Tuesday, February 24, 2009

CBS Week 3

Well last night was our third session at CBS. I arrived reasonably early so Ness and Kenzie both had a bit of a run with Darcy and Loki over on the other oval. Any way Karron picked up that Ness wasn't putting weight on her front left paw - Argh. So no training for her happening. Not having a good luck with dogs at present.

Any way on to class.

Tonight we focused on more target stick, touching objects, left and right turns, LAT as well as tricks at a distance.

Kenzie was wonderful. The object we were given was a kids metal bucket. Any way first up we turned the bucket upside down and got them nose touching. Well after C/Ting maybe half a dozen nose touches little devil dog places both front paws on it and starts offering circus dog. Funny girl since we have been doing lots of perch work on a wooden box in the yard. Considering the surface area of the bucket was about equal with the diameter of a CD I was very impressed that she managed to place both paws on there.

Her target stick work was really good and a lot less circling behavior then I got last week. Probably clicking her a fraction early before she touches it though so better improve my timing.

She did some lovely turns around the course that was marked out but I was reinforcing her for each turn. Her right turns are much neater then her left turns so need to work at those.

Deb was getting the class to do the old style traditional left about turns so while they were practising those I practiced some circle work for obedience with Kenzie. Don't want her doing the other sort of left about turn as it conflicts with the GD handling system for agility.

We did some more work on looking left and looking right which I can't fully comprehend how to teach. Also worked on spin and twist and need to get the behaviors at a distance before next week.

Kenzie was great at chilling on her mat off-lead when not working but I think she was a bit tired after her usual Mon arvo pool swim. Any way really enjoying the classes and looking forward to next weeks session.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Contrary to Popular Belief BCs do not come trained!!!!!

Well after last weeks CBS class I was certainly motivated to go out and do some training with the little Panda. We spent the week focusing on stays and also sendaways. I also tried an informal seekback with her over the weekend.

Mon arvo started with the usual trip to the dog pool. Kenzie spent the time trying to drown Ness by swimming on top of her LOL. She is doing lots more swimming now and seems to be enthusiastic about it :).

Any way off to class last night we went. Tash had decided that three nights of training in a week was too much for her and Riv so we were there by ourselves.

Few more dogs had joined our gold class this week. So we had a few strange dogs and people in close vicinity. Kenzie was very well behaved. Happy to chill on her mat off-lead when not working and remain focused on me when asked to do something. Very pleased with her concentration for only a 10 month old BC. Contrary to popular belief BCs do not come pre-trained and you do actually have to put the hard yards in otherwise they are just as likely to run a muck and interfere with other dogs when working. What I have decided to do with her is I'll work her a bit rewarding with food, then we play tug and I'll put her back on her mat to chill if they are still talking.

Started off with some target stick work. Following the target stick and then leading to having the target stick in the ground and sending the dog to it. Kenzie wasn't having any issues with going and touching it but her response to touching it involves circling behind it. Deb said I need to remove this behavior so she just goes straight out and touches rather than approaches from behind. I have come up with three alternative options and not sure which I'll try yet.

1) Involves switching from a stick to a flat disc;
2) Involves reducing distance and then starting a fresh; or
3) Involves keeping some distance but marking her for the approach to the target stick rather than for the nose touch on the stick

Then moved onto setting up on the left and right and in front. She did all that well. Need to work on her right a bit though and find it heels if I do a bit of side heeling before asking her to set up on that side.

We did some work on left and right turns. I had to demo walking around the cones to show foot work (Kenzie had better ideas about trying to nudge and avoid the cones so easier without her). Kenzie's turns certainly need work but I got a few tight bits which I could C/T. She was concerned by the people walking close behind her though.

Tricks this week - a refresh on the spin/twist/bow and we introduced backing. Kenzie has already started backing up so I was only rewarding the straighter back ups. She really has learned to love this behavior and is pretty vocal about it.

Distance signals next. I need to work on her stand stay to progress. Having said that she managed a stand and then a drop on signal only. Yee Har. I was also able to get a nice sit from the drop :). All from the distance of 2-3 paces so that's a nice solid start to her trial COP exercise.

Finally we did some down stay work. Not at any huge distance but she was 100% rock solid. I did a bit of distraction training using her tuggy and she passed with flying colours.

Still tossing up a few ideas for her unique behavior - thinking possibly retrieving objects by name or a seekback style find the car keys type exercise. Trying to come up with something challenging to give us something to work on.

The only other news to report in is that I thought Kenzie was looking a bit sore again last night so might need to go back to the chiro again - darn dog wants to keep him in business that's for sure. Means I'll have to restict her ball a bit longer and see what happens. Initially I thought it was the other leg but now its looking like its the same injury that she did the first time she went - Bugger!!!!!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dog Pool Photos 13 Feb 09

Here are a few photos of the girls swimming at the dog pool :).





Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Night Two at CBS - Almost a full circle

Well last night was night two of training at CBS and Kenzie's first night in gold class after being promoted from silver last week.

Tash and I lucked in or out and scored Deb our instructor (way to many Debs around the dog world). Any way I have had a long running history with Deb over the years since my time training Ness at the Rottie club.

Kenzie did great but jesus I thought Sandi was a hard task master Deb is worse still.

We worked on touching a target stick, tricks (setting up on the left and right), spins/twists, looking left and right and bow.

We get to the semi serious bit of the class heelwork with attention. She has us heel the dogs away from the chair about 20 paces. She said if the dog looked away you had to start again but at the chair. I had Kenzie's lead off and hers was absolutely devine. So much so when I heeled her back towards the group and she was in perfect prancy trot gait looking up at in awesome position everybody was standing there looking at her and Deb said hmm yeah she is a BC.

So the goal for next week is everybody is to get at least 20 steps but mine is to get at least what I had again and she will really be only be happy if she sees at least 50 paces . Maybe she isn't entirely anti-trialling at all.

The other thing we did were down stays and I need to get Kenzie to stay put while I return around her before next Mon. Again she expects nothing less from me.

Next week we start on precision turns . You can bet Deb will expect mine to be spot on else I'll cop it bigtime.

Very good night. Pleased with my little super star. Turned on when needed to. Switched off when needed to. Other than a bit of throwing backing up she was great. I made an effort to make sure I used a tug reward as well as food rewards.

When Deb sets a challenge you want to go out and work your backside off and achieve it. I was sooooo chuffed with Kenzie's attention and position - it was as though all my hard work had suddenly paid off. Considering my little munchkin is only 10 months old and her concentration didn't leave me for one second of the 45 minutes of class. Hell people struggle to get that level of focus on an adult let alone a baby - sure she is a BC but still, 15 minutes in a UD ring is looking comparitavely easy right about now. I just have to watch I don't slip into habits of luring too much and need to keep the food right out of the picture. She can do it I just need to remember she can. Still making sure I mix it all up though.

Any way looking forward to next weeks session and being picked to pieces :).

Thought I might add on the subject of Kenzie's injury woes she is looking to be moving fine at the moment so touch wood its not anything really serious.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Back to see Matthew

Well after a little observation by Tash and myself on the way back to the car on Mon night that something was a miss with the way the little miss was walking I rang Matthew to book her in for a check. Confirmed by the fact on our walk yesterday morning on the way home she picked the back leg up twice and then sat down.

Any way the earliest appointment I could get was 4:30 today. I was tossing up whether I really needed to take her as she was back running like her usual lunatic self this morning at the park. Turned out that yep she did need an appointment. Matthew isn't sure whether her current problem occurred as a result of the first injury when she slipped at the dog pool or whether its unrelated. He did say to be careful with her for a few weeks since when they are just out of season he found that in the greyhounds there ligaments were more prone to injury. In any event she original calf injury seemed to be fine but her muscles in her passenger side hip were in spasm. So he injected vitamin B12 into the acupuncture trigger point and then said to walk her for 10-15 minutes tonight on-lead only. Still stressed that its very much muscular and not a joint related issue. Got to make sure I stretch her hip flexor.

She was a very good little girl though. She was initially a bit hesitant of him but then after that was happy to have done what needed to be done with absolutely no fuss. Would lay there quite patiently and then didn't want to leave when he had finished. She got a lovely compliment that he wished half his patients were as good as she was.

Any way no ball for at least a fortnight and he did say I should be careful with not over doing the ball in the future as while he thinks athletic breeds such as BCs and especially one her size can tolerate a fair amount of ball playing, so long as they remain conditioned to it, excessive amounts could spell trouble.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

First Night of Training at CBS

Well last night was the first night of training for the year. This year I have decided to join CBS with Kenzie. CBS is a positive pet dog training club so while the focus isn't on trial work I found the atmosphere at the club so much better then my traditional club that I figured it was worth joining.

Deb, my old instructor from the Rottie club (and the chief trainer) had placed Kenzie into Silver. Tash and Riv also decided to join the Silver class. First night of class and Kenzie was a little star. She did all her behaviours perfectly and wasn't stressed with strangers approaching her and happily was taking treats. She did nose touches, LLW, tricks, lovely perfect fronts and was happy chilling on her mat while not working.

Any way received an email this morning suggesting that after watching her work last night that she and I would likely to be bored witless in Silver and did we want to move into Gold. Very pleased with my little girl. She is an absolute delight and I am thrilled with her ability to generalise and her undivided attentive focus which she offers.

The only bad part of the night is that Tash and I both agreed that she looked a bit proppy on the way back to the car so its off to the chiro tomorrow afternoon for her. Man my dogs want to keep him in business.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

More Beach Fun and some Photos

The last two days we have spent both mornings at the beach. Kenzie and Ness have had an absolute ball - racing around and swimming. Kenzie is now super confident and will happily swim out to wherever the toy is and retrieve it. In fact she is a bit to pushy and half the time Ness will defer to her and let her fetch the toy. Kenzie is also happy to stay in the water while I walk along and makes no attempt to head into shore. A nice strong confident swimmer. This morning she had a bit of a play with a cute mini schnauzer.

Here are some photos of the girls from this morning at the beach :).

First up on the sand:



Swimming with Ness:





Both girls together on the sand: