Monday, March 30, 2009

CBS Training Week 6 - Still Undecided

Other news first. Took Kenzie to our normal vet today to book her in to desexed next week and happened to pop her on the scales and on those scales she was 13.5kg so maybe she hasn't actually dropped weight after all. Off to the pool this afternoon and she seems to have really taken to swimming.

Now to training tonight. I am just not sure what I should be doing. Positives for tonight though were that she seemed much more outgoing with people and other dogs. In fact she tried twice to disappear over to see Karron, one minute she was on her mat next thing she has started sneaking off - not only has she corrupted Ness but seems to have corrupted Kenzie as well. Not that that I consider it a bad thing though. She seemed quite willing to approach people tonight and sit for treats.

We did some heelwork to start with and Kenzie was slightly distracted by Riv. Hmmmm no idea what planet she was on tonight but I guess I wasn't entirely with it either.

Then we moved on to buckets and holding the handle. I was getting nice firm grips so I thought I would throw in her metal article and yee har she was giving nice strong firm grips on her article too. Although the moment I drop it down towards the ground she starts to struggle so I think it will be a case of mm by mm. Still we have progress.

We played the basket game again this week. Having them touch the dice and then weaving in and out upturned baskets. The difference though was that the last basket had treats placed on it. Kenzie had no problems with this and did some nice tight heelwork for me.

On the recall exercise we worked on the final behavior. Not sure what I will make it yet but tempted to leave it has having her run through my legs.

We then had to walk them over the body boards like last week and Kenzie was still a bit spooked but did put a paw on them.

So that was another class for another week. I also got Tash to hold Kenzie for a restrained recall while we were waiting for Deb to finish with the introductory talk.

I am really not sure what to do. I don't think we are learning a hell of a lot and I am a bit over it to be quite honest. Its not helping Kenzie with her issues she has and the rest is just tricks of which I train anyway.

The only thing I keep telling myself is at least this way Kenzie gets a training session each week which she would otherwise not get.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

Weekend of Dog Shows and catching up with Robyn

Well this weekend was spent treking out to the Dogs SA grounds to spectate at dog shows they had on over the weekend - the main reason being Kenzie's breeder was over for the weekend on the way back over West from the BC Nationals. So I got to meet and have cuddles with Luc, Jules (Kenzie's sister), Trixx, Portia, Billy, Jodi (and non-BC Mia) - as well as catch up with Robyn of course. Will post some of my photos later in this post.

We have certainly had a really busy weekend. I was impressed with the way Kenzie behaved with all the people around and didn't act to stressy or under confident. She had a lovely game with another BC Striker as well as wanting to play with Luc and Trixx. I am sure Kenzie is secretly wishing that I bought one or other of them home as a toy for her :).

She was so funny this morning when we got to the show grounds and wanted to jump out and go say hi before I had put her lead on. She was also approaching people and flirting with the boys hahaha :). Both girls endured a bath on Friday evening so they were nice and clean - short lived but at least Robyn could see I do actually look after them hehehe.

I also met the breeder of Kenzie's father at the show yesterday too - Michelle Gardner from Torobeam. She had remembered my email when I was inquiring about information regarding Spinna. Apparently Kenzie's dad now has his Japanese Show title - or something like that :).

It was lovely to meet Jules and she gave me great cuddles yesterday. Its funny as I think she is slightly quieter then Kenzie but they are pretty much the same size. Robyn and Michelle both aren't sure who Kenzie looks like as Robyn doesn't think she looks like Marnie (whereas Jules does) and Michelle didn't think she looked like anything of the Torobeam stuff.

I weighed her today and she is spot on 13 kg. She has dropped a bit but Robyn said not to stress about it she won't starve herself and unlike her sister who is in need of a constant diet Kenzie might just be one of these that self regulate. Apparently Tag is similar and maintains a constant weight and goes on a self imposed diet if Robyn tries to fatten him up.

Any way now for some photos :)

First up a photo of Kenzie waiting patiently while I took photos of the BCs in the ring.


Next up some of the Winpara clan:

Jules (Winpara Mint Julep)















Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Agility Training - nearly a big kid :)

Well tonight I thought I would start getting serious about some agility training with little miss Kenzie.

I took out her jump hump and worked her through some set point exercises with the jump on 300. She has a few issues with waiting and self control when the toy is placed over the side of a single jump interesting though that when I tried for a straightline grid she was rock solid with me placing the toy out after 5 jumps and returning and rewarding the sit with a treat before sending. She has no problems with the set point exercise. Has a nice jumping action and good arc.

Straightline equal distance grid next with all the bars set at 200 height. I had each of the jumps spaced at 2 reasonably sized paces. I did a few with me sending her which she was fine with as well as a few with me leading out. Both left side and right side. No problems completing this grid nicely. Interesting observation on her ability to hold a lead out - it appears the further away I go and the further away the toy is the greater her ability to hold a lead out. Might suggest I need to do some more close work with the toy.

Next up I tried the straightline equal-distance grid with height. Jumps 2 and 4 were raised to 300 height. Interesting with this grid last time she attempted it she knocked jump 4. Tonight when I attempted it with me sending her to the toy she would throw in an extra stride between jump 3 and 4 but kept the bar up. If however I lead out and recalled her to me she had no problems with the correct striding. I had a close look at my jump spacing and do think the spacing between 3 and 4 was slightly greater then between the other jumps however it also suggests to me that she isn't as strong sending away from me when she has to make a decision and possibly an indiciation that she wasn't as fresh as she was when we started.

Maybe I pushed my luck and attempted to many grids in the one session and best to go with the less is more principle :).

She also had a few runs through the flexi tunnel and zero problems there tonight. No sign of having been spooked last training session and she was committing to it a lot earlier then she was with the short one at CBS.

All in all a good training session. She was well behaved while I was running Ness. While other dogs are barking and straining she was lying there watching. When I wanted Kenzie to work she switched on and was ready to play :). Pretty pleased with my little munchkin and I think she is going to be a really fun little dog to run. I am honestly shocked with her ability to read jumps and complete the grids correctly with very little hassle. She seems to be a nice natural jumper with a good style.

I gave Ness a shot over the same grids and whereas Kenzie was striding out nicely Ness kept throwing in two strides between the jumps.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The Green Light

With little Miss Kenzie one week short of 12 months I decided since Ness needed to see the chiro I would take her along just to make sure all was in place. I was given the green light to go ahead and start increasing her agility training. Yee Har. My little baby is ready to start to learn to jump :). She was great at the chiro. Actually tried to pull me into the office :). She was nice and calm and content whilst I had her tied up and he was sorting Ness out.

She was a bit timid when it was her turn but let him do what needed to be done. He checked her over and said she was 100% and he really couldn't find anything to much wrong. A few minor niggly tightness bits but should resolve in their own time.

So now I have to organise getting her desexed and then give her time to recover from that before I start getting seriously into her training :).

Monday, March 23, 2009

CBS Training Week 5

Well I will say I wasn't entirely convinced about going tonight. I was tired and I thought Kenzie was pretty buggered to. We had gone to the dog pool as normal and I just didn't feel like going.

In any event we did decide to show up. Kenzie had a lovely run with a mini schnauzer that was there when we arrived :).

Class tonight - lets see first up we had to heel them in a weaving pattern around some upturned plastic baskets and then have them paw or nose target the foam dice at the end. Kenzie did some lovely attentive work and gave me a lovely 2 paw touch on the dice.

I did get a bit of demand barking while we were hanging around though waiting our turn.

We repeated the basket exercise but this time we didn't have to weave just heel the dogs up to the end and have them target the dice and then heel back and target another dice at the other end. Kenzie didn't target this second dice correctly so got a NRM. She offered a one paw and then dropped on the cone.

I did some circle work with her for agility and switching sides while we were waiting our turn.

Then we did some work on holding novel objects - the plastic handle on a bucket and a coit. No problems getting her to mouth the plastic handle and the coit was easy.

We did some work on distance tricks - so sits/drops/twists/spins/backing. Linking them without rewarding each behavior. Not entirely happy with her cue rate. She has a nice drop and sit at a distance but the rest she still needs a bigger lure then I would like.

Worked some duration stands as I really need her to get a handle on this so I can start teaching a SFE to get her ready for trialling.

Next Deb placed packets of dried liver on each of the up turned plastic baskets and had us repeat the heeling up and back and having them touch the dice.

Finally we finished with having them walk over 2 body boards wrapped in plastic. Kenzie was apprehensive about this however oddly enough when we had finished she kept trying to go back to them so obviously wasn't to concerned.

Not a bad night and I really do need to make sure I get this demand barking in check though. I was paying her for lying quietly on her mat and walking away and ignoring her if she started barking.

I finished up with a really really short bit of off-lead heelwork. She was lovely and attentive but that isn't unsual :).

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Kenzie's First Mock Obedience Trial - Dover Gardens

Well with her big sister out of action due to being sore the decision was made to put Kenzie into CCD at the mock trial this morning. I am extremely pleased with how she went and it was a lot better then I expected.

It didn't start off entirely great with me arranging to be moved one dog later so I could video Tash and Riv. Well didn't that set Gillian off. I think she just likes to antagonize me. Any way we did get into the ring after I nearly thought what was the point and I would just head home when they said I was going to be last dog in the ring.

Prior to going into the ring I had Kenzie out and waiting. Not by choice because I thought I was going in and then they put another dog in. Still not settled on a pre-ring routine for her. It was reasonably warm in the sun but that didn't stop her too much. Not sure if I'll put in place a similar routine to Ness's where I grab her and go. At the moment she is only a baby so needs a bit more time to settle. Her attention on me is to die for :).

Now to her ring performance. Her heelwork was nice. Considering we have done very little in the way of positions, proper ring heelwork or changes of pace she did very nicely. It was also the first time she has done a figure 8 around people and given her timidity towards people I was thrilled with her work. She lost a bit of concentration each time I rewarded and I rewarded quite heavily, including having food in my hand which I wouldn't usually when I am training. I know she isn't dependant on it so my goal was just to reward everything and keep her from becoming stressed. Think I achieved that well. Considering she really didn't have a stand in heel position before last night to actually manage one of those in the ring I was very impressed. She was nice and attentiv and her turns were really quite nice. I also talked a bit more during the heelwork than I would normally but again not to concerned at the moment. I have to be careful it doesn't become a habit but she hasn't really done anything resembling a heel pattern with positions so I did what I could to help her :).

Now to the stand for exam. I had absolutely zero expectations for this exercise and considering she isn't happy with people patting/approaching her she did great to keep 2 feet still. Still a long way to go but it does give me some hope that she might yet manage to get in the ring. Sure she might not ever be entirely comfortable in the ring but I saw a lot worse from other CCD dogs.

Her recall. Geez she is such a cutie. She held her wait which was something I didn't think she would do. She came in with nice speed and her initial front was pretty nice (although she did then stand up - can't have it all). I used both her name and a recall command which is something I don't intend on doing other than for the fact I am not happy with her recall command yet.

Overall it was a nice introduction to the ring for her I felt. Sure she showed she is still only a baby when it comes to being in the ring and there is a lot of work to do but it did prove to me she is a hell of a lot closer then I would have thought.

Here is the video from this mornings round:

Monday, March 16, 2009

CBS Training Week 4 Should I Shouldn't I?

Just returned home from CBS training week 4 after a break due to a public holiday last Monday. I have to say I have returned home from class tonight with a bit of a mixed view on whether its worth continuing.

Kenzie was doing really well before class approaching people and dogs. Maybe she is maturing and finally growing out of some of her fear issues.

Class tonight - we started with some targeting while waiting for Deb to finish her first session induction class. I decided I would do a bit of heeling and recalls with Kenzie instead. Her heelwork is lovely but her fronts need work on her recalls as she comes rocketing in and those darn defective Winpara brakes kick in LOL. Also did some sendaway to her mat work and she was happily racing to her mat and the mat was sliding out from underneath her hahaha.

Deb showed up and we had to get the dogs to target the metal bucket from before as well as a new plastic basket type container. Kenzie readily offered her perch work trick when presented with an object she could conceivably put paws on.

Next up we placed both objects and our target sticks out and had the dog interact with each on command. Kenzie was great as usual.

We then moved to an area which had small kiddy plastic chairs as well as the metal bucket and the baskets. We were to heel the dog around and then have them interact with the objects when requested. Kenzie immediately offered two paws up on the kiddy chair and started her perch work trick. Think I can safely say that is well and truely generalised. There was also a plastic bag in the mix which we had to get them to target. Again no real drama there.

Back to the chairs and we had the dog hold and retrieve a foam ring off a coits set. Kenzie thought that was the best game and was happy to retrieve it with nothing other than a chance to throw it again as a reward. I took the opportunity to razz her up and then place the ring down and click and reward the wait.

Also did some sit stays. She was nice and rock solid tonight. Happy with me walking away, shaking her tuggy and even got to the point where I could start to walk towards a formal return without her budging - yee har :).

We played with the kiddy tunnel - Kenzie is of course an old hand at this one but even she thought she could run past it and then duck back in the end or she was to fired up to concentrate and would run past. No problem with driving through it though.

Tricks - well she was happy doing a drop from a stand but the rest she wasn't so great at. I think I have been trying to push distance rather than rewarding the response to the command so need to work at that.

Also need to decide on my unique behavior - have a couple of thoughts but need to finalise one before next week.

So where does that leave me - general observations are that by about 3/4 of the way through class I am exhausted and Kenzie is as well. I am giving her 100% and expect 100% in return so not sure what to do. Her training is great but I am not sure we are getting anywhere and its hard as she can easily do a lot of the work. I don't believe the class is helping her with her real issues which are the fact she is timid of people.

Guess I am not sure where to go from here. I am keen to build her trial type behaviors which obviously this class will not do but also don't want her burning out and working when either of us aren't able to give 100%.

Hoping to put her in the ring at SA soon and also intend on entering the mock trial at Dover this weekend just so I can see what I need to work on and how she reacts and get a gauge on how we are progressing. She is a little dynamite though and loves her games and just thinks training is one huge game.

So the question is should I or shouldn't I continue training at CBS - argh I hate decisions and this one is certainy a tough one!!!!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

More Jump Grids and an Obedience Update

Well last night was our usual club obedience night - Ness gets put through the ring and usually I try and do something with Kenzie. Since I had dragged Tash out to train I used the opportunity to work a figure 8 with Kenzie using Tash as a post. She was a bit distracted but got it together in the end. She did some lovely prancy heelwork. I got Tash to hold her while I did a few restrained recalls with her. I am trying to avoid doing to many recalls from stays if I have the opportunity of somebody to hold her. Need to work on her fronts though as they aren't particularly good without a lure.

I attempted a SFE with Tash and Kenzie wasn't to bad. I am able to back off the constant feeding and she will still stay standing.

Have asked about putting her in the ring at training and apparently I just need to put my name down so we will give it a go soon as I am keen to see how she is travelling.

The breakthrough for the night was with her circle work for agility. She finally decided she was capable of giving me inside circles - yee har. Her outside circles are nice. My only concern is she tends to be a bit opinionated and want to have the last word.

Ok on to today/tonight. I have been setting up a jump in the yard and building value for her jumping by throwing the jolly ball as a reward as well as doing some set point type exercises. She seems to love this game and was offering quite happily taking the jump.

Tonight we had agility training so I took the opportunity to take out her jump hump and play some set point and straightline jump grids as well as do a bit of tunnel practice.

Her tunnels were great however she spooked with Julie B walking past the end and then went and ran and hid in the tunnel. Bugger. Was able to get her back out and engaged though and she was happily running through without too many hassles. No spinning back and coming out :).

Her set point work was great. She was a fraction too driven so I need to place some emphasis on control. I was working her on a 300/400 height jump. She will do both sending to the toy as well as me leading out and then releasing her to the toy.

I then set up a straightline grid. Each of the jumps was spaced at approximately 2 medium paces or the length of a jump bar and a third roughly. She was great. Really driving nicely over the 5 jumps as though she had been doing it her entire life. Nice even action. I only had the jumps set at 200. She would drive to the stationary toy with me on either side as well as confidently driving to the toy with me out by the toy. Her understanding of her release command seems to have improved but as I said I still need to do some more control type work as she is likely to break if left to wait for to long. I did 4 of those - 1 each sending with me on either side and then 1 each of sending her to the toy with me on either side.

I then thought I would spice things up a bit and try varying the height of jump 2 and 4 with me sending her to the target. I only attempted that twice and both times she crashed jump 4 but had good rhythm over the first 3 jumps. Will have to attempt that one again later but I figured possibly I had asked for to much so decided against trying to get it done correctly on this attempt.

Finished off the evening with a bit of a walk at the race course. Very pleased with her progress and all of a sudden it appears to have clicked. She is really driving quite hard to the toy and her future agility career is looking really quite promising :).

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Susan Salo Jump Grids 8 March 2009

Well what better way to spend the middle day of a long weekend other than playing with the girls. We started out the day with a lovely walk/swim/retrieving session at the beach. Bumped into another DOL person with there two rough collies Luka and Molly. Kenzie had a lovely game with Luka :).

Kenzie was having a mad feral morning so after we got back from an outing to petstock I thought I would set up a bend grid as well as do some set point work. Compared to her attitude when we played in January she was soooo driven. She was happily completing the bend grid in both directions without hassle. Whereas before when we played she was really hesitent and unsure about what she was suppose to be doing this time she did fantastically. I finished up with some set point work. Again she was lovely. Really driving to get to her toy and accelerating forward. Keen, eager and so very enthusiastic. I was using her jolly ball as the reward which she just loves :). Still need to do some more work on her sit stays though as she was a bit too keen and sometimes would release herself rather than wait for a release from me.

Finished up the session with just rewarding her for offering to drive forward over the jump and building value for the jump.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Show Training at the Rottie Club

Well just for something different tonight and to give Kenzie a chance to get a bit more socialisation in we headed down to the Rottie Club tonight for show training.

I was extremely happy with how she behaved. We had to stack them and then the first instructor would examine them. Kenzie was unsure but she let her get within a few feet without freaking :). Then we had to gait them out and back or in a triangle or around in a circle and stack them up again.

They then switched instructors and we repeated it. Kenzie was even better with Narelle. She actually approached her without freaking out. She crouched on the ground the first time and Kenzie tentively sniffed her hand and then let her touch her while I was feeding.

Teegan also did a bit of touching her while she was standing and she was good.

Had to laugh I know why I am not ever intending on doing CCD with her. The lead just gets in the way. She was a bit of a pogo and pretty feral kept trying to jump up and grab the lead when gaiting. She also tried to pull me so she could run around the cones in each of the corners.

Oh well a bit of fun and she certainly got exposure to a variety of dogs and people and some trains as the train line runs right past the ground.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

CBS Training 2 March 2009

Well another week of CBS training last night - week 3 in gold class or our forth lesson so far. As is usual for a Mon afternoon I took both the girls to the dog pool. Kenzie loves swimming in circles and is really quite excited at the pool. Woofing at Ness when Ness is swimming if I don't put her in over the side for a swim. She seems to enjoy swimming in her own little circles.

Any way now to training last night. Wasn't sure class would be on as there was quite a bit of rain forecast. I had rung and checked and since Kenzie was being feral and running and digging holes in the yard I thought I would drive there anyway and the girls could have a bit of a play if class didn't end up being on. We got there nice and early and Kenzie had a bit of a run with Darcy another BC. Well ok not really she spent the entire time bouncing up at me wanting to do something rather than to much playing silly girl. So we did a bit of circle work as well as some heelwork and then she harassed Ness a bit (of course Ness being Ness was only interested in finding food).

We had just gone out to start class and it started to rain :(. Deb moved us under the school verandah so we could continue training. The first exercise was suppose to be heelwork. Kenzie spooked so I couldn't get her to work. Not sure if it was the combination of the enclosed space, shadows or the echos that spooked her. I was able to take her off to the side and sit the exercise out and gradually see if I could get her back under the verandah. The class did a bit of heeling and at that point the rain had given up so we moved back out to the oval.

When we went back out to the oval Deb had placed out 4 discs in a large square and on each disc she had placed a toy. We had to heel the dog up to the disc and then around the disc before releasing them. Kenzie was on fire. She did some lovely up and happy off-lead heelwork and wasn't the slightest bit interested in the toy. We did this a few times. Once with the dog on the outside of the circle where the toy was and once with the dog on the inside.

We then moved onto targeting. I discovered I hadn't packed my normal target stick so I had to make do with my second one. Kenzie was happily following it around the place. Then Deb set up one in the middle and we had to send the dog from whatever distance we were happy with. My first one I did was about 3-4 paces and she went really nicely. We tried again from slightly further back and again she was successful. Clever little girl.

We did another heelwork session this time around objects "toys" placed on the floor. Kenzie did extremely well apart from once when she thought it was about time she was allowed to grab a toy rather than continue heeling. First bit of distraction heelwork I have done with her and she passed with absolutely flying colours. She continues to amaze me.

New trick was to have the dogs fetch a plastic bottle with food in it. Only thing is you could only reward them with the food in the bottle. Kenzie was happily retrieving the bottle but then I am not overly surprised as she will readily fetch most items.

Refresh on the old tricks tonight - spins/twists from a couple of paces and duration on the bow. Kenzie its great in a bow once she is in position but still has no real cue for it. Her spins are good but her twist still needs work.

We then worked on sits and drops from a distance and introduced a stand. For the most part I am getting somewhere with the drops and sits but occasionally she will scoot forward on her sits (not great from a trialling perspective). Fascinating though in that she was actually offering some quite nice kick back stands from a sit. If I give her her command to back up and C/T after 1 step she kicks herself into a stand :). Need to work on putting a proper stand command on her though. Especially considering I am intending on putting her in the mock trial at Dover on the 22nd of March and she still has no SFE or stand stay.

We finished up with some sit stay work. Kenzie is great so long as there is nothing to freak her. Deb had us hop up and down and that movement of another person spooked her. She was also distracted by the assistant instructor standing a few meters from where the class was happening. Unfortunately we still have a bit of work to do in the people department.

Any way good class and Kenzie is certainly a little star. Happy with her progress but do need to get my act together and start to get more serious about training her. She is such a quick little learner and seems to enjoy working so I hope that will put us in good stead when I wish to trial her down the track.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Almost 11 months

Where has the time gone - hard to believe Kenzie has been here for that long. Well my little midget BC is growing up. Weighed her today and she is 13.3kg :). Will do a proper update in the next day or so - probably after training tonight if its on.

ETA. A few photos from Friday night when I picked up my new car :).

First up both girls in the car:


Kenzie free standing on the front lawn:




I can sit pretty too: