Friday, January 30, 2009

Kenzie actually swims

Yee Har. We have had some scorching hot temperatures here in Adelaide the past few days so I have tried to make sure the girls have an outing to the dog pool every few days so they get a chance to do something.

Well today we have made progress with Kenzie and swimming. She was actually following Ness around the pool doing laps and turning and then changing direction rather than me placing her in and her swimming straight to the ledge and hoping out. She also jumped in off the edge and swam after Ness.

Hopefully I can get some photos of the girls swimming soon as they looked a very cute pair both in the pool.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Australia Day Long Weekend Update

After my videos from the other night it has been suggested that I should maybe focus less on training for a while and just teach tricks and have fun. So with this in mind the last three days have really been about just that. We attempted another bend grid last night which actually worked much better, after I watched the video. She was starting to get the hang of it.

Aside from that we have had 3 lovely enjoyable walks at the beach. This morning we met up with Tash and Riv but the other 2 days we have met the usual BC people down there. Kenzie is really starting to get comfortable with the concept of swimming and actually was choosing to head out and retrieve the toy in the water this morning instead of Ness. She was also a happily little camper swimming while I walked along the sand bar. No great hurry to rush back to the safety of the beach.

On the tricks front she has learnt to walk backwards and will now offer it a bit too much for my liking. Will gradually work to building more steps but we have a nice solid start in 1-2 sessions. Was able to switch to using a toy reward tonight at the park and still getting the behavior.

Any way in for an absolutely scorching week so I might possibly train a few other tricks in the next couple of days as its something I can play around with in the relative comfort of the airconditiong at home :).

Hopefully will get my point and shoot camera back from the parents when I head to the dog pool with the girls this week and snap a couple of photos of little miss swimming to post on my blog :).

Friday, January 23, 2009

Susan Salo Jump Grids 23 January 2009

Well we met up with Tash and her sister and played jump grids tonight.

First up we tried another set point exercise - Kenzie was worried tonight as Tash's sister had bought her kid along so was very unsettled. Still I think she did a slightly better job on both the set point and straightline grid then she did a few weeks ago when we tried. Her stays however weren't flash and I think that was partially due to the kid being there.

Here is the video of her set point exercise and her straightline grid work.

She also had her first attempt at a bend grid which was a complete and absolute disaster (but then Ness's attempt wasn't much better). Will upload the video of this at some point but I have to go and rewatch the SS DVDs so I can see what I am doing wrong.

Kenzie's First Swim at the Dog Pool

This afternoon we headed to the dog pool as usual. Last week when I took the girls I was able to get Kenzie to stand on the top step and she would let me pick her up and lift her down onto the ledge, with me standing in the pool.

Today I started with doing as I had done last week with a combination of luring her onto the step and picking her up and placing her on the ledge. She seemed happy enough doing that so I took it a small step further. First of all I lifted her down onto the ledge and then placed her a little way off the ledge and let go. She initially panicked a bit but nothing serious.

She came back into the ledge and hopped out of the pool. I left her and swam Ness some more. Then I tried again with just rewarding her for standing on the step. She didn't seem stressed so I decided to try carrying her and placing her over the edge of the pool about half way along facing towards the steps. She swam confidently back to the ledge. I repeated that a few times and she was happily being lifted up and placed into the water at varying points and swimming back to the end.

Hopefully she might try swimming herself next week but I will keep doing it. She was a nice confident swimmer once she got over the intial panic.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

A few photos of the girls

Just got back in from a lovely evening with Tash and Riv. Quite productive we finished off another 4 jumps to bring our tally to 8 and then the kids had a play and we watched the latest Greg Derrett DVD which was fantastic.

Took the opportunity this afternoon with some nice weather to get a couple of photos of the girls together since Ness was feeling cooperative. Here are the results of this afternoon's photo session.





Friday, January 16, 2009

Kenzie weigh in

Was driving back past the vet on the way from the shops with the girls and thought I would drop in and find out what Kenzie weighed.

Kenzie at 9.5 months weighs 12.6 kg :).

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Kenzie off to the Chiro

Since Ness was due for her pre-training check and as I reported in my last training blog post about Kenzie pulling up lame I thought she could have an appointment as well - my only concern was with her timidity around people if she would let Matthew examine her.

Well my fears were totally unfounded. Matthew was brilliant with her and Kenzie behaved impeccably. She was a bit hesitant to start with but about the only sign of stress she showed was her ears were pulled back. She was eating treats from both me and him :). He checked over her from top to tail.

His comments were that she was very nicely muscled for such a baby and well put together. Her joints were all good, her spine good but on the way in he commented that she was a bit proppy on the back passenger (or rear "left"). That concurred with my suspicions. He found an active trigger point in her rear calf. He prodded it and commented that despite being a bit timid she had a very high pain threshold - typical BC would walk over hot coals to work regardless of being in pain.

He got her up on the low bed to needle it. She happily obligued and in fact didn't then want to get off again after. Was very comfortable laying up there and happy to take treats from him when he had finished.

The only horrible news to come out of her appointment is how do you explain to a 9 month old BC baby that they are to have 5 days of leash-walks only with no ball. Especially since she has just come out of her first season and I was dearly hoping for a bit of freedom to run her at the beach. Argh. Oh well guess we shall cope somehow, just feel sorry on Ness who will be missing out on yet more precious beach time. Ness on the other hand was given a verdict of all clear and ready to start training again - yee har been a while since we have gone and nothing has been too wrong.

Pretty pleased with how Kenzie behaved though and he thought she was an absolute sweety. Great temperament and a little power pocket rocket in the making.

Thought I would take this opportunity to post a few photos that I took the other day.



Wednesday, January 7, 2009

The Training Disaster 7 January 2008

This post is especially for Tammy of the Dogsportstalk list in response to feedback on Kenzie's Jump Grid work.

Her thoughts were I needed to work on three main areas separate from the jump grids. These areas were:
1) Her Startline Release Cue
2) Her Drive to a "dead" object
3) Her cue to give up the toy

Any way with that being said my task for the day was to focus on those 3 areas. Well I also thought I would work on her metal article holding as a fourth thing to attempt today.

1. Startline Release Cue
I chose to use the release cue of "break". Stolen no doubt from watching way to many Susan Garrett training dvds. She had no problems when the jump was out of the equation of releasing when I told her to her toy.

2. Drive for Dead Object
Again no problems with this away from the jump grid picture. Actually it was this exercise that made me consider doing some more metal article work. As she was happily driving for toys placed around the yard.

3. "Give" Cue
That is still a bit of a difficult one for me to get. At the moment I am getting the behavior I want by letting go of the tug and placing my foot on top of the tug and then waiting for her to back off. Not sure its the best way to obtain what I am after though. She doesn't seem to really want to give up the object but at least when I let go of it she is more likely to release it when she doesn't feel resistance to tug.

Now to the disaster. We had run through all of the above over a few short sessions. This afternoon I thought I would try some metal article fetching with her so I can hopefully get started on scent work. She was doing really well but I happened to mention in a post to Sandi that she was dropping the article on the return however her pick up had improved. She suggested handing Kenzie the article and running backwards and then taking it. Well I did that but also remembered the suggestion of using the 2 toy game to get her driving back to me. Thats when we had a bit of a disaster. She was happily charging out after her toy and then out for the metal but on one repetition she charged out and next thing she is on three legs and not putting any weight on her back passenger leg. Bloody hell what had she done. I carried her inside, felt the leg over and she was really resistant to any stretching. I massaged it a bit and then left her sleeping on the bed for about an hour. Fed the girls tea. Went to make my tea and I look out and the two girls are playing chasey in the yard and everything seems fine again. God knows what she has done to herself.

Second time in a fortnight she has been lame. Hoping she just stepped on something as she certainly seems fine again now. Keeping her quiet tonight though and will reassess what the situation is in the morning.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Susan Salo Jump Grids 5 January 2009

Well first up I finally got around to filming my WA set home by Cathy. Kenzie playing the 2 food/2 toy game. Definitely much more driven for the toy then for the food. Especially for Sandi I used the i-squeaks for the 2 toy version of the game. Certainly appears much more driven for the toy then for food which is hardly surprising.

Next up Kenzie had her first attempt at Susan Salo Jump Grids. We tried both the Set Point Exercise and the Straight line Equal Distance Grid. She did surprisingly well for her first attempt. Obvious from the video that she is a bit unsure of her release cue as well as me needing to do more stay work leaving her on the right.

Any way first up her Set Point Video:

Then her Straighline Grid Video:

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Kenzie having fun

A short video taken tonight at the park showing Kenzie doing what she loves most in the world - chasing her ball :)

Friday, January 2, 2009

My first post of 2009

Well 2009 is hopefully going to be Kenzie's year to shine or at least set a rock solid foundation for the 2010 trialling season.

Kenzie bear is 9 months in 2 days time and my she has grown into such a lovely, sweet little girl. Her attitude towards her work makes her a joy to train and lots of fun.

Here are a few photos taken today :).