Thursday, December 30, 2010

2011 goals...

ok, so here are my goals for 2011...

awesome goals you guys!

personal goals
continue weight loss. i started in august, and as of today im down 40 lbs. i have so much more to lose, but im feeling healthier and it gives me a lot of hope. and i wont lie, the reason i started the weight loss was to be able to run my dogs in agility. and already, its so much better!

be financially more responsible. which unfortunately may involve less training and showing... but times are tough!

rah's first goal is to live another year. i know it sounds terrible, but truly the main thing i want from him is going to be another year. id trade every title and every leg, to have more moments with him, on the couch next to me like he is right now.

that being said, rah's second goal is GET AN AKC UD. i want a UD, badly. rah deserves a UD. he's a terrific amazing working dog, and he deserves for the rest of the world to know how awesome he is.

other goals:
one UDX leg
one lonely OTCH point - that's all i want!

work on the moving stand and signals - no moving feet!
clarify go outs even further - longer, straighter, faster!
calm down heeling - focus on better footwork, calmer signals.
reintro some open work - we've been focusing on utility so long!


here's where the big stuff comes in - i've held her back in training so long with my own issues - i need to learn to trust her! i need to be the handler she needs - and remember to not handle her like rah, but like her own dog. in the beginning that may mean that she doesn't get shown at the same show as rah, and that rah gets handled like berlin so i dont have to handle two dogs two different ways. i need to be confident in her abilities, i need to feel secure that she will be there, and she can do it - and she can, so she will.

this mainly applies to our heeling - i get so tentative because she's such a different heeler that it makes her insecure - when we're in sync its the best heeling i've got. working bridget carlsen's methods have made this SO MUCH BETTEr - so i want to keep this up. just last night we were able to backchain an entire novice routine to her jackpot/reward and i want to keep going from there!

mainly in obedience, attitude and motivation. she has the fundamentals for all of novice, open and utility - but i want more out of her, so we have to bring it to the table. there are bits and pieces that need work (fronts, for example - at least i fail both dogs in the same place consistently!) but she knows her job if i can just explain to her what i want in a fair manner.

in agility, i want to finish all her novice titles and move onto open.
we need to clarify contacts (as in, she needs to do them ) and in doing so, i need to clarify my release and reward for the contact behavior.
i need to work weave entrances - she needs to learn to collect herself better and nail her entrances.
obstacle discrimination and in doing so, STOP THE TUNNEL SUCKING. when stressed or confused, or sometimes just because, berlin sucks into the tunnel. any side.

all in all, i just need to be a better handler for her. i am spoiled by rah who for the most part does his job no matter what i do (or do not) do - berlin is not that dog and the slightest shoulder movement, the faintest flick - she's going to read that - and worse, she gets pissed off at me for screwing up

not my dog, but im showing him this coming year - and i am going to put a CDX on that dog come hell or high water!!!! like rah, he deserves the title!!!!

is three dogs enough for goals, or do i need a fourth to show? hmmmmm........time will tell

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

couldnt be prouder...

i just casually looked at the CDSP rankings that came out yesterday and found out that rah is ranked, TWICE! for 2010...

this is the third year in a row rah has achieved national rankings - in 2008 he ranked in APDT and CDSP (berlin also front and finish ranked in rally this year), in 2009 he ranked through front and finish for OPen A, and for 2010 he ranked in CDSP ...

#17 in novice C
and tied for #9 in open A !

I'm so proud of him!

Monday, December 27, 2010

last week, and the goals - looking backward and forward

there isn't any class this week because of the inbtw holiday-ness. class last week was not so memorable. berlin was maintaining position but head position was totally off. she was very into multi-tasking, and i certainly didnt have her undivided attention. rah was better but had his issues too - we mainly worked go outs and signals (surprised?). wed night i was the only person in utility because everyone else was sick so i did a straight run through of a B class and we saw exactly where rah loses it - because he gets soooooo hyped up that he isn't able to focus. and we noticed the whole mouth thing again (i think i posted about that before - he cant think with his mouth open!)...

so before we get into the goals for 2011, lets look at what happened with 2010 goals...

we have one leg! and wow, is utility heartbreaking

- we have one leg!
- UKC CD and CDX
- we haven't shown in UKC at all this year

we haven't shown in CDSP since we finished our CDX-H - in part due to time, and in part due to finances



2 legs towards this, but we haven't shown in APDT in over half a year...

- start preparing for UDX legs at matches
i have to work on this more - doing utility first seems to blow rah's mind for open...

- continue working fronts for fluency

always a work in progress

- work on calm and control in the ring

getting better, he's learning to think!

- retrain heel position?
good luck. ha.

- finish an agility title (any agility title!)

since our diagnosis of cardio in february, rah hasn't shown in any agility. im still debating on if i will ever let him...

- decrease the amount of vortex behaviors we experience when we get stuck in behavior loops
yes, this has been decreased a bit - through calm control, some key corrections, and more clarity as to what his job is.

- work on the moving feet on signals, moving stand, and all behaviors that involve a wait
its getting there. this has been the most frustrating thing, as this alone has kept me from getting multiple UD legs...

- earn 1 score above 195 from a B class
sadly, no - rah wasn't shown much in open B this year.

compete at AllStars in August - finish in the top 10
rah did compete in TWO venues - and placed 15th in one, 7th in the other! he was placing in open as well until the last round, with the fateful high jump crash... no need to relive.

- win the db relay!!!
well, i won it - with THE OTHER DOG berlin was on the winning team

- continue working on obedience outside - attention and repetition
i think im giving up on him here

- continue working on male judge issues
he successfully has shown to a few men this year, and i will continue to show him and as he understands his job and focus is there, he seems to be less concerned except when scary things like ring gates fall!

- to not feed into his franticness when he's soaring higher and higher - remain calm and collected myself and be a rock to his wild ship in the sea
this will always be my bugaboo - not matching his frantic hectic behavior with my own.

- work on the glove shaking
heaven help us...


berlin hasn't shown in asca since early this year, where stays kept us from earning our first leg. i have started to completely retrain her obedience as i was not happy with her attitude...

see above - she did get two BN legs but i never entered her in akc novice.


no UKC shows this year

not yet - i held her back to show her in all star in novice

2 legs! again held her from finishing for all star

- nope

nope! no apdt in a looong time

- continue training for open and perfect that
she's working open and working nicely - but took a step back (as i said above) to retrain some basics and motivation/drive stuff.

- start training for utility further
yes, she's getting there! cute go outs, pivots are nice, the glove will also be an issue for her.

- complete health testing
done! but...

- UDC Breed Survey if she's able to?
i ended up spaying her before she could do this!

- NADAC Jumpers and Tunnelers titles
no NADAC shows this year- HOWEVER we have shown in AKC in the past month and have 1 NAJ, 2 NA and 1 NF legs!

- work on attention at start lines - both getting solid stays and attention nonstop on me while rah is barking in the crate
this has been a work in progress but things have been looking wonderful!

- work on pet dog behaviors including never leaving your mother, even if you see your best friend in the world nearby
this is getting much much better.

- compete in AllStars in Aug - finish in the top 10
yes, she did! however, a stupid mistake on MY part knocked her out of top 10

- scent articles!
yes, we're starting and she's oh so cute!

- work on appropriate times to protect the mom v. inappropriate

- to not let her push my buttons - the world does not have room for our bitch-fights.
i truly truly think this has been our biggest change...

- increase fluency for fronts
working that as we speak...

so next, our goals for 2011....

Thursday, December 23, 2010

class and match

so, i still have to post about last years goals and the new ones...

but we will focus on the past few days first :) sunday i had planned to stay home with the dogs, but one of my friends got sick and gave me her match entries. i brought berlin planning on just working her outside the ring, but when we got there i was able to get her two spots as well.

berlin went first - i had her kibble outside the ring and worked the entire thing a la bridget - and it went awesome, if i do say so. i really like matching when both my trainers are there by the way - its very helpful for me to have them there and they can see how things work out...

i intended to do a straight run through of novice - i dont always treat a match like a show, but i wanted to see where we were. berlin did fairly well, if i do say so myself - no food on me at all. she daydreamed a bit during heeling and didn't always get my cues for halts, but she was THERE and WITH ME - not the head position iw anted and i didnt always have attention. but she was there!! and i did off leash heeling - this is big because she hasnt been off leash in 2 years almost, except for last week! and she did LOVELY. and she did stays!!!! so i was very pleased.

rah had 2 utility entries - and he was predictably crazy. articles were perfect, gloves we of course had the "i pick the glove i dont need to look at you" issue, but we worked through it. signals we worked a lot of rewarding the stand - go outs were broken. i didnt do a good enough job telling him what we were doing and he had problems marking and focusing - the second run we did just go outs and signals and worked through it. he needs to understand and follow through with when i say go out, i mean GO RUN AWAY.

kathy did notice something very important for me though - aside from the fact that i give my signal for the stand funny that encourages forward motion - rah stops panting when he marks go out. so i need to watch that - when he knows where he is going, he closes his mouth and stares out - if hes panting, he isn't sure where he's going. not panting stress wise - rah pants the entire time he's in the ring, he pants from start to finish through training, he always has. if he's moving, he's panting - its just how he is. so its not that he's stressed, but i have always joked that rah's ability to focus on his job is directly correlated to how far his tongue is out of his mouth - and apparently i was right!!!!!

class will come in the next post..

Friday, December 17, 2010

disjointed much?

this is going to be all out of order, since i have so much to post!

i still have to go over berlins total agility weekend - i have courses and videos!
i also have to re-evaluate last years goals and make new goals for the upcoming year...

i tried to enter rah in the last obedience trial this coming weekend, but we got closed out. maybe its for the best, i think i need some time to decompress. ive had some major concerns (none that are necessarily gone, but i am tearing myself up about them) and worries in my life right now. mainly, i have to cut back on the training and showing of the dogs right now because the thousands i am dropping are coming back to haunt me. which totally sucks and im looking into how i am going to do this, because i am addicted!!! :)

class this week was good for everyone. berlin had a private lesson last friday and we went over my footwork for her- turns out i need to not heel her like rah because shes actually paying attention and is much more sensitive to my movements, so shes more offended when i "manhandle" the footwork. rah i have to do a lot more pressuring and body movement because he's always pushy and forgey - berlin gets weirded out by it (because it IS weird!). and we worked on some head pressure to help find fronts - because surprise surprise she's another dobe with no idea where her butt is!

wednesday we just played around but thursday was class for her - and she was awesome! im still working jackpots and cue words (a la bridget) and i do see this as being the key to getting her in the ring - she worked the entire class without a single cookie on my body. and whats more, is that we worked together on consecutively piecing together the entire novice routine. first just heeling/fig8, then added in that plus a stand, then added in the heel free, and finally did the entire routine through the recall.

again, she did this without any food present, no lures, no rewards except for at the end. we had some rough moments, but terry turned to me and said = contrary to my original thought, DO NOT break her out in between exercises - she takes her release from working as a sign that she can do her own thing. keep her heeling and talk to her, pet her, but no breaking out for games. and i did that, and voila she was there. she read all my cues, my footwork wasn't half bad, and SHE DID TWO ROUNDS OF OFF LEASH HEELING! i used my cue words before the off lead, and she did very well and nicely - in fact, in the last one i was able to get her so jazzed that she was barking and bit me! i love it.

her stays were also solid - only two butt movments but she's holding the position. i DID start to use the electronic collar on her for stays, just like rah - somehow i seem to be a failure at teaching this as a true YOU MUST STAY NO MATTER WHAT - berlin would constantly move around and reposition her butt, scoot forward /sideways. no more.

rah had utility on wed and thursday. he is wearing the e-collar the entire class, but we're using it for foot movement on the signal stand and MS - he seems to be understanding that for real, no matter what - you do not move those feet. not if i run, not if i drop food, not if i start petting or training another dog - i said stay, and i really do mean DO NOT MOVE. (trend - my dogs dont hold still well). as a backlash its only natural that he is sometimes sitting instead of reading my stand signal, but ill help him out - he's trying very hard to not be wrong.

gloves have been ok - hes actually sometimes thinking and not shaking! articles are spot on - the week prior he had some bobbles because he had two people surrounding hispile and apparently when someone pets him, he forgets what he is doing and settles in for a good scratch :) this week he did 70 foot long articles and he LOVED it - really got to move :)

go outs - we've really been working go outs, and it seems to finally click with him that when i say GO OUT i mean run in a straight line until i stop you. since i no longer have anything out there for him to go to, i want him to have a "job" out there so ive introduced hitting the stanchion as part of his job. i think i might have to put the ball out there one more time though here and there, just to remind him what hes marking. but the fact is, he's hit a dead straight 70 foot go out to a blank wall with no mark, so he SHOULD BE ABLE TO DO GO OUTS.


thus, futility.

our next show will probably be 1/16, and then 1/23 and 2/4-5
i entered all his before my financial whirlpool ;) oh well, need to finish the UD!
and both dogs are entered in a trial indoors in july - berlin has a novice entry!
more posts coming...

Saturday, December 4, 2010

had a good training session thursday - did a lot of bridget carlsen work and got multiple 30-40 step parts of heeling with no food on my body and good attitude from berlin!

today we showed in agility.

JWW was first - rear cross from 10-11 i pushed too hard and we got caught up. so she shot over 11 to 16... called her back and at 14 i wasn't turned enough and my shoulders send her to the weaves - called her back and we finished up. MOMS FAULT. should have hung back further on the RC and let her get out ahead of me.

STD - berlin took the wrong end of the tunnel each time. im not sure if she was patterning (since thats the end she took in FAST?) or if i pushed too hard and didnt wait long enough on each rear cross and she was pressured to the other end. would have been fine except i rushed her weaves EACH TIME since i managed to fix our wrong end of the tunnels. BAD MOM. we had three shots. i didnt fix myself either time. BAD BAD MOM.

our FAST plan -
after the chute she actually i think took the 3rd jump in my lead out but whatev!! she was so cute and it timed to exactly 32 seconds! good job lydia :)which is our first NF leg -- and we took second place to amy and the ever-adorable layla, the worlds best malamute!!!!!!

tomorrow is another day. berlin was AWESOME at the trial - i was skeptical at the location, but she was mooching off people, hanging out, ASKED to be pet, and didnt make a single peep or react at anyone. VERY NICE. im so proud of her behavior more than anything!!! !

Friday, December 3, 2010

Does this work
Now ???

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


i feel really bad that i havent updated this more. life seems to have gotten in the way - ive got my finger in too many pies, and worse than that - so many of the people im associating with are never happy it seems and it frustrates me to no end.

classes are screwed up - i am still without an agility class and i dont know what to do. attempts to get my old trainer back seem to not be working. and my attempt to get a new trainer in was remarkably full of fail as it imploded 2 weeks before we were set to start class.

so im still looking for a class. the problem being that my first priority is rah's UD, so i need to schedule class around when he's in class. and i work insane hours. and i cant travel that far because of those two things. and im picky and want a certain type of trainer - im not looking for run throughs, i want someone that will FORCE me to be a better trainer. i want to be a good handler- not just a "q" handler.

so, berlin is still out of class - great time to start trialing your dog, right? she has one NA leg from the williamsport trial, and this past weekend we showed one day at dream park.

it was a nice site and i will definitely be showing there again - and it was great to meet amy and layla and her brother - nice to see other familiar faces too!

unfortunately all the niceness doesn't mean we got any Q's -

our first run was FAST - our first time ever in the class and i still dont know the rules. in fact (as later reports will show) i dont really seem to know the rules period in some instances so i cost us Q's. ha ha. not.

so FAST - berlin did well. blazingly fast, she ran the course in 19 seconds. and that speed involved not a single contact, at all. she kinda hesitated at the aframe but decided to just blast ahead. and then the send - the fateful teeter. berlin ran and ran and ran right off the teeter. UNSAFE TEETER EXIT. fail. she swears she touched the yellow, it just happened to be in the air. split second decision i opted to not mark the teeter failure and the truth is, we were both trucking - she had a head of steam and well, im a fat girl running as fast as she can so inertia was simply carrying us over those last two jumps :)

standard was next - it was a close quarters run for a dog that moves. it was broad jump right into weaves and she blew past the poles - circled her and she went in, we moved and she hit all her contacts, and even did a nice sloooow teeter (she's like, wait last time you said bang it the world fell out from under me)... and then i was so concerned about her getting the right end of the tunnel (We all know she's a huge tunnel suck) i was pushing so hard i pushed her right around the tire (obstacle before the tunnel. she went past and went through the tunnel and i decided to just run the rest of the class and she nailed everything else.

apparently the heartbreak is that had i brought her back and gotten her through the tire and continued on, we would have q'd. good thing to know, huh?


JWW - this class will be our nemesis because its built for speed. im not sure i have enough handling control over her for this speed :) the problem started with my failure to execute an effective lead out pivot because berlin failed to hold a start line stay :) so extra bonus tunnel! get her back through the jumps and we needed a second time through the weaves to hit the entrance again (off sides, too much speed, we need to work collection) and i EVEN MANAGED TO PULL HER OFF THE TUNNEL. but no go because of that damned off course tunnel.

so, it was good - no q's but im happy. she is fast. too fast for me. if i can get her pointed in the right direction she easily runs over 5 yps at her slowest. but we need more attention to details and she's very sensitive to certain things (and not to others, thanksverymuchberlin i definitely said STAY)

anyway, rahs doing utility still - in salisbury MD (ill make a post about that since i have lots of videos) we failed go outs in pretty much every trial. i was frustrated and told my trainer i wasnt sure he was marking his stanchion. she turned and said at his level, he shouldnt need to see a stanchion - while he is given a verbal mark, he should know to run away. so she had to illustrate that point to my dubious mind...

80 foot go outs to nothing but a blank white wall? yeah, rah did it, and did it perfectly. 80 foot go outs to all the agility equipment but again, no stanchion? yeah again perfectly. STRAIGHT< sat on a time dead center and was fast.

so the end result is my dog is a dick.

his other bugaboo is still his signals - i need to get him to stop moving. period. he's now got his electronic collar on for this exercise. he needed the collar to clarify that when i leave you for sits/downs that a stay is a stay is a stay - so we are using it similarly for signals. just STOP MOVING RAH ITS BEING STILL FOR 10 SECONDS.

utility will be the death of me.

berlin is showing again this weekend in NY (ill see layla there too, with her handler amy!) and then we're done until january i think - i may enter rah in utility at one trial, and he's entered the first weekend of feb as well in DE. i need to look at what trials to put berlin in and dream park has about 12123123123 in feb.

i was going to take mercury out in open for lydia, but hes out of commission (obviously) for about 2 months - then we will be back in open and finishing his CDX! i told lydia she has to show berlin in agility then!

so thats me. i will try to get more videos and more posts.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

i was supposed to show rah in utility A today out in oaks, but i woke with such a bad migraine that there was no chance. class last night was tough for him - we really forced him to think. evidence of him needing to think is in the videos from this past weekend that i will try to post tomorrow maybe. in retribution for failed go outs, rah had to do go outs to a blank wall with nothing there :)

berlin has agility next weekend - i will likely be going down to see lydia show at dream park this weekend to have her acclimate to the site.

bed now.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

salisbury MD update

well, salisbury was enlightening - the end result is rah still has no more utility legs. had some good things and bad but again had signal issues, and go out issues.

berlin got two BN legs with a 190.5 and a 195.5 taking third.
bunny got her RN with all placements (two 4ths and a 3rd) and mercury GOT A CDX LEG!!!

videos to follow.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

almost but not quite

almost but not quite

rah in utility B at back mountain this past weekend.

Monday, November 1, 2010

still so out of date with the posting. sorry :(

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

so so negligent on my part :)

last week was the second week in a row that i ended up skipping thursday utility because i was exhausted. wednesday we had a private lesson with chris parker in agility, and berlin did well - some things to work on (Will i ever have the time??) especially in regards to her weave pole entrances and collecting herself. wed utility with rah was more of the same - i know where we need to work on things! thurs i just did berlin in novice - we are still working the basics of bridget stuff right now and charging her "words" but she's doing a nice job.

sunday we matched and rah was too creative in utility (WHO taught him words for the directed jumping and why didnt he need me?) open was a battle of wills (YOU GO WHEN I TELL YOU not when the judge says it), berlin did a nice job in novice tho!!!

checked out a rescue dog and long story short, she wasn't for me.

sending in entries for berlin and rah... so tired!

Saturday, October 16, 2010

im still here. still not posting what i need to be posting. but there's so much bridget stuff to post its crazy (and i need to re-read my notes!) but the dogs like the methods right now - they are back at baby dog stuff.

and i cant talk about berlins leg because i havent taken a pic of the course yet!!!!

dogs hiked for an hour today and no one got hurt!!!!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

this is actually pretty accurate -- and very telling for the dogs and their issues. the volhard canine temperament test results:

Prey = 80
Pack = 45
Fight = 35
Flight = 10

Prey = 50
Pack = 75
Fight = 65
Flight = 10

Prey = 70
Pack = 40
Fight = 10
Flight = 35

Prey = 20
Pack = 65
Fight = 5
Flight = 20

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

things i still havent posted about:

1) the bridget seminar and what i learned (so much).

2) berlins first NA leg!!!!!! we showed last weekend and almost qualified in JWW but did get a standard leg!!!! damn the off course tunnels in JWW :)

but right now im at a conference, so ill do it later!

Sunday, October 3, 2010

home from the seminar

just got back from the bridget carlsen seminar and had a BLAST - so much information and so much of it really makes sense, especially to MY dogs - already incorporating it and my trainers are trying to figure out how to put some of it into class.

exhausted and its been a long weekend, but i will definitely write more later.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

training last night

so rah was supposed to be back in training last night from his foot injury, but he missed all but 10 minutes of utility...

i had a ring rental for berlin to work on agility stuff - hard weave entrances off sides and sticking the table and ignoring the tunnel. she still has a LOT of trouble sticking the table. she doesn't avoid it, but she's not staying on!!!!! worked some exercises to get her to rock back the minute she gets on and collect herself.. .we shall see.

then lydia and i took bunny and berlin over to a new training facility to check it out to see if we want to take classes there for agility, since we still have no agility trainer.

berlin did pretty well - considering she was in a brand new facility (that reeked of variety of smells from vomit to rats), did half the class outside (we don't train outside, ha!) on slippery grass, and new people both tried to touch her and talk to her... not bad at all! im still not sure we will train there for a variety of reasons because i really want to be picked apart as a trainer, not just encouraged - tell me exactly what is wrong! but...

first course was inside - they split the dogs up small to tall and berlin was the biggest there (ha ha ha).

we ran the closing from the excellent standard class this past weekend... main issue was getting the aframe and how we did it. experimented with front crosses, rear crosses, and pulling onto the frame.

of course the ever present block of wrong end of tunnel was fine - she popped off her contacts twice (once teeter, once frame)- i was actually able to pull her (which i didn't think she would) and the front cross worked great. the rear worked, but she slowed down considerably and watched me as i crossed behind her. jeff didn't think the front cross would be really feasible unless you got out of the way- there was a jump past 5 in line with it that i wanted to block though. jeff doesn't like blocking. :)

the next part of class, big dogs went outside and little ones in.
the course outside:

worked some start line issues - did a lead out to 3 - and then the tunnel suck-age came. it took four tries for berlin to come to hand (and here is where i wasnt so happy with the training) - she's a fast dog and she's not picking up the cues (that im not giving?? ha ha) AND she's a tunnel suck. but the trainers weren't helping me work things out, just having me do the same thing over and over and over again until she got it - but what i ended up with was a stressed berlin not understanding why she had to do the same thing repeatedly because she just WANTED TO DO THE TUNNEL. OVER AND OVER AND OVER AGAIN.

i walked the course with a front cross right before the triple (landing side of 8) but instead i chose to run out and do a landing side front cross after 7 - worked much better IMO and berlin nailed her weave entry EVERY SINGLE TIME even though i didnt babysit the line of jumps, i sent her on a "go".

all in all its a nice facility because its full size, it has outdoor training, and full equipment (multiple sets). essentially we could become members for a nice deal - but i wasnt impressed and im not sure how driven i will be there. they liked berlin and commented that she was a VERY fast dog - and her jumping style. which is another problem - all those dogs were VERY bad jumpers.

i dont want to become a worse handler - i want to become better. im so picky. just want my old agility class :(

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

forever and a day

so its been about forever and a day since i posted - training has been off and on. we still don't have agility class right now (which is killing us, since berlins finally showing), and rah is out of obedience since he sliced his foot open. berlin is still in novice and this coming weekend we are going to the bridget carlsen seminar, and berlin will be working it and im SOOO excited.

this past weekend berlin made her AKC agility debut - no q's, but some big strides made. it ended up being almost 90 degrees and full sun - VERY hot for a black dog. and considering berlin doesn't train outside and has been out of class for 6+ weeks, im not disappointed in the least.

first up was standard - she did really well. the mess ups were MOSTLY mine -

i did a lead out to the tire and she ran it nicely, and i left her in 2o/2o at the dog walk to get a one jump lead out (GOOD STAY and GOOD SLS here!) - unfortunately, when i was releasing her i didnt pay enough attention to the angle that jump 6 was after 5, and when i turned i almost took the jump down - clearly since *i* was running at 6, i pushed berlin right off the jump. called her back and sent her over but she was out of position for the weaves so we had to start that over. then, her big momentum caused her to fall right off the table - got her back on, and did a lead out to the Aframe. this is where i should have stuck with my original plan - i was going to go to the RIGHT of the frame and physically block her off course to the tunnel, but instead i decided to front cross her at the base. however, berlin was a bat out of hell and came down, did not hold her contacts and chose to ignore me repeatedly to go into the wrong end :) i got her in the right end, ran to the chute, and here kim made mistake 123123123 - i was going to try to pull her onto the teeter, but last minute chose to front cross in front of it - and doing that i blocked her path and she didnt see it - and put feet on it but came off (never even attempting it) - but AKC rules meant she had attempted it and that was it, we had to move on. finished the rest of the course no problem. no running, no zooming, no going after ring crew :)

jww -

i did a three jump lead out and berlin held it - YAY!!! my lead out pivot was for naught though, berlin blew right past 2 (it was a little further to the left on the course than it is on the map - just kept going, but she was distracted by a dog screaming at the other end of the ring - missed weave entrance, got it on the second try. i didnt do a tight enough pull and she missed 7 because i was pushing her too far out - but she drove the line to the tunnel and came out beautifully and we finished the course with just one glance towards ring crew :)

so, we learned a lot on what i still need to work on, but she survived her first trial. so did i!!!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

i know ive been a negligent poster here - life has been hectic.
we havent had agility in weeks because of scheduling conflicts.
rah sliced his foot open so he hasnt been in obedience. so its just berlin in novice.

of course, berlin has an agility trial this weekend which very well may suck since she hasnt been really training under the tutelage of anyone for awhile.

timing. sucks.

Monday, September 6, 2010

blown away

im just blown away by these people and their heart.

and the youtube channel with runs from 2008:

Sunday, September 5, 2010

someone else always says it better

care of lori drouin -

Personally, I think you get the most out of this sport if it helps you
> really get to know the dog you have, and appreciate his or her strengths
> and understand his or her weaknesses. The challenge is to maximize the
> former and do your best to overcome the latter. In the process, you
> discover stuff about yourself. You learn to be patient, to plan, to
> observe, to experiment and then do it all again. You find out that
> embarrassment doesn't actually kill you. If you look around, you find
> that a LOT of people and dogs face the same problems that you have. You
> meet interesting and amusing people if you take the time. There is a lot
> to be gained from any sport aside from competition results. You compete
> against your past results with THIS dog, and look for improvement and
> progress. For some dogs that will never be enough to win a class or get
> an OTCh, but it will be progress that YOU achieved.
> And sometimes, you discover the limits of a dog's ability to tolerate
> social pressure and the rigors of the competition setting, in spite of
> your efforts. You sometimes have to switch gears from training the
> exercise to focusing on desensitization and counter conditioning a dog's
> responses to noises, other dogs, etc.. If you put the effort in the
> right direction, you may see improvement in the exercises in the ring,
> but it might not ever be a total turn around. The dog is still improved
> from where you started, but if YOUR focus is on being better than other
> competitors in the ring, no, you may not get what you need from the
> sport while working with THAT dog. But you can't blame the dog for not
> fulfilling YOUR desire to be better than other PEOPLE. And that
> frustration can really affect a handler's ability to make the ring as
> pleasant a place as possible for the dog, which leads to a downward
> spiral of attitude on both ends of the leash. That is what I think has
> to be faced. Instructors don't want to see people blame their dogs for a
> human issue.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

this coming weekend

we got into a trial this sunday thats often very hard to get into - its very small and limited and indoors and air conditioned (yay) - i entered five months ago!!!!

berlin AND rah got in - im not going to show berlin i dont think. and i forgot i entered rah in open B - i dont remember what rah was entered in, but they have him in u tility B. im going to see if i can get him moved to utility A because i think it might be an error, though i could have entered him in b to see if i could get an UDX leg if it was going for our last leg.

so im nervous. trying not to be.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

mynx's 21 gun salute...

no agility this week, we're all missing miss mynx. from mynx's "grandmom" -

It is with a heavy heart that I share that retired Military Working Dog Mynx, CA71, is now an angel. She has left our country a safer place while also making it a happier and loving place.

Mynx, a Belgian Malinois, retired from our armed forces to Debbie's home.

Mynx came into Debbie's house full of vigor and life, even though she had seen bad things and outlived her handler, Rick. Her body showed signs of her working career. And even though the stress of military life is hard on humans and canines, Her heart stayed strong no matter what.

Mynx quickly learned Dog Agility -- leaving her Bomb sniffing days behind -- and was very happy with her new life. And she loved her Mom Debbie with a passion. While we used to joke about it, Mynx still wanted to scan new places like hotels for bombs. The joke being that if Mynx sat, you better run!

In Agility, Mynx quickly got to the AKC Excellent level and USDAA Advanced and Masters. She showed and qualified in agility even after she lost sight in one of her eyes. Debbie and Mynx were looking forward to showing at USDAA nationals this year.

But Mynx's biggest role in her retired life was that of counselor. She was the lifeline Debbie and Rick's family needed after his death. Nothing can express or replace the importance of that role.

Sadly, Mynx's body gave out suddenly this week. There is no doubt the rigors of her service to our country were a factor.

So please give all you dogs a hug tonight. And in your heart, as you pet your dogs, please give a 21 Gun Salute to Mynx, who gave so much of her being to help keep us safe.

God Speed Mynx.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

too good not to post this here too

rah's holter results are in- brandon called me today and i almost died because he did call right as i was about to step into surgery- i thought immediately something was wrong, he's NEVER called before, almost always emails!!! but the phone call was GOOD! we're down to only 89 vpc's!!!! he had 2 bigeminal beats, no trigeminy, everything else was gravy!! 6 months ago this dog had 5000 vpc's in a 24 hour period and now he's at this - and unbelievably it's still going down (this is 10 less than last time - only 10 less, but it's still less and i believe he did have one trigeminal beat)

so we're off the hook for three more months... and his heart is stable. it's almost good. better at least. he ate a plate of brownies tonight and had to have vomiting induced, it's never a dull moment...

Saturday, August 14, 2010

videos from all star

here are some videos from all star:

round 1, diane obrien - rah's most "controlled" round. we lost 6.5 points -

i was really pleased with both db fronts in this round!!!!

round 2 - don levinson. the first thing in the ring is where don almost knocks a ring gate over and scares the crap out of rah. takes me about 30 seconds or more to get him back into set up.

then before the fig8, don talks to me about rahs illegal collar. then of course, the infamous shitty ROH, where i have a short throw and rah has a crappy pick up - combined we get a "no chance" return. rah is definitely nervous in this round. but WE RECOVERED!!!!!

round 3. fred buroff. THE CRASH.
rah blows the DOR - not because he doesn't see my drop, but because he's running not to me but away from the judge. he's crazed. not thinking. should have given him a verbal (as both my trainers observe on the video). then... the high jump. but we recover.

Friday, August 13, 2010

im so bad

i have so much to update-
i have to do a play by play of the runs at all star (i now have video!)
i have to go through agility two weeks ago (i at least have the courses)
i have to go through training this week
i also have video from the training session at top dog.

training this week was good. we're still out of agility, and next week is regionals (or maybe the week after? so we don't start until the 1st. i have to schedule some privates until then, and start working back in the yard once the heat breaks. did open and u tility with rah - started cracking down on his crazed heeling. his retrieves were better, and on monday kathy invited me to do some training with her and i worked some jump grids with him to get him more comfortable with jumping again. his fronts are kicking butt and we did some DOR work to proof him, some nice pivot work (great attention). go outs have been kicking butt, no matter what the distraction. signals will be the death of me.

berlin was very cute at training yesterday - very animated heeling and we worked on playing right into heeling and back to playing, rinse lather and repeat. her fronts and recalls were very nice, SFE perfect as were her stays. ill show her one of these days. im toying around with a few things in my mind for both of them.

maybe ill share some of the videos tonight...

Monday, August 9, 2010

wow, i missed a lot!

well, we've been on a whirlwind these past few weeks - as a follow up to our trial my club hosted in july where rah earned his first utility leg, the following weekend we traveled down to NC where the working dobermans of the carolinas had their UDC show - rah finished his D-CD with typical rah antics such as trying to bite the leash and being just silly in the ring (a 193 and 193.5 - consistent and have i mentioned i hate novice??)- berlin also got her ATT with flying colors, alerting the minute the aggressor came out from the van (did we have any doubt?) - maybe a bit too early but nothing is too early for berlin! berlin also took best altered (ha ha) in a field of one. a show dog she is not, thank you to the crowd for double handling!

this past few days we've been in PA for the all star tournament - ill give the play by play for each run and hopefully have video soon.

it was such a thrill to be there - truly an honor to have qualified, a great few days doing what i love best, and so much fun hanging out with my friends, my trainers (whom i am blessed to have as friends!) and other dog people. it's a surreal experience - 6 huge rings, people all over the place, running from one ring to the next (in rally i was in three rings at once!), great shopping, tons of fun events!

we had ups and downs - i did a total of 12 runs that weekend and we were ALL tired - rah was ranked for the first two rounds of open, but he had a few mishaps - truly not mistakes on his part, but he showed a tremendous amount of recovery and that meant more to me than anything - he has a fear of male judges and he showed to not one, but TWO male judges, and worked his butt off in both classes even though the first male judge almost knocked a ring gate on him during our first set up. rah freaked, but recovered enough to work the class, but had a heartbreaker of a db throw by me over the high where it landed at just 8 feet - when he went to pick it up, he dropped it and it fell next to the jump - when he picked it up, he truly had no way to get over the jump safely and he came around.

the last run in open, we had something that almost broke MY heart - again with the high jump (guess who will be doing jump grids???) - rah took off from 12 feet back and didn't clear the jump. thank god for breakaway high jumps, but he crashed INTO the jump, took out the first two boards, and landed on the other side of the jump on his chest and his face - however, true to form he never looked at anything else and got up, picked up his DB and came back over the jump to me with it!!!! and then went to complete the next exercise without blinking an eye, like he hadn't just stopped the entire 6 ring show!!!!!!!!!!!

rah was knocked out of the placings and came in 16th, but the fact that he shook off the two spooky things that happened to him and kept working meant more to me than anything (ok, i would have loved to have been top 10 and he could have been, ill admit that!) - he's a wonderful dog and did everything i asked of him that weekend and i think that while scary things happened, it gave me some more confidence that we CAN do this and he IS a good dog. his fronts with the db were spot on, he never once thought about not coming back with it and he REALLY focused on me and gave it his all (excluding his spook events that were NQ's he worked three open rings and lost a total of 17 points!) and was rock solid on his stays despite the other dogs around him breaking.

rally came up next - what was i thinking! poor berlin got the short end of the stick because she never got the proper warm up she deserved and never got the walk throughs - she ended up in 15th place in rally novice and of the 29 points total she lost, 20 of them were MY fault (i misread the signs in a nested course and in another section i touched her!)- again, i knocked her out of the placings!

rah, here was my super star! after already working open and working his heart out, rah had to show 6 more times in super rally - and came in 7th!!! this was a hard class - many of these dogs were fresh dogs that hadn't done obedience, at least a few of these dogs in all rally levels were OTCH dogs already, and heck some of these dogs actually train in rally but he worked hard (backed up three steps in EVERY TRIAL!!!) and even humored me when i was running back and forth between three rings trying to remember courses at the same time - i ran 9 different rally courses in about 24 hours!!!!

rah's rally "team" placed third in the entire tournament - so that was awesome - it was "mixed nuts" - a frenchie, a corgi, and rah - which one doesn't belong? our obedience team, "loose cannons", didn't place but the other two teammates did (my trainer and her BC secret took second in open and another one of our friends who trains with us took second in super star with her aussie, luna).

then, berlin was on a db relay team and our team (BAZINGA!) won that too! that was tons of fun and berlin tried to chase everyone's db out and i barely managed to restrain her...

shopping was good, im exhausted today and im so pleased with my dogs who did everything i asked of them and more. now to focus back on utility...

Thursday, August 5, 2010

we're at the hotel in york, PA for the all star tournament which starts tomorrow! our crates are dropped off and we're all set up - dogs are passed out on the hotel bed and im ready to pass out with them... ill update tomorrow!

Thursday, July 29, 2010

a little play by play

so this weekend - what a high. im still just so thrilled...

on saturday we had a match and i worked rah in open and utility and berlin in novice. im too tired and have too much to do to go through each run, but berlin did a really nice job for the first one (just need to work on keeping her excitement level up and drive into the set ups and through her heeling).

set up for the show and then went home to my dads house to sleep for a few hours that night.

the next morning bright and early - got rah warmed up briefly doing left turns and slows, since this judge was a stickler for slows and had 30 foot slows in her pattern! put him away and waited for my class to start. it was a blessing showing with my trainer, she was really able to give me a lot of help there and this wouldnt have been possible without her in so many ways. i dont know enough ways to say thank you to her... (or her sister, who is my other trainer)

so we have a plan set up - rah is last in his class and the dog before me is a very slow one - we had plans on when to take him out (After she finished articles) and such - well, that dog got excused after signals and i had not even gotten near rah - i was sitting and watching, rah was still in his crate! my trainer calmed me down and i got rah out, and she trained me up to the ring - heeling, pivots, fronts, finishes, sidesteps... she had it all timed out and she moved out of the way and there i was, in the ring.

started signals - some bumping and forging as is rah's way. got to the stand (always a tenuous part for him) and he held the stand stay - i left him and walked to the end. in a heartbreaking moment i thought he was going to either walk in to me or going to down himself without my signal - he then stood back up, and i dropped him. a second heartattack occurred on the sit signal, where he didn't sit - i gave the signal, he looked at me - NOTHING - but i held the signal and gave a little more and he went up. (in B that would fail me, in A it was questionable if i would pass or not... i wasn't sure but i know in the past ive let my NQ's ruin the rest of the run so i didnt want to here... i just kept going like we were passing). called him in, he came, finished and we were done.

articles next - he found the metal and the leather just fine - fronts were a little off and finishes were crooked. got to gloves, did a good pivot but he picked the glove and dropped his head, but it was the right one - runs out, shakes and comes back - sits far out. and WONT GIVE UP THE GLOVE. i have to rip it out of his mouth - the judge is laughing at this point and he tries to bite it again on the finish!!! she's cracking up im trying to stay calm.

moving stand he locks up, just takes one single foot to move and is of course a bit crooked on the finish.

go outs - at this point im hesitantly hopeful - i give him the lock onto the go out point and he's got it - i send him and heaven help him, HE RUNS OUT. i turn him, he turns, a slightly slow sit - i send him over the jump and i could vomit. front, finish. i lock him onto the second go out. he almost leaves on his own. im praying - he has to have it, right? he wont not go out... i send him and im almost crying. i turn him 5 feet and he spins in place, perfect go out. at this point im almost delirious. i send him over the other jump and i dont even remember what the front or finish looks like because im crying at this point - she says exercise finished and the entire building screams - my trainer is crying, so are the people i train with - im covered with people clapping and hugging me and it was awesome.

so thats rah's utility leg. i have a video, i just cant figure out how to get it online... but he was a superstar. we ended up with a 187 - all front/finish issues! she also wasn't a big fan of rah's heeling :)

Monday, July 26, 2010

i will post more details later, but RAH GOT HIS FIRST UTILITY LEG WINNING HIS CLASS!!!!!!!!!! im so proud. and thankful to everyone that's helped so far.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

i had updates to post

but all i can say is RIP kheper - another doberman gone too soon lost to DCM.

im just going to sit and hug my dogs and take some time.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

wow, im terrible right now!

i just cannot manage to get an update in at all right now!!!
no agility this week, debbie was sick.

rah is preparing for the all star tournament (berlin is too, but she's only in rally so her prep is minimal really since she's had that down for awhile... lest i speak to soon i will be practicing!) so he's in open and utility right now.

heeling - he's still a maniac. that's never going to change.
DOR - i need to work out his confusion - he's starting to drop on his own if i dont give him the drop so im doing a lot of straight recalls now. its because before he wasn't dropping fast enough so now he's anticipating. just something to work through.

ROf/ROH - need to work those fronts again. he's going out nice and quick, pretty good turns for a dog his size, but when he gets right back to the front he's rocking back and pulling his stevie wonder routine. really need to put more effort into working on pushing the db into me.

broad - was looking good, the one thing :)

utility - working go outs with lots of distractions - had toys, bags of treats, etc. because now rah is going to be corrected for not going out - its sorta like a forced go out. he knows where he needs to go, but he'll get distracted by things on the ground etc - and if a leave it isn't enough for him to put his focus back on the go out location, then he will be corrected for that and then sent back with some force.

signals - really want to smack him upside the head. STOP MOVING YOUR FEET WHEN I LEAVE YOU.

moving stand, articles were pretty good.

gloves - his pivots are much better when i tell him "up" before the pivot - he's going out nicely and pretty much comes back ok - still thinks about not bringing it back though. when he's looking at one he sometimes gets to 2 though... STOP PICKING A GLOVE.

thursday we had berlin in novice and rah in utility.
berlin did a very nice job - worked recalls with distraction and she was so fast that she bounced off me - but nice and straight!
heeling looking great too. also worked on stands and she let a strange man touch her!!!!! we're taking her out of the line for stays and working them separately so she gains more confidence and learns her job before she has to do it with insecure dogs.
her fig 8 was ok, but she dropped her head a bit on the outer post at first.

rah's utility was much of the same as the day before - working distractions and making this as hard as possible.

saturday we had a match show - rah had two pretty much qualifying runs in utility!!!!!!! in the second match all that would have nq'd him would have been his picking the wrong glove, but karen told me that i had my elbow out too much and sure enough when i tightened up, he got 1. MUST REMEMBER THAT. articles he worked very nicely and go outs were spot on. all his finishes are butt out - need to work on that.

signals remain our bugaboo. STOP WALKING.

berlin had one run through in novice - she had a second, but she rocked so hard on the first one i didnt bring her back in. heeling was GREAT and i only messed her up a few times :) SFE perfect, recall adorably cute but finishes need work because i reward her just as much for far ones as close ones. fig8 - i need to remember to PUSH PUSH PUSH and she comes right up and kicks ass if i do say so myself.

rah had open runs but i was late since i had to (surprise) work so we sold one, and in the other i just worked retrieves and anticipation.

today we had a special training session for those of us going to the tournament - we rented out another training building, set up one utility ring and one open ring and had about 10 dogs working - had severe distractions because multiple people were using the ring at the same time - doing go outs to retrieves right at you, retrieving into dogs heeling.

did a full run through of utility with rah and all of a sudden, as predicted he couldnt find go out - when he's not thinking or he's high as a kite, he wont' look. fixed that right quick - brought him up halfway, then he found it. but kathy also noticed that when i have him totally straight that he looks to the left - but when he's set up a TAD crooked with his front end to me, he goes right out. so i set him up like that and he rocked. then turned and sent him in the other direction and lo and behold, he was golden.

worked retrieves and jumps with better fronts. took berlin and did some heeling with her while luna was doing go outs and she did nicely - worked her nemesis of a forward left turn fast and she nailed it.

between her and jack crated they were loud enough for the whole show to be recreated :)

we then practiced longest straightest go out, which rah will not be entered him because he gives up at 75-85 feet :) bad dog!!!!

then we practiced the db relay - and rah WILL NOT GIVE ME THE DB BACK. runs out, gets it, but then avoids me like the plague. BAD DOG>

however, surprise of the day? berlin is a friggin superstar at it. she was out like a bullet, got the db and FLIES back to me - she's awesome!!!!! so rah is being sidelined from the team for bad behavior and berlin will be our superstar :)

took the dogs to my dads house and let them swim and run around and now everyone is passed out.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

a whirlwind

so havent updated in awhile.

showed both dogs this weekend in ASCA - 4 entries, 4 NQ's...

berlin didn't manage to hold a sit stay at all. she got one down stay. apparently these stays are important in obedience and nonnegotiable.

rah didn't manage to do a single go out, but came damn close otherwise to qualifying - in fact in the second run we had a 195 going into the go outs of doom.

trained last night and rah is finally allowed to retrieve again and he's in love but his mouth started bleeding after retrieving for about 20 minutes. need to whip open into shape really since weve got all star in a month... we need lots of work!
utility seemed broken.

agility was awesome though and berlin was a superstar. rah managed to bite me about 12 times including leaving two bad bruises on my arm.

the courses - berlin ran clean every time except once i needed to restart her offside weaves!!! so proud of her.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

last night was class - unfortunately the power went out and we couldnt do obedience- they had the first two obedience classes (attention and novice) and i had planned on putting berlin in novice, but i went to get dinner and we were late so then i was going to put her in open, but open and utility were cancelled. which rah says is ok since he couldnt train anway!

so all we did was agility - and berlin found her groove again and kicked some butt. though i REALLY need to work on her offside weaves - a lot of the akc nov JWW courses ive been seeing have offside weaves and she's not putting 2 and 2 together - she is so methodical while onside she's just flying through.

i was most proud of her for two things:

1) holding a down stay each and every time i walked the course!!!! even when i had my arms up to practice cuing crosses, etc (she often would come to me for those)

2) in one of the courses, the "out tunnel" she nailed!!!

the map:

first sequence (blue i think?)
started on the table, and just worked a huge serpentine - i chose to stay on the far side of the teeter and not put any crosses into it. the hard part was calling them to you from the table and then sending them into the tire - the dog had to square up to the face of the jump on their own - berlin handled it well. the other issue was jump 4, which was recessed so you really needed to be close where they landed on 3 to push out, and it was a very tight sequence since the jumps were only 4-5 feet apart.

second (black?) - able to lead out to just past the tire, send to the teeter and she nailed her contacts every time and held them - i then did a landing side front cross on 3 (she did SUCH a nice tight wrap!) rather than trying to serpentine all from one side because i needed to be at the weaves for her entrances (OFF SIDE UGH) - then we had to flip them off the entrance of the tunnel at the end of the weaves in front of them but to the entrance to their right. berlin at first needed ... shall we say, a little physical help :)

last sequence (red) - we had two choices, and we had to choose before we ran - we could let our dogs do either end of the tunnel, but still had to get to the weaves. one led to onside weaves (but bitch of a tunnel entry since they had to run past the open end!), one to off side (but easier tunnel entry). but picking my poison, i knew my dog would rock the onside weaves so i had to go for the difficult tunnel entry. i led out to just past the tire, called her through with a lead out pivot, and then pushed her through 3/4 - they really were that close and she bumped those jumps, no stride in between- and did another landing side front cross at 5 so i could block the incorrect entrance - and gave a very firm "OUT TUNNEL" she looked for a split second as she ran by the other entrance but saw immediately where i was sending her, and then i backed up, told her to weave and she flewwwwwwwwwwwwww single striding it, and then soared over the triple (lydia said it looked like she was about 36 inches on that one minimum, and she had her legs so high and tucked.

so she nailed that one. so happy.
now if she only had some heat tolerance for outside :)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

the tooth of doom

the tooth of doom is gone! he was taken in as an emergency to upenn today (they fit us in last minute!) and they weren't able to save the tooth - so they pulled it. it apparently had been dead for awhile but he just fractured it recently.

he's home right now, passed out and drooling on my lap, a little swollen but handled everything perfectly, no VPCs during the procedure and im so happy to be done with this!!

the hardest part will be that he can't have any toys or retrieve for 2 weeks!!!!!!!


so there goes our trial this weekend.
i dont know how on earth i will keep him quiet.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

cant resist

i cant resist this background, i just cant!

i know ive been remiss in posting updates. berlin is still out of obedience. she came back to agility class this week but it was clear she has NO endurance and we need to work on that - she ran 4 times and by the end of class she was in her crate with her nose pushed against the crate door, snoozing. i was running her tentatively so she was running slower than normal, and we ran her at 20 inches.

this weekend i worked some jump grids, worked weaves, (forgot to work entrances, bad me) and worked wraps, rear crosses. need to work more cues for front crosses too.

this weekend i also dropped the metal base for 6 weave poles on my foot. its not broken, but it sure feels like it.

she comes back to class (obedience) this week, i think.

rah and utility - mixed bag. we've really been putting pressure on him at the signal stay because if this is hard in training, the simplicity of it all in the ring should make it easy on him. hopefully. gloves - WHY CANT YOU LOOK AT ME. need to slow down the article pile. moving stand has been ok. and go outs have been ok this week too...

but my bigger concern is that rah broke a tooth. yes, dog with heart disease, that just had to have anesthesia to get stem cells, broke a friggin tooth. not only that, but i was prepared to ignore it - but now its abscessing and i cant ignore it - he's hesitant to chew on that side.

so now i need to figure out how i am going to get this tooth out. he has entries this weekend, but i may blow them if he has surgery this week, because he may not be able to retrieve. i need to figure out where he carries the db in his mouth... im not sure i ever looked.

i cant believe i have to put my dog under stupid anesthesia AGAIN. i cant decide if i want to try to save this tooth or just pull it. i cant even decide where to have it done...

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

the play by play

long story short: NQ :)

the long story itself:
wake up at 4 am, get gas and coffee and im on the road by 5 am... got there faster than predicted and ended up there at 6:30. building opened at 7 and they wouldnt even let me in to use the bathroom early, so i almost peed myself.

was too afraid to do any go out practice because there was only one ring, and the judge was there - and the ring didnt have stanchions anywhere except the go out side. so i had nothing to send him to, even if no one had been there. go outs were to the big door that opens up - so the stanchion was there, but it was up against a wall of 42 (yes i counted) round metal plates on the large door that would open up the warehouse.

rah was last in the class - only one dog qualified. set him up and started signals - his heeling was beautiful. easily predicted pattern, i had the fast into the left turn halt, so i could be prepared for it and he nailed it. left turn into stand your dog. stood him, took a breath to pause. gave him the wait signal, dropped my arm and took a breath, made sure i was NOT taking off too soon. walked away and only focused on counting - i had already worked out that it would be 15 steps by walking the ring - i was on step 14 and rah comes breezing past me - he bolted. FAIL! but the heeling was BEAUTIFUL - actually very good position lovely left turns. judge said he was a LOVELY heeler.

moved onto articles. i always start with metal - did them towards go out, next to the high jump. nailed the first article. sent him for the second one and he is searching and working the pile and he picks --- the leather article right next to the right one. judge even says she doesn't understand what happened as he was close. but he had perfect attention on me while i was scenting and after she took the article and this time he didn't try to leave me to follow his article out :) great pivots too - but drops his head the minute we turn to look at his articles. OH AND HE JUMPED ON ME after i took the metal article. damned dog was like "oh, this is the right one GIVE ME COOKIE!"

hold him back a sec to let them pick up the articles, move to gloves. its glove 2, should be easy, right? we're there for awhile waiting for them to pick up the articles, im reminding him to keep his eye on me. she says glove 2, i pivot him (back pivot, since i didnt want him to see glove one, his favorite) - and it was perfect - i made sure not to stare at him but he FELT like he was in the right position, i dropped my arm and sent him... and the!@#!@# ran to glove three. brings it back, blah blah blah. judge commented that the pivot was PERFECT so it makes me think that rah was lined up for 2... his head was up for the pivot part so he shouldnt have seen 3, but i am fairly certain he picked his own glove. well, i mean, clearly he did.

moving stand - idiot nails it. others did 20-30 foot moving stands!!!!! i double checked rules to make sure it was 10-12 feet and counted that it was 5 steps (2.5 mats) - im not going further than i need to with this dog! tell him to freeze, walk away and he locks up. doesn't even FLINCH when she comes in, doesn't move a muscle, eyes on me. she even pauses after she finishes (longest pause on earth) and says "FINISH!" and i call him in - he nails the finish. YAY WE PASSED SOMETHING.

go outs... i set him up, tell him ball- and he's scanning, can't find his mark. i pull his head back up, drop him down for the mark, and he can't find it again - now he's confused. cannot find his ball. he starts to mark the jumps, looks outside the ring at a dog, i bring his head back up, she asks if we are ready, i say no (hey, we're already NQ'd, im going to try to do this right) drop him again to mark the ball and i think he's got it and then he takes off... for the bar jump. takes the jump on the way out, heads out to go out area and runs back in. we try it again, i think he has the mark, and this time the idiot goes and takes the OTHER jump...

at this point she's laughing at him and calling him a loose cannon - he's flying all over the place. almost took out the steward going after the leash, tried to pick his articles back up.

speaking to another owner with a dobe coming out in utility A that i train with - we came up with the following proposals:
1) dobermans should be able to obtain UD's by qualifying in ONE exercise in the utility class three times.
2 a UDX should be attainable by a doberman by qualifying in open 10 times, but the entire utility class once on any one of those given days (alternatively, 10 times in open and on those 10 tries, qualify one of the utility exercises for a total of each exercise needs to be qualified at least once).
3) doberman owners should be allowed to have handicapped license plates because of our dogs.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

for those that wanted to know, while we show tomorrow (as i mentioned in the last post), and i havent updated the training blog aspect in a week or two, we did have REALLY good news on the cardio side of things....

hugely nervous because we have our next utility showing tomorrow - which would be our second time in the AKC utility ring - this is our first time in an all breed trial, since our first time was a dobe specialty...


Sunday, May 30, 2010

mish mash

this will be a mish mash sorta update!!!

first, now that berlin is off 100% crate rest she will need a refresher on what it means to listen to mom and not bark all the time :) bad bad girl! shes still not allowed to be a normal somjen dog, so shes separated from the rest of the household most of the time and isn't allowed to jump or wrestle yet...

last night she worked the full article pile!!!!! yay good for her!!! which means i guess that i have to do full ATC now and work this daily with her for the next 9 weeks or whatever it is - but she made the right decisions in ignoring the leather articles when the one i had scented/cheesed was a metal. what a very brave and smart girl. whats that, 9 or 10 finds the first week????

we had agility class this wednesday - clearly berlin is not allowed to be doing agility yet, and ive already paid for this class so i ended up running a modified course for rah since i wont put him over this dog walk.

rah was crazy but awesome - super fast, read all the crosses extremely well and gave it his all - managed to not bite me even ONCE!!! now if i could only teach this dog to weave on anything smaller than 24 inch weaves we'd be set :) it just takes him 2-3 tries to get his body into the weaves before he gets it... and if i could decide if i want to trial him or not with his heart disease... i think i might trial him in NADAC and only indoors... low jump heights, very low key, and i can train in the ring, and he already has a jumpers leg, and he can do that beloved tunnelers course. he was so crazy that he was jumping the 36 inch wing jump standards on the rear crosses with room to spare - this dog is amazing and crazy at the same time - but handled like a dream. he was so excited to be back at agility...

hung out for a long time wednesday for his utility class. don't think we did signals that day - we did do them on thursday though and he was pretty good. had a lot of distraction that day (th) including terry stomping her feet next to him, kris behind me giving my signals as well, and gene next to him waving his hands around. rah handled it well but he wasnt sure what to do with the stomping feet so he froze halfway up on the sit, so i verbally told him yes, he was doing it right and we kept going. all in all it was good.

moving stand - both days he didn't do such a bad job but i need to keep remembering that i need to really focus on maintaining his eyes drilling into me - he's not moving but hes not maintaining 100% focus on me, he's staring at the judge as they approach. at least he didnt anticipate the forward there :) i think im going to use a signal for that forward too.

articles - on wednesday there was a glove out in between him and the article pile - he kept going to the glove first, but once he got past that (with a little help from me, ha) his article pile was set within one square foot and on top of each other - but he managed to find his just fine!! on thursday we had no problems with the articles and he even ran in for a straight front!!!! nice job!!!!

go outs - we're still tweaking things because rah now feels that he has theright to go out and check out his go out toy no matter what (on the "ill get to you in a minute" plan) - so i followed him out and butt pinched him to remind him that when i say his name, he needs to turn immediately and ignore the toy behind him (whether or not its there) and sit immediately. the next night kathy had me turn and sit him very early and call him off at 20 feet or so and he did nicely. of course, then on directed jumping rah ran chest first into the jump - we got him over it and he was stutter jumping a bit but had he been paying attention instead of staring at the gloves that were on the ground by the jump he wouldnt have had such a problem :)

gloves gloves gloves - really need to work on these pivots with him keeping his head up and looking at me and not staring at the glove instead. which is going to be his downfall. i also need to make sure i dont keep pushing him backwards by staring at him.

ugh. time to work on these things. our next trial is 2 weeks from today.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

id really like to find outdoor agility classes for berlin.

thats provided she ever heals enough to do agility again. we've got at least 2-4 more weeks off i believe :(

(you know you're a dog sports dork when you write "she ever heels" and you have to look at that and wonder what you did wrong)

Monday, May 24, 2010

household stats

someone else started, ill continue...

Ears: 1 cropped and standing, 1 cropped with one floppy, and 2 natural button ears
Tails: nubs!!!
Dewclaws: no rear dews, 2 sets of front dews.
Colors: black, white, blue, and blue tri merle
Coats: smooth and one fuzzy
Breeds: dobermans and one aussie
Sizes: 1 that is 38 lbs, 1 that is 55 lbs, and the boys are 75-85 lbs
Ages: 2, 2.5, 5 and 6.5
Testicles: none
Ovaries: none
Barkers: all to some degree. berlin MOST OF ALL.

Friday, May 21, 2010


so wednesday - no agility.
decided to put rah in open and utility because 1) he's been ridiculous since he has no playmate and 2) open broke at the match too thanks to stupid decisions on my part and poor run through procedure

we didnt do heeling in open (on hindsight) just the individuals... his fig8 wasnt bad at all - a little pushy, but he was with me and never took his eyes off me. we worked this more last night too, so ill bring it up there...

worked broad jump - did a pretty nice job. heads up working his fronts hard core even though he was sliding away from me, did a nice job so i didnt make him do more than 3 - just played some set up games and attention games there.

worked ROF, ROH and DOR - worked his trying to take the jump during the DOR when the DOR was done close to the jump, hopefully got that out of his system (for now) - clarified that. when he's within 3-4 feet of the jump he just thinks he needs to take it :) he was hitting nice fronts on the ROH and we were working some on the flat. all in all a nice class...

utility -
go outs is what we started with - rah because he's biggest. had gloves and toys out in the ring, someone doing heeling/signals in the ring with him on the side and behind him, and someone doing articles behind the ring gates that he was doing go outs to. rah handled it just fine, but he kept touching the stanchion and trying to get his ball - but he went out straight and sat when i told him to (After trying to get The Go Out Toy Of Wonder - hereby referred to as TGOTOW). Took the right jumps when i indicated them, even when simon and karin were heeling behind me and had perfectly straight fronts. last week terry had me using a calm voice for go outs and it makes a difference for him (instead of yelling the command to him) and it really has him in a smoother frame of mind.

moved to articles - he brought back the cheese article (his teaching article) - somehow it made it into the pile- ignored it, and he found the other two just fine. ill just ignore that one for now. went to signals and the slight anticipation i saw last week on the come, which turned into straight anticipation at the match now resulted in no come at all wed night. worked that - it was clearly me because he did it just fine for kathy, the person in the world he is most intimidated by because she is THE ENFORCER!!! so it was me that was the problem. tried to work through it (probably made it worse) and then just decided to ignore it...

gloves - he's NOT allowed to get his glove unless he looks at me. his pivots are still ugly. im at a loss. i give up. but he's bringing them back, albeit sometimes slow. kathy said that still looks like a dog trying to figure out what i want. i thought it looked like a dog not wanting to come near me.

fast forward to thursday -
started with heeling, he was crazy. signals- much better - did them with heavy distraction - he was able to do all the parts and even came when i signaled him to come. NICE JOB!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

worked the moving stand- not anticipating the stand on the judges command to stand (or in rahs case, not anticipating the FORWARD on the judges command to move!) and then the stand itself. rah did a nice job.

articles - nice job on his part - even though he almost killed himself by tripping on the pile. on articles he did a better job. need to work fronts with his distraction of things he loves next to him.

go outs - worked on him trying to get his ball before he turns - started pinching his butt and now he turns on his name :) he needs to run out with an ear on me waiting for him to turn, not run out ignoring me!!!!

all in all much better...

Thursday, May 20, 2010

i havent posted yet about last night

i will though... but it brings up some interesting thoughts i have, especially after reading some posts from some of the email lists, and some posts from other peoples blogs...

how much responsibility do you take for your dogs reactions to things, and how he acts?
if your dog blows you off, do you say - oh that was my fault! or do you go after the dog and say "should have known better!"... does it depend on the dog? level of training? where you are? the situation? do you always give the dog the benefit of the doubt? do you always blame the handler? are there certain exercises where you always give the handler the blame? are there certain things you know you do poorly and are your fault? are there certain times where you thought it was the dog, and it ended up being you and you felt badly?


dog is called for the DOR, but takes the jump on its way to you at a match. you stop him, set him up and next time you call him, he flinches and starts, but wont come at all. now what? what happened? whose fault?

you're running a course in agility and all of a sudden your dog goes off course and takes a few extra jumps. what happens now?

a dog refuses to retrieve a db thrown - will go out to where it is, sees it, but will not pick it up.

a dog does a go out, but after the turn and sit isn't taking any jump, despite repeated signals...

after an agility run, the dog wanders away, sniffing...

the dog, seasoned at scent articles, comes back with the wrong article. lets say the dog was taught using around the clock and it brought back your cheese article. lets say the dog brought back the entirely wrong article.

during an agility course (this would be better if i had a course map) a dog repeatedly misses a push out to the tire... runs around the tire, but doesn't take it (goes PAST the tire)...

whats going on here? what do you do to evaluate whats going on? whose fault is it here? do you blame the dog? do you punish the dog? what does it depend on?

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

no agility today - debbie got called into trial unexpectedly. which is ok, because i technically have no dog to take to agility anyway- i havent decided if im putting rah back in class yet.

so ill probably nap until i get to obedience class.

but lets discuss one thing --

ALL BREED LURE COURSING???????????????????

risk of heart attack or not, rah may have to do this.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

the match show

had a match today... didn't go as well as i would have wanted it to go, for a variety of reasons.

rah and i weren't communicating well, and he got hectic - we worked through a lot of it, but it was frustrating. combined with him biting me about 1126092349 times, i wasnt pleased with that.

dont know if its worth getting into...
berlin says dog jail killing her.

Friday, May 14, 2010

stealing this...

from lori drouin ---
the end of a very lovely message -

The lesson for me is that none of our training tools should be used
without conscious choice and pointed intention. Physical corrections
cannot be exaggerated in force and used for the purpose of expressing
anger about a technical point. Food should not be used to apologize for
a lack of information, nor to distract the dog from the point of a
corrective interaction. If either a correction or a reward is to be
useful for progress, the dog has to be clear on what it was applied to,
and allowed to discover what he needs to repeat or to stop doing to get
the trainer's approval. Too much focus on "behaviors" and "exercises"
can blind us to the importance of teamwork development and two-way

Thursday, May 13, 2010

updating both blogs right now... ive been remiss with both of them. had lots of time to think about both of them in the past week or so :)

berlin is currently at animerge getting her spay and gatropexy on :) actually, she's already out of surgery and recovering- i already saw her post-op and she did fine, already standing and drooling her head off.

the recovery is going to be KILLER - she's on FOUR WEEKS of rest. four weeks because my dogs are friggin psychos and too active for the normal beast so it will need to be twice as long as the average dog to make sure she heals well (the pexy, not the spay) to make sure it takes. the surgeon was very glad i was pexying her because she said her chest was very deep for her petite size, so i was right to be concerned for bloat - especially for her activity :)

rah is doing great - more about that in his cardio blog. no adverse side effects right now from the stem cells, he's chipper and as annoying as ever.

training training training....

agility last night was our first time back at class in 2 weeks or so. ive done some work outside working serpentines, weaves and weave entrances (ignoring off sides since its been a problem for us lately - my new theory - ignore it if its not working!) and outs. she did awesome!!!! and i was really happy, but entrances need some work - so i spoke to my trainer and she made that something we worked on in class.

class this week we first started with entrances and shaping them - gave it a new word (i used "get in" for my memorys sake - but i can change this to "weave" i think since technically i tell her "go weave" and then have her continue with a "go go go go go " ... think that over kim) and the biggest change was i put three poles up instead of two, to make it clear she was to continue forward instead of curling back to me once she got the click and that worked like a charm to continue her forward momentum. VERY clear for her - then we had a short sequence with a jumptunnel to JUST a weave entrance - did onside and off side and she was very nice - NAILED off side!!!!!

then we did sequences - the one i remember is where i did a lead out pivot past two, then sent her through the tunnel and after the tunnel i did a nice rear cross over 4, sent her to the weaves - it worked well. she never thought about going into the weaves past two, or going straight to the jump instead of into the weaves after 4. i was also afraid she would miss the first tire since she actually was staring at me NOT through the tire because of where i had to be for the pivot... but it worked perfectly. very nice.

she did awesome - read the lead out pivot perfectly, read the rear cross just right and nailed the weaves great and was fast and accurate - i need to stop waiting and watching her though!!! and RUN PAST THE LAST JUMP!!!!!!!!!

worked her in open too since she will be out of class for so long - did some heeling and she was nice, but then i got tired - and then the cough came (bronchitis is cleared but i had a rattle come back by the end - im so out of shape!) and when i stop pushing she stops giving) - but its me, not her) but she tried and i do understand that if she's not going to bring it, i need to be the one to bring it. i really do. i just need to be the one to be able to bring it.

did some work with the broad jump, and then we broke...
started retrieves, and the db landed near annette's kids. and berlin said no. and i said yes. and she said no. and i said yes.

and then my trained came over and said YES. so berlin learned an ear pinch last night. and she got what we meant immediately - she clearly understands what a retrieve is, and i understand she doesn't love kids - but they were no threat and i wasnt putting her in danger, i wasnt asking of her anything she doesn't understand or wasn't physically capable of. i was asking her to pick up a db from within 3 feet of a child that she's MET before. and she said no. that, to me, is unacceptable. so she is now going to be force fetched to make it clear that this isn't an option, to say no to me.

rah - worked on his SFE and moving stand - he also did the SFE in novice class :) ha ha just popped him in there. never did signals with him because he did go outs so long. nothing spectacular nothing hugely wrong. gloves showing small steady progress. brought his stand back to basics - staying close, rewarding basic attention on me and not looking at the judge - had all the kids, lydia, ellen, hope, and many others touch him and rewarded STARING at me (allowed a tiny bit of foot motion) and want his eyes drilled into me - the more he looks at me, the less he will ever notice the judge coming up.

he's entered in a match this weekend - has two utility entries in june.
berlin is on four weeks of rest - this will kill me.