Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Another seminar weekend, one on one time with the Crickster!

I am so happy it sounds like my fellow bloggers weathered the weekend storm safely! Reading every ones descriptions it sure sounds like a scary weekend ;-(.

This is a picture of My fellow seminar participants and Marla C who put on our weekend seminar -this was at lunch with all our doggies. There was one other BC and his mom who were not in the picture but also attended the seminar. Check out Cricket begging for food....I think she figured with the picture taking in progress she might have found an opening to get her lunch!

I was so proud of my girl Cricket this last weekend. While everyone on the East coast was having to deal with the storms and had such a scary weekend we were dealing with a heat wave. I was lucky enough to get to go to a seminar that was on Puppy Motivation and Play the first day and Tight Turns and weaves the second day. I would like to talk more about what I learned and I will in a couple of days!

The seminar was in San Clemente-about 2 hours from me- it is apparently a very dog friendly town The seminar was held just a few blocks from the beach-how cool is that? I got to stay at Marla's house who was the one who put on the seminar- Daisy Peel had slept in the bed I slept in the week before, too bad her awesome agility handling did not seem to rub off onto the sheets and then to me, I was less then amazing,....I was OK-but definitely not amazing, I really did not see any signs of any sort of greatness that had rubbed off on me, what a shame,hahahaha.

In her agility classes Cricket had been awful the first few classes of the series with her barking in the crate, but I had worked with her a lot during that series of classes-clicking and treating for quiet behavior, taking her out and doing tricks, and leaving the door open and playing crate games so she would sit and watch the other dogs quietly. LUCKILY it seems like it helped because Cricket was a good little girl for the seminar and waited pretty nicely in her crate for her turn. There were a few times she was barking but she really did much better then I thought she would.

The other great part is that she was able to play, tug, do agility in a brand new place and she did great in the first seminar she has attended. She was doing her cik/cap turns (tight turns on jumps and understanding when to jump in collection to get ready for a turn), the whole weekend made me feel like we have been making a lot of progress.

The best part of the weekend was when we all went out for lunch together. It was the neatest feeling in the world to have a dog that was able to climb into the back of a Volvo with a HUGE Doberman and a 30 lb terrier-loose in the back of a car with dogs she did not know-the dogs were all perfect. I wish I had got a picture of those three dogs riding in the back of the car.

The restaurants were so neat, we went out a few times during the weekend with all the dogs. All the restaurants with patio tables welcomed dogs and brought out bowls of water for the dogs, it was really fun to have a weekend with just Cricket and I-able to hang out and do a lot of things we do not normally do.

One of the exciting events I have been following is the arrival of these two cuties- they are Crickets Brother Jive's babies-Cricket is an auntie!!! Their mom is Nakita who is an amazing and beautiful girl who is a great agility dog. Aren't they cute? I wish I had a bigger picture but there is a super cute video if you go to Jive's blog. http://jumpnjive.blogspot.com/ Some of you might remember Jive participating in our weave pole challenge.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Daisy Peel seminar, taking breaks and boots

WELL, it feels like I have been gone forever. After I had got bowled over and hurt my foot I was pretty bummed, esp. when I ended up wearing a boot-well, I guess I am still wearing a boot because of my injury. I was bummed enough to take a little break from life, but I am back! The boot is hard to move around in and it will be a miracle if I am not injured BECAUSE of the boot, LOL.

Last weekend I got to go to a Daisy Peel seminar-boot and all!. It was like a vacation weekend. I did not bring dogs because with the boot I did not want to haul around crates and shade, etc... so I stayed in a hotel by San Diego for the weekend since the seminar was in that area. I swam and went out to dinner and then spent the day immersed in agility, learned some great things, got great things to think about, I could not have planned a better weekend!!!

I went to a Daisy Peel seminar a few months ago, and liked that one, but loved this one even more. If anyone has the chance to go to a Daisy seminar I would highly recommend going. Of course what I say about what I heard at the seminar is my interpretation so...keep that in mind but it did leave me excited and with things to think about so I have to share ;-)!

One of the most interesting things that seemed to be the theme of the weekend was that there are certain points on course that if you support them better.....you can actually get further down stream where you need to be later. WHAT????? Go deeper into the pocket????? I just spent months trying to figure out how not to support things and move further away, so go figure. Also you can be moving too fast on the course, SERIOUSLY!!! To prove that point on our first course and the last course Daisy had people WALK, they were not allowed to run and so they moved more efficiently and didn't stop and some people who could not get where they needed to be running could do it walking-so hurrying is not always the best thing, sometimes you need to slow down and handle what needs to be handled. Now if only I can remember that and figure out the places where that is appropriate and the places I just need to haul butt...I figure I will be in good shape.

I got to hear what Daisy said about cik/cap turns (Sylvia Trkmans method of teaching tight turns) that Crick and I have been working on, and my interpretation of what she said is that she feels they are just sends, and your movement should still support the direction, and it is basically what she uses her OVER command for.

Just like in the last seminar that I went to with Daisy she talked about how a handling system is just a great frame work for creating your own handling system that works for you and your dog. You just need to be consistent. That just makes so much sense.

I thought the thing that made me smile the most was when Daisy talked to us about how now days everyone trains things so much that we forget it is sometimes great to know how to handle things ourselves, like to smoosh a dog into the weaves if we know they are not going to get an entry it is still good to know that we can get up there and position ourselves so the dog will get the entry even if it is because of our handling, or there is nothing wrong with sometimes if you know your dog might blow a contact and you get get there and handle it so the dog is not going to miss the contact sometimes that is appropriate, LOL. I do not know why but listening to her talk about that made me smile, like we do not always have to have perfect training, sometimes you just use your old fashioned skills.

There was a GREAT group of handlers/dogs at the seminar and some of my friends from Arizona so it could not have been a better weekend.

Yesterday I could not stand it any more after listening to agility talk all weekend and watching everyone playing with their dogs, so I went out and did a little boot agility, so not the most graceful and not the best movement on my part, but it felt good to be playing!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Can you spot someone new????

Kinetic, Breeze, Cricket, Lizzie
Kinetic and Breeze playing with the egg ball, while Liz and Cricket wrestle behind them

Little Kinetic, or Kenny as we call her

A Mosh Pitt, you might want to wear protection to be in the middle of that game

Cricket and Kinney, Kinetic has MADE Cricket learn how to play bitey-face-she never knew how to play that before, she prefers a good game of chase

Do ya all notice something/someone different? Yep there is a fourth BC running around. Not a permanent addition --she is a dog named Kinetic/ a red/white five month old BC who will eventually be moving to Japan-right now she is hanging at my house for a few weeks. She is a cutie! And she adds a LOT of energy to the house.

Well, it seems like FOREVER since I have posted.....lately it is just hard to blog some days, it seems like I am really busy but not with anything interesting ;-).

Cricket was a nut at class, and who knows why but she tried to run in a tunnel, turned around and ran out the entrance. When she got out of the tunnel the first time she found the toy I had thrown at the exit of the tunnel and I think she thought she was getting a huge reward. That was all she needed to KNOW the way you do tunnels is run in, turn around and run out the entrance. We had to finally have one person hold Cricket on one side of the tunnel while I called from the exit to help her remember how tunnels worked! LOL, what a nut! She loves tunnels and it was the exact same tunnel and set up as the week before, so it was really weird. To make class even more challenging my ankle is still killing me from when Cricket tripped me last week-I might have to break down and go get it checked out ;-(.

For the first time I feel like I am so far behind with Cricket. BEHIND???? Who is making up this time line? LOL, but I have to say I feel discouraged. I keep telling myself that when ever things seem to be falling apart is usually about the time they all magically come together, and when I look back I do think we have made a ton of progress lately, but it is still pretty WILD and Crazy when we do agility ;-). I am feeling pressure to get going-and feeling panicky thinking I just don't know how we are going to get it together-but what is the worst that could happen, we don't get it together and we keep having fun playing around, guess even in the worst case scenario it isn't that bad....Right???.

I think we are getting a new level of excitement and a new level of speed and Cricket has a lot more confidence, all good things but it might take us awhile to sort of learn how to use those new SKILZ.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Two steps forward...one step back

We had class last night and I think Cricket and I had a classic conflict of differing opinions about what our goals for the night were. Poor Cricket.

Crickets goal seemed to be to get me to understand to stay out of her way. I think she feels she is running full out and collection is a bit of a pain, so people need to learn to stay out of her way.

My goal was that say coming out of tunnels if I am standing/running right in front to her Cricket should collect a bit and avoid crashing into me like a freight train.


I think we have a little hole in our training.....LOL, I SWEAR I am pretty brave when my dogs really run at me I have never had dogs that do not make sure they do not run into me so I am pretty comfortable with them driving pretty close into me....I don't think anyone has actually run into me....until now and tonight it just kept almost happening.

The first close call of the night was at our first tunnel-it was a curved tunnel and Cricket and I almost collided when I was in running past the tunnel as she came out. I stopped and rewarded her coming to my side a few times.

After our near collision we did a few obstacles then a table to a tunnel, this tunnel was a straight tunnel, and as she came out she kept running really fast right to my side then right under my feet, she totally took me out,OUCH, she took my feet right out from underneath me without slowing her stride.

I am much too fragile to be falling, hahahaha, I really hurt in lots of places now....for a little dog she packs a lot of punch.

Not our best class, Cricket was just so over the top excited and was stuck on extension and going at hyper speed, which is good at some places on course, but at sometimes speed can kill if you do not use a little collection occasionally. I just think that it would be hard to do too much collection work with the Crickster, that extension sure comes naturally!

Our aframe seemed to have fallen apart a bit, If you saw Cricket tonight you would not think she has ever heard of a start line stay.....ahhhhhhhhh....lots of things to put on our to train better list. She was an excited little girl.

LUCKILY it was not all CACA, the parts of the course we have had trouble with in the past, sending to obstacles, reading lines, driving to the table, those were all GORGEOUS. Her weaves were sooooo fast and soooo good, there were some TIGHT turns and great obstacle discrimination that I was not sure she could do. Guess all the tweaking is just part of the process, we worked on some object focus and now I need to pull back and work on a little more handler focus again.

I SWEAR Cricket is just so different then any other dog I have worked with, she is such a trip and so fun, after tonight though I just hope I am up to the challenge. I was beginning to think we had it all under control and we were pretty hot stuff, LOL, but I feel knocked down a few pegs after tonight's class, but at the same time I feel so excited for what is to come, she has soooo much potential and she looks so good when I look at the big picture, but there sure needs to be a lot of little adjustments!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Not your mothers duct tape!

My poor tire needs to be re taped, so I went to the store to get some duct tape. Who knew duct tape comes in camouflage, all colors of the rainbow, zebra print, wild animal print, polka dots on turquoise, AND HELLO KITTIE print, too funny! This is just a picture of Targets selection, there was even more different choices at Walmart! LOL.

What a great time we live in that we have so many more choices then just the grey duct tape of yesterday!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cricket and the contacts ;-)

We had a great weekend here-really quiet but nice, with some thunderstorms and no agility practice.....

Today we did a few contacts-I would like to speed up our dog walk a little, although sometimes it is pretty fast and they are getting faster I think, but I decided to time them so I will know if we are getting better over time ;-).

I have not done a full teeter in a bit and was playing around with some games I saw in clean run to speed that up, so today was the first time I tried a full teeter again, and not sure the games were helping ;-).

THE cool thing is the aframe is at 5 ft 3, and NO PROPS, look mom no training wheels and I think it still is doing OK.