2007 training goals

MAY 2007

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28th - Obedience Day 3

Shelby was better, but WILL NOT HEEL! Do I sound like a broken record? This man was particularly nice looking to Shelby. She did the sit on the signals and the come after the second signal. I knew when I saw the dogs before me and how he handled the articles that we were doomed. He stood right behind the article pile. Shelby went out to him, past the articles, to love him. He pointed to the pile and told her she needed to find it. So she did, and brought it back to him. (the right one) I heard some giggles. I'm sure it was cute to everyone else. He told her to take it to 'mom' so she did. Then on the second send she started past the pile and I made the ugly buzzer like noise and she stopped and did her article correctly. She passed the glove and the stand for exam. She then did two beautiful go-outs. They were straight and everything. No jumps though. She thought about it a couple of seconds and then trotted past them. Sparkle was not as focused as the last two days starting out, but then disaster struck when the test of the tornado warning siren happened half way through. That scrambled the last of her brain, but we muddled through the last few signs. We still got 4th with a 93 for her first title, but I was disappointed with her attention and attitude.

Her first title!

After a quick lunch we all went out with Red to practice stays. I threw bacon at him and Bernie heeled around him and I even rattles the iron fencing. Eventually we got him to break so Rosey could snatch a knot on his head. It paid off and he did him Novice stays getting his second CD leg today! He also passed Rally Excellent for his title! Cheryl and Bernie passed Rally Excellent as well for their title and got a fourth CD leg with a first place just for fun.

27th - Obedience Day 2

Shelby was better, but WILL NOT HEEL! She picked both articles correctly, did the stand for exam, both go-outs and one directed jump. Sparkle followed up her stellar performance today with a 99 and once again a first place with multiple qualifiers! Her heeling wasn't quite as attentive, but still in heel position.

Bernie and Cheryl got their 2nd RE leg and finished his CD with a 194! Red and Rosey got their 2nd RE leg too!


26th - Obedience Day 1

Shelby was once again a fool in the Utility ring. She absolutely didn't heel at all. And on the signal exercise she purposely didn't look at me. We did pass Article 1, Gloves, and Stand for Exam. On the second go-out she actually went all the way out, but when I said 'sit' she turned and came right back to me. Oh well, she may never pass utility in the actual ring! Sparkle ran Rally Novice B after lunch. I had her focused and heeling happily and then just as we aimed to enter the ring she got spooked by some little kid. She refused to turn her back on them to start the course. It took several tries to get her facing towards the course and sitting. As we took off she was nervous, but heeling. She didn't settle down until sign 4, but was performing OK anyway. Between sign 8 and 9 she started sniffing and I thought 'Great, here we go', but she immediately got her nose up and heeled on. I found out later a dog had peed there earlier and many dogs were sniffing, so I was glad to know it wasn't just a beagle thing. Well, by golly, if she didn't end up with a 98 AND FIRST PLACE. My baby got a blue ribbon the first time out. There were at least 10 qualifiers so this was not a cheap first place. I was beaming proud.

Cheryl and Bernie got Rally Excellent leg number one and CD leg number 2. Rosey and Red got Rally Excellent leg number one and he was so close to a Q in Novice. He was passing easily into the down stay then got an itch and forgot he was staying.

Oh, yes, Jedi's lump was benign and he's heeled wonderfully.


Sparkle and Shelby and I went to obedience tonight. Sparkle was a bit more distracted than last week, but still did great. She even made a whole minute sit stay without wilting into a down. Shelby's heeling was still a bit tentative in the new environment although she's doing great at home.

I've been on a steroid regimen to fight a bad swelling reaction to an insect bite. I discovered steroids make me a bit hyper. I get chatty and fidgety. I can't sleep well either and have had around 5 hours of sleep each of the last few nights. It is doing it's job though and I seem to be about normal. Only three more days of steroids left!

 Check back soon for results of Sparkle's first Rally trial.

CONGRATS to Cheryl for Grace being accepted by AKC and granted her ILP number!!!


I taught the last session on my 6 week agility class last night and my students seem fairly happy with the class focus. I'll be glad for the break from planning. 

Shelby and I did more happy heeling this afternoon. She's so much better. I hope it holds over to the show. She did her gloves and signals and articles well too. I could here Sparkle screaming inside the whole time I worked Shelby, so I got out her cute little obedience collar and brought her out for some heeling too. At first she noticed the neighbor's loose Golden across the street and wanted to woof at him. One quick snap on the obedience lead and she was focused and heeling. She did great considering the distraction she was more interested in. I am really thinking she's ready for Rally. I can't wait to show her this weekend.

I wrote a small article on my most embarrassing agility moment. It's published on the USDAA website, but you have to be a subscriber to read it. 


Well, the New Iberia show went mostly as it has for Lego in the past. On Saturday morning in Standard he was an idiot. We made the first three obstacles good, but after that he was intent on sniffing corners and not listening. We only made one other obstacle I think on our way out. He was a bit better in Jumpers. On Sunday Sparkle came along for the ride. I laid her a track in the field when I got there. I had every intention of letting it age about 2 hours. Unfortunately at the 2 hour mark it was time to walk/run Lego's standard course. So, poor Sparkle ran an almost 3 hour old track. She was such a good girl though and worked through it all by herself. She got a bit lost at some of the turns and she was letting the breeze blow her off a bit too. But, she stuck with it and found her glove and laid on it. She was so proud or herself too. I was impressed with her abilities and willingness. Lego's standard run was much better than Saturday's and we actually made it over most of the obstacles in the right order eventually. He still got the sniffies right at the beginning, but he settled well and we finished like an agility team. He even did his weaves fast and furious. Jumper this afternoon was so much better. He looked like an agility dog and was listening well. We got our weaves too. Then he had his one bad distraction moment and ran over to the edge of the ring and decided the stands need to be marked. So out we went. But it was so pretty until then. Now we need to work on teeter again. He didn't slow down on Sat. on it and it threw him off, so Sunday he got half way up and said "oh no" and bailed off the side.

As for Cheryl and Bernie, they had a nice weekend. On Saturday Bernie ran very well, but just that one oopsie from a Q both times. Then on Sunday he made up for it with a clean Novice jumpers run for his NJP title and then for icing he got his first Open Standard leg with a perfect score. Cheryl has discovered how to get the agility dog to show up and run now. And he's having fun!

I unwrapped Jedi's ankle this weekend and the stitches look great. I did re-wrap it on Sat., but removed it again Sunday evening because my wrap job just isn't holding up like the vet's. I will see how he does without the wrap Monday. Hopefully he won't be inclined to fuss much with the stitches now that they have a good start at sealing up. We'll find out the official word on the mass probably Tues or Wed.


Sparkle went to obedience tonight. We entered the Advanced Beginners class. She did outstanding. She needs work on her sit stays and her stands. I got one of the most wonderful compliments from the club member teaching class. She said she was so jealous of Sparkle's attention while heeling. WOW! I never thought someone would be jealous of one of my dog's heeling.

Cheryl brought Grace out and we tried her out for size in my new 30" wire crate. Perfect fit! She also got me the pictures of Grace she mailed in to AKC.

WARREN'S WONDEROUS GRACE... aren't I pretty?


The light bulb came on! I'm so excited! Tonight at class Sparkle seemed to 'get' the whole agility game. For some time she has been capable of doing everything but weaves but it's always be pokey and a bit unsure. Tonight she ran and even had her first zoomie. She came out of a straight tunnel and took off. The other great news is she chose to do another agility obstacle, the teeter, and not just run AND she came back when I called her. She really seemed to be enjoying herself! We did sequences of 10 obstacles or so and she was all into it. My work on the broad jump at home helped a bunch and I only had to remind her once to jump it in class and then she was good on it the rest of the time. She's still confused by winged jumps. I need to figure out a way to practice those at home. Now we just need to get the weave training kicked into gear.

I have now received 3 of the five wire crates I have won on e-bay. Two of them are 30" and one 36". The two 24" should arrive by Friday. Lego fits in the 30 which is nice since it's a good deal easier to set up and deal with. I think I'll pack one of those up and take it to obedience tomorrow so Cheryl can see if it's Grace's size.

Lego and I are off to New Iberia, LA for an agility show this weekend. I haven't entered him there in over a year. It usually smells too much to keep him focused. I am giving him another shot there since he's been so much better on the focus side. I really want that one more OAJ leg.

I got some pictures of the husky pups emailed today. Personally I'd like the red girl, but don't know how that will wash out. Here's her cute little picture.


Today we dropped Jedi off to have that growth on his ankle removed. When I picked him up they had used vet wrap on the lower part of his leg all the way around his toes to keep him from chewing on the stitches so I haven't even seen the incision. I guess this makes him a house dog for a week or so. He spent many years as a house dog at our old place, so it shouldn't be too bad. The vet wanted to send the mass of to be looked at, but he doesn't expect it to be anything. He was just being cautious because of Jedi's age.

I finally had a chance to do some more positive heeling with Shelby. I had some leftover steak strips from fajitas. I cut a couple up into small bite sized pieces and used those as a reward for being in heel happily and looking at me. It seemed to work great. Her confidence improved through the short 10 minute session. Then I got out the broad jump and the stick in the ground weaves and a couple of jumps for Sparkle. She did great on the broad jump. I kinda set the weave poles up to mimic the weave-o-matics (in a straight line, but angled to encourage proper pattern). She still isn't sure what the point is. I don't blame her. I haven't spent much time at all training weaves because of her age and mental condition and that's on of the hardest obstacles to teach. I will work more on those! And I need to work on getting the full height jumping ability (12 inches), the panel jump and winged jumps. Her last class of the session is tomorrow. I'm not sure I'll enter her in the next session. I might want to spent that time to teach her weaves at home, my way, without any intervention from classes. Once she gets those down we'll be ready to fine tune some of the stuff she knows.


Shelby, Sparkle and I met up with Cheryl, Bernie and Grace and Rosey and Red Saturday morning for a bit of obedience practice. We meet up at a city park that is not well used and it has a total fenced set of 2 tennis courts so we can practice with the confidence of no way to escape. Grace was much improved on heeling from last week as was Sparkle. Sparkle almost looked ready to try her hand at Novice or at least Pre-Novice. I worked hard on increasing Shelby's heeling confidence. I hope it helped. I need to do it every couple of days until the trial. Red looked pretty good too. We did a set of stays with all the dogs. Sparkle did OK until the people came next to the tennis court bouncing a basketball. That spooked her good. Her other major fault is laying down to snooze on the sit stay. She did her second little try at stand for exams and that went fairly well. With a bit more work we may enter Deep South in August at least in Pre-Novice. After Practice Rosey came out to see the motor home. She seems excited about the prospect of shacking up with me at some shows. Cheryl and Tom came by later that afternoon to view it. They thought we got a good deal too.

I've been waiting for a more solid stay understanding from Sparkle so I could take a 'hound dog ' photo. I finally got brave today and tried it.

Rich also recently got a nice sign on the outside of his new building. No, we are not occupying it yet, but it's still good advertising. Maybe next month he'll move in.


Shelby, Nikita, Sparkle and I made it out to the obedience practice tonight. Nikita was first dog in and she was entertaining. We haven't been working much since knee surgery, but it was obvious what we have worked on. She thought every time we lined up it should be a go-out. So, when it was time for go-outs she did those great! Shelby is still not heeling off lead. I got some tips on how to get her confidence level back up. On leash she looks great, but loses confidence when the leash is gone. She did OK on signals and she only tried to visit with the judge once. (the first article send) She had nice go-outs as well and did the jumps. Sparkle did a couple of nice rally run throughs. Then we waited around for stays. Sparkle hasn't ever done a stay in a line of dogs, or a stay with me more than 10 feet away, or a a stay for more than 30 seconds or so. I planned the dogs she was between just in case she sniffed them. We didn't want to mess up anyone else. To my great surprise our biggest battle was not laying down on the sit stay. She never tried to leave the spot I left her in, but doesn't do a sit stay without wilting into a down. Something to work on, but not insurmountable. She managed a five minute down stay with reinforcing food rewards each minute. After stays I got John and Jerry to do a stand for exam real quick. We never have really practiced those either. She did OK. She only wiggled a little. I was very pleased with her performance for her age. 

Tomorrow night is a little get together to send off the vet school graduates that have become such an integral party of our agility program over the last few years.


The new dog show vehicle is here. I'm excited and nervous about having it. I think Hattiesburg will be so much more enjoyable this year.


I began to feel a bit under the weather Friday, and it's only gotten worse. I have a full fledged head/chest cold now. But I did manage to meet up with Cheryl on Sat. morning to work on obedience and tracking with Shelby and Sparkle. Shelby did OK on her short track with food on it, but her obedience heeling was just plain bad. I took Sparkle off lead in the tennis court and did a bit of 'choose to heel' with her. Once she inspected everything she did acceptably well. I was also impressed with her tracking skills. Cheryl laid her a track through some scrubby grass/dirt. We aged it a good hour and a half. I was proud of her willingness and ability to work through the tougher terrain. She made it to the end and laid on her glove. After everyone got some work in we tried getting some ILP worthy pictures of Grace, Cheryl's new Aussie. Surely of the 10-15 shots taken there were a couple good enough for AKC.

After obedience practice Rich and I went motor home shopping. Berryland had sent out a flyer on their blowout sale, so we drove out to Ponchatoula to see their stuff. We weren't real serious since the prices typically are so outrageous it prevents us from affording one. They didn't have any acceptable used ones there and the one new one I was interested in was 50,000 dollars. We also made a stop at Dixie RVs on the way home. Nothing there I wanted. The last stop was to re-inspect a particular used one I saw on the internet at Miller RV here in town. It's a 2002 Four Winds 5000 23J 23-24 footer. Only 20,000 miles on it and the generator's only been run 140 hours or so. The nice part is it also has a slide out which makes all the difference in space feel in such a short one. I test drove it. Talk about herding a moose down the road! It was very clean and smoke free though. We put a good faith deposit down on it and we'll go back Wed. to see if we can arrange financing that will be suitable. For a an almost 6 year old motor home it's very nice and the price is no more than a large SUV. It sure would make the Hattiesburg shows seem nicer! 

I was a bum all day after church and tried my best to sleep off some of this sickness.


Finally, a picture to prove why we went to all the trouble to build the doggie deck. They love it!

Misty had her yearly checkup today. All is well. Her eyes are clear and he can't even find any loss of range of motion. Jedi also went along to have a little growth looked at. We are going to treat it like an infectious problem first, and if that doesn't shrink it up in a couple of weeks we'll have to remove it.


Sparkle did OK tonight in her agility class. She needs work on winged jumps, panel jumps, and the broad jump as well as starting to teach weave poles. She also still refuses to sit on the table since I was so good at teaching an auto down on the table.

I got home today and discovered the Coxes had sent my pictures from Tylertown. THANKS!

Josie Relay Master/Jumper Champion

Jedi Jumper Master

Rosey and ADCH Sniper


Well, another month gone. This afternoon I worked on go-outs and directed jumping with the girls. I bought a slightly busted ring gate from LCCOC last month and this was my first time to use it for the go-outs. Shelby caught on pretty quickly. She even did the jumps well. Nikita didn't catch on as quickly, but eventually got it. She also was less likely to actually go to a jump (bars at 12 inches) when told than Shelby. I plan on moving it around the yard to ensure they are going to the gate and not some other landmark they see. I started some dumbbell work with Sparkle too. I used Lego's and it is only a tiny bit too big. She is not upset with it in her mouth for sure. I threw it down and she trotted over and proceeded to munch on it like a toy. hrmmmm.... not quite what I want to teach. I tried getting her to hold it and that didn't go as well as I'd hoped. I think she'll learn this trick fairly easily though, and we did learn that plastic isn't out of her range of things to put in her mouth willingly. I kept the session short and mostly we played with it.

I checked on the cute baby bunny and he is no longer hiding in the patch of grass we left him in. I am going to assume either his mother came back for him and moved him or he found a better place on his own. I know there are many more possibilities, but that's what I choose to believe.

Grace appears to be a permanent member of the Warren household now. Bernie is growing accustomed to having a friend and may even like her a bit. Cheryl has spent money to clean her up and get her shots and such.

A quick update... I seem to have forgotten to keep you up to date on shedding the extra 10 pounds that I started in working on in September. Well, I've done that too. It would still be nice to loose a couple more, but I am happy with the 10 gone. I have been lax on toning the stomach muscles and arm muscles though.