Thursday, December 31, 2009
Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Monday, December 28, 2009
Thursday, December 10, 2009
Wednesday, December 9, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
Friday, September 11, 2009
I like the idea of the "position less" table, all the dog needs to do is get on, as soon as all 4 feet hit the table the count begins. I've lost a lot of time while Kittie slowly slinks into a down, then takes another second to get her elbows all the way down, and the judge takes yet another couple of seconds to decide, yes she really is down. 24" weave poles I'm all for.....although this may mean I'll be buying yet another set of weave poles (anyone need a set of 22" poles?). I love the idea of a true preferred agility Ch, not just a PAX. A PAX doesn't require any speed points, the PACh will have the same requirements of a MACh, 20 QQ and 750 points. It's nice to be able to have a goal to work towards.
The lower A frame for 8" dogs.......I won't be very popular with a lot of small dog people, but I'm just not for it. I've seen some dogs have trouble with the A frame, but I really believe any sound dog, that has been properly trained and conditioned can safely do a 5' 6" A frame. The little dogs have enough trouble being taken seriously in the sport as it is, we don't need yet another reason to be viewed as silly little lap dogs who can't really run. For those who have trouble with a 5'6" frame there are other venues that offer a 5' A frame, like NADAC. Maybe as a compromise lower it for preferred dogs of all heights????
There is a venue for almost any dog/handler, some are very challenging and competitive others are strictly for fun, it's great to have all those options, but we don't need to make things easy in every venue.
No multipliers for points, I don't much care. It's fun to get extra points with a placement, but it won't make a difference. It will make qualifying for nationals a lot tougher, but that's okay too. Every dog doesn't need to qualify for nationals. If you trial a lot and are reasonably consistent, you will qualify for nationals as things are right now, without the multipliers Kittie may not have qualified some years, and that's okay. It should really mean something to be able to compete at an event like nationals.
Things I would have liked to see: A break-away tire, if you have ever had or watched a dog get hung up on the tire you know this is a serious safety issue. There also needs to be something done with the teeter, it should be consistent and fair to all dogs running.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
CHF notes on hip dysplasia – “Current Concepts Regarding Canine Hip Dysplasia” by Peter Vogel
I would love to see more information on luxating patellas, like HD it is also a polygenic trait, but it almost always seems to cause pain and effects the dog's quality of life.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
Kittie loves jumping 4", it still seems kind of silly to me, I mean there's virtually nothing to jump! It is pretty fun though, Kittie's running full out, in complete extension the whole time. She's been different to handle, so I feel like I'm learning through the process.
Abby left me pretty confused and upset this weekend. The first run, was as I expected it to be, clean and fairly fast. She was just a second slower than Kittie. Second run, she took a couple of tries to get the poles, by the 3rd run of the weekend (2nd day) she was pretty much falling apart. We're not sure if it's stress related, or some type of mild injury. It's just so confusing, almost her entire agility career, has been like this. She's either running amazingly well, or falling apart, there's no inbetween (in class and trials), so it's hard to know what to do. she's entered 2 days next weekend, and I'm not sure if she'll be running. I'll have the chiropractor look at her, otherwise I just don't know what to do.....
Friday, September 4, 2009
Willy was the first dog I trained for agility, Rudy and Kittie quickly followed before I was even competing with Willy, so they all pretty much started together. We didn't have jumps for the longest time, just 6 stick in the ground weave poles, no contact equipment of any kind, not even a training plank. We had no contact criteria of any kind, just run down the contact, screech to a halt at the target that no one ever really trained them to touch and get a cookie. My poor dogs had never even seen a wing jump, panel or broad jump until their novice debut, yet they did OK. Kittie managed to walk away after her first trial (3 days at the IX center in Cleveland) with her NAJ and 1 0r 2 legs toward her NA, thinking back, she must have been pretty slow, how else could we have managed?
Kittie's the only one of my original dogs still running, and she certainly has limitations due to her start and lack of foundation training, but she's come a long way and tried to make up for her limitations with enthusiasm!
When Abby started I had more experience, but still no where near enough. I really let Abby's wild enthusiasm push things along way too fast, and didn't proof each step enough. She's a really fun dog to run and certainly keeps me on my toes.
And now there's little Indy. The focus with her has been foundation, lots and lots of work on her foundation, and I have to say I've been pleasantly surprised lately. Thanks to months of foundation work, she's understanding things practically before I teach them to her, if that makes any sense.
We're taking our time with contacts. Her dogwalk is coming along nicely but for the first time ever, I'm actually nervous about training a running contact. I love Indy's teeter, she's been on different teeters, on different surfaces and she's handling it all really well.
I just started her jump training, and I have a new problem.....she has yet to hit a bar, not a bad thing by any means, but typically in their early training you can use the occasional knocked or ticked bar to teach them that it's important to keep bars up, just by withholding a treat. Still, I think I'll take no knocked bars over lots of them any day!
Friday, August 21, 2009
The really fun thing about this is dogs can come too, so We brought Rudy and Indy. The differences between a 10 yr old and an almost 10 month old are huge. Rudy just wanted to be left alone pretty much, and honestly wasn't acting like herself, she told off just about every dog there, but she's not very loud, so if you're not watching her shake her head every which way, you could easily miss it. Rudy typically doesn't bother with other dogs much, unles they something with her, then look out!! Indy was her flirty, silly self. Making doe eyes at a big dog sitting near us, playing with kids, even if she did try to steal their frisbee! She actually watched the perfomance for a few minutes and neither dog made a peep.
Unfortunately it got rained out, so it was a short night, but really good socialization for Indy.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Abby loves to swim and she gets better at it every year.
She does the same thing they do on the trails if Bill and I get any space between us, she swims back and forth, keeping an eye on both of us.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
My work car
Have all brushed very close to death, the car was ultimately saved, the computer will be going into retirement mode, printer will be replaced and I'm hoping once the computer is replaced the camcorders issues will be sorted out. (Video is loading choppy, and freezing up!).
Now to decide, PC or MAC? I don't know anyone with a MAC that doesn't love it, but PCs are so cheap in comparision. Decisions, decisions
I have some cute video clips of Indy I wanted to share, of her backwards circles around my legs (cute!), her future David Lettermand stupid pet trick, blowing bubbles with her nose into a bowl of water, and her almost fully closed weave poles, not bad for 9 months old!! The videos play on the camera, but won't upload correctly.
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
My gang generally have pretty clean teeth, for pugs (who are not known for their great teeth), but several have had teeth just break off at the gumline, and now Abby has what appears to be a fractured tooth. She's going in to the vet to have it checked out tomorrow.
What I'm wondering is WHY are their teeth just crumbling? They do spend a lot of time chewing, mostly on raw marrow bones. I like them because their is no chance of choking, but cracked teeth aren't a good trade off.
Friday, July 31, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
What if she doesn't even see the jumps, and just runs full speed ahead into them....seriously, if you know Kittie, you know that could happen!
I may put Abby in Nov. P as well, and just work her back up to excellent too. I'm curious how she'll do at 8", unlike Kittie, she's just past the height cut-off, so it's a big jump for a stocky little pug.
Monday, July 27, 2009
Here's a quick run down of what we've been up to:
Kittie will be moving to preferred, it's just the best move for her.....and my mental health. There is nothing worse than running course after course beautifully, with one or two knocked bars. She has more than enough points for her MACH 2, but the DQs just aren't coming, we need to have fun again.
She was invited to the invitational again, ranked #1.....with a completely embarassing points total for the year. Between taking off most of the Winter, only doing a few trials over the summer and knocking dozens of bars she ended up with less than 500 points for the year. As fun as the invitational is, we'll be skipping it and waiting to watch it from home. We'll save the money to put it towards Indy's education fund!
Abby couldn't run at the last trial, she was off all week, and by the end of the week before the trial she wouldn't even come up the stairs. I think she hurt her back. She saw a chiropractor, and rested up, she seems back to herself now.
Indy went to her first agility lesson last week. Instead of group classes, I'm mainly working with her myself and taking periodic private lessons. We're starting weave poles (2X2), her dogwalk contacts are looking great (Silvia's method), I'm loving her teeter, she charges straight to the end, crouches down and stays until released. We're working on foundation work for front and rear crosses, and forward and lateral sends. I'm pleased as can be with how she's doing!
Rudy's healthy, just waking up earlier and earlier for some reason lately. And Willy's....well, Willy. He's the laid back guy who prefers to hang out at home, living in a house of crazy girls.
Sunday, July 5, 2009
Kittie's always happy when she's on the move
We all had a nice hike in North Park, then a relaxing night of grilling some food.....and the fireworks began, it seemed like it went on forever. It was a beautiful night, but the windows were all shut, in an attempt to block out the noise. Abby was really stressing out, luckily the others only seem slightly annoyed with the commotion.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
Tuesday, June 30, 2009
At the other end of the spectrum, I have Kittie.....I'm so close to moving her to preferred and jumping her at 4". I'm just having a hard to with it, it doesn't feel like "real" agility, it feels like so many of the goals in competing will be gone. She loves agility, she seems to love it more and more every day, and she gets better and better, but her bar knocking just gets worse and worse. I can keep her in reg. and NQ most of the time from a knocked bar, but the Qs we get will be working towards her MACH 2, qualifying for nationals and the invitational......or I can more her to preferred and most likely qualify A LOT, work towards a PAX and just have fun.
I will be so mortified if I move her down and she knocks just as many bars.....
Thursday, June 25, 2009
Wednesday, June 24, 2009
www.caninesports.com/SpayNeuter.html A good read on the subject
Rudy was spayed at about 7 1/2 months, the others were being shown, so they were all over a year old by the time they were spayed/neutered. I really can't say if it made a difference one way or the other, since they're from such drastically different lines.
Monday, June 22, 2009
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Kittie's running better and better all the time, faster, nice turns, just really connected......but there was at least one dropped bar in every single run. So she did good, and bad at the same time. She's just so much fun to run, even with the bars crashing around her.
Abby's run were a mix, mostly good though! with dropped bars....oh well, that's runing with my girls!
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This past weekend Abby and I attended a seminar put on by Maria Duthie (http://www.annisage.com/) I've been nervous to go to her seminars, but figured why not...and I really wanted her opinion on what jump height is best for Abby. She just measures out of the 8" class, and being a pug, she's not ideally built for jumping.
In these seminars you learn a variety of massage techniques, (which I'm awful at doing), proper warm up and cool down techniques and Maria watches your dog pefrom the A frame, teeter, weave poles and jumps.
Her A frame isn't bad, could be improved with the use of hoops on both sides and possibly a foot target coming of the frame. She powers up quite nicely, rather than pulling herself up with her front, but does come off and land a bit hard on her front. the hoops and foot target would help her run straight through the contact.
Her teeter, isn't too bad either. Just as I already knew she's not shifting her weight back enough as it hits and she's jumping as hits the ground, probably to avoid the shock/vibrations coming through the board.
Weave poles, Maria said she would not change a thing, Abby has perfect form going through the poles and great speed, she thinks the only reason she pops out sometimes is she's in such a rush to just move on to the next thing. Maria generally likes channels for teaching weave poles, but will probably use 2 X 2s for her new puppy, she said all the dogs she's seen taught with 2 X 2s have nice footwork, speed and very good entries.
Jumping, Abby has great jumping form at 8" but really doesn't know how to properly jump at 12" Maria thinks Abby will be just fine jumping 12" after a bit of re-training.
Now to make sense of some of these things. She recomends doing jump grids
3 jumps set 4' apart at 8" for now and then a 12" jump a bit farther away, you keep changing that last jump. I'm trying to see what I can do to use this technique, but not confuse the cues for collection/extension. Maria feels it doesn't matter, because this isn't about "handling" it's about teaching jumping.......
Friday, June 5, 2009
Indy's 7 months now, and so much fun!! she's getting big too, almost as tall as Kittie. Rudy's nice and healthy, along with the rest of the pack.
Here's some recent pics from a hike:
Monday, April 20, 2009
I can say I was very consistent this weekend....consistently screwing up!
Here's the run down;
Abby- I still truly don't know what to make of her. She ran 4 times, two were very nice runs, with just one little thing preventing us from Qing (the table and a knocked bar on the triple), but she was happy, focused and had nice speed through the whole run. The other runs were total train wrecks, I took her off course while I was still smiling and laughing at her in one, and the other I tried to muddle though, as she ran around half the jumps and generally just wasn't connected at all. I just can't seem to reach a point where I understand running her.
Kittie- She managed to either NQ from something silly, like running around the far side of the tire???? or she dropped bars. she was pretty slow too.....there were several hold ups before her last run of the weekend, and you just can't do that to Kittie, she just wilts away the longer she has to wait, she comes out of her crate roaring to go, but give her a minute and she'll fall apart. She's such a bizarre, stressy little dog. Our next trial is in May, 3 days outside, she should be happier.
This was Indy's first time really traveling and staying in a hotel and she did great, slept the whole night in her crate without making a peep.
I discovered something this weekend, people who have never spoken to me in the 5 or so years that I've been trialing, all of a sudden talk to me.....ever since the addition of Indy! I thought maybe it was because she's a puppy, and puppies are irresistible, but no, Abby was at trials as a puppy. I don't know if this is a matter of certain people treating you different when you run a non traditional breed, but it sure feels like it.
I'm not complaining, it's great for Indy. She's met so many people and has been introduced to so many nice dogs, and because of this, trials are like a trip to Disney for her....but it would have been nice for Abby when she was a little thing too.
I've recieved a lot of nice compliments about Indy, she's so high energy and spunky. She's such a ham, it's hard to not notice her!
Friday, April 10, 2009
This dog came charging at us and threw itself on top of Indy. She started screaming immediately, then I started screaming and kicking the dog, and grabbed it by the back of it's neck. Rudy, Kittie and Abby were standing behind me at this point (thank god) I scooped Indy up, and then started freaking out at the owner who had the dog by collar at that point.....this idiot was trying to claim that her dog was "trying to play", I lost it, there's just no excuse for that! She never even asked if Indy was okay!! As she started walking off she let the dog go and it came back and tried to go for Abby....Abby told the dog off and it left.
I didn't see any cuts on Indy anywhere, and wanted to just get away and play with her, feed her some treats etc....just distract her from what had just happened.....she wouldn't/couldn't even walk, wouldn't take food, was soaked in pee and poop and her gums were pure white. We ran home, and I got her to the vet, luckily she's just very sore, has some inflammation in her neck and chest. The vet said she went in shock from fear....poor thing thought that she was done for.
She's still not herself, she's shaking in her sleep and whimpering when you pick her up, the vet said she could be a little more sore tomorrow. I've put so much work into socializing her, getting her around lots of nice dogs of all sizes...she's been such a confident, fearless, friendly little thing, she's only 5 pounds! I just hope she bounces back from this....Why are people so stupid. This is a very crowded park, I don't let my own dogs off leash in this section of the park and they're so well trained to be off lead it's ridiculous.
It's so hard trying to socialize tiny dogs, you don't get them out and about and the end up yappy little things, you bring them out into the world and idiots like this can destroy them...literally, she could have been killed.
Thursday, April 9, 2009
I finally have a real agility table in the backyard, reg. 8" height. I did some playing around yestersday with Abby, I wanted to build up a bit of speed, so I would send her to a tunnel, a jump or whatever and race her to the table, with just slight deceleration, and an opposite arm to cue her to collect. If she slid off, I did nothing, no praise, no correction, just nothing, if she stayed on (in any postion) I'd give her a huge jackpot, treat after treat after treat and just gush over her like she did the best thing ever. After several attempts at this, I'm coming to the conclusion that she really has no idea how to do this. Sure she had some good ones, but I didn't see any improvement.....there's always work to be done!
Monday, April 6, 2009
It finally was our time, we went in to see the bunny....and Indy was terrified of him!! I don't think it helped when he took the bunny head off! The whole day was like a scene from A Christmas Story, except Easter.
So, I learned Indy's doing really well with her socialization....but I really need to get her around more giant man sized rabbits, : )
The photos will be sent to us, I don't have high hopes for them.
Friday, April 3, 2009
Thursday, April 2, 2009
Friday, March 27, 2009
At 5 months
* = skills already understood * = skills partially taught * = skills we haven't started
Basic behaviors & Tricks
- sit *
- down *
- come when her name is called *
- wait to be released from all open doors & her crate *
- 1,2,3,4 lift each paw on cue *
- perch work *
- step backwards onto any (appropriate height) object (this leads to teaching handstands) *
- cover face with paw *
- put all feet in small bowl *
- ride a skate board *
- walk backwards *
- weave through legs *
- weave backwards through legs *
- run and pounce front feet on target *
- left & right directional cues *
- walk in heads up heel position *
- handstand *
- sit up/beg *
- cover face with both paws *
Agility specific things - the only agility specific things we've started are the teeter with me holding the end, she's doing really well and loves it! The table, again I'm really pleased with her, we've started recall to heel exercises.
- Have full understanding of postional cues
- teach jumping using Linda's foundation work
- teeter- run to the end, crouch down and wait until board hits the ground and move
- Contacts-Silvia's method. (With full ability to turn using direction cues, and fully independent of my position)
- Table- get on, stay on, get in postion fast and leave on cue, quickly
- Come in close when cued, not after taking an obstacle, immediately come to whatever location is cued (AKC courses are getting tighter and tighter and I find I'm needing this skill more all the time).
- Full understanding of verbal obstacle cues....I tend to run silent and depend 100% on motion cues, it does work well, 99% of the time, but I need to break this habit.
- Full understanding of forward & lateral sends.
- Weave poles- find the entry no matter where I am, stay in no matter where I am, with speed. will probably use 2 X 2 but may try channels
I'll probably be adding to this list over time.
Any thoughts on things you would teach if starting a young dog
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
and if you're wondering, no we're not going. I kept going back and forth, should we, shouldn't we and in the end I just couldn't justify the trip at this time. Kittie's bar knocking just gets worse and worse all the time. It's getting to the point where I may need to re-evaluate some goals this coming Fall, and consider partial retirement, or possibly moving her to preferred. Jumping her at 4" just isn't real exciting to me though, and I'm struggling with the point of it. She has the points for her MACh 2 but only 1 double Q....and I'm just not sure she's going to be able to rack up the doubles anytime soon. We're still pretty out of sync right now, so I need to give the both us some time to come back together before making any major decisions. Abby on the other hand seems to coming into her own lately. It's funny, she's 1/4 of an inch taller than Kittie, but jumps 4" higher and knocks significantly less bars.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Just look around on a site like youtube and you'll see it, dogs are running sequences before they have any real understanding of what's expected or any real drive to do what's asked.
The way I train has changed slightly with every dog. Kittie, Rudy & Willy all started within months of each other, we were all clueless together. Even though Kittie has had some success, she really has very little criteria.....
agility according to Kittie
* weave poles- stay in as long as mom is right with me, if she pulls away or runs too fast, do what you can to weave faster, but if you can't keep up just come out of the poles
* A frame & Dogwalk- Just run like heck, mom usually turns in to me, which makes me collect just enough that I usually hit the contact
* Teeter- Run to the pivot (like she was taught way back when) put all your weight in your front and get ready to launch as soon as it hits the ground, Usually hitting the yellow and safely getting on the ground, but once in a while getting called for a fly off, or even worse being hit by the board as it starts to come back up while I'm flying in the air over it
*Jumps- just fling yourself over them, if you hit a bar, oh well
*Table- Boring, do what you're told, but as slowly as possible...Kind of scary too, when it's a down with all those dogs and people around everywhere.
I trained Abby very differently, my focus was all about speed and independence. Which I did get, At least initially. Abby has always loved agility. I did a lot of baby sequences with very low jumps with her, she would just fly and was really flashy and fun to watch. Give her an open, flowy course and still today that's where she shines. I taught her to get out in front me and not need me to be by her side, so she has independent weaves and contacts.......I did not however teach her that it was okay for *me* to get out ahead of her, she worries about where I'm going and just looks for the fastest way to get by my side, I did not teach her collection either, so tight courses typical of AKC excellent are very hard for her and that hurt her confidence quite a bit and for a while I lost a lot of that speed I worked so hard to get.
I'm taking things really slow with Indy. The only actual agility she's done is the teeter ( I hold the end and she runs out and I gradually drop it) and the table. We're also doing some flat work, just recall to heal at this point and lots of trick training and skills for developing body awareness. We're doing some work at training directionals, mainly to use at the end of the contacts (something I didn't do with Abby). We will spend a lot of time on jumping and foundation skills. Haven't decided what method I'll use for weaves, either 2 X 2 or maybe I'll try channels this time, but it'll be a while. I may start working on some entries in the near future, but no real weaving. We'll probably use Silvia's method for running contacts.
My main point in this long rambling post, is it's important to have an educated plan, even if you're just doing agility for fun. Dogs will have more fun and stay safer if they know what their criteria truly is. Many beginner agility classes try to be all things for all people and end up doing a huge disservice to all involved. Educate yourself and stick to your guns about what's right for you and our dog.
Do I have all the answers at this point? Probably not, our ideas change all the time, the sport changes all the time, our goals change and the unique personality of each dog you work with changes things.
Sunday, March 22, 2009
Wednesday, March 18, 2009
Here's my best efforts over the last few weeks.
Monday, March 16, 2009
And that's probably why Rudy and I have clashed over the years, we're too similar, I'm not sure who's more pig headed than the other.
A bit of an update on my crazy girl, Generally I'm pretty opposed to drugs like predinsone, lots of BAD side effects, but when you're watching your dog just wilt away before our eyes, you throw those feelings aside. I have to say, it's been a huge help. After just one dose, she was 100% the Rudy I know. The bad part, she can't stay on it forever and there's a very good chance all her symptom will return.
We went to the holistic vet today, and lets just say Rudy and I both aren't so much into new age, pan flute type music.....normal Rudy doesn't much see the point of lying still, unless she's napping, especially when somone is poking little needles in her feet. Only about half the acupuncture needles managed to stay in place. We're going to keep trying, and go to weekly appointments for a while, wish us and the holistic vet some luck!
Monday, March 9, 2009
I did make the decision to try a puppy class with Indy, I figured, what's it going to hurt and the more socialization the better, right? I looked around at schedules of classes offered everywhere I could think of, I only had certain nights available, the class had to advertise itself as using only positive reinforcement and it had to be fairly close.....I'll drive insane distances for good agility lessons, but we're talking about puppy class, how bad could it be?!
I reluctantly signed up for a class at the same place Rudy went to when she was a puppy. There were some things in that class that I wasn't crazy about, but overall we had fun.
Right off the bat, it was a bit awkward. I went into class with Indy already knowing how to do everything they were doing, but I use different hand signals. The owner agreed to let that go, although she seemed very put out by this. No big deal I figured.......now comes the parts that I really didn't like 1- "puppy management" I have no idea if this is a familiar term or not, but in this class it means that you step on the puppies lead a few inches from their collar, it puts pressure on the dog, and only way it will be relieved is if the puppy chooses to lie down. Fair enough. It's not how I generally do things, I tend to wait for responses I like and reward them, I like the dog to make good decisions, when they have other options. I wouldn't mind putting a puppy in this position for a few moments at a time, but literally every second the puppies weren't working they were in puppy management.....and this added up to a LOT of time. 2- "restraint exercises" I fully agree that dogs need to accept being handled in all sorts of ways, vets need to be able to exam and treat them, we need to be able to trim our dog's nails, and do any type of grooming. I work on these skills with my puppies very gradually, touch a paw = treats, brush you = treat, look in your ears = treat.....all very gradually, in all sorts of positions. It's a game for them. I'm convinced my way works because I've seen the results.....in this class puppies were held firmly on their sides and we were instructed to not let them up, no matter how hard they struggled. I saw we were going to be doing this when I read the email with our homework for the following week and got started on teaching Indy to lie on her side, my way (gradually teaching her that good things come to puppies who lie nicely on their sides). Indy was doing well, until the owner came over and felt that I was doing it incorrectly, and placed her hand over Indy's face, which put her in a panic.....I guess Indy's panic equaled proof that "this puppy really needs this" to the owner. I was absolutely seeing red at this point, I kept calm, most people who know me would expect me to storm out the door, causing a scene at this point, but I kept calm.
One of the helpers for the class, asked how I was doing and I made the comments that, I feel like the difficult student, I do things very differently and we're just here for socialization. Apparently that was too much. I woke up the next day to see an email saying that "someone made of point of telling her what I said about her puppy class and she would like to offer me a refund since I'm obviously not happy. Believe me, she just wanted us out of there. I guarantee if Indy was having trouble, or was a "bad" puppy I would never be getting my money back. It was the combination of Indy being....Indy (bouncy happy, operant & focused) and my issues with how things were done that was the problem.
I think the whole thing (kicked out of puppy school) give Indy some street cred! and I'm glad that I stood up for my dog!
Friday, March 6, 2009
Rudy's still having trouble. Wednesday Maria massaged her and really felt like this could just be a lot of inflammation and tightness, nothing more. She did seem a bit more comfortable for a day or so afterwards, not herself, but better.
This morning we went to the neurologist, and he's leaning towards disc disease. We haven't done an MRI at this point, and I'm still deciding if it's something I want to do. The other possibility is a tumor on her spine. Both could be dealt with surgically but the odds are not good, and we could make her worse. I've been talking to a lot of people about back surgery and I don't know one person that has been satisfied with the outcome. Please don't think I'm not willing to do whatever is necessary for her, but I want to help her and not put her through any more than necessary.
She has appt. with a holistic vet on the 16th, and we'll be looking into acupuncture, which the neurologist fully supports and said he's seen a lot of success with this.
So, please continue to keep Miss Rudy in your thoughts......aging stinks!
Sunday, March 1, 2009
Two dogs, two very different effects: Kittie, my steady little gal, rarely making any mistakes other than knocked bars......total mess!!! She's off coursing all over the place, barking (yelling) at me non-stop, none of this is due to increased speed on her part, she's going about the same pace as always, we just don't have the same type of connection right now and she seems to be focusing more on the obstacles and less on me. I'm sure my timing is a bit off too, and she's quick to let me know about it!
Abby though ran like she always does, maybe a bit better! The only issue I had with her was if I drifted away from the dogwalk she bailed off the side, which truely doesn't shock me. Running contacts can require a lot of work to maintain them and she's only seen them maybe 6 times since October.
All this really makes me realize how different these two are, Kittie seems to be the type who really thrives on a lot of training, while Abby needs things to be less serious. Which makes sense if you know these two; Kittie is the uber nerd and Abby's the eternal silly puppy.
One thing is for sure, I have my work cut out for me to get Kittie back in shape for the Spring/summer season!!
Thursday, February 26, 2009
I packed up the three young ladies (HA!) into the car for a hike in the mud! At first Kittie & Abby seemed a bit confused, but it didn't last long. They really had a great time. Abby & Indy play so well together, Indy thinks she's the coolest big sister ever!!
I now this sounds weird, but I encourage playing in the mud! We trial in some bad weather and watch dog after dog run slow, or refuse to down on the table becuase it's wet and muddy. I teach them to love the mud, to slam right down in the dirtiest mud puddles.....not positive if it has anything to do with their success running in the muck, or if I just end up with filthy little dogs?! But it seems to be working and they love it. I also found out Indy's coat really isn't hard to keep clean, how about that!!
Wednesday, February 25, 2009
This is a fun trick to teach, great for body awareness. You can teach it using shaping, or targeting (maybe other ways too)!
It's impressive to most people, but you know what impresses me the most? The little dog, just hanging out in her carrier!! It's total chaos in my house when I work with just one dog, I pretty much have to go into a separate room or outside to get any real training done. I can work on things they already know as a group, but my dogs are a bunch of pushy hooligans when the clicker comes out. Me first, me first! diving on top of each other, no manners at all!
Tuesday, February 24, 2009
I wanted to update on Rudy though, she's up and down, and it's driving me nuts! I truly thought she was getting over this and we had nothing to worry about yesterday and now today she looks terrible again. The worst part is when she starts to feel better she wants to do everything! She's had zero exercise, so the minute she feels better she's looking for a fight, running all over the house, stealing toys from the puppy, biting Willy and no I cannot crate her. Rudy would hurt herself, she only tolerates a crate for eating, chewing and riding in the car. Any more than that and she just doesn't see the point and lets you know it!
Good news for Indy, her vaccine titer came back good! So no more puppy shots for her. It just goes to show just how any unnecessary shots our dogs get in their life time.
Rudy has an appointment next week with Maria Duthie for a massage. Maria said she deals with this a lot and said she should be able to help her, so that's promising.
I'm also planning to switch my dogs to a holistic vet. Doug Kneuven is right outside the city, he's a traditionally trained and started out as a traditional vet, but has moved farther and farther towards a more holistic approach. In an interview he stated that he feels the biggest causes for preventable health problems in our pets today are 1- poor diet (he believes in a raw diet) and 2- over vaccination. As much as I love my vet, it will be nice to have a vet who is on the same page and can educate me on these things. My current vet is open to things I suggest, like titers on a 16 week old puppy (the vet tech got in argument with me over it) but it's not how he thinks about things generally.
Friday, February 20, 2009
She started this recently, maybe becuase we've all been trapped in the house?? Notice the dizzy side stepping?
She does seem better today, but keeping her off the stairs is quite the challenge, as is not doing anything with her! I'm going to try giving her and Willy marrow bones and sneaking the others out to the park for a while. Willy and Rudy just love each other and Willy really doesn't care about going to the park unless it's in the 70s and sunny!
Thursday, February 19, 2009
She was moving really slow on Monday and starting on Tuesday she had these episodes where she is really hunched up, shaking and doesn't want to move.....but then she'll be fine some time later. There's no pattern, sometimes it happens in the morning, sometimes after she's been up and running around.
I took her in to the vets and he believes she may have a disc problem. I'm still trying to learn what I can about this, but it seems the prognosis is anywhere from, let her rest and heal and she'll be fine, to she could become paralyzed.
Rudy is such a wild little pug. The thought of Rudy not being able to run around and play is hard to grasp. Every bad trait she has becomes almost immediately exaggerated when she can't exercise.
Please cross your fingers that this turns out to be nothing!!!
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Bill's response, "Tri to leave me out of it" he's honest if nothing else : )
So, any suggestions? The Kennel name is Pasun (pronounced pay sun) I'm open to just about anything, not just names with the above criteria, just want something I won't mind hearing for years and that her breeder will hopefully like as well.
Abby in the lead, as usual, Indy coming up from behind and Willy holding up the back. Kittie's most likely right behind my heals, that's her usual spot. Rudy was with Bill.
Several poor attempts at a group photo:
Thursday, February 12, 2009
It was 65 degrees out yesterday and I think everyone who wasn't working was outside. Indy went on 4 short walks around the neighborhood, some just me and her, others I brought along one of the pugs. There were kids running around at the small playground near us, dogs barking in every other yard, none of it phased her. When I ran into a neighbor she was able to settle down and let us talk too, which was quite nice of Indy to be so patient!
Sunday, February 8, 2009
Overall Miss Indy is doing well, the others dogs don't exactly love her, but they tolerate her quite well. Abby thinks it's pretty funny to play tug with her.....especially since Abby always gets to win! Training wise, it's a lot of the same thing; sit, down, stay, come all for toys as well as treats. We're playing lots of shaping games as well, she's not the frantic throw a million behaviors at you kind of dog Abby and Rudy both are, but she seems to really think through what might get that click-treat. We're working on backing up and she can already scoot around me backwards with a lure, too cute! The pugs have always had trouble with that, I think it's easier for her to bend around me. She seems to really understand housetraining too and hasn't had a single accident in over a week, although I still wouldn't trust her for even a minute alone without someone watching her!
She's due for her vaccine booster this coming Friday, the 13th....and I don't think we're doing it, espcially not on Friday the 13th!!! I'm going to have her titers checked instead of just blindly giving the vaccine and hope she's protected.
Another decision I need to make is whether to go to puppy classes or not. Rudy is the only one of my dogs that went to a true puppy class and I have no idea if it helped her in any way. When Willy & Kittie were both little I owned a small pet shop and we had a weekly puppy play group held in the store and they both had a ball there. Abby just came along to meet some of my clients and to Kittie's agility classes and trials. Kittie is by far my best socialized, easiest to live, compete, train etc with dog, I don't know if it was anything to do with what I did, or didn't do, but I would love to be able capture those traits in Indy. The only reason I would go to a puppy class would be for socialization, Indy already knows more behaviors than are taught in those classes.....although working with distractions would be good for her. Any opinions??
Tuesday, February 3, 2009
Sunday, February 1, 2009
Time to go home.....walking 5 dogs at once, when one of them is barely leash trained and another desparately wants back to the car (Willy) is tougher than it looks!