|2008 training goals|
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
I drove over to Lafayette with Kamikaze for a conformation show today. It was a bust for us in the ring. We showed well, but no win. The up - side of the day was a photographer doing posed shots. We got a couple of really nice Kazee shots. There was also a vet doing a CERF clinic there. I had Kazee's eyes checked and they're as normal as can be!
When I got back we finished up
putting the new furniture on the bedroom!
I got out the nice set of weaves today. Thought I'd work on weaves with the young guys. Kamikaze was up first. Thankfully her weave pole memory has NOT gone the way of the retrieving memory. She did very well on 12 poles. I only did them about 5 times. Siberians can start inventing new things if they think you're asking them to do something over because they were wrong. Only twice did she bungle them. Once loosing her mind at 6 poles. I was not too surprised since 6 is been easier to pull out than 12 she's seen 6 more often. I need to be more contentious about getting all the weave poles out now that she knows how to weave. Next up was Sparkle. Her weave pole memory was a bit gray. I put a fairly sizable Tupperware type container at the end with really good treats in it. At first she'd just run to the container. Then she'd do every other pole or maybe 6 poles. I put her on a leash and 'helped' her through a couple of times correctly and then treated her out of the container. She caught on to the game then and did them twice, once on each side, correctly on her own before we quit. The large container seems to work OK with her where the target plates fail. A flat target plate causes her to sniff her way (track) to the treat and not focus on the performance that dispenses the treat. The container is large enough for her to see from quite a distance, so she doesn't track to it, but it does speed her up. Jedi gave them a whirl. He can so weave fast when he wants, but his desire to play agility in the backyard wanes quickly. I gave Lego a shot at them with the visible container. He is still the best weaver I've got. He even did the 'skid and drop his weight' maneuver at the beginning of the poles to control himself sufficiently to weave. The treat container got him racing at the weaves like in a show. Now I see we still need entrance work with him.
I was feeling lucky after the weave experience, so later this evening I pulled out the dumbbell for Kamikaze. She has found her retrieve again! She happily raced to bring it back, even anticipating the command to get it. I did NOT scold her at all for that. Even the retrieve over jump has returned. On such a good training day I pulled out the broad jump and set it up obedience style. Kazee walked it the first time. The next time when I sent her I threw a treat bag across and she flew. She only needed the reminder once! Then she was good jumping it and returning to front. I gave Sparkle a chance at the obedience broad jump too. She also needed one reminder to not walk it, but then was good afterwards.
I went to the obedience club meeting last night. We voted to holdLure Coursing trials at the request of some members who have the equipment and the land. I am looking forward to watching one of these!
I pulled out the dumbbells and a jump this evening. No better time than the present for getting the Open obedience exercises fine tuned. I figured I'd just do a real quick drop on recall session and the two dumbbell retrieves with Sparkle and Kamikaze. Sparkle doesn't drop yet without a step toward her and a hand signal with the command. She did her retrieves very well though. Next was Kazee. Her drops are almost ready for the ring. I pulled out the dumbbell and sent her. She looked at me like I'd turned into a Martian and ran away from the dumbbell. OK, I've had this husky retrieving happily for at least six months. I have no idea what made her decided the dumbbell was evil. She retrieved fine at the last obedience practice at the tennis courts. Nothing bad happened there that I can remember. Maybe she is growing a bit of a husky attitude? I tried the 'watch the other dog get treats for bringing it to me' game. She still wasn't picking it up! She did get to where she'd take it out of my hand voluntarily and walk with it as I backed up. I dropped my hand lower and lower until it was almost on the ground. The closer it got to the ground, the more hesitant she was. I pulled out the tuna for treats and made a big deal of her taking it. I put her up and came back 30 minutes later. I took her in the kitchen (the first place she learned to retrieve) and slid the dumbbell on the ground. I clicked and treated her for running out to it. Within a couple of minutes she picked it up. Big treats and lots of love. Outside we went for a quick retrieve on the driveway. That went OK as well. I have no idea why her retrieve broke, but it seems to be fixable. (I hope) My first instinct is to keep at it with her until I'm sure it's fixed. I know intellectually this is the ABSOLUTE wrong thing to do, especially with a husky. So now my mind whirs and clanks trying to figure this one out and worrying that it's a permanent problem. And Kazee is happily playing outside.
Yesterday when I got home Rich and I
finished up building a lean-to in retirement village to provide some better
shade and shelter. It turned out pretty well if I do say so myself.
The obedience trial today started as
yesterday. Nikita gave me nice heeling, but no signals. She at least sat and
hovered like she thought about a down today when I gave the down signal. We go
the first article right and played the just pick one game for the second
article. I sent to glove number one and she retrieved glove number 2. We got a
perfect stand for exam score and then no go-outs ... again. I left Sparkle home
to chase critters since she got her title yesterday and the judge today was a
man with a strange limp. Sparkle's not keen on men anyways, and the limp
may have been the end of her career. Kamikaze was third in Novice. I worked much
harder today in the warm-up area to fix the lapse in attention while heeling. It
showed too! She did just beautiful until the recall. She came, but decided since
I'd been fussing about perfect heel position that I must want that instead of a
nice front. While waiting for stays I ran over to take Lego in the Advanced
Rally ring. He behaved himself again today and got his second leg with a 94 and
a fourth place. Back to Novice for stays. Kamikaze did fine, but did roll her
hips a bit in the down stay. When we got to awards and the judge called out my
number for first place I squealed! We got a 195.5 even with the minor blooper!
we're on cloud nine.
The obedience trial today started
with Nikita antics again. She flunked all but the stand for exam today. It was
almost comical as you could tell she knew what she was supposed to do in most
all the exercises, but was initially going to be stubborn because she could.
Sparkle was next in the Novice ring. For whatever reason today, my obedience
beagle showed up. We didn't have the vacuum beagle for yesterday at all. Her
worst faults were stopping to stretch on the off lead heeling once, but then
catching up and stopping before the last about turn to watch me turn and the
picking up heeling again. We even has a nice quick trot into front on the
recall. Waiting for her stays, I went to the rally ring to give Lego one more
chance to be a behaving obedience beagle before I banished him to the house for
tomorrow's show. He looked more focused and seemed to understand the seriousness
of the situation. He managed a 96 and his first Rally Advanced leg. I only had
to scold him a couple of times for looking like a dog that wanted to run off.
Now we'll have to enter a few more shows to finish that title off. Back to
Sparkle stays. We practiced last night not sniffing the ground with treats laid
out in front of her on the down stay. It seemed to help for today and she passed
her stays just fine. SPARKLE, CD! Off I went to switch dogs. I got Kamikaze out
and warmed her up briefly while the judge took a quick personal break. Then in
we went. She did Ok on the heeling, but some distracted. She took a step when I
left her for the stand (the judge told me so), but not a disqualifying problem.
In off lead heeling she was much more distracted than yesterday. She wasn't
awful, but not great either. I called her for the recall and she forgot to slow
down and just slammed my legs. She hasn't done that in a long while. She had a
perfect finish though. Now I'm up for my second CD title of the weekend if we
can manage stays. She got the front feet dancing a bit on the sit stay, but no
points off. Then we managed our first down stay without rolling our hip at all.
Unfortunately we missed Cheryl and Grace in the Rally ring while we did stays. I
hear she did OK and got a decent score. Kamikaze ended up with a 191 and a
fourth place finish!
Rich and I went yesterday evening and picked up my furniture. When it is opened and installed in the bedroom I'll post a picture.
The obedience show didn't start so
well for me. Nikita was first in in Utility. She proceeded to bust all but the
glove and article number one. It was not pretty at all, but she had a good time
and for the most part you could tell she actually did know how to do all the
exercises. Sparkle was next in Novice. She was also first in, but I got her out
way to early and she lost all desire to do it by the time the judge started the
ring. It was the most horrid on lead heeling ever seen, and when down from
there. She even sniffed her way to me on the recall since she'd bee successful
in finding food on the mats earlier during heeling. While waiting for her stays,
I tried Lego in Advanced (off leash) rally. That was an even bigger disaster. We
didn't even make it past sign one, the weave around the cones, before he decided
this was a great time to run to the ends of the ring. We just left. I told him
if he does that tomorrow he can stay home on Monday. Sparkle's stays were good
until the last 30 seconds of the down stay. She started sniffing and 'forgot'
what she was doing. She stood up to smell around her better. I was about ready
for leaving by then. It's a good thing my last dog to show was the actual good
obedience dog. Kamikaze was up first after the set of stays Sparkle was in. I
rushed to get her and warm her up. She seemed to be working well. Once or so
during on leash heeling she got distracted looking around, but only forged or
lagged slightly. Her figure eight heeling was just plain nice. The stand was
perfect. Off leash heeling we again had a couple of moments of brain disconnect,
but never bad. I did feel good about the fact that when she was forging a tad at
the halts she would looked all stunned as I stopped and she'd step back into
heel before sitting. She was auto correcting without any signal to do so from
me. That was just cool. Her recall was fast and great in normal Kazee style. I
practiced one down stay with her before the actual stays so I could fuss at her
if she started rolling her hips back and forth. When we went in for stays she
was focused well. The sit went fine. The down was looking good. No rolling of
hips, and no sniffing the ground. At 2.5 minutes she thought about rolling her
hip and froze in the middle of it waiting for me to come get her. After 15
seconds of waiting to get fussed at she finished rolling her hip slowly, but
never lifted her body. So, we passed this time with a very respectable 190.5.
That's the highest score I've ever gotten with any dog! After stays we raced to
the rally ring to see Grace's first appearance in an obedience ring. I was so
happy for Cheryl as she started the pattern and Grace looked like she was having
a great time. They had a very nice run and got a fourth place with a 96.
I heard the dogs barking up a storm
about 10:30 this morning. When I went out to check on them and tell them to hush
up I saw the cause of the barking. There were two deer standing in the field
across the street. I slipped back in the house for the camera and snuck out to
see if there was a chance for a good picture. I was quite successful and one of
them turned out to be a young buck with fuzzy nubs sticking up.
I picked up our family portrait previews at the photographer. Many of them turned out well. Then on to the obedience show site to set up crates. When Rich got home from work we went and purchased our new bedroom furniture. He should be picking it up this weekend.
21st- Happy anniversary to us
Rich and I went to a really nice steak joint for our anniversary. Most of it was paid for by the gift card that his office staff got him at Christmas, so that made it even sweeter. I even found the bedroom furniture that said "Buy me, Buy me", when we saw it. Rich even liked it better than all the other ones we'd seen. So, I guess we've picked out the furniture that I get for my anniversary. We measured the room tonight and all the pieces we want will fit. Now we just need to go back to the store and buy it. They won't have it in stock until the middle of June, but that's fine by me.
20th-Loose Dog Gripe
Rich and I decided to take the senior girls (Misty, Nikita, Shelby) for a stroll tonight. We know that almost all other dog owners down our street seem to think that letting their dog run loose is perfectly acceptable. For the most part their dogs are just a nuisance, but not truly scary or dangerous. We strolled down to the end of our road and took a left onto the windy road that leads to our road. Not 30 feet down that road we are accosted, and I mean viciously, threatening, charging accosted. It seems the house just next to the corner there has two space protective dogs. One appeared to be Pit Bull and the other was a monstrous white, seeminglyAmerican Bulldog. They charged us from the house that's around 300-400 feet off the road. We were on the other side of the road strolling. So they went a long way to 'protect' their land. We both hollered "NO!" in our deepest most authoritative voice. Granted the little Pit looking dog stopped at the street and gave up the barking for he most part, but still a most unnerving fellow. I had reigned in Nikita and Misty to one foot leashes standing at my side, and I was slowly turning away from the nasty ones. Rich, on the other hand, was still facing the large one and fussing at him. He didn't want to easy sideways and walk away like I was. The big one continued to bark and lunge just at the street edge. After what seemed like forever, but more like a couple of minutes, the man in the house steps out onto the porch and hollers at them to get back home. Thankfully, and most surprisingly they turn their backs and skulk back towards their house. Now, the man had to keep hollering at them to keep them moving towards the house, but we were able to walk on by without further incident. Of, course we had to walk back by to get home. We heard the same vicious barking, but the man was on the porch quickly and they never even charged. "Why are they still loose outside?", I am thinking to myself. "Does he not think he's pushed fate enough tonight?"
I must say this as a testament to the temperament of the dogs we were walking. Never once in this incident did one of our dogs encourage the situation by growling, barking, or posturing. They let us be in charge and turned away from the aggressive dogs when asked. This would have been a much more volatile situation if Lego had been the dog we were walking. He would've returned their nature in kind and there most likely would have been an attempt at a fight. So tell me WHY do you have charging, barking dogs that are large enough to harm people and animals loose on your property EVER? Seems to me you'd be tempting fate and end up with a large lawsuit. I am not the kind of person to be ugly to animals, but I assure you I will be armed with some mace, pepper spray or a bat the next time I go that way. And I will not hesitate to spray them in the face the next time they try that. If there were police to enforce the dog laws I might even report them as having scary dogs that charge you loose.
My family all made it in for dinner last night. Our portrait sitting was at 11 AM. It seemed to go well after the shirt dilemma was solved. Mom ended up being the only one that brought a splashy colored shirt. All others were light solids. Mom and I spent an hour ironing and discussing options. I think we did OK on the clothes in the end. The pictures went well and then there was lunch as a send of for the family heading to New Orleans for a quick visit with my brother there. Lego was much improved on his 'visitor manners' and only let out his warning bark when they first got there. Other than that he tried to ignore them from his kennel (on floor level). He never got amnesia after his naps forgetting about the visitors. I was very pleased with that.
I got my judging program in the mail for this weekend's trial. It seems my biggest conflict is going to be with the young girls in Novice and Lego in Advanced Rally. At least Rally is a one minute to two minute run through and no more of your presence is required at the ring from then on. It looks as if I'll be done by late lunch time each day. Utility A is 8 AM, Novice at 9:15 and Rally at 9:30. Other good news is that there are enough entries in Novice obedience that two sets of stays will be required. I should be able to handle both my own dogs for stays.
I announced to Rich that I wanted new bedroom furniture for my anniversary this year. The old stuff is 20 years old and came with Rich when I married him. He was cool with the idea, so we shopped some after church. Most furniture stores are having a Memorial day sale through Monday. We will need to be looking again Wed. so we can decide on something. After shopping it was tidy up the house time since my parents and brother were arriving tonight for dinner and leaving Monday after lunch. We have planned a family portrait for Monday morning. It's been since I was a teeny-bopper that we had our last family picture.
Rich had a continuing education seminar today all day. The morning was so nice. Less than 75 degrees, but more than 60. I knew I needed to work on obedience with everyone to get ready for next weekend's obedience show. Sparkle needs one leg and Kamikaze needs two for the CD title. Nikita's goal is to pass signals and go-outs (maybe not the jumping part, but the going part) as well as the stand and articles this time. Lego needs to pass all three days for his advanced Rally title. I called Cheryl to see if she and her two guys wanted to join the training session. She was decidedly up for it too, so we met at our usual park. I loaded up Nikita, Sparkle and Kazee to go train. Nikita even was able to launch herself into the back o f the expedition all on her own with no ill effects. On the way there I laid tracks to age for Sparkle and Lego while I trained. They both need tracks over 3 hours old now, so tracking training needs to be well thought out. I got to the park a bit early and laid Grace a quick three turn track. Cheryl arrived with the track aged about 15 minutes (a good timing for Grace), so Grace got to track first. She did very well working through the track and needed only minimal encouragement to leave the start flag. Once her track was over we pulled all the guys out of the car and tied them to the outside of the tennis court fencing. We usually tie inside as it's more convenient for us, but there were three guys hitting tennis balls back and forth on the other court. Nikita got her turn first. The heeling went well. It even prompted stop and stare from the tennis guys. I guess a completely unleashed dog heeling around a tennis court right next to another court with action seemed stunning to them. Her signals even went right the first try. Since I forgot the article bag (including the gloves) we could only practice stand for exam and go-outs to the net. Both of those exercises went pretty darn well. I let Bernie go next and gave input when asked. Sparkle was the third dog in. She was so cute paying attention and heeling so happily even with the evil strangers hitting a ball around right next to us. I hope this is the dog that comes to the show next weekend. Grace ran through some Rally Novice exercises after Sparkle's turn. I tried to remind Cheryl that Rally doesn't need to look or be as formal as the 'real' obedience she's doing with Bernie. We even found a nice hand motion to go with the left 360 heeling that helped Grace not bump or nip at Cheryl. Kazee had her turn dead last. Amazingly, she refrained from screeching and lunging this time when it wasn't her turn. Maybe she is learning. She did just beautiful except for her need to move one paw on the stand as I'm returning or as the person steps to touch her. Our line of stays consisted of Bernie, Sparkle and then Kazee. Cheryl was practicing handling Kazee for stays in case there's only one set of stays at the show and I need both dogs in the ring for stays at the same time. Nikita was left out because she's past the point that requires stays in competition and she'd just rather not. Grace hasn't yet hit the point that requires stays. The stay line once again stopped the tennis players for a quick gawking session. I guess lining dogs next to one another and leaving them all there in a stay as we walk off looks impressive to. Too bad we left out the other two dogs and didn't have Rosey there with hers. Then it really would've looked impressive.
On the way home I stopped to let Sparkle run her aged track. It was around three hours old. We approached the flag from a 90 degree angle instead of head on to give her an opportunity to pick the way the track goes. She did this fine. The grass was almost as tall as her in some places, so she had no need to drop her nose much. We hit the first turn well and stopped for the first article, a canvas poop bag holder. On we went with a great second turn and a stop at the square of leather I dropped. She kept going without much need for encouragement and when we got around the third and final turn she got a bit distracted by some other scents and the woods close by. We headed the right way on the turn, but not a solid commitment. She eventually moseyed close to the area I knew the glove must be, but no alert. I started scanning around and we were a bit off, and she was interested in other smells, so even when she crossed the glove with her nose she didn't really acknowledge it. I made her go back and alert to it and dumped out some soft, smelly food for her. Not a bad showing at all. I took the obedience guys home and picked up Lego to go run his track. It was about 4 hours old when we got there. His was on more difficult terrain. the first part was grass, but after that it was mostly dirt with some stubby grass patches. I started him at an odd angle to the track as well/ he had no trouble discerning his way and we were off. The first turn took a little effort, but he knew the general direction and was struggling with an exact location. I was unsure as he committed to a way that we were exactly on it, but all fear was erased as he alerted. He found the first article, a medicine bottle, and alerted to it. We must be on the path. Turn two was harder as there was less grass. He did eventually find what he thought was the track and I went with him hesitantly. Once again I am proven that dogs know more than me on tracks as he alerts to article two, a red scarf. Turn three was a great struggle even though there was a good covering of grass. I have to say here that turn three troubles must have been my fault as I was sure he was overshooting the turn and I kept holding him back. Of course, it turns out that even though he turned the right way and I made him go on, he wasn't quite on it and so we missed the glove. I was sure I was going to lose my first glove on this one. I did eventually stop trying to help him and stand still and let him work it out until he found the track and the glove just fine despite me. We weren't too far off, so his nose took him to it. The words of my tracking teacher ring in my ear now, "Trust your dog! He knows what he's doing".
When I got back from obedience class
there was power. It came back on around 8pm tonight. That left us out for
around 27 hours. The generator we bought during Katrina kept the fridge going
and a small air conditioner in the living room. Sparkle and Kamikaze did great
at class tonight. I was very happy with both of their performances. As promised,
here are the pictures of some of our damage.
notice the completely unscathed row of agility equipment!
notice the slats on ground still intact
next pic is top of this tree. notice the tip is just brushing the fence.
We had a doozie of a storm late this afternoon. We were out in Baton Rouge running some errands and grabbing an early dinner when the sky went black. It was a big nasty rain where we were, but we got word it was much worse around our house. As we headed for home, we got a text message from Rich's office manager. Her husband was stranded in a parking lot next door to where we'd just left. So, we turned around and went to rescue him. They only live about 2-3 miles farther north than us. When we finally got to closer to our house it looked a lot like it did just after hurricane Katrina. Thankfully just the thought of a big rain had convinced me to leave all the dogs inside when we left. The yard was scattered with tree litter. We could also see a tree branch sitting a top our wooden fence in the front with some missing fence slats under it. First order of business was a quick once over of the yard since there was nothing on the house. There were several large limbs down, and a whole tree over in the side yard. The one in the side yard managed to fall in the only direction it could to not hit the fences or the shop. There'll be plenty of clean up but that yard is dog secure. It also just so happened the one on the wooden fence was polite enough to knock the slats out of the fence almost perfectly, so they were laying on the ground virtually undamaged. And it managed to levitate in such a way as to not damage any of my agility equipment stored along that fence line. About 10 minutes with a chain saw and a drill (for the fence slats) and our entire yard was once again dog secure. We were also out of power and seeing what's around I don't expect it back until sometime tomorrow. I took some pictures that I'll post when the power at home comes back on.
13th-Happy Birthday Nikita
Nikita turned 10 today. She seems to be doing great overall. I didn't see any sign of a limp today. We just did a very short session on gloves this afternoon. That's the exercise that she's broken recently now that signals are fixed for the most part.
Nikita's limp is much improved today. We'll still keep her inside at least the rest of this week. I am still suspicious that the other knee is going out, but at least today there was not any refusal to hold weight or gate appropriately. She even did some obedience work this afternoon. Of course, we did nothing that required jumping.
I worked with my other AKC dogs on obedience as well today. Kamikaze and Sparkle ran through their Novice exercises all but stays. Sparkle was a bit excited and did some circle, spastic running instead of off lead heeling during some of her turn. Kazee did great. Lego worked on his Rally moves and seems to be having some fun with it. Shelby just did a quick, positive heeling session with signals at the end.
Mom and Dad are stopping through Sunday evening for a night on their way to visit my brother. Monday morning we're planning a family portrait session. The last family portrait I remember I think I was in junior high school.
I got home from the agility show by 3:45 this afternoon. That was a nice change. As for the show, it was a bit disappointing. Lego spent 5 of 6 runs pretending he'd never played the game before, but then had one really nice run. Sparkle started well on the first day. She did all the contact obstacles in Standard. We were still over 99 seconds to finish the course, but she did everything. In Jumpers the first day she even ran some of the course. It went somewhat downhill from there though. The next day she did two contact obstacles, refusing to do the dogwalk of all things. I even own a dogwalk. The last day she did none of them. Even jumpers went somewhat downhill as the weekend progressed. She did about 1/2 a course pretty happily the second day, and then only 5 or so obstacles the last day. I guess it's time to focus on obedience since that's coming up and she only needs on more leg.
Nikita had a nasty limp when I got home. I'm concerned about the non-surgically repaired knee. It seems to be the culprit, and we were warned her knee problem was a genetic deterioration and not really a tear. Therefore the likelihood of the other knee needing repair was greater. Rich says she was outside on evening for the last time and jumped a bunny. He says she took off from a dead stop to a dead run, but didn't really run too far, just around the corner of the fence. I gave her some Metacam and got Rich to work on her low back with the activator tool. I am hoping she just overexerted her knees and it'll resolve well with rest and anti-inflammatory pain meds. I guess she'll be a house dog for a bit now.
Nikita, although not thrilled, has started doing signals the first try now before dinner. I knew she had it in her.
Kamikaze and Sparkle practiced weaves a little. Both are improving some. But, Kazee seems to have hit a plateau. I need to practice more with a bit of a channel and some excited speed on the way to them. She's still struggling with slowing her stride without the leash to help remind her. Kazee and Sparkle will be attending an obedience class tonight with club members. They did well last time, and I expect the same this time.
I realized last night just how remiss I've been on working with Sparkle and Kamikaze on the emergency recall whistle. So this afternoon I put just the two of them out and let them get all interested in what they were doing. Then I grabbed leftover fajita meat and the whistle and snuck out the back door. Heads came up at the noise and they started trotting in to see what the noise was. Then when they saw steak dangling in the Ziploc they picked up their speed a bit. I went back in and snuck around to a front gate and blew the signal again. This time I got bullet dogs. It won't take them but a few more sessions to remember the whistle forever.
I'm off in the morning to Jackson for some agility. Here's hoping for Sparkle's speed to improve and the Aframe to not scare her.
Kamikaze and Sparkle both got to do stays nice and early this morning. I started with Kazee. I saw her started to roll her hips on the down stay so finally I was able to go correct that. Sparkle was up after Kazee. Be aware that since we are doing stays out in the front yard there is a tie out around a tree (with lots of slack to it) I am attaching to Sparkle's collar just to be on the safe side in case an interesting critter runs by. On her sit stay she started intently staring across the yard. There was a squirrel snooping around the yard for food. She held her stay! Then we had to do the evil 3 minute down stay while we watched the squirrel. I was quite pleased to see her stick the stay even with a tempting chase at hand. When I returned to her I put her leash on and took her inside for her treat. Then I said, "Let's get the squirrel!", as I hooked the flexi leash to her. Out the door we went at a dead run to chase off the offending creature.
Nikita, once again, was required to do her signals to eat. She decided she wasn't doing them and when I'd walk back towards her she'd run from me. Not a way to stay in mom's good graces. This reminds me of the recall defiance in Novice. When I trapped her in a corner of the yard, I finally got her collar and she went to her crate with no dinner. About 10 minutes later I gave her another chance. She improved her attitude some and did OK. She got her food. The new rule for the day was that anytime she wanted in she had to do the signals. This created some discord on our part, but she did them each time before she was let back in.
Saturday was my vet's Open House. I agreed to haul some of my agility equipment out to the empty lot next door and do a demo. So, we loaded up the truck with two jumps, a tunnel, 6 weaves, a teeter and the chute. Josie, Kamikaze and Misty went along. Misty had a grand time trotting through the obstacles. She thought she was some kind of special old girl to get to do agility again. Amazingly Kamikaze did very well off leash running the obstacles. Of course, she doesn't weave off leash well yet. So after all her runs I put the leash on and went back to the weaves to let her do it right. Josie was a bit slow and not 'into' the game with the puddles and slimy ground. She was OK for showing off to average folks though I guess.
While we were there we got to see the Livingston Parish K-9 unit do a demo with a couple of their officers and dogs. They did a bit of obedience and then some drug (marijuana) alert work. One dog did evidence search around the perimeter of the ditch behind the clinic. They let an employee drop a few things in the tall grass there and we watched he dog hunt them out. They did appease our curiosity with a small display on criminal apprehension. The dogs were so excited to see the bite sleeve come out!
When we got the equipment home I worked on the teeter base. One side is badly rusted from living in the yard where the boys need to mark their territory. I had Rich sand it with a wire rotary tool before the demo. Now I sprayed it with some Rustolieum primer and then a coat of Rustolieum metallic blue. This afternoon after church I hit it with a coat of rubberized undercoating. (comes in spray can like the Rustoliem) Picture this as a spray on bed liner like in a truck. This layer should keep any more marking from making it's way to the metal surfaces and prevent anymore rust damage. We also bought some nylon wing nuts to replace the screw down handles that Lego started gnawing as a puppy and the other puppies have kept up the tradition. So now I have a nice, newly maintenanced teeter. Ready for at least another 5 years of wear and tear.
This morning Kamikaze did a 30 minute old track in the empty lot across the street. The start was a bit distracted, but after settling in she did the while thing just great. I need to remember that she won't ever track in the same style as the beagles and let her figure the track out her own way. Nikita was required to do signals for her pass to eat dinner again. It only took about four or five tries this time to get each signal right on the first signal in sequence. Here's hoping for continued improvement.
Cedar got a bath this afternoon since she's going to have her yearly checkup tomorrow. Mostly for the purpose of washing out some of that shedding hair.
Tonight several of the LCCOC members met at the obedience class area to practice with our own dogs. Since the club is between class sessions we just kinda had informal class with ourselves. An obedience director of the past called through heeling and moved the practice along through all the exercises. I started out with Sparkle heeling. She did nicely on leash and not bad off leash until near the end of the extended heeling when she began to get bored. She did a fairly nice figure 8 with a slight problem getting her to start moving forward with me on the heel command. Of course, that turned out to be me taking too big a first step with her. I was thinking Kamikaze first step which is much too big for Sparkle to keep up with. We did stands with John and Cheryl both hovering greatly over Sparkle in her space. She was solid this time and didn't cower under their shadows. Then I put Sparkle up and got Kamikaze out. While the rest of the group did stands together I practiced heeling. We even did an off leash figure 8 pattern around some dogs that were sitting waiting their turn for stands. She didn't have any bumping this time. We got in the back of the line for stands. Recall with Kazee was OK, but not as straight as in the past. Sparkle got her chance with me having a piece of chicken nugget in my mouth waiting for her. amazing how much faster she can trot when motivated. Both girls were in the stay line just a dog apart. So for the first stay Kazee did a down and Sparkle a sit. Kazee did one small leg wiggle and I went back and nailed her for 'fidgeting'. I see I can't let her move the slightest bit or it turns into a much worse problem in the ring. Both kids did fine on the stays after that. I need to get Cheryl to practice stays with Kazee since there's a chance my girls could be in the same stay line at the next obedience show.