Sunday, February 13, 2011

Toledo Show--all Thai

So Thai is once again taking over Rumi's blog. I showed her the first time in Open at an AKC show this Sat. and Sun. The Toledo were the best. It was the most applause I've heard at an obedience show in a long time. I think everyone in Open A got a round of applause after their run both days. The judges were also great, holding a class when awards were being given out in the other ring, helping exhibitors anyway they could, and very friendly!

Saturday Thai gave me the best heeling we've ever had in the ring...well other than two no sits. Her drop was slow, but both her retrieves were nice. She nq'd on the broad jump, which she cut big time. Had a hard time with the people standing on the other side I think. She held her sit, but sat up on the down before I had even left the ring. She did hold her stay the entire time.

Sunday Thai was a little more distracted. She sat on her heeling, but you can see on the last about turn she was very concerned about a dog outside the ring. You can see it on the retrieve on the flat too...not sure how she pulled off getting that dumbbell :) She was fine on the broad jump, which was on the other side of the ring, but she forgot to give me a front.

On the stays she was next to the dog she was worried about. She held her sit, but popped up on her down again.

I definitely need to work on the drop so she doesn't keep waiting to drop...soon she'll be at my feet. Not good.

But the bigger problem is the down. I think I'll work on teaching her the drop, like I did with Rumi. And I need to up the distractions at home so she breaks here once in a while too.

My next show is Hamilton, Saturday. Then I think I'll enter 1 day in Dexter, and the weekend at Toledo again. After that I have a few ASCA shows to show in also. Hopefully I'll be able to find a training fix for the down issue!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Toledo Match part 2

I went back up to Toledo yesterday for another match before our show next weekend. That would be just Thai, not Rumi. I can only handle so much stress at one show and I am focused on getting her CDX if it kills us :) LOL

I really wanted to not go. Our run time was 5:00 on Sunday afternoon after a week of ice and no electricity. I really really really wanted to stay home. But the CDX drove me and I'm glad I went. First of all the people in Toledo are soooo friendly and welcoming it makes me feel good. Secondly, Thai had a great run thru. She had some mistakes, but I was able to help her get it right and she was much more confident afterward. She also held her stays :) :)

Rumi had a very nice run. And positive reinforcement comes in unexpected places :) I've never had this happen to me before and it felt wonderful :)

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I think I mentioned in an earlier post that I was just going crazy with all the different words for down I was creating. Flop, for the lay on one hip and don't whine down-stay down. Down for the throw away just lay down down. And the one I've been working on recently SPLAT. After a lot of false starts my criteria for splat became get down fast without touching the barrier in front of you. The barrier started out as a broad jump board on it's side. Now it's down to a jump bar, which I should be able to fade soon. The video clip shows a splat from a recall, one or two on a verbal from a stand, and the last one is on a hand signal (that you can't see since my flip was set too close to get me in it. I think it's coming along nicely, now that I have an actual criteria for it that I can reinforce.

Yes, I know he hit the pole in the first one, but I gave it to him because he slips on my mat, and I kind of like the sliding down :) On the video he anticipated the first verbal splat, that I didn't catch in real time...which is why I love video!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Ice days

So, you would think with three ice days in a row I would have a lot of time to post. That would assume I had electricity. I really think a DSL modem should be battery operated, but not yet. So now that I'm back to having electricity (yeah) which includes in my case heat and water, I'm ready to post. Rumi is coming a long nicely with not cutting the corner of the broad jump and splatting. I've started putting it in with the recall and he slides into it in a nice reining horse sort of way :) I've also been doing a ton with stays and he is much more confident. I have him in a match this weekend so hopefully will have video to post and see some improvements. I'm also being very careful to only reward PERFECT fronts and finishes. If they aren't perfect we don't fix them, we oops and try again. It has cut down on his constant shifting and he is more precise.

In agility we did a run-thru at CATC and Dogwood. No contacts either place, but he figured out how to run on mats and did weaves and jump sequences. Good boy :) I have started sequencing his running A-frame and dogwalk (not running) and the teeter is almost up to full height! But again, no pics :(

Thai--I have her entered in 3 Open trials. I can't believe I'm this nervous. But her stays have been good and we've been working on the broad jump and drop and retrieve in rotation. Keeping my fingers crossed. I will get her CDX!!! :) First show in two weeks. Keeping everything crossed :)

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Busy, Busy, Busy

So, can you tell school has started back up. Not just school for the kids, but also my graduate course work. Both training and blogging about training have suffered. However, I'm going to try and post at least once a week. Rumi's running A-frame is okay, even with sporadic training we've had. Time to start sequencing I think :) His splat is coming along nicely, although not consistently enough I would want to remove the barrier. But his flop is becoming even more solid as the differences are becoming clearer. Or Practice. Or something. :) I continue to doodle with his fronts and finishes and play fun scent games when there is time.

I know this is Rumi's blog, but he said it was okay if I gave Thai a few minutes :) I was working the broad jump with her and she was cutting the corner. I thought about my recent lesson with Kristen and Sheik and decided that was my corner, not hers. Jumped on the corner to claim it once or twice (no lead rope) but with the intention that that was my corner. Had a nice response. We'll see if it holds up with her as well as it did with Sheik when he tried to take some of my space. But it is a different way of looking at that corner so thought I'd experiment with it a little.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


To think there was a time in my life when I thought down just meant the dog was lying down on the ground. Now I worry about all these little details: are the elbows all the way down on the floor, which goes down first, elbows or butt, how fast is the dog going down, does he flop on his butt...

So I managed to totally un-teach Rumi the down. When I went to meet Laura for lessons she pointed out I had totally let my drop criteria go out the window (although she was much nicer about it!) I should probably back up and say I had already started re-doing his long down. He had the bad habit (which I obviously had let develop) of whining and flopping back and forth on his hip. I was getting pretty convinced sooner or later a judge would NQ us. So I had taught him to flop over on one hip and stay there. At the same time I had decided no sound would be allowed on a flop. It was coming along nicely. So I was using "Down" as a settle command. Just go lie down while I'm talking, setting jumps, whatever and I don't care if you creep, whine, if you break it I just tell you to down again and ignore it....a throw away command. So I hand't thought about where that left his drop/fold back down.

So I went home deciding I needed yet another command for yet another down...3 down commands...really? So out comes the clicker and I start to re-shape the down using a barrier (a broad jump board). But Rumi was dropping so fast that from the front I couldn't really tell how he was dropping so I was more careful what I clicked, which was elbows down first. However, having a dog that is easy to shape has it's draw backs if you are only an average shaper. In no time I had a perfectly shaped bow...sigh...

So I have caved a little. My new criteria...go down fast and without paws touching the board. how you get there is up to you. I just can't see what is going on with his body when standing in front and with his speed. I'm thinking my new word will be Splat, because that's kind of what he's doing with his body. Video soon :) And yes, that dang bow creeps in every once in a while. How come the wrong behaviors are sooo hard to extinguish :)