27 June 2008

Today we had the club companion dog show . Unfortunately it was raining and cold (flaming June? not this year)Buty quite a lot of people came along. As soon as I arrived I was kept busy taking entries, until the judging started. I had brought all the dogs with me.
First in was Saffy in pedigree puppy. She only managed a 5th but there were 12 dogs in the class so not too bad. Then Ruby came second in the Pastoral class. I was very pleased with her. She moved nicely and happily let the judge go over her.

Next was Casey and me in the best 6 legs class. Unfortnately the judge didn't think much of either of us so we came 5th out of 5 : (
Next I entered Ruby, Saffy and Dora in the obedience. Dora went first in the middle class which was a novice round. She worked very well on her set exercises but lost a few points on heelwork as she was very distracted by people at the ringside.

We were then persuaded to hqve a go at the top class which was based on a B round as there was only one entry, so we had a go. Dora did the position o the move very well and also did the sendaway much to my surprise, however she didn't like the judges article much and didn't retreive it properley which surprised me as she usually has a good retrieve.
Next I had a go with Saffy. I was persuaded to take her in the higher class to make up the numbers. Her heelwork was very good considering we haven't really done much so far. she needed help to get the position on the move but she did a stunning left about turn. The judge was very impressed with her. Then we did the retrieve and Saffy did it really well, much better than Dora.

Last to go was Ruby, in the middle class. There were a lot of people still standing by the ring which Like Dora earlier Ruby found very distracting but she did manage one nice heelwork. She didn't keep her eye on the dumbell for the retrieve so had to do a search for it which cost her a few points, bu overall I was pleased with her.

There were no stays or scent as by the time the classes had finished it was getting dark. The Final placings were Dora 1st in Novice and Ruby 4th, and Dora 1st in B and Saffy was 4th! The judge afterwards was ever so complimentary about her and thinks she has loads of potential.


24 June 2008

out for a walk. Single file through the barley

Check for rabbits in the undergrowth

I think it went this way

Boring! practising down stays

cool off in the lake


22 June 2008

Whats Saffy spotted under the bench?

Looks like a hole.

perhaps theres a rabbit down there?

maybe if I dig a bit more

No I havent been digging. Why would
you think that?


21 June 2008

I spent the afternoon in the garden repoting plants and generally tidying up. Of course the dogs were always close at hand helping out. Saffy kept running off with the empty plant pots or sticking her nose in to the potting compost.
Casey has always liked playing with brushes and took the opportunity to run off with my broom whenever he could

After that I tidied up all the toys and cut the grass.

Looks lovely. Like a show home.

5 minutes everywhere again


17 June 2008

I put the weaves and a couple of jumps up in the garden today. Ruby decided she wanted to work for her stick. We are told to take the dogs favourite toy to agility to use a reinforcer but as you can see from the first video it would be a bit impractical to take Ruby's favourite to class! It is a bit impractical to use in the garden never mind anywhere else.

The next video shows Ruby doing the weaves for her stick. I put the stick at the end of the weaves and then take Ruby to the other end and then send her to it. She can get up quite a lot of speed now but it is hard to see in the video as I find it difficult to handle Ruby and point the camera in the right direction at the same time.

the last video shows Rubby doing jumps to the stick. In class she is a bit reluctant to go ahead to jumps but if she is running to her stick she is much happier.


16 June 2008

Did dog walk practice today. I put the Dogwalk up to the next level. Ruby is not sure of it again so we will need to go back to basics. She will hop on and do the contacts but will not go over the whole thing so we started again with taking a couple of steps up it then going out for a walk as a reward. Hopefully it won't take as long to get her doing it a this height. I think I will look at altering the hinges so that I can set it up at a lower height so there is not such a change from the lower height to the higher one.
I did start Saffy on the higher dog walk and at first she was a little unsure but a trail of food up the DW resolved that problem quickly. She is now walking along it happily but not too fast. I don't want to encourage her to go fast too quickly in case she slips and frightens herself like Ruby did. We need to work on Contacts a bit more too as she doesn't wait on them very well yet.


14 June 2008

Today was the Northern Belgian Shepherd dog club show. I hadn't entered the dogs as I didn't think I would be able to go but my op was canceled so I took Ruby and Saffy with me entered NFC. We had a very good day. Ruby behaved herself very well most of the time and Several people noticed and said how much happier she was looking. She talked to a lot of people and even let Laura run her up and down a couple of times.

Saffy happily impressed people with her tricks. spinning to the left and right, giving her paw and swapping from sit to down to stand on cue. She is a very happy little girl. She was also happy to bounce on people and wash their faces and bite their noses add ears.

Ruby and Saffy are such different characters. Ruby is gentle and reserved very careful not to bump into things which is useful for agility as she hates to knock jumps. Saffy however just charges through life, not caring who she knocks flying. She uses her head as a weapon to buffet people with and if she really likes you will bite at any part of your body that sticks out as a sign of affection. She hasn't started doing jumps in agility yet as she is still under 12 months but somehow I don't think she will be as careful as Ruby about knocking the poles.


13 June 2008

at the moment I am training all the dogs to do scent discrimination which is not something I have done before. I have tried several different ways but what seems to be working best is to put out several unscented cloths. Then with the dog watching I throw an article in amongst the cloths and send the dog to retrieve it.

I do this a couple of times then throw the article and turn the dog around to break their line of sight to the article, then send the dog to get the article. Again I do this a couple of times then I turn the dog away from the cloths and throw the article in amongst the cloths then turn the dog back and send it to find the article from amongst the cloths.

All 3 girls seem to be getting the idea.
I have had problems in the past when I have tried to teach it with Dora just retrieving the first cloth she comes to but she does seem to be starting to understand that she has to search for a particular cloth.


10 June 2008

While tidying up the garage I found the skate board tucked away in the corner. I got it out to have a go at teaching the dogs to skate board again as it is ages since we did this. The video I think demonstrates why the skateboard was hidden in the garage in the first place. Ruby can't play with it quietly

This video shows Ruby as a puppy playing with the skateboard before she discovered her voice. Ruby taught herself to get on the skate board.


07 June 2008

Danesford obedience show today. I took all the dogs with me to give the new van its first test. Thankfully Saffy's season is now over.
I entered each dog in 1 class as I was helping at the show. Ruby was drawn 9th in beginners. I did a training round with her. We started off by playing in the ring and then did a couple of set ups for heelwork and rewarded for setting off with me. The steward was wandering round the ring but Ruby was happy to play with her ball and ignore the steward. I did stays outside the ring later on. I did them near a shelter so I could practise going out of sight as I will need to do this for our gold test in a few weeks. Ruby stayed really well. She was watching all the dogs about coming and going but stayed nicely.She took no notice when I moved out of sight.

I only did the beginner stays with Dora as she was the only one I wanted to compete with so we did those next. I was a bit unsure whether she would do them but it was a nice cool day and she did them perfectly. After lunch we went to do our round. She was very good but kept going slightly wide which is unusual for her. After we finished the judge pointed out I had one of the ties on my jacket hanging down and it kept flapping in her face which was causing the wides. We only l;ost 3.5 marks on the heelwork and he said almost all of these were caused by the cord. At the end of the class we actually came fourth out of 56 entries, in spite of my mistake.

I did a training round with Saffy. She does like playing with squeaky toys but these are not allowed at shows as they distract other dogs so I had a different tuggy. Saffy played quite happily with it outside the ring bu when we went into the ring she looked at it like she had never seen it before and wouldn't play with it. I did get her to do some nice heelwork though. I then asked the steward to hold her so i could do a recall. she hasn't got the wait very well yet. I left Saffy, turned and faced her and called. and she shot across the ring like a nuclear missile and launched herself at me hitting me in the stomach with both paws nearly knocking me over. There were several loud gasps from the ring side. I however couldn't speak. The steward said Saffy has been sitting quietly not pulling at all until I called her.

We had a very nice day. The van was really good. We had loads of space. The dogs stayed in their cages when not working and I think they liked having their own space. Saffy really does not like going in a top cage but apart from that everyone is happy with it. I just need a little gas stove so I can make cups of tea and it will be perfect.


01 June 2008

I bought a new van for the dogs today. Well not new but new to us. It has fitted cages in the back and plenty of space for carrying all my training equipment and toys etc. The cages are a lovely size, plenty of room for the dogs and they can have one each so they will be comfortable on long journeys.

Casey came with me on the trip to pick it up. Saffy is in season at the moment so I decided he would be safer with my. He kept waking me up last night pacing round the bedroom and scratching at the door. I had planned for him to stay at my friends house for seasons but unfortunately she is away this week so we are having to juggle dogs and poor Casey doesn't understand why I won't let him play with Saffy.