Thursday, October 30, 2008

new way to teach 2o2o

Well, I've been trying to teach this 2o2o now for about a month. And she is just not getting it. If I try to move my position at all she curls off the board on the side. I have also been doing a little work with a hit-it board. She really likes the hit -it board. She will drive to the board, hit it and move on. So that got me thinking. And Ive decided to teach the 2o/2o this way. ( Sorry "M" ) Im using a target and will fade that after I think she really understands her job. This is the third day Ive been teaching it this way and Im having much more success. She seems happier too. (Im trying to up load the video. )

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Do you know what your children are doing at night?

Well, apparently I don't!

My daughter painted this on her bedroom wall the other night after I went to bed. Its hard to be mad when you think it looks pretty good.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I have to laugh

I have to laugh at myself. First I state in my blog that when people see my dog run that I want them to think, " Wow, I want a dog like that". Then I post that terrible video. Who would want their dog to look like that? It just struck me as funny as I was sitting here watching people's dog agility videos.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Miley practice - the learning process

So this video is of me teaching and learning to do false turns and threadles. The first two runs are false turns to get into the correct tunnel entrance. Then second one doesn't look to good. Then we run a serpentine and that looks good. Then we start the threadle practice. I thought that when I was practicing that I was not just pulling my shoulder back but also stepping back with the same leg to cue the dog to pull in . But I was surprised to see in the video that I was only pulling my shoulder back. Hmmmm. Then as we are practicing she drops a bar. I rewarded anyway because she came in and that was what I was working on. Then she gets stuck doing a 180 three times instead of the threadle. So I set her up and I moved closer to the jumps to help her out more. Then she gets it. I noticed when I ran the treadle the other way she got it. Not sure if that meant she was understanding it or if she more comfortable on that side. Then I just let her run some fun stuff since what we were working on was hard and she did work hard to figure out what I wanted. So the last part is just fun stuff. I know this video isn't great and your probably wondering why I would post something that looks so bad. But its a learning process. Then you can go back and say , "wow, look how far we have come."

I took Guiness and Miley to the park to run off some energy. I took Guiness last week too. He ran the whole time fetching the ball. Most of the time he beat Miley to the ball. But the truth is Miley doesn't run full out when Guiness is going for the ball. She just lets him get it. She also wont play chase with him unless he has a toy in his mouth. Ive never seen him tag her but she must worry about it. Its funny, because Ive seen her tag him. Both of them played hard. I practiced downing them when coming with the ball. Then I would run and jump trying to get them to break their down. One time Guiness came running after me. Miley thought about breaking when Guiness did that, but she didn't. Yea Mi !! Guiness's leg must be feeling better. In June he couldn't chase the ball. He tried one time and gave up. That day he couldn't get into the car. Until last week, I hadn't taken him to play ball again. I didn't expect him to chase it. I was just trying to run Miley. But Guiness did it. I haven't seen any limping. Yea!!!! I'm not saying he is better but its nice if he can play ball again.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Storms and class

Poor Miley. Friday was a bust. It poured down rain all day so we couldn't go outside. Then to top it off a storm came through and knocked the power out. So we were in the dark from 5:30-8:30. We lit candles and Miley keep bringing toys for me to throw. I would throw them until she couldn't find it and then she would go get another toy and we would start over. By 7:00 pm my husband and I decided we were board and we hooked up a TV to the battery pack and watched the new Indiana Jones movie. It finished about the time the power came back on.

Saturday I decided to go up to North Carolina and take a lesson and stay for the class right afterwards. It is hard to drive 2 1/2 hours for the lesson and class but I read some one's blog one day that got me thinking. I don't remember who's blog is was but they talked about what were you willing to do to reach your goals ( for agility). I read this quite some time ago. But I always think about it. How good do I want to be with my dog and what do I want to accomplish? How do I plan to get there. What do I want? When I run with my dog, I want people to say, "Wow, I want a dog like that". So now that Ive gotten off track. I took a lesson. I showed "M" how Miley was doing with the board and her 2o/2o. She is doing much better than she was 2 weeks ago. But still had a ways to go. She definitely knows that the board is important. She still hasn't figured out the main goal is her 2o/2o position. "M" gave me some more things to work on with the board and starting to move my position around the board.( Start again with kneeling beside the board and work to standing when first moving postion) We talked about getting Miley to understand to stay on the board until she is released. Using treats, keep giving her treats when she is in the 2o/2o position and then release her. Slowly start adding more time between the treats and then release.

Next we worked on tunnel discrimination. I think I posted before that miley doesn't always take the tunnel right in front of her , she will take the harder entrance. I posted below the set up we used to teach discrimination. It is the sequence on the far right. ( the one with the curved tunnel and 3 jumps, no numbers) . So I'm to practice sending Miley over the jump and into the tunnel entrance. Depending where I am and which tunnel entrance she needs to take will depend on what I do. Say we are on the far right jump and I want her to take the far left tunnel entrance. I will do a false turn as she takes the jump to bring her into me and then send her to the correct entrance. I should probably add a cue like "in" when she comes in and if she were taking the right tunnel entrance I would say "out". I hope this makes sense. Another note is that small dogs have many more strides from obstacle to obstacle. This gives them more time to think about where they are going and what choices they have. Much more chance for an off course. This tunnel -jump set up is also good for working serpentine , threadles, 180's and correct tunnel entrance. We worked on threadles too because I'm having a problem with those . Which "M" says makes sense since a false turn is involved again.

After the lesson , I stayed for the class. First we worked on the sequence at the top of the course down below. Its numbered 7-12 but actually # 7 is really #1 and go from there. The way I decided to run my dog was: I had my dog on my left and was just going to rear cross her when she went into the tunnel. But guess what happened by me running this way with a little lead out. She went over the first 2 jumps and then on to the jump in front of her and didn't take the tunnel. By running the course this way, I was cuing extension and not collection. Collection would have told the dog a turn is coming and I didn't tell the dog that. So I ran it again and did a running front cross b/t #2 and #3. Of course this work much better. The next problem was you needed to be at the tunnel exit to push your dog out to get over the back of that jump.(#10). So you really had to be turning before your dog got over the 2nd jump otherwise you didn't make it to the tunnel exit. The one that worked the best was a "come to heel". Lead out pass jump #2 sort of facing your dog with your right arm out to tell the dog to take those 2 jumps and then lead him passed your feet into the tunnel. This got you to the exit quickly. Next I had to tell Miley "weave" before she even took that last jump so she had time to adjust her stride and know where to go. She didn't have any problems making the weaves or doing all 12 poles. Yea!

We ran the set up at the bottom of the course posted below last. We ran it with all front crosses and all rear crosses. My cross was late which made my dog wide. Also I needed to call Miley's name when she was about 2/3rd through the tunnel so that she turned tight coming out of the tunnel and again not be wide.

All in all great lesson and class, well worth the drive. But Im glad to be home.( please note that the distances in these courses may not be correct)

Friday, October 24, 2008

Way to cute!!!

I copied this picture from "Life is better with sheltie Hair" 's blog. It was just to cute to pass up. Thanks.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Last freestyle class and other things

Guiness had his last freestyle class on Monday. Everyones dog is calm and patient except mine. Barking and wanting to work, unable to relax until its his turn. Anyway, she gave us a short routine to music. We first practiced it without the music and then added the music. It was difficult. Its very hard to keep your dog going to keep up with the music. Most people get stuck in getting their dog to do the trick and then get behind in the music. Guiness did well. He feels more comfortable on my left then on my right. We did a heeling pattern with a spin to the left and then into a heel again. Then you brought he dog all the way around in front of you and around to the right side. Then heeling on the right with a spin to the right. Left side was much more successful than right. At least in agility you get to go at your dogs pace or your pace. In freestyle you go at the music's pace. Guiness does things fast. So his circles are really wide because he is covering more area but needs to keep with the music. He probably needs faster music but the teacher said you should start with slow music. Also she said that when she first started, she copied someone's routine. Once she learned it, then she started changing parts of it until she made it her routine.

Miley's 2o/2o is getting better. She is understanding the feet on the board and off the board. Now I just need her to understand that she cant release until I tell her. This weeks practice has been on and off. Tuesday she was on fire but yesterday she seemed a little slow to me. I tried to work on making the table more valuable. I guess I did to good of a job because she started by passing obstacles just to get to the table.

I took the dogs to the park the other day. I walked them in the middle of the day hoping to avoid the bicycle people. We did good until we got back on the main trial. I didn't hear the bicycles coming before it was to late. So now I have rope burns across my knuckles from trying to get Guiness under control. I usually don't use a flexi-lead at the park because of this but that day I thought I was safe. Usually the bicycle people ride in the morning and evening but I guess that's not always. So now when I get on the main trail , I need to lock the flexi-leads so they are short.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Training, vacuums and life

I don't know why but my training with Miley has just been off for several weeks. I know it me , but I dont know why. I think that I'm disappointed that the running contacts didn't work out. I don't want a 2o/2o, I want a running. I hate when I cant accomplish something that I set my mind on. I'm not one to give up. So even though I'm training a 2o/2o, its still in the back of my mind of what I can do to fix the running contact. So I need to come to terms with this because its not fair to Miley. I put her on the board again today and this time I stood up. It didn't go as well as yesterday. She started the circling again. Well, not really circling me but constantly circling around on to the board, like she didn't know what she was doing. So I guess I need to go back a step. I took her to the field to practice. She went through 12 weave poles about 4 times without a problem. We did some sequences that she did pretty well on. I need to work on "out" and telling her sooner. I also need to make the table more fun. She really isn't driving to the table like I want her too. My husband went with me to the field. He said that when she leaves the table, you hear her nails scraping like she cant get traction to sprint off. He thinks that's why she doesn't like the table. I think that could be part of it, but I also think she doesn't like to stop. She wants to run, running is fun. So I need to make the table more fun. Not sure how right now but something to work on.
I finally broke down and bought a new vacuum cleaner. I have a hoover that I bought 16 years ago and it still works. But I've been noticing lately it just isn't picking up like it use to. The other day I cleaned my car after the agility trial. I vacuumed the mats. I then turned the mat over to get the grass off the bottom and a bunch of dirt fell out. So that pretty much said it all right there. Yesterday I went to Sears to test the 2 vacuums I had narrowed the search down to. One was a Kenmore (consumer reports best buy) and the other was a Dyson canister. I chose the Dyson. It was lighter and easier to move the head around. The only negative was the electrical cord is very short. I brought the vacuum home. Wow, my carpets are really dirty. It has sucks up so much dirt , I just cant believe it. The only problem is, now every time I see some dog hair, I want to vacuum it up. ( Don't worry, I resisted the temptation)

The barking birdhouse is working again. I read the directions ( imagine that) and it said that if the microphone gets wet , it will stop working. After it drys, it will start working again. And it did.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

More 2o/2o work

(sorry for the annoying dog barking in the back ground of the video. ) Since Miley seemed so excited when doing the board work in the yard, we decided to take the board inside. I also cut some of the board off to make it shorter. I think she is getting it now. I did notice that my clicks are still late. It doesn't feel late when I'm doing it, but when watching the video it seem really late. Today we practice the teeter game a couple of times. That really brings her to the end of the board. We ran some short sequences that went pretty well. There were some problems, like not reading the pinwheel and starting to lift up off the table before I said ok. So we worked on both those problems. We also did some weave poles. I added two poles to make it eight poles and she stayed in the poles until the end. So that was good. The last thing we did was practice some of the flat work on the "bridging the gap" video. I had her in a sit-stay and walked by her, jogged by her and then ran by her. And she stayed until the verbal "ok". I was surprised. I really thought when I ran by she would break, but she didn't. Yea!!

On a sad note, the birdhouse bark deterrent stopped working. It poured down rain yesterday and last night. I'm not sure if that has anything to do with it or not. Its suppose to be weather proof. So I took it inside for tonight to see if it needs to dry out. I hope it starts working again because things were great for a while.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Teaching 2o/2o (warning , the video is boring)

Ive been doing the contact training with Miley on the board. It felt like a terrible session. I'm not sure why. I felt like she just doesn't get it. And the way I was standing wasn't right. But I was video taping it. When I watched it, I was surprised to see her go into a 2o/2o before I started. To bad I wasn't paying attention. So she didn't even get rewarded. Ugh!!! How did I miss her doing that? Also as I watched, it didn't look that bad to me. She did lots of circling. That has me concerned too. The other thing we practiced was tunnel entrances. I'm not sure why but she seems be to taking the wrong entrance. We will be running and the tunnel opening will be a straight shot, and she goes off course and takes the other entrance. To get her in the right opening, I had to go all the way to the tunnel almost like a block. I'm going to have to work on this and maybe video tape it too. Maybe I'm doing something with my shoulders that causing the off course.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Private lesson for Miley

So yesterday was a great day. It finally stopped raining and drizzling and the sun came out. It had been rainy and over cast since Tuesday. I was Lucky enough that "M" would meet me in Charlotte to give me a private lesson. She was there at a trial and said that she could give me a lesson when she was done running her dog. So we met at someones house. I wanted her to help me with my training of my 2o/2o. She asked me to show her what I was doing. I'm sure she wanted to bust a gut when I showed her how I was training Miley. But she didn't say anything bad. She showed me what I should be doing. I want Miley to hop on the board, into the 2o/20 position from the side. I will need to lure her around and then onto the board. She made it look easy. But when I practiced tonight, it didn't flow easy. But its just the first day and Miley doesn't really understand what to do yet. Once I get Miley into the 2o/2o position , click and treat. The treat should be given to her low and press back into her a little so she puts her weight on her back legs. I should do this for the next to weeks. And once Miley gets it, start restraining her on the board so she wants to drive into position. Take the board to different places so the dog can do this position any where. She also told me to order the video, "Bridging the Gap" and practice the stuff on the flat. She showed me her dog doing is 2o/2o and how he held his contact as she ran by and said different words like banana and bingo. The dog didn't release until she said ok. He loved that contact . Every time we were just talking he would run over and get into position.

We also worked on the teeter. She showed me how to play the teeter game. You have your dog in a sit stay several yards from the teeter. You put yourself in front of the teeter right up next to the board facing the dog and have treats in your hand. Call your dog to you keeping your hand on the teeter so it cant drop until the dog gets to the edge of the board. When your dog gets all the way to the edge of the board you give the treat and drop the board. You can also lower the board with your hand under it if your dog isn't ready for the board just dropping.

We practiced this set up that she had used in her last class. I'm not sure its set up correctly but you get the gist of it. ( I hope she doesn't mind me posting this) So I did a lead out to the tunnel and Miley did a straight shot from #1 into the #3 tunnel. Then I backed up in front of jump # 4, stayed to the right of #5 and #6 then rear crossed after 7 and brought her in on 8 ect. We practice this course several different ways. Lead out to the inside of #2 and lead out to the outside of #2. We also tried front crossing after #5. I didnt do to well with that. I think there was another we tried but I cant remember what it was.

"M" spent a lot of time with me. I was very thankful that she did. She helped me alot. I was expecting an hour lesson but I think we were there almost 2 hours. I hope I gave her enough money. Ill have to ask her. After the lesson she brought out her 2 puppies. A jack Russell and a border collie. They were very happy and excited. Miley thought about playing but was to scared. She watched from every ones legs. Then she started getting growly when they tried to get her to play. Silly dog. She has no problem irritating the dogs at home to get them to play. Funny how things change when the shoe is on the other foot.

And.......... I came home today, let the dogs out and no fence fighting. Peace and quiet. (The dogs can bark outside. I have the birdhouse thing set on the lowest setting which is 15 feet. So the dog get to run and bark in the other parts of the yard just not next to the beagle. )

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Guiness craziness

I'm not sure what is up with Guiness. Lately he seems more reactive. He has been barking and lunging at other dogs when walking in the neighborhood. And its been transferring to Miley. I'm going to have to start walking them separately to see if I can get Guiness under control. Tonight my son came home from work and Guiness went crazy barking at him. Now granted , my son usually wears the same thing everyday. White t-shirt and khaki pants or shorts. But he works at the movie theater and has to wear black pants, black shoes, white shirt with a red vest over top. The dog went crazy and I couldn't get him to stop. Then when my son changed his clothes, Guiness was fine. Ive already told you how Guiness is fence fighting with the dog next door. Ive tried everything to get it to stop. I put black plastic on the fence and put another fence down the line.I have a water hose set up to turn on when it starts. I tried to treat and click for good behavior. I used a coke can with pennies in it. And of course he was on leash for weeks while trying to heal his limp. Nothing worked. So I bought the birdhouse ( ) that beeps a pitch that only the dogs can hear when they bark. So far its been 3 days and no fence fighting. The beagle came out today and started to bay ( beagle bark) at the fence. But he only got out 1/2 a bay then abruptly stopped. Yes, peace. Now to fix all the other problems.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I finally found the trail

Here is the trail Ive been looking for. I looked for it this summer but for some reason couldn't find it. The park closes at 4:30 with the gates lock. So you cant get to the back of the park unless you walk in or ride a bike. You can park in the front parking lot and use the park until dark, but I cant walk that far to get to the back trials. Yesterday I only had to work 1/2 a day, so I decided to go to the park before all the mountain bikers got off work and take over the trials. I found this trial easily, not sure what my problem was last time. This spider women trail is suppose to be difficult and about 3 miles long once you get to it. Its very hilly but that's about it. I didn't have to scale any rocks. It curls around the back of the park which ends at the river. You can get to the river if you want.
It also has a creek running thur the trial so if the dogs get hot they can cool off.
I'm not sure what this purple thing is on this tree, but it was pretty.

I was trying to take pictures so you could see how steep the trail was, but it never really shows up right.

Disclaimer: Dogs were on leash at all times. In some of the pictures the leashes are hidden or for some reason you cant see it.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

More pictures from the trial.

Here are a few more pictures from the trial last week. I couldnt get the scanner to work, so I used my camera and took a picture of the pictures. So thats why there is a white spot. And I know you cant wait, more pictures to come.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Retraining contacts: 2o/2o

So Ive been working on retraining Miley's contacts. I read an article in Clean Run March 2007. It was called,"Get On Board, Elicia Calhouns' contact training program." But I must be losing my mind because I just couldn't understand the progress of the training. Also Miley wasn't getting it. (Ive been reading the article the last thing at night). Today , when I came home, I decided to reread the article again. ( for the fourth time) Well guess what? The other three times I missed the first page of the article. I missed information like, tilting the board at an angle. I also missed information that was written else where in the article. I was suppose to be training the down completely on the board. I wasn't doing this. Then you are to progress to the dog stretching to the 2o/2o position. I also missed dropping the treats on the board and not from my hand. So, I will now start over. I hope I haven't messed her up to much with my bad training. ( This could be due to the fact that my sheltie got me up again at 3:30 am. All these early mornings are effecting my brain)

Funny thing

I forgot my cell phone this morning, but I have my clicker. Im sure that will help if I have any problems.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Freestyle class #4

Class was very different this week. The instructor brought her dog and showed us different moves and how she trained them. About half the time was spent watching so Guiness was beside himself. He knew I had treats in my pocket and just kept barking. I really couldn't get him to stop. I didn't bring a crate in because all the other classes we worked the dogs the whole time. So to keep him quiet , I gave him little pieces of cheese. I know , not the right thing to do but I was looking for a quick fix so everyone could hear the instructor. We worked on a couple of new moves which I cant describe because you probably wont understand what I'm trying to say. So much to work on and names to think of the move one way and then the other. We are to bring some music next week and tell her some moves that we think would go with the music. Poor Miley got no attention yesterday and to pay me back she decided I should get up at 4am. Ugh!!
Did I tell you about how my dogs ( Guiness) are maniacs at the fence with the beagle next door. Sometimes my dogs start it by barking and the beagle comes over and starts in. But sometime the beagle starts it by coming over and barking( if that what you want to call it). Well I have a surprise for them . I ordered a birdhouse that emits a sound that only the dogs can hear when they bark. Its suppose to stop barking. We will see.......