Sunday, June 21, 2009

had a private lesson yesterday (have i posted about everything else already?)...

started with berlin. worked on warming her up - we had a full ring set up, and during warm up she was awful interested in terry so we had to work on her not paying attention to others. then we worked ring entrances - the touch set up works really well for her. then we did some heeling - i need to remember not to look for her - if i cant see her she WILL come back - but if i start to slow down and stop driving, she just reacts even further to that. i need to trust her.

we started to work fig8's and it all fell apart. i need to watch my hips and make sure i drive through the entire fig8. berlin was confused because of my hips breaking parallel and it pushed her back, so we played games to get her to drive through. i also heeled quest for a bit and he's about the same height as berlin but i can still see him - i need to work on her for a bit. i saw how me breaking with my hips affects quest...

we talked a bit there, and about how i need to focus on berlin now - rah can handle changes made in his handling, but berlin is SO sensitive to my body position, and such an honest dog, that the tiniest movement from me can push her out and confuse her if i change things up. rah doesn't seem to care (probably because he's not really paying that close of attention, or he doesn't even care!)...

got out the noodle, we worked on retrieves first. well, fake retrieves - rah isn't allowed to retrieve ANYTHING for the next month or so, formally. ill continue to work on his drive building games and pushing his toys into me, but aside from that, there is no formal glove or db retrieve. we worked straight recalls with glove/db in mouth, and we worked on flexi where he does a recall but has to stop halfway to me and pick up the object (glove/db). its simply that the act of retrieving gets him SO HIGH. terry thinks that something may have happened to him before i got him that makes him so sensitive to fronting with an object in his mouth, but i also think its also that its SUCH a battle of possession for him. but he has always been sensitive to front positions, which is so dominant for him and i... odd.

we worked heeling into signals. i need to stop using anything but my muscles to lead him into turns - give him cues early and he will pop out of my way on the left turn, and i can start to tighten up very early if he starts to push ahead of me, too. but if i break with my hips, its going to ruin berlin!!!!!! did signals - first she stood literally within 2 feet of him while i left him - he was very worried but he DID perfect signals with her clapping, whooping, stomping her feet... WOOHOO! then we did another one with the monkey stick stuffed animal and he did fine for that one too - but i need to watch because when i stop him on my left foot, im taking a step to the left which pushes him out further away from me.

worked some finishes and then worked pivots - the pivots weren't half bad!!! i just have to remember to do my job.

then we discussed showing - she thinks i should pull rah from all shows for the next 4-5 months since we are essentially retraining his retrieve to some degree because he's a butthead. dont give him a chance to practice bad behaviors in the ring - he could easily finish his CDX next month, but he's just practicing bad behaviors in the ring. she thinks by nationals we should have this worked out, and in the meantime keep perfecting utility as well, and match him in both. he's doing so well in utility and once i finish his CDX he will likely be able to come out in utility pretty soon after that.

*Sigh*. i wish i was a better handler for him sometimes! and berlin. so ill sign us up for as many matches as i can, and start to practice everywhere i can. and pick out some shows in oct/nov for him to show at.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

the good, the bad and the bloody

well, life has been hectic.

over the weekend, rah showed in the APDT trial in kingston, NY. it was hot as heck, way too humid to be outside, but we managed to eek out two q's with a 200 and a 201 i believe. he was hot beyond belief and could barely concentrate in the ring, but the double Q's meant his ARCHX title and his RL2X... so with that behind us, i opted not to stay for the second trial and just came home in time to hit major thunderstorms and flooding.

sunday we went up to marylyn's place in roscoe NY and trained with pat. berlin was good, but she's still trying to figure out the game and if she's allowed to do bark and bite! rah on the other hand came out like a mack truck and was all over pat - he was on a full sleeve and just jammed it into his mouth and held on for dear life. pat LOVES him and thinks he's going to be quite the sleeper dog.

we also worked some obedience - discussed how i need to tap into my dogs drives more, because they can give me 10 times what they already are (i know, i know) - better playing with toys, stop asking for outs, etc. we also discussed where rah can be more precise on things. then we addressed rahs out issues and how i should just stop fighting him. so much to think about. we were all so impressed with rah though, he LOVES this. maybe i WILL put a 1 on him if i can...

wed night training - agility we started with jump grids and berlin did better, but when they are all low at 6 feet apart, she's jumping two jumps at once. raised the middle jump and she did it right - also managed a few sends to her toy. then we did weaves, and she's a weaving superstar. i can get full 12 with some nice speed and then jackpot her at the end - shaping them really helped clarify it for both her AND rah. need to remember to use my verbal marker though if shes not getting a cookie for every other pole now.

then we did some handling -set up a course of 4 jumps and handled it in two different ways - but for the first time we used our OWN dogs. had to do later distance, go ons, and crosses. with berlin i need to remember to regroup with her sometimes.

open class - rahs ROH was much better, but his flat was broken. kathy was stumped, so we're going to stop retrieving at all for awhile and instead work these as recalls with the db and get him to think about his job. his broad jump wasnt bad, heeling was crazed, and his drops were pretty nice. his fronts without anything in his mouth are really nice... he needs to give me those all the time! he's doing the whole "i come to front but dont sit" thing again.

i need to find a way to incorporate the schutzhund work with his ob work at hk9.

ill get to the events of that night at home later...

tonight we had open with berlin - did heeling first, and she did pretty well. however, molly noticed that apparently i heel like stalin and i need to give berlin more freedom and let loose with her. her fig8's were painful because my body posture is pushing her back - i have to keep my hips straight even on the turn.

drops were nice, were just playing games for the time being. did retrieves and she has nice take its and holds, but she was tired and when i tossed it, she ran out but got distracted coming back. SAME WITH RAH - so i have to follow her out and make sure the thing she thinks about first after she picks up the db is GET BACK TO MOM.

worked bj - kathy helped me there. need to toss her cookie quickly so she stops looking ahead for her cookie and get a nice tight turn. she's doing really well - flies over it.

then kathy took me aside to work her set ups with touches, which i think will help make her much peppier and lively when we do them (and left finishes) - very good advice.

rah in utility - started with articles and rah wasnt thinking. got metal but couldnt find a leather - terry thinks i need to get him a tie down mat now. im not sure about it, im still thinking. by now he understands his job - he just gets crazy and doesn't think. ironically the fronts with the article were great!!!!!!!!!!!!

did dueling directed jumping - one dog at one end, another dog at the other end and sent them to opposite jumps. rah did well here. moved to signals and he's moving just a tad (better than before) - need to keep perfecting this.

gloves - rah isnt thinking on his way back to me either, so i need to stop retrieving the gloves and just do recalls with them. with just a recall he isn't shaking to kill!!!!!

moving stand was nice, but he's moving his front feet all of a sudden...

go outs were perfect.

so home work for the week - berlin retrieves, berlin set ups with touches, and rahs recalls with db to the front. and of course, drivework with both.

now the crappy news - somehow in a freak accident mercury sliced his leg open and severed his achilles tendon. he was non weight bearing because he couldnt extend the leg to support himself - this morning he went to see a specialist and he had surgery to repair it and has an external fixator to immobilize the leg. so he's out for the season for agility and obedience.

hectic and stressed, thats me.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

maybe i should have skipped tonight...

started the night off with shutting rahs leg in the door at training.

ended the night with rah and scout getting in a fight over a piece of food, and harley being a butthead and snapping at both of them while they were going at it, like we needed a third dog involved.

what happened in between was ok. some good things, some bad things. berlin was mostly good, rah had mixes.

im tired. dont know what else to say.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

i really am alive

i know i havent posted in awhile.... so much to speak of!

working backwards - we'll do tonights class, this weekends shows, maybe last weeks class, the weekend priors shows if i can remember?

agility first - worked on tire at full height, recalls and sends to target/toys. berlin can do it but she also squeezes underneath, so we're working with blocking it - it was a sudden jump to her full height, so she needs to learn immediately that she can't go under it, per debbie's method.

worked the last of the susan salo jump grids (first being collection/extension work, the second being the "wave" last week with alternating high and low jumps at about 8 feet apart, and this week being 5 jumps all forcing collection), berlin tries to bail at jump 2-3, but with some gentle pressure of someone standing there she bounced all the jumps properly. she just needs to learn how to use her body properly.

for homework, i have to remember to only work one grid at a time - no switching each session.

then we went to weaves before the shadow handling section - and berlin was a supa-star. last week (i worked rah not berlin since she had the dire-rears) we introduced how to do full weaves - berlin hadn't worked it at all. right before class i took 5 minutes to introduce it to her, and she ROCKED IT, even with some speed. she totally gets the free shaping of this... LOVE IT.

went out to eat as becoming custom with lydia, chris (raisin's owner - blue chip's purple reign), and teri - and then back for open.

worked retrieves first - using last weeks methods we had much better on the flat fronts, but over the high still slower with some of the stutter sits. drops were nice, fig8 ok, didn't do much heeling (ok since my ankle is killing me), bj was nice.

this past weekend we showed friday. it was pouring, and i ended up pulling him from open. i cant risk showing him in that sort of weather, god forbid in his excitement he slips on the grass and hurts himself, tears a cruciate, etc - i cant ask him to jump that height right now. it's not work that last CDX leg. so we just showed in rally, and he brought home his second RA leg with a first place and a 96 - not bad for it being pouring rain. he's such a mudder, does his best work in the rain! we had to redo one station where he gave me an auto finish to the right (needed to be to the left, bad anticipation)...

had the ADA show on sat and sun. besides sunburn came home with little else besides good convos with people and saw some nice dogs, some not nice. berlin was dumped - not euro enough for the euro folk, not american enough for the american folk :) i LOVE HER! but her daddy took ADA seiger 2009, and her aunt is ADA seigerin 2009, so that's awesome!!!!!

speaking of the imp, she had her first open class last thurs and she did awesome - she's doing well with the heeling, db work is great, drops nice, and ROH coming along as well as bj (forgot to work that this week though, too much going on). i hope to have her thoroughly trained through open and starting more utility stuff (we have go outs, gloves, and moving stand, signals etc started - its just articles we need more work with to start - before we debut in novice.

rah had utility and he rocked it ALL. thats all i can say about it - everything was awesome from start to finish - i think not working open beforehand will make him a lot better. the one sticking issue is that i screw him up on gloves by overpowering him on the pivots.

im tired and thats all i can remember for now. class tomorrow, work friday, showing saturday (APDT trial in NY), and schutzhund training sunday (also in NY). debating on entering rah for his BH again, and they are pressuring me to enter berlin as well.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

a wednesday night

well, first, berlin is scheduled to show this weekend in the breed ring. one of her only breed ring appearances at all this year. of course, being a skinny little dog, im trying to beef her up - feeding her as much as she wants at meal times.

yeah, backfired. yesterday she had explosive diarrhea. all over her crate in the car. cleaned her, the crate, and everything else at work, but i didnt want to work her in agility because i didnt want her to eat anything at all.

worked rah instead at agility - he had a blast!! we worked on wave jump grids, and he did awesome - they all think it will really help him to learn to control himself and control his jumping. we also worked weaves and how she teaches a full set of weaves.

went out to eat with chris and lydia, then went to rah's open class. we were all crazy (or at least i was!) - decided if i was fatter rah would have a better chance of hitting front position, then he'd have a bigger target. you know, hitting the broad side of a barn. not like im a skinny girl to start with.

worked retrieves- rah spent about 30 minutes working on the flat, and kathy worked him too. ended up putting him on the flexi, and calling him the minute he turns. none of that stevie wonder stuff too - give up the db when i say out, plain and simple. you know what i am asking for, and if you want it to happen (another throw/toss/retrieve) you better give it up. no more playing games, he understands what is expected and now he's just screwing around.

and we worked on no nonsense approach to his life issues (like outing with the tennis ball) - he wont bring it to front and he tries to avoid doing what he doesnt want to do - downing, running away, etc. you want your game to continue, you better do what is asked of you.

then we applied it to his high jump.

i dont think im showing him tomorrow - forgetting his front issues, its wet and supposed to rain tomorrow, and i dont think i want him jumping that height in the rain.