Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Off to MO

Tonight we are leaving for MO for the UKC show.  I am really excited, yet somewhat dissapointed.  I had hoped for some cardigan competition, but we will go and have fun anyways.  Magic my little do everything guy will be my main partner.  We are going to play at just about everything.  Its there, so why not, right?
He is already entered for 2 weight pulls, 4 agility runs, 3 lure coursing runs and I am thinking about throwing in some rally.  They also have dock diving, but I am not sure if he will do that after our one rather sad attempt when he sort of sank.  I wonder if he could try it with a life jacket? He is such a great dog and although things with his breeder are strained at best, I will always be greatful for Magic. For a first cardigan, he is the best.

Peace and I will play in the conformation ring, but she is also pulling on Friday.  I really need to get her trained for other events, but I am thinking maybe I will let her watch lure coursing, and if she seems interested at all, maybe she can give it a try as well. 

I wish all of you going to Sioux Falls a wonderful and successful time.  I really hope all of you win, but since I know that cant happen, I will hope you all have a really good time.  Although I was really torn about whether to do MO or SF, I am really glad we are going to go play. I like conformation, but performance stuff is where my heart really is.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Thought for the day

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

2010 Goal Status

Here is  what I had in mind for the years goals as of last December.

Magic-Magic will hopefully do some more weight pulling. Met I would like to have him work toward his ARCH  MET and see if maybe we can earn his CDX.  We have done some work, but not nearly enough.

Grace-. I would like to get her back to agility classes, Met and actively working  Grace also earned her UWP

Peace-gets to take the year off.  Peace earned her UWP and has played a little in the breed ring, but primarily has had the year off. 

Siren-Siren will begin formal training. As in a training class. I am not disciplined enough to work my dogs as they should be, on my own, so I am going to commit to getting at least one title on Siren this year.
Well, she earned a couple of legs toward a weight pull title, but the actual training class she is in is Nosework. I am happy with this, but would also like to see us at least try to work toward some obedience work.
Overall so far I am relatively pleased, but I do need to get in gear with obedience. I feel all my dogs need to have obedeince titles of some sort, so this will need to be my focus the rest of the year.  Which will fall into place nicely with the end of year budget being primarily gone, we can do much of this work on our own, if I just commit to it. So blogger friends, if you dont hear of me working on this, kick me in the patootie, OK?

Monday, October 18, 2010


Friday and Saturday we took a little trip to IL to play at some UKC conformation.  In order to earn a UKC Grand Champion, you need to win the Champions class 5 times with at least 3 champions in the class.  We so rarely have any cardis other than mine entered here in MN so when I found out that there was going to be other Cardis entered in IL we decided at the last minute to make the trip.  Since Teresa was only going to be there Saturday, we only entered that day as well.  Peace was reserve in the first show and BOB in the second earning her first win toward her Gr. Hopefully, Teresa and I will be able to work together and get to some shows so we can both continue toward that.
I am trying to convince Teresa to come over here next summer and give weight pulling a try too. I think she just might, she already has a harness, might as well use it! 

Sadly, the pre-entry numbers are out for Gateway and Peace is the only Cardi.  I was so hoping that we would get to play with others there that weekend.  I really like showing, but its so much more fun when you get to play WITH others. Win or lose, its just more fun. Come on Cardi people, come play UKC. We play nice, promise!!

Monday, October 11, 2010

CPE Weekend

I am almost kicking myself now, for not getting back to agility much sooner.  The look on Magics face at that first startline was wonderful. My boy was so happy to be there, and yet he was a really good boy. He let me get good lead outs where needed, he remained focused even with that long line of jumps just curving on and he tried to do everything I asked.  Yes we had a few bobbles, but dang did we have fun!  All in all, we had 5 qualifying runs out of 7 attempts. The 2 NQ's were dogwalk related. He has never shown problems with the dogwalk, but there was something about this one that made him a bit nervous. 

The wide open courses were really fun and Magic loved the ability to really go.  And it reinforced for me that I NEED to get my rear in gear and get in better shape too. I want to do this again.

Laura was kind enough to video us; Magics runs 10.9.10   Including the jump he crashed! Enjoy.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Michele Pouliot Seminar-long post sorry!

I had to take a couple of days to process all the information from the seminar Sunday.  First of all I really wish I had been able to do Saturday as well. Sunday was about getting a better performance, but primarily about attention and attitude.

The first thing we worked on was attention-which I admit, although Magic is fairly attentive, he does tend to lose focus so learning how to work toward keeping that attention was great. the first exercise we worked on was stationary focus.  I have always known that Magic can stare me in the face for quite some time as long, but what I realized is that although he is comfortable with this when I am sitting, he is not quite as focused when I am standing. Its not bad, but it can be better.  But, he really has a difficult time while in motion.  All I was asking him for was a moving front, and he could not maintain that focus well.  Well- that also shows in his distance work, so we are working on this.

The next session of work was relating to clicker training, and we worked on a trick with a prop of your choosing.  What the goal here was though is to not lure, or if you lure initially to break the lure very quickly.  Like within 3 attempts or so..  This was a bit harder and I realized that Magic is much less confident in his ability to think out the problem than I realized.  I think I have been too much of a helper.  I am working on that, but its going to be hard because I catch myself all the time.  Maybe I need to train with my mouth taped shut and my hands belted to my sides or something so I cant "help" hims so much.

The last session was really, really thought provoking for me.  This was about training attitude that can carry over to the performance.  The exercise we did was something no other trainer had ever suggested to me before, or if they have I missed it completely. (that wouldn't really surprise me!)  She explained that although her dogs are well trained and beyond the learning, she continues to reward very heavily.  In her video, working working with her awesomely trained performance dogs, she was still rewarding  variably, but frequent. Like 2-6 steps of heeling.   She said she rarely works an entire performance as one piece. Parts but not so much of the whole.  The exercise we did was practicing (for me developing) a ring entrance procedure. A consistent series of expectations right up to the judge starting the heeling pattern but then breaking it off at a single step into the pattern with a huge party.

The ring was set up just like a small obedience ring. Interestingly, even though we had been at the facility and had worked in a larger gated area all day, when Magic saw the new set up, and we walked up to to the entrance and heeled in and there was a judge, he seemed to think it might be a real trial. His tail went down, he listened and did what I asked -heel in, sit, take off leash, heel to the start line, his attitude was much less happy than it had been just an hour before.  We chatted with the judge, but he seemed less interested in me. When the judge asked us if we were ready, I asked him if he was ready, and he did begin to pay a bit more attention (ready is our attention word), but it was subdued. The first step of heel and he lagged as normal, but I still broke it off and we partied a minute or so and left the ring.  We immediately performed the whole series again, and the change was amazing. Both his head and tail came up and there was no lag off the start. The third time the pooper actually forged a tiny bit, which is SO not Magic.  While I am sure after the first time, he realized this was not the real thing, I can see how training this with consistent expectations would help him have a better start- and maybe an entire performance.  Granted it is going to take some work, and we will have to try to take in some matches, but I am hoping the combination of things will help our overall performances.

Now I understand that there was some training using raised platforms for learning positions on Saturday. I am hoping that I can get someone from Saturday to give me a quick lesson, because I certainly can use any help in training I can get.

All in all I really enjoyed the seminar. And watching the heelwork videos was simply inspiring. Beautiful.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Around the house

Rinnie really dug herself under everything-not sure how she managed this.

Magics nose-back to normal.  Now, we know they can come back at any time, but he looks so much better!  Love having my boy's beautiful face back. Now we just need to get the drool stains off his white chest.

Friday, October 1, 2010

FOCUS! and last nights class

Focus seems to be an issue in my training lately.  Not only am I having a hard time focusing on what to train, I am having a hard time getting my dogs to focus as well. I am sure that the 2 are related, but I really need a training kick in the pants lately.  So this week I took steps to work on this.

Sunday Magic and I are going to a Michele Pouliot seminar on improving performance for any performance sport.  I am really excited and hope I can get a lot of helpful hints from this one. When asked in the registration what I hoped to accomplish I said that I really wanted to work on attention, focus and attitude. With Magic this is primarily a heeling issue, but with the girls this is an ALL the time issue.  I am taking Magic as I think I will get more out of the seminar if I have a semi cooperative dog.

Then, I also signed Grace up for a 6 week class with Annelise on focus and attention. Now, I think this will be geared more toward agility, but hopefully it will carry over to the other things I would like to do with her.

I do want to say that last night at agility class Grace was much better than the week before. Even with a new dog in class she was much more willing to pay attention to me. AND, for the first time ever, we were able to be successful on everything we did in class the first time through (except 2o2o on the dogwalk which she hasnt learned yet).  We are starting to run a bit longer jump sequences and Annelise usually puts in a fairly tough cross in there.  And even though I almost ran into the jump, I got Grace through them all the first time-table at 16, no bars down, no off courses, even a little bit more distance.   And unlike last week, she had no issues with taking the dogwalk at all, and even starting a running A frame went well.  I was really pleased with my princess last night.