Monday, January 4, 2010

Introucing Kozmee.....

A new addition to the household - meet Kozmee all the way from Western Australia just like Kenzie LOL.

Day 4 - Alien Distraction training

Kozmee being useful.....

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Cracker start to the New Year - Busy with Training

What better way to spend the first few days of 2010 but with a renewed enthusiasm to get out and do some training. I sat down and rewatched the Susan Salo jumping grids videos and got all excited to do some training.

Agility first -

Friday evening we headed up to Scotch for a bit of jump grid work. I put Kenzie through the straight-line equal-distance grid and the straight-line equal-distance grid with height. She had no issues with either of the grids and did them all very nicely.

Yesterday afternoon we headed out the front to the nature strip and tried a distance grid and a progressive grid.

The distance grid she really struggled with as I tried starting the jump at 14ft as was recommended for medium dogs. I ended up dropping back the final bar to the 10ft sheltie distance and built up from there. She really wasn't getting it though. We finished up with a simple 5,6,7 and 8 ft progressive grid which she had no hassle with.

Just before I took her back out the front for another session on the progressive grid and the distance grid. This time we started with the progressive grid - 5ft, 6ft, 7ft, 8ft. She nailed that easily so I went to 6ft, 7ft, 8ft, 9ft - again she nailed it so we went to 7ft, 8ft, 9ft, 10ft. First time she threw in an extra stride in the 10ft gap but we tried a second time and she offered the bounce jump. For the distance grid I started with 12ft between bar 3 and 4 and built out to 17ft. She had relatively few issues with finding the appropriate take off point and reading down the grid. I did also opt to attempt the grid as a lead out so she would focus ahead to bar 4 to work out what she needed.

Good sessions all round and some lovely stuff happening :).

Obedience -

Have had a mixed couple of days working on things like scent, gloves, doodling, retrieves, recalls, presents, open change of positions. Her scent work I think has finally hit a lightbulb moment - today she was happy working a pile of 4 unscented woods, 1 scented wood and in a line so she was making decisions to not return with an incorrect one not just finding the correct one out by accident. The flower pot idea really helped her clue into what I wanted. As for the rest most of it is pretty technically perfect - and I am hard to please. I would like some more speed into her recalls and retrieves but her presents and lovely.

All up her training seems to be coming together and I am expecting big things from her this year if we can get over her scardy people issues.

Friday, January 1, 2010

2009 in Review - The Year of the Unexpected

I know this blog is mostly about Kenzie's training but I thought since Ness doesn't really have a blog of her own that I would post my end of 2009 trialling year review in Kenzie's blog and include a section on Ness.



After finishing off both her Masters and Open Jumping titles in 2008, 2009 was concentrated on trying to finish off her remaining Masters Agility and Open Agility passes so she could go into semi-retirement. She managed her 6th leg towards her ADM title at our club trial back in April. The May GSD club trial saw her obtain leg 3 and 4 towards her ADO and finally on the homeward stretch with her agility titles. It wasn't until the August ADC trial that she was able to obtain her 7th leg and finally finish off her ADM. One title down. We had a lot of near misses in the remaining trials but unfortunately finished 1 leg short off finishing off her ADO. Her agility results did however make her SAODC's top Masters Agility dog for the year - well done Ness.


2009 wasn't quite the year I intended. I was dearly hoping for a UD title and that just wasn't to be. A lack of commitment and motivation to train greatly hampered our chances. Exercises kept going to bits and not being able to get through a full round correctly at training probably meant we were never destined to pass. We did come close at the Southern Districts trial with just a shitty stand signal and 1 article all that stood between a pass and a fail. Mostly for the rest of it we were way off the mark though. Disappointing but as I said what can one really expect if you don't put in the hard yards with training. The other disappointment was no 190 in Open. There were a few close ones only for her to mess up one single exercise. In the end we only finished with 2 open passes for the year. However that was enough for her to be awarded top SAODC Open trialling dog.

Dances with Dogs

Quick trip to Sydney in December saw Ness come home with 1 qualifer towards her novice freestyle starters title. She gave me some good work and it was nice to see her attitude pick up and for her to be enjoying herself in the ring. She came very close to her first title in the sport but unfortunately missed out by 1 single point in the afternoon trial.



Training has been progressing along ok. She has some lovely weaving happening and loves to play. Her jumping work is progressing but I need to do much more work on jump grids/contacts and handling skills. I hope to get her into the ring in early 2010 however I am after solid foundations before I even consider trialling her and I don't feel we are there yet.


The grand goal when I got Kenzie was to have her ready for the Perth Obedience Nationals in October. With her people issues though that goal got somewhat lost in the grand scheme. She entered a mock CCD trial early in 2009 and coped better then I expected. After lots of hours spent clicking and feeding her for hanging around outside shopping centres I finally was able to get a stand for exam on her sometimes. We still have a way to go before she would cope in a trial. She can get through a ring session with Kathy Millington putting us through but her work on the whole is still scatty. She has potential, she still has potential but she is still lacking the serious polish I want on her. I hope to get her out and trialling mid 2010.


July saw Kenzie pass her Herding Instict Test at SACA. There was no doubt this time around that she showed sufficient instinct to pass. Didn't get to pursue it any further this year but would like to try some more in 2010 if we can find time.

Dances with Dogs

Well sometimes dreams really do come true and they exceed everything you have ever hoped of. I took the kids to Sydney and really wanted somebody to come back with a title but you can bet my last dollar I didn't for one moment anticipate that to be Kenzie. Some days you just want to take and bottle and Sunday the 13th of December would have to be one of them. I am so pleased with my shy timid munchkin. I never would have thought in my wildest dreams that I could take her interstate, enter her in her very first ANKC competition and walk away with her first ANKC title - DWDF.S, the first Dances with Dogs title for Winpara and the first and only Dances with Dogs titled dog in South Australia. She came home with a first place in starters heelwork to music with a lovely routine as well as managing a third and forth place for her title in freestyle. I am still on cloud nine with my little baby and so pleased with her. I guess sometimes you have to expect the unexpected and yep dreams can become reality even when you least expect it.

So thats 2009 in review for my girls - now to my goals for 2010 - well:



Hopefully we can continue to work through her people issues and I can get her out there and passing with some lovely scores on the board. Really need to get some work in on stays though as that would be the weakest link at the moment. She has already started playing around with the Open and UD exercises so we need to do more with those as well as duration heelwork. Guess its a never ending training list and thankfully for me the ever ready bunny seems to always come out with new batteries and plenty of drive for training.


Want to try and get her in the ring next year but again I am in no real rush. I want solid foundations and won't be entering until I feel comfortable that she has more skills in place.


If we can get some more training in we might see about trying for her PT.

Dances with Dogs

With no local trials there is a possible plan in place for another interstate trip somewhere to see if I can't get her other starters HTM pass and also manage to get some passes towards her novice freestyle title. Possibly another trip to Sydney unless I plan a trip to Perth for another trial and their happens to be a Dances with Dogs comp scheduled.


Obedience/Agility/Dances with Dogs

2010 will be a year of semi-retirement for Ness. Fingers crossed she finishes off the 1 remaining pass she needs towards her open agility title so I can then pick and chose what she is entered in. I intend on only running the occasional jumping course with her if Kenzie is at the stage of trialling.

Obedience I am hoping to still keep trialling and trying for passes towards her UD title. As long as she is enjoying working then I will continue to train and trial her.

Dances with Dogs - having achieved the 1 pass in Syndey I am tempted to try and see if we can't get back to finish off the title. Having said that I am a realist and I also know if I take Kenzie somewhere I may not necessarily take Ness. Its a lot easier trialling and travelling with 1 dog and I know Ness wasn't as happy this time away as she has been on previous trips to Perth.

So there is my 2009/2010 summary. I am sure to add to it in the coming weeks but for the moment this is where it stands.