Wednesday, September 19, 2012

ups and downs

chill had class tonight - i had wanted to go for a walk and train before class too, but i was too tired. this whole having to work to afford my dogs and afford my lifestyle is ridiculous. isn't it time to retire yet?

chill's grandpa (who is about to turn 14) had a seizure this morning :( everyone is pretty upset - i was glad i got to see him tonight at class, but he's not able to walk well since the seizure and we're all holding our breath. old animals are so hard.

chill in class was a mixture of He Who Cannot Control His Teeth and wonderfullness. Who would have ever thought I would enjoy petting a fuzzy. We started with heeling - last week Kathy had me lengthen my heeling leash to try to cut down on his hopping for the cookie. This week that resulted in a jumper collie, since chill viewed that as an open invitation to jump higher (which he can). When he did settle down he was cute though - very nice! I have to remember to make eye contact and also push forward - the problem is i tend to lean over him to my left and it makes me drift. nothing like walking like youre drunk :)

then worked turns - about, right and left, and then about at a gate and then halt at the gate. chill did nicely on some of them - not consistent enough for me, but we will get there. he stopped that weird rain man head movement for the left turns so that was nice, but its hard to move fast when you have multiple dogs doing squares without being roadkill in the way.

worked sit for exam and my dog is retarded and when i tossed the cookie it landed in his ear fuzz and he lost it. must be hard when you have so much fluff it steals your food

(the doberbitches are seeing dead people in the cat room and barking and growling. i now have the official loudest house in the neighborhood).

worked recalls - one at a time, restrained full length. he had some mad speed for this, and the second one even managed an almost nice front :)

so class was nice. im wiped and my body is fighting some plague (for a change). the energizer collie is not tired, however, and would like to herd cats. is it possible herding cats will become a titling sport at any time? because all my dogs would kick ass at that.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

classy dogs

so we're back in classes - consistently, and all dogs.

its still hard going without rah there - it still feels odd. there are times when i accidentally call the other dogs his name, or people who dont know he's gone ask about him. and it seems like half the shows i go to, or judges i see, are milestones for him. this is the judge he finished his first title under. this is the show he finished his CD. this is the show he finished his UD. this is where he earned his highest score... you know. those things. im just nostalgic.

chill is officially in novice. he's doing very well - i have to remember to do things right for him because more than any other dogs ive had, he's VERY sensitive to my body motion. i also have to keep his head up and my hand back with the cookie - when he's up his little feet fly. he's smart, but he's also calculating. we're working on drive for recalls and little tiny things (kathy is grooming me for perfection with him - because she knows im anal retentive and want to be a competitor, we're looking at little things like eye flickers and such... ) he loves his db and we're working on retrieving to hand because he learned from the dobermans (ha) to run with his prize just out of reach sometimes :) also working on fronts and getting perfect ones - that's where i lost points with all my other dogs, and IMO f/f is what separates OTCH dogs from the others.

cherry is in novice on thursdays - she's also doing well. she has momentary "blue" moments - where she sees dead people or has butt monsters (HAS TO ITCH HER TAIL) but she has been working full classes, giving me 100% effort (still aiming for 110!!!!) and she's damned cute when she does it. for her we have to rework left turns to get her back end engaged, and we also have to work on her fronts. i also need to work separately on her transitions and motivational things because we need to have games and things we can do without toys and tugs.

we've done some training outside too, with distraction - outside of my yard, too! (I KNOW DONT BE SHOCKED) - at least one of these dogs may actually be able to show outside. im aiming for 5-10 minutes of great happy active work rather than spending an hour drilling - and cherry gave me wonderful heeling and was CUTE as a button. chill is actually a little more distracted outside because he hears EVERYTHING - cherry spooks more but chill has radar. so i am not getting him 100% on me.

agility we've worked a bit, but right now im trying to decide how best to divide my time and effort  (And finances). i really would like to focus on obedience - its where my true desire lies, and quite honestly i think i might stop agility (didn't we just start?) because i can take them back. we have some foundation things, and i will use the exercises to teach good jumping skills - but i also need much more control - cherry not necessarily but chill is a speed demon and i can see him hurting himself. not sure, jury is out.

plan for the next few months - matches. need to get out in new places and work our skills.

oh, and berlin also went back to class - she's back in nosework. my trainer is glad i brought her back, because she says she's a natural. it's been almost a year since she was in class, but she didn't forget a single thing. we need to work on some corner hides, but she checked everything - walls, tables, inside things - what a good girl! she says she was meant to sniff out stuff :)

Monday, September 3, 2012

things to work on

just a mental note more for me:

need to formalize a retrieve with a front - my dogs will drop their objects and front, not hold them. need to fix that :) no more retrieving without bringing to front!

also - worked weave entrances, bang it (end teeter performance) and fast platz on a table. both baby dogs were great. also worked fronts and recalls with cherry and she was bouncy as hell

berlin may or may not have given me a black eye when she attacked me (aka jumped up when i was leaning down) when we were working.

tonight: fronts. fronts fronts fronts.