Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Freestyle class #3

Well, its hot again. Last night is was 85 degrees , which I guess is better than 95. Class is very fast paced. I felt bad that I didn't practice at all last week. I kept having bad headaches and then I was to tired from the agility trial. I didn't want to be disrespectful to the teacher by not practicing. If someone is taking their time to teach you some thing, then you should practice. Anyway, last night we went over everything we have learned in the last two classes. Luckily she didn't make us show her individually what we have learned. Then she added teaching your dog to nose touch your hand in different places. Then when your dog has that , you teach them to nose touch you hand with your hand up a little higher so your dog has to jump up to touch it. We also tried to teach the the dogs to touch a little ball that is at the end of a dowel rod. This will give you more extension and teach your dog to work further away from you. Then she showed us a scallop. Your dog can sit or stand on your left side, he stays and you move over to his opposite side by turning to your left , which would bring you in front of the dog and then continue rotating until you end up on the dogs other side. Then you bring the dog around to your other side, by bringing him around the front of you and then around to your side. I'm sure this doesn't make sense. But both your moves mimic each other.
Tonight she played music and showed us how you add the moves to the music. We are not ready for that but it was neat to watch. Next week she will bring her dog and show us some of their dance routines. Its been to hot the last few classes, but a cool front is suppose to be coming. Next week we are to bring a tug toy to class and the ball on the stick. This class is very tiring for the dogs. I thinks it because they are constantly working all at the same time. In agility, each dog works one at a time. So your dog has time to rest. No rest here. By about 5 minutes until the end of class Guiness was done. He just stopped working. Ill have to be more careful about that.

Ive decided to reteach Miley a 2on/2off for contacts. It is very obvious that a running contact isn't going to work for us. I saw this friends dog do some awesome 2o/2o contacts with such speed. That's what I want. When I was deciding on contacts I hoped that Miley was small enough to stride right through the contact zone but she has a huge stride. Its at least a 5 foot stride when going over the dog walk. So tonight we worked on that. We also worked on running to a 4 inch table. She jumped right on every time. Isn't that how it always it. Perfect at home. Ha!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Miley gets her Novice JWW title

It was a very good weekend. Miley did great in the jumpers ring. All weekend she was right on. She took first place all three days and it looked great. No mistakes and I didn't have to repeat anything. It felt great. Standard on Saturday she did great. No jumping on and off the table. Everything was flowing. But she jumped both the contacts. Sunday, again she jumped her contacts and I pulled her off the teeter by rear crossing. It was a 90 degree angle from the jump to the teeter and I thought I couldn't make a front cross in time. O'yea she again jumped on and off the table. I'm going to have to practice that table being 4 inches. I think we have been practicing with a 16 inch table. Big difference. All in all it was a great weekend. She really liked going to the trial. Both Saturday and Sunday she stood at the door waiting to go. ( When she see the purple cooler she know we are going some where) She usually runs away when its time to go to the car. But not this weekend. The courses were great. The jumpers course yesterday had two pinwheels and the course today many tight turns. I hate when you go to a trial and the novice courses are so easy that they don't challenge you at all. The judges were very nice and all the dogs were under control. I didnt see anyone be mean to their dog. Hopefully everyone had a good time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Mileys first trial

Miley's first run was JWW. She did beautiful. I really thought she would be wild but she wasn't. My only real expectation was for her not to be stressed and leave the ring. Here is her run.

I'm not sure why she hit so hard into the weave poles. I was surprised she didn't come out of them. I had her messaged afterwards to try to ward off injury. She didn't seem injured. So ,she had a great run and took first place. Our next run was Standard. Now that is the Miley I know. She was crazy. The positives were: she didn't break her start line stay. She stayed with me. She did the teeter and the last 4 jumps well. She didn't drop any bars. But the mistakes were: jumped the contacts on the dogwalk and a-frame. Went into the wrong end of the tunnel. Didn't do the weaves. Didn't do the chute. One thing I'm not sure of is if I was giving her commands. I do remember saying table and sit. O'yea, that was the other thing. She jumped on and off the table several times. The table seemed low to me, so she easily stepped on and off the table. So I didn't make her redo much. I did bring her around me to get on the a-frame, but I think that was it. She was crazy. If I ever get the first video loaded, I will then try for the next one. The second video isn't as good as the first. I think my husband was trying to get to close.

First AKC trial

Today will be Miley's first AKC agility trial. I signed her up for jumpers and standard but not fast. She isn't really ready to trial because her contacts aren't great but I did it just for fun. I have to work the trial anyway , so I thought she might as well come. The weather has changed drastically in the last week. From 95 degrees and oppressive to 67 degrees and cool and windy. I think this has effected how Miley is running. Yesterday she was just willy nilly. Running fast but if a jump was in the way and going to slow her down she by passed it. I was thinking , "at least her weaves are good". But in the last 2 days she will collect to get into the weaves and then you will see her accelerate out of maybe pole 3 and by pass the rest of the poles. I see her thinking, " crap, this is slowing me down, forget this". Silly dog. So my only expectation for this weekend is that it be fun and she stay with me on course. I don't care if she by passes obstacles or misses contact. I mostly want her first trial to be fun. So that is my goal. The only bad this is that some freak storm formed off the coast yesterday and has come on shore into South Carolina. So its raining and windy. Yuk!!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Freestyle class #2

Class was lots of fun. I'm not sure why, it just is. The instructor is very nice and supportive. We practiced everything we worked on last week. We had to, one by one, show each move and she gave us tips to improve the move. The one thing I didn't get was ,when doing the heeling and then you have your dog turn out away from you, that you need a different word for turning out left and turning out right. I was just saying " out" for both sides. But when you are performing your dog may be in front of you. So you need a word like "out" for the turn out to the right and then maybe "rout" for the turn out to the left. (You can use none sense words) . This week we added a bow to the tricks. I need to make sure to get Guiness's elbow on the ground before treating. We also practiced giving his paw. Guiness's knew how to do this but only with his left paw. I kept trying to get him to do his right and he was getting confused. He started backing up. So the instructor say to use this. Click and treat and say "back" to teach your dog to back up. If your dog starts offering something else , just go with it. Back to the paw trick. Once your dog has it, then start to get him to touch his paws to your feet when you lift them up. We also practice teaching the dog to move away from you and toward you when in heel position. We are terrible at this. One thing, my dogs don't really know how to heel. I hate teaching it and I'm terrible at making the dog understand what to do. But maybe one day I will be successful. The class is now all shelties because the lady with the lab decided it wasn't for her. At the end of class Guiness was very tired. He jumped in his crate and went right to sleep. When we got home Miley gave Guiness an ear full of barking. And not the kind of barking that says, " I'm so happy to see you". She was mad.
Miley has been off this week. When Ive been trying to get her lined up at the start line, she been circling me and not coming in. She hasn't done this behavior in months. I'm not sure what is going on. She did that Sunday and today. Today she ran as fast as she could just to run. Not really paying attention to anything she is doing. Flying off her contacts. Ugh. Im not sure what to do. On the other hand, Guiness has been coming on some of the morning walks again. Yea!!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Silly dog

This morning I woke up at 7am. I sat straight up in a panic. Miley never lets me sleep until 7am.( Its like when your baby sleeps more than 3 hours at night. You wake up and realize the baby didn't wake you up. You panic and run into their room to make sure they are ok. And they are just sleeping) Once she let me sleep until 6:30am. And when I opened my eyes. Miley was standing over me, nose to nose. She was probably thinking, " Are you dead? Don't you know there are balls to chase, walks to go on, food to dish out and bars to jump?" So this morning, I was thinking, "OMG she is dead. She choked on a toy" . But she wasn't. She didn't look like she felt well. My husband was already awake and he said that Miley let him hold her. Now that's a shock. Being held, in Mileys opinion, is for sissies. Life is for running and playing, none of that touchy feely stuff. I took Miley outside and she went to the bathroom and then got on the dogwalk waiting to run. That was a good sign. I brought her up on the deck to go inside, but she wouldn't come. I told my husband she looks like she is going to vomit. And right then she did. And now she is back to normal. Playing , running and eating.
I did some jumping grids with her last night. It was interesting. On all the collection jumps, she didnt drop on bar. But on the extension grids she did. Twice she dropped the first bar. I was video taping , but I couldnt get all the jumps in the frame so I didnt see what she did. Another time she dropped the 3rd bar. That one I caught on tape and she hit it with her front feet. I dont know what that means but I guess we need to work on extension . One thing I have notice when running her. If I get to far in front of her, I think she panics and really speeds up. Then she will drop a bar. But Im only trying to be where I can cross. Not sure what to do about that but practice.
Well, Im off to make the baskets for the judges for the AKC trial we host next weekend.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Rehab vet appt.

Yesterday I took Miley to see a rehab vet up in Charlotte just to make sure the bar dropping isn't an injury. It was ruff because Miley had been in her crate all day. I came home and had about 15 min. to let her play and go the bathroom before putting her in the car. She was not happy. We got to our appt at about 5:30. There was a Shar-Pei dog in the waiting room. He just kept barking, growling and lunging at Miley. Miley was terrified. After about 2 minutes of this ( it felt like forever), I asked if we could go stand in the hallway. The hallway separates the waiting room and exam rooms. There is a solid door , so that dog couldn't see us. The mean dog stopped barking right when we left. I didn't need Miley to think this was a terrifying situation. We saw the vet, who I really like. She watched Miley trot up and down the hall. She then examined her and went through all her joints and muscles. Then watch her walk around some more. Then she wanted to see Miley sit. Usually Miley doesn't have a problem doing this. But last night she would sit for a split second, then down and then sit up. I had treats and I guess she was just trying to give me all her tricks to try and get the treat. It was funny. I finally got her to sit nice 3 different times. The vet said she didnt see or feel anything that would give her any indication that Miley was injured. She did say there is an injury the toy dogs get that could be possible but she didnt think Miley was showing any signs. A small dog can fall and hit their hip. The trauma causes the blood flow to stop to the ball of the femur bone. Then the ball starts to die because its not getting any blood. If you took an x-ray right when the dog got injured you wouldn't see anything. But in a couple of months the dying head of the femur would show up on x-ray. Its called leg-Perthe's disease. But she really didnt think Miley showed any pain. But its something to keep in the back of my mind.So if in another month I thought she was still having trouble we could do an x-ray. Then it was time to go home. I think I paid more for gas to get there than I did for the appt. We got back home around 8:30 at night. It was a long day for both of us.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Freestyle class

Freestlye class was lots of fun. Guiness was very excited to be there. I was worried that he would be reactive because he has been acting that way in the neighborhood. But he was fine. He was whining to play with the other dogs. There were 4 shelties and one lab in the class. First we worked on heel walking with the dog on the left and then the dog does an outside turn away from you as you turn around. So the dog will go from your left side heel to your right. Most of the dogs wanted to turn into you when you did the turn. So she said you can use elaborate gestures to get your dog to do things and slowly fad them out. We then worked on getting your dog to go around a chair, first clockwise and then counter-clockwise. Don't treat your dog in the same place as he comes around the chair or you will teach your dog to stop there. If you think of the chair as a clock, give treats at 6, 9 12 and 3 o'clock. As your dog gets proficient with the going around the chair ,add your body into it. Put yourself close to the chair so now the dog has to go around you and the chair. ( not every dog needs to learn it this way. Some dogs you can teach just to go around you) Just don't always reward the dog in front of you so he thinks that's the end of the behavior. Once the dog has the behavior then you start to add your movement. Like you turn in the opposite direction as the dog goes around. We also worked on on teaching your dog to spin in each direction and weave through your legs. Weaving through the legs should be done with dog entering through the front and from behind. We worked on roll over. Guiness can not roll over. When he lies down , he doesn't roll off to one hip. So that makes it very hard to go on his side and roll over. Last we worked on backing up. This was a fast moving class with lots of homework. You need to work on all these things with a command for each one. The last thing she wants us to introduce was pressure to your dog. If you put your hand lightly on your dogs hip, he should press back. You will have to work in this for a while for you dog to get it. We need this to teach our dogs in the next class to move with us sideways when you use a touch stick on his side between him and you. I know this was a lot, but she stressed fun and not drilling you dog. If he gets it right , stop. Celebrate and don't do anymore. Wait a day or so and do it again. None of the dogs were proficient with the tricks. Its all homework. Probably the worse part was it was 95 degress out and no air conditioning in the building. The humidity has been 90% everyday for the last week. So it was hot!! Its suppose to cool down after tonight. Thank goodness. Last night we walked the dogs at the park. It was miserable. Twice I doused the dogs with water ( which Miley hates). I told my husband I wasn't walking there again until the weather changes. I was covered with sweat after walking an hour and it was 7:30 at night. Yuk!
I ran Miley through a short agility course. The first run she was very excited and dropped almost every bar. So I got the video camera out and started taping. Then she didn't drop any bars. Weird huh. It was a short 5 min. session because I needed to go to class. When I came back from class I ran her again. She was perfect. Not one dropped bar and fast as lighting.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Thanks for the award!

Nicki over at Boarderblog ,http://cruzanborders.blogspot.com/ ,gave us an award. thanks Nicki!

Todays practice

Today I took Miley to the practice field. I felt, while I was there, that it went really well. But as I view the video it doesn't look that way. First we ran a standard course that someone had set up. That went well, no dropped bars. So I was happy about that. Then I set up the course above. Its a course from a trial that I had in my bag. ( didn't set up the whole course) I had 2 problems or maybe three. The first problem was over jump 5. I would be on the left side of the jump and crossed behind the dog after jump 5. I must have come in to soon or I crossed to late because several times she dropped this bar. But sometimes she kept it up. But I know that it was what I did that caused her to drop the bar. So if anyone wants to give me there opinion what I should have done I would be grateful. Next was getting the dog to turn from jump 10 and into the weaves. I tried crossing behind the dog but she continued on to jump 11 and into the tunnel. Then I tried slowing my motion and calling her. That didn't work either. The only thing that worked was a front cross , in front of 10. But that was very had for me to make and I cut her off slightly, but she did make it it to the weaves. She also dropped the bar on 13. But she was looking right at me when she started to jump and not looking where she was going. I know that means she is looking of information. I don't know how to give her the info she needs. Usually I tell her "tight" when I want her to wrap the jump. But my commands are late and I felt that was causing her to knock the bar. So I thought I would just try body motion, but then she is clearly turning her head to look at me and drops the bar. Ugh!! None of my video showed the problems that I had. So I didn't post it. Here are her weaves.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dog Antics

The other morning I was taking a bath. My sons swim team bag was sitting on the floor. It appeared empty. Guiness comes in and sticks his head in the bag. When his head comes out he has a five dollar bill in his mouth. He turns to leave and I tell him to drop it. He does. Well at this point Miley's ears must have perked up. I guess she figured Guiness must have something really good. She come running into the bathroom, picks up the five dollar bill and takes off running. Miley is a shredder. Laundry sheets that have fallen to the floor are great fun. She also like poop bags she gets out of my pants pockets and toilet paper rolls. So I know the five dollar bill is history if I don't act fast. Of course I told her to drop it, but no dice. I jump out of the tub and into the bedroom. Already part of the five dollars is sitting on the floor. I get to the kitchen and tell Miley to drop it again. This time she did. The five dollars survived. I only had to tape that one side back on. Silly dog.
Guiness's face is almost healed. No sure what that spot was but the hair is coming back. I signed Guiness and I up for a freestyle class. It starts next Monday. I thought I would try it with him. If its to hard on his back legs, I change and bring Miley.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Sunday adventures

Miley's legs must be feeling better. Twice when we were on the beach she jumped from the beach and into the front of the pontoon boat, which was up on the beach. Its a pretty good jump. Then when we got home. My daughter called her while she was sitting in a big over stuffed chair. It has very tall arms. Miley took a flying leap and jump the side of the chair, over the side arms and into my daughter lap.

We had lots of fun on the lake and Miley was very excited to be there. When we first got to the boat she just kept barking. It was as if she was telling us to hurry up and get to the beach. Guiness did much better swimming to day. I have been holding his tail up while he swims to keep his butt up. That way he uses his back legs and doesn't panic swim. Today after the first time of holding his tail up, he did the rest of the swimming himself keeping his back end up. Yea!!

When we were going home we saw this steam boat. I thought it was interesting and took some pictures of it. My grandfather is very into steam engines and builds miniature ones. So I'll email the steam boat pictures to my parents and then they can show my grandfather.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Hair, skin and legs

Ive been trying to get a good picture of Miley. I couldnt get one . This was the best I could do. I wanted a picture that shows her coat. About 2 weeks after she was spayed ,she started blowing her coat. Tons of her undercoat fell out. I think all of it did. And it hasn't come back. She was spayed in June. In the above picture her chest hair is thin and short. On her underside, she has a few thin hairs hanging down but not much. You can see her collar easily which you never use to . Guiness sheds all year round and never blows his whole coat. It is definitely easier this way. I hope her undercoat comes back in for winter. Its only the beginning of September and it wont start to get cold probably until November so there is plenty of time. ( Miley is still beautiful)
Guiness's round spot on his face came back negative for ringworm. Its still there and it might be a little better. They told me to keep treating it with the lotrmin cream and if its not better by next week, bring him in.
Ive been worried about Miley dropping the bars when she is running. I don't see anything wrong but I just don't want anything to happen to her. So I haven't done any agility with her for a week. I'm going to wait one more week and then start again and see how she does. Last Friday I had set up one jump and then the weaves. It was the first set up of the day. She was running a wide turn and then came to the jump. She crashed the jump but made the weave poles. So that really bother me. I think what happened was she saw the jump at first but was late seeing the weaves. Then she tried to collect right before the jump to make the weaves and something had to give as she put on the brakes to late. But it scared me and I decided right then to take 2 weeks off.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Look at me!!

We took the dogs on the lake again. Miley actually went swimming on her own one time. I think she was just trying to get to me, but Ill take it. The reason I want her to swim is so she will cool herself off when its hot. She will sometimes get in the baby pool, but she just stands there. I would like her to lie down .