2010 training goals

APRIL 2010

March 2010 Feb 2010 Jan 2010 
Dec 2009 Nov 2009 Oct 2009 Sept 2009 Aug 2009 July 2009 June 2009 May 2009 April 2009 March 2009 Feb 2009 Jan 2009
Dec 2008 Nov 2008 Oct 2008 Sept 2008 Aug 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 Feb 2008 Jan 2008
Dec 2007  Nov 2007  Oct 2007  Sept 2007  Aug 2007  July 2007  June 2007  May 2007  April 2007  March 2007  Feb 2007  Jan 2007  
Dec 2006  Nov 2006  Oct 2006  Sept 2006  Aug 2006  July 2006  June 2006  May 2006  April 2006  March 2006  Feb 2006  Jan 2006
December 2005  November 2005   October 2005


Cheryl is in the middle of moving. Still has old house and new house. The dogs have now been moved to new house and the sleeping is happening there. It's an older (than her current one) one story home with a wonderful sized yard. She graciously let me haul Xanadu out to the new house to do her weave poles since I've been having issues with her recently weaving at shows. Xandau raced at her weaves the first try and nailed the entrance. She missed a pole in the middle, but kept trying. I am thrilled with that! At least she didn't come to a dead stop like "I don't think I could possibly do those". It turned out that Xan was missing the exact middle. It had to do with Cheryl's weave pole base. She has some older ones that have braces all the way across each set of six on the ends. So, with twelve there are two sets of braces right in the middle that make a wide enough spot that Xan was trying to figure out how to not bounce on one of the braces. She did figure out an ugly straight up bounce in the middle to keep herself in the poles there after a couple of times through. I hope this is a good omen for this weekend!

Since Thursday is typically obedience class, I took all my obedience jumps along with Kamikaze out to Cheryl's too. Kamikaze got distracted with Mike up on the patio and raced to him once instead of going to the article pile. She did everything very well, but still is a bit uncertain on the articles. She starts second guessing herself and then gets to fretting. Xanadu didn't do any obedience. I just wanted to see the weaves.

I did give Xanadu and Kamikaze a chance to snoop around the yard when we weren't training. Once, we still had a couple of agility jumps set up at 20" for Cheryl's guys. When I called Kazee, Xanadu was chasing her all out. Kazee was headed right at a jump, so she took it. The jump only had one bar on it , so easy enough for Xanadu to run under. But NO, Xanadu sailed the 20" bar after Kazee. She never even ticked it. OK, so if she hits a 12 or 16" bar again I'm gonna pinch her head off. Maybe some of my 'take what's in front of you' training is actually sinking in. I'll be sure if there is play time again that the bars are off the jumps, or lowered to a beagle height.


Yesterday I set up the weaves again in the dirt area of the yard. Xanadu missed them the first couple of times by, but not for stopping and not moving, but for just missing them. She hit a wrong entrance, decided to chase a squirrel. Normal things. I am encouraged by that. I don't mind normal weave issues. It's the come to a dead stop and sit and stare that bothered me the most. I am trying to get over to Cheryl's to do her weaves sometime this week before the show this weekend.

Tonight I didn't feel up to dragging out agility equipment. Breaks are good for a dog's brain anyway. So, since one of my goals says Xanadu will learn to do utility articles I did those instead. I haven't done them in a while because we were both getting frustrated at them. WOW! No frustration to start with at all. She raced out there and found the right one with a pile of five total. (2 metal, 2 leather and the scented one). Missed on the next try (the leather one). But got it right the second try. A couple more times and she started getting frantic and would smell it and run back without it or just grab one. She has started running out and sniffing in a circle pattern as she moves around the outside of the pile counterclockwise. So, she is getting the picture, but still lacks some patience in the search. I even up-ed the ante for the last couple of tries and added a 3rd leather and metal. She kept her pattern of sniffing up, so I see a glimmer of light now for getting these things mastered in the next 8 months.

Kamikaze had her turn at articles too. She was great the first try. Missed on the second. Then started stressing. Don't know why she's started this. She got it right eventually though. Another send to the pile and she found the right one, but missed when she tried to grab it. Two steps back to me and she realized it wasn't in her mouth. Instead of going back and grabbing it, she went back and looked lost. She had flipped it on it's up end, and now she won't grab it. HRMM. I thought we'd practice picking up the dumbbell on end. So maybe she was just stressed, or maybe I need to practice putting the articles all on end in the pile and letting her work it that way. I had to go help her because she just quit and sat down. ARGH! Fix one problem and another develops. Utility is so frustrating that way.

After Kazee's article session Xanadu was still dying to work. So I got out a utility glove and practiced sending her to get it. She hasn't done this game much. She needed a bit of  help. Then she got the idea and brought it back, but was pitching it at my feet. All my dogs have hated holding the glove too long. Guess that fabric sucking out all your spit could be a bit strange. The Siberians all figured out how to hold just a tiny piece of the glove between the teeth to keep if from soaking up their spit or wadding in their mouth. It'll be interesting to see what Xanadu figures out.


We spent most of the day yesterday in concealed weapons class. At least I got it in with plenty of time to get my stuff together and renew. No dog training though. 

We bought some plants/flowers after church to replace the palm frawny looking things that the cold winter killed in the front. Also a couple of flowers for around the gas meter out front and an evergreen tree thing to replace an oleander that has croaked out back. So, planting and mowing today.


Xanadu got an adjustment last night. Today I put the weaves in a kinda tight space, but it's the only part of the yard that's mostly dirt. I pulled up the couple of sticker things out there. I put one jump at each end. Xanadu was reluctant, but did them the second time. Then she was nailing them well. It's getting better!

Cedar and Bandit's portraits came in today! The wall is now complete with an 8X10 of each do. :)


I set up the weaves in a part of the yard where I was almost certain no stickers were around. Xanadu was still reluctant to go through them the first time. I am almost certain the stickers in the grass are one of the reasons she is hesitant. She got going in them faster than last time though. I have also gotten a prompt from Riser's mom that maybe her back is bothering her. HRMM... I hadn't thought of that since climbing and playing and chasing are normal. I will certainly have Rich give her a general adjustment tonight when he gets home though.

I hauled all obedience jumps out to class tonight and met Cheryl. She ate while I worked Xanadu. She was doing everything, but not with her usual enthusiasm. So, what is up? Talk with Cheryl revealed some possibilities. Maybe she is about to go into season again and is a bit pouty? Maybe she really doesn't feel well? Then, one of the best answers yet...Maybe I am not paying well enough? Could this be a part of the weave issue too? I preach this so much... "If you want a Beagle (Siberian) to play this game you have to PAY WELL!" I have gotten more lazy about just giving her good dog treats during training. She still gets the jackpot (chicken, tuna, steak) at the end of the session. Maybe that's part of the problem. Doing the things is getting her a good treat, but not right away, so she's not doing things with much pizzazz. I tried the theory out with the dumbbell retrieve. Got some chicken and POOF! Fast and happy retrieving beagle. AH HA... so will it help the weaves too? We shall see. 


When we got home this afternoon there were some 'rolled in smelly, dead stuff' beagles. ICK. Baths happened later tonight just before bed, but the source is still unknown. Xanadu skipped weave practice today and Rich and I went into Baton Rouge for an early dinner. We were heading home about 5, so I called to ask Cheryl when her agility class was starting thinking I may head there. She said she got a substitute teacher and was planning on moving some more items to the new house. We were driving the truck so I offered to stop at the old house if she had anything bulky that needed a truck. She left work right then to meet us. We beat her to her old house by 5 to  10 minutes. The back gate was unlocked so we went to sit on the back patio. Her dogs were terrible guard dogs! Bernie tried to fawn all over us and Grace ran in (the dog door) and brought out toys for us to play with her with. We ended up loading the grill, weave poles, and ski machine in the back of the truck. A quick drive to the new house and got it unloaded. Took home a piece of left over rebar to bridge a gap in our chain link gate and she promised I could have some ground up tree stump for agility field filler. She had the tree guys come take out a tree and top one, so she has two LARGE piles of ground up wood. YIPPIE!


I set up one jump and the weaves. I poured food and fed everyone except Xanadu. I took her out and sent her to the weaves. She stopped dead at them again. She went up and got no food. A couple of minutes later I let her try again. Still no go, and now she is slowing up earlier. Another try after a couple of minutes put up and still nothing. I checked the grass where they were and there was some sticky flowers there, so I moved the weaves so there wouldn't be any reason to not weave for stepping on something. Still a no go. Josie did them fine though. I got Xanadu out again and she stopped at them. I took her back to the jump and tried again. She started them hesitantly and I cheered and she sped up as she went. At the end of them I put her in her crate with her dinner. I can see the weaves are going to be a new part of the evening meal ceremony for a while.


I laid a track for Lego at lunch. It was cool (65 or so) and breezy. The first two legs were tough. The cover was sparse. Too bad when we got back to it in four hours it was 80 degrees or so. He did start right. Then he just wanted to quit several times down the sparse sections. He was hot and he'd search a bit and then just come back to me wanting help. It was laborious to stand in one place and wait and wait and wait and keep telling him to search. He eventually made it to the first turn and picked the right way and then struggled more. He cut that second leg short but made the turn to leg three way early and found it. We missed the plastic hotel key on that leg somewhere. I never saw it and he never stopped. We made the next three turns well. As the cover improved so did his speed and confidence. He tracked right past the sock without stopping though. At least I saw it. He did stop at the glove.

This evening I set up weaves and the tunnel and three jumps. I tried sending Xanadu to the weaves and she just stopped at them. I put her up without a word and played with someone else. Sparkle weaved fine. Her problem is going into a tunnel, of all the things.  That's one of the reasons I set up the tunnel. After she worked a minute or two I tried Xan again. No luck, so back up she went. Then Kamikaze weaved and got treats. Xan failed again. Josie weaved and Xan failed to even try again. I finally gave up on the one chance or nothing. I helped her start and she did them great. From then on she weaved like a demon every time I aimed her at them (HUH?) So what's up with the won't start on your own the first try? Sparkle and I worked tunnels with not much improvement. Xanadu worked on the gamble she missed last weekend. I did finally get her to do all three jumps at speed after the tunnel. It's basically training to take what's in front of you even if I can't be there. We made some good progress I thought. Jedi did the weaves once. He still froze up when he came out and saw them set up though. Did them great though. At the end of training I set up the gamble Kamikaze missed. She nailed it, of course. She had plenty of speed and drive in practice.


I only entered the first couple of classes today. Kamikaze had a stellar standard run. 180 off dogwalk, serpentine out of straight tunnel (NOT taking the jump in front of the tunnel exit). She missed the weave pole entrance though. Hit them at pole 3. But, she hit them flying with intent, so I didn't say anything and we just went. Then of all the stupid things she ran by the last jump. Granted, I wasn't handling it all that heavily since we'd already screwed the weaves, but seriously? Come to find out the judge never saw the weave screw up. I was between her and the weaves, entering at pole 3 still exits the right side, and my attitude was happy. HOLY MOLY! If she hadn't run past the last jump I would have had an agility gift Q! DANG! That'll teach me to not handle the last jump. Her only other run was Pairs. We were paired with the only other non-border collie in the maxi dog class. HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN? Think both us "other" breeds could at least get a BC partner. OK, so we pulled out a Q together anyway just to spite them all. That's her second Pairs Q, and it was her partner's Relay Master title run.

Josie had another just wonderful standard run. This time we hit all the contacts fine and missed the weave entrance. ARGH! Still a perfect table performance though.

Jedi had a terrible standard run. Xanadu was running past jumps when she went fast and still WOULD NOT WEAVE. How irritating. But, she was fast. 



17th - Happy Birthday Kamikaze

I celebrated Kamikaze's third birthday at an agility show. I made tuna fudge and peanut butter doggies treats for the occasion, enough to share. Here's Kazee's picture with her birthday hat and cookies.

Kamikaze started the day with some nice runs.  A nice Jumpers run with a bar and a predictable off course. A great run on a hard Steeplechase course. One mis-cue at the end killed it with three jumps left. Then a beautiful Grand Prix run. FIRST PLACE FINISH. Unfortunately a couple of the moves I did to keep us clean ended up putting her one second over time, so the first place doesn't even Q!  One of those things was a drop out of the tunnel to collect her to a hard weave entrance. So, without a those 'careful' maneuvers she was fast enough to Q.  Her runs started downhill after that. She was tired and hot. With a small show they ran close together. Standard she took the dogwalk instead of the tunnel and I just finished the course from there because she wasn't running at all, just trotting. Gamblers was completely doable, if you're dog is moving out. Of course, fifth run of the day and she was poopy slow, so no get outs at all.

Jedi had a terrible steeplechase run, but he didn't E. Then he followed with a gorgeous Grand Prix run up to the weaves (third to last obstacle). He started them well and slipped in the middle missing a pole. Standard was just crap after that though. No chance for him at that gamble either.

Josie had a terrific Standard run. Oh, how pretty it was! She just stepped over the dogwalk contact. But, she is back to running fast and happy and had a perfect table. She almost got the gamble too.

Xanadu had a great jumpers run that I blew by making her take a bar. I asked her to jump a jump she passed with only one step in front of it. She can't do that at 16" and I knew that. But, it was under time and she was moving well and cleared the double. She ran Steeplechase too, but WOULD NOT WEAVE! I had to labor her through them the first try, the second pass she did half of them before quitting. This is frustrating! She weaves great and knows what they are all about in practice and at home. She ran Gamblers too. It was a send to a tunnel, her best move, followed by three jumps close to the line. She got so wound up in the opening of gamblers she started the zoomies just as the buzzer sounded. I did get her back to the gamble and in to the tunnel. She just ran past the jumps though. We still have work to do on taking jumps in front of her face no matter what.


I got a flyer in the mail yesterday from one of the gun shops in Baton Rouge. They are having a three day sale on Ruger hand guns. I am leaving town tomorrow for a show, so I went by there this evening on the way to obedience class to look at a .380. Man! That thing is tiny! You could drop it in your purse easily and it only weighs about 9.5 oz. So, I now have one of those.

Cheryl came  out to obedience a bit early, and I just beat her there in time to have most of the jumps set up. We let Bernie go first this time. He is almost there. Jut a bit faster drop and he's got it. He did at least slam on the brakes when she said "down", he just has so much body to slow and drop. Kamikaze was next. WOW! She did great. The only bump was she picked the wrong article the first try, but I almost forgive that as Cheryl put them out after feeding Bern a piece of tuna brownie. The next try she worked HARD at the pile for quite a bit. I just knew she was gonna quit on me and just pick one, but she finally came all the way around under her feet and go it right. Very good effort. The leather article was no problem. She even did directed jumping right the FIRST try. (no go-out cause nothing to go out to) Very happy with her. Grace had a nice run and was watching well on heeling and even found that elusive "WAIT" command in her somewhere. Xanadu's heeling started kinda sluggish. She wasn't keeping up or watching. I figured out part of it was me taking Kamikaze sized steps instead of Xanadu sized steps. I have to cut my stride for her to heel nicely. When I got my feet right she did very well. She even remembered her drop the first try! Both retrieves were great. She did the broad jump well too. The practice has paid off. We then set all four kids up in a line of stays. Grace is still working on Novice stays, so Cheryl was out there with them the whole time. That made it easier for me to relax leaving Xanadu out there. I went back after 2 minutes out of sight and treated my dogs quietly and left again for the last minute. Xanadu did great. Then the down. I stayed gone the whole 5 minutes on the down. Xanadu was fine. She did look a bit fidgety on the sit after the two minutes which is why I went back, but the down was stable as stone. She may just have a chance at that CDX over the next few months. WOW! That could make her a VCD2 this year assuming that other jumpers leg comes as quickly as the last two.


I had good intentions of going to the agility field tonight and practicing with the guys going to Shreveport this weekend. Well, I got home from work and LAZY set in hard. I did get out the broad jump and practice with Xanadu for obedience again. She is having a bad tendency to jump so crooked towards me that it's questionable if she is actually clearing the last board. I started putting the treat bag out in front of the jumps for her to target to. Then after a couple of times I start throwing a treat out of my right hand as she took off to keep her straighter. I just think she's one of those that's gonna need a treat throw every time except in the ring to keep her honest about jumping straight. Kamikaze did a broad jump or two as well. Beautiful.

I was feeling better about no being so lazy, but it I still had not addressed the agility issues from last weekend. I pulled out the tire, weaves, teeter and three jumps. I used two jumps to create a USDAA double. I told Xanadu to weave with no lead in. (no jump or anything in front) AH HA! I got the same response I was getting at shows last weekend, 'HUH?' or she'd at least do a few poles slowly and then just stroll off. This seems good. At least we can work on fixing it.  The worst thing in the world is when they do fine at practice and act the fool in a show. It took several tries to get her weaving again. But, when she finally turned it on again she was bouncing fast with her head up. Good!  Now I can add some lead in work. 16" tire to weaves was great. Then we worked the double a minute. She seems to understand it now. So, I added it in front of the weaves at some bad angles. Perfect puppy! Then a couple of passes at the teeter to speed her up on it some. I was feeling so good about Xanadu I thought I'd try some Jedi weaves. It's so disheartening to pull him out to practice at home. He's suffered from being the first agility dog I trained. That's before you learn that the negative responses just aren't good for teaching the right behavior here. He came out and saw the weaves and just turned off. Poor guy. You can see the dread in his face. I was armed with steak though and enticed him close. He weaved and I cheered and shoved steak bits in him. He only perked up a bit. I only asked him to do tire, weave and double, weave a  couple of times and then gave him lots of good stuff an put him up. Since the teeter was out I took Sparkle to it and waited. She tiptoed up it and crept down it. I gave her the good stuff, but I hate that performance. I tried trotting on ahead of her and she bailed as it was tipping. OOPS! Next time I trot on ahead of her with a treat closer to her. As soon as it tips quickly I encourage that last step to push it down and exit. She did that well. I tried a couple more times and she sped up each time a bit. I don't know how much teeter training helps her. Each new place is a new and scary teeter to tip toe over or worse, ignore all together.

I pulled out the tunnel and got Josie. She flunks all gambles that are a send straight out to a tunnel. This seems strange to me, so I'll work it. Sure enough, she won't send to a tunnel over a jump or through the tire. I worked it until we were both irritated (bad, bad handler!) and it didn't get much better. Guess we'll just write off tunnel gambles. Those are supposed to be the easy ones. Just hope the insistence doesn't kill her running desire this weekend. That's been a constant problem the last year or so. Her not running from the start, but walking and then picking up speed as the run goes. We were conquering it slowly, now I may have regressed her. HATE my type A personality sometimes.


After work I started hauling things back out to the motor home that have been living other places since it went in the shop in November. I had been putting it off for many reasons, but most notably was I didn't want to put that 36" wire crate down on the nice new floor with no rug or padding under it. It would be a shame to scratch it up so quickly. A couple of days back on a Wal-Mart run I picked up a rug and a non-slip rubber piece to put under said crate. So, no more good excuses, and I got my hiney in gear and drug all the linens out there. Got crate and rug and mat all set. Made the table back into a bed (gives more more flat space for carrying things). Still loving the way the new floor looks. Can't wait to take it to Hattiesburg, MS in a couple of weeks.

I also managed a bit of needed training with Xanadu. The check is in the mail for her to run Open A obedience at the end of next month. So, she needs to learn out of sight stays now as well as bone up on the broad jump. I started with the broad jump, and for the first time I actually only set it at the length she'll see in a show. I typically set it longer. She needed a couple of reminders still. Then I set it at the 36" she'll see it at this weekend in Steeplechase. At least it's a 'run with her' jump then. That's how we practiced it, and she cleared it easily.  I went in and gave her good girl treats then I called Kamikaze out with her and set them up to practice out of sight stays. If I'd been ambitious I could have set up Lego and Sparkle and maybe Shelby and Nikita too for a true line of dogs, but two was fine. I left them sitting on the patio and walked around to the other side of the house. Xanadu broke after a minute (just as I was headed back for treats) to come find me. I picked her up without a word and carried her back to her spot and set her back in a sit and walked off again without a word. I did give the hand signal for stay as I walked off. That was all it took to convince her I meant 'stay' even if it was her backyard. She did great for the next minute. I went back for treats, but no reminders at one minute and then back at the three minute mark. Xanadu and Kamikaze were great. Then the down. I came back at 1.5 minutes for treats and then not again until the 5 minutes was up. Very well done by the young girl. Kamikaze only seemed to shift hips once or twice too.


I laid Lego and Sparkle tracks at lunch today. When I got Sparkle on hers it was only about 2.5 hours old. It was around 80 degrees though.  She took a bit to start and then did OK until the first turn. The turn was close to houses with a loose dog (that never comes in the field to bother us). The dog barked and she lost all concentration. ODD! Lego tracked right on by him. She struggled and struggled. I don't think she even knew what she was supposed to be doing at that point. After FOREVER of hoping she'd return to work, I finally led her near where the third leg was. She meandered down it. We were far enough off I never even saw the plastic lid article, but I did see the snake. ACK! I was close enough to stomp it's head, but it was not threatening me and it wasn't poisonous. It was trying to be invisible, and I let it think it was! She did finally pick up the trail again on the fifth leg. She went right by the cloth article with no indication at all. I reeled her in and showed her it and put a piece of meat on it for a treat. She labored through to the end. At least she stopped at the glove even though there was no indication why she stopped. Very disappointing! I know she can track. She just flat didn't. If I intend to get anymore tracking titles on her I must go back to remedial tracking 101 it seems. Sparkle languished so long on her track it made Lego's almost 5 hours old. After our experience at the test, I laid some really LONG straight legs. He did FANTASTIC up until the turn into the woods. He struggled a long time there, but did eventually figure it out. Then he struggled all the way through the woods with lots of off course smells. He passed the plastic article AGAIN. I had to show it to him and let him know it was a treat dispenser. When we FINALLY got out of the woods he was hot and tired and about done. There were only two short legs left. He did make it, but passed the glove and had to come back to it. I think he can get a TDX, really I do. I just need to keep the training up more consistently until the tests this fall.


Kamikaze was having a lovely standard run until the last four obstacles when I lost my concentration. I tried to have a stop at the bottom of the Aframe (she does a straight run down usually) . She had already committed to the next (correct) obstacle when she registered the DROP. She spun right in front of the jump. ARGH! STUPID, STUPID handler. The ending was just ugly after we lost our connection and concentration! She finally pulled out a Q in Jumpers last thing. Her 9th MXJ leg. It wasn't really fast, and it had a couple of scary moments, but we made it. Lego didn't run near as well today in standard. Then in JWW I can only fault him for listening TOO well. That's an interesting thought. For each "COME" he turned off the jumps and came to me. Typically that tells him to turn towards me after he jumps. Xanadu once again had no weaves in standard and had to dash past me to the wrong end of the tunnel. We almost found weaves the second try in Jumpers (a little too much handler help got her through), but ran and trotted off and on to be way to far over time.


Kamikaze did OK today, but not a Q to be had. ARGH! Lego had two more fairly nice Excellent runs, but still not quite. He did, however, get his last leg in Novice Fast. The only 16 Novice B dog to qualify. I only planned a quick horseshoe around the arena and out. Total 52 points I think. Cheryl ran the same plan with Grace, but substituted the double for 5 where I did the weaves for 6. They also qualified for their fast title as well.

Xanadu had just OK runs. She actually did well in standard, but she's lost her weaves at shows now it appears. She was a bit pokey in Jumpers, and still had no weaves. HRMM...

There was a vendor there selling all kinds of stuff. I had to buy Rich a t-shirt. Then I found it in a women's too and bought me one.


Cheryl brought Grace by this morning to practice my teeter and dogwalk. Grace has developed the fear of them every time there is one in a new place. Very frustrating! She always does all the ones at the training field well, but couldn't possibly do the same one if you move it to a new place.  I see lots of carting Grace around to everyone's houses with teeters in Cheryl's future. She conquered mine after about three tries.. 

This afternoon was Excellent only agility. Kamikaze had a just bad run to start out in Jumpers. Talking with Cheryl prompted me to remember she's due in season in the next few weeks, so I adjusted my sharp commands and gave happy calls in Standard and she ran much better. I hate having to figure out which dog is gonna show up and how to handle PMS. Lego had two fabulous runs with one goober zoomie moment. That's enough to kill your Q's now in Excellent, but it was not bad at all for Lego.


I laid Lego a TDX type track at lunch just around our property. About half  in grass, half in the woods and maybe one half to two thirds length a real track. It even crossed the creek twice. I put out some engineer flagging tape on some branches to help me remember the way later. I let Lego go at it after a little over three hours of age. After reading an article that John sent us about pitfalls of tracking on your own, I re-focused my attention on the dog's posture instead of looking for my turn 'markers'. Lego has a bad habit of well overshooting a turn and then having to hunt for it. I watched him more closely and noticed his head comes up ever so slightly off the ground when he loses the track, but he just keeps walking for a bit. Guess he has part of his mind on other things. If you stop when his head tilts up he will stop and start hunting his track. Also, don't walk with him until he pulls you off your feet for several steps in a row! He does lots of just general sniffing with even some tight line, but he won't pull you off your feet unless he's on the track. I had gotten in a bad habit of walking with him when he picked a general direction and the line was tight. I thought I was encouraging him to track, I was instead encouraging him to goof off. Another bad thing I'd started recently was trying to cut down on his goofing off by fussing at him and trying to push him on past those points and making him stay on the track. It's aggravating to watch him sniff around a lot when you know he isn't on track, but it's just the way he is, and it may be the way he assures himself he is still doing the right thing. I made a conscience effort to stay put while he searched and hunted and crittered  to his heart's content then he worked on. He is such a nice tracking dog! You just have to let him work at it his own way. He did try to pass an article (plastic) I held ground and he came back around to it on his own with no verbal. He nailed the other article (a baby's sandal). AND he passed trash on the track with only a sideways sniff. "Nope, doesn't belong to my track!" After today I really want to stick to working on his TDX. He so can do this! He is a hard dog to read, but I was reminded of his good tracking posture and his goof off posture today. He NEVER is tracking with his head tilted the least bit up. He always has his nose skimming the ground, and he will pull you off your feet for the track.

Cheryl and I, neither of us, were motivated to head out to obedience tonight to practice. But, we both talked each other into it since we want to have a good chance at Q's coming up the end of May. Kamikaze did very well. Still a bit of a struggle remembering to take the jumps and the one I point at. Xanadu had beautiful heeling. She needed reminding on the drop on recall once. She had nice retrieves, even having to arc back towards the jump When it would have been easier to by-pass it altogether. She needs work on the broad jump still! And we didn't' do stays. I sooo have to work on getting the out of sight stays ready!!

Tomorrow it's work 3 or 4 hours and then drive into Baton Rouge for the first day (Excellent only) of our club's agility show! It's only Lego and Kamikaze tomorrow. Then Xanadu joins Saturday/Sunday and Sparkle will try at Novice Standard both those days too!


I worked Xanadu some on the 16 inch double in preparation for USDAA in a couple of weeks. She only ticked it once. She's doing better, with a different command, at not taking off so early for the big jump. While we were working I pulled out the 12 weaves and practiced letting her weave without leaning over her or interfering. She does fine with me out of her way! Must remember that! While I was practicing agility I pulled the teeter out for Sparkle. She did the weaves a couple of times and then I just went and stood by the teeter with the steak bits. She FINALLY put two paws on it and I rewarded. Then she crept up it and I rewarded as it was tipping. Three or four times like that and she sped up a lot on it and was driving to do it when I jogged by and I rewarded at the bottom instead of just at the tip. I never commanded her to do it. Hope this helps her try at Standard this weekend.


Misty had her yearly check up this morning. For almost 15 she's doing good. She's going deaf, loosing muscle mass in her rear end and panting more than usual. But she's still happy to eat :) and her heart murmur is no worse.

There are now pictures up from the agility trial.
Xanadu SOARS
OOF. Hate this chute thing!


The morning started with Kamikaze in Jumpers. She was running OK, but somehow we managed to get a bit off sync and she got in two sets of beautiful weaves in that run. Loved the weaves. Sucks about the Q though. Lego did the course great. Got past the hard stuff. I can taste the AXJ. That always is bad. Don't count it until you clear the last jump. He got a whiff of something as we're sprinting towards a tunnel and the next thing I know... NO LEGO. I see just a tail dashing off to the left. ARGH!  Worse.. he didn't want to leave it. I should've dragged him off, but I let him finish. Then in Standard Kamikaze ran pretty well except for that hard call off a tunnel. Didn't get that. Even with my back turned to the tunnel YELLING "COME". Oh well, that makes the agility dog in the pack ZERO for six this weekend. I told Lego I wasn't putting up with the sniffing in Standard. So, for his first run in Excellent Standard he didn't make it past the first obstacle. When I said ,"RING", he put his nose down and walked past it. I grabbed the collar and we left. Xanadu had a pretty nice Jumpers run in Open. She wasn't running fast like yesterday, but it wasn't bad. She had her nose down just before the double and didn't get the lift to clear both bars. One went down. The rest of the run was clean. Darn the bar. Then 30 minutes later in Standard. (BTW I hate running her that close together... it stinks) she was pokier and took one off course. We made it around 2 seconds over time and one fault for her OA TITLE! She'll be in Excellent Standard now for our show next weekend!


I was up and out the door for more agility by 6:30 this morning. First was Lego in Excellent Jumpers. He had a respectable run, but missed a couple of jumps. Kamikaze had a nice run, hitting a bar on the way to the weaves. BUT, her weaves were fabulous! I even back crossed them with confidence she was going so well. I got discombobulated in the last five obstacles so that didn't go so well, but not her fault. Kamikaze had another decent run in Excellent Standard. I failed to pull hard enough on the first big turn. She turned, but got the outside jump not the inside one. The rest of that run went well though. Another great set of weaves. Xanadu started her day with Open Jumpers. I kept her on leash or inside with me all day yesterday. And after close watch and some Metamucil she seems to feel better.  She was much faster today. Thankfully the weaves weren't in the smelly section again today. She had a faultless run with nice weaves and only one distracted sniff in the smelly corner. First Place! OAJ leg #2. Open Standard had a tricky choice between the teeter and the Aframe near the beginning. No amount of calling kept Xanadu off the Aframe when it should have been teeter, but the rest of the run was great. Another OK set of weaves. So, she Q'd with a 95 and First Place again. That's her second OA leg too.

Lego had a horrible Open Standard run. Very ugly. Not listening well from the start, but got better at the end. The big surprise is  I managed to keep the opening, ugly part to only one fault and hold it together faultless through the end. With the sniffing and walking at the beginning we ended up 5 seconds over time. BUT, the over time amounted to 10 faults and then the one 5 fault for a refusal means he got an 85 for his last Open Standard leg (FINALLY!  even if it was the lowest possible Q value)  Finishing up his OA means he also finished all the requirements for his VCD2 title too!!!!

I took Bandit and Cedar up to the show today to have Michael Loftis take their portrait. They are the only dogs we own that don't have an 8X10 hanging on the wall. can't wait to see them.

Cheryl and Grace finished up their NAJ today too! 


Agility didn't start well today. Weaves were five obstacle in Excellent JWW off a back cross. Kamikaze crossed well and then just decided to look away from the weaves intentionally. "If I don't see them then they're not there." ARGH! Then from there I sent her off course at least three times. I was pretty irritated at the weave behavior, so not the best handler. Then Lego's turn. We didn't even make it past the weaves! He did the OLD Lego game where you ignore Mom completely and dash in circles around the ring. GREAT! He hasn't done that in so long I 'almost' forgot what that felt like. I hauled him off. Xanadu was poopy slow in Open JWW. Walking and then couldn't stop sniffing at the weaves to weave. Apparently when they shoveled dirt into the pits made by the Excellent dogs weaving, they used the smelly loose dirt around the sides! Standard went better for everyone. Kamikaze took a predictable off course (wrong end of tunnel), then did a bizarre cut behind me after the Aframe, but she did wonderful weaves. Lego had a simply smashing run in Open Standard. I cut hard behind him on the AFrame. I even knew when I started to do it it was going to be bad. I pulled him off because of the horrible sharpness of my cut. If I hadn't done that he'd have Q'd and gotten his OA title and his VCD2 title. ARGH! Maybe tomorrow. Xanadu was still slow in Standard, but better than jumpers. Then she weaved well until I took off before she went through the last pole and she missed it. We went back and fixed it, but no way we made time after weaving twice when she's running that slow.

Cheryl and her crew are joining us tomorrow.


I worked Kamikaze through Utility again. We did all the exercises except for the gloves we only practiced the turns and didn't actually go get any gloves. She was great on heeling and signals. I put the article pile in the middle of the jumps again. She did act the fool today, but went right out and did them very well. Her moving stand was nice. She had beautiful go-outs again. She did the first two jumps correctly too! Then she tried once to think on her own and actually caught herself half way to the wrong jump and stopped. Of course, I hadn't even finished the jump command before she was half to the wrong one. It was a much more productive practice I thought.

I also tried Xanadu on the retrieves in the front, unfenced yard. With only salmon treats on me she did them but with no gusto. Go inside and trade treats for steak bits and she was a fast and happy retriever. I'm not sure she's feeling up to par. Not sure why, but stools have been a bit runny and grass filled and poop schedule is off.

Now ready to go play agility the next three days!