Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Hand me downs......

Floozie has them!Becky bought this cute collar for Sixx,but as Sixx has gotten hairier Becky couldn't see it,and so has handed it down to the Floof,I think it suits her :)

Here's Flooz relaxing after agility yesterday.She loves to lie along your legs...weirdo!!

Monday, 30 January 2012

Agility lessons...

I had 3 great agility lessons today,one each with all of the 'Dream Team' Shady,Mookie and Floozie.
Floozie goes first which is lucky because she'd only sit screaming her head off in the van at the outrage of not going first if she didn't!

We didn't do any sequences today with her.We worked on rear crosses,first jump focus and contacts.Her rear crosses are pretty good considering I've never trained them or done any foundation work specificly on them.
She could definitly start understand turning just on my vocals more,so that is going to be something to work on.
First jump focus needs more development,but she'll get that no problem.I love working with her as because I shaped so many of her behaviours she just figures stuff out SO quickly.
Contacts are good but i really do need to remember to do more proofing again,I've gotten kinda predictable when she's on the contact,and when I threw her toy past her,she came off for it the first time,oops :)

Mookie's lesson is normally the calm one,she's a nice break between Floozie and Shady mentalness,but today Mookie was crazy!So I had 3 very full on classes.
We did a pretty tought course,I had thought I'd struggle with getting her into the wrong end of the tunnel without getting in and front crossing it,but actually that was the easier part of the course,and the bit I thought looked straight forward caught me out!
We also worked on rear crosses,we are messy on them and need to work on them.

Shady was last,and was dying to get started after listening to me working the girls for 2 hours.
We did first jump focus which he really got,some grid work,which bless his little heart he is really figuring it out,and getting more confident with.
We did one exercise with 5 jumps which were really spread out,spaced around 12 feet apart.I thought for certain Shady would smash them down,even though they were only set on medium height.
The first go he came around the second jump,but completed the rest.Second try he was visibly thinking,measured a couple of the jumps.3rd go he looked amazing,confident and back legs stretched out behind him,none of the tucked up nonsense he does when stressed or unsure.
I recently read an article about agility dogs with 'ETS,Early Take off Syndrome',sadly it describes Shady to perfection,and even mentions how Tervs are amongst the most affected breeds.
I am actually feeling incredibly optimistic since reading the article.It given me greater understanding about what he's doing,and confirmed my thinking that dogs with it are normally much better when handled from behind,so with my great trainers I am going to perfect the art of handling him that way.
I see such a massive improvement in him from just 5 lessons with the trainer,its so encouraging.I can't wait till he's ready to go to agility shows again,I've missed working with him!
Also the whole lesson whilst I am not working him,I am playing the 'Look at That' game,so I intend never to bring him back to the show rings over threshold as I sadly used to unintentionally do.

I am really looking forward to the weekend,Fri Becky and I are going down to Dave's for a course walking workshop.Then Saturday is the Kamal Fernandez training day.
Also in Feb I have a weave workshop with Lucy Osborne which I can't wait to do.Floozie has barely been started weaving and I was planning to teach it Lucy's way,though I am still to watch her new DVD,I trust Dan and Dave my trainers when they say its a really good method.
She teaches it the 2 x 2 method for the entries,and uses channels for the rest.Exciting times ahead,I love training these 3 dogs they really love to work :)

Sunday, 29 January 2012

Girls about town...

I had a lovely day today,I just had a little Cavie (King Charles,not guinea pig lol) to groom,a lovely Staff's nails to cut,and then Becky came over and I bathed and groomed Sixx for her.
I had taken Mookie and Shady to work with me,and once Sixx arrived they played in the garden for about an hour whilst I finished grooming little George.

She looked lovely when she was done,it made her weirdly look so grown up,and as we didn't want to get her dirty immediatly after the grooming session,when we walked her with Floozie afterwards we didn't let them off lead together.
We walked across my local park,which Becky made me realise I should utilise more for training,and then on into town.

Becky and I both looked as this photo and said we wouldn't have recognized it as Sixx if we hadn't known it!

HHhhhmmmm says Floozie there's a nice bird over there to chase.

Sixx posed beautifully whilst watching Flooz go chase the birdie. :)(She makes me want a Collie just so I can take photo of them,they are so God damn pretty!)

She looks so grown up now!

We had them pose for photos.Flooz has her eye on some teenagers on a bench,teenagers are the most likely group of people to ask to stroke her,so i think she thinks they all will,Sixx has her eye on some younger children she'd like to go and make friends with.

Both watching the children,wanting to go and greet them!

Now Floozie's got her eye on the young children,and Sixx has got her eye on Floozie!

We forgot to take photos in town,but snapped a quick couple as we were about to leave.
The girls were very well behaved in town,I need to get all the dogs into town for a walk a couple of times a week,it really tires them out,so much to see and think about.

The shopfront has been painted to look like the market stalls which we have in town twice a week.I worked on several of the stalls as a teenager.

It was just about dark by the time we got back.

I ordered 2 new toys on Wed eve,the company I got them from 'Tugg-e-nuff' said to allow 2 - 5 days for delivery,so I was suprised,and midly annoyed to find a scene of minor destruction in my hall when I came home on Friday morning.
There was a ripped up envelope and paper,and some orange and black fluff,which belonged to my lovely new toy.
I bought them as I am going to a Kamal Fernandez training day on Saturday next weekend,and as its being held in a hall I wanted some nice clean indoor toys to play with.It will make a refreshing change to train and yet not be covered in mud!
So I went upstairs and found my lovely new toys on my bed,and either Bug or Mookie had pulled some of the fluff of the fluffy tuggie.Naughty doggies!

Mud glorious mud???

I HATE it.My garden is like a football pitch,and that's just from the dogs going out to the loo,and the occasional play which I quickly stop as they would TRASH my garden,and get filthy.
I have NO problem whatsoever them getting filthy on walks,that's to be expected and on the whole unavoidable.
But the garden,oh the garden,I cannot stand it!
Last year we fenced some of it off with temporary site fencing,the flimsy plastic type held up by metal rods...FAIL!!

The dogs delighted in finding new and creative ways through my barricade,and once in went mental!!They loved the taboo of breaking in and playing in there,trashing my re-seeding efforts with glee!The little fuckers!
This year I am planning a second attempt,with temporary agricultural fencing.The type which is basically wooden stakes strung together with wire.If that fails I can at least spear them with the stakes to get the frustration out of my system ha!
Failing that,and I do have a feeling they are going to beat me no matter what I try,I'm going to talk Pete into patio-ing most if not all of the lawn.If the lawn cannot behave itself and stay a lawn,not a mud patch,then maybe its just gonna have to go!
I have exactly the same problem with mum's garden.I work (groom) from a room built on the back of my mum's house.I take the dogs with me,and leave the door open,so the dogs can come in and sit with me,or play,mooch about in the garden.Well its trashed,worse than my garden as I kinda sacrificed it in an attempt to save my own.
After we spent all the time and money on 'Mindy proofing' mum's garden so she could be loose out their whilst I work (after she escaped into next doors garden a couple of times)it became winter and mud was created immediatly.Damn those dogs playing and having fun!
I just get fed up at this time of the year,me and the dogs are all stir crazy.We're used to spending hours outside,back door always open so they can come and go as they please,and Mindy and Bug in particular spend hours outside playing,and when we're inside everyone is tired and relaxed.Right now we're inside and we're bored,all of us.
Of course we still go for runs each day,I cycle with the dogs,we go to agility,but its just not the same as being able to sit outside for hours.
I need to move to Australia!

Saturday, 28 January 2012

More form the agility workshop..

Well I had a great time at the handling workshop.I got a spot in the afternoon session which started at 1,which was brilliant as it meant I didn't have to leave until 10 am.It was a 2 hour drive but I like to leave myself plenty of spare time so I don't spend the whole drive stressing about wether I'm going to be late or not.
When I got there I was told I was in the Grades 4 - 7 session which I was a bit worried if I would be good enough.
I'm happy to say I didn't feel out of place,and although not getting everything right first time,I managed all the sequences we were set.
One thing training with Dan and Dave has shown me is,Oh God do I take things literally!
For example if they say to me 'don't move at X spot so much',my brain takes that in,and I not only don't move at X spot,but I don't move again if its near the end of a sequence.
I just do as I'm told,but don't always have the common sense to move after the bit they rold me to stay still at lol.
I must be quite a difficult student lol,but we always have a laugh about it.
I'm also not the best at offering solutions,I guess in case I get it wrong.
I am EXACTLY like a dog who can not offer behaviours!Me and Shady are kindred spirits lol.
I have obviously not been rewarded or motivated to try stuff for myself!
Mooks was brilliant as always,I think she is the definittion of honesty in a dog,what a great girl she is,I really love her.

Poor old Flooz didn't get to play,as she had had that mystery lameness. :( But on the Sunday morning me Dave and Abbie took our 6 dogs to a local park,and Floozie had her biggest run,and was absolutly fine.I took her to agility twice this past week,and she has been 100%,so its back to full exercise for her :)

I got a quick group shot with Floozie,Mookie,Oggie Abbie's amazing Collie,and her 2 Spaniels Wiggy and Daisy,along with Abbie's mum's dogs,the Lab x and Working Cockers.I love the Working Cockers,they are so BUSY!!

Poor Oggie had recently been operated on to remove a piece of toy which he had swallowed,naughty Oggie!

I see someone thinking of breaking for it!!

Incoming Spaniel!!! hahahahaha!

At lunch we got to play with my trainers 4 month old puppy :)

The girls in the back of the van,practicing holding their wai when they desperatly want to go join in with the other dogs,ahem Floozie!

Mooks is out of shape,she's had a bout 7 or 8 weeks off from agility,first with the pulled hamstring,then club was closed for a month over the holidays.She's been getting her regular walks,but we do lots of tugging and tricks whilst we are at agility class which I don't tend to do outside of class,she's missed out on that too.Here she is working out.

The ever so handsome Jonah.

Smiling for the camera on the way past:)

I didn't know this dog,but it turns out its a half sister to my friends Collie Kai.

Me and Mooks listening,me feeling tired from the night out and needing to sit on the aframe lol.

Mookie always looks so thoughtful in her jumping pics.

Levitating JR x WHFT!His human dad was such a nice man,so gentle with him,and no ego whatsoever.

The offending Collie....(revealed below)

I asked Abbie to run Mookie a bit so she could get to run someone,and so I could get some photos of the Mookstar!
She started off having a game of tug,but was joined by an annoying Collie who thought it was fun to circle bark and growl at Mookie.I knew the dog wouldn't go in and have a go,so we used it as a great distraction.
One thing I can confidently say about all my dogs,they are not distracted by other dogs.Its a great advantage that as puppies I kennel them at work,they learn that all sorts of commotion dogs barking,screaming,growling etc (GSD's in there mostly) is just background noise and rarely even bother to check what all the noise is about.

Barking and growling at Mooks now.

lol @ Abbie trying to coax the annoying doggoe into her waiting hand.

Mookie is amongst the worlds most efficient jumpers,never wastes an inch of effort,but also practically never knocks a bar,unlike someone else I know,ahem Shady!

Go Mookie,almost wrapping the wing lol.It was a massive uphill struggle to teach Mookie to turn tight,she's such a powerful little jumper and before she was taught to collect she would literally land around 7 feet past a jump.
On this pic the jump before the one pictured was right next to this jump in exactly the same position,so on a straight line to this and facing the same way,she's having to turn a 360 round this jump.Its obviously not as tight as can be,but is a UGE improvment for her.
If only I'd known about and done foundation work with her!

Tuesday, 24 January 2012


I was lucky enough to see 4 of a litter of 6 on the day they were going off with their new families :) I believe the whole litter have gone to agility homes,so it will be exciting to watch them grow,and eventually compete :)

Little Pixie was slipping down into her coat,and looking more and more like a Chow as she did lol.

Little Theo,gorgeous Tri boy.I'll be seeing him grow up as his new mum trains where I do. :)

Poor Theo was a bit bewildered.

This is Risk.

This is Slipper Dobson he's gonna be a real character :)

'Ok I'll put on my sad face,that always gets me my own way!'

I tried but failed to get a photo of all 4 pups together.

How cute is Pixie in her little coat?!

Risk,and Theo to the right,Theo looks like a little bear!

This is the puppies uncle Wellington.His owner has dogs named Wellington,Boot,and now Slipper lol.

Slipper Dobson is like a Wellington mini me!

This little girl will be an agility superstar one day,she'll be Famous!