Sunday, October 30, 2011

2 Q's toward Magics AKC coursing title - UPDATED

Magic loves lure coursing. SO much he practically wears himself out while waiting his turn. Lunging whining pulling such a naughty dog.But I can't fault him during his runs. He runs lovely. Now we just have to wait for spring for another trial.

Edit!  Some additional information since I just got the report of his times for the runs this weekend.  Magic is just a bit over 12 inches per his AKC agility measurements. Dogs over 12 inches run the full 600 yard course, and they have 2 minutes to do it in. Dogs under 12 run a 300 yard course and have 1.30 minutes if I remember right..  Magic ran the first run on 1.0032 and the second one a little bit slower at  1.0375

Quicker than I thought!

Friday, October 21, 2011


I had a quick email conversation with another dog breeder this week and we both commented about how we are so broke we would love to do or get something but can't. Why am I mentioning this, well because although we both have an area in our lives where something is lacking, that was just a quick comment. It was quickly followed with the thought that that was OK that we couldn't do whatever, we both have what we need.  We have our homes and our families, we are able to feed them, even if sometimes its ramen noodles, we have our dogs and we are happy. And she has beautiful puppies to make her smile.

And I am happy. Although there have been periods in my life where I hade more, more money, fancy clothes, a nice car I don't remember being happier in those times.  Although life is never perfect, you can be happy with less. I think that noticing and thinking about the things that are good can help cement the good feelings inside.

3 things that made me happy are 1. Graces happy prancing heeling.  2. Making 2 socks at once on a circular needle  3. Getting snuggles from a 28 gram bird.

What 3 things made you happy this week?  Please share your joy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Bridget Carlsen Seminar

This weekend I attended a Bridget Carlsen dog training seminar put on by a local dog club. I had signed up for this seminar quite a while ago, and I remember how excited I had been at the time to get one of the limited working spots. But then during the long wait I attended the Denise Fenzi seminar which was just so good, I was seriously thinking of letting my working spot go to someone else. But I didn’t and I attended the seminar with Grace as my working dog. Ultimately, I am really glad that I attended.

I am really bad about taking notes at Seminars. I wish I were better. I find I spend all my time listening and watching for those small things I can take with me to use. I know that her style of training is not something that everyone would be comfortable with, but I found that there were so many points and aspects in her training that were brilliant. Her end result working style with her dogs is a bit more extreme than I care for. It's extremely flashy and showy though, and quite inspiring to see. Her dogs do appear to love working with her, in fact the only issue I saw the dogs have with her was having to leave her to go into a kennel, where none of them preferred to be.

I loved her version of jackpotting, which is a form of working for your meals, but the way she is doing it, it truly is a cue you can carry over to the show ring. The corgis and I are starting this tonight. I liked her sit, back sit, or down, back down, we are going to incorporate this too. I found a ton of merit in how she trains her young dogs at slow speed. I can see how it would help the dogs put the whole picture together. I AM going to teach gloves the demonstrated them last night, that just made so much sense to me. I think I may wind up switching to her method for Magic's scent articles, as it utilizes tied down articles and I am hoping it can help cure him of his need to bring back every dumbbell he sees regardless of the scent on them. (ever seen a corgi try to get a 4th metal article in his mouth). There is quite a bit more I am sure once I go through the notes I did take.

Bridget is not a purely positive trainer. Her dogs do get corrections. They are told when they are wrong, they have consequences. They are given a poke or a squeeze, or physically placed into a position. Yet they were very happy, very stable, adoring dogs just dying to get out and work with her.  I feel I am primarily a positive trainer, but I do find that I am not totally averse to using some corrections, and or body positioning-in some situations.  Many of you know that Grace tends to be very barky.  This weekend  I tried Bridget's correction, a verbal no and a muzzle grab, followed by praise when quiet which worked pretty well.  Now I am not talking about a painful grab or squeeze, just a hold, which seemed to help her understand the part I didn't like was the mouth, not the rest of what she was doing. 2 corrections like this while ringside and the barking stopped, and she waited patiently for quite a while. 
On the other hand, there were some times when I felt the correction was excessive and beyond my comfort level. I don't use a prong myself, I train in a wider flat buckle. I did feel uncomfortable with some of the usage, but that was student dogs. And in all honesty, these dogs did take very tough corrections and keep right on with no noticable changes to the attitude. I do know some people who do use prongs and I totally respect them. I will physically place my dogs into position if needed and I don't find it offensive. Maybe that comes from hand stacking a dog on the conformation table, but my dogs have never been bothered by that, or by me replacing a foot where I want it. I think like many things, how a person trains can vary widely and still be fine.   I want my dogs to want to work with me and be my partner.  I think they do. They all ask for work time. Trimming toenails, that would be another story, none of them ask for that.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Pull results

The pull last weekend went very well.  It's the first one I have chaired, thankfully with Denises help, it went pretty darn well.  Both days we only had a couple of dogs who didn't qualify. We had several dogs reach new personal bests which is pretty fun to see.

Grace pulled both Saturday and Sunday, Saturday she pulled 570, Sunday 516, both 10 point pulls.  Peace only pulled on Sunday, but pulled better than she has in quite a while pulling 624.  Siren was the family winner with a pull on Saturday of 678 and Sunday 786-both pulls earning her and David 15 points toward her UWPCH. Sundays pull was just over 30 times her body weight. If we can get the videos loaded I will post it. She is so happy working with David.

According to Darryl, Magic was not happy being left home alone Sunday.  Apparently about 15 minutes after we left Darryl woke to the sound of Magic and his unique version of a howl.  He got up and found Magic laying on the arm of the couch howling his soft quiet version of a howl. Its quite funny, its the quietest howl I have ever heard, but it come complete with the nose pointed to the sky and the classic aroooo just very very quiet-almost whisper quiet!  Darryl invited him to join him in the bed instead.