out he got caught in his flexi and he did a turn in the middle of his send to the pile (what a weirdo), picked up the wrong article immediately and came back. i took it and sent him again and he worked the pile and found the right one - did two more articles right so not bad!

went to gloves - he's doing better there, pivots could use some work but they are getting there. fronts are always a work in progress, but its his finishes that are killing us - between the glove and the flexi in hand im all discombobulated!

go outs were good - getting him to focus on the ball. we noticed that the minute someone says send your dog he loses focus as he waits for his go out command, so we're refocusing him rather than sending him.

didnt do signals proper or moving stand yesterday.

trying to figure out how things are going to work in the upcoming sessions. wed and thurs night dont coincide, unfortunately - and rah is being moved up (!!!!) to wed night utility classes - BIG TIME! kathy doesnt think he needs two nights of open, so he will just have one night of open and utility - i dont want to stop open until he has his CDX< but one i have it, ill focus on utility for a little while. berlin may be my only thursday night dog!

Sunday, August 23, 2009

the match today...

so, drove out to the match today. got there about 20 minutes before i was scheduled to go in, to find out that like many other places - we had a lot of no shows and they were tossing people in the ring left and right. i hate being unorganized - while it gets me out of there early, it messes up my plans.

another pet peeve - it hit almost 90 here today, and while they advertised ac, it didn't feel like it was on!

anyway, they were immediately ready for berlin - i hadnt even taken her out to pee! i played some games with her outside the ring and then just worked on ring entrances, set ups, and brief spurts of heeling. she didnt want her to do a SFE, so we worked on that,and played recall games. immediately into stays, and she did fine.

i got rah out,since i was told he was next in open - then they are calling me into novice again! i didnt have time to get berlin out, so i brought rah in for a novice run. missed the first halt (like always - GOTTA WORK ON THIS) and he was high as a kite with little to no warm up. not bad!

did open stays, where he went down on his sit to lick himself?!?!?!?!!!?!? so he earned himself a 5 minute sit. not going to worry about this - he held his sit for 5 minutes afterwards while everyone else did the down, and he literally licked himself in the ring, something he's never done - because he was laying on his side with his leg up.

open run - heeling not bad, drop good. worked the fronts a lot and he wasnt doing too badly, nice pickups. he keeps missing his straight front on the broad jump, so ill have to work on that. used the extra time we had in the ring to play retrieve games.

then rah had utility - started with signals. a dog was barking while i stood him, so he wasnt paying attention to me. i went back to him and he knew he had been bad so he tried to goof off, i got him back and we did it again. second time he followed me, third time was good.

articles were PERFECT - i told him "calm, easy, calm, easy" before we did it, and he even managed to do it with a man standing by the pile!! fronts were off, but good for him!

gloves - not bad, but he's not completing the pivot. he got the right glove and gave me a pretty good front. need to work those pivots!

moving stand - let the man do the exam, but then couldnt do the call to heel??? ha ha, something he hasnt had in forever! (just like he's never done a finish on the gloves!)

time for go outs - did 3/4 length with the ball, and he ran out noncommitted (even though i thought he had it locked), but he did find the spot. sent him a second time, and tried the high jump but he ticked it - twice! worked him just getting him to clear the jump and our time was up.

second utility run through, i just worked go outs and pivots - no jumping. he was really locking onto the ball and staring nicely (especially when i remember to look at the ball too, instead of him!), and i did one without the ball and he turned and sat on a dime. finished him out with a few more to the ball, and then worked pivots.

all in all, a very hot day.
this is going to be a big one - im leaving in 20-30 minutes for another match today, so we shall see how far i get!

wednesday first - agility class was good. berlin is finally out of panties, so we were running free! started with some more teeter work (she needs to slow down!!!), then moved to finding weave entrances. we even added a jump into the weaves, and she did well!

then we moved to 180s - doing them as pulls and as front crosses - and then we did pinwheels! i have to be conscious of how much my body and attitude affects berlin.

went to open class, and i was getting quickly frustrated with rah and his front issues - all the progress we had made with the clicker and the ball in front of me was lost last night, as he was all over the place.

kathy grabbed him, and worked him for 30 minutes straight. it was good because she can correct him unemotionally, and praise him that way too. he did really really well - and when he started going out with the tightest pickups and coming in and fixing himself to be completely straight, she said he ABSOLUTELY knows his job, he just cant calm himself down and focus enough to do it.

we were joking that because he was working so hard (thank god this dog will retrieve for hours on end!!!!), everyone else just stopped working to watch kathy deal with him - shane even laid down on the ground for 30 minutes without moving! kathy stole all the flags in the room!

the end result was that night i realized i had to change a lot of things. first, i need to stop letting my frustration go to the dogs and affect them, because its not helping us at all. whatever we have and have not accomplished, if they aren't understanding or performing, i need to break it down and not get angry. especially for berlin - because she's much more sensitive to this than rah is.

i also need to stop all my body movement - on fronts, finishes, set ups. terry said its a big thing when i can admit these things, because NOW i can start fixing them. she said thats why i got a time out last week at training - i was too frustrated and neither of us were learning or working.

so, i had my zen.

class thursday - i brought berlin out and we had fun. she did AWESOME - better than she has in months. recalls and set up games were amazing, she was obnoxious and crazy. we went and did some retrieves as well, and she was great. terry said accept whatever she gives - if she's out of her shell and working and trying, that is what i want. after 30 minutes she was getting tired (part of our issue is also her stamina), so i put her away and kathy was getting ready to take rah out. and rah had another session with her -25 minutes of straight retrieving on the flexi. he was much better and getting it right very quickly - his focus was still there and its a testament to him that he can take those corrections and still be shaking and quivering to go retrieve, and still work for her without issue. its how i have to be for him.

he laid down for a bit and we went to utility - i wasnt sure after training he would have anything left, but he did! started with go outs - his "look" is really what is killing us now - he's finding go out, but he's not as intent as he once was and he's not "border collie-ing" it. articles were perfect - i had him on flexi and popped him out and in, and he RAN out there but still managed to think through it and work the pile. worked pivots separately and i need to be careful what legs i am leaning on because its pushing him out. integrating it with gloves he still needed pops out to get the glove (he's trying to figure out how to be right and isn't sure its not a set up!). signals were better - he's not anticipating as much as he has been, as long as i dont make eye contact. still moved more feet than normal, same for moving stand.

we matched yesterday - i worked the match too, so needless to say im exhausted.
rah had a utility run through first - signals were ok, but he moved a bit on the first stand - i went back and rewarded him and heeled back into it. oh i forgot - his heeling was ridiculously crazy and everyone was laughing at him, including my little idol anne paul (of malinois dune and river fame) - she said he's such a dork! articles we had an issue with - because he's flying so high, he cannot actually think enough to slow down and get his article - the first one he took as a straight retrieve, ran out and got the first article he found and fronted it. terry says i really need to work on calming him DOWN in the ring so he can think - he gets in his own way!

gloves - pivot wasnt perfect, but he did a nice job getting the glove. pivots are harsh for us when he's crazy, he never wants to sit.
moving stand wasnt bad.

go outs - he got there, but again lacked intensity. so we had two more utility entries we took from others, and we did strict go outs for 20 minutes later on -kathy wants more of a "look" from him, and more intensity. it worked well, we shall see how it progresses. i got a lot of attention from kathy, it was a little weird!

berlin had a novice run - we didnt do the full thing, i just played with ring entraces and set ups, and short brief spurts of heeling, she was awesome. fronts we need to work on, im losing her attention when i go away.

rah's open run wasnt bad but he was crazy. kathy also did some front work with him with the db and he did pretty well - she said he's getting it much quicker now, needs a lot less correction.

so i feel hopeful and happy with them. but rah is thinking and berlin is having fun.

today we're matching in PA, so i have to leave soon...

Monday, August 17, 2009

ive done pretty much no training with the dogs since the fateful thursday night in which everything fell apart. hopefully a lot of it will be that rah was just excessively tired and berlin, well ... she's a bitch in heat !

we have two matches this weekend - im working hk9 this weekend and they all have entries, and sunday is dtccc's match show and i have 3 entries for rah and 2 for berlin.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

im purposefully not updating about thursday because it was a pretty awful training day and both dogs were tired and completely off and it makes me upset to think about it. and it overshadows wed night, in which agility was awesome and rah got to run.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

a little privacy...

so today we had a private lesson to work on a few issues.

started with roo and our off leash heeling issues. the biggest thing is keeping her attitude up and working her off leash all the time, and keeping her sassy - when she's on, she's in my face and working it. when she tunes out, she just wanders. i need to not leave her hanging - if she's not working, she's in a rest or in a crate (crate now, since with being in heat and wearing sexy pants she cant hold stays at all). anyway we played games and worked them straight into set up and then a short spurt of heeling. i have a new focus point for her to look at, so im not accidentally pushing her all over - it worked great. she was actually pushing up into heel position to make eye contact - and the nice thing about where im looking is that it keeps me straight!

also need to work on about turns with her - she sees my cue and responds the wrong way, so im going to have to speed her up around it with the right hand.

we discussed my plans for the future with her - terry doesnt think i should show her at nationals, which is fine by me. if she's not ready, she's not ready. intead, she says match her everywhere, but she should be ready to come out in jan and clean up. if she has issues, just be prepared to pull her. im fine with that - i do NOT want to rush her, im ok with holding her out. at matches and in training, she says do NOT do full patterns - do short spurts and break her out. she shouldnt be heeling the pattern until 2 matches before the show, and the match before just play a lot of games. she needs to get more excited for all this.

worked rah's ring entrances - he's a scanner. great attention into the ring, taking the leash off - then he drops his head when we move for a few seconds and scans all over. worked that into a set up. he also drops sometimes with the ready because hes looking to see if there's something to retrieve out there.

worked retrieves - once we trade the db for the toy, i need to have him on a slip lead to make sure the game is with me, and not running loose. but she was happy with the intent to get to me - fronts werent perfectly straight, so we need some loose guides out there. and his pickups were fast but he took wide turns out there - but again we havent worked them in awhile and he has just got retrieves back in the past few days. she says the ball should be there for at least another month.

we had a little time left, so she wanted to work his signals - she says he's at a level where he can handle a lot more distraction than the other dogs in his utility class, so we worked on signals with heavy distraction - played some games when he LOCKED onto that stand despite terry waving her arms, walking tightly around him, etc. then we went to put the drop in, but he was so locked into me and waiting for a cue, that he started interpreting everything i did as a signal - me breathing because a signal!!!! so we had to work through that!

we finally got him through it (no eye contact!!!) and talked about showing/matching him. ill enter OA at nationals for one day, but then B for the rest of the trial so that i can move up and back and forth between utility if i want.

she also thinks it will be better for berlin not to be stressed with me having multiple entries at nationals - she needs more time for me to devote to her. especially since ill be doing ob and rally with rah and maybe ob for mercury!!!!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

no agility class last night - debbies truck broke down so she couldnt get off staten island.

open last night - stays were perfectly fine (Even though i was eating cake :) )

we worked on pairing exercises - ROH to BJ, fig8 to DOR, etc - and mixing them all up for the B dogs. rah did some nice ROH's - i used debbies method and actually had him doing retrieves - he thought a lot more about his job and coming right back to me. not perfect, but fast sits and he was focused on me the entire time. hes doing 28 in class, and he hit the jump once when he wasnt paying attention but he literally FLEW over it the next time :)

fig8's were good, and his drops werent bad. fronts were crooked.

then we moved to heeling, and kathy tried to kill us - we heeled for 20 minutes straight im pretty sure, and one 5 minute stretch STRAIGHT - i was huffing and puffing and so was rah! he got really pushy and had his head pressed into my stomach, hitting me in the knees with his elbows, and stepping on my foot.

tonight we had open with berlin - we set up a ring to do run throughs (berlin did a novice run - heel off leash needs the most work!!!!) and just worked the other parts on our own while we were waiting (and as a distraction for the dogs doing the run through). she's in flaming heat right now, so she's a little funky. many good things though.

utility with rah - superstar tonight!!!!!!!
started with signals and played signal games to keep their attention. yeah, no more signal games with rah - he was shaking in his stand and kept breaking at any flinch i made thinking it was some sort of signal for him that he missed. one time i laughed, one time i moved the fingers on my left hand, the other time i just smiled and looked at terry... he was a little wired :) when we did full signals, he was awesome - terry was standing 5 feet away from me almost in his path waving her arms and calling him and he didn't even FLICK an eye towards her, and did a nice front.

articles next - he did two perfect articles, from the turn, the send, everything. fronts could be better, but he THOUGHT about where he was and what he was doing, so we ended it on that.

gloves next. tried to start and rah wouldn't sit - ran him outside and he peed immediately, brought him in and worked some pivots on the side while everyone else did theirs. then we did rahs gloves and he...

was perfect. amazing. i didnt do him on the flexi - i just did 3 full DR's and he was amazing. got every glove. AND he DIDNT SHAKE HIS GLOVES.

whoa. you read it right!!!!!!!!!!!

moved onto directed jumping. he was first up, since at 28 he jumps the highest. nice go outs, so terry took out a toy and started throwing it as he ran out to the stanchion - it got him twice, he ran to the toy and picked it up. once he ran so far away to avoid the toy he just aborted and came back to me. but we worked through it and he did lovely go outs and lovely directed jumping.


im very proud of how he worked tonight!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! now if we can only find out where we can finish this CDX :)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

total bust

ill update in more detail laster. classes this week were almost an entire bust.

had major storms on wed - got to agility and the center had no power. we did agility in the dark (i kid you not!) but the rest of the evening was cancelled.

then thursday, got to class and trained berlin. but right before rah's class started at 9:15, got a call from my family that their cat was crashing so i left to go put the cat down.

so instead of 4 classes this week, i got 2.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

class on thursday night... and the private.

started with berlin in open. we finally got her back to regular heeling - we do a lot of close work where we almost run into each other, its good distraction work for the dogs. however, for one of the dogs in the class berlin simply doesnt trust it heeling close to her, so that freaks her out. other than that, her attention and such was very good. i still cannot get her to break into a run when we do the fast (even rah canters!) so ill have to work on that tomorrow. fig8's werent that bad either, she was much better attention. still need to work on her motivating for that outer post and driving forward to my right.

broad jump wasnt bad, we worked on fronts with the db in their mouth (rah's issue) and she was vERY lovely. i have one dog that wants to be in front all the time and another dog that hates it :) did a few flat retrieves, but she was getting tired. worked on tuck sits, and just played around.

rah in utility - started with signals and he was completely not paying attention when the entire group was together doing signals - he gets ahead of himself or he stops paying attention. need to work on that - LOOK AT ME ONLY.

moved to articles and he did a lovely job. need to remember to reward him for his efforts- his fronts may not be perfect, but he's thinking and putting effort into them, so he should be rewarded accordingly. but he had three perfect articles!

gloves were tough - i need to stop staring him down with the pivots and just look where the glove is going to be, because it puts him in perfect position. he shied away from heavy pressure at glove 3 (three dogs mulling around) and chose to mark spots on the floor????

go outs and directed jumping were PERFECT. he has no target sticks out there, just guide sticks along the way keeping him straight. the only mistakes he makes is sometimes when he gets 5 or so feet away from the gate, he pulls up short. need to keep letting him get all the way out there. the new people in class were confused because he does go outs to nothing at all, and all his rewards come from me. thats just how it had to be with him... i jumped him at full height too, and its kinda amazing to see!!!!

moving stand is better.

im bored and tired and not tired all the same. maybe someday ill get to that private lesson...

Thursday, July 23, 2009

binghamton redux...

the dogs and i traveled up to NY to the susquenango kennel club shows last weekend, since they had all the wildcard classes and such offered- dont get the chance to do those so i had to jump at it!

berlin showed in prenovice - most important thing for her was making sure we were up and happy in the ring and that she didnt check out. i should have read the rules of the class before we went in (i thought it was like the wild card classes) - i spoke to her during the run and we lost 6 points for that. she also couldnt do the stays (on leash, me 6 feet away) and thought they were fronts, so she fronted and didnt get any points for them - prior to these mistakes we were working a 192...

she had VERY nice set ups and good oomph for the ring. yes, i let her jump all over me, no problem there and i encourage it. i didnt drop her, though it looks like it - i remembered you cant carry your dogs in the AKC ring so she had to get down fast!!

she wasnt paying wonderful attention for the start of the heeling pattern, so i get no sit at first, and she wanders on the left turn into a small lag, but she kicks in very nicely right there and does pretty well even though we were run into the ring gates. fig 8 needs the most work (and this is the first time shes done one in a month) - her inner post isnt bad, but she wanders a LOT on the outer post - this is where i spoke to her. came back for nice sits though.

SFE perfect, i was worried since it was a male judge but while she wasnt happy and gave him major ears, she wasnt bad. recall was funny - you can see her ears moving paying attention to him while she's staring at me, she wasnt comfortable with him behind her. she does the front (and fixes it on her own) - but the finish was too concerned with him to give me a nice one the way i WANT them.

without further adieu, the video...

rah showed in rally - got his first COUNTING advanced leg with a perfect score of 100 and we lost to a BC who went 10 seconds faster than us! of course, this would have been his title had i not been silly and entered him in the wrong classes for the other two shows.
on the first station, he is trembling and staring at the jump, and made a motion to just take it - all he wants is the jump. in the end he's staring at the max200 tables and people who are playing with db's!!!

and then rah showed in wildcard open. i wildcarded his ROF, which is why you see me training the entire thing. he did pretty well - i was much calmer for him as well since it wasnt a title leg on the line!!!! still many things to work on, but we got to see in real show situations now, how his retrieve is - definite progress. he took second with a 187 or 188 - he hit the broad jump with a back foot but the judge didnt notice, but still lost 4 points for that exercise. the judge came up afterwards and told me that lost the class for us, oh well!!! i need to fix his heeling too - he's heeling by feel instead of actually watching me for many things, which is why i have no sits for the first halt. his transitions were pretty good, as were his set ups. i have to refocus on tuck sits as well right now.

overall very happy - the judge came over and complimented me on my nice working dogs! i was surprised too, since rah typically doesnt do well with male judges but he was fine!!!!!!! go figure...had it been a real open class, rah would have his CDX now! i was most pleased with this show, worth the drive!!!