Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Magic says..

The hot dog retrieve is GREAT when you decide to EAT the hotdog, no matter what the momma says.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Magic says..

The hot dog retrieve is really, REALLY unfair!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Trick Training

So Magics last trick/acting class is next Thursday and for "graduation" he needs to show off a trick that he has learned outside of the class.  The trainer also wants us to have the trick include more than one action if possible.  So Magic and I spent the weekend trying out several different things to see if we could come up with something to show.  Let me just mention that I SUCK as a trainer, so any failures are all my fault.

First I though maybe I could have him put a can in the recycle bin. That would be useful around the house too. Nope, the sound of cans dropping into the recycle bin sort of freaked him out.   He will pick up and carry a soda can crushing and puncturing it- think that could be his trick, the soda can crusher? No, I didnt think so either. And really our recycle can is a bit high for him to easily drop things in. (I know I can amend it for the trick, so maybe)

Then since I have a cold and was going through kleenex at an alarming rate, I thought maybe I could teach him to get me a kleenex. (selfish I know) Well that was fun, but many, many kleenex were harmed in the making of that trick. As in the 4 dogs managed to shred not 1 but 2 large boxes over the course of the weekend when I in my illness daze managed to leave them unattended.

So now, I have changed my focus and we are working on a couple of new ideas. Since it was so nice outside yesterday, we went outside and started to work on riding the skateboard.  Then inside I started working on a food retrieve. ( I planned on using a hotdog, but was out so used string cheese instead.) Magic will take and hold the cheese, but won't pick it up off the floor yet.  Not sure why, but we are working on that now.  I am going to get some hotdogs today and train with those tonight.

Oh yeah, and I also picked up an easter basket for Magic. He will pick it up and carry it, but often forgets to use the handle. We are working on that as well.

I know it sounds like we have been all over the place, but you can train a lot in short 3 minute bursts. Other than tossing in some obedience work, I havent been doing mutliple things in one session. So although Magic got about 6 short sessions yesterday, each one worked only one trick.

I sure hope he is having some fun with this, I know I am.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Peace learns a new trick, or How to kill Mom

Last fall we put up a 3 foot fence to try to keep the corgis out of part of the yard once spring came to try to save some portion of the remaining grass.  Well, over the winter Peace  learned to leap the 3 foot fence. (Note to self, dont even bother next fall)  In the process of all of this, she had managed to bend the top down a bit so it flops over and makes it shorter, but a bit wider.this made access for all 5 dogs.  No problem for the athletic corgis, jumping in, but for some reason sometimes Peace pretends like she can't jump out. Might have something to do with not wanting to, because I have seen her go both ways many times.  The new trick is she comes to the side of the fence and jumps into your arms to lift her over.

Well that was the trick until last night.  Last night Peaceful decided to leap over the fence with a running start into waiting Moms chest, knocking her right off her feet. Imagine landing smack on your butt with 30+ pounds of dog careening into you. Knocked the breath out of me, knocked my head on the ground, then she proceeded to do a happy dance on my chest while licking my face.  I bet the neighbors loved that one. Oh I hurt today!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Help put dog food into the food shelves!

Please go view the video link above.  Cargill will donate more food to the Second Harvest Food Bank if they get 10,000 hits.   Help a family keep their pets during hard times.  Thank You.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010


Isn't he a cutie! Thanks for the picture Joyce!

Monday, March 22, 2010

Grace pulled yesterday too

Its Grace in the picture. Granted, she is telling me that hey she already did this once and is NOT going to do it again. She actually turned around right after this picture and went to hop up on the cart instead.  But her one pull that she did at 300 pounds was 9.6 times her body weight, so her first leg. My girl the princess, is just not one for doing something AGAIN!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Todays weight pull-caution, not a pretty picture

Thanks for the nice comments yesterday.  Today Magic pulled 521 and then I withdrew him. Now thats not horrible or anything, but I know he can go higher if he would just try. It did earn another 10 points toward his championship.

The new harness is just too wide in front and between his legs, so he cannot get comfortable and is trying to pull with one front leg off the ground. Not the best plan. So we will get a different harness.  I am going to order another one tomorrow. Narrower for my narrow boy.

The hero of the pull today had to have been Casenova the Papillon.  This little guy was the smallest dog pulling today, weighing in at just over 7 pounds.  He pulled over 400 which is 63 times his body weight.  63 times! That was the largest percentage over bodty weight of all the dogs there. He was simply a beast today.

Now, other than my huge rear- anyone notice whats wrong in the picture below?

Saturday, March 20, 2010


Magic only pulled 545 today. He does NOT like his new harness.  I guess we will order a different one. But that was enough to earn him 10 more points toward his weight pull championship.  No pictures today, David went along but he was working the cart so couldnt take pictures.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Weight pull tomorrow

Well it should be interesting.  Since the harness came I thought maybe I should actually have Magic give it a try.  Well, lets hope at the trial he has a bit more entheusiasm. He was completely lazy last night.  OH No, too heavy gonna lay down.  Guys, it was the empty cart.   I guess I need to go to Macs tonight and bring home a cheeseburger for Saturdays pull treat. He WILL work for a cheeseburger- at least he laways has in the past. My gosh I have to bribe my dog.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

New Harness

Magics weight pull harness finally arrived.  It fits wonderfully.  In fact it fits all the dogs, even Kazin. Every dog wore it for a while last night.  Kazin thought I was killing him.  Siren forgot how to work her legs and totally lost her ears. Peace looked at me, looked at the harness hanging behind her all worried until I offered a cookie and suddenly the harness was just fine. Grace just gave me her "you have got to be kidding" look, which by the way is not too different from her "get bent" look. Magic though, seemed to smile.
Saturday we are ready!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Quilting any Corgi bloggers who quilt?

First - update for last nights quilting.  I think I finished 3 more blocks-I was really tired yesterday and I honestly was on autopilot all day.

Janet had a good thought in my comments. Would any of the bloggers out there be interested in creating a one of a kind quilt for some fundraising event, maybe cardigan rescue? Or cardi and pem quilters  and do a quilt for corgi aid? 

Think about it and let me know!

Monday, March 15, 2010

Lazy trainer, busy crafter, garden plans

OK, so it was a beautiful weekend, and other than one short walk with the dogs, I basically did nothing dog related.  The dogs spent the weekend working on venison leg bones and trying to break into them enough to get to the marrow. Diligent hard working dogs that I have, they were very successfull, and my livingroom floor is littered with split leg bones.

I on the other hand, spent large chunks of the weekend sewing.  I have a 9 month mystery quilt project that we are on month 6 in receiving the instructions.  I, on the other hand had not completed month one, prior to the weekend.  I am now almost done with month 3, have about half of month 4 done, and a bit of month 5.  The nice thing about being behind, you can combine some work on the cutting and piecing to what makes sense, rather than smaller portions at a time.  The bad part is that I have 27 blocks to complete. But my goal is to get them done this week. As of last night I had 3 blocks totally completed from month 4 I think.

I think with spring around the corner, more daylight and actual sun instead of clouds, spring is on the way.  I am getting some tomato seeds from a fellow blogger, Danni at On the Way to Critter Farm.   That, and a walk past the garden, has me thinking about garden planning, although here in Minnesota it will be a bit longer before I can get too much going.  But, I do plan this week to test the bean seeds I kept from last years garden, so see if they sprout for me.  I have always bought seeds so this was a first.  I will limit my beans this year though- they sort of took over the garden last year, and we wasted wquite a bit as we didnt get them all picked timely.  I dont have a pressure canner and have not had much luck with frozen green beans so we only ate them fresh. Well, except for the few I pickled.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Crufts - heelwork to music

Did anyone else watch this and become so totally amazed and inspired?  Some of this heelwork was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes. What an inspiration.

Mat training

Its funny how life works sometimes.  I got the email about mat training Grace and got some help from all of you- (thanks by the way), and I did start working with Grace on the mat. Since Magic and I are trying to keep up in the trick class though, we were working on those this week. Failing, but still trying.  Magic just cannot understand that I just want the front end down, and that back end drops first every time- but I digress. So I am sure that we are going to be the only ones at class having trouble with this, yup we were. However, we probably had the most distance of the class on the go touch exercise.  At home I can get Magic to go almost the whole length of my house, kitchen to livingroom which is maybe 35 feet.  At class of course it isn't quite there but he would do 10 easily. 

But class progressed, and last night we worked on teaching your dog to pose, allowing you to move a foot or tail, and of course a bit on expressions. Then we worked a bit on spins. I need to decide what to call those.

Every night at the end of class the instructor gives us a 5 minute challenge.  You have 5 minutes to teach your dog to do whatever the challenge is.  Last nights challenge was to be able to send your dog to a mat from 5 feet away and get a sit.   Guess what, Magic was able to do it in about 3 and give me either a sit or a down.
What a good boy.

Our homework for the week- see if we can get the bow and head down to click.  Work on the distance touch/send with both the mat and the touch toy on the road.  Practice posing, put a name ot any cute expressions we want to maintain. For Magic I want to see if I can get ear movement. I already get up ears if I say ears I need to reward that now, its always been something he has just done, but I would like ti to be more solid. Also if I can get a airplane ears on command that might be fun too. Maybe a head tilt?

If I only had one or 2 dogs it would probably be easier to catch and click normal behaviors, but with 4 maybe not.  As soon as they hear a click they all come running and I get mobbed. I know I should have trained better manners when the girls were young-bad me, but we are working on staying and letting me work one at a time. Crystal had posted how she is starting to train 5 mini sessions a day. I have been doing 3 with Magic and one with each of the others, but maybe more short sessions with everyone would be a good plan.  Over the weekend we will test that.

Good training Everyone!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Crufts-cardi wins pastoral group!

Yoohoo cardigans!  Of course the only time I was away from my desk today was a mandatory meeting which occurred at the same time as the pastoral group so I did not get to see the cardi win.  But  I saw her enter and she looked lovely! Hopefully I will be able to watch the BIS!

Crufts Streaming live

I have the streaming video feed from Crufts playing on my computer as I work today.  They just had the novice jumpers course.  Not an easy course, but great to see novices out there including a couple of young people.  Earlier we had flyball.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Help needed- how do you mat train?

Grace needs to learn to go to and stay on a mat for her new agility class. I have never trained this.  If anyone can direct me I would be very greatful.  Thanks!!!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Grace goes back to agility

I got word today that Grace and I are going back to agility.  Its been almost 2 years, since the last class she had was before puppies, so I wanted to get us back into a beginners class, and I was able to get into a class with Annalise. I am really excited.  I loved our classes with Michelle, but with her new facility 45 minutes away, its harder to schedule time to go there.  I am really hoping Magic and I can get back to agility with Michelle, but with finances the way they are, and gas going back up, the closer classes for now will be good.
I am really looking forward to this.

Monday, March 8, 2010

its Home!

My wonderful old sewing machine went out on me, but its finally home.  Guess what I spent the night doing! 
Thank you for coming home, Lily, I missed you! I had about 8 inches worth of quilting left on the picture frame for Holly.  Its done now and will be in the mail tomorrow or Wednesday (depends on when I can get the right size box!) 


Sunday, March 7, 2010

Thoughts on Magic

I debated all day today about doing an ad in the Cardigan handbook for Magic.  The rising stars theme just seemed to me to scream Magic. Even though he hasn't earned bunches of upper level titles yet, he has the ability, and I think those will come.  He has oodles of titles to show his versatility. But I decided not to. He is a great dog, but I guess I would rather spend that money in more classes or trial for us, than to advertise a fluffy, neutered boy. After all its not about the titles, it's the journey together.

I got the pictures from the photographer who was at the APDT trial.  She did a great job getting some really nice working pictures of the boy. There were even a few where he is IN heel position, paying attention and looking happy. Nice to see. Sometimes I wonder when we are doing obedience if he really likes it, but in looking at the bunches of pictures Laurie took, he looks happy.  He looks most happy in the level 3 pictures. Maybe he really prefers the challenge of those harder exercises?

On the other hand I am having a really hard time with him on the bow and the head down exercse from our class this week.  Those have not clicked yet.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Magics Class

Last night was night 2 of Magics acting/tricks class.  Last week we just worked on fine tuning our clicker handling and working on a touch command, both hand touchs and touch stick.  Magics touch had gotten rather sloppy so this was a good refresher, on the stick touch I had let it get bad to where he thinks he can touch any part of the stick, so we worked on touching the end only.

Last night we worked on several things. starting work on a 'go out" to a toy to touch.  I have not started teaching Magic a go out yet, so this will be good starter work for that too.  Next she talked about teaching the dogs a pick up and return with items.  Magic is already pretty good with that, but we will do lots of practice this week anyways. We also worked on shaping a head down down, and a bow. Neither of these were easy for Magic to get- some dogs at class had it before class was over, but not Magic, so I know we will have ample work to do this week.

I am not good at breaking down a behavior so this is challenging for me too. But fun. Very fun. The class is not large, we have 2 pugs, a shih tzu mix, a rat terrier/BC mix, a labradoodle, a golden and my favorite dog in class a fluffy english mastiff.  She is quite the character, and just so unique looking, and is just full of personality.  I just LOVE those big dogs.

Monday, March 1, 2010

An explanation of APDT Rally

For those of you who haven’t done APDT rally I highly recommend it. It is quite a bit different than AKC rally. The courses are longer and the exercises are bit different, a bit more challenging. Courses also include a bonus station where you can earn an additional 10 points, making the course value 210. Also, the judges in every trial we have attended have been great, they walk you through the course, explaining what they need to see, answering questions and even taking feedback on placement of the signs. I don’t think I have ever laughed so hard at a trial as I had at the Mixed Breed Clubs event a couple of weeks ago, just walking the courses with Judge Hornfisher. Challenging courses, but presented in a way as to really make them fun.

APDT has married stations, where there are multiple signs at the same stop. You also have the option of rewarding your dog at any of the stationary signs-either food or touch rewards. The exercises in each level are a bit different as well, as is the performance of some exercises. For example, unlike AKC, on all pivots the dog moves with you. Additionally, the exercises are considered by some to be harder, but in my opinion, they are much more comparable to the things you would want to practice for traditional obedience. Such as in level 3 you have true moving down, a moving stand with some distance handling, as well as a send to a jump. And a bonus exercise with a marked retrieve which about knocked Magic over as it was the first time he has seen this game in a trial. He was so cute, he looked at the toy, looked at me almost as if to say REALLY! That made for one happy dog.

If you want to see some course maps, let me know because I have kept all of mine. Next time you see a trial near you, think about giving it a try. I will tell you that I am much more excited by Magic’s APDT RL3 than I am about his RE!