Friday, December 25, 2009

Deuce's first christmas

This is Deuce's first Christmas and we have had some very interesting weather to say the least. Yesterday, we started getting snow and crazy wind and it hasn't stopped yet. Last time I went out and measured, the snow was at 7 inches, but with the wind, we have at least foot tall snow drifts. I really feel like this is the most snow I have seen since I moved to KS, and we have only had two snowstorms so far. We didn't get the dogs specific gifts this season but gramy sent them tons of rawhide, so they have candy cane rawhides and little rawhide bones with red and green rawhide wrapped around them. Needless to say, they will have some interesting colored poop for a while. They were kind enough to share their bones with Chloe and Dana and Haley, their whippet girlfriends. They also got to each get a big spoon full of sweet potato after daddy got what he needed for the sweet potato casserole (and I am sure he is sneaking them more scraps).

Our plans had been to head over to Robert and Deanna's house and spend Christmas with them and their two girls, but the weather kind of changed that. Oh well, we have plenty of food and the doggies are super happy we stayed home with them. As usual, Deuce is wanting to go out every five minutes, just like a little kid and play in the snow so I have to watch and make sure he isn't out too much. Tony spilled something outside so that has been their favorite place to hang out all day and eat snow. I figure at some point, if tony ever stops cooking, we will have to all go out and play in the snow or at least dig out tony's truck just in case we need to go anywhere. Of course, mother nature decided to play a trick on me and brought me my monthly friend about a week early and I have very low supplies so we may have to find something that is open at some point.

Well, not much else to talk about other than I hope each and every one of you have an awesome and safe Christmas and a wonderful new year. I will be posting a wrap up of the year here in a couple of days for your reading entertainment. Lots has happened in the Coleman household in 2009 for sure!

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Playing Catch Up

Well, Tony is stuck in Topeka and I am trying not to play GH so I thought I would update my blog. So what is new you ask? Well, my schedule has kind of changed so I am not blogging as much. I have to admit, I was so excited when Deuce started sleeping till 7, but could never get him to sleep later. I don't have a definite start time at work so I usually leave the house around 9ish so I love to sleep as long as I can. He loves to be outside, no matter what the temp so I have been letting him and Harley play outside for an hour while Miller and I catch another hour of sleep. I know, I am being lazy but i LOVE sleep and he LOVES being outside! That is why I am not blogging as much as I use to:)

I am letting Harley babysit Deuce alot and I really hope this isn't a bad thing. Miller babysat harley and was his playmate and it didn't seem to affect Harley (i don't think). They play alot and I do have to separate them and put harley out of sight when I train. Harley really plays hard like Deuce does which most dogs don't so I am proud of Harley for being such a good big brother.

Agility-wise, haven't been doing much, the weather has been too icky lately. We got snow over a week ago and it has lingered quite a while. We have started doing the whole teeter now by having him sit close to the down end and me being at the up end with a cookie. I am trying to get as much speed as I can get and he is doing really well. He has tons of drive and the teeter does not scare him at all. I only do a couple every few days so there isn't too much concussion on his bones. I am also doing lots of toes and am linking the two together only on the teeter. He is doing well and I hope to improve his performance but I want to take it very slow and not rush any details. I need to drag a jump in so we can start working jumping at like 4 inches of course, which is more like a baby speed bump. We have been doing lots of foundation work but need to start honing in on some of our specific skills. I am excited to have a puppy class to attend, probably in the spring when the weather gets better. He needs distractions and to get on other people's equipment. He is still in that very excitable stage, especially to certain stimuli so we need to be able to work through that.

So funny story, I still do alot of work in the bedroom with doing load up (table criteria) on the bed and then doing outs and turns since the room is so big. I still have his balance disc and use it for working his hind end and for working toes. I had been working him for about 10 or so minutes and wanted to finish up on some toes/hind end work and then quit so asked for toes. He gave me that f#$# you look and walked over to the disc, hiked his leg and peed all over the disc. WOW! What an attitude dude! I was laughing so hard, that it was very hard to be mad at him. I really wish I had a video camera as it truly was funny. He is so funny right now with his little dude tude! I am just laughing it off and rolling with the punches. I love miller's attitude so I am hoping Deuce has his own little 'tude as well.

Today we were sequencing teeter to table and he did reach up and nip me so that isn't going to work. I just had a foster dog that did the same thing and I worked through it so I am sure we will be able to work through this as well. I think he just gets over stimulated and he reacts and that is such a herding dog thing. I did work some rear crosses from teeter to table and some front crosses and he held his position very well. I am so proud of his progress for the little bit we have done since the weather has turned bad (and we have added GH to our life LOL).

Okay, promise I will do better in the future of keeping you updated!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Brain Fart!

Okay so I have had a huge training brain fart. I have to admit, here lately, most of my time has been spent on Miller and his PT. I figured that Deuce needed some time to grow up anyway and didn't need the intense training sessions. I guess I was wrong! He is going through yet another stubborn phase it seems where i give a command and he just looks at me like "Yeah right!". The other day, Victoria Stillwell was on animal planet and she was having a puppy doing puppy push-ups and I tried to get Deuce to do puppy push ups too and he couldn't do them. He specifically had problems going from down back up to sit. I have worked really, really hard on getting him to do any command by shaping the command and then knowing the command without any physical cue other than my voice. I sometimes have to do some luring but i try to work off of shaping as much as possible. I found that if I lured him up from the down with either a here command (touch my hand with your nose) or pulled my hand up in an upwards sweeping motion, he would come up, but if I simply said sit, he would either just lay there and do nothing or start offering tricks. At first I tried everything to get him to come up but nothing was working so had to get my clicker and take him to a quiet place where it was just him and I and basically patiently wait him out. He eventually started offering a sit from the down but it takes quite a while to get there. I am still getting lots of back talk and offering of other behaviors before the sit. I am hoping to really work this all this week to try and get this issue resolved. This could be a huge problem as I have trained an automatic down on the table and if it is a sit in AKC and he refuses to come up, we could have occur some faults or even a DQ.

Another issue we have run into involves harley and not Deuce but harley doesn't have his own blog so I am going to talk about it here. Harley has become a huge counter surfer and it is becoming a big problem. I walked back in the house the other day as I had forgotten something and he had a stack of cookies that tony had bought at a bake sale in his mouth. Luckily these were just peanut butter cookies, no chocolate, but still, he should no better. I have toyed with the idea of crating Harley forever and it may come to fruition now for sure. I can't have him counter surfing all the time as I sometimes forget and leave stuff out and don't want him to ingest something he shouldn't. The problem is, I need yet another wire crate. I think our house is full of them for sure but what doggy house isn't ? I am looking to downsize Deuce's crate anyway as I don't think he needs his litter box anymore so Harley may be moving in to Deuce's crate and Deuce may be getting a new downstairs crate. I really want to keep his upstairs kennel where it is because we have a routine involving it and I don't want to change it. I get up and feed when tony's alarm goes off at 5:20 and then we all go back to bed. I have found that deuce likes to go into his crate at that point and chew on a chewie so I use it for that purpose. I don't think he would like to be downstairs while the rest of us are upstairs and he doesn't always settle back down after he is fed. I like getting a couple more hours of sleep in so don't want to change our routine. Crates go on sale at Tractor supply next weekend so may have to invest in yet another crate and of course another kong and a case of peanut butter LOL!

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Snow day or should I say Snow DAYS

Here in KS we had our first big snow storm of the year. I was so excited because this was to be deuce's first experience with snow. The first time I let him out in it, he was jumping up trying to catch the flakes in his mouth! It was so cute and I tried to video but it was too dark to get a good image. I had decided to take the next day off since they were saying it was suppose to get super bad. I am the biggest winter driving wimp you will ever meet and I blame it on my southern roots. For years I drove a 2 wheel drive truck that was horrible in snow and I have always had neighbors or friends that worked at KSU that would come pick me up and drive for me. Now, all of my friends/co-workers have moved so I have to drive myself. Well, I say drive myself but what i mean is freak out about driving and then either just stay home or attempt it and have a huge panic attack and say I am never driving in bad weather again. BUT, I digress, this is a blog about Deuce not my neurotic driving habits LOL!

Anyway, as the night progressed, the forecast looked worse and worse, so bad that Tony who never takes a day off, called his apprentice and told him to not attempt to come in the next day. By the end of the storm, we ended up with almost 8 inches of snow and 40 mph wind that blew huge drifts. I know this morning when I went to get in my van, the snow had drifted and was as high as my knees!

Let me just say that Deuce has had a great time playing in the snow! He LOVES it! If i let him, he will stay out in it for hours. He is just like a little kid, I have to make him come in and warm up for a little while. He continually rings the bell to go out and I have had to teach him how to close the door as he has learned to open it and will leave it open and let all the cold air in. Now, if we just had a mud room and a doggy door! This is the third day with snow and he just plays and plays in it! I tried to go to work today but the roads have been bladed down to the ice underneath and I just can't deal with slipping and sliding. Thank goodness I have a boss that is so understanding of my fear of winter driving. Let's hope that this winter isn't a bad one! I have no vacation days left and am working off of sick days!

Deuce has also developed a very bad habit that I am so responsible for. We recycle everything we can as our county has a huge recycle trailer about two blocks away. We have containers outside for each type of recycling but also have a couple of open wooden crates in the house that recycling material sits in until I fill it up and take the recycling outside. We started by letting him play with plastic bottles which he thought was really awesome! Now however, he has started digging things out of the box to play with or shred. His favorite right now is cardboard. I usually let them out in the morning when I shower but because of the bad weather, have left him in, in the morning. This morning he shredded two boxes, a jiffy corn bred mix box and a soap box. I guess I should be glad that at least he chooses to shred that stuff instead of important stuff, although he has taken alot of interest in Tony's PS3 which would not be a good thing to chew on for sure!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Deuce is growing so much!

Okay, I have been super bad about updating my blog! Partially it is my husband's fault for buying me a nintendo Wii of which I have gotten very addicted to Guitar hero. The other fault lies in Miller as I have been doing his PT in the morning instead of blogging. So there, it isn't my fault LOL! As you can see by the picture, Deuce is getting fairly big! I weighed him last week and he was 34 lbs already! We aren't doing alot of one on one training anymore, just letting him grow up and working when the opportunity arises.

Agility wise we are starting to work on more obstacles. He is now doing the chute, a-frame full height, teeter full height, very low puppy jumps (4 inches), table with a shaped down, channel weaves, and of course all of his foundation work. I have only had him on the dog walk a few times. The height of it scares me and he still isn't very sure about his body and I could see him falling off. We do some back chaining on it but that is it. We are still working toes on the bottom of contacts and on everything else that is a surface change or a height change but not linking the two behaviors together. Right now distraction training is the best for sure. We are going to start puppy class here soon and I imagine it will be more about just working through distractions rather than obstacle performance. We all have equipment at home so all of our puppies know equipment and know tons of foundation but need to start getting their brains to working while there is distraction present. The other night, Lori and I had set up a tunnelers class for the beginner's graduation night and after they left, we worked the puppies. While one pup worked, the other one had to do behaviors or pay attention to us and it was great training! I am really looking forward to our class! It is always a good idea to have someone else watch you and make sure you are doing everything right.

Overall, Deuce is turning out to be such a great puppy! He has been so easy to train whether it be crate training or potty training. He has great work ethic and has an on and off switch that i LOVE! He has an independent streak and a mommie streak at the same time which seems to be pretty balanced. He loves his daddy but still pees on him occasionally. He LOVES to ride in the car and if I want him to rest, I will load him up and take him for a ride and he goes right to sleep. Deuce will work for food, toy or just praise which I love. Harley is so food motivated that if the food isn't in the picture, you can forget it for sure. He has the most beautiful heel as long as there is a cookie in my hand! Anyway, he has been a treat to have and to train and I can't wait to see what he does in the agility ring. We love him so much and look forward to seeing what he can do in the future for sure!