29 February 2008

Agility training again this morning. Set the jumps up as below.

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Put the poles on the ground and sent Ruby through the jump uprights by saying left and Right. She is responding nicely to the cues now. She has had problems turning left. Right is what she tends to default to when doing turns. She has a nice tight right spin but her left spin tends to be a little trot in a circle.

Did quite a long session on directing round jump uprights with verbal cues using food then broke off and had a really good play with football and stick

Put the weaves out only slightly off set with poles just each side of the measure tape. Asked Ruby to do them but she just ran along side the poles touching them but not weaving them at all. Quite funny really. moved alternate poles out 1/2 an inch and she was able to weave with good speed and a nice action. Will stay at this level for a day or two.

Ran Saffi round with jump uprights in the same pattern. She is happily galloping through the straight ones to a thrown treat and going round the star both clockwise and anti clockwise. I have not introduced the verbal directional cues yet, she is cueing of my body position. Using titbits for rewards mainly

Brought various toys toys out to use as food is not working brilliantly. Saffi tends to look at me as she does the last jump to see if i am going to throw the titbit. She doesn't always see the titbit being thrown as she is looking back at me and then spends time looking round for it on the ground. A toy will be easier to see but she is not as crazy about toys as she is about food. Her favourite toy at the moment is the squeaky furry tug from Canine Kennels and she will play with that and tug.

Did heelwork with Dora with toy as reward. She was working nicely. working on getting her to move into the heel position to get me to throw the toy. she does tend to just bark at me rather than moving into position but is starting to understand that she has to respond to the cue to get the reward.

Saffy 7 months old


28 February 2008

Did agility training with Ruby and Saffi this morning. Set the jumps up as they were at training on Tuesday to practice handling round more complex patterns. Ruby is definitely getting the hang of left and right now and if I say the wrong one she turns and then looks confused if there is no jump, especially if I am pointing to a different one. I need more practice than she does.

At training on Tuesday I needed to send Ruby ahead to a jump but she was reluctant to do this. She is also extremely sensitive to me coming to close to her so I have to be careful crossing in front or behind as she tends to stop dead to see where I am going. I need to work on this.

I put the jumps down to about 6 inches high and concentrated on steering Ruby round where I wanted her to go. she does watch me a lot so I need to be very clear about where I am going and what I am going to do to steer her.

Ran Saffi round the same course with the poles on the ground. She is also watching me carefully but I could do with her paying a little more attention to the jumps as she is not worried about knocking into them where Ruby is very sensitive and is very careful not to touch them.

Ran Ruby through the weaves several times with the football as the reward. The weaves are still staggered about an inch apart as if they are completely straight she tends to skip out sometimes. She is running through fast and is not reliant on me being too close to her. Today I started racing her through the weaves and she seemed to like that.

Did heelwork with Dora round the agility equipment. I am trying to catch her out by moving off quickly in heelwork rather than waiting for her. She is definitely paying more attentrion to me to stop me getting away from her. She does seem to like the game.


27 February 2008

Met Chris for training this morning. Set up some posts and a table to make a show ring. Got Ruby out and played with her and then went into the ring as if it was a proper show. Chris was the steward. Ruby Completely went to pieces. Chris says her whole demeanour changed as I walked through the ring gate. I asked her to come to heel and sit and she just stood frozen Totally unable to sit! I wouldn't have believed that putting up a couple of posts could have such an effect. I thought we were getting to the point where she might be able to complete an obedience round but obviously we are nowhere near after all.

I took her out of the ring and got her ball, then managed to get her to play outside the ring and came in again playing then asked her to sit and she did. We did some rough heelwork. not very close but Ruby was able to concentrate on me for some of the time. We came into and out of the ring several times and set her up and she became a lot more relaxed about it. I was able to get Ruby to play well with her large ball on a rope even though there were people around walking past quite close.
I did a practise round with Dora for the good citizen. Dora was really good, very attentive, she came with me immediately when I set off and stayed with me. I hope she is as good at Cru ts.
We did a recall. She waited well but did sit crooked. I remembered to accept what she did and not ask her to straighten up as that would lose more points than a crooked sit.

Did another recall with Chris rattling bags and being distracting. Dora came in a banana shape but did sit straight this time. Excellent.

Did stays with Dora and Saffi. Saffi did a good sit stay. I am feeding frequently. and walking around. I can't quite go behind her yet. down stay was not quite as good as the sit as she got up a couple of times.


26 February 2008

Ruby found a really big stick to carry on our walk this morning. I didn't think she would be able to carry it as it was taller than me and about 5-6 inches in diameter but she wouldn't give up. she needed frequent rests but still carried it from the woods across the field and to the car park a distance of over a mile.

She would have carried it further but I persuaded her to leave it there. I took it home after the walk and out of interest weighed it. The stick weighed 20lb and was 5ft 6inches long. Ruby weighs 44lb so the stick weighed almost half her body weight. She must have incredibly strong jaws.

The way she navigates through the woods fascinates me. She reminds me of a small child playing airplanes with their arms out stretched weaving in and out of the trees. She rarely hits another tree but has got me behind the knees on occasion.

The picture shows Ruby with another stick. We never go for a walk without a stick and Ruby will retrieve a stick out of the water over and over. I got the life jacket to see if it would help her swim but she always keeps one toe on the bottom of the pond.

Ther video shows Ruby with a stick, well tree trunk, she liked, and her struggle to pick it up.