2006 training goals 2006 Obedience log by week

JUNE 2006

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Shelby did articles today. She was picture perfect! And she had a grand time doing it. Nikita worked articles today too. She showed none of the apparent realization of the game that I saw last time. I ignored the retrieve of the wrong one and she got a treat and a pat for the right one. But, if she brought back the right one on the first try I gave her a tuna snack. Maybe this will encourage her to get the right one FIRST.  She's still months away from "getting" it reliably. Lego did heeling and drops. His drops were very nice today. The heeling was a bit distracted at first.

We're headed out this weekend to visit my parents and brother. He's going to be in Memphis for a couple of weeks, so Mom thought we should all get together. He is currently living in Texas. We'll be coming home on the 3rd and using the holiday as a day of rest.


Today we basically cleaned up around here some. As annoying as Jedi can be, he has his moments of sweetness. Today he just wanted to sleep in my lap. It was a bit out of character but too cute.

Jedi lap dog

Yesterday I discovered there is now a little farmer's market trying to start up on the weekends this summer out near us. There was actually a family there from their beef farm with fresh slaughtered beef. (fresh like... in butcher paper out of a large freezer in the back of the family pickup) It was advertised as grain fed, no medications. I bought a rump roast. It's in the crock pot right now and smells great. I'm interested to see if we can tell a difference in it and what you buy at the grocery store. I also got a few fresh vegetables while I was there. Later, we met up with an old friend for brunch. Then we ran a few errands. Including buying a new vehicle. Ford was running a good deal of incentives on Expeditions such that it would make the payment the same as what we've been paying on the Explorer. We had the Explorer paid down to the point where the money I got for my totaled car would about pay it off. So, we paid off the Explorer and bought the Expedition. This keeps our monthly bills the same, but gets us a new vehicle before the Explorer gets to needing too much work. It had about 110,000 miles on it plus we've been wanting the Expedition for years. I can't wait to see how much easier it'll be to tote my stuff to dog shows. And the dogs will love the auxiliary air in the back. It comes out of the ceiling at at least 4 vents. It'll keep them much more comfortable.


YIPPIE! My latest internet order has arrived. I finally went to try out the udder toys site. I have heard of it a couple of times, but I was finally convinced to give them a whirl. They donate a percentage of your order total to a rescue group. (that you pick) So, I bought in honor of Somer, the border collie. (see entry for the 5th of this month) Josie and Jedi love their new udder tug!
Jedi hangs from tug                                 Jedi getting the feel of it
Josie tugs 

I also found something I've been talking about getting for some time... some bells that hang on the door. I have already started teaching the dogs to jingle the bells to go outside. They go sit at the door now, but if you can't see the door then there's trouble. Hopefully this will help solve this problem. I'll let you know how it goes.

door bells


Well, I am still thankful for the rain. I just don't want it to become a daily habit. The rain was light and disbursed in plenty of time for my last obedience class. I was running late all day, and class was no exception. I was over 5 minutes late. I took along several props along to talk about "real life" obedience. Misty came along as demo dog. We did formal obedience for like 20 minutes and then talked about and practiced some commands I use on a daily basis. This little section on "real life" seemed to go over quite well. If I am to teach Advanced Beginners again I am going to incorporate a little of this into each class.

Lego practiced gloves today. WOW is he ever enthusiastic about it! I couldn't get him to sit in heel without holding his collar because he knew the object of the game and was eager to go get the glove. It bums me out that he is such an enthusiastic utility dog, but freaks when strangers pet him. He may never get to show in utility because of that one exercise! (stand for exam) 

Tuesday Shelby and Nikita tried articles again. Shelby got in a hurry and tried to being back the first one that was close to the right one. I had to fuss at her a couple of times for not trying. I am to the point with her that I actually reward coming back with nothing after sniffing better than I do coming back with the wrong one. I would much prefer her to say, "I looked and didn't find what you want." than "I didn't find what you want, but I brought one anyway." It seems to work better for her that way. I just send her back out and say tell her to find it again. I was rewarding Nikita with tuna for the right one. She had a small breakthrough.  She had a wrong one in her mouth and was stepping over the pile to bring it back. When she stepped past the right one she stopped and looked confused a second. Then she proceeded to put down the wrong one in her mouth and pick up the right one. WOO HOO! She actually had a brief moment of understanding. At least I feel like I made a small bit of progress. Even if she still picks up the first one she sees next time, I think it is possible to teach her this now.

Last night Rich had some Italian Ice for dessert. (read this as frozen flavored confection ) The dogs always like to lick the empty container for the flavor and sugar content. Some of them will even let you slide it on their nose and they'll keep it there while they lick. Lego accepted this idea easily, but made a pathetic face when he wanted it off.

They have up all the studs for walls on Rich's building as well as the base roofing material and some of the exterior walls have plywood-like stuff on them. It's starting to look like a building.


19th - RAIN

At last, we got some decent rain. There was a steady rain for about an hour this evening. The news this weekend was just saying we were 19 inches short for the year. I know I was tired of watering the grass just to keep it from dying. The bad part was it came with evil lightening and thunder, so I was having to step around and over dogs to fold clothes. They were sticking close because of the awful noises outside. Also, the electricity flickered multiple times prompting me to unplug the computer.

Before the rain I did manage some training sessions. Shelby did signals and gloves. She is now anticipating the drop signal, so I am having to reward heavily for the stand. Nikita did gloves. I brought out the tuna to reward for the proper retrieve, and she did much better this time. Lego did drops and heeling AGAIN. Amazing how often we can do heeling and drops and him still have brain disorders about doing it correctly. He did fairly well today though.

Rosey has decided obedience is boring. I agree that CLASS can be awfully redundant. So, I am adding some new and different stuff to my class for the last session. We are going to start with the basics. .. heeling, stays, pass the strange dog. Then I'm going to introduce and talk about crating on command, drop it, bring it, leave it, go to your pillow, get off, move out of the way. I will need to bring a crate and a pillow to class as well as something for them to bring (maybe a glove or ball) and something good for them to leave.

Poor Rich didn't get home until 10 o'clock last night. He was so busy during the day he had to post services and payments and such after the office closed. All in all I guess it's a GOOD thing it's so busy. He's hoping for help soon. He has made contact with one of the medical training schools to get on their list for internships (free help for him.. experience for those in school). On the bright side they have dropped lumber next to his newly poured slab. So, they are still working on his building somewhat regularly.


This weekend was a cool opportunity for me. The regional police dog trials were held just 5 minutes from my house. I've been planning to attend this for months. Unfortunately, when I called around to check on taking my concealed weapon permit renewal class, this was the only weekend available. BUMMER. So, instead of enjoying watching K-9 cops I was sitting in a gun safety class all morning. Luckily, the teacher was fun and there were only 4 of us in the class so it wasn't a complete drag. 

Then this evening I went and hung out with the agility folks at the training field where there was a standard and a jumpers course set up. I got there early so I could run Lego off leash and see how badly distracted he'd get. He ran well with two mild sniff offs, but never out of the ring and always returning to finish. Jedi was running as folks were arriving, so he kept wanting to leave to greet his friends, but overall, not a bad run. He still needs confidence in weave poles. He tends to look nervous and hit the second pole entrance. Josie went flying around the course. She had a blast and hit all her contacts correctly. Misty moseyed around the course, but did it all fine. Meg brought a baby grill and Polly had hot dogs. They grilled up some and had one left over, so I got a hot dog and some chips out of the deal. It was a nice time to catch up with some people I haven't had time to catch up with in awhile. 


Well, today started well. I got up nice and early to get to work and some silly deer decided to cross the road right on top of me. A very unnerving experience. I managed to not completely cream the explorer on the first one. There is only minor damage to the drivers side front bumper. The deer kept running, so I am hoping for the best for her. After I side swiped her and sat there trying to collect myself, three more shot past the front of my stopped car. Thank goodness for the "freeze and breathe" instinct. There are some deer hairs imbedded in my bumper paint now though.

I played my first soccer game in about a year tonight. We actually won 5-3 even though it was the first time most of us had met. I learned 5 or so names tonight. I'll work on the others later. I didn't play as bad as I had figured on. I guess agility with so many dogs does keep me in some kind of shape. I certainly am lacking in the stamina department.

Some pictures from our obedience trial have appeared on the yahoo group. There is one showing proof of Lego's 2nd Open Q. The judge in the center is one of my favorites... Mrs. Carol Mett. (Incidentally, Lego's first leg was under Mr. John Mett, her husband) The lady with the malinois is smiling so big because it was her title run.


Shelby and Nikita did go-outs and directed jumping this afternoon. Nikita remembers go-outs fine, but the jumping part took some reminding. Shelby remembered jumping, but not go-outs. It took a couple of reminders before the light bulb went off. How long has it been since I did go-outs with them? HRMM.. my log says it's been about a month since they did it. That must be because pulling out the jumps is pain. I need to be more vigilant on this one. Lego did heeling and drops yesterday. It was so hot he was perfectly happy to drop.

My favorite cousin (on my dad's side) committed suicide last week in Tennessee. The funeral was yesterday, and I was unable to attend since it was in Memphis. I just got brave enough to write a small note in a card for his mother. It was very difficult to be brief and to the point about my sympathy. I had to have a couple of practice tries on paper first. I'm was not sure what to say and how to word it. I've never had practice being good with words in tough situations. It's much different than sending a card to a child on the passing of their elderly parent. My heart is heavy with memories of him and guilt for not having kept in better touch.


This was a nice lazy weekend. We did a lot of nothing. The dogs seemed to enjoy this change of pace, especially considering the heat index this weekend. I'm not sure how Josie found this position comfortable for snoozing. I have donned it the "Josie Pretzel"


Yesterday we ran a few errands in the morning and noticed that their were concrete people pouring Rich's business slab. That's AWESOME news. He also has already collected enough this month to pay for the business expenses and it's only the 11th. We are very thrilled with this achievement as well.

On another interesting note. I have been meaning for sometime to share this with my readers...
We live about a 1/4 mile off the paved road on a nice little dead-end gravel road. Right at the spot you turn off the paved road this is the view you see.

I find it so redneck-like that I am almost amazed that their house doesn't have wheels and dead cars rooted in the front lawn. I have seen A flamingo yard ornament before, but this "flamingo family" tops it all. Only in Louisiana! (or maybe Mississippi?)


I took Shelby out to the obedience training site tonight before my class. It was time to try articles in a new place again. I made her do gloves first and her worst fault was wanting to do a direct send to the glove instead of a turn and sit and wait for me to tell her to go. Then I pulled out articles. There was only one other person there, so not too much distraction. She looked a bit anxious at first, but started sniffing each article. Luckily the right one was the third or fourth one she saw, so that upped her confidence. We did leather twice and metal twice. Only one time did she run out and forget sniff and just grab one. I gave a firm, gentle vocal correction and she reset into sniff mode. What a great confidence builder for us both! She knew what she was supposed to be doing. Then for some "fun" we heeled and did signals. She is a bit iffy on come. Lastly I did the moving stand/ call to finish. She doesn't call to finish well yet. All in all it was a positive and rewarding training session for both of us.

On the business front, there are concrete forms and plumbing and rebar down. Just waiting on who knows whom to pour the concrete!


I pulled out the scent articles tonight. Shelby did spectacular. She made every effort to sniff her way around the pile to the right one. Nikita was not happy about the idea of this "stupid" game again. So, I tried a different approach. I put the right article down as one of the first ones she'd see as she walked up to the pile. Then if she went for the wrong one I'd "help" her NOT take that one and direct her towards the one with food on it. If she picked the right one up first then she got a tuna snack. She seemed more enthralled with this idea. Lego did heeling with fronts and finishes. He was lagging a bit, but it was 95 degrees out. Hard to blame him. He did his finishes better than last time. I have started only rewarding for a straight (or almost straight) finish. Otherwise I make him fix it before he gets food. We practiced moving fronts. He seems to be getting the idea that he needs to be straight in front of me. He will be showing in Open again in August and I'd really like to get that last CDX leg!



Just got back from our USDAA show. The new site was nice, and even though it was outdoors (under cover) the weather wasn't stifling at all. In fact there was a nice breeze most of the time. Bandit ran his first Master Gambler run ever. He actually turned away from me at a distance and I was so shocked I didn't tell him to go on to the jump, so he walked past it. He was so close to doing that gamble! He also ran his first Master Standard runs. Sat. he got a refusal at the weaves, Sunday a refusal at the A-frame (of all the strange things). He wasn't close to making time, but they were decent runs. Sat. jumpers wasn't great, but Sunday he gave it his all, but came up 1.44 seconds over time. His stunning accomplishment this weekend was a SUPER Q. That's 2 for him. Just one more for that Snooker Master title! It was a great Snooker setup for controlled dogs and not as great for fast and furious ones. Bandit pulled out a 49 and got 2nd place.

Misty didn't do anything stellar on Sat., but she was trying very hard. I messed her up in Standard and she told me about it too. Then she actually did the gamble, but she came up .4 seconds over time. Then much to my dismay she came up sick (diarrhea) Sat. night all night. I was up several times to take her out. Sunday morning she was still sick. I thought she'd would likely not want to run. Boy, was I wrong! She came out Sunday with both barrels racing. She did the same Master Snooker pattern as Bandit, but since I pulled a dumb handler move it forced her 3 seconds slower than him. Still a Q and 3rd place. If my guys had just been 1st and 2nd they'd have both gotten Super Qs! It was all good though since Jenni Rich and Sadie needed that one last Super Q for their Snooker Master I was thrilled to celebrate with her when she beat my guys. Then Misty came out and got her 3rd and FINAL Advanced Standard leg over a second under time even with a table count pause for standing up at 1. I was crying when I realized she made time. Now just that one gamble leg before she's too old to do this at 22" would give her that AAD. Then she shocked me last thing on Sunday by running a fabulous Master Jumpers course, but it was a disappointing .31 seconds over time.

Josie had one really fast run a day (the first one) and then the rest of the times she was running tentative it seemed. She still managed a her first Master Relay leg, her 6th Master Jumper leg and her 2nd Grand Prix Q. We can Q in Grand Prix, but not in Advanced Standard! That's so irritating. On Sat. she bailed the A frame contact (but she was enjoying the run) then Sunday she got a refusal at EVERY contact obstacle. That's so unlike her! She still needs 3 Advanced Standard Q's for her AAD.

I had the privilege of transporting a 5 month old red/white border collie pup (Somer) from West Tennessee Border Collie Rescue to Jackson, MS on my way home. She was a sweetheart and slept in her crate the whole ride. I met the the new owner at a Petsmart in North Jackson.. She was from the Monroe, LA area. She is just starting to show her other border collie on agility, so chances are I will meet up with them again. Godspeed sweet Somer!

1st - Happy Birthday Lego

Lego is 4 today. WOW! That's so hard to believe. I hope there are many, many more!

I have convinced my buddy, Rosey Andermann, to keep a little blog about her training so she can keep up with it and so all her friends can see what's up with them. She has asked to join my Advanced Beginners obedience class for these last 4 weeks of class, so I guess I'll see her and Red tonight.

I'll be packing up the car tonight for my trip to the USDAA show in Memphis. I'm leaving out tomorrow around lunch. Josie, Bandit and Misty are traveling with me. I'd love to have some dogs that gamble this weekend. Check back Monday for results.