Tuesday, December 11, 2012

What happened in 2012 (part 1)

Wow. Another year almost gone.  I ought to go look up what I had wanted to do with the dogs in 2012 and check that against what actually happened.

Bo was fabulous.  He earned two UDX legs in light campaigning, including a UB class placement. And he earned his MX to match his MXJ.  QQs were few and far between, but if he Qed in agility, he placed.  Except once.  I was so shocked to ONLY get a green ribbon.

Then the year ended sadly for Bo, with his being diagnosed with cervical disk issues and going into 24/7 crate rest for a month.  And I still don't know if he will ever compete in obedience or agility again.  I was feeling all optimistic, until he trotted towards me the other day when I was rowing and his front movement was very uneven.  Despite this he still lives large and hard in his fragile body. 

The  silver lining is that I have learned how to start tracking training with the smalls, and both have started off well.  If I am honest and you promise not to tell Bo ... Bo got an A+++ for enthusiasm, but Tip moved up to the next grade.  Bo was easy to get excited, bouncing out of his skin to race to the glove that I had obviously dropped.  Tip, on the other hand looked disinterested and kept looking away as I walked away while showing off the glove.  He even held a sit stay while I did that.  Bo (of course) had to be restrained by main force. But when I went back and told Tip to find it, he headed off on a beeline.  And when he couldn't find it visually and mistakenly went to a leaf, then his nose dropped to the ground and he started tracking it.  Scary scary little dog.

OK, so apparently 2012 was the year of Tip. Finished his CD in three straight shots.  No NQs. He is already competing in excellent agility and earning legs with placements, having just earned his novice and open titles in the last month or two. He has powered through the agility levels like a knife through hot butter.  Once he's in B (Masters!) he won't be earning placements but I shall be surprised if he doesn't start racking up the QQs.  It is sometimes hard to believe this is the same little dog.

So what will 2013 hold? We all learn about tracking.  Tip will earn a CDX and at least 10 QQs towards his MACH as well as his MX and MXJ titles.  For Bo, we shall see what activity he is cleared for, or not.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Tip photo fest

I got the order of photos from Jim Poor from the Golden trial at Westminster in October.   There are reasons to pay a professional:  like I could ever get those photos (well, no since I am out there running).  And even asking a friend to do it is asking a lot! We shall start with the most vibrant photo:  

Tip busting out of the chute! He was screaming out of there and I was out of the frame, calling him for all I was worth to turn him almost 180 to come do the teeter.  You can see he is starting to turn to his left in the photo.
Tip powers out of the chute.
Now, I have mentioned that Tip is a very earnest little dog.  I love this photo.  He looks like a very concerned little pony setting up for a jump.  Look at those ears and that expression!
Tip, looking very concerned, goes over a jump.

And in case you start wondering. "Does this dog like doing these things?  Here are a couple of photos to assuage your concerns:
Have you heard of a Tip Fly?
And remember:  an agility course is much longer for a little dog with 4" legs!  This photo gets that across, I think.
Little teeny dog off in the distance, flying over jumps.

And one last photo, because it is just that perfect:  Tip and the tire!
Nice smile!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Tip earns his Open agility titles!

Wow -- that was fast. 

I could have sworn we just started in Novice.  In fact, I have to contact Oriole and tell them to change Tip's entry from Novice to Excellent!

Tip had an amazing weekend at the Cocker trial in Fredericksburg.  (F-burg, to its friends): 4 runs, 4 Qs, 4 first places, two titles (OA and OAJ), and a Q his first time in the Excellent ring.  No faults are allowed in Excellent (other than some time faults in Excellent A).
Tip:  CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way CD BN OA OAJ NJP PCA-VP
 Tip is a little machine, and he takes things very seriously.  And you can see how hard he is trying to be good.  I was very proud of how well he ran, as he had never been in a place like the horse arena before.  And I worked very hard to remember to run him, and not Bo!!!!  I must say it was quite relaxing to just run around the course, with my only job being to remember the course -- no adrenaline-fueled terror! 

Friday night's crash-course in remembering weaves helped.  Tip had a couple little bobbles or uncertainties in weaves on Saturday, but on Sunday he did both sets of weaves very nicely.  He nailed the entrances and got some rhythm going through them (though not as fast as he can be).  He still can't do offside weaves, and we still don't really do rear crosses but apparently these are shortcomings that don't come between us and Qs.  He also has a fabulous start-line stay, but he is happier if we run together.

The last run of the weekend was Excellent Jumpers -- Tip's first time in the excellent ring.  He had just run his Open standard course and finished his OA title half an hour before (and spent the intervening time outside on Paul's lap in the sun, watching the hayfield in the sun).   It was a nice, flowing course.  I cheered Tip through the first 9 jumps, he got the weaves, then the remaining ten jumps I ended up running the crazy long outside line -- because it kept Tip going and I could.  It wasn't a very speedy run (44 seconds in a 50 second course), but it was CLEAN, and a Q, and BELOW SCT, and a first place!

I am hoping that as Tip gets more experienced with doing agility, he will be able to relax and I can even play with him a bit to get him revved up a little.  Right now I am respecting his need to understand and feel that everything is in control -- fluffing at this stage merely makes him feel that things are out of control.

On to Bo!  First day without any meds.  Another week in the crate and we can start doing more activity. No stairs etc for a month, but can start walking.  My plan is to take the next few months to get him back into condition, and see how he goes.  We will be starting tracking at Oriole.   If things go well, I will try him in a couple jumpers preferred runs in the spring, to see how he does.  That has no contact obstacles for him to leap off and hurt himself.  And he would be doing 4" in preferred; I  have a hard time seeing him hurting himself there, as there is nothing that he wouldn't be doing in normal life, to tell the truth.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

I am keeping Bo company (not wasting time on the computer)

For some reason, John is not fully buying that I am being selfless and keeping Bo company...

The agility and obedience equipment have been stowed.  The kiddie pool is under the deck, and I have a Sazerac to indicate that happy hour has commenced.

I am not wasting time on the computer: I am staying here with Bo in his crate at my feet, keeping the incarcerated one company.  See -- it is a selfless act.

Tip was splendid this weekend.  2 Open JWW legs, and two wonderful open STD runs.  Today's should've been a Q and a clean run at 25 secs under course time, except the last 2 jumps I forgot what dog I was running.  instead of sticking with him, I sprinted way ahead (like he was Bo).  But when I do that for Tip, he tries to keep up, and ends up jumping flat ... and knocked the bar on the very last jump.  TOTALLY my fault! But he did great and nailed all his weave poles today. 

What was particualry impressive this afternoon was how well he rose above stress and feat to work.  I had worked the 24" excellent class, then there was a VERY fast course change (they only removed one jump and a dummy jump and moved the tunnel), So Tip as in his crate in the upper building for several hours.  I had him fully covered, in hopes that would keep him more relaxed.  Unfortunately, while I was working 24", the big 20" dogs arrived.  Even if he couldn't see them, the poor little guy could HEAR them all around him.  After I walked, I ran up to the upper building and grabbed Tip and some treats (and stripped off the extra clothes).  I carried him outside and he was visibly distressed.  He barely had time to pee, and I took him inside, during which we encountered several more big bouncy dogs, which terrified him more.  Just seeing him (they were perfectly harmless).  By the time I got him ringside he was pretty well shell-shocked, and I had about 1-2 minutes before our run.

Bless his heart:  I gave him a few bits of chicken, and did a couple little tricks, then just sat with him on my lap.  He got less terrified but was clearly not happy.  When it was our turn to go in the ring, he was clearly still a very stressed little dog.  What is most impressive about all this is how hard he tried to do what I wanted, in the face of being stressed.  That is why I am unhappy with myself, for going to fast at the end and blowing the valiant little dog's gift to me:  a perfect fast run, with no warm up, and while stressed and scared.  I know he was stressed, because he didn't light up at the end and was very happy to have me pick him up and hold him.  I won't be doing THAT again (leaving him alone crated in the upper building while it was loud and busy!)

So:  haul form the weekend:  2 Open JWW legs (4th and 1st).  Tip now has two Open JWW and one Open Standard leg!

for entertainment:  the video o Tip's Saturday's Open JWW run (I didn't realize we had Qed until much later!)

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The whining will continue until ...

Well, the good news is Bo is feeling MUCH better.  The bad news is he has another 3 weeks of mandatory 24-h crate rest.  He is not a fan of this.  It was OK when he was still in pain, because he did not want to do anything but be a sad little dog lump but now ... Thanksgiving can't come soon enough!

At least he has gotten accustomed to sleeping in the crate next to the bed.  Maybe I will continue this.  What a luxury to be able to turn over in the middle of the night!!!!

On to Tip: Life gives and takes away.  What it is giving is a chance for Tip to blossom, even without the real impact of is best little friend Bo.  I was pleased at how well he handled himself this past weekend, without his buddy.  And in class, he gets my full attention, which I think he enjoys and is thriving under.  We have a few more agility trials then it goes quiescent for most of the winter -- time to polish obedience for the National!  reminds me -- gotta make those hotel resevation.  Maybe I will do that right now...

Monday, October 22, 2012

Ups and Downs

The sad news:  Bo has been diagnosed with some cervical disc issues and is on mandatory 24h crate rest for a month, as well as lots of meds.  I don't know whether he will recover to where he can work again or not.  However, I am glad to say he is already out of pain.  Last week he was walking funny and could not even shake his head! So I had to pull him out of the next 3 weekends worth of shows, and only Tip will be going. 

The good news: We just came back from the weekend of trials at Mattaponi, where Tip finished his NA and NAJ (with first places and clean runs that were 20-30 seconds under SCT).  He then topped off the weekend with a Q, clean run, and first place in Open standard!
CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way CD BN NA NAJ NJP PCA-VP
The first run of the weekend, I ran him like Bo, which stressed him and made him drop a bar and go visit the ring crew.  I then remembered what dog I was running and he did great -- he cannot take pressure.  Started off a bit slower (and controlled!) and after a couple obstacles sped up!  He nailed the weave poles all weekend.  In the novice classes I didn't always give him the perfect entry, but he slowed down and worked to get the entry and do the poles.  I was honestly dubious of his getting the 12 weaves in open, but he nailed the entry and did the weaves like the little machine we believe he is.

Tip is a serious little dog and doesn't want too much fussing before he starts, but man is he ever proud of himself when he finishes!  And I have just spent 15 minutes contemplating having a dog who is reliable but what if he isn't fast enough to make excellent course time!!!! arrrrgggghhhh.....

This weekend also showed how incredibly kind agility folks are.  I accidentally sprinted into a plexiglass wall ... I realized I was late for the class I was supposed to be working.  And forgot about the fact that I was in a plexiglass lined soccer field and slammed into the wall while sprinting for the far ring.  People were so kind and made sure I didn't have a concussion and got ice on it right away, so in fact I have no bruises on my face!  My knees are bruised and my left hand is a bit sore, but I came off remarkably lightly!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Tip does it again: CD in three straight shows!

Tip continues to surprise me.  OK -- so I knew when he was ready to show in conformation.  And I told Suzanne and Colleen that he wanted to show in conformation.  And they didn't quite beleive me until they took him to a big weekend of specialty shows and he brought home either WD or RWD every day.  Then he only needed one more weekend to finish his title:  with three majors.  Yeah -- that Tip!

Then a couple years ago I showed him in Preferred agility jumpers, and he Qed every run adn finished his title  bam bam bam!  Like that!  Then last year I showed him in Beginner Novice Obedience (doing the bad handler thing of scarcely training her dog before she entered him), and Q got 3 Qs and a new title.  Then a couple weeks ago I showed him in agility (not preferred) and he Qed almost every run (the NQ run was handler error).  And the there is obedience.  Much to my shock, that little dog Qed every time he stepped into the Novice Obedience ring.  It wasn't always pretty, but that little valiant heart did its darnedest to be good.  And his stays were perfect.  I don't think he has ever lost anything on a stay (stand, down, or sit).  Its like he freezes into place and just turns off.

Tip finished his CD at the Hyattsville DTC trials in Beltsville Maryland on Sunday September 23, 2012.
The huge newly minted CD smile, with Tip gazing lovingly at judge Don Levinson.
On Saturday, people said he was heeling quite nicely (even the judge), but he got a fairly abysmal score (173) because his "Sitter was broken".  Yup -- I had a handsome little dog who stacked every time I stopped on heeling and who stacked in front on the recall. On Sunday, I got a decent number of sits in heeling, but I lost him partway through the heeling pattern (he caught up with me after I executed the about turn after the fast, and finished nicely in heel position.  With a sit, as I recall.  He does have a lovely wait and recall, except he ends up stacked in front of me looking slightly confused.

Working out technical difficulties in the photo shoot.

Finally, Tip is facing the correct direction and the humans are not being silly!
 Here's to a valiant little dog:  CH. Waytogo's Walk This Way BN CD NJP!

Monday, September 17, 2012

MX for Bo!

Well that went far better than I had hoped.  Bo and Tip brought home a stash of ribbons and rosettes. 
Bo and Tip with their satin haul from the Belgian agility trial (September 2012)
I am not sure:  Was the high point the fact that Bo had a perfect start line down-stay on every single run (6 all weekend???)  Was it how spectacular Bo's runs were?  Was it Bo finishing his MX with a 4th place run that earned him 29 MACH points in a class of 22 8"Exc B dogs?  (A run that had the judge stop me later to comment on it?)  Was it the fact that Tip came home with 3 first place rosettes from Novice?  Decisions decisions.... I have no idea -- it was all good.

I realized the command "wait" on the start line actually means "jump up and down and bark madly".  Funny what you unintentionally teach your dog.  In all other instances wait actually means ... quietly hold position until I tell you otherwise.  But I put Bo into a down and a stay and he ... held his down until released.  I even did lead-outs!

Then there was little Tip.  He didn't Q in T2B, simply because he cannot do 12 weave poles in trial setting yet.  But he gained confidence all weekend.  I flubbed up our final run, because otherwise he would have finished his NA title.  However, despite my handling blunder it was a great run -- lots of energy and a fair bit of speed, and quite a bit of assurance.  Once we have those weave poles down, I think he will be meeting up with Bo in Excellent quite soon.  And I fear he will be quite consistent (unlike Bo who is so very brilliant).

Bo = Ferrari (Italian, flashy, fast, breaks down, but everyone wants one the second they see it!)
Tip =  Audi (German, machine-like, well engineered, reliable, very functional)

Sunday, September 9, 2012

OMG! What was I thinking?

I remember entering the trials.  All I really thought was "Let's just make sure I am not entering agility and obedience trials on the same day, right???"

Well, I succeeded.  Agility trials next weekend.  Two dogs.  Weekend after?  Obedience trials, two dogs.  Then I go on travel for a week and a half, come back, host dinner for 40-60 ravenous teenagers, then promptly go to another 2 days of obedience trials.

Its a real pity my dogs' handler is insane.

On the good side.  I went and practiced with Bo and Tip at Capital this morning.  Both dogs were insanely excited to work.  Especially Bo.  Bo was (of course) brilliant.  Had a bit of that "I am so excited about the gloves that I will not picot to heel position but hunker down insanely behind you".  So I actually gave him a pretty stiff "THIS is heel" correction.   

Tip was Tip.  He was clearly trying.  Heeling is not really sunk into his bones thorugh, and he still has a tendency to stack in front and look at my face when confused.  And sometimes thinks he ought to stack and pose while I walk away.  And his fronts are far too far away, off center, and often stadning.

But besides that he is great...  Talk to me in a couple of weeks, and we shall see what really happens.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Dual Dog Agility -- day one

Today I ran both Bo and Tip at agility.  I picked the Hyattsville trial, because it is a one-ring trial.  That way I don't have to stress about trying to be in two different rings at the same time!

To cut to the chase:  4 runs, no green ribbons.  However, the runs were very good, so it wasn't all bad. in order:

 - Bo's Exc JWW was first thing.  I thought it was going to be hopeless.  But he did great and (again!) I flubbed the handling on an easy jump.  He was heading towards it, I called "right" and he turned right and avoided the jump.  D'oh!  Nice fast run, and otherwise the directionals were absolutely necessary as I ran around that course following Bo's butt!

 - Tip's Novice JWW.  ugly. stressed. He got the first jump, then theoretically right into the weaves.  only 6 poles!  He just could not do it.   So we bailed on them and tried to do the rest of the course.  We got the next 3 jumps, then he went through the long tunnel and came out like greased lightening.  got the next couple jumps then completely could not work.  I think he was just too wigged out and that was part of the tunnel speed.  But at least he didn't run away!

- Bo's Excellent STD.  The good news is he got his weaves and contacts.  I didn't get him coming out of the tunnel so he ran past the triple.  All I could think was "really?".  Then he popped out on weave pole #10.  He was almost over the last jump when I called his butt back, and made him do all 12 poles, then finished.  And made much of him.  No Qs but I felt they were lovely runs.  He was about popping out of his skin before we went in, he was so bunched, so I knew it would be a bit mad.

- Tip's Novice STD.  Tip knocked the first bar.  I think because I lead too far out and didn't give him enough space to jump.  (He is not the natural athlete Bo is).  But he started plowing up the dog walk, and I encouraged him greatly, to great effect, he build up speed, zoomed through the U-shaped tunnel, and went screaming up the teeter.  I was frantically trying to get him to slow down -- but not quite effective enough.  He zoomed off the end before it hit the ground.  Did the table nicely and another jump.  Then I think he scampered lightly across the broad jump, instead of jumping it.  But he did everything!  even the chute, and the tire, and the weaves!  And he finished the course with 30 seconds to spare!  And he was happy.  So I was happy.

Sure, I would have liked some Qs, but all things considered, I think we had a good day and hope for some Qs tomorrow.

Sunday, June 24, 2012


Two weekend of agility trial (5 days) and we are still looking for that pesky last MX leg.   And we still have only two QQs, but are pushing close to 500 MACH points.  

Time is not an issue here.

However, we have been running much better, which means I have also been handling better. (perhaps not hard to do, but we'll take any improvements!) Usually just one little thing NQs us, but the rest of the run is usually really nice: fast, decent handling, right course.

What was amazing is the last 2 days I got a start line stay on Bo this weekend.  YEAH!!!!  They are not the "hold the stay for the 3 jump lead out", but they are him maintaining position while I stand up and even move a foot or two away!  I like this not because I need the lead out (I have learned to handle without it), but the self-control it entails in Bo makes the rest of the course run better.

Today we NQed standard because at weave pole #10 (of 12) he saw the sucker tunnel ahead of him, skipped the last poles and made a bee line for it.  I managed to call him off before he got in, then he had to go back and redo the weaves again (ALL 12 of them).  Then I had to call him off the sucker tunnel a second time to get a hard right turn onto the teeter.  Yesterday was another really hard STD course, that we only NQed because I was on the wrong side of the A Frame so he took the wrong end of the tunnel.  Even with the extra tunnel he as faster than any other dog in that class. 

But he was brilliant both saturday and sunday in JWW:  second place each day with 14 MACH points yesterday and 19 today.  Today's course had two long lines of jumps, that I sprinted down, counting on my dog to follow and take the jumps, which he did.

My reward is to go pull more weeds out of the lawn.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Maybe 4 is the magic number

For Tycho, everything clicked when he was four years old.  He got a brain, all the years of training clicked, and all of a sudden we were Qing and earning titles hand over fist.  It was kinda weird.

Bo has always been good, but 4 was a really good year, even for him.

And now Tip. He is currently 4 years old.  Got his BN in 3 tries without training. Qed first time in the CD ring with ridiculously little training.  And I tried him in agility practice this past saturday: he did everything perfectly, ran, took direction, was speedy.  Did the weaves (a year since he'd even seen them).  all 12, just like that. bam.  Did the teeter -- OK -- fly off the end the first time, but stormed right up it again and waited for it to drop like a pro.  Then I tried him in the chute (which we'd never done before).  Any guesses?  yup -- he did it.

So I took him to the minisession with Paulena today.  Ran Bo on each course, then a little beagle ran, then Tip.  Tip did each course just about flawlessly.

weird, I tell you.  Guess I'll try him at a real trial and see how things go!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Bo & Tip's Most Excellent Weekend

Last weekend, Paul had his first full-scale regatta and John's mom was due to arrive for a long-anticipated visit.  So naturally I was up in Boonsboro Maryland at an obedience trial with Bo & Tip.  It was the Mason & Dixon Kennel Club trial, held at the Washington County Rural Heritage Museum (http://www.ruralheritagemuseum.org/).  They have an impressive collection of very nicely maintained log cabins, donated from various sources.  I know the history of them all, because I got a personal tour from a very kind guide (after the easter egg hunt had cleared out).  An energetic greybeard in his 60s, he confessed to being the youngster amongst the volunteers.  

But that is not the main point, but it is important.  It was an absolutely lovely setting for a trial.  Lovely indoor buildings (one ring per room), with sufficient crating, paved parking, running toilets, and seemingly endless lovely vistas to walk your dog.

Bo, being small, was first dog in Utility both days.  Another lovely feature: the trial started at 9AM.  So I could leave home at 7, and still have a whole hour to let the dogs settle in and get them ready to work!
Bo Q'ed in Utility saturday moring.  I was stunned.  We had had such a long streak of NQs.  I don't know where to put the reason for the Q, but it must be (in part) because I told myself VERY FIRMLY that the goal was to have dogs that WANTED TO BE IN THE RING WORKING WITH ME.  That was my goal.  Not a Q.  So Bo Qed.  Then he Qed in Open B, and we got our third UDX leg! Whoo hoo!!!!  In Utility I thought he worked fabulously, but it was a strict judge so we score din the 180s.

Then came Tip.  The dog I should not have entered in Novice because he was so not trained or ready for it.  Heel on lead was a bit ugly.  Heel off lead was even uglier.  I had to give him a second command on off lead heeling.  Entertainingly I rapped out "Tip! HEEL!!!", which was effective at getting him back with me.  Even though he has never heard that command before in his life.  His heel command is "let's go!"  And I did much of the heeling with no idea where he was, because I could not see him.  Then I decided that was a good thing, as it meant he must be trailing along after me, because if he were anywhere else in the ring I would have seen him.

The kind kind judge in Novice B (who had just an hour earlier judged Bo and commented that he was obviously a Border Collie based on how he worked) determined that Tip had put in a qualifying performance in the individual exercises.  

Then we had to survive the novice stays.  Luckily Tip was between two small and very solid dogs.  Not next to the flatcoat who vibrated and flirted (but held position) throughout the entire stays.  Novice stays are awful, you just stand there and are a silent witness to the entire ten-million-year-long torturous ordeal.  But Tip (king of doing nothing) held his stays like a champ!  And he Q'ed and earned his first CD leg!! With a big 3 points to spare!!!!  lost a dozen points on each of the heeling exercises and did everything else essentially perfectly.  well except on the recall did not sit front and did not really finish.  (details, details...).

I was so pleased with life and Gloria was here, I almost didn't go back on Sunday.  Then I thought "they are all just going to sleep in sunday morning anyhow", so took only Bo off to the trial.  Tip rested on his laurels (more about him in a moment).  Bo was again first in the Utility ring again.  He put in an OK performance, but there were a lot of off fronts and finishes.  However he Q'ed (YEAH!!!!!!), and the judge made a comment about how he made it look easy.  Didn't seem like it to me, so I thought he was joking. 

Then came Sunday's Open B.  the way the trial was organized, Bo had maybe 30 minutes downtime between Utility and his open performance.  Broad jump was first, and he seemed a bit tired.  Let's be honest -- I am used to him vibrating with energy.  I told him to jump and he walked up to the jump and I foresaw him walking through the broad jump.  But no, he jumped over it and gave me a perfect front.  He Q'ed on all the individual exercises, and was so tired did not even pounce on the dumbbell on the retrieve on flat.

Then the stays.  He was next to a big hairy dog who was having a bad day.  Then on the stays it almost didn't go down, and when it did, there was barely a foot away from Bo.  This was a dog that the previous day Bo had made sure he was facing away from during the stays.  I look in unhappy desperation at the judge, and we lave our dogs.  During the stays, I abjectly beg the nice lady with the big hairy dog to walk really carefully around Bo when she returns (there is so little space), and I don't want him to NQ in the final seconds of the stays.  Happily, as the follow owner of a hairy dog, she understands and sympathizes.  And Bo Qs and earns his FOURTH UDX leg.

But -- saving the best for last.  Ribbons for the Utility B class.  The previous day all ribbons were earned by 3 brilliant black & white border collies and a brilliant Keeshond.  On sunday, the judge pinned first through third, then called fourth place.  My lead was firmly tucked in my pocket so I could applaud everyone.  But no one moved.  and then I started to think that #305 sounded sort of familiar.  So I glanced at my arm and realized that Bo had won 4th place!!!  Go Little Dog Go!!!!

Summary: Tip Q's first time in the Novice B ring.  Bo earns two UDX legs and a Utility B placement in competition.  I Q every time I go into the ring.  Yeah, I'd say that was a good weekend!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

What Bo & Tip & I need to work on

Bo and Tip and I had an obedience lesson with Diane.  And my handling has gotten quite messy, which was also causing all sorts of problems for the dogs.  So the things we will be working on.

Figure 8:  I need to drive harder on the inside circle and make sure that my lines across the middle are straight and my turns around the posts are more consistent.  Better handling on my part means my dogs can actually perform this correctly!

Heel position and sit at halt: I need to require consistently and only reward close in straight sits.  And work to reward the head and body not turning in to me.  I also need to work footwork on about turns and work him driving around and staying close -- in part by throwing food so he drives on the about turns.

Come close on recalls:  Play the cheerio game (go out, through legs, and come front.  Only reward when he drives right between my feet. 

Where is my hind end?  Teach Tip to stand on a small (pack of cards) sized object.  Then teach him to pivot left and right.  First with me in front of him, then with me beside him.

Kick my left heel with his right hind foot: Yeah, this one sounds weird, but he was under-rotating on the finishes.  Teach Bo to touch my left heel with his right hind foot -- to teach him how to swing his butt all the way in on the finishes. Do this first by touching his foot to my heel and C/T.

Reteach signals as not moving front feet from the card box.  To prevent him from moving forward on the signals.  First teach him to stand on the small object, then that he must keep his feet touching the object while he downs.  This will absolutely prevent any forward movement on the signals.  Then the whole point of signals is keeping the feet in position.  Also, if I want to go reward him, walk around behind him, then straddle him and reach down with food -- so it comes from behind.


Friday, February 10, 2012

Beauty Beau Tay

I went a bit mad and ordered photos from two different obedience trials recently.  Because they were such lovely photos of Bo working, and I have no equivalently lovely photos of Tycho working.  So under the theory that one should not make the same mistake twice, I supported my local dog sports photographers.  (I also supported the local videographers at local agility trials, but that is something else entirely)

Like wow.  Carl Gernazio caught this moment at trials at Catoctin.  I thought it was so lovely, because that is how I see Bo, gazing up at me. Nice ears. PLease note he is sitting on my novel so I could not read.

Also at Catoctin, a scenic glove retrieve.  I recently moved up to larger gloves, after a judge raised her eyebrows at our little gloves.

 Jim Poor's photos from the sheltie trial at CTA. 
In case you were wondering ... yes as far as I can tell Bo does in fact go out of his way to look as flashy as possible. 

Here is a nice sequence.  Yes -- me and Bo setting up for the directed retrieve.  
 Yes indeedy do.  That is my dog cheating and peering over his shoulder. Please note that his front is still straight.  He does the same thing when the judge goes to put out the scent articles.  Wants to make sure the judge does not run off with his article, perhaps???

My personal favorite:  in case you were thinking it was physically impossible for a 10" dog to do wrapped heeling, think again! 

Looking at these photos, I am simply thankful I have cut my hair since then!  ugh!