Archive for the ‘Dog Training’ Category

Border Collie Society of America AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, May 15th, 2022

We’re starting to get our mojo working again. Judge Frank Gilmer gave us some really challenging tests in his courses. Alice had a Master FAST Q and a Time 2 Beat Q, and some really nice other runs (we were only just starting to really know how to work together when we took the puppy break, and the whole giant COVID break really put such a spanner in the works getting her going initially). Zhora earned her 19th QQ for MACH7 on Saturday! She’s a pro and even she got caught by one of Frank’s evil weave/tunnel traps.

Alice Friday FAST (Q):

Zhora Friday Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (NQ, nice distance and holy crap look at her aframe LOL):

Alice Friday T2B (Q):

Zhora Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Alice Friday Jumpers (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ #139, this run felt great, connected, I trust her so much to do her job properly and independently):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ but a lot to like her, the opening especially is really good):

Alice Saturday FAST (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ #139):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ, but a lovely run. This is a perfect example of how important connection is. I connected with her out of the tunnel, but dropped the connection to check where I was at JUST the wrong time, and she drove out to what was in front of her, as she should. The rest of the run was awesome):

Western Lakes Training Club AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, April 24th, 2022

Our first trial in MANY months. And we’ve had very little training/practice either. So I felt rusty as hell on Friday, somewhat better Saturday. The dogs are in generally good shape and stayed pretty fit during the puppy hiatus. Yours truly, on the other hand? Well…I have some work to do.

Zhora went 3/4, picking up QQ #18 towards MACH7 (2 more to go, then I think I will move her to Preferred, she’ll turn 10 this year), Alice went 0/5 but had some gorgeous runs.

Friday Zhora Jumpers (NQ, she was sniffing a lot at the start and I wasn’t connected when we got going so she missed the weave entry):

Friday Alice Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, I got in her way a bit at the double so got a bar):

Friday Alice FAST (NQ):

Friday Zhora Standard (Q):

Alice Friday Standard (rabies mode, and her only rabies mode at this trial, and a perfect example of why I need to stay connected to her!):

Zhora Saturday Standard (QQ, you will notice that she knocked a bar near the end, it wasn’t set to the correct height so she got a pass for it):

Alice Saturday Standard (NQ):

Zhora Saturday Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Saturday Jumpers (NQ but really nice run, she misstepped in the weaves):

Sound Desensitization Pays Off

Friday, March 4th, 2022

Carpet cleaner = loud. Puppies who’ve had sound desensitization at the right age/stage (thank you Puppy Culture!) = no problem.

Crates

Thursday, March 3rd, 2022

The puppies eat almost all their meals in crates now, they climb over each other to get in! Food is a very strong motivator, and the best way to show a dog that something is positive is to make it true. They take turns in different crates with different bedding.

The Vet!

Thursday, February 24th, 2022

The puppies had their first official trip to the vet (where I work) yesterday (they’d been for happy visits a couple of times first). They had their checkups, first distemper-parvo shots (once again, I had a nomograph run on Alice, so we knew that the ideal vaccine times for this litter were 7 and 11 weeks for DHPP), and microchips. They did GREAT!

They’ve also been eating at least one meal a day alone or in pairs in crates, to help them start learning that crates are ok, and I will also start feeding the ones who may be flying on a plane to go home in a Sherpa bag so they are used to that too. You can’t guarantee that they’ll be perfect, but at least they’re getting some experience with it!

Introducing The Clicker

Wednesday, February 16th, 2022

As usual, video is unforgiving and my timing isn’t as good as it should be, but they all got the idea! You can see that a couple are in mild fear periods, but they played anyway! This is really just to get them to understand the idea, I start with a few click then treats (baby food), then start right into clicking and treating for looking at/touching/approaching the box. I have never really felt that charging the clicker more than these few times is necessary, and I think it can even muddy the waters.

Loving these puppies so far! (also, this is the room they were born in, but they haven’t been back in here since they moved to the big house, and they haven’t been here since the whelping box was taken down, so it’s a pretty new environment for them too).

Red Girl:

Orange Girl:

Yellow Girl:

Green Boy:

Blue Girl:

Purple Girl:

Pink Boy:

HABOC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, September 4th, 2021

After last weekend, when we had one single Q, we had a kick ass day! I worked quite a lot with Alice over the last week and it paid off. Connection, connection, connection, staying slower (not slowing her down but not pushing for speed) and calmer and quieter meant that she went 3/4 on the day, earned her first Excellent Jumpers Q and finished her Open Agility title (she’s all the way into Excellent now!). It also helped that she had two games classes before a “real” class, so we had a chance to warm up and get some kinks out. And Zhora doubled. Quite challenging Laura Kuterbach courses (the ending of Open Standard was significantly harder than the Masters course ending):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ, training mode, great weaves and ran off to reward):

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #135):

Alice Time 2 Beat (Q, first T2B leg):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ #135):

Alice Excellent Jumpers (Q!):

Alice Open Standard (Q, OA title!):

Olean KC AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, August 7th, 2021

I made some changes, did more practice, and what do you know? It makes a difference!

Alice really, really needs connection, she really needs me to focus on her and get her to focus on me before we run. And she had her best trial day to date! A beautiful T2B run with just one off course. A FAST run where I didn’t connect and she transformed into ALICEALICEALICEHEY! And then qualifying runs in BOTH Jumpers (for her OAJ title, now she moves into Excellent Jumpers) and Standard (for her second OA leg). And weaves on the first try every time. So proud of her!

And Zhora doubled for QQ #134, winning standard and coming fourth in jumpers. She’s like a pair of comfortable slippers that barks and runs fast.

Really proud of my girls.

Alice Time 2 Beat (NQ but really nice run we need to work on our tunnel call offs and discriminations)

Zhora Master Standard (QQ #134):

Alice Excellent FAST (NQ and a great example of what happens when I don’t connect and use clear and calm cues):

Zhora Master Jumpers (QQ):

Alice Open Jumpers (Q, almost 5 YPS, OAJ title):


Alice Open Standard (Q):

Tamarack Lake AKC Agility Trial

Sunday, August 1st, 2021

I’m so glad Sue started videoing early yesterday, so I can see what I’m doing and, more importantly, what I’m NOT doing. Until the video got messed up in transfer, you could clearly see Alice is seeking connection multiple times at the start of Jumpers and I don’t give it to her. It’s easy to forget how little mileage she has, and how much more connection and support she needs from me. She’s a working dog down to the bone and that’s a really good thing. I need to do better for her. I’m rusty too obviously, especially since I should have recognized how tricky that tunnel (right lead through the rocket launcher) to weaves (left lead and collection) sequence was for a green dog. I didn’t cue a lead change and should have recognized that was needed. So many little things I need to be aware of. I so love this little dog, I see shades of (grandma) baby Nina here. AND HOW ABOUT THE LAST HALF OF THAT JUMPERS RUN!!!??

Zhora earned QQ #133, won Standard and came second in Jumpers. Running her is like putting on comfortable shoes and we’re getting our mojo back.

Alice Time 2 Beat (I didn’t get to walk since there was a mislabeling of the running order, so it was a disaster and I didn’t do our usual warm up and connection routine):

Alice Excellent FAST (ZOOM):

Zhora Standard (QQ #133, first place):

Zhora Jumpers (QQ #133, second place):

Greater Pittsburgh Golden Retriever Club AKC Agility Trial

Saturday, July 24th, 2021

Nina’s still on injured reserve so Alice, Zhora and I made the trek to Erie today (and I came home sick from work yesterday so I wasn’t 100% even though I felt better). Zhora had an uncharacteristic double NQ thanks to the EXACT SAME HANDLER ERROR in both her runs, and Alice had two really nice NQ’s. Her Standard run today is probably one of my favorite runs we’ve had so far, especially since we had over a year off trialing thanks to the pandemic. I am really loving what I’m seeing in her, she’s brave and forward, not afraid of mistakes and always happy to try again, and stresses UP UP UP. I’m also seeing what we need to work more on, but overall I’m very happy, so proud of my girls. And SO HAPPY TO SEE FRIENDS I HADN’T SEEN IN WAY TOO LONG!!!

Zhora Master Standard (nice run, NQ):


Zhora Master Jumpers (nice run, NQ IN THE EXACT SAME SPOT):

Alice Open Jumpers (wild but some good stuff, NQ):

Alice Open Standard (really nice run, NQ):