Monday, January 31, 2011


Between the successes last weekend, our private lesson and watching all the dogs at the trial this weekend, I am totally inspired to really get out and work my dogs. The problem with that is where?  We are in the middle of another snowfall expecting 6 inches or more, so its hard to find a space outside, and my house is just not spaced for indoor work. Nancy did give me some smaller space heeling work, so the corgis will get some training now everyday.

Remember that goal list I didn't make a the beginning of the year?  Well its starting to take shape in my head. It's pushing me to get off my butt and get going, so that is what I am going to do.

First off I want to train more tricks. I want to become better at shaping, so I am going to pick a trick to try to teach each month. Not sure what I am going to start with, but I hope to have a finished trick by the end of February.  I would like to teach each trick to all 4 dogs, but I am not sure I am up to that.  We shall see.

With the help of some really wonderful trainers, I am going to clean up my body language and try to help my dogs get a better picture for heeling and agility. Once they get a clear consistant picture, they should get a better understanding of what they need to do.  Truthfully, I don't think my handling alone caused Magic's lagging issues, but I do know it contributes. He falls behind I glance back at him, which clearly is a deceleration cue, so he gets slower. It makes sense, it's just really tough for me since I want to see my dogs. But if I can help Magic enjoy heeling as much as Grace seems to (usually) then perhaps we will have less issue. On the other hand I have trust issues with Grace so am always watching her too. Its a bad pattern on my part.   I am going to use more matches to try to improve with both of the dogs.

And, even though Magic still needs his AKC CDX, we are going to start working on utility. Directed jumping shouldn't be an issue, but the go out piortion definately is.  Retrieveing the glove is not a problem, but understanding how to mark the desired object is.  Articles, picking up and retriving metal, not a problem, but we need to learn scent discrimination.

Its a lot to do, but I am just going to take it in small pieces, one bite at a time. Can I skip work to get started?

Friday, January 28, 2011

training me

My dog could be great if he had the right handler. As it is he is stuck with me. Magic, and Grace too, I promise you I am going to work really hard on being a better handler. I am going to trust my dog to do its job. OK guys, I am going to trust you to be there. No more looking over my shoulder to see where you are.   We are going to be a better team. OK?

PS, this means lots of treats while we make sure you know what your job is too. Treats are good.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I think we are going to like Flyball

I really think Magic is going to love flyball.  And so far I am liking the class.  Yes, most of what we have learned/practiced in class Magic knows. He knows how to tug and jump and retrieve. Last night in class we practiced going around a cone. A bit differently than agility, but he does know how to do that. (The instructor doesnt want him to wait for me to tell him to go, which might be an issue, because he will stare at me waiting for the OK for a really long time)  He is still preferring to look to me to throw the ball versus look out to find the one on the floor though. It is nice to know play with me is best.  But he left class last night smiling, panting and seemingly happy and tired.  Did I mention there is tugging in flyball? Tugging WOOHOO!!!

Monday, January 24, 2011

UCDX Magic

Magic earned his UCDX this weekend at the MMBC trial. Although its been a long time coming, and this was not the first attempts, this weekend Magic went 3 for 3 attempts earning his UCDX. And although the scores were not great, he also placed first twice and second the other time.  He also ran 4 rally courses and qualified all of them as well, with scores ranging from 93 to a 99. Love my boy.

Grace on the other hand was 1 for 2 in rally and 0 for 2 in novice.  Saturday was the better day, with the q and a really close to qualifying run in Novice.  I did have to give a second command to get her over the jump in the recall, so that was our NQ but everything else while not perfect by any stretch, were acceptable.  Sunday though she kind of had a meltdown. In Rally she was just plain goofy, rooing and barking nonstop and dancing around everywhere but in heel position. In Novice she just stopped and sniffed and general ignored me. So we have some work to do, but I was not at all disapointed with her. I knew going in that this was a practice run and really, I got better than I expected. Her stays were perfect. That alone had me grinning, as stays are really hard for my girl.  Good Girl Grace.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

The Demon comes out

I was pretty sure Magic would like flyball. After all its composed of all his favorite things. Running, jumping, barking, balls and tugs.  Its like a doggy daydream.  He was pretty happy to be going out last night. Calmly resting while the talking was going on. More than willing to show that he understands a hand touch. Then the experienced dogs ran a few demo runs. And the Demon came out. We sometimes see the Demon at agility when other dogs run, or play. But last night when other dogs were running playing and a BALL was involved. So was the Demon.  Well it was just way to much to watch quiet and patiently.

The instructors asked us to do a dead ball retrieve.  No matter who said Get It Magic wanted to get it.  When it was his turn, not only did he grab his ball, but he took off across the room to grab another dogs ball since that dog clearly did not understand the game.  (Note- I was able to call him back before he grabbed the other dogs ball, but he just had a hard time seeing that person tell that dog to get it and the dog just stood there.) I am sure the Demon was just helping out. During our wait time, his head never stopped twitching-no matter who said Get It anywhere in the room, the sound had the Demons attention and eye.  Then it was time for restained recalls. and the instructor suggested we offer the dogs a tug   The Demon was clearly in charge then as he charged the whole way, grabbed the end of that tug in mid air and started shaking and growling.

A GREAT time was had by both of them.  I enjoyed seeing him so freaking excited. The barking thing has to stop though.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Quiet, yet enjoyable

It was a quiet 3 day weekend for us. Got a little extra sleep. Made a few of my favorite meals. Took one of the foldable crates to have a peice welded and did some repair work to another. Yesterday was the NSHGC annual banquet and meeting. Skipped the banquet, but went for the meeting. The club gave out leashed this year for new titles so Grace, Peace and Magic all got new slip leads as well as collar tags.  Did a little training in prep for next weekends trial.

Today after being confused for a while (like a year) I finally figured out how to turn a heel! I am relaxed, rested, calm and happy. It was a nice weekend.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

APDT Nationally Ranked Magic

Magic made the APDT National Rankings. #12 ARCH.  I think thats pretty nice. We have the two APDT weekends here in MN each year and last year we did travel to IA for one day of a trial. So #12 with only 5 days of trialing is not too bad I don't think.  Not to brag too much on my boy but he did to pretty well for a dog who hasn't been to an obedience class in years. Especially one that has me for a handler!  All of his scores were over 195 except 1 that was a 193 and the one NQ because I misread the sign. I am a little tickled.

He's a great little dog. My plan for this year was to focus on Grace, but Magic does make that so hard.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Last week we practiced a little nosework with Rinnie at home and she seemed to be struggling with finding the unpaired scent. No big deal, it was the first time we had used scent outside of the training classes, so we thought she might be confused.  Then Thursday night at class she again did fine with paired finds, but really seemed lost with scent only. Now, Thurdsday I worked her since David couldnt be there, but she had worked for me before so I don't think that was the issue. 

Sunday night we did some paired searches at the house and she did fine.  Last night we did some more and she was great. So we tried a couple of unpaired searches. They were both easy searches, one just over her head on the hamper, the other at nose height, but in a place we have never used before and she nailed them both immediately, one where she ran by air scenting and spun around to go right to it.

She does have some issues with committing to the find when she can't get right on the scent, if she cant reach it. She hasnt figured out how to tell us that she has it. She will sniff toward it and circle around but she doesnt really give a clear signal that HEY its there.  Maybe once she becomes more confident? 

Monday, January 10, 2011

Weekend Recap

Friday was the NSHGC January conformation show.  Peace and I had a great time, but sadly couldn't stay all day since David had to get to work. But it was wonderful seeing everyone and the dogs.  Garrett's pups have grown up! Sarah's Avery was lovely and sweet as pie. I got to meet Hawk and Darby and Uncle Giz which made my day.  I love the oldsters and he is quite the guy. Barbs Howie earned his Grand Championship this weekend too, which is wonderful.  Peace did earn a point or 2 toward hers, but since we really haven't shown much she has a ways to go. Robbie was feeling well enough to come with Tim and the Saints, who won it all in their breed, WD,WB,BOW,BOS and Breed. Such greed! ;-)

The weather has been cold, really cold so I used that as an excuse to spend lots of time curled on the couch with several good books.  Saturday night I had dinner with Crystal from the Reactive Champion blog.  I had won a drawing a while back and she brought me our winnings, Jukes, a really loud squeaky ball (OMG does Magic love this!) and some chocolate chip cookies which everyone loved and were gobbled up very quickly.  thanks Crystal.

Yesterday Magic had a play date with Wishes over at Colleens.  I am pretty sure he had a good time, he took a long nap when he got home. I just hope he was a good boy.  Wish has recovered really well from her broken leg and stopped in to visit when Colleen brought Magic home. She is such a sweet dog.  While the men of the house were gone yesterday, the girls and I did some obedience work, and made a pie and a nice fancy shrimp dinner. 

It was a good weekend.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Moved the book list, Dogs, goals, training

I moved the book list to the other blog. Robin asked if Audiobook count.  I think so, and am indicating those on my list as (AB) 

I have been fighting with my energy levels, or lack of energy and havent gotten much training done lately.  But last night I did try a little bit of signal work with Magic. He has a new avoidance technique of watching me until I give the signal, then looking away and staring off into space.  Now, I know he knows what the signals mean. If I am holding his toy, he can see my signals from anywhere, and he will do them. But no toy, no signals.

I need to figure out a way to make training fun in a way that can carry over to the show ring.  I really do want that UCDX.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Book List

I have never kept track of the books I read. I read lots. I decided that this year I am going to keep track just to see how many it really comes out to be. This weekend I finished 2.

Knit the Season by Kate Jaconbs
Eyes of Prey  John Sandford