Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Flyball update

Magic seems to love flyball.  How can I tell?  He is so excited just going in to TCOTC now, he leaves sweaty doggy prints. He waits patiently now though, no screaming and just a little whining and  lunging, but those feet do sweat. 

Last night in class we worked on both retrieves around the cone, with the ball resting on the flyball box, and retrieves around the cone, over the board so that Magic is bouncing off the box, while picking up the ball that is resting on the box.  He is doing pretty well with the box, but its funny to see him think about what he is doing. A couple of times he would look at it and look back at me like he was asking if I was sure that he should do this. But when I sent him, he would go, a bit slow, but the next turn would be faster. Soon it will be automatic I am sure.

Then later in the evening when we got to practicing the jumps, Magic got away from the holder before I was all the way to the end of the line.  He shot down the whole line of jumps right past me with no hesitation. He knows that part of his job, and shows the most speed doing it.  I hope that when we start doing jumps toward the box, he has as much speed. Currently even though he runs to the box, its more of a lope than a run. Again, time and confidence may change that.

 I cant be happier with my boy.  And he is doing so well that we were told we should skip level 2 and move right to level 3.  We were also invited to a teams practice to see if we might like to join them. I will be meeting with them this weekend to ask my questions and to see if this is something we want to do. So no committments made as of yet.  I am making a list of questions for them and I am sure they all want to meet me to see if we can work together.  The thing I am most worried about is that I don't want to give up our other performance events so what if I can't make all practices?  But we will see.  

As David said, "Cool, Magic has been scouted!"

I am so lucky

to have such a wonderful dog as Magic!  He is my first A dog in every sport we have tried, and so far, other than dock diving, we have done pretty well in them all.

to have a healthy happy family.

to have a job, and a house to live in.

to have the corgi girls, they challenge me and help me become a better trainer.

to wake up to the goofy cockatiel yelling whats a rooster...RR RR  ERRR ER ROOOOO

to have all of my blogger friends, and those of you who have become more than blogger friends.

to have become friends with so many of my puppy owners.  I love you all. 

Thank you!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Siren at the weight pull

I was really proud of David and Siren last weekend at the weight pull.  Siren is David's first dog.  Although we have had dogs for David's entire life, he really wasn't interested in them at all.  Cats he liked, but dogs, meh, not so much.  He didn't hate them he just didnt have any interest.  But that changed when Grace had the puppies.

I never intended to keep 2 puppies.  But then something happened, David fell in love with Siren. And we made a deal.  He could keep her, but he had to do something with her.  And he is. Rinnie earned her weight pull title last weekend.  She is not a natural puller, but Dave trained with her worked through her issues.  And David worked smart with her.  Knowing that she is a little unsure about all the people, dogs and commotion, he asked her for one pull on Saturday. Empty cart is 300 pounds which is enough for Rin at 28 pounds to qualify.   She pulled it quite quickly and relatively easily (6.5 seconds), and most importantly happily. Then he let her stop for the day.

On Sunday Rin pulled the empty cart again happily 8.12 seconds.  Seeing that she was still happy, seemed confident he asked her for more.  She pulled 376 in less time, 7.84 seconds and then 452 in 12.62 seconds, still happily working.  When they got to 528 pounds, he set her up and she surprisingly started pulling without being asked and bumped Dave.  David did the right thing and called the foul. They got started again, and wouldnt you know, she ran into him again which was the second foul and the last.  But Dave and Siren pulled that weight anyways and again she did it happily. She placed 4th Sunday.

David is pretty proud of his girl, and of her awards. I am pretty proud of both of them.

Been a bit lax lately

Winter is just dragging on and on which I think has an effect on my posting.  Been waiting to get some good training time in, but need the sidewalks at least relatively ice free and a temperature in a decent range would also be nice.

Magics flyball class has one more week. He loves it and seems to be doing well.  We need to decide if we are going on. I would like ot but finances are crimped, so we will have to see.  Graces agility is coming along well, I am pretty pleased with her, but I need to get her to understand weaves, and I need a snow free yard to do that.

Siren did some nice work in nosework class last night- a couple of blind (for the handler) finds and she gave a stronger indication than normal which makes me think she is getting more confient with the game. When class was over the instructor wanted to do a little matwork with her pup with some other dog distraction, which was great for Rin. She was really good at not worrying about the other dog, not reacting much at all.  When the stationary location was not an issue for either dog, we did a little heeling work.  The only small reaction she gave was when the pup leaped off the mat to get a treat in her direction, she flinched a little, but recovered well. Which is really great I think and I was almost happy she did get a slight startle as it shows that her confidence is improving.  A year ago that may have provoked a much greater reaction, growling and lunging.  To just startle and then go back to working is a huge improvement. I think its time to start an obedience class with her now.  By the way, her heeling, unlike Magics was so pretty. I just love this dog and really hope i can work her through the fears because she could be my OTCH dog-if David will let me work her that is.

Peace is happily holding down the couch.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Magics been busy

Yesterday Magic went to his first audition. It was a photo shoot with costumes. He did great, gave me expression and ears, but we will need to see if he works for the client. (Honestly, while he was cute in the costumes, I probably wouldnt hire him for it, he is too big for the medium size and putting a corgi on the large size would probably be confusing for the consumer) .  Then he had a few photos taken with a ball, some just holding it, others catching and jumping.  I was only able to see a few of those, but gosh they were cute. I am thinking that the photographer will probably post at least one, so when she does I will share it.

Today was his flyball class. He is doing so well in that class and he just loves it.  Well he loves it when he gets to work, the rest of the time he waits impatiently. It's really interesting to me how we are really chaining so much of this training.  We are working on retrieving the ball while going around the cone as one part of the training. Then we are working on banking off the board. Eventually they will get put together. In fact tonight Magic got to retrieve the ball off of a lower part of the box off of a bit of velcro.  That too will eventually mutate to the actual ball slot.  Tonights class we also practices a  recall with other dogs moving. Magic has no problem with that. I think they get enough of that type of thing in agility when they are waiting. Such a good boy.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Training, training and more training

Spent the weekend working the dogs in thier various activities.  Friday night Magic and Grace and I went to the run and done.  Magic and I did lots of two step heeling and partying.  I am trying so hard to help him have fun with heeling but so far he still seems to hate it. Grace and I did some rally and ran a novice course.  Grace is so funny. When she remembers she is working she is so cute and happy, but we need to work on duration. So that is what we are trying to do- heel for longer periods without chatter. So far so good. I see some improvement.

Saturday morning the girls, Rinnie and Peace went and were CERFed, both good. Now I need to get the rest of Peaces testing done.  I want to make sure she passes her health clearances before I spay Grace and since Grace is getting older, I figure I better get them done. 

Today Grace and Rinnie went to weight pull practice.  Grace was a silly girl not really wanting to work. Rinnie did OK, but its not her favortie thing to do.  I also did some nosework with Rin in the warehouse.  She liked that much more.

All four dogs got nails and foot hair trimmed.  Magic got a brushing, he is going to an audition tomorrow, so I wanted him to look presentable.  I am a little nervous for that, but he seems OK with the idea.  He also did a little flyball practicing tonight as well.  Gosh he loves balls and retrieving.

A calm steady nice weekend.  I like those.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

A Dilemma

di·lem·ma  a situation in which somebody must choose one of two or more unsatisfactory alternatives

Who to take to the dog show? I have a small car that only fits 2 crates. I am going to a large show with many  events to participate in. Peace is going as she is the one that is invited due to her Top Ten status. But other than weight pull, she isnt ready for other events.

So now I have to choose the other dog who gets to go with, Grace or Magic.

Grace- Its supposed to be the year I focus on Grace.  She is training for both her CD and agility, and I would like for her to earn both this year. She could try for them at Premier.  She could also give lure coursing a try.

Magic-Magic is my do everything dog.  He has his titles for obedience and we are not ready to try for UUD. He could try to earn agility points, we could do rally and work on points toward his rally championship. He would lure course which he loves.  And quite honestly I love going places with Magic. He is easy he is my boy.

So I made a big chart and Grace wins. My heart wants Magic though.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Planning the garden

Even though we got more snow last night (BLECH), my thoughts are turning to spring.  I have been planning the summer garden.  With the economy like it is, I want to make sure that what I plan this year will grow and produce the most crop possible in my small little space. And unlike previous years, I am limiting what I grow to things I know we will eat. So beans, peas, carrots, zuchinni,swiss chard, kale, peppers and tomatoes.  For some reason, onions dont do well in my small garden space.  I love cabbage, but they take a lot of room and only produce one head, so we may skip that this year. Same for broccoli and cauliflower. Not enough produce for my limited space.

I ordered some climbing peas, which will be new for us, but I figured if we can go up we get more space.  I have always grown climbing beans for that reason as well. I dont have enough space really to produce enough peas to can or freeze, but I just love fresh peas and even one meals worth makes them worth growing. Beans, well by the end of summer we are usually sick of them, but they are inexpensive and prolific.  Same with the zuchinni. This year I ordered a package of mixed zuchinni seeds, so hopefully we will wind up with several varieties. 

Now I just need to find a way to get some good compost and refresh the soil at my little garden space.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Grace's first herding lesson

Today Grace had her first herding lesson.  It was short but she worked hard.  The snow in the pen was pretty deep and fairly loose, so she had to really jump versus run.  Kim worked her since she wanted to get a feel for how she thought, which was great.  Kim had her working both ways and learning to respect the shepherd and the flock- and the crook too.  Grace was really eager to go and chase, but she was starting to understand not to crowd and to give a bit of distance. Kim got her to stop a couple of times too.   Lots of thinking for a very excited girl. 

We were going to have a couple of other lessons this month, but Kim thinks we should wait for less snow, so she can work a bit easier. She was breathing pretty hard after a short session.  I am going to work with her and the rest of the dogs too to build up some endurance. Being city dogs, they dont get enough running time, so they all need more work. So that is my homework, as well as working on a stop.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Flyball and Agility

I just love my dogs.  Magic is doing super in his flyball class.  And Grace had her first agility class since I got sick.  Even though its been weeks she did really well.  On our first run, she got a little zoomie, and did try to cross in front of me and almost knocked me on my butt, which she then proceeded to yell at me for being in her way.  The next run was much better. On our third run, she knocked a bar which honestly is a rarity for her. It was so funny she turned around and looked at it and I swear I heard her mumble WTF.  So we re-did that and she did it clean and very nice. Our last 2 excercises were good as well.  I am starting to get some speed out of her, and we may actually have to think about not having a running contact. She was in the yellow, but for the first time ever she did not run off the frame. But really I am so happy with her.

And nothing against Magic, but I am finding I like agility more with Grace than I did with Magic.  Magic is always so far ahead of me that I wasnt enjoying it as much. Grace runs with me and although I know that means we will have slower runs, I really like playing with her.