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2006 training goals 2006 Obedience log by week

FEBRUARY 2006

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28th

Shelby worked on articles yestersday. I swear that dog can forget what she knew last week when it comes to articles. If I wait a week between article training sessions she "forgets" how to sniff each article for my scent. She looks lost and confused. I have to go back to putting a smidge of cheese on the "right" one for a couple of tries then she "remembers" how to play this game and I can remove the cheese factor. I guess it just hasn't solidified with her yet. Today she did go-outs, directed jumping and signals. Somehow she's managed to get this far without a stable SIT signal. I'd say she's pretty much got directed jumping down, and her go-outs are mostly stable.

 Lego did heeling yesterday and it was just SLOPPY. And this was after a couple of really nice heeling sessions. He is getting drops though I believe.

Nikita did go-outs, directed jumping and signals today too. Her signals are stronger than Shelby's (go figure that one?) but her directed jumping is poor. She will do the jump to her left fine, but doesn't do the one on her right without many steps toward it and many commands. She also hasn't learned to sit on the go-outs yet. She just runs out to the target and gets her food, but hasn't learned to respond to my SIT command that far away. She's doing very well considering she didn't start any of this until January.

Rich's dad is back in the emergency room. We got the 5 AM call again this morning. He had been home with an IV shunt in him for his wife to administer the antibiotics, but he started getting wobbly walking and a bit confused, so back he goes. They are so familiar with him now that they had him in CAT scan within 20 minutes of his arrival.

26th

It rained all day Saturday with temperatures in the 50s for a high. That made for a mostly indoor day. I went over to Meg's for a few hours to help her get scribe sheets cut and organized for the Overcome trial coming up the next weekend. We did a quick overview of cost and collections too. It seems we'll come out right at even for this show before adding in any raffle money we might get. As long as we don't lose money I am satisfied.

Today was nicer weather. Sunny all day. We spent some time outside washing cars and changing oil. I let Misty hang out with us out front. She is great out front while we work. She sniffs around a bit in the yard and then settles in a nice sunny spot for a nap. I brought Lego and Josie out a bit later and hooked them to tie outs close to where we were. They are not as trustworthy unleashed in the front. Lego will go off exploring the neighborhood and become instantly deaf and Josie will surely follow. Josie is OK by herself if you are constantly watching her. They seemed to settle in and enjoy the sunshine and our company though.

21st

I had a headache most of the day but Lego and I did manage to work on drops and heeling some this afternoon. I think he is doing better drops. He definitely has much nicer heeling that this time last year. I threw in some Rally Advanced exercises just for fun. He did them fine. I tried to catch a few zzzzzz's before the LCCOC meeting tonight, but the dogs didn't understand why I was lying down and kept nosing me in the face. 

Rich's dad took a back slide some Sunday night/Monday morning. He occasionally seems disoriented and is still showing signs of pressure on the brain. They are having to culture the fluid they removed to determine what "bug" is after him because the broad-spectrum antibiotics don't appear to be cutting it. They inserted a tube into his skull to help remove fluid and puss before it creates too much pressure. They are still optimistic that they can get this under control without any lasting effects.

Rich is finally on the provider list for Blue Cross/Blue Shield. This is a major step forward since they are a major insurance provider around here. The business has been doing well this month, for which I am very grateful.

19th

I did manage to give 4 dogs baths this weekend. They had to be done indoors though, considering the high temperature on Sat. was in the 40's and the high today was about 50. Josie still thinks that it's OK to make an attempt to leap out of the tub half way through. I managed to thwart her this time. Lego knows he can't jump out, but he gets the huge pupils and shakes if I turn the water on while he's in the tub. What a ninny!

I pulled out 6 weaves today to practice forward focus, entrances and a bit of distance. I discovered a few things!
1.  Josie is the only dog I have that really knows how to hit the entrance from both sides correctly. Guess by the time she came along I finally hit on a method that works.
2. Lego single steps the weaves. I don't know how I taught him that .. or if it was natural. Wish I could teach Misty that!
3. Bandit can weave respectably fast here at home. SO... either I crowd him at shows OR I stress him out by squeaking too much. I vote for a little of both probably. I vow to trust him more at the weaves and not micro-manage him.
4. Jedi is a weave demon here at home. It doesn't carry over to shows yet. I need to think on this one some. I know my attitude with him at shows is much different than the backyard, but he actually has EARNED the way he gets treated at shows. The next show he's in is inside, so there's no where to go. I will make an effort to ease up on the screws a bit and see if he behaves.
5. Shelby still remembers the concept of weaving. She just tries to plow through them though and has no finesse. She doesn't know or care if she makes it through every pole. She also tries to bounce the poles. This will never work for her. She has too much body length. If she's gonna do ANY preferred agility she needs some weave pole work. 

Rich's dad continues to improve.

18th

We got a phone call at 5:30 this morning. Rich's dad was back in ICU and headed to emergency brain surgery again. It seems he started having some swelling. Well, maybe some is an understatement considering he couldn't speak coherently (slurred beyond recognition) and he thought it was 1985 and he was in chiropractic school and the nurses couldn't keep him restrained in a bed. The surgery was successful and he now knows what's going on and what year it is and he can talk. They found what looked like an infection going on in his brain area. This might even have been the cause of the original bleeding. He's on good antibiotics and they seem to think he chances of full recovery are better than average.

SO.. I slept in some this morning. See picture below... this is what happens when I try to sleep in!

I got a small amount of training in with Shelby this afternoon after Maverick and I went to the nursing home to visit. Mostly I did nothing but watch the olympics and grocery shop.

16th

I have been keeping up with my obedience training. Nikita's had more directed jumping practice and is accepting the idea better. Shelby is so close to doing the directed jumping correctly, but her go-outs have suffered some. Lego and I continue to work on faster drops and heeling. Some days I think he gets it and some days I'm just not sure. Today I decided to get a couple pictures of the guys doing obedience since I have so many snapshots of agility. This proved easier said than done since I was trying to give the commands and then pull the camera up for a shot on a moving dog. Here are the two that came out OK.

So, as you can see hound dogs CAN be trained to retrieve on command and Siberians can TOO! So I say PPHHTT and thumb my nose at at all those naysayers that think (or say), "You can't train a Siberian or Beagle to do that! Why do you even try? Why don't you get an 'obedience' breed?"

Well, off that soap box and on to other things... I need to pull out 6 weave poles and work a lot with Bandit and Misty on entrances and SPEED in the poles. It would really help them make course times if I could get them moving in the weaves. Once, a couple of years back I focused on just such training with them for a short time and Bandit made great strides at home. He even started "sheltie" weaving. Then for some reason I laid off the weaves and he went back to walking through them. I vow to improve his weaves by the end of the year!

Rich's dad is back in the hospital. This is the second re-visit since brain surgery. He's been back once, earlier this week, because of headaches. He stayed overnight and then went home. This time he's back because he could barely stand on his own and his speech started slurring. There was some concern tonight that they may have to open his skull up again, but as of yet they haven't gone there. Every time he goes in and they get him still and doped up and get him feeling better then he wants to go home again. He needs to STAY PUT in the hospital for a bit and let his body heal.

13th

WHEW! Back from the Dog Gone Fun three day show. I don't know WHO ordered the weather for this weekend's show, but it could've been much nicer. Seeing as how it was in the 70's last weekend I was a bit perturbed that it was 35 or so Friday morning when I got there. I think it made it to 55 or so Friday, but it went downhill from there. The high on Sunday was in the 40s. So, we froze our feet, fingers, and noses all weekend. Friday was a GOOD day. Josie got her 3rd Master Snooker Q. Bandit, the first dog I trialed with, has been working on his AAD since he got his AD at the end of March 2003. He has a hard time making time in Standard. We have had many clean standard runs that were over time. He's been after that one last standard Q since May of last year. Well, almost three years since the AD came the AAD! Bandit finally did it! He had at time of 60 something seconds on a 61 second course, but under time is under time. What a nice thrill. There was even a photographer there, Doghouse Arts , to capture the moment. She made a nice collage (8X10) of Bandit with his name and "Achieved AAD" at the bottom. Of course, I had to buy it. I'll try to remember to scan it in later this week. There should be other pictures of the trial posted on her site soon. She got a nice 8X10 of Josie coming out of the chute that I bought too. The rest of the trial was a bit of a let down. Josie did get her FIRST Master Jumpers leg on Saturday with a second place to Megan Foster's Ty. Bandit ran very nice for me on Sat. and Sun., but not clean. I focused on a quieter run from me because Lucy Long says my squealing stresses him. He ran beautifully with much less noise from me. Lucy approved too! I need to keep this in mind with him from now on. I really wanted Josie to get an Advanced leg, any leg, but that was not to be. We couldn't buy an Advanced leg. In pairs both days she was clean but her partners took off courses. In Standard she either missed a contact or popped out at pole 11 to take the tunnel staring at her. Advanced Gamblers was just impossible under this judge. The first two days the gamble was a distance contact obstacle with a tunnel under it that the dog has to flip AWAY from the handler back into after the contact. This isn't a skill mine have been taught well, so those two weren't happening. The last day the gamble was a distance A Frame angled away from the gamble line then they had to continue the run away from you trajectory out to a jump then a slight angle back towards the handler for two more jumps. Even if Josie could've done that A frame running away from me she'd never have kept on going to the jump out there.

As for my friends, Sniper and Rosey Andermann got their SAM (standard agility master) on Saturday. They're only 4 legs from their ADCH now. (1 relay and 3 gambles) Megan Foster and Ty got their Relay Championship. Megan Foster and Dino got their SG (starters gamblers). The big deal though was Georgie Myers and Lacie. They got their ADCH on Saturday!
Here are the pictures by DogHouseArts

8th

Rich is coming home today. His dad is even doing so well that he may get to go home tomorrow.

I found a neat little free photo editing program, Picasa . I created this super cool collage with it.

I ought to have a name that dog contest for this thing. There are 7 of them in the picture.
Now I'll have to scan in some of the nice pictures hanging on my wall and make one with a little more variety. I have a nice Nikita busting out of the chute picture and a Misty with her body torqued and ears flying out of chute picture. Also, one of Cedar throwing up dust turning out of a tunnel. Maybe I'll get around to that some time this year :). 

Almost the entire Overcome club is going to be in Mississippi this weekend. For the first time in quite some time over there, it's gonna be a one ring show. I should have time to help and visit with friends and still have time to take pictures! Be sure and check back for results!

7th

Rich's dad is able to sit up and feed himself today. Things are looking fairly good on that front. Rich says he will probably come home tomorrow.

On the training front: Shelby and I did directed jumping and go-outs today. She's about to "get" the directed jumping part. I was very pleased with her progress. On the way back to the door we did signals and stand for exam. The signals are much improved. Since the jumps were out I decided to try introducing Nikita to directed jumping and go-outs with the jumps there. She was fine with the jumps being there for go-outs. She went right up the middle. She is doing full distance go-outs now too. The directed jumping is a different story. She isn't fond of jumping jumps anyways, so she'll stroll around them 50% of the time just because. This will be another "husky challenge". Nikita got a whirl at signals and stand for exam too. She seems to have "forgotten" the stand signal during heeling. She also doesn't respond to the come signal well. Don't know why this suprises me considering her favorite exercise to bust in Novice was the recall.

My cold is much better now. I can almost function normally. Good thing! My first 2006 show is this weekend in Tylertown. With the financial situation as it is, Josie gets to run 4 times Friday and Saturday and twice Sunday. Bandit will run Standard each day. He's chasing that last standard leg for his AAD. I can't wait. It seems like forever since I've been to a show.

6th

We got a call last night informing us that Rich's dad was in the ER. He was suffering from extreme head pain, nausea and dizziness. He slipped into a coma in ICU. They found blood was pooling in his skull cavity. Even though he's on blood thinners for heart problems they did emergency surgery. He came out of surgery stable, but still in a coma. This morning he woke up and was alert enough to know he was in the hospital and he recognized everyone there. So, Rich is in Arkansas for a few days. He drove up this morning.

5th

I felt worse this morning. Guess I overdid it yesterday. I did feel good enough in the afternoon to drag out the teeter and a couple of jumps to work on a teeter gamble. Bandit did the gamble well, just slow on the teeter. I could actually see Misty speeding up on the teeter after several reps with food at the bottom. I need to do this more often with her to keep her confidence up. Josie was beautiful after the first couple of times where she ran past the teeter. Jedi did amazingly well. But, I did backchain the jump and teeter sequence. He only tried to run straight for the treat (bypassing the teeter) twice. I kept the session fairly short and happy. I decided Lego needed the work too. I have entered him in OPEN in the LCCOC trial in April. His problem has never been fear, but distraction. I figured if I could show him the target and treat after the teeter I could probably send him on to the teeter from some distance. This proved true, and it appears his OBM (optional brain module) might be being installed this year. His focus in training here in agility and obedience has come a good ways. I decided I was on a roll so I got out Cedar and a ball. She has never been thrilled with the contact obstacles, so since I had the teeter out I gave her a whirl with the ball as a reward. I had to start right next to the teeter and hold it as it fell to keep her comfortable. (she hasn't done teeter in years) Then I got her to do it slow on her own. When she walked down the contact zone I would click and throw the ball. I think I made a little progress with her. I got her to hit the teeter running, although she'd slam on the brakes at the tip point and tiptoe down. At least she's doing it for a ball. Her speed and confidence should increase if I keep it up.

4th

I am doing better today. Still congested, but not incapacitated. So, Nikita, Shelby, Misty, Lego, Josie, and I headed off to the LSU vet school open house. LCCOC agreed to do an obedience/agility demo for them this year. This is the first year I've been involved with the open house. My buddy, Rosey Andermann, was in charge of recruiting for and organizing the Parade of Breeds this year. She's in her first year at vet school. So she asked me to bring Kita and Shelby along to show in the Parade. Misty and Josie were along for the agility, and Lego, well, he was along because all his friends were going. He doesn't do well with LOTS of people and unruly dogs. He spent a majority of his time there in a hard side crate where he could feel safe from all the little people's hands and fingers.

The Parade of Breeds is preceded by a Meet the Breed session. This turned out to be a free for all with the public. All kinds of people and their ill-mannered children wandering around petting everyone and sometimes asking intelligent sounding questions about the breed. This is where Kita shines! She is the perfect aristocratical lady with adults, squealing kids and pushy strange dogs. She doesn't lunge at the end of the leash toward people or dogs. She sits politely for petting and gives everyone a pleasant kiss. She had her picture taken with kids so many times I lost count. Too bad I didn't think of bringing a camera. Shelby got over-stimulated and wanted to jump up and hug everyone. She was a handful. Lego faired well during this session.Even with unmonitored kids pushing their fingers in his crate and squealing at him, he kept his cool and never once made ugly noises at them. I'm just glad fingers are all that fit through crate doors. He wouldn't have been pleased if they could actually get to him.

After the parade, then it was time for the LCCOC demos. We started agility little to big, so Josie was up first. I wasn't sure how well she'd handle it with all those people sitting right up next to the obstacles. She was a true trooper. The first run she had to go see why those people were standing behind the tunnel before she'd go through, but that was her only concentration break! Her second pass was almost perfect. She ignored everyone and ran beautifully. Misty is more distracted with people and loves to go visit. Her worst area was the weaves. She wanted to visit the spectators. They were much more interesting than weaving!

After the first pass of everyone doing agility, we did an obedience demo. Kita did a drop on recall. It was kinda sad. I had to encourage her to come at all. She'd rather STAY any day. She and Shelby participated in group stays. We did a second round of agility after the obedience. Most of the demo dogs were border collies,shelties and the like so I begged Kita to do one round of agility for me to show the people how versatile the breed could be. She consented graciously and ran a nice controlled course, skipping the weaves. I was proud of her since I haven't asked her to do any agility since she hurt her knees in 2004. By now we've been on the front lawn for 4 or so hours. We were all tired and ready to go home. It was a nice event and beautiful weather too. I hope we can participate again in the coming years.
After the long day we caught some of the guys on film crashed out in the living room!

2nd

I am still feeling rather under the weather. I had stuff that needed to be done at work, so I worked 5 to 6 hours each day the beginning of this week. Today, though, I stayed home. The dogs like it when someone is here all day. Misty and Lego spent all morning sleeping on the bed next to me. We got up at 10 AM and I let Josie in too. She spent the next hour sleeping on my chest while I rested on the couch. The hounds curled up in dog pillows in the living room to continue their sleep in experience. It's such a rough life!