Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Mature......Abby?????

Could it be that my little eternal puppy Abby is actually beginning to mature a bit? She's been doing better and better at trials lately, she seems to be paying attention much better, has a great understanding of my cues. She even (gasp) stayed on the table 3 out of the last 4 standard runs!

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

Abby & Indy "get packed"

I try to free-shape different behaviors and simple little tricks on a regular basis. This is their latest trick. It took Abby about 3 minutes to figure out, and Indy about 5, only because she was complicating the whole thing by offering everything we've been working on lately. She tried to back up into the suitcase, side step into it, get in and play bow, very cute and very hard to not reward!

video

video

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

When To Spay?

Indy's almost 8 months old now, and I still haven't made the appointment to spay her. It's just so confusing about when is the right time. Personally, I'd prefer to just have it done ASAP and be done with it, no going through a heat cycle, no having to keep her home when she'd much rather be going on adventures in the park and coming along to agility trials, but I certainly don't want to cause her any harm, or damage her structure in any way. It's much easier with males, just wait until their growth plates are closed, but it's trickier and more complicated with females.

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

Linn Run State Forest

We drove *2 hours* yesterday to go hiking somewhere new, Bill had been mountain biking at Linn Run before, he thought it was about 45 minutes....he was a just a little off! Oh well, it was a pretty drive at least.

Indy, the little white blur/forest creature. She looks so out of place, yet perfectly at home on the trails.

Some pretty Waterfalls


The one and only Kittie
Looking more and more grey these days, but not slowing down one bit!



Indy & Rudy



Willy, Indy, Abby & Kittie


Abby girl

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Confession Time

I can't pick up Indy................

Every once in a while, I can, or if she figures out I'm playing a game where I pick her up, give her a cookie and put her back down, she'll play along (most of the time). It's not that she won't come, her recall is great, just don't pick her up when she'd rather be doing something else, or she'll get all miffed. Part of the issue is she really, really wants me to play with chase with her, I have never chased her, ever! But, she so desparately wants to play this game she takes most attempts to pick her up as a good time to try to start a nice game of catch the pap......She's done this for a while, but I always figured it would pass on it's own, like most puppy phases, but this has really stuck around, so we'll probably be spending many of her meals with me picking her up, feeding her a few bites, putting her down, picking her up, feeding her etc. I'll be keeping my pockets stuffed with treats to randomly pick her up and feed her too.
She keeps me on my toes!

Pugs at the three rivers sheltie Club trial

Well, I'm not even sure how to feel about this weekend.

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

Seminar

Just a cute pic of Abby girl


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

Still Alive

We're still around, just very, very busy. Been spending every free minute, playing, hiking, training and helping out my mom, who just moved to Pittsburgh.

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:

Typical Indy, running full speed towards me, she can just change direction, mid stride! Boing!!!

Do you see the tennis ball?