Sunday, February 27, 2011

no puppy for kim

well, secret had the litter. if you can call your singleton litter a litter :) kathy moved her clan into my house last weekend, and we've been doing very well here (my dog number is INSANELY HIGH right now, but you'd really never know it thank you for training - the worst is sometimes we get barking when one dog makes some noise and its actually less than normal because rah is on his best behavior) - rah is in trauma mode because kathy is here and she makes him work for everything! you should see the sad eyes he gives sometimes - is she STILL here mom?

thursday was the start of the due date, secret had no signs of labor. same with friday. i had cautioned kathy that there may be no way she would have the litter - we knew there was only one puppy and he was large and even if secret could pass him vaginally, theres a really good chance that one puppy doesn't stimulate enough labor to make it happen. friday we monitored fetal heart rate and it was stable, but saturday it started to drop and he was nearing distress, so we went to c-section. one little puppy was born at 11:30 or so and he's doing well. we brought him home about 2 pm and secret's been... an ok mom :) lets him nurse but still not so sure she wants to clean this baby.

then yesterday afternoon my friends dobe litter (literally 4 min down the road) and she stopped at 4-5 babies - we knew there were more in there, so at 6:30 i went and gave some oxytocin - 2 more came out. and then more. and more! ive never been so wrong on an xray before... it was amazing. 10 babies - and we decided that since brandy as a young first time momma with a huge litter, and secret as a first time momma with a small litter, both the mothers and the babies would be benefitted to have the litter of dobes split up so i took 3 dobe babies back to my house...

they are nursing well this morning. secret still doesnt want to clean them much so thats our job for now. hopefully she kicks in soon. yesterday she was still a little dopey from the csection, today she is much more herself.

im mixed emotions about there being no baby bc for me. part of me is sad that there isnt one - this was the litter i was waiting for, and seeing the xray hurt a little bit - so many plans for this little baby. so many accomplishments, going out into the ring and wowing the people. all the little training things i was going to do, all the changes i was going to make and do differently from my other dogs, fix all the mistakes. so many hopes and aspirations. i had second pick out of this litter, it would have been born in my house, my trainer would hand pick and hand raise this pup with me. multiple OTCH trainer, no less. we had our weekends of travelling up to terri arnold already planned for puppy lessons!

but part of me is relieved. for selfish and not so selfish reasons. first and foremost, i dont need another dog, not really. i mean,i know something could happen to rah at any time and then what... but i dont need to replace him. i have two dogs i can actively train and show right now. they are more than enough, one is showing and training in two sports. i have two dogs i can barely afford to campaign, ha! financially i can afford the dog, but it would be tight no doubt because of all the sports and training and showing - i can cut back LESS now that theres no pup coming. and part of me still felt guilty about not getting a dobe - because they will forever be my favorite, my heart breed. they will the breed i want the most, the breed that catches me and makes me yearn to own them. they are also going to be th ehardest one to train and work probably, and the hardest to find the type of dog i want, but ill get there.

so i guess ill just wait for now - wait and see how things play out. the right dog is going to find me in the future. i checked out 3 dobes in the past year and none of them were the right one. clearly this litter of bcs wasnt going to give me the right one. two people have already told me now that there's no puppy that they didnt think this was the right time anyway and i needed to focus on berlin and rah, and they are right - we're on the cusp of a UD with noodle and berlin is JUST coming into her own right now and we're just setting into our relationship with the princess.

but i will tell you now that i have dobe babies in the house it may be hard to turn one of them away, haha! its why i took reds!!!!!!

Thursday, February 24, 2011

a wednesday night revisit

well, stayed home for part of last night because kathy was nervous that secret would whelp her litter - i knew she wasnt going to , but to make kathy feel better i hung back for a bit. as a result, i only took rah to class (he's the only one officially entered anyway) for utility and left every other dog home. i felt bad leaving berlin "home alone" as i said it, since i took rah - then lydia scoffed because with kathy currently here we had 6 dogs (and one unborn), and 4 cats here with her when i took rah - hardly alone :)

the puppy is a sad story - it looks like secret only has one pup. a gigantic one, that may need a csection but only one. we keep hoping against hope there is a hidden one in there for me, but i dont think thats really likely. of course, having any puppy at all is amazing since the timing and obstacles to this breeding were immense and ridiculous, any puppy is a miracle. still its sad. if no pup, ill likely hold off and not get anything this year since i dont NEED anything this year i can focus on trialing the two dogs i already cant afford to show as much as i would like :)

speaking of, need to enter both dogs in trials coming up - rah needs his next batch of obedience, and i just sent in some more entries for berlin.

i got closed out of dauphins thursday trial (what?) - actually waitlisted, but im not holding my breath.
i got wait listed for sat 3/26, but into sundays trial 3/27 at dream park.
just sent an entry in for keystone on 4/8 and 4/9 --- hopefully i get in since i forgot and mailed them this morning.
i hate that good trials close out so early...

im going to enter rah in the first day of timonium since its a dobe specialty - i just cant decide if i should stay down for additional days of obedience. the judges there are a GREAT panel for him, so i think i should suck it up and spend the money for a hotel and just show him. im hesitant only because ill have both boy dogs and berlin with me - while i can HANDLE all three dobes just fine, i hate having to bring mercury into a hotel room alone since he is legitimately going to spend the entire time in a crate he's at this show. maybe ill bring him an expen so he can have half the hotel room, or something. lydia isnt coming to this show as far as i know...

class last night was ok. kathy was understandably a little distracted so we kept it quick. started with articles - and rah nailed them ON THE OLD ARTICLES. apparently he cannot, cannot CANNOT scent his new articles which means its not a me problem or a him problem, these articles, despite after airing for a week, being washed twice, and me scenting multiple times, are still stinky. i love them but i cant use them!!!!! so back to washing daily and scenting daily - scenting HEAVILY - until he can do them. its not his fault, clearly hes smelling something odd out there - but on the old articles he's nailing them quickly and working the pile. the newer articles he fakes working the pile...

moving stand was lovely - he even added in a cute little hop, but he locked in. very very nice.

go outs - very nice go outs - crooked on one, he straightened himself on the other. i gave him his ball and he pulled up short (halfway) on the other because i had just stopped him tugging, had his ball still in my hand, and he was crazed in "ball la la land" - he was staring waiting for it. i took him, popped him out and reminded him what i wanted. next one pulled up short again (but pulled up at gait, instead of driving until i turned him) - i popped him and he beat the pop going out the last few feet.

the last go out? a thing of BEAUTY. he ran - RAN - out there - and was running his heart out and showed no signs of slowing and i turned and sat him and we had a PARTY!!! as kathy said - THAT is what a go out looks like.

i kept the ball out - figured if it gets him so amped up that he has trouble thinking, thats exactly the sort of state i need to train him in. did signals and he had a few problems focusing on me and not the ball, and did get corrected once for walking when he was thinking about karin running with simon and not me, but we worked through it and he did nice signals with ears on the top of his head.

gloves were funny as he came closer and saw that his ball was under my chin his ears went higher and he started to shake in anticipation of getting it. im going to make him come in closer to get the glove (and maybe his article though he doesnt come in and sit out that far for them) - i can see him getting further and further with his prize in the ring :)

all in all nothing bad. some ideas...

Sunday, February 20, 2011


had obedience this week - nothing spectacular that i want to post about - both dogs are entered in an ASCA trial in a few weeks (2 maybe?) ...

berlin had another private agility lesson.

the first lesson we worked on basics and foundation - coming to side without crossing my lines, reading my cues. for her its really going to be important to focus on cues and being consistent and clear - if i dont send her or call her over something, she cant take it. and she NEVER gets to do a tunnel unless i tell her :)

things to work on:
1) re-enforce stays where she is in sit and i walk past her, then run past her, then front cross her.
2) take that on the road and add it into a contact - and peel off, get lateral distance.
3) work on her foundation positions again to really focus on her reading the cues quickly and cleanly - coming to side, lateral send, forward sends.
4) impulse control (HA) - sherrie said start playing some crate games with her. neither of my dogs have any impulse control (i could have told her this)
5) shadow handling around tunnels -first on leash, slow, far away - and then increase speed, off leash and closer - and she CANNOT take the tunnels. then introduce her taking some tunnels and not others.
6) we also worked on some desensitization protocols with her reactivity when she's working alone and strangers enter the barn - i see it at trials where a long person will be hanging over a gate. in large groups she doesn't notice or care about the people, but in situations where one person is easily visible and prominent, its much worse. feed feed feed.

obviously this trainer is a positive based trainer, and i will give things a try. berlin already has the foundation of crate games, i just never continued.

afterwards we ran a course that was pretty cool and she did fairly well

i cant make a pic of it on this computer since i dont know what programs i have (i just got a mac!) but heres a facebook photo :)

sherrie said if i didnt need to stay close to 3/4 then i should just send her - and she was right - being too close meant she extended over three and had to curl back in, when i wasnt running so hard towards her she didnt push so hard out and had a much better natural line to the aframe.

here we discovered that while if i babysit her contacts shes golden, if i move on she hits the contact then self releases - oops!
we discussed where i wanted to do the landing side front cross at 5, and she made me think :) and then i did as much of a forward send as i could get to the tunnel at 8 so that i could get my but nearer to 9-10 and call her to me (and away from her love the tunnel she came out facing). we had trouble with the rear cross into the weaves because i personally had trouble walking the fine line of having her drive to the poles but not pop her out, v. hanging back so she doesn't feel my pressure but being too far back so she stopped and looked for me and said, huh?

worked that out (had to remember not to do the front cross after the poles too soon or i pulled her out) and needed to stay closer to the poles so that i could have a nice line from the poles to the far side of the tunnel, then took off and called her through the jumps to the tunnel again.

i picked her up with a blind cross at the end of the tunnel and turned her on my left from there to the far side of the other tunnel, then took off for the dog walk, making sure to have NO motion at all towards the tunnel discrimination.

so thats the course... i wish i had some videos. need to plan another lesson soon - kinda in a stand still since im whelping a litter for my trainer - but sad because it appears that there's only one puppy in there, which will be hers obviously! we will try to have some hope for a miracle :)

Thursday, February 10, 2011

i havent forgotten

that i need to update about this weekend ! i will, i swear!

last night we had training. i worked berlin on the side during novice class, and worked mercury a bit during open (mostly retrieves, speed, and attitude) before rah got to do utility.

berlin we worked a lot on finishes. here is a video of one of the finishes- while she's got the height, i need to eliminate that head down spot because that one little split second she looks away is unacceptable... im glad i got it on video because i can see it now. i experimented with bringing my hand back up to heel but down gets her straighter.

we worked some heeling and some fronts. she's funny because at some point i must have clicked a crooked front and she experiments when we are working them to see if her butt can go just a little to the right (her right) before she straightens it. i will try to use my leg to keep the pressure on that side to eliminate it - she did some nice lateral moving fronts and some nice rotating around the clock - now to bring that accuracy at distance!

here is heeling for her - overall this is heads and tails above where i was with her - lydia said she looks great, her ears are up and i'd say 90% of the time she's got her attention on me :) (i can still see her mentally check out a few places, even if her head and ears are at me - an act that rah has perfected, since he can look like he's paying attention to me, head straight up, but his brain is no where on the exercise at hand). i want to tighten up her about turns (and that is something we work constantly) but this was without practice and reminding, so its nice to see that she CAN do it. im happy with the lefts but i do need to work more on footwork, and i want more movement of her hind end during the left - we worked that later and she did nice (over-corrected even, which i am happy with!).

overally i was happy. she's got some entries in the beginning of march in an asca trial, and i think ill bring her out in april...

rah's utility class - started with moving stands and he moved on the first one and terry had his remote and i said a second "freeze" the exact moment that he got a stim - PERFECT timing and he was solid. he did get corrected for not locking up immediately, but the minute he got it he was like OH you mean DO NOT MOVE? (why can't my dogs do things that involve being still??).

go outs were nice - full 70 feet to the agility equipment, and i got a "long distance" (ok 25-30 foot) "go zoom" (touch the stanchion) on one he was going to pull up on! he marked and he ran and we worked on the ever present rah using the gate to pull up (he's not pulling up at the jumps, but he knows he cant go through the gates so he pulls up a bit to be turned and i constantly battle that...)... jumps and fronts/finishes were nice. we played with remote sends and rah sucked at that :) he needs his mark to know where to go.

articles - we were able to recreate the mistakes from this show - worked them in a line and all articles were in the front. rah nailed the first two, and when we moved to article 3 and 4, he made mistakes on both. his correction (ah ah, no x 3 - straight out of ATC) made him fly back to the pile to get the correct one. he kept grabbing article 5 leather - so i aired them all out at the center today - and on the last send he went to take the wrong article, got 2 steps out of the pile, and went WAIT this isn't right and went back to find the right pile. not exactly how i wanted articles to be done, but at least he understood he made a mistake and corrected himself, and that's a step! when he blows articles, he blows them big and i truly have very little control over the decision he makes there (what exactly goes on at the pile and what he smells isn't me) so i have to give him the confidence that he can be wrong and fix it... i'd take those points if it gives me a run!

signals were funny - again able to distract him into a mistake - he had toys and cookies thrown in front of him while i signalled him and i couldnt get him to come in from the sit - he ran to kathy because he knew he was going to make a wrong choice. i almost peed my pants there and we set it up again and he came in, good boy!

gloves - need to work pivots on my part - and i dont know, im giving up on the glove shaking? just bring them back and give them to me...

had a good chuckle about the people they judged this weekend, discussed more puppy plans (puppies due 24th-26th!) and time to get the whelping box over here, and messed around with puppy names again...

ok i will try to do the show update soon. berlin has an agility private today and class again tonight.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

i need to update the blog - showed 4 times this weekend and no legs - some good things and some bad things.