Friday, January 29, 2010

ok, so apparently you dont get an update from last week. i DID find out that berlin, ironically, has to jump 26!!!! not 24 in obedience!

berlins in heat, so after attempting agility this week (and her trying to rub the sexy pants off on the weave poles) and us barely making it through the masters level-based jumpers course, im about ready to rip her uterus out on the kitchen table, so i just put rah in her obedience class on thursday and i will put her back in when she's NOT BLEEDING FROM THE V-PIPE.
anyway, berlin could barely weave. she was more interested in rubbing herself on the poles. it was gross. rah was ... rah. fast, about half accuracy and half blazing speed, occasionally overlapping like a venn diagram.

the jumpers course was fun. rah rocked it. like, rocked it - of course, to get him to collect himself i just stand there and wait while he scrambles like scooby doo (i hear the scramble feet sound from the cartoon in my head when he does this) , but he does it and we are super... berlin was jumping in sexy pants (all i hear is ray j's song "sexy can i?") and did most of the jumpers course til the LAST JUMP???? booooooo

obedience - open, worked broad jump and we're going to change both my footwork for the turn - pivoting on the left foot BACK instead of forward on the right foot. and also going to throw the left shoulder out more powerfully on the turn to try to push him out and pull him in with the right - it was pretty drastic the sort of change it had on him immediately, and he's really working those fronts.

broad jump worked distraction work with his fronts with lydia swinging the rules around, running at him, around him, etc and he was good. on the flat worked me turning on his fronts while terry threw things (including bowls!!!!) and he had to find front. drops i worked on keeping his speed (im toying with having him back up on his drops somehow in practice with some special signal...)heeling (did we do heeling???)i cant remember.

utility -
go outs were first, out towards the other dogs working articles behind the ring gates. nice and straight, but the pressure of kathy out with her dog on leash 5 feet from me made him unwilling to go to a nice front. perfect go out second time but the jumps were set at his jump height to start at, and then the high was even lower than the bar. he wasnt paying attention and threw himself INTO the jump and broke the boards... came to front (whut?)... sent him out again quickly and back over the jump and he had no problem, came to front and we called it quits on that because he had none of his past issues of when the jumps come down or break that he wont go back over them.

articles - full of fail. lets move past that. signals werent bad - nice and crisp, still need to work on not moving his feet!!! moving stand was pretty good too - he wants to book it the minute the judge stops touching him, so we worked that.

gloves were last and i realized ive been doing poor pivots for him (well, ive known this, but didnt know what to change) so i found better footwork for them and i changed it up and it made a HUGE difference for rah!!! he did however back off a glove because a dog he hated was 1 foot behind the glove, so he refused to retrieve it, even though he marked it just fine. kathy body blocked the dog and he went out just fine.

open last night - we played some informal retrieve and broad jump games for attention then worked stations. terry thinks i should just leave rah's foot movement on my "wait" at the retrieve stations and such alone because its driving us insane more to try to fix it than to just leave it, and im inclined to agree with her. while i want a perfect score out of him, i think i may need to pick my battles. i know allowing him to continue doing it will not be good for us, but im not sure the way im trying to address it is the right way, and i cant think of any others... anyway he had some nice work on all his individual stations. heeling we had another epiphany - i was sore because some big blue dobe hurt my leg that morning, and i heeled slower - and HE CAN DO IT. so what if... I SET THE PACE FOR HEELING instead of trying to go fast because hes got super giraffe legs and i dont?

so im going to try it out. it certainly feels less frantic.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


after training thurs night, berlin jumped in the car crate and i didnt think anything of it- when i got home (8 minutes, 10 miles) i opened the back of the truck and her crate door and she didnt jump out - i looked in and she still had her prong on, and she was hooked on the side of the crate and choking. she wasnt thrashing and she was oddly calm waiting for me to help her - but she was completely stuck, her prong was almost completely cutting off her air, and she was gasping as it was pulled completely into her neck. i starting flipping out trying to unhook it, but i couldnt - she was completely stuck and the pressure she had on the links meant i couldnt unhook her (and she wasnt wearing a quick release ) - i tried pushing her head out, but i couldnt get her head to fit through. i was crying at this point, but she just sat there making the most god awful noises trying to breathe, not moving at all. finally i lifted her entire crate out of the car halfway and pushed as hard as i could backwards and managed to get the prong collar backwards and she pulled at the same time and the collar came off the crate.

she bounced out of the crate and jumped up onto rahs crate like she always does waiting for him to come out, noticed i had a bag of food for lydia, and promptly sat to beg for it - i fed her almost all of the cinnamon sticks and she ran into the yard like nothing had happened. she's completely unaware how freaked out i was (am), how dangerous it was, and how completely and utterly stupid i was to leave the collar on her in the crate.

im kicking myself for leaving the collar on her in the first place. i mean, im the person that wont leave a FLAT collar on my dogs in the house. they cant wear ANY collars in the crates PERIOD normally - at nationals i wouldnt leave a single ID tag, a single collar on my dogs at ALL in the crates, even in the hotel. im so afraid things will get caught. and here, my dog gets her stupid collar stuck. when i leave to go to the BANK i take collars off of them. THANK GOD it was such a short ride. and she was so calm, thats the only saving grace i had that i was able to get her out - lydia was working an odd shift and wasnt home, i had NO help. 13 years ago i saw a dog that broke his own neck when his collar got stuck on his crate and no one was home to free him, and i never wanted my dogs to ever have that happen to them - and here i broke my own rule.

so my public service announcement. again. no collars in crates, PLEASE.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

clearly this updating from the phone thing isn't working quite yet. even though it should.

i will update from last week at some point, if i remember last week at all. the long and short was agility was pretty good, if not hilarious and my dogs did some nice work, we need to revisit sticking the table when we move fast. started refining some things in open like rah not moving his little feeties when i throw the db even in his excitement. and rah was superstar in utility. supaaaa. open on thursday wasn't bad at all, but neither dog wanted to work stands after.

last night we worked gamblers in agility in prep for the USDAA trial this weekend. and rah is a gamblers fool and that will be his game if he gets (ok, i get) my schtuff together ever because hello, no real off course and points if you do go off course as long as its clean? and you can obstacle suck all you want and vortex is ok? yeah, WERE THERE!


rah made the bites.
on my arm.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

i will be trying to update the blog today from work on my iphone (cause thats how i roll). i havent done any updating about last weeks training. you will be able to tell because it iwill have appropriate grammar and capitalization since the iphone does it automatically :)

have been working tiny flash sessions at home, working difficult fronts for both dogs to really really firm up what front means and make them WORK to get there - rah's kicking butt and taking names and in the past two days berlin has shown she really really gets it. also working on the metal scent article for her, she's retrieving it reliably now so we can start scenting soon. for rah yesterday i worked on his around finish and fiddled with adding in a cute pop. worked his moving stand a bit. need to work on his dreaded moving feet for all his waits.

time to go to work. need to think about how im going to get my dogs to do better SFE's and watch ME and not stranger dangers. such mommy-itis.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

goals, video and this week

ive spent a ridiculous amt of time with my new iphone today... need to update on a variety of things.

to start with our goals. berlins im really thinking on, because im considering where i am going with her - ive got a PSA club i am speaking, we've got agility trainers i am talking and working with who think she can have a MACH quickly, but obedience is my first love. and lydia says she DOESNT hate it, she just needs something different from me than what rah needs... we have hope!!!

- UKC CD and CDX
- start preparing for UDX legs at matches
- continue working fronts for fluency
- work on calm and control in the ring
- retrain heel position?
- finish an agility title (any agility title!)
- decrease the amount of vortex behaviors we experience when we get stuck in behavior loops
- work on the moving feet on signals, moving stand, and all behaviors that involve a wait
- earn 1 score above 195 from a B class
- compete at AllStars in August - finish in the top 10
- win the db relay!!!
- continue working on obedience outside - attention and repetition
- continue working on male judge issues
- 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
- work on the glove shaking

- continue training for open and perfect that
- start training for utility further
- complete health testing
- UDC Breed Survey if she's able to?
- NADAC Jumpers and Tunnelers titles
- work on attention at start lines - both getting solid stays and attention nonstop on me while rah is barking in the crate
- work on pet dog behaviors including never leaving your mother, even if you see your best friend in the world nearby
- compete in AllStars in Aug - finish in the top 10
- scent articles!
- 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.
- increase fluency for fronts

training this week has been rough because starting sunday i was sick again. wed in agility i was coughing up a lung and by the time i ran the second sequence with roo i swear to god i was literally seeing things, i got stuck in my own circle and i forgot the course (even though i had ran it SUCCESSFULLY with rah just 4 minutes prior!) and we were all sorts of confused...) but we did some nice tunnel discrimination when it worked out. i had my camera, but i didnt tape anything and im glad for that, because like i said, it was NOT pretty. we worked on the dogwalk again - im bringing out berlins target again because she shoots across and forgets her 2o/2o at the end, just flies - and call me friggin amazed that rah would EVER do a contact obstacle again after his accident 2 years ago, but he is going over the dog walk (even though sometimes his back legs slide off, evidenced by his dog walk rash on the inner thighs) but he's doing it without a thought at all - debbie is SO GOOD!!!!!!!! he weaves!!! he runs the wood!!!! and he stops at the end and does 2o/2o, what a silly boy.

anyway, 12ooooo hours later to utility (ha) - next session we are back to open and utility split up again. we did some retrieve work and working hard to hit fronts - having the dogs going out and back at speed, but having to hit fronts that were 45 degrees off of where they left with no handler help. rah was great without a db in his mouth, but once the db in his mouth surprise surprise he couldnt think. heard this song and dance before? :) not a front issue, a brain issue, an "i dont wanna!!!!!" issue. got out jumps and had people working go outs, high jump and broad jump, and in between those we worked DOR, articles, and ROF. so it was a LOT of distraction for the dogs which was really nice - caused a lot of things to crop up.

it was nice too, since lydia is bringing mercury into utility!! its been almost a year, but mercury finally gets to come back to class! :)

DOR - had two dogs on my right - one doing articles within a foot of me, literally his pile was right next to my feet, and another dog that was doing directed jumping just to that dogs right. and to rah's left we had another dog doing ROH - so close that rah got hit with the db twice :) it was a lot of distraction, which led us to "i will watch the db come while you tell me to drop and take one extra step" which game me the chance to remind him, despite the fact that i had no voice and a very sore arm, that mom means drop immediately when she says drop.

worked articles next - in the same situation. got very tight when we had a db land in his pile, but we worked through it! dogs doing directed jumping INTO his pile also almost made him bail from the pile, but lucky for him he found the right article and got out of there. i need to work on him picking up the wrong article (even if for just a moment) while he is still searching the pile. he's clearly not commiting to it, and it's almost an afterthought, but i'll still be hit half a point for him just absentminded picking it up while he is still searching. he's definitely not even considering bringing it back, but he picks it up and immediately drops it... time for a tie down?

ROH i actually didn't work that day mainly because like i said - i was feeling really ill and too tired to get up and work it. worked the broad jump - and worked on rah's new "wait" signal since we changed it at the match. (which i forgot at the show, by the way). he cut the bj, but he still hit a nice front... just did a few...

waited a long time, did a few glove pivots which weren't very good, but i wasn't feeling very up to it either (so i cannot lay the blame on him), he had his butt out a LOT, we mainly worked on you keep your head up when you pivot and look at ME not at any glove you THINK you're going to get... then we got to do directed jumping...

(see, we went in small to tall order, so clearly rah was last in the class...)

so... we worked go outs and DJ. lacking in a voice for the most part, his focus on the spot is so great now that i am having a problem turning him off the spot and getting a straight sit - he's only turning half way . picking battles for the night since i wasnt feeling good, we left it. focused on the DJ - and proofed his fronts. im not moving for the fronts, forcing him to work them - and we were able to recreate rah's stress in the fronts by kathy stomping,skipping, and doing just in general odd things behind him while he was fronting - a few times he just tried to skip the front period, a few times he tried to avoid her jump period and take the other one, and others he tried to give me the worlds worst front. so we worked through it and tried to get him to maintain a calm collected front, even though he was clearly very worried about the judge behind him. (similar to the show the prior weekend - when he's too wrapped up in thinking about what is coming behind him, he cannot focus on his job). we got a perfect one and ended it on that.

thursday was berlin - i was hurting in the breathing section, and really only had 2-3 minutes of TRUE heeling in me - i pushed as much as i could, but past that i was heeling without real heart in it -- i gave it another 10 minutes but i wasn't all there, so it showed. but she did well. fig 8's we worked on it and when i do my job she's PERFECT - but i need to drive out of the inner post and not lean over her and she PUSHES right there - i cannot under any circumstance handler her like i handle rah on that exercise.

on the bj, i need to make sure i transmit a lot of energy into her signal so that she puts it into her jump - 48 inches is NOTHING for her to jump, so i have to add the energy in there for her to put the effort and make it bigger, otherwise she just tries to pop it and its ugly.

worked drops and she's so cute... part of me just wants to finish a CD so we can just work these damned DORS formally! retrieves were nice... i have better speed on the return than going out. she's still working on lining up a perfect front but she's doing a nice job all things considered!!!

need to keep working on getting her utility foundation - i've lapsed recently. worked on some marking.... need to go back to go outs and articles! her pivots are pretty nice. honestly probably better than rahs! her moving stand is PERFECT. and her signals are pretty good! she does pop forward for the sit instead of backwards - i'd like to work on that.

and lastly, i leave you with videos. i dont think i ever posted the videos from our runs at the trial last weekend.

rah's crazy open leg:

rah's novice leg, where he takes high scoring rescue and almost HIT

Sunday, January 3, 2010

i had an older post but fell asleep last night and lost it, ugh. no obedience this week but we did have agility - front crosses were full of fail.

had a ring rental on thursday with karin - took me 50 minutes of straight retrieving for rah to settle in and use his brain. go outs were nice. worked berlin a bit.
friday (new years morning) we were matching at pams place - 2 utility, 2 open, and 2 novice for roo. did one whole entry of just go outs for rah, and really worked retrieves and broad jump as well.articles weren't bad but if he's wearing a pull tab he WILL take the one that the tab lands on...

saturday we matched (and i judged and worked) the match at hk9 all day. really worked on remaining in control of rah's heeling, since he's SO controlled for the fig8 but it is simply not translating to heeling on the flat. also need to change my wait signal for the broad at least because he's getting it confused with his stand signal... lots and lots and lots of lefts for the heeling. lots.

for go outs now im not turning after he jumps - im staying straight and making HIm work the front and it's not bad!

today we showed...

first trial -
rah kicked ass. Novice C, 197.5 - would have been HIGHEr but the judge is a flake and she took off a point in the fig 8 for forging when SHE called a crappy pattern and called the halt on the outer TURN and rah was already pushing because we were turning!!! but he worked SO HARD to fix it!!!!! what a good boy.
Berlin pulled a 191 in novice C too - her fig 8 was where we lost most points, i double commanded her twice (would have had a 197!) because i had no confidence in her there.

open - disaster. on the running broad jump i hit the broad jump myself, twisted my ankle, sent rah FLYING, and he flipped out, thought the judge did it, and ran all over, left the ring, came back in, wouldn't go near the ring. we finished the rest but he was freaked beyond belief and played the "stare at the judge because she's coming to KEEEEELLLLLL ME!" game. but he did a go out :)

lydia (and mercury) and molly (and mashi) both got their first legs towards their CD in the NOv B class.

second trial - i pulled rah from novice B because it was the judge from the first trial (in open) - and he wouldnt do a SFe for her, i was sure, didn't want to ruin it for him. shame, because she LOVED rah's heeling and she was a SWEET scorer (she hadn't taken a single point off his heeling in open!)...
berlin NQ'd. she did the SFE odd and went behind the dog afterwards and berlin was like... uh... no and walked in to me then SHE trotted outside the ring? but came right back. odd odd odd. we finished up - fig 8 also bad. but she gave me the BEST finish OF HER LIFE. it was perfect!!!!!!!
rah however, DID take first in open in the second trial and managed to put it all together - the damned running broad jump took TWO double commands but we did it...

so the tally for the day:
rah was high scoring rescue, second in Nov C, first in Open A.

i have some videos, ill post later. berlin did a cute heeling job and im pretty pleased with her - however, based on her behavior these past few days i think she's coming into heat a little early (she's not due for 3 more weeks)...