Sunday, March 28, 2010

new titles, crash and burn :)

i never posted about training this week. agility was good and berlin held her contacts for a dogwalk that was incorporated into a course consistently, which was nice!!! maybe she will compete again :) lydia wants to run her in a USDAA trial in may, i think ill enter her. i cant run her that day because i have a date with my mom in NYC ... but lydia can! (berlin is currently doing the "i have no legs" curl on the couch, with her front legs underneath her - its adorable!)

did open with berlin and utility with rah wed night because thurs we skipped class to show!

so this week is a big show weekend here in NJ for the obedience folks - three day cluster of obedience and rally (4 for some breeds) in edison, NJ - a HUGE trial that is VERY noisy and loud at one of the largest venues here, and then a double trial today hosted by an obedience trial.

i entered rah at the specialty obedience on thursday - obedience was limited to nonsporting, but rally was opened to all breeds. i went with a friend who has shibas and she made her debut in novice A with her dog. rah finished up his RE by winning the excellent B class with a 99 and it was great - he didn't care about the noise and worked like a dream - just bumped me on a pivot for one point off. i was very proud of him!

i had him entered the next day in open B under a judge i LOVE... and i promptly NQ him on the first exercise (the broad jump) by giving a verbal and a signal! im not sure what i was thinking, he worked well for the rest of the class save for his fronts but those were also my fault - his heeling was VERY well controlled (the judge even commented so to me as we were setting up for the next exercise after heeling!) and she was joking with me for the entire class -which is why i love showing to nancy!

i seriously had a brain fart - not sure why i did what i did. he did much better with the fig 8 before the heeling in this show and his heeling was VERY controlled (for him) in the ring. i trained through half the exercises and i did screw him up on just about every front, so that was all me and i admit it - he didn't know what was going on there, and i cant get on him for that. i also set him up at the wrong distance for the high jump and he barely took a full stride before he took off and it was a VERY scary jump for me. and since i was so close he almost hit me on the front. i think i rocked a bit on the front on the DOR.

so rah is in the market for a new handler. time to prep for our utility debut in a month... no video of the rally run, but here's the fateful open run

if you turn the sound up all the way you can hear how noisy the venue was - rah was a very good boy!!!! BAD HANDLER.

but still, rah finished his RE with style!

now to figure out when we will be doing stem cells so that i can enter rah in utility :)

Monday, March 22, 2010

sunday redux

rah showed sunday at first dog in ramsey -
did a nice job - he was second in the ring in a huge open B class (ended up with a 4 way run off for first place with 199's - kathy and luna took second for 7 more OTCH points so now they just need their OB first and 10 more points - they had to do THREE patterns!!!!)

rah was a lunatic on heeling. we ended up with our standard 193 which wasnt bad considering 4.5 of that was lost on heeling because we were terrible there :) but he got a huge candydish crystal thing for being high scoring rescue dog at the trial.

im too tired to type more out, maybe later.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

two videos from tonight

no classes this week since my trainers are out at the york cluster showing. rah shows on sunday at first dog in ramsey (kathy is judging open A i think? im watching their goats now.

i went and trained on my own tonight with one of the owners and took some videos as i ran them through. i have videos of everything but two things.

one, berlin has a very nice fig 8 tonight. very very nice.

and second, isnt she the cutest thing you've ever seen? ever?

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

failed attempt ?

this was me trying to train the dogs last night. destiny is out for distraction, as are all the toys and stuff on the floor (there's a shredded cat toy, which explains the feathers if you can even see them). shoes are out because destiny takes them out and drags them around the house. and all rah wants is two things:
dinner and to kill destiny.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

training this week and a show from yesterday - our open B (re)debut

so i have had this page open for days meaning to update it, but i just have been falling asleep at the computer or just havent gotten around to it!!

we're going to go chronologically skipping the little training sessions.
agility we started with some skill sets and working those before we worked courses. worked some teeter work and hitting her 2o2o, she's completely unconcerned about the noise and movement and she will hop onto the teeter midway or anywhere and do it, which is good. worked weaves too, and she was nice, but offsides weren't really happening so i stopped and instead shaped entrances from all over.

then we did courses from this past weekend, i think they were more excellent courses that forced us to do some 180s and pinwheels and berlin was on FIRE - did some double fronts, one had a nice night serpentine and another a little threadle. she was awesome and im so happy with how she handled it.

worked rah in open and utility since he was going to be showing this weekend - cant remember anything major in open just worked on speed of his drop and straight fronts, and his broad. in utility i took the opportunity to work on what we had been doing in the private last weekend and it was definitely helping - his signals and moving stand were much tighter than they had been - still need work but better.

go outs and DJ were funny there was a stuff animal at the go out spot and rah was convinced it was his toy so he tried so hard to get it, i couldnt turn him off it the first time! (on a side note, theres an interested discussion on the clicker obedience list about shaping go outs and such i want to chime in on, this reminds me) but we worked through it and he did lovely turn and sits. we jumped over the 4 foot wide bar jump and he had no issues with it - i wonder if the dog has ever considered collecting himself for a jump though?

on articles, he worked the pile with a bag of cookies in the pile, his article bag, and kathy (his biggest distractor!) swinging a toy right in his pile and he still did a great job - so i was pleased with that!

we didnt do gloves this time.

thursday unfortunately for berlin rah did her class as well - not just because he was showing on saturday but also because he was holtered, so i wanted him to be working for some of his time with the holter. the funny part was being holtered and in his vest made him much more aware of his body and how he was going to be controlling himself! if only i could show him in the vest!

so the trial - we got to the show - it was like a monsoon sat am and the drive there was treacherous - i got to the show site and its mud, theres almost no parking left (as in, 4 spots left), and i have to unload in the rain. i have the option of unloading at the door and having no parking in this lot (but i can park across the street!) or i can park here and then unload by hand... i chose to at least have parking within site of the building...

it was a very bizarre building - it was actually a sports dome on turf, and it was one of the plastic blow up buildings complete with airlocks. rah didnt even care, he was a little perturbed by the airlock at first since it makes your ears pop and he definitely thought the air was stale (it was) but it was fine once he got in there!

i barely warmed rah up - i actually just worked him a minute or so to see if he would slip on the turf, but then he spent a good 20 minutes hanging out in sue ann's lap while she pet him. all of a sudden my class was starting - i had to go check in, and figure out what the heeling pattern was. wait, i didnt even see what order we were in - back to the check in table :)

order 4 - good order. rah was the 5th dog in - and he was showing to a man. the entire reason i entered this show was to see how rah would do to a male judge since he sometimes (ok most of the time) gets freaked out by them in the ring as he does with any judge that puts too much pressure on him - but he can work through a woman. though he did work through craig last time (who ironically was judging the other ring yesterday!)

anyway, we briefly do an actual warm up of heeling one dog away and then its our turn - as we are waiting to go in the judge is commenting what a big blue lovely natural eared boy he is (don has dobes of his own!)... we have to get all the way across the ring for the first exercise, the DOR - rah looks at the judge once during the set up but then all eyes back on me and he's ready and amped. the entire way im walking across the ering im wondering if i should give him a verbal or a signal drop - but i decided to use a signal because the acoustics of the ring were a little funky and i was having trouble hearing the judge, so i didnt want to risk having rah not hear me (though im quite a bit louder than the average bear).

anyway, the judge signals and rah flies at me - i drop him and he nails it - comes in slightly off by a TEENY hair, nice finish. judge laughs and tells me that i should have warned him that the dog was so fast so he could have dropped him sooner.

next was the heel free - rah was SO controlled, this was probably some of the best heeling he's done in a long time in the ring. i sadly didnt bring the best footwork, but rah covered for me and i had it by the second leg of the pattern - but he nailed every halt (even our nemesis, the forward - halt - forward!!!!!) and he did NOT pop up on the slow and did not surge forward on the fast. fig8 was his normal lovely.

ROH was next - i got a little bit of foot movement on the wait when he drops his head to see the throw, but no fidgeting there - i threw it, nice short direct throw about 12 feet past the jump. he goes out, FLIES over the jump, gets the db, flies over and comes in and sits fast. very slightly off, but hes there and he didnt hesitate for the front, gives me the db immediately and has a second where he thinks about jumping back up for it but then he finishes like a good boy.

tries to go after his db when i give it to the judge but sits when i tell him a second time -

broad jump - set him up, realize that we were set up a little far to the side but left him there since he has a habit of cutting, figured too far to the left wouldnt hurt that much :) and i was right - i sent him and he did a BEAUTIFUL jump, cut just his normal amount, turned beautifully and controlled and nailed his front - well, on the second attempt :) he was slightly off when he sat so he moved his butt laterally to fix the front just a nip, but it was probably the best BJ he's done in the ring EVER. finish was perfect.

get his DB back and head on over to the ROF - set him up, he moves his front right foot on the wait again as he drops his head but nothing else, no false starts (like our last open outing!) and i throw it - ended up about 24 feet, slightly to the left. rah flies out, but he decided to turn to the left instead of his normal right and he MISSED the db on his first pickup when he slid the teeniest amount - he ended up with the bell in his mouth and he took a split second to actual pick it up correctly. (rather than throwing it in the air to fix it like he's done TWICE before in the ring!)... that made him more frantic through and he came in chomping away at the db, didn't fidget that badly at the front but he was a little crooked (NOT TOO BAD) and then didn't want to give me the db back! but he was close and not too bad and i heard the judge snort a bit... i get it and finish him and the judge comes and tells me about his dobe that loves the db, asking how old rah is, etc.

stays weren't bad - one of the baby dogs from the OTCH handlers broke, but rah held them - so that was our first official Q from the b classes, running with the big dogs and the big girls!!!!!

we ended up with a 193.5 -
we lost 3.5 on our heeling - don the judge i hear isn't a huge fan of heads up pushy heeling, but that's what rah is :) all the points were for crowding, which is funny since this was rah's best controlled heeling.

0.5 on the front on the DOR
1 on the ROF - half for the sloppy pick up, half for the crooked front
0.5 on the broad jump for the slightly crooked front
1 on the ROH - half each for the front and finish.

so, the heeling is just rah, and the sloppy pick up was a fluke. but its the front and finishes that are killing us.

but all in all, im VERY proud of how rah did - he held his own with the big boys in the B class, got a very respectable score, and he did it with a male judge in the ring!!!!!!!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

sunday wrap up

so my updating has been really lax lately. had so much to think about and sort out, been working on a few things and tweaking others, sorting things out in my mind and dealing with life in general :)

wednesday - rah still isnt doing agility - we worked some excellent jww courses, and berlin did a nice job but im still losing her on pinwheels and 180s, 270s, etc. needed to revisit her circle work.

i actually worked mercury in open because lydia wants me to show mercury in open at the md specialty in april.

utility with rah wasn't bad - did individ signals and rah moved a step or two, but signals were nice and prompt. gloves were VERY cute and he pounced which i shouldnt encourage and he shook all the way back. go outs were lovely - a lot of pressure on the jumps but we pulled through. moving stand we still need to work on him not moving when the judge says call your dog and waiting for ME to do it. articles were lovely - annette's daughter put them out and in a VERY tight pile and he worked them while another dog was in the ring doing directed jumping!

berlin worked open the next day -
worked retrieve games with high distraction - having terry out there with toys and food tempting them and she avoided terry at all costs to come back to me! played some drop games since im still not giving her a formal drop (since she likes to drop so much!), then we moved to jumps. i moved her up to her actual jump height after we wicketed her - shes a 26/52 who would have thunk it? she clears the jump no problem, but she still rarely walked the broad jump. heeling wasnt bad but we still had some moments where my confidence in her fell so i turned to look too much at her and it essentially pushed her back further.

had private lessons today - started with agility, and we worked jump circles and flat circle work - and kicking her into drive and keeping her there for the cirlces - and 20 minutes of straight running is all this fat girl can handle, especially when sick! but berlin was powering through the circles and kicking butt.

hung out for a bit, watched someone else's private then moved to my obedience private - started with rah and worked moving stand and signal stand, figured out some details (like where i have my hand, my footwork when i signal the stand, etc) and how that affects him - need to not push him out when i give the signal and not shuffle my feet, making him keep moving!! but he aced stuff.

then we got out berlin and worked her - terry made me do it all off leash since im my own worst enemy - i am the self fulfilling prophecy that if i dont think she's there, she wont be. so we did off leash heeling and she was RIGHT on - even though she was tired after agility! terry was walking with us, had her dog running loose, and was throwing cookies at one point and she never left my side, in fact she pushed HARDER to get into heel position which is exactly what we want to see - when the distractions come that the dog works HARDER. where is this dog ALL the time? :) worked fig8's also off leash, and berlin was spot on there too - off leash is typically where she gets lost sometimes, but she was doing well and we did a few minutes straight until my legs were going to fall off - but terry said it was really nice - slowing down on the inside post and speeding up on the outside while i kept my constant pace, all the while maintaining her proper heel position. she FELT right. then we played games where i played right into heeling and she liked that too. then i left her wandering and called her into heel as i walked away and she came up and found perfect heel position - she clearly understands exactly what heel position is and where it should be and what it should look like - i just have to have the confidence she WILL get there.

we worked broad jump for a few minutes, and terry said that because she's SO athletic and so graceful/elegant, that she's not going to power over the broad jump, she is going to make it look much more simple than it really is. she's able to just pop it at 52 inches, she clears it just fine, she's doing it perfectly, but because she's got such good jumping skills it doesn't take the effort rah's takes. we played around with where i start her, and 8 feet it is!

all in all, great training today - made me feel very hopeful. its my insecurity with berlin that has kept her out of the ring for so long - she's learning the basics of utility right now, has novice down pat and open pretty much solid and she hasn't been in the AKC obedience ring even once. im not in any rush, kathy said maybe summmer/fall this year - she has entries in july, so hope so!

Thursday, March 4, 2010

i trained berlin in agility last night, mercury in open (since im hopefully going to be putting his CDX on him) and rah in utility.

and berlin bit me in the thumb because she has shitty aim. and rah is a psycho after spending hours in his crate having to watch me train other dogs.

there's more, but that's the cliff notes version.