Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Bored at work so I will talk about my baby instead

ARGH! Nothing to do at work today but wait so since I didn't blog this morning, I guess I can now. I had PT this morning so didn't get to walk everyone so no telling what destruction awaits me when I get home. Tried to get harley and deuce to play as much as possible so that they could wear each other out. Poor miller, he gets so excited when I put on my running pants thinking we are going to a show and then gets so down when I leave him to go to PT. I am hoping this will be the last three day a week session that I have to have. I think we are going to drop back to two a days next week and then go from there. I think my insurance only pays for 30 visits a year and I am at 13 right now so getting close to using them up.

I am so excited for this weekend! I did find out that they don't have a puppy match as I had hoped but they do have a microchip clinic that I can take him too and get him chipped. I did register him for the AKC program as well and he got his little tag yesterday. Am hoping the vending will be good so I can get him something if he is a good boy. Right now I need another crate pad for his crate in the car. He has furniture grade foam but it is 5 inches thick instead of 3 inches which takes up alot of the height of the crate. Not a problem now but will be when he grows more. I have started looking for crates on craigslist as well. I am wanting a smaller day time crate for the downstairs, once I feel like he is able to hold his bladder all day. So far the crate in the downstairs with the litter box in it is working out good. He did shred the newspaper that i put under his water bowl and I do think he may have had an accident or two on his crate pad but it is all washable.

Yesterday we worked on stand some more and we worked on toes on the travel plank. He is getting more solid but I find that I am still having to lure him a little bit with my body to get into position, which i SHOULD NOT DO. I video taped myself yesterday and sure enough, he was getting on the board and stopping at the end with all four feet. I would move slightly and he would come down into his toes position, but off of my body cue. I want a dog with independent contacts so have to stop doing this! I think we just need to work it more and have me be more aware of any cues that my body may be giving off. I will probably pack his wobble board and the plank as well so we can practice at the hotel. We are also working on the release to a tug instead of the release always being for food. He is doing really well, but isn't always in the mood for tugging so have to vary the reward.

Don't know how much I will get done training wise tonight. Will have to take everyone for a walk for sure since no one went this morning. Need to do laundry and start packing for the show so will probably try and sneak in a short session here and there. He is getting so big that I can barely pick him up anymore. I will miss being able to pick him up and hold him like a baby. They grow up way too quick!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Waiting on the Sun to make an appearence

We are waiting on the sun to come up so we can go for a walk. I tried putting deuce back in his crate this morning with his chewie and it didn't work. BUMMER! I was ready to go to bed last night at 8:00! I forced myself to stay up till 10 but sure wanted more sleep this morning. Deuce slept good last night, didn't need to get up at all so hopefully this stomach ailment is done with. He is still having gas but not as frequently. He will be 100% on wellness after today so no more changes.

I have PT this morning at 9:30 and am hoping this will be my last three day week for PT. I hate to say it, but I really enjoy going and past the painful deep tissue massages, really think the info they have given me will make me a better athlete. I have shown them a bunch of moves we do in agility and discussed how many women have knee surgeries and how many people have injuries and they have given me lots of exercises to do to combat that. They are also really working on my hips and trying to help me walk and run with my feet straighter and not so much like a duck. Of course 31 years of walking and running that way is hard to change but they have gotten me a little straighter. We are talking about me taking on a personal trainer to help me stay agile but I am not sure my pocket book can handle it. Maybe after I get done paying for all of this PT. Two weeks of going, with insurance was 180 bucks and I have been two weeks past that so it adds up. While I am glad I went and got this issue resolved, I wonder if time would have just healed it too? Oh well, I sure as heck wouldn't have done deep tissue massage on myself and those pain patches sure are nice.

What is on the training agenda today? Well, more work on stand, which is getting way better. Maybe some more tunnel work but really need to get on some different color/sized tunnels. I am starting to work toes on his little traveling plank and he is slow to generalize so need to work that more. Bang game is coming along nicely so more of that. I need to start working on some more flat work too. Turn is staring to come along but needs more work. Need to start working some outs too as I haven't started that at all. I also need to drag my NADAC hoop out and start working with it too since no jumping is involved. Can I just quit my job and work with my doggies all day?

Monday, September 28, 2009

Stomach problems all night

I am not sure what was going on but Deuce had stomach problems all night. He didn't have gas like usual but needed to out out multiple times last night. Every time he would immediately go and do his business. I don't mind being woken up if he is serious but 5:45 came way to early!!! I was also kind of worried about him because he was panting alot and very restless. I kept on checking his cap refill time to make sure he wasn't in some sort of shock. Our upstairs did get pretty hot yesterday as it got up to the 80s and we just had the window open so it did take a while before the air really cooled the room, but it wasn't that bad! I took my fan that I usually have on me and put it down in the floor where it blew on him all night. He would stretch out and pant, but be under the fan. He finally stopped about 3 am and went into a good solid sleep. Not sure why his tummy is so messed up right now. We are in the final "leg" of changing over his diet, so he is on 3/4 wellness and only 1/4 chicken soup. He is getting exclusively only chicken wellness treats and he still gets his one chewie in the morning. He isn't getting anything else so not sure what is hurting his stomach so much.

We worked on tunnel yesterday, late afternoon. Even though this picture has a weird hue to it, I love it because it shows his drive for the tunnel. We have been working lots of restrained recalls with it and decided to really try running with him now for the next step. If he didn't drive to the tunnel, we would go back to restrained recall, but he is really starting to drive to the tunnel every time. We also started curving the tunnel as well. We have a very short tunnel so can't do much but look forward to class this week when I can get him into lori's different tunnels. We also have been working alot on stand and he is doing really well with that. I hope to start working the moving sits and downs too, as I really like the DVD i bought as far as the info I have gotten off of it so far.

Last night when it cooled off a bit, Miller and I went for a nice long walk together. He has really been pouting alot lately so I need to do more just him and I. Well, I see daylight so time for us to head out for our morning walk! I am starting to increase how much we walk as Deuce wants to go more and my leg/knee lets me go more. I supposedly only have two more weeks of PT but we shall see. We started high impact work on friday and I could barely walk on saturday!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

What to do today? Lazy sunday maybe?

I caught all the boys sleeping together. They were actually all almost touching which is a miracle. Usually miller or harley gets grumpy when he touches them. I think for the most part, Harley has totally accepted Deuce but Miller seems to be the one that still has issues. I think it is more jealously that i work with Deuce so much. Am planning on going to the park and setting some sequences up today and just working Miller. Deuce can come and watch, maybe. Everyone got rawhides yesterday so that was a big hit that everyone got something and not just Deuce.

Last night I continued to watch my new DVD. This is going to be a very slow process for me as I like to take notes, pause it and try stuff out. So far I have only gotten through three sections. I think I still have over an hours worth of video to watch. I really like her ideas so hope to incorporate them into my training. She is really big on training the release and so am I, and she is really big on using verbal cues for the sit, down, ok, and stay with no physical cues at all, and I am trying really hard to keep this philosophy going. I am working on the stand cue right now and am having problems with it. Of course in the video, her dog does it no problem. She puts pressure on their nose at the sit and the dog's butt just pops up. Well deuce just folds down so we are trying to just push on his chest to pop up his butt. It is great hind end awareness because his little butt has to be independent and I think that his why he is having some issues. She also does alot of moving sit and downs so looking forward to working on those as well. Deuce still wants to down as he is default behavior so working lots of sits!

Late yesterday afternoon, I decided to drag my tunnel outside the fence and wash it off really good. My tunnel has lived outside for probably about 7 or so years so it gets pretty yucky. I had tried to drag it outside the fence and many a wolf spider jumped out at me so I decided they had to die by drowning. Got it set up on saw horses and gave it a good bath and then let it dry before we worked deuce on it. We have previously been letting him run behind harley but decided that he really needed to understand more what he was doing. Barb and I had done some restrained recalls after class so Tony and I worked on doing restrained recalls into the tunnel and throwing the food tube. We tried to each run and get him to drive into the tunnel and he did a couple of times but also ran around the entrance a few times which to me means he really doesn't understand tunnel yet. I want him driving to it so we went back to restrained recalls.

I will have to say, Tony and I are really coming together with the training of Deuce, even though he will be my agility dog. He has been very helpful with suggestions and has been very eager to help me try out whatever. It just seems like with Harley, we constantly fought about what to do when and how to do it and this time it is completely different. Maybe it is because Harley is now his dog for sure? Don't know but I am liking it!

Well, off to find out what the plan is for the day. The weather is very nice but have no exact plans. I am sure there will be some football watching as tony did not watch at all yesterday as we were so busy. I would like to get the second part of our allstar seminar done today so I can have both parts to the other trainers for review so we can talk about it in Lincoln. Lincoln has always been my favorite show for some reason, even though we have had the weirdest stuff happen there. Have had to deal with tiger piss, crappy equipment, a grouch course builder that got on the mic and called us all bitches, no electricity, and camping in the sub freezing weather!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Saturday afternoon crash

So while the doggies are crashed out, thought I would update all the fun stuff we did today. Firs I re-thought the crate situation and decided to go with this idea instead of what I had earlier this morning.

Decided to go and re-weigh deuce, as I thought he had gained some weight, and boy, he did! In less than a week he has put on almost 4 lbs! I am so happy that he is putting on some weight and is considered normal! We also got to perform our behaviors we have been working on for the ladies that were waiting to see Dr. J, my vet. Deuce is such a ham and gets lots of laughs from everyone he performs for! I guess I should go ahead and teach him some tricks so he can be even funnier! We decided to take our show on the road and headed out to Petco to work some behaviors. He did great, especially with the distractions of the other dogs that frequent Petco. After that we headed over to the local dog wash and had our very first dog wash bath. While I think he was a little scared, he took it like a champ and continued to take food from me even though he was not happy about being bathed. I used the forced air dryer on him and gave him lots of cookies for tolerating being blown dry. I only blew him partially dry as he was shaking but again, he was taking cookies and doing his nose touch to my hand. He again had to perform for the lady that works at Claire and Harley's and got a cookie from her and a star cookie with white frosting from me. When we got home, he was worn out and crashed for a while.

Tony and I did our usual saturday in wamego routine, lunch at the friendship house, antique shopping, and a visit to the winery. I really love living in such a small cute town and hope that all the little businesses that thrive here continue to thrive. When we got back he was ready to get out and play. He had taken a very large poop in his litter box and for that reason the litter box is staying for now. I don't think it is affecting his potty training and now keep it the crate closed so that he has to tell me when he needs out or I have to be very proactive to avoid accidents!

We are going to go out and work tunnel tonight. I drug it outside of our fence and cleaned it out really well with the hose. It lives outside all the time and tends to get yucky and spidery so I wanted it to be clean for us to practice. Will try and get some good pics tonight of Deuce and the tunnel!

It's too early to be up and going!

This is Deuce's new digs. I am not sure I like this and will probably change it quickly. It seems that the litter dust is still everywhere, even though the litter box is in the back of the kennel. I am also afraid he is going to pee all over the pad too so may take that out. I am thinking that he is going to make a huge mess all over the carpet too! Maybe I just talked myself into putting the ex-pen back up! I was just getting tired of having to clean the living room everyday as there would be litter dust and litter everywhere. The other day when I came home, he had taken the tarp and gotten it all balled up in the center of the ex-pen and in the process had pulled all the sides in so he just had a very small area to be in. He had also started peeing on the tarp instead of entering the ex-pen and going in his litter box and I don't want that to become a habit either. I am sure he was having an accident or two in the ex-pen on the tarp everyday and it was probably drying up before I got home. I am still debating about just getting rid of the litter box altogether, but not sure. There is occasionally poop in the box and I would hate for him to do that in the kennel and then smear it everywhere. I think we will transition to this for now and then a smaller kennel without the litter box at all will be next. Tony is going to kill me but that will mean yet another wire crate to buy! We just got one for the upstairs for his bedroom crate as we had moved that crate to the car so at least three dogs were crated when we drove. I don't want to leave him in the bedroom during the day as I don't think the dogs spend very much time up there when we are gone. Would much rather him be downstairs but don't want to drag that crate up and down the stairs everyday. Oh well, one can never have too many wire crates, right?

Deuce did not have a good night last night. I had moved the pad from his crate that he sleeps in at night down to his daytime crate. I had just put a very small fleece pad in there and it was slightly smaller than his crate so every time he moved around, I heard his little toe nails clicking. He seemed to be very restless all night and one time, even though he wasn't crying, I got up and took him out and he did poop. He also has had really bad gas this whole week. I am wondering if he can take half a pepto tablet. Will call the vet this morning and ask because it is really stinky! He is almost transitioned over to wellness chicken and is on wellness chicken treats for training. Anyway, I feel like I did not get very restful sleep, so hoping when he crashes this morning that I can crash too. He and harley are currently playing hard! I have the door open to the backyard so they are making the rounds, running through the living room, out the dining room, through the kitchen, out to the deck, out in the yard and back. I hope they wear each other out!

Plans for the day include watching my new dvd I finally got. Watched some last night and took lots of notes. Only got through the very first part of the hands on section. I like to pause it and try out what she is talking about and then start it again. I am a stickler for details so it may take me a week or more to watch this video!!! I also want to go to the park and work some behaviors if the weather is nice. Tony is stuck in Topeka all day taking a continuing education class so we will have most of the day to ourselves. I would also like to take Deuce to Claire and Harley's, our local dog wash place and give him a bath. He stinks! I think it would be much easier to do it there than try and hold him in my sink. I want to get a current weight on him too so maybe a trip to his favorite vet. I swear he has put on a little chunk this week and should as much as he is getting now. He is getting two cups of food and then probably another half a cup in his buster cube, plus treats for training. Well, he is crashed so maybe I should crash too!!!! Will probably post more later as the day progresses.

Friday, September 25, 2009


Thank God it is Friday! I am so ready for the weekend even though we have nothing planned. Finally got my dvd in the mail and of course I had class last night so didn't get to watch any of it. Will probably watch it and drink some good Harvest Moon and Schlafly's Pumpkin Ale tonight. Deuce got to go out to class last night and got to do some stuff while the classes were going on. I didn't work as many behaviors as I normally do as I really wanted to listen more to what Lori and Joc were teaching. I am teaching the pre-comp class next week so I wanted to really watch them and see where they were and what they were having problems with. So, he just got to be out and be with me and get drug around! I did some short work on toes on Lori's balance disc as it is different than mine and he was doing alright with it. We still need a ton of practice on different surfaces for sure. Deuce had to sit in his crate while we worked in our class and he was not a very happy boy. In fact, he screamed pretty much the entire hour and a half we had class. He also knocked over his water bowl as he just has a free standing bowl in his crate and pretty much soaked himself and his crate pad. When I got done and got him out to play with the other dogs before we left, he was sitting in a pool of water, looking very put out. Oh well, he is going to have to understand that he can't always be out with me.

I am still trying to up Deuce's food. He is up to 2 cups now and he constantly has gas and sometimes a little diarrhea. I am really having to watch his little tummy as we are trying to switch him over to wellness and of course he is getting wellness treats now exclusively so lots of changes to his little tummy. He was solid this morning so I am not too concerned but the farts last night in his kennel were diabolical! We didn't get into bed till almost 11 and he slept till 6:30 and was still asleep when I got up so he probably would have made it till at least 7.

Well, since I am on here so late this morning, I am going to end with that but will blog more later!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

When is the weekened coming?

Not really sure why I am so ready for the weekend as we having nothing specific planned but I am. I think it is just getting to spend all day both days with the dogs doing whatever we want. I did not feel like training yesterday so I didn't. I just had a lazy day other than our normal walks. Tony had Deuce go through the tunnel a few times with harley but that was it. Sometimes I think you need to just take a break. I noticed that Deuce is staying up later which means he is sleeping later which is nice. We actually made it to 10:30 last night and got up at 6. I would really like to get up at 7 but maybe we can get there eventually. I did not get everyone's toe nails and feet trimmed but I can finish this weekend. Berry is starting to look like the grinch that stole christmas.

Hoping my video is here today but not holding my breath. We have class tonight and I won't be teaching again so I can just play with and train Deuce while the other teachers are teaching.

I did decide to start teaching Deuce what targets are this morning. Where as touching my hand is a here, touching the target will be touch. He had some frustration understanding exactly what I wanted but once he got it, he was flying across the room and doing a nose touch on the target. I am going to work on this more tonight in class as well. Well, I see daylight so off to walk!!!

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Wednesday means dentist appointment, yuck!

I so wanted more sleep this morning! We have been getting up later but today the dogs wanted back up at 5:50. I tried putting Deuce back in his kennel with his chewie and he just wasn't having any of it the morning. I have no caffeine in the house right now so I am not having a very good morning! My dogs have also been very very clingy this morning for some reason. Even as I sit here typing they are all circled around me keeping Deuce from getting close. Not sure what this means or why they are being clingy. They all seem to have abnormally short fuses today too. Maybe they need some caffeine as well! I am waiting for a hint of daylight so we can all go walking and get rid of some of this weird energy that is going around my pack.

I started adding more food to Deuce's diet yesterday by starting to change him over to the food I feed the other dogs and I guess I gave him diarrhea. He went out several times yesterday and was pretty loose. He seems in good spirits otherwise so I am going to go ahead with the change over. I was mixing a cup of his regular food with a half a cup of the new food. According to the wellness bag you are suppose to get them changed over in a week so we shall see how it goes. I also added some of the new food in his buster cube so that might have sent his little tummy over the edge. I will continue to monitor him and add rice and probiotics to his diet if we need to help his little tummy with the transition.

I learned a new trick and am using it to help with the screaming when I leave him in his ex-pen. It may wear off eventually but for now it is working like a charm. When I get ready to leave, I fill his bowl with his absolute favorite thing in the whole world, ice. He is so busy crunching away that he doesn't even seem to notice that I am leaving. He is the biggest ice whore i have ever met! He will beg when I am icing my knees by either laying on them on my leg (i have to cover them with a towel or blanket so he doesn't try and chew on them) or he sits on the ground an offers behaviors and barks at me. I try not to give in to either but when I am done icing, I put the bag of ice in his water bowl so he gets to chow down. I have never met a dog that loves ice so much!

Training wise today, may not get a ton done this morning. He has been very active all morning playing with his buster cube and terrorizing the other dogs and has just crashed. I may get a short session whenever we get back from the walk. He is doing great with his sits and downs and with toes and feet and is starting to get better with toes on the bowl and the balance disc. Turn is really shaping up and so is spin so more work on that. Still waiting on my pre-sport puppy dvd, really thought it would have been here by now since it supposedly shipped on friday of last week. If the weather is nice this afternoon, we need to work more on tunnel and the bang game and go to the park and work on behaviors.

We shall see how well I feel after getting my cavity filled. I am so dreading going this time. Last time, they claimed the cavity was really small so he didn't numb me up very well and then I guess it was worse than he thought and he tried re-numbing me and drilling and it hurt like hell. Right now that really sticks out in my mind so I am hoping that he completely numbs me this time and that everything goes smoothly. I try and go to my happy place because I HATE dentists and I HATE having cavities filled. I hate more than anything just the horrible vibration you get when they are drilling and cleaning it out. I think I can handle the pain better than I can handle that vibration and of course they can't numb you against the vibration at all.

Well, I see daylight so going to go and get ready for the walk. It is 47 degrees outside right now so you'd better bet I am going to bundle up like a eskimo!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

First day of Fall YIPEE!

Today is the first day of fall and it feels like winter in our house! We left many of the windows open last night and it is 49 degrees outside and 64 in our house! I think I slept really good with the cold air coming in. Deuce was really restless last night so he got banished to the crate instead. He actually got in the crate when we were getting ready for bed and I should have just left him in there. He was actually awake for longer last night, didn't crash so early so I think that helped him and the rest of the dogs sleep till 6 am this morning. Am looking forward to going on my morning walk since we didn't get to go yesterday morning due to the storms. It is really cold but the boys need to get out!

Yesterday was Deuce's rabies shot visit and check-up. He did great with the shot just like he did last time but the vet was concerned that he isn't gaining weight. He has been 14.2 lbs,14.6 lbs, or 14.9 lbs so not really gaining weight. He suggest to mix puppy food with his food and just mix a very small amount like a third of a cup to try and boost his calories. It is really hard to tell if he is skinny or not because he is still so fluffy! I like dogs a little skinny but don't want to compromise his growth so I am increasing the amount of food he is getting. Here I thought I was overfeeding him as he gets treats in training, his normal food, a chewie in the am, and lots of kibble in his buster cube! After thinking I was a really bad dog mommy, I called Heidi and she reassured me that everything was okay. We are increasing how much he gets of the adult food and now I don't feel guilty about all the treats he gets in training. As usual he loved seeing everyone at the vet clinic and got to play with Cecil and Chloe who were less than thrilled with him wanting to play.

Today on the training docket is more and more of toes. I am also using a big food bowl turned upside down on the carpet since it doesn't wobble to try and help him understand toes as well. He is getting better, but just wants to either straddle the bowl or the wobble board or sit on it. We also started working on turn the last few days and I have also decided to work spin as well to help keep him flexible. So far he doesn't seem to have one side that is not as flexible turning or spinning so I am going to keep it that way. I also need to work more on wait today and need to get him out to work more on him not jumping on people for pets. This is really hard for a puppy because everyone wants to pet a puppy and then almost encourage it but I need to nip it in the bud now before he is a big boy. Well, going to get off of here and get dressed so we can go for our walk. I will be glad when it is lighter earlier so we can go for longer walks.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A very busy week

I actually got to sleep till 6 am this morning, but I guess I kind of cheated. The dogs woke me up at 5:00 am but I just didn't want to get up so I got a chewie and put Deuce in his crate and went back to sleep. I was hoping to sleep till 7, but the big dogs were not having any of it and jumped on and off the bed till I got up. I was so proud of myself last night! I actually made it till 10:30 last night before I went to sleep and I wasn't overly sleepy just felt like he was crashed so I should crash too. I didn't get to hear my favorite metal show though and am sad I missed it:(

Maybe my body is finally adjusting! I know I am very out of shape because I haven't been able to exercise, so that is a huge contributor to me not having any energy. I hope we can change that very soon. I actually had a very good weekend leg wise. Pain has been very minimal and we have been on several walks varying in length. I have been really active in icing and taking my advil, so maybe that is helping. I have three PT visits this week and am looking forward to not having to go anymore! I love PT, don't get me wrong as they make me feel better but it is costing me and arm and a leg to go, even with insurance!

This week is going to be so busy with PT visits, a cavity filling, and deuce's rabies shot visit. I am not teaching again this week for the agility classes (i don't think) so I can train deuce during class again which will be fun! Training goals this week include sits and downs in different positions (beside me, behind me, in front of me, between my legs), balance disc as usual to strengthen that hind end, more wait, and turn for sure. I need to drag his travel plank in as well and start shaping feet and toes on that as well. I am hoping my dvd that I ordered from clean run makes it here today, so I can watch and make sure I am not leaving anything out. We have already started the bang game for the teeter and doing restrained recalls for the tunnel but need to make sure that is all we need to be doing at this point. I won't start jumps or weaves till his growth plates close so we have plenty of time for those. I did put him on the down side of the a-frame and the dog walk just so he got to walk down those planks and when we start teaching beginners will probably get to do a whole a-frame because it will be very low. The name of the game now is foundation!

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Sunday morning part two

So I was sitting here icing my knees as usual and thought I would update what all we have done today. You get a ton of work done in a day I have found it you get up before the sun comes up LOL! I decided to take Deuce's sit and down and balance disc on the road to see if I could get consistency no matter where we are. He did really well the other night in class so I was hoping I would get the same response again. I packed a bag and headed to the city park, which is only about a block away. The weather was so nice! We worked on sits and downs, toes and feet, come and here, and sits and downs in different positions. I also tried to do more play with toys or praise versus treats, but I still felt like we went through a lot of treats. I am headed today to go and get some more puppy wellness treats as they break into little pieces and don't crumble. I was really proud of his ability to not be distracted by the kids playing or the squirrels that seemed to be getting ready for the winter by gathering acorns around us. We headed back to the house and crashed for a while.

I decided we needed to start really working on wait as I previously posted. Since food sends him over the top, I used the door instead. Put him in a sit or a down, told him to wait (one finger in front of the face because if I put a full hand he touches it) and then if he stayed sitting (or whatever position i used) while I opened the door, then he got a release and a tug. When he become reliable on that, I uped the criteria and he had to sit and wait till I went through the door. He did break a few times but I just closed the door and gave him a negative sound and started over. I did not use the clicker for this, but he seemed to get it rather quickly. I have to admit, I am very guilty about not making the dogs wait to go out the door, especially him because I am usually trying to get him to go out and potty and don't want him to do it on the floor. I used the front door (not as much fun as they don't go out it much), the back door (alot harder since they are in and out of that one), and the deck door. After I was satisfied with his progress and I was sure he wasn't too tired, we moved onto the bang game. He loves to push the end of the teeter down so this is his favorite game. My teeter is very loud and whips pretty bad but he doesn't care at all. We have moved from doing the bang game on just the end to him jumping up from the side and banging it down. He gets so excited sometimes to bang it that i just have to laugh! I may have created a banging monster! I will have to get tony to video some time!

Deuce is curled up under my feet passed out right now. I was debating on whether or not to take him to town as the local Petco has a "puppy play date day" which is free but I sure don't want to hear about their puppy classes that they offer. Deuce gets his rabies shot on monday so may wait till next weekend if we aren't busy. Will probably take him to the lab with me to go do some work so he gets to ride in an elevator and see some different stuff. Will probably make it to petco but after their puppy play day.

sunday morning

I was so tired last night! I don't know if it was a combination of getting up so early and working outside or what. I think I went to bed at 8:30 last night! My body just isn't adjusting to the whole getting up early thing. And to think we were going to go out and watch bands till 2 or so in the am! Tony gets up early everyday and goes to be around 10:30 or 11 but for some reason I can't do that! I managed to sleep till 6:30 this morning but I cheated. The dogs woke me up around 5 am and I took them all out to potty and then got a chewie and took it upstairs and put it in deuce's crate so he could chew for a while and I could sleep! I guess it worked because I didn't get woken back up till 6:30. I think I could still go back to bed right now but am kind of liking getting up early. I got the whole house cleaned from top to bottom yesterday and got a ton of yard work done too when Tony got home from work. I get so much more done and feel better about not sleeping till 11 although i do miss it :(

Now on to training. Am having some frustrations. Seems like our potty training is taking a nose dive. Deuce is starting to pee in the house more frequently and does not seek out his litter box when he needs to go. I am not sure if I was lulled into a false sense of security or what. We have caught him in the act twice so am now scolding him for going in the house. I think I am going to have to put more value on him going outside. He pretty much goes outside on command either loose or on a leash, which will make me feel good when we are showing but still having some accidents. I am still trying to anticipate when he will need to go out but not catching it. It is really bad when we go upstairs. I usually block him into whatever room I am in so he doesn't go exploring and secretly potty. This is what Harley did as a baby because we left doors open and he would just sneak into the front bedroom and squat. I have to pretty much take him out before I go upstairs now, even if he was just out. We have carpet up there and the foster dogs have marked it, I am sure so I guess we need to rent a steam cleaner and really clean the carpets to get rid of any scents that might be left.

One of the other snags we have hit is that Deuce has decided his default is a down not a sit, so every time I am working positions, he goes into a down, even if I asked for a sit. He gets very mouthy too which was cute for a day but is now getting annoying, so I am going back to working sits more to try and balance him back out. He also has to either sit or down for his food and if he isn't right and I am waiting for him to correct him self, he goes into a frenzy of barking and starts turbo offering behaviors. Again the default has become a down so he just downs and then barks his head off at me. I am having to almost put him back in a sit so he gets it right. We have been working on wait at the door which is getting better but I have not been able to work wait for his food. For our fosters, they have to go into position and then wait for release to get their food. Tony says we need to let him mature a little more before asking for this and I agree. I am also trying to work sit and down in different positions i.e., next to me, in front of me, behind me, between my legs etc. It is going okay but could be better. He hates sitting or downing between my legs so we are just working on that to try and get him past that. He wants to touch my hand to get into position and then he just swings out and sits facing me. Ah the joys of training a puppy! If anyone has any suggestions, let me know!

On to the good stuff now! Deuce had a good time yesterday following his big brother through the tunnel and got to do a long straight tunnel and a L shaped tunnel and a curved tunnel following Harley. I am not sending him to the tunnel as we need to work on restrained recalls first and then do some restrained recalls to the tunnel to get drive to the tunnel. I also would like to start working on turn soon. We also did ears and toe nails yesterday when he was tired and he did great. He is such a chow hound so again I really need to vary what he gets as a reward. Sometimes it is food but sometimes it is just play or praise. He did offer "toes" yesterday for the first time and we had a very big party for that! His balance disc is hard for him to do toes on so it takes alot of focus on his part to get it. Tony and Deuce are now playing so I guess I will get off of here and join in!

Saturday, September 19, 2009

It's saturday morning! Why am I up at 5:30?

Well, I am use to sleeping till 11 or so on saturdays so this is quite a change. I do have tons to do today so I guess I should be happy that I am up so early. Tony has to work at least half a day (love overtime) so I am planning on cleaning and getting the recycling taking care of among other things. I feel so weird as it was friday night and I was ready to go to bed at 8:30. I am not sure why my body seems to have such a hard time adjusting. Deuce sleeps all through the night now so not getting up and down but my body just refuses to not let me get my 8 hours of sleep! We actually let Deuce sleep in the bed last night and he was a good boy. He got up and moved a couple of times but for the most part, he slept through the night in the bed. I had been letting him sleep on the bed till I felt like I was about to sleep and then i was putting him in the crate. I will have to see how this goes because I don't want to jepordize his potty training if he is sneaking out of the bed to go potty but I am such a light sleeper that i would wake up if he did get up and leave. Tried to lay back down this morning but it didn't work. He was up and ready to go for sure so I got back up and gave everyone a chewie so I could blog and wait till daylight to go walking.

I posted the link to my blog on facebook and after I did that, I have gotten tons of emails of how did you train this or that or how did you come up with things so I thought I would do a blog on how I got into aussies first of all and who (Lori Michaels hands down) and what (clicker training) influences my training. I may have blogged about this before on my competition blog but I haven't here so I thought I would here too.

My very first aussie was strawberry. I kind of stumbled upon here so to speak. I was in college and working at our school's equestrian facility. Yes, my first love was horses and my first passion was dressage. I also dabbled in some western pleasure and some barrel racing too. Anyway, everyone on the rodeo team had a dog and the dog of that year was an aussie. My roomie, who also worked at the center had three aussies and I loved their personalities and their workability. Her father owned a tobacco farm in middle TN and had some stock and had a working aussie that she used as breeding stock for her bitches. Of course these dogs had no papers and had no pedigree to speak of other than they just worked. Berry was part of one of her litters that she had while we lived together. Berry was the runt and no one would even look at her when they came to look at the litter so I ended up taking her after my parents gave me their blessing. That is how the addiction started! Berry followed me everywhere I went, helped me at the center although I never "taught" her any herding commands, and was my heart dog. Of course I had dreams of berry being a mommy too so I could pass on her working ability but the new rodeo coaches yellow lab decided berry smelled mighty fine one day and they tied up and I just couldn't dream of her having mutt puppies so I had her spayed. Of course knowing what I know now, I would never in a million years breed berry but oh the stupid things you think of when you are in college.

Berry is responsible for getting me into the sport of agility and helping me meet my best friend Barb. We met at the barn when Barb asked what kind of dog berry was and then telling me that "oh, aussies do really well in agility" . Famous last words as I took her class at the kennel club and was severally hooked from then on. When I started berry, there were no "handling systems" per se and I tried to get her into the ring before I even really knew what the heck I was doing. Contacts zones, what are contact zones and what the heck is a front cross or a rear cross? LOL! Berry unfortunately blew out her knee doing non-agility stuff and had to end her career short:( She still is the cheerleader of the Red Aussie Crew and has survived a cancer scare and is still going strong at 12 years old!

Miller was my next aussie and I rescued him from the pound. I had friend (Teri) who worked at the shelter and was part of the kennel club who called me about him. I was in grad school in KS at the time and I really did not need another dog. I was renting a very small house and the dogs had to be outside and at the time, berry was on a cable tie outside when I wasn't home which was not an ideal situation. Also at this time, my then boyfriend now husband was moving to KS to live with me and I had already told him he couldn't bring his dog which was a golden because we didn't have room. Anyway, ended up rescuing Miller as he had been deemed aggressive and was due to be put down and no one wanted him because he was very shy in the shelter. Berry had sustained an injury that was going to limit her agility career at the time and was severely addicted at this point so really needed my next agility dog. Well, to put it lightly, Miller hated agility. He would do one obstacle and then go and hide under the truck. I had decided that he was just going to be a very loved pet (he really bonded with tony at that time) and had decided to get harley from a breeder so I would have a clean slate. Miller had tons of baggage being a rescue and was already a couple of years old when we got him and I wanted a chance to use all of the cool stuff I had learned while doing agility with Berry on a new puppy.

I am going to sneak in and start talking about my influences here because this was about the time that Lori Michaels came into my life. When I started agility with berry, all we had was the local kennel club that had a very small building with thin mats on concrete and a few pieces of equipment. While I am very gracious that they started me, we did not get any foundation training as that was not really "in style" so to speak at the time. I had found out about a lady named Joan Meyer at that point that had a training facility in Lawrence KS. Now don't laugh but at this point in my life, I had never driven on an interstate by myself. Yes, it is true, I hated driving and would absolutely throw a fit if I had to drive anywhere, especially by myself so I sure as heck was not driving on any interstates. Well, Joan was about an hour away from Manhattan and I was going to have to drive on an interstate by myself! I was so nervous about driving that I was practically sick to my stomach, but I did it and took a seminar with her on weave poles. She had a series that I had signed up for and the next one was crosses. When I got to the next one, there was this lady teaching that I had never seen before. Well, let me tell you I was pissed because I wanted world team member Joan Meyer teaching me, not some random person! Turns out this random person was Lori Michaels, future two time world team member herself but at that time, I didn't know that. Fastforward a little, I found out this Lori person is teaching in Manhattan out by the airport, so I signed up for lessons/classes. WOW! What I learned that I didn't know! Foundation skills were so important, handling was so important! It wasn't just about getting your dog around the course anymore. Lori had a great way of teaching and still does! She is so good about really making you get outside of your box to handle things not only the "safe" way or the same way but to do things differently because you never know what is going to work best until you try it. Since Lori is always trying out for the world team, we really get to work some awesome courses and when Lori is on the team, we do alot of getting together and setting up international courses and practicing things that we probably won't see here in AKC or USDAA agility but are very good for us as a handler to practice. I tell you it really helps to practice this kind of stuff because it saves your butt at nationals when we do international style courses and also at USDAA nationals when we do european standard and jumpers.

Lori is also very good at helping us mentally as this sport is so much mental! It is so nice to have someone coach you who has been to some of the toughest competitions in the world and had to push herself to be the very best and the most focused. She has really shaped my view of agility and my view of the mental game to new heights. I highly recommend if you ever hear of a Lori Michaels seminar in your area, to go and take it, even if you have to audit. I have become such a better more well rounded handler because of her. I would have never gotten my MACH or have gone to AKC or USDAA nationals without her being there, pushing me to do my best and helping me keep my head screwed on straight. We all have mentors in our lives that truly shape us and she really has been that person in my life. It just so happens that our puppies Deuce and Solei were born a few days apart so I have really been lucky to have her as a sounding board for Deuce's foundation training so far. She is the one who introduced me to the balance disc and to the concept of hind end awareness and body awareness. I had read about it but it really didn't stick until she showed me (i am a huge visual learner). I will really enjoy having Solei and Deuce grow up together, but will be more happy when Solei gets a little bit bigger so Deuce can't just sit on her and smother her!

My other influence is clicker training. I think probably barb introduced me to the clicker and I have read tons and tons on clicker work and really love it. I think it is so clear to the dogs! I can just get my clicker out and my dogs go nuts knowing that they are going to get to learn something and get treats too! I am currently working on randomizing Deuce's treats so that sometimes he gets a cookie, sometimes he gets praise, and sometimes he gets to tug. I think he is becoming a huge cookie monster and while I like his food motivation, I want him to be more well rounded and also have toy drive. Harley has tons of toy drive too and it has been nice to having another tool other than just food.

Okay back to my aussie story! Harley was the next to join my crew since I didn't think Miller would ever pan out as an agility dog. Harley came from Kyroka kennels in MO. Of course soon after we got Harley and started his foundation work, guess who decided he wanted to be an agility dog too? I really couldn't mentally handle both harley and miller in the beginner class so I asked my husband to handle harley while I handled miller. You know, people ask me, how did I get such a supportive husband when it comes to agility and I tell them, you get them hooked too! This was his hook because harley was fast and furious and tony loved it! While Tony and Harley have taken some time off from shows, they are back together now and really tearing it up. Harley takes some finesse to handle and tony being a beginner and having taken time off for a while is still learning how to handle both the courses and the mental game. Harley needs one more AX leg and I think three more MXJ legs to finish those titles so I am hoping this fall will be a successful one for Harley and Tony.

So those are my babies! I will be honest, when it came to thinking about my next agility dog, I did consider a border collie, but I came back to the breed I love, the breed that fits Tony and I the best. You can always read about my thoughts and frustrations and joys of running these guys on my competition blog. I seem to really pour my heart out on that one because agility is my passion and sometimes things don't always go as planned and you just have to let it roll off of your back and think about the next run. I have had an extraordinary couple of years with miller qualifying for USDAA nationals twice in all events, and AKC nationals twice and going to AKC nationals once with miller and once with someone else's dog. I look forward to having more experiences like this with miller (AKC nationals 2010 here we come) in the future till he tells me he doesn't love it anymore and I really look forward to getting Deuce addicted to running in agility too. Well, Deuce is back up from his nap and ready to go again so guess it is walking time! Have a great saturday with whatever you are up to!

Friday, September 18, 2009

It's Friday

Ah, it is finally friday and I am so happy! It is a non-dog show weekend so hope to get lots of puppy training done and lots of puppy socializing! We may go out at least one of the nights of the weekend as aggiefest is in town which is a gathering of local bands that play at all the local bars. You pay one fee and you can see all the bands you want and we love it! It is also city wide garage sale this weekend so may have to walk around and just see what junk people are getting rid of. You never know what you might find! Since I am always needing more dog crates, maybe I will stumble on some wire ones or some plastic ones.

We had agility class last night and I was just a floater so I got to take Deuce and have him out and do some training. I mainly worked on attention and recall with all of the distractions. We first demonstrated the bang game and he did so great banging lori's teeter down. He seems to really like that game so we are going to continue doing that for a long while! I also worked on him giving me either a sit or a down on command and then releasing to my hand and touching it. If he did so, he got to play a game of tug. I was really pleased with his ability to maintain focus. He did on accident bite me once when he was going for his tug but I didn't correct for it as it was an accident and i don't want to kill his drive for tugging. We also got to work tunnel with Barb and her dogs. We just had chloe or dana run through the tunnels and deuce chased after them. Then we had him do a few with restrained recalls. We just had fun with it, no pressure to do them. He was pretty tired already from all of our training previously so we didn' t push it. I did have Barb ask for some behaviors before he got too tired so that he gets use to commands from other people.

Deuce was so tired after all of his training but went to visit his Uncle Jeremy at the liquor store. I get the best socializing at the liquor store! Deuce got to see lots of different kinds of people and got to be petted by all of them. I think he helps their business and we joked that I could stand outside with deuce and a sign and get people to come in! He could tell that he had grown already as we see him once a week since it is on our way home from agility class. He hasn't put on any weight but I do think he has gotten a little taller and Jeremy agreed. I think his head is also changing. I am so not ready for the puppy uglies!

Well, not much else to report so guess I will end it here. I look forward to a weekend of good weather, good local music and good puppy training!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

It's almost friday

Deuce got to be a lab rat yesterday for a physiology lab in the biology department where I work, so that was the excitement for the day. I had PT at 11:30 and then came home, ate lunch and grabbed Harley and Deuce and went back to campus. I was kind of worried because Harley stresses about where i work for some reason and I really didn't want deuce to be worried or have a bad experience. I think Harley doesn't like the super slick floors and that is why he gets so uptight when we are there. I packed a bag full of toys and rawhides for them so they could hang out while I worked. I posted the video of us free shaping the down. Thought while I was waiting on my PCR that we would work it and he got it but is so mouthy! He does this at home when we are working on behaviors and it is so funny! Anyway, we went to class and got to listen to the lecture about bones and locomotion which was very interesting. Each lab group got a dog and talked about the difference between a prey animals leg anatomy versus the leg anatomy of a carnivore. They also got to take heart rates and do a study with resting heart rate versus active heart rate. I think they were suppose to compare the different heart rates of the different breeds of dogs as we had big dogs and little dogs too. Deuce was great with his lab group, but harley was a goofy dog as usual. He decided that they were trying to kill him with the stethascope and would practically collapse when they tried to listen to his heart. He is such a drama queen sometimes. He also wouldn't run on the slick floor so that they could get a good active heart rate and I had just had PT so didn't want to run myself.

Speaking of PT, let me digress a moment. I bumped PT up to three sessions a week per the PT suggestion. I now how a strain in my other quad from some exercises we did on monday. I am so frustrated right now, I could scream. He keeps saying that it won't tear anything if I continue to be active so thinking I might start exercising again. I am packing on the weight as we don't eat very well and exercise really helps me keep thin. I feel like I am not improving so I might as well just do stuff my way. My leg is not really feeling much better and I feel like this is they way my leg is going to feel for the rest of my life. I have been off of running for almost two months and I miss it. I miss how I feel when I am running and I eat a hell of lot healthier and drink alot less when I am running. I could at least walk to start out with to get back into some sort of shape. If this is not really ever going to get better and the pain is manageable, then why not?

Okay back to the puppy. I think Deuce had a really good experience yesterday but the group did say he was worried about where i was. He is really starting to mellow around other people, even tony and that worries me a tiny bit. I am very bonded to him and I want him to be a mommies boy so that he will work for me, but I don't want him to have separation anxiety. I working really hard to not feed into the freak out that is him when I come home. He has to sit to be petted when he gets in that frenzied state and even though it seems really hard for him to do, he will sit for a millasecond so i can pet him. The itching I talked about the other day on my blog seems to be getting worse so I will bring that up with the vet when he goes for his rabies shot. I did not get him bathed the other day so that might help too. There is always a fine layer of dust on everything after he has been in the ex-pen all day from his litter so that might be bothering him.

On and on another note, Miller has started really acting out lately. He has begun to eat food off of the counter. He ate a package of hamburger buns yesterday off the counter. He is also stealing the puppies rawhides on a regular basis. I have locked up all dog type food but guess we we are going to have to get everything put up. I hate to think we are going to have to crate the other dogs during the day but if they keep on doing weird stuff like pottying in the house and eating food off the counter, then that is what we will go to.

Today's training will probably be working on sit in different places, down, more work on toes (back feet on the balance disc) and feet (front feet on), and more here (touch my hand). We will be introducing turn here soon too as he gets better at following my hand. I also need to start incorporating some tricks too like shake and roll over. Am still trying to decide what to do about the Karen Holick seminar. It is a one day puppy seminar but it is 200 bucks for one day. As amanda put it, I will get lots of building blocks for training even though he won't have the attention span at that point to do a whole day of training, but am wondering if I can just get those building blocks from Lori and or videos that cost way less. I have high expectations of course of what I want and don't want, since I have trained three agility dogs now. I want independent weaves for sure and independent, reliable contacts but I think I know how I am going to get those. I am still trying to figure out what to do about the Ann Braue seminar too. She is having a two day puppy seminar in November, but it is the same weekend as our local USDAA trial and they don't have very many of those so need to go to that instead. Was thinking about just auditing that one but still not sure.

Okay, time for a walk, the sun is finally coming up!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Tried something new today

When I got up this am I decided to try something new. I fed Deuce, let him play for 15 or so minutes after his potty break and then put him back in the crate. I was super tired this morning, even though I had gone to bed at like 9:30 pm. I really hope I am not getting sick since I am around lots of germy college kids. I think he didn't go back to sleep but he was quiet which was nice for me. I slept hard! We then got up and went for our walk and he is now chewing on his chewie. I need to work more on his sit, especially in new places and need to start working on down so we can take that on the road too. It is so hard to know how much to do and when. He seems to have a great attention span for a puppy but I am trying to quit before he does. He also seems like a natural born clicker dog as he is offering behaviors whenever he can. We are having some issues with here (touch my hand) and of course being a silly puppy, recalls are still not the best. His teeter banging is going well and he is still running through channels although I am sure he has no clue that he is running through them. I am going to really introduce the tunnel in the next few days as he has run through it a couple of times but with is scrunched way up and me throwing a toy through it. Tony and I need to work on restrained recalls to increase his drive, especially on the recall and through the tunnels. We will not start weaves till he is at least a year old so contact behavior and foundation skills are the top of the list right now. I thinking about buying the puppy foundations video that clean run has but haven't heard if anyone out there has it and likes it.

Deuce got to go to see the ladies at the vet clinic again yesterday and get lots of loving from Kim and Sam. He seemed a little bit reserved when we were there, but he came out of his shell after a while. I am a little worried though. He has been scratching quite a bit and we don't have fleas. I am hoping he hasn't developed an allergy because the vet made a comment that he had a very red inside of one of his ear and his eyes were a little red as well as some of his skin. I have noticed the itching but hadn't noticed him scratching at his ears. We will be switching him over to wellness soon so maybe if it is a food allergy, that will go away. I am just hoping that he doesn't have an allergy to something here in Kansas. I am going to bathe him today as he is going to be a lab experiment for one of the biology classes. They are studying form and function and adaptation so he will be their guinea pig. I figured it won't hurt him to have people with their hands all over him and I am sure the class will enjoy having a puppy. I wasn't going to bathe him but he got under miller as he was peeing today on our walk so now he smells really bad!

Well, since I am behind today since I slept in, I guess my blog will be short and sweet. He has just crashed under my chair so time to go shower!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

short for the day

Not much new is going on so this post will be short. Deuce got to go with me to meet my obedience clients I work with once a week. He got to meet their wheaton terrier and their pap. Deuce thought buddy their pap was a big squeaky toy and buddy did not appreciate it at all. We ended up having to crate deuce as their dogs were not ready for that big of a distraction in their training. Deuce ended up falling a sleep while chewing on a rawhide. He is really getting use to being crated and really settles now so thinking maybe he would be happier in a big crate versus the ex-pen during the day. I guess I didn't latch the bottom of the door on the ex-pen yesterday and he figured it out and got out. Tony called me and said he met him at the door. Luckily there was no damage anywhere but I am sure there are hidden pee spots that i will find eventually, since he couldn't get back into his pen to his litter. I am glad he didn't bug the crap out of the older dogs or chew on anything unacceptable. All of his toys are in his pen so that the older dogs don't tear them up. Berry is especially fond of eating stuffed toys but surprisingly not trying to eat deuce's stuffed toys.

Deuce is now sleeping through the night and probably would sleep till at least 6 if not 7 but the older dogs are waking him up and I don't want him having an accident so I go ahead and get up. They have this really bad habit of wanting to get up at 4:30, but I have been going downstairs, taking deuce out and then putting him back in his crate till at least 5:30 when that happens. He seems to just go back to sleep but then when tony's alarm goes off, he is back up. I tried to get him to go back to bed this morning as all of the dogs wanted to get back in bed but he was in the mood to play, not sleep. Of course he is sleeping right now under my chair, wish I could go back to sleep now! Deuce did learn how to jump on the bed and seems to be one climbing fool! He is very agile and I am very excited to see what he can do agility wise when he comes of age! His brother just hit the conformation show ring this last weekend and kicked butt garnering three BOB puppy awards! Way to go Shades!!!!!

Monday, September 14, 2009

the weekend is over now it's monday:(

I had a great time this weekend and so did Deuce! He got to play with lots of other dogs and people. I did not take him around too much as I did not want to get in trouble because he is very obviously not 6 months old per AKC rules but he had tons of people and bring him presents and come visit him. Agility friends really are the best friends someone could have! This puppy has more toys and treats now than any puppy I know! Sherry brought Axel, Deuce's brother on saturday so all day deuce and axel got to roll around in the crate and play and sleep. Sherry was so nice and brought me a whole bag of rawhide chewies that Deuce loves and a she also brought a whole roll of poop bags! Thanks Sherry! The boys did so well, not making noise unless they needed to go potty. They would go out and roll around and wrestle and then poop themselves out! They both pottied pretty much on command which is so nice for a show puppy to do. I think Deuce had an accident in his crate a couple of times when we weren't paying close enough attention but crate pads are for washing anyway. Barb did some work with Deuce on his sit and we all played with him and his rabbit tug and other various toys. He didn't seemed phased by any of the noise and hubub of the show. We did cover him the first day but after his initial screaming in the crate, he only made noise when he needed to go out and I will take that. There were some very loud barky bostons next to us and he didn't care at all. Even when dogs in the ring were very loud and barky he would watch but didn't seem to care. We were near the warm up jump as well and that didn't bother him either. He seems to have fallen into the cycle of the show very well, understanding that we go into the crate in the car, drive somewhere, get out and play for a minute then back to the crate while mom and dad walk the courses and then periodic play and sleep throughout the day. I can't wait to take him to some out of town shows to see how he handles those as well. We have a show in Lincoln NE in a couple of weeks so should be fun road-tripping with four dogs! Really need to find someone to watch over berry so she doesn't have to go and sit in a crate for three days. We did purchase yet another wire crate (can you ever have enough of those) so we could put the one with the side door in the car so deuce harley and miller had a car crate, a show crate and a night crate. We should buy stock in wire crate companies! Harley also got a new show crate because tony wanted us to match LOL, instead of using the cheap crate I normally put Harley in. My thought is that if he is going to tear a crate up, might as well be cheap and I had the puppy in the wire crate.

Am really stepping up training as Deuce seems to be wanting to learn now and is settled. We are walking on shaping/clicker training sit, off, here (touch my hand), and interaction with the balance disc including front feet on, back feet on, and all feet on. I need a bigger balance disc and need something more stationary for him to work with as well. I need to start working with the plank as well and asking for feet and toes on it as well. He is so funny as he never wants to quit and will bark at me like, "I AM NOT DONE YET". We are also working on banging the teeter down and running through the channel weaves. He seems to work the best in the morning but hate to load his stomach up with treats and then leave him to have to be in his ex-pen all day. He is still screaming when I put him in his ex-pen so need to work on that as well. I am thinking I might put him in a big wire crate with a litter box instead since he likes his crate now but may get the same results. Just don't know want him developing any separation anxieties. Have been putting him in while I am at home and that doesn't really work either as he still screams. His potty training is going really well, mostly using either his litter box in the ex-pen or going outside. He is very vocal so he tells you when he is ready to go outside and we have bells on our door to bell train too. Harley and Miller are now playing with him more which is good but still get grumpy sometimes which is also fine. Miller has been acting out a little by eating things he knows are off limits like a whole bag of treats that James gave us, and a whole bag of beef jerky that tony bought in Oklahoma. Overall, I think things are improving with our pack. Deuce very clearly prefers me to tony but still loves tony, but wants to be wherever I am most of the time. Leash training is going good too and speaking of that, it is time for our walk. Deuce did sleep the entire night so looks like we may be able to go 8 hours now without a potty break if we are worn out. Might have to go out tonight since he won't get as much exercise but he will get to go with me to my private lesson tonight so that will wear him out slightly!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Deuce's first agility show

Deuce went to his very first agility show today in Lawrence KS. I think this picture says it all! I WANT OUT NOW! He screamed for about an hour on and off but finally stopped and crashed for a while. I was glad because I don't want to tick anyone off but I know that everyone goes through this with a new baby at shows. Deuce got lots of toys and got lots of loves and kisses from all of his aunts and uncles. He even got to meet some new dogs and a couple of other puppies.

I am so tired so I think I am going to go lay down and get some rest, except he is up and ready to go now after his naps. He will get to see his brother tomorrow so hopefully they will play and have a good time. There were tons of puppies at the show so no one was saying anything about how old they were, which makes me happy. Don't want to get into trouble!!!!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Deuce Day 2 and part of day 3

Deuce had a big day yesterday. He had another 8 hour day by himself but then he got to go to the vet and get his second set of puppy shots. While he did great, I think the shot made him feel a little yucky so he mainly slept all afternoon. We got some training in before he crashed, still shaping behaviors at this point. Working on here (touch my hand) and just getting on the balance disk. He has no fear when it tips or wobbles and he will pounce on it and scoot it across the floor so I don't think the movement of the teeter is going to be an issue. We have started working on the bang game with the teeter and again he has no fear so far! He is also playing with the buster cube so he is supplementing his meals with a few kibbles out of his buster cube. It just slides on the hardwood so he has to play with it on the carpet. We finally got rid of our old cloth couches so he has a very large area to play now. We decided to leave the ex-pen on the hardwood floor as he scatters litter everywhere and it is so much easier to sweep up on the hardwood than it would be to clean off of the carpet.

I am thinking more and more that the carpet in the dining room needs to go but we would have to tear out the platform too that they built to raise the dining area up from the living room floor and kitchen floor. Our current dining room was their kitchen, so I am slightly worried that the hardwood floor might not be in very good shape, especially where their refrigerator and the oven sat. It would be way easier to refinish the floors when they are all uncovered but if it is in bad shape, we would have to sink a ton of money into it. I sure do love cleaning the hardwood though, i either sweep or shop-vac it and when the dogs have accidents, I just wipe it up. It seems like they are also less likely to have an accident on the hardwood so the less carpet we have the better! The big dogs have had a few accidents since we had the puppy and I expected that would happen. Just want to give a shout out to! They have the absolute best pee powder in the world that is great for pee, vomit and diarrhea. I have seen it work miracles with my foster dogs and their issues! I have tried a ton of different products and this is the absolute best I have every had as far as effectiveness. In a perfect doggy world there would be no carpet but in the mean time, urineout is the bomb!

I had another session with the physical therapist yesterday (thank goodness for good insurance). I had to endure another deep tissue massage that total sucked during the massage but my leg feels good today. We discussed treatment and long term, as I don't think my leg is getting any better and I am scared. I hear so many horror stories about long term knee issues and I don't want to be one of those people. Luckily, he does think it is a soft tissue injury and not a knee issue, but soft tissue injuries take forever to heal. While he says I can't run for long distances, he did say that I can run Miller at shows, but I have to really warm up slowly and ice my knee as soon as I get done. I am going to be the wuss with all the ice packs at the shows I guess! I miss running so much though! I am really gaining weight since I am not running as I don't eat very well so would really like to get back to the running as soon as possible. He threw out 6-8 weeks as healing time but dang it, I have laid off running for almost a month now:( I am trying to do everything they say to do and am down to two PT sessions a week but who knows how much all of this is going to cost. October is a very big show month for us with a show every weekend and of course we have USDAA nationals in november so I have to be able to run as much as possible and train as much as possible for the next several months.

Okay enough about me and my whining! Boys woke me up around 5 this morning so glad I went to bed at 9 last night. Mom says this is getting me ready for having a baby! I sleep when he sleeps is my strategy I am employing. I think he would have slept later but harley and miller thought we needed to be up. I am really enjoying these 3 or so hours I have with him in the morning though. I may be a morning person after all! Deuce has another 8ish hour day by himself. I have another pt session and then we have our agility class that we teach tonight. Am still debating on whether or not to take him. I don't want him on the sidelines screaming and their ex-pen is not tall enough to keep him in. I guess i can drag my big ex-pen out there and I can use him as an example for the advanced beginners as they are working on ground work tonight but other nights they will be working on sequencing and more moving stuff so can't be dragging him around with me. I am pretty sure all of their dogs are very friendly but don't want to take the chance that one of them isn't and don't want to have to hold him while I teach. I guess I will just try and see how it goes tonight. Well need to get off of her and go take the boys for their morning walk and play ball with harley. Still trying to do stuff with the big boys so they feel special too and also do group walks. Nothing like walking three aussies, one of which is a baby, and one of which likes to mark on every single tree and pole and leaf. I leave you a video of deuce and harley playing. While it doesn't happen often and usually happens in the morning for some reason, it is happening about once a day. I love the fact that Offspring's song keep em separated started playing while they were playing! Sorry tony is always half dressed! He seems to like to have a shirt off when he is in the house so most pics are of him shirtless.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Deuce and his first agility class experience

Deuce survived the first day alone! He went a whole 8 hours by himself and I am so proud of him. He was actually asleep when I got home and other than litter being all over the living room, things were pretty calm. He had gone to the bathroom several times in his litter box which I am proud of. I can't tell if he had played with any toys but they were all covered in the litter dust so he had at least walked all over them. My biggest fear was that he would find some way to topple his ex-pen but it is pretty sturdy. I had gotten the tallest panels as I had dreams that someday harley and miller could be in the ex-pen at shows but Harley has squished that dream. He absolutely goes nuts when I run Miller so ex-pen is a no-go! It has really been great though for Deuce and I am so glad I got it. We keep it open when we are home so Deuce can eat in there and go to his litter box when he needs it. He really wanted me to pick him up and cried and jumped but I just walked around and tried to get him to go potty and not jump. He is really becoming a mommy's baby and I am trying not to feed into that. One day he is going to be way bigger and picking him up will not be possible!

We had decided to have agility class last night since our trainer Lori would be out of town on thursday when we normally have class. We have a show this weekend so we all needed the practice and I technically probably shouldn't have run but needed to for practice. I have been going to physical therapy for a week now and haven't run in almost a month due to pain in my knee/leg. The doctor thought I had tendinitis in my knee but my PT thinks it is my quad muscle. I do stretches 4 times a day and ice it 4 times a day and go to PT twice a week but I hadn't gone this week so made an executive decision to run last night anyway. Anyway, we decided to take Deuce so he could play with Lori's bc puppy Solei and Joc's bc puppy Morgan. Well, let me say that Deuce outweighs those girls by quite a bit and is alot bigger than they are. His favorite thing to do was sit on them and squish them like a little boy would and they hated it. He played way to rough for them and by the end, they were all avoiding him. I think he is use to playing with bigger aussie puppies, even though they were only a few days apart in age. The funny thing about it all was that he figured out very quickly that he did not want to be in the ex-pen! He wanted to be with us and climbed out several times. Now of course the panels were not very tall as he could stand on his hind end and look over them, but it was pretty funny to see him jump up and climb over. We tried putting him back in and even in the taller regular pen but he wanted to be with us. Because of this, he got to walk courses with me and was a very tired baby by the end of class. I guess he got some leash training in and some collar training in and some course walking training in! We let all the puppies loose at the end so they could really run around, but Solei and Morgan wanted nothing to do with him since he played so rough. Solei would actually go and hide in the tunnel to get away from him! Needless to say, he was very tired when we got home and went right to his kennel and crashed. I crashed too as my body has not gotten use to getting up so early! I am happy to report that he did sleep in till 5:30 this morning, even though the other dogs wanted to get up at 4:30 and 5. They were just sure we were suppose to be up. He would get up, look at them and then go right back to sleep. Good boy! We did go out one time around 2 but I am not so sure that if I had told him to go back to sleep that he wouldn't have. Wish we had agility class every night. Not sure what I am going to do when I teach as I really don't want to have to drag him around the course while I am helping people, but don't want him screaming on the sidelines either and don't want to have to buy another ex-pen with bigger panels to keep him in.

Today is a big day for the little guy as he has to get another set of booster shots and meet all the ladies at the vet clinic. I have another PT session today so I will be done with work early and have a private lesson tonight with my weekly lesson people so he will get to meet some new doggies tonight. The blog won't let me upload pictures right now so will try and upload some later.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Things I have learned, Day 1

Well, Deuce has crashed again so I thought I would share things I have learned today. It has been six years since I have had a puppy so having to remember alot of stuff I had conveniently forgotten! BTW, blogging should be easy because his favorite spot is under my computer chair!

1. Puppies like to get up really early. If you are lucky, they go back to sleep, but if you aren't, the you are up really early too! I can get up early but prefer to get up, feed the dogs and then go back to bed, but this will have to change. I can tell at this hour that I got up really, really early.

2. Puppies pee and poop alot. Thank goodness I have a puppy that either goes in his litter or indicates to me that he needs to go. All the times he has needed to poop today, he has barked at me and I have taken him out and he has immediately gone. Good puppy! The litter box I have by the back door does not seem big enough so he mostly gets his front feet in and then pees, which goes all over the floor because his back feet aren't in but I still praise him for trying. The litter box is in the kitchen on the fake hardwood so I don't care if it ruins, we can replace it. I just wipe it up and use some vinegar and water to remove the smell.

3. Puppies are so much fun to train! I started getting Deuce use to the clicker today and actually started shaping some behaviors. I have been fostering for so long and have not had a true blank slate in so long that it is refreshing to be able to not deal with any baggage. I also got the coolest balance disc today that I can shape behaviors on while working on his balance which will help when he starts agility.

4. Big brothers are the best. Harley has come around some what and even played with Deuce this morning and some this afternoon. I made sure I got video of them playing as proof!
Harley seems to have lost his patience this afternoon but I think that is because I did some one on one training with Deuce and had to shut him in the house while I did. He was not happy even when I let him out and did some shaping with him with the balance disc. Miller still ignores him for the most part but did get after him this afternoon for no reason. Miller has started doing this to other dogs, almost as a grumpy old man so maybe his age is starting to show.

Well, Deuce is stirring now so better go and play again. Here is hoping that he sleeps till at least five thirty tomorrow morning!!!!

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Deuce comes home

Well, we finally got mr. deuce home tonight and I am so glad to finally have him here. Our trip started out on saturday morning with mostly georgia and OSU fans as they were playing that day. The traffic got better and worse as we went through or near college towns that were playing . We stopped in stillwater OK for some "pit bbq" which turned out to be meat with tons of sauce. They did have some good sausage that I enjoyed and Tony seemed to enjoy his ribs. We call bbq, pulled pork in the south and we have to remember that BBQ in the west is brisket and beef ribs and tons and tons of sauce! I digress, we got to meet the Mobley's on saturday and got to meet the puppies! I love heidi's set up as she has a really nice kennel room on her house with a great pen for the pups indoors and she has concrete floors which I adore! She also had a really nice grooming room with a raised tub and a grooming table. I am so jealous! One day, I will have my dream house or either we need to put an addition on this house. We played with the puppies and talked and then went out for some awesome Texas mexican food. Tony and I headed back to the hotel and crashed. I think all the driving and the traffic really got to tony as he went to sleep around 8 and didn't wake up till 8 the next morning.

Of course, being southern we were very excited to see a waffle house right next to our hotel so we got up and headed over to eat some delicious waffles. While we were there, someone decided that my passenger side mirror needed to be stolen and I didn't notice it was gone till we were on the road to Heidi's house. Why would anyone do that? Anyway, we had decided the best plan of attack was to let heidi wear the pups out before we tried to take them in crates in a car for 8 hours. We loaded up two tired puppies and headed out of TX around 10:30 and had hellacious traffic! People in TX do not go the speed limit at all. I think at one point Tony was doing 85 and people were still blowing past us like we were sitting still. As usual there was tons of road construction which made things even more interesting. We were bringing one of the pups back to KS for a friend and I am very glad we had two puppies instead of one so that they kept each other company. They cried for about 10 minutes when we left, but after that, they played with their toys and each other and slept. We stopped twice, once to get gas in stillwater again and once to let the pups pee and poop. For not being collar or leash trained, they did awesome both times, doing their business and getting back into the crate no problem. We made the trip in 7.5 hours thanks to the traffic going 80 most of the way home.

I had decided to go and get the big dogs since it was on our way and I think I made a mistake. When we got there, of course they were really excited and barking and the puppies were barking back at them. Since it had been several hours since we had let them out to potty, I decided to let them out and let them play a bit at Alice's house. Well, they still weren't too happy about the collars and leashes and I guess when i got Deuce out, he tried to be a fish and buck on the line and his collar tightened and freaked him out. I really think he thought one of the dogs were attacking him and he started screaming at the top of his lungs. I was going to let him figure it out but I think Alice was getting upset so she sat down on the ground and he came to her to be comforted. Once he realized he wasn't dying, he was fine but whenever any of the big dogs came near us, he would growl. I guess he is going to be very brave which is awesome and I am very glad that he bounced back as that could have been a very bad deal. We walked around the agility field with both puppies or should i say tried to walk as they both were imitating fish or bucking broncos on their leashes. Tony and I finally gave up and loaded everyone in the car to get home. I knew that once they were all loose and free of leashes in the fenced backyard, everything would be fine.

Once we got them home, everyone got to run around and play or should I say the puppies ran around and played the big dogs sat on the deck and looked at us like we had lost our minds. I am sure they were thinking, geez, I hope these are just foster dogs. Harley had started asserting himself to the pups, which I don't correct unless I think there is going to be bloodshed or it is totally unnecessary. Harley is the bottom of our pack and previously with other foster dogs he has really asserted himself, sometimes too much. We tried to give everyone equal attention but it is really hard with two very cute puppies. Sherry came from KC to get her puppy and then we were left with one. Deuce had some dinner, two handfuls and then had a great time playing. I could tell around 9 he was really starting to wear out so I tried to keep him going until we were ready to go to bed. Tony opted to sleep downstairs so I could crate train the puppy but Deuce did really good for his first night crated. He cried for about 10 minutes and then settled and crashed. I slept with my hand in the crate so he could lick it or touch it if he needed. He woke up around 2:45 and whimpered, so I got up and carried him out to pee just in case. He went right back into his crate, cried for about a minute and then went back to sleep. He was back up around 5 so I went ahead and got up with him and pottied and fed him. He ate one and a half hand fulls and seemed to be full. He then crashed again and I let him sleep in the bed with me but I couldn't go back to sleep. My brain was going and I couldn't turn it off so I just enjoyed laying there with him and holding him.

We were back up around 6:30 so I took harley and deuce out for a game of tennis ball. Deuce loves to chase his big brother and really idolizes him but harley still wants nothing to do with him and will even growl at him when he gets near him. I think it will take some time but I really do think Harley will come around. I am trying to spend special time with each of the dogs so that they see we still love them and that they still matter to us. Harley got to go with Tony last night for a ride in the truck and to mcds for a hamburger and of course miller gets to sleep with me at night and sit next to me on the couch no matter what. We will have to continue this trend so that no one gets jealous or feels left out. Berry of course could care less as she is in her own little senile world at this point. I am thinking since we are also going to be up very early it seems, we can all go for short walks together in the park since it is so close so that deuce gets use to walking on a leash and he gets to see lots of stuff. That is something I can do with all of the dogs together.

We have an agility show this weekend and am still debating on wheter or not to take him. For one thing, I am going to have to get another crate for shows for deuce as he can't be in the crate with either of the boys yet. Harley has to have a wire crate which is the one I am using for Deuce for his night crate and I don't want to have to take the wire crates out of the car. May have to make a trip to petco today and see what they have. Where is a good garage sale when you need it? I will try to keep this blog updated with news and training that I am doing. I don't think anybody reads other than maybe my mom this but me but it helps to get stuff down so I can see what we are doing and what we need to do.