Saturday, September 20, 2008

Friday, September 19, 2008

Liz is doing good....and Pickle giving her some pointers

So just wanted to post a little example of how the dog I couldnt get to stay with me is doing so well now. She really LOVES the LM system, I think she is one that really wants that connection and stresses when she doesnt feel connected, so she is really loving her lessons lately. So you cant see from this camera angle but that blue jump is right in her way and for her to look to me and not just take that jump is HUGE, she is starting to understand when to drive ahead by looking at what I am doing. Now the problem of course is when I am picking her up I hesitate for a second and I am going to have to trust her and get my butt moving. Check out Pickle like he is coaching Liz, guess that is one pretty good coach for her!

An Uncomfortable subject......hahahaha Physical Fitness and my present lack of it...

OK, not sure I should be posting this, but it might make me stick to it a little more. I am getting a little tired of being in such poor shape, I swing wildly from exercising regularly and feeling GREAT to being a good couch potatoe and feeling....well, not so great. So a bunch of friends are doing this training program for running and it seems pretty OK, it starts off slow and they say the reason people dont stick to an exercise program is that often we try to do it all too soon and get discouraged and give up. Humm, makes sense to me, and I have been in that place, so I have got to the whopping second day, so not exactly a life change yet, but the link for the program is I do know my friends are raving about it. ON the alternate days I am starting Yoga, which is a love of mine, and I always feel great when I do yoga, and it has been awhile. I used to have a great class but the instructor from that class moved so I have been doing tapes. My favorite tapes are Rodney Yee-I like his Power Yoga, total body, and when I get better and build up my endurance I really like Inhail on TV with Steve Ross, usually a good workout with enough aerobic exercise to really feel like it is a workout, but that might be intense for me for a few more weeks :-) . I also have a really good yoga tape to start out with called Stress Relief Yoga, not sure who does it though,....will have to find it and let you know. Anyway, always hard to get started but I am telling everyone I am starting to shame me into continueing.

The GOOD type of blue ribbons!

So we finally went to a trial with Chloe. Unfortunately I had a big old attack of my nerves and for the first time at a trial I was really nervous-- nervous enough that I really made some silly mistakes. We got the hardest parts of the course and then made some silly mistakes. Usually when I run with Chloe and it is comfortable, easy, rhythmic and feels like going home. I had trouble breathing, and poor Chlo was running with the incredable shaking, jello woman, LOL. Guess I will be doing some mental management before we run again. I can only say I havent done much with Chloe all summer and have only run less then a handful of longer sequences so I just didnt feel comfortable. The really important thing is that the trial had great ribbons. Not the little flat ones, we did come home with a bunch of pretty rossettes. I am still new enough at trialing that I love the big pretty rosettes. So we did get three firsts and two seconds and we got Q's in Jumpers, STandard, Snookers, and we were in time in all our runs, so you know it wasnt that bad....just the mistakes were so silly that I feel silly. Our one issue that did come up was little Chloe who is the smartest dog of all times figured out that all rewards happened at the exit and by the end of the day she was trying to leave for the exit every time the course had us turn that way and she could see the exit. She came back and did fine, but....guess we have to work on that. We did get all the weaves without having to fix anything, we got all our contacts, we didnt drop any bars, so all in all it went well.
This weekend we have the big Border Collie Palooza. A friend is leaving another CPBC female-Bree, and then we have Cherry a CPBC and Breeze who of course is a CPBC, and Liz (a NON CPBC) who really must feel like a red haired step child this weekend. Funny all the dogs that come from the same lines all seem to just love each other right off the bat. They are all getting along with Liz, but like usual Liz would really rather play with me or Breeze if I am not around. Anyway, they are just too cute playing together. All six dogs are getting along beautifully, with our little house I am very grateful for that!
We are finally getting Lizzies contacts and she is deceiding 2O2O is not that bad, so we might actually make it through our contact hell. I am going to let Breeze start playing with her contacts too soon-she is looking good enough to add those back in soon. She is really looking very good although I started some of the Linda M jump exercises and gosh she is sort of lost with the collection work, so we will have to do a lot of practicing with that.

Friday, September 12, 2008

The wild Lizzie Lou

So we had an AWESOME private lesson with Lizzie yesterday, it has been several lessons since Liz has run off in lessons-so that is a huge victory-she is doing great even though we are doing a lot of handling with her now. Why is it when I left I felt so discouraged? Now sitting and thinking of how the private lesson and then the class went....I should be happy, and I am today. Just hard not to want more when we are in the moment I guess. Lizzie is getting some of the exercises better then I am, so I am really pleased with how she is doing, we are doing some of the Linda M exercises. I think the LM handling is looking like it will be very nice for her. We had some major things going on with her contacts, now she really wants to do her 4 on the floor and sees no use for a 2020 :-0 . Have I ever said that I hate contacts, probably my fault my dogs arent so excited about them, now wait, Breeze and Chloe like contacts! The real work of our lesson came when I brought Liz out during the beginners class. Alicia has let us hang out and work around the beginning class and wow, did that fry Lizzies brain? YES IT DID! She gets very excited/aroused/scared??? or some combo of those things when she sees the little dogs, there is a very sweet tiny black poodle that Lizzie really can not figure out how she should feel about that dog, and there is a little dachshaund that she seems to be getting used to how she looks, and then there is the JRT, hummm, Liz knows that dog is very exciting to watch because you never know what she is going to do. She was very excited by Trevor the BC running small parts of a course, and really wanted to try to play with the big collie. Liz does get overaroused with some of the fast movement, but that is much easier to work through then some of the other issues we are working on. Needless to say I went through a HUGE bag of food, but I think we made some progress because by the time we left for the last time when class was over we left with a relaxed body posture and a loose leash, we were also able to sit and do stretches and Liz was able to lie down calm enough to relax and let me do that, so even though I get discouraged at times, she is making progress I think. I am using the "Leave It" game and when the class first started the rate of reward had to be VERY high, my clicker was clicking almost non-stop. We did sit and do some mat work but I am thinking I should have brought a mat and started some mat work and clicking for relaxed body/eyes earlier. We were able to first do a tunnel in front of the other dogs, our next turn a jump tunnel, which made me nervous-Alicia gave me a hard time about how nervous I act about Liz and was able to take Liz who performed like there was no big deal when Alicia worked with her, and like she was used to working all the time in the class, then we did a short sequence of tunnel/teeter. When I went back and did tunnel/teeter the second time she did try to run off, but we were able to get her very quickly so she wasnt self rewarding. So with Lizzie think the moral is that we dont expect huge things and be grateful for what we get, be careful of putting too much pressure on this girl and set her up for success. THINK of the feeling of victory when that little girl is finally able to run a course in a trial. I really think it is going to happen, and I havent always felt like that but gosh, I am ready for it to happen today.....too bad Liz and I are on different time tables, LOL, Patience is hard!
Breeze did some work for the first time in several weeks in our private-because we have been sticking to the plan and she was just doing limited jumping and not combining it with speed or collection, we were very good trainers and kept with her little rehab plan and did not go longer then we planned. She forgot how to complete her weave poles which she has been doing at home, really she can do it at home, LOL, but they are looking really fast and she did get it together, she is doing some nice collection with the jumps and she is just so happy to be the one who got to work in the yard last night. I love that dog, she is just the sweetest thing alive, such a sweet girl. OOH but last night an old friend showed up, one I have not seen in a long time, that DURN alarm barking. Breeze used to be the worst alarm barker, when we were in our privates she would sit and bark and bark in a posture where I was not sure she wasnt going to bite if Alicia would come up, so we would divert her and have her do her tricks, until she calmed down, but then she would sit and maybe be working with someone, interacting fine, she would turn her head and boom she was back into a fit of alarm barking. Like she was saying ooooh I forgot you were right there and now that I think about it, I should be very scared. So we have worked through that with the diversion and then with the Look at That game and of course I think that was the height of her fear period, so we have more maturity on our side and she has not been spacey like that in awhile, but last night she did all of a sudden just start getting alarmed at everyone in the yard. Actually it didnt look like it had the fear associated with it that she used to have, she was just standing there like she thought that barking might be the thing to do, anyway, pretty short lived, but she still has it in her! I think it was just a friendly reminder about how far she has come! Yippie, good work Breeze!
Alicia set up a small course for Chloe, think that was to build my confidence for the trial this weekend and that left me feeling way more prepaired.
We will be at the Fillmore trial this weekend, Chloe is running and Lizzie is going to work around the rings and the other dogs. Looking forward to the trial it has been a long time since Chloe and I trialed, although thinking today we should have been working more, and I should have started my exercise program earlier, somehow that got lost over the summer, so.....there may be handler issues this weekend, hahahahaha. I am looking forward to the trial though, it should be fun.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

FAIR WARNING: I am horrible about grabbing my camera and getting any pictures....but when I do I just get a lot of pictures, and so everyone gets subjected to all our pictures.
Breeze is finally able to do more and more and seems to be holding up well with doing some agility.....although she seems to be slightly favoring her right front leg a bit....she is the most accident prone dog and a few weeks ago she was getting all excited watching her sister do agility and then was limping on that foot, but most of the time I dont see anything except she shifts her weight off it a little when she is just standing or sitting. ANYWAY, for the most part she is doing well, she is like lightening through the 12 weave poles, she is doing better with rear crosses and looking for her line of jumps, she loves her teeter, we havent done a lot with the collection work because I feel that should be added after she gets her muscles for jumping, she is doing pretty well with her contact on the dog walk, and she keeps trying to run across the dog walk. It is on low but she keeps scrambling on it, so she isnt really allowed to run across the dog walk but we are doing a lot of playing on the dog walk with sitting, down, jumping on, jumping off, turning circles, just trying to get her feet about her and get her to figure out how to handle herself on the obstacle. ANYWAY, origionally I just was posting the picture to say LOOK HOW HAPPY SHE LOOKS sitting on her teeter!!! I didnt mean to add all this other update, but..... I wish I got a better action shot but I am not fast or talented enough and my camera is not good enough and Breeze is too fast to direct Breeze and then get over and get a picture so we get a static shot of Breezes happy face to be out on a Sunday morning in the back yard and be large and in charge of the agility obstacles, LOL.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Cherrys eyes

Ok here is a close up of Cherry's eyes-someone had asked what color her eyes were because they had not heard of a red dog (Cherry is a red merle Border Collie) with blue eyes, but here she is! So while I grabbed the camera figured I would get get a picture of her eyes.

It is so cool to watch my dogs learn.....

So I just had to comment because I had the most interesting experience today. Guess I sometimes have too much time on my hands but.....
So I was working with Cherry doing some shaping yesterday and she is really finally getting that she controls the clicks by what she is doing, so she was getting the idea to nose touch a Staples easy button pretty quickly. In one session she was able to figure out to nose touch the button and then we had got it to where she was frequently hitting it enough to make it actually say "that was easy". So that is something I have played with with the other dogs in the past, and it is just a fun little trick. Not rocket science but just a fun trick.
Today Chloe was in hanging out with Cherry and I and I was trying to think of something I could do with her to make her feel like she is working today. I brought out the Easy button I had been using with Cherry because I am basically a lazy dog trainer and so I grab what ever is closest. I do think I have done this trick in the past with Chloe, so no big suprise when she got excited and was doing a nice paw touch with the button and we get it on cue very quickly. I know we worked on this before but I really dont remember how far we got or what the cue was (bad trainer), but anyway in my defense it was awhile ago and we were just playing, so of course Chloe figured it out very quickly, no big suprise because it isnt a new thing and she is pretty operant and there were treats involved, Chloe will do anything for a treat.
So Cherry was sitting with me while I was playing with Chloe, after Chloe finished her turn I thought hummm....Cherry has been sitting here watching Chloe working and Chloe gets REALLY EXCITED so I was experimenting to see how that would affect Cherry's level of interest in this task. Cherry was a little more excited in the treats and was wanting to play my little game, but not a huge difference. Then I deceided to give Chloe another turn - Chloe who had a very strong PAW touch was now trying to do a nose touch, which is what she had been sitting and watching Cherry do. She tried the nose touch a bunch getting very excited like she had figured something out and going between the nose touch and the paw touch and finally went back to her paw touch. I swear she was watching Cherry and figureing out what was getting Cherry clicks, namely the nose touch, and figured that must be the name of the game even though she had been highly rewarded for her paw touch. Dogs are just so cool to watch when they play and when they learn, I could just sit and watch all day!!!! Arent Cherry and Chloe cute together???

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

and it continues....

We have just been doing the day to day training this week,nothing exciting happening except that Chloe is entered in a trial and we havent really run a full course all summer, so that will be interesting especially since Chloe is a very green trial dog, she has been doing agility for a long time but she hasnt trialed much. Add to that the handler trying to learn LM handling and how to handle the border collies who are very different, and it should be an interesting trial. Hopefully I will get some good video so we can all have a good laugh, LOL!!!
LIZZIES training:
WEAVES: So Lizzie is doing twelve weaves very fast and gorgeous, looking for and finding the entry, she loves them, she is looking ahead, I am very pleased with them. Our only problem with her weaves is that she is flinging the poles all over the place, I need to invest in some heavier, straight set. I currently have three lighter channel sets-two of them nice and one a piece of crap, a set of WAMS, but I think I will need a set that can be staked and I will have to bring stakes to class. She is a wild woman with the weaves.
CONTACTS: OK so this is sort of a sad thing for me, why, hey I dont know, but I guess I have just spent so long trying something else that it is a sad day to go to the trusted, and tried 2020 contacts.........The options I could have went back to the hoops and tried to fix my 4 on the floor, but I am getting everyone telling me it just wont be competative, but she likes it although I am seeing that in competition or with her excitement it is not holding up as well........I really do think I could do the rachel sanders box method but for reasons I am not going to go into here, guess that isnt going to be an option but I am dying to do it and Lizzie is learning it so well. So guess I am making the decision to be competative, and consistent we will try the DAMN 2020, although I really worry about my dog and her shoulders. So we started trying to train it and Liz has not had as much rear end awareness work as Breeze so she isnt as excited and she is confused thinking that of course we are by a board we get off and lie down. She really does know that part of the behavior for sure. So I am playing with some games and trying to give her the idea. I know I have to get my attitude on board or Liz is so sensitive I am sure she really isnt going to like the 2020 if I have the attitude I do. Anyway, we are finally heading somewhere I guess so we can move beyond all this contact hell.....
JUMING: We are doing some jumping with Breeze, trying to take it slow, and right now she is handling it well. She has totally forgotten all her collection work and is really not wanting to go by my side. She just gets very excited and wants to jump around in circles, so back to the recall to heel work. She is a LIGHTENING FAST dog though. She is going to be so exciting.
CONTACTS: I am seeing that I think she really is going to be jumping off her Aframe and I am determined to stop that before it starts so I think we are going to do some work with the hoops on the Aframe. I still would like to do a 4 on the floor on the AFrame with her because I do think she has the potentual for physical problems so I want to work with the AFrame but I am starting to change her to the 2020 on the dog walk. Several reasons for that, first I do think it is clearer and she is such an exciteable little girl, the clearer the better I think, I dont want to carry around hoops and mess with all that for the dog walk AND the Aframe, SHE LOVES the 2020, while Liz doesnt seem to like it, Breeze just always is trying to do that, so I think she will pick that up really fast, I dont think there will be the same pressure on her physically on the dog walk and then everyone will be doing the same contacts, except for Breeze on the Aframe.
WEAVES: WOW, what more can I say, she has the twelve down well, driving ahead, loves them, using a beautiful swimming motion, she can do what ever motion works for her but that is what she has chosen and it is pretty and fast. Anyway, will need to move onto the proofing, but she is looking for enteries well, very happy with this aspect of training.
Cherry, we have a really sweet bc staying here and doing Breezes rehab exercises. Really pretty cool the last few days it really seems that she is showing more range of motion. She is of course wanting to do some clicker training. She is doing 2X2 weaves and is just at the beginning of that and just starting to get it, she is playing on the rocker board, figure that will help her with balancing, core muscles and getting her used to moving surfaces, she was not wanting to go over the Aframe but loves it now, figure that will help with strengthening her back end since it is a very low aframe but it is like hill climbing. She has gotten all the house rules down and is just very easy and getting along with everyone.
So that is where we are at with EVERYTHING!