Saturday, January 31, 2009

My Weirdos


Not much going on today. Have to admit I am a bit bored. I was thinking about my doggies and some of the weird things they do. I would love to hear from anyone else whos dogs do weirdo things. I actually got a picture of all the dogs today when I went out to scoop poop-Chloe isnt there because then we would get a picture of Liz and Chloe fighting, so thought that was best left to the imagination.

Lizzie-
*has to "nurse" on a blanket to get herself to sleep-when she was a puppy and she did it so bad I thought she was peeing on pillows because they would be sopping wet.
*always lays stretched out in the crook of my back and has to touch me as much as she can when she sleeps.
*If she is in the car and not in her crate she has to lie on top of the crates, squished up in between the crate and the ceiling so she is at the highest point and can look out the windows.

Breeze-
*will not pee out in public-when she was only six months old she went close to three days without peeing then peed on the bed in the hotel
*I keep taking away the tennis balls because Breeze has worn down her teeth so bad, so she gets rubber balls and other toys-Breeze can find anywhere I hide the tennis balls-I do not have a clue how she keeps getting them back. She can remember where a tennis ball is that was placed months ago.

Chloe-
*Chloe goes outside a sliding glass door and she always goes outside about five feet then the door closes, she goes NUTS, spins and runs back to the door and jumps about four feet high and slams against the door. This irritates all the other dogs.

Skyler-
*barks at the air, for hours....he barks to bark. Guess he is a sheltie....
*not such a cute weirdness, but Skyler will pick the biggest scariest dog in any class and if he gets off leash he will run and attack that dog-not biting but just running and nipping-enough to get himself kicked out of class and get himself into trouble. I know he does it because he is scared and no matter how much classical conditioning I do with him.....weirdo boy just thinks this is a good strategy.

Cherry-
*Cherry is actually pretty stable-other then wanting to climb right into a persons skin or lick everyone to death.....she really isn't too weird.

Friday, January 30, 2009

Breeze and Liz graduate Level 2 and Jan 29,09 training

I am lucky enough to take private lessons with Alicia who is a VERY accomplished agility trainer and handler. A link to her blog blogility is http://www.ffluffy.com/ . I started out in agility like most people doing classes which are a great way to get into agility but sooner or later I think everyone benefits from some private lessons. You get so much done and the instructor can really focus in on your little dog/person team, and give you just what you need because they have the time and can tailor your lesson for just what you team needs. I have come to believe that privates are a very cost effective way of training, and even if you can not do it all the time taking a few privates can really get you going, or help you address a particular problem before you spent months and months and lots of frustration trying to figure out something on your own. So in addition to being lucky enough to get to take private lessons I also have the best instructor in the world giving me lessons. Can you tell I just love my instructor?? She really is great. So last night Alicia just cut through all the time I have been spending trying to work on my rear crosses and gave me some great things to work on and showed me just what we need to do, much better then struggling for months. I think we are on the right track to get these rear crosses conquered. Alicia also helped me to see a couple of situations where I need to be planning better when I need to be way ahead of my dog, cutting off as much distance as possible, and when I need to hang back because to show my dog what I want I need to be there so getting ahead, not so helpful. All those helpful things on one lesson, YIPPIE!

In class I got to run with Zoe, a little Jack Russel Terrier who is such a cutie. I had no idea if she would run with me because she doesn't know me and is prone to running off in class, but she actually stayed with me and loved my treats! hahaha, I know the way to a dog's heart! I am going to post a video of little Zoe running with me, the only one I got of her at class and not the best handling or the best performance, but she is just so cute.

Whooo Hoooo Lizzie and Breeze officially graduated from Level 2 in the Training Levels. They are quite a bit further along the levels in some behaviors, but the "stand" was what was keeping us from officially finishing up this level. Anyway, I love the levels and it is all free, and there is a yahoo group where you can get help. I will have to sit and officially test Cherry and see where she stands. http://www.dragonflyllama.com/%20DOGS/Levels/ByLevel/2Level.html
video

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Every have a day where you feel you are spinning your wheels?

TANTRUM ALERT!!! So my kids are counting down the minutes until I leave so the coast will be safe-I definately am not the most pleasant person right now. Every have one of those days? This feeling of spinning my wheels is just getting to me lately. Seems like every area of my life I work hard and put in extra time so that I can get ahead of it all. Guess that might be one of those really big myths of life that you can get ahead of life and then just be prepaired.

So my oldest daughter has learned to cook and bakes cookies every day. I am very proud of her and that is GREAT and she enjoys it, but....every day I go to the kitchen and the kitchen I worked so hard to clean out the cabinets and get all the things everyone else just throws around in any nook or cranny they can find back to its home because I just feel so out of control in my life some days and I just want to be able to walk out there and feel like things are handled. I have this theory that if I can keep the kitchen just somewhat straightened out it will help me so I can move onto the next thing. Anyway, so every day I go out and scrape the dirt off the floor and clean the same things that came out of the dishwasher and no one knew what to do with so they threw them back into dirty water.

I go and try to get a handle on the durn laundry which wants to take over the house and I SWEAR I keep washing the same things over and over-one shirt I KNOW has been washed every day for a week. I have threatened death to the people that keep throwing things back for me to do over and threatened to cut off kitchen priveledges, but between my hubby who is just horrible at doing those things and the kids. I tried to make everyone do their own laundry thinking they would take it seriously but the washer got so overloaded that it was ruined within a month so we had to get a new one. I think it is the hubby that can not understand if you fill the washer to the point you have to hold the clothes back with your foot to close the door-it is just too full and will wreck the washer.

There is the ever present carpet of dog hair. Every few days I brush the dogs and take a long time so that I can get ALL the hair, I get on hands and knees and scrape the hair off the floor, and then I go and get my yoga mat for some relaxing exercise and as I do my first down dog the dog hair coats my hands and nose and how does this happen? Then my agility training.......just seems like maybe it is hard for me to see where we have come but seems like a lot of what we are training is what I was working on last year at this time. Guess it doesnt help that there is a new dog here so she is starting from scratch and the hardest things with her are just the things like coming to my side, that one is so hard for her but would be so nice so she doesnt trip me and so we could learn so many other things. Anyway, I am just so frustrated lately my friends have sort of been in a state of transition so I just feel so alone in my war against the chaos. There are days I can just sit back and be happy I have this chaos to deal with because it is what comes with having these cool dogs, this great family and a roof over my head but on days like today that is hard to remember.


Sooooo I am so glad today is my day I go and take my classes. I have not had a private lesson since around the end of November, maybe there was one in December? I get to go and do something that doesnt matter in the scheme of the world, no one will live or die by how I do. My dogs are always in the moment and always act like I am the funnest person in the world, well, except for Lizzie who feels Alicia my trainer is the most fun person, but I am a very close second. I might actually have a chance of catching a rear cross-and if I do no one can take it from me or even if I have to do it over it will be etched in my muscle memory. And best of all I do not have to think about anything else, I just get to live in the moment. Guess that is the greatest thing I get from my dogs, lots of time I just get to sit and be in the moment. Doing that with them helps me to try to do that more with my family that can sometimes make that challenging, LOL.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Learning the teeter

so I just thought I would put a small video of what I have done with Cherry's teeter. STEPS I HAVE DONE SO FAR:

*First off I taught her to knock down soda cans on tile to get her used to noise. *I worked on a little wobble board-which always terrified her, so I was concerned about what teaching the teeter might be like
*I worked on a board to teach her to lie down on the end of a board in the position I have chosen for her-this was just on a travel plank on the floor
*We played the bang it game-just clicker training Cherry to grab the board, very low at first then raising it, she would bang the board down to help her release she can control this.
*jumping on and off the board that is very low and then raising and having Cherry jump into position *right now we are mostly working on getting the right position and making that the funnest place in the world so she will really want to get there *Cherry is very uncomfortable to start with on narrow planks and she does a lot of swinging around of her back end, so we are doing a lot of tricks, sits/downs/turns/jumping on and off of planks, starting on the floor and then raising them.


I had to find a new way to teach the teeter because we have not had any privates or classes for awhile because of the holidays so I knew I was on my own. I will say more about it as we get further down the line and post video, but so far it seems to be working pretty well, and most importantly it is working with just one person. I just really want Cherry to not have any fear issues and to be very comfortable so I am taking my time and trying to really hit each step thoroughly.
I have chosen NOT to do a traditional 2O2O because of Cherry's bad hip, I think that holding down the board with her back legs really might not be a good idea for her and I think the four on the board with the front legs off, her head low and down will work just as well for her.
video

Monday, January 26, 2009

Family




So after all weekend of sitting around the house waiting for family members that said they were coming this weekend, of course everyone showed up today. We had a very nice visit. One picture here is of Chris my son, Abby my eldest daughter and Emma my younger daughter, and my mom. Check it out my son is 6'6" tall, and my daughter dwarfs my mom. We did some work with the dogs on my agility equipment, my mom has five dogs also, so for today we had ten dogs at my house. That is a LOT. My mom has a border collie named Jessie and then four little yorkies. One of her yorkies and Jessie her BC do agility. My mom wisely picked a Marriott hotel that had the most awesome pool. I had no idea that we had a hotel with an indoor pool, and this was a new Marriott and very nice. We spent most of Sunday night in the pool and all Monday afternoon. My mom was going to watch the girls while I went to obedience class because it was the last class, but I was having such a good time that I deceided to skip school, poor Liz she will never be obedient when her mom makes her miss her classes.
One very bright spot in the afternoon was that Lizzie was very calm and handled herself very well with new people in the house. The other dogs were running around like wild animals and Lizzie was calmly trying to heel off leash. She really is growing up. I was very proud of how she reacted.
I have figured out what my family all has in common with each other. These are in no particular order, but we all are into animals-especially dogs, we all like swimming and the water-give us a pool and we all loosten up and have a great time, EATING, and we of course all have our tv shows that we love to discuss.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Contacts training plan-works in progress

It seems everyone around here needs some contact work, IMAGINE that. In honor of my New Years Resolution to be more goal oriented and work more effectively (not as scattered) here is my training plan.
Working on my traveling plank and making the position I have chosen for the dogs VERY REWARDING
Make sure the dogs understand the position, regardless of my positioning
Only release the dogs with a verbal release
First running up and over the obstacle until there is a good stride, then starting with the obstacles low and raising it slowly to help the dog to develope the muscles to hold their criteria.
I am going to follow the Bridging the Contacts DVD from Rachel Saunders. First working understanding the contact position on the floor, then on the obstacle, then while walking, then while running and adding in Handling manuevers.

One thing my first agility instructor Deanna used to make us do was to write out what we expect on the contacts, we would then run them and see how closely we were sticking to what we wanted-usually there was a lot of difference.
Cherry: On teeter, dog walk and Aframe will load onto the obstacle straight
slide into a straight down with elbows on obstacle and front two feet off, head forward and down low. This might change on the Aframe depending how she can hold that as I put the Aframe up-I am concerned about her back end strength to maintain that, so that is what I will shoot for and if I need to just accept a weight shift back ward that is ok to, straight exit off the obstacle, and to maintain the position until released.
Lizzie, actually the same as Cherry.
Breeze, the same as Liz and Cherry on the teeter and dog walk, on the Aframe she is doing a four on the floor and will run down the obstacle and then down, facing straight, immediately when four feet are on the ground.
CHLOE, humm, still working on that. The 2O2O hurts her and if she has a couple of Aframes she does start avoiding them and she has had a shoulder injury in the past. She loves it though and really doesnt seem to want to run through the contact. I am going to play around with a couple of different ways of seeing if I can get her comfortable with running through the Aframe contact, and on the dog walk she is doing a traditional 2o2o.

Another thing Diana from 4 Dog Craziness blog was talking about is the importance of releaseing the dog to another obstacle after the Aframe or dog walk, and I have been a little lazy about that, so ....
I am looking for volunteers or ways to work with Breezes dog walk. I feel uncomfortable introducing it again after she got hurt on it so badly last year -I really feel I need another pair of eyes to watch her gait and maybe stand at the right places occassionally. I am having Breeze do a lot of playing and tricks on the travel plank, then going to have her do tricks on the low dog walk, have her running across the plank and low dog walk, eventually raise the dog walk to full height but very slowly-over months possibly.
Cherrys teeter training is going marvelously and I have figured out how I can train that working by myself.

knitting




About a year ago I played around trying to knit. Actually I did make some cute stuff, some scarves, some fingerless mitts, and some socks of all things. My friend Collette-Lazy Perry Ranch-is such a good instructor and has received many a late night call of help when I can not figure out what to do. So I have not knit in about a year, but my fingers have been cold and I love the fingerless gloves for training the dogs, I can keep my hands warm and still have fingers to get out treats. This is the pair of fingerless gloves that I made this week. The pattern is from Knitty Spring 2007 http://knitty.com/ISSUEspring07/PATTdashing.html. I used a yarn called Ultra Alpca and circular needles and as amazed as I am, I actually was able to do these by myself, EVEN WITH THE PRETTY CABLES and I thought I couldnt even remember how to cast on, LOL. Check out my friend Collette blog-the link is with the blog links at the side, it is Lazy Perry Ranch, and she has an etsy shop where she sells some gorgeous hand dyed yarns and hand made stuff.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Daily show clip-Fox news fear imbalance

another stormy day....how I spent my afternoon...

I got a call today and a friend was told that her neighbor who rescues big cats, like Lions and Tigers is a finalist for an Extreme Home Makeover. HOw cool is that? With all the traffic my friend is going to need someone to watch her dogs, think I might make a deal that she has to let me come by and peek, LOL. Guess all the roads get closed off and the residents have to get passes and there are security check points, how cool is that?

This afternoon I got to share the time honored old family recipe with my daughter for Rice Crispie Squares. LOL, she has been doing a lot of learning about nutrition and really wanting to learn how to cook, actually have been making enough peanut butter and snooker doodle cookies to keep us all very full, so it was time for her to learn one more thing to make.

Today is a stormy, rainy day. I am afraid I was riding a training "high", but have been taken down another notch-AGAIN!. I am working on the rear crosses with the dogs and last night I had broken down the new exercises I am working and had thought we almost had it. I thought about it last night and Alicia, my super cool trainer, has been trying to drum watching for converging lines into my head, and overnight I got this big light bulb moment thinking that is what I was forgetting and that would be the answer to my problems. So basically, a converging line is sort of like making a V and you put increased pressure on the dog to keep them going on the straight line and not drifting into you. Well, after running several times trying to figure it out, well, that was not the problem or at least not all of the problem. I think my baby dogs are definately not understanding that if my movement is going forward they still need to move forward, so ....since we are doing a Linda M handling system guess that is to be expected and guess we will still just have some more work to do!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lizzie really LIKES turning on the light!

I was SUPPOSED to substitute teach for my agility class this evening but had to cancel because of rain, so I was sitting almost falling asleep and all of a suddent the light flicked on and the room was filled with light. LOL, you guessed it, Liz had run over and turned on the lights, perfect timing, it was too cute, and now I can send her from way across the room to turn on the light, once I teach her to answer the phone and get the remote, maybe fetch a drink from the 'fridge....life will be really good, LOL.
I really enjoyed reading the blog post for Jan 22 in Susan Garretts blog-there is a link to get to her blog on this site. It is titled "Perspectives" and you might want to check if out if you get a little time.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Humm, does a slow handler with a couple of BC NEED a rear cross...possibly, LOL



Our practice today, we worked contacts and some flat work but I just am posting our rear cross work. The contacts were MARVELOUS, but boring to watch. I deceided to do what Elicia Calhoun said and just "make it happen" and get these rear crosses down while we have this long break in classes and private lessons. I think I should get extra credit training points for training in the rain! Hope those extra points will be worth something one day. Anyway, HUGE improvements over yesterdays practice. The picture is of Breeze and Cherry waiting for their turn looking out my bedroom window. I started working today and was pretty upset, my friend Collette called-she is the best person in the world for talking people in off the ledge, so to speak. Collette is one of those rare friends who listens patiently and then tells you the WHOLE truth the good and the bad, sometimes it is hard to hear when she tells she thinks I was wrong-which happens a lot-then she will want to go and beat someone up when she feels they were being a butt to me, hahahaha, I am so lucky to have her imput. Anyway, I was practicing and stopped and talked for about an hour and Breeze and Cherry sat frozen for the whole time just waiting for the show to start and their turn to come. I really KNOW all border collies are just a bit nuts-probably why I get along with them so well, hahahahahah.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Lizzie and the light


So this is a trick that Lizzie has been working on, sorry it is dark and the quality is not good, but I was having trouble with where to put the camera and I wanted to be able to see the light turning on.
Poor Liz has been enrolled in OPERATION HARD LIFE. Things have gotten a lot harder for her. I know she is probably going to have to sink or swim very soon as far as agility goes, hopefully giving her a little more structure and her getting more mature will get her ready so she can do an actual agility class, otherwise she is going to be cast into the bark yard agility club. Up until now she has been lucky enough to be able to work in private sessions, but.....unfortunately she can not do that forever.
So in OPERATION HARD LIFE, ...I do want her to be a normal dog, but I am not letting her stare out the window and obsess about cats, I am not letting her get wild and whine when she cant be with the kids, if she starts whining and being obnoxious then she has to go to her crate-with the door open and wait until she calms and is released to come out, she has to hang around with me all day(she says that is the worst!). Poor Lizzie! I have actually enjoyed our time together. I have also had to sit and really think about my goals for her and what I can ever expect her to do, I just hope one day others can see the fabulous dog that I see everyday.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Speak


videoIt is a stormy day today, Breeze is showing off her Speak, check out Liz in the background, she does Speak really well but it ticks Breeze off so she won't normally do it if Breeze is right next to her. Speak gets everyone in the house excited and the other dogs always run up to see what is going on.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

This week

I have to say I was dreading this week, trying to keep Liz from running and jumping and keeping her safe and sane. Have to say it has actually been quite a pleasant one. Anyway, have to say I have really enjoyed my time with Liz. I found the extra walks really pleasant and meditative and relaxing. The extra time and some of the structure seems to have made Liz more relaxed and taken an edge off of her, but maybe that was the after effects of the sedation for her spay? We obviously couldnt do a lot of agility, but we got some new tricks taught with the clicker, and today I did let her run a bit doing some rear cross work on the flat.

As for everyone else, Cherry is getting the contact behavior and really progressing on her teeter and is ready to put a contact on the Aframe.

Breeze has been doing some rear cross work.

Chloe is begging for her turn tomorrow to do ANYTHING, poor girl always gets short changed because she is such a good girl.

I took a break today and went and saw Gran Torino, which was a super good movie, I really enjoyed it.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Becoming More Aware and Alert in Life

I was watching Oprah today, and one of her guests was talking about living life more fully and I thought this little plan to become more aware and alert in your life sounded like a great plan, I might have to incorporate this into my New Year's Resolutions:
For your Head: Learn something new every week
Learn about other people
Learn about opinions you do not agree with
For your Heart: List ten things you are grateful for each day (geeze I was doing my
gratitude journal with five a day, so will have to step that up!)
For your Hands: Do some act of Kindness every day for someone more vulmerable then
you.

Friday, January 9, 2009

Lizzie-the end of the curly split face red/white line

Well, it is official there will be no curly haired red/white border collies being generated from our home, Lizzie went in this morning for her spay. It makes me sad, because I love how Lizzie looks, I love her stable personality, I love how she attacks life and loves everyone and everything and will try anything-all qualities I would have loved to pass along. BUT, then I think about what a challenge she has been and I guess I dont want to put her through the whole puppy bearing thing, so she is off to the vets today. Funny I am a RN in my "other" life, and I worked in the open heart surgery unit, cardiac care and labor and delivery, so you wouldnt think a little thing like a spay would scare me, but I hate having my dogs have to go through something like that and of course every possible complication goes through my mind. I left her off this morning and warned them about how she will run if given a chance, I could see the tech looking at me like, oooh my gosh, just leave lady, hahahaha, so I will be very glad this evening when little Liz is back with me and all ok, and I guess I will be really glad in about a month and a half when she would have been in season and I will not have to deal with that again, I will be very glad it was done then.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

CHERRY HERE SHE COMES


This is some video where I was trying to capture what the striding looks like through the weaves. It is HARD to get all 12 weaves in the shot AND still be able to see what is going on with the stride. I was worried about hitting the camera with my ball, but we all survived.

Cherry 12 weaves Jan 8,09


Cherry with the weaves open about 1/2 inch to work on the footing. The first two sessions of today I took her to the back yard and worked on my straight poles, and took her to a friends and worked in their yard on their poles. I am not giving her anything but easy entries and not a lot of movement or distraction so that she can focus on her speed and figureing out her footing. When I put her back on the straight poles this morning she did start hopping through the poles, and not looking as comfortable. Please excuse the outfit, hey, I was cleaning and had on old clothes and who knows what was happening with the hair?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

things that make ya feel good....

I didn't sleep well last night because I realized that my niece had sent me a letter, it was one of those Flat Stanley things. The kids color this guy in school and then they send them out to people in different parts of the country and if Flat Stanley comes to visit you then you are supposed to take a picture of him in your area and write a little something about where you live... then you send him and the pictures back to the school so they can be shared with the class. Well, I got mine weeks ago and meant to handle it right away....but there was snow and I didnt think that really represented our place, so I finally went out today found a dang Joshua tree-and yes Flat Stanley amazingly sticks to Joshua trees, which is good because I was not sure how to get his picture and not stick anything into the tree and I didnt know how the kids would feel if I stuck a tree needle through his head to keep him in place...so we were all spared that. ANYWAY, got the pictures, got them developed, got the letter done and then headed to the post office to get it handled before anything else could happen. THERE IS NO WAY NOW TO BUY STAMPS IN OUR POST OFFICE WITHOUT STANDING IN THE HUGE LINE. There used to be a machine but no more. So I only had money for one stamp and I really needed it so I got in line and just cowgirled up and knew it was going to take at least half an hour to get through the line. So I just was starting conversation and trying to be friendly with the lady in front of me and I said wow, cant believe the stamp machine no longer works so you have to stand through the whole line to mail just one letter. She smiled and looked away. A second later she turned and said here you can have this stamp. How NICE! I had fifty cents in change and said that would be great, here is money for it and she wouldnt take it. Just funny how a little act of kindness can really just make the whole rest of the day so much brighter. So Flat Stanley, is on his way back to Galveston, and the world is a little brighter for me.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

CHERRYS GOT IT!!!

Yesterday Cherry went to 12 poles, I am following Susan Garretts 2x2 dvd, so I stuck 6 weaves and then a space and had 6 more. I sent Cherry through the last 6, and rewarded a couple of times, then sent her through the first 6 rewarded and then put her through the next 6 and rewarded. Susan says it is important to reward after the first 6 because if the dog has a problem in the second six you can not reward or they will be confused and yet...they will not know they did great in the first six, just a way to keep the rate of reinforcement up for the dog and a way to let them know precisely where the problem is if there are any. Anyway, we zipped through that step, and moved the poles closer, and wha laaa 12 weaves, very nicely with her head down and a nice speed. The only thing is I notice I do have to give her some nicer entries because the different poles, the different bases, the different number and the break in the two sets of poles all are giving her something to think about, so I am sticking to some nicer weave entries for the next few days.
Today I noticed at the first session it almost looked like Cherry wanted to hop through the poles. She was still moving fast and driving nice, but I decided to try how Susan suggested to very, very slightly open the poles. I put out my channels -I used her string and spike method of establishing the opening, but I thought that was easier to do with the channels then to mess with the 2x2's, and then on the second session she was sort of figuring out how to move and the third session of the day there is a beautiful swimming type stride. VERY exciting to watch that all developing. Sort of like watching your child learning to walk, you know they all do it eventually but so much fun to just see it happening and seems so amazing at the time. My third session was done as I was racing out the door, and so I didnt set up the video, besides it was almost dark, so I will post a video tomorrow.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Cherry Jan. 2, 2009 Day 8

videoToday we stayed with six weaves and rotated them open to encourage speed, sorry I took video but must have bumped the camera and didnt get all the poles in view, so I noticed right when it was time to stop when I was readjusting the weave poles to be straight, so I only got our last try. This try was after I had taken and put the weaves back to a straight row. I also used a little purple wubba so that we got some experience using a different reward. So six weaves, straight, all staked down and today was the first day I did notice some bumping into the poles so I was glad I had started staking them down a few days ago.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

NEW YEARS 2009

2008 in Review:
When I look back it is hard to believe it has just been one year.
Chloe was just getting over her autoimmune disease in Jan of last year, had forgotten how to weave, was running around almost all the obstacles and I was just not sure what to do with her. Now she has just got her first title and has a lot of Q's so more titles will be coming soon.
Liz was wild and unable to even do one jump off leash because she couldnt handle the stress and would do the zoomies. Liz has matured a lot over the last year and can do 5 min down stays while I run around a yard and people step over her. Liz can be in a class of familiar dogs in a familiar place. Liz can work when there are people around, if it is in a familiar place. Liz is not ready to work in a trial atmosphere though.
Breeze had her accident last january and it has taken most of the year to get her to the point she can train again. She loves agility and is doing great especially when it is considered how little actual time she has been able to train. She is looking good and will be a force to watch next year.
Cherry came here in August, just to work on her exercises, muscle tone, etc... but has now progressed to where she is doing some agility and an amazing little learner. Not sure how long she will be here but we are having fun with her.

The year for me has been full of a heck of a lot of work with the dogs-between the rehab, all these 2 yr old border collies (3 2yr old females is a lot of border collie to have in your house) that were just basically starting from ground zero with their agility training, and retraining Chloe. I feel like I have learned so much and got such valuable experience. I got to dabble in teaching, which I loved....I am starting to do some trials, which makes me nervous. It has been a full year full of ups and downs. One of the best changes I have made is that I really learned to be my doggies advocate, this has been a year full of having to exercise those muscles

FOR 2009:RESOLUTIONS in regards to dog training and agility:
To keep better records of my training
To work with some different type of dogs
To do more teaching
To get in better shape-you know I will just keep this one on all the list for the next ten years.....
To work on mental management -I get too nervous
To learn to throw the toys better, and work on my timing.
To not worry so much about what others think
To make more time to organize the house and my life better and be a little more disciplined.
To work on some Rally O with Liz, and to continue working with her, I will not give up with her, but I also will consider myself very lucky to be with her, even if we are both sitting on the sidelines and just winning in our own little back yard agility trials, She is an awesome dog and we are going to keep working.
To continue working with Breeze and make some decisions about her future and agility, I will get xrays again this spring, I will carefully watch her, continue with her accupuncture and exercises and I will closely watch how she is handling activity, I think this spring is going to let us know what her future holds as far as agility goes....
MAYBE.....maybe a new puppy......I have a few irons in the fire on that one, but we will see what works out.....

Cherry day 7 working on 2X2 weaves

videoOk after I got the DVD from Susan G. 12 weaves in 12 days, Susan does suggest giving a few days between progressing in the weaves for the muscles to build up in the dog, so I have been working with Cherry and her weaves every other day, about three times a day-and about 1-2 min. a session. I am videoing all my sessions and watching them after I am done so I can see where I go wrong, which is mostly....placement of reward, I really need to sit and practice my throwing and the timing is really a lot harder to get down then it looks, seriously. A couple of times I noticed a little behavior chain starting where Cherry would go into the poles, then come back once before she would really try to actually go down the poles, I accidentally rewarded that a couple of times in a row, so I had to stop after each try and do a trick first when that was happening, so I am watching more closely for that to happen again. Since this is the first session with six poles and everything just went straight I was letting Cherry work things out a little more this session. So day 6 I believe, or it maybe day 7, second session of the day, I have just closed the last two poles. That leaves six poles, staked down, straight in a line, reward is the pink ball and I do try to get her revved up and do some tugging before we start AND NO WEAVE OR POLE COMMAND YET, it is still not what I want to name weaves, or poles :-)-- I am very happy with how fast this is going and how well Cherry is doing.

WHOOPS! Re reviewing the materials it looks like we will not open up and work on footwork until we are working on twelve poles, so change of plans-always helps to review the instructions