Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Deuce's first entry

Okay, so i decided to bite the bullet and go ahead and enter deuce in one day of agility in wichita. I hope I am not jumping the gun but I figure one day won't hurt anything. I have him entered in an AKC trial in JWW, Standard and Fast. Our number one goal is going to be to have a ton of fun!!!! I also want to see how he is holding to his criteria in the ring versus in class or at the field at home. Criteria is so much fun;) Anyway, will have video for sure to post on here and FB. We are probably going to enter the new years eve trial in St. Louis so he may get to go play in a couple of classes in USDAA as well. My goal is to not rush him so I hope I can stick to this goal (feel free to knock me up side the head if you see me doing stupid stuff with him). I want a pup that loves agility! I also have been firming up some details that include deuce doing some rally and some formal obedience in the very near future. With the help of the clicker, his heeling is really coming together nicely and we just need some polishing now and major repitition to get us ready for the ring. I have always wanted a versatile doggy and I really think i have finally found that in Deuce.

Oh yeah, Deuce did pass his CGC!!!!! I was really worried as he LOVES people and it is so hard when anyone give him attention not to get up and say hi, which usually involves some butt slamming/wiggling and some kissing action. He intially did get up and was not passing that element, but when we got our re-try for that element since that was the only thing he didn't do well, we passed. He managed to keep his furry wiggly butt on the ground. I am so proud of my baby! He actually did better than Harley did! He truly is the smartest aussie I have ever had. Every night he either curls up by my head or stretches out the lenght of my body and I cuddle with till I go to sleep. He is such a good, cuddly baby!

We continue to drill weave as this is the last piece of the agility puzzle of obstacles skills we need to master. We have a ton of other skills to work on handling and running wise but I waited a while to start weaves. The channels are now officially closed and I am still getting very nice speed. If i see him slowing down, I will inch them out a little but so far, so good. He seemed to have hit a little wall for a while as I was nearing those last few inches but as he got over his entry issue, he got over his slowing down and thinking issue. That is not to say he doesn't have puppy brain occasionally and blows past them or skips a pole but I am really impressed about how well he is doing at this part of the game. I am taking him to the USDAA seminar this weekend in KC so hope to see how he does in an unfamilar place with unfamilar equipment, especially the weaves. I have been training on my old set which is 21 inch spaced so interested to see how he does on a larger spaced set.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

wow, i need to get into shape

I didn't realize how out of shape i had gotten in the span of one month of no gym or running until i had a nice agility field to run on and three dogs to work (fergs doesn't count)! Lori has sent us lots and lots of drills so I have been setting them up and working them. I so LOVE having a full field to work on! I alternate nights on taking just deuce or deuce and harley or all three (and sometimes four). I really am identifying weaknesses in all three dogs which is awesome! I would much rather figure them out in training versus at a show. Even ole miller has been doing some drill work.

Deuce and I have been working really hard on weaves and weave pole entries. I had been previously worried about this but for some reason, last week, something clicked. Now he is hitting entries like a pro. I have no clue what changed but I am LOVING it! Maybe he heard me talking to Dana about envy and got envious, LOL! We even got to 6 o'clock tonight with a jump and he hit both sides like a pro and with me on either side. It was even hot tonight and he did three of Lori's mental drills and weave pole entries. I also have been working collection because even now, Harley has collection issues and hits the poles with his shoulder. I did some jump chutes going in and coming out of the weaves and he was collecting nicely. I am so proud of my little boy! Am actually toying around with maybe entering him one day at the wichita trial if we don't go to the ASCA trial. We could enter Saturday since we would be there that day anyway. Don't know, still thinking and deciding:)

Thursday, September 2, 2010

what a difference a day makes

Okay so I know I just blogged but have to blog again. Decided tonight to go out with just Deuce and I. We had had rain all afternoon so wasn't sure how the field would be and wanted to see how Deuce would do with the lower temps. I think it was 63 when I headed out to the field. Well, I am happy to say that his drive was phenomenal!!!!!! We worked weave pole entry and he was going around the clock like a pro! He was also beating me out of the poles so I was having a hard time just getting there to get to the next obstacle. I was in AWE! He was engaged with me, playing with me and paying great attention. I hate that he is so sensitive to the heat as he is going to have to get over that but I was to say the least, IMPRESSED! We worked on lateral sends and tight turns as well and he was just on! We even played Frisbee for a while and he was very into playing and being with me. Of course, distraction was at 0% and I had doggie junk food. Guess I am learning more and more about my pup!

baby you can drive my car

I need to post pictures of our new training area! I have been talking to my local vet about renting land out at his place for training. His father has a farm out off of 99 which is about 5 minutes from my house. We finally found a good comprimise for what I needed and what he had available. Alot of the land is rented out for hay or crops or cattle but some of it was in need of cleaning up and is now our practice field! We moved equipment out on sunday and have been practicing there every night since then. It usually takes me an hour or two to cycle through all three boys on what I want accomplished that night. I work through alot of drills that Lori provides all star students, but I also try and get a full course set up too.

So, I have talked about in past posts that Deuce just looses drive at Lori's place. I always chalked it up to the heat or the presence of lots of good smelling girlies or the fact that they do open practice when we are doing class but those really are all poor excuses on my part. Yes, he does wither in the heat but he has to get use to this. Well, I am starting to see lack of drive out at the farm as I call it. It is very incosistent so I can't really put my finger on any one thing. I am trying to keep sessions super short as I cycle back and forth through all dogs. I do tons of rewarding (mainly food, can sometimes get tuggies), but I am seeing lack of drive cropping up for sure. I am not sure if we are hitting another phase or it is something I am doing wrong as a trainer. I always have yummy treats as rewards and am very liberal with my praise and excitement. I have never had a dog that really could care less sometimes about working. I have to admit, working all three does help as the other two get jealous while I am out there working. Deuce will try and come out when I am working miller for sure so I have been rewarding his desire to come play with me. I never punish him for anything he does wrong other than a verbal "uh-oh" or "wrong". I am really scratching my head at this. I want him to be happy with what we do and I do see that he likes it, but I am not sure he lives for it like my other dogs do. I know it takes boys a long time to mature and I am sure neutering him will help, but I am open to suggestions at this point!