Wednesday, December 26, 2012


My dogs keep me so honest.  I have a brand new fancy training room.  The dogs love it, I love it.  Since my surgery though the arm has been rather sore again.  My cast came off on the 21st but being only a week after becoming bionic the arm is still pretty tender.  With no cast I'm nervous about bumping or having the dogs jump on it.

The training room is in the basement and every time I go down there - whether it's for laundry or to get something out of the freezer the dogs are convinced we are going to train.  If I tell them to stay up they are sad.  If I let them come down with me they run into their crates and are convinced it's training time.  What can I do?  I try and have a few things planned that I can do without fear of being tackled.  Currently we are working on foot targets, directions, and trying to add some body awareness each day. I am grateful they love to train so much because it would be way too easy to get out of the habit.

Here is a video of Max helping me with laundry while Rylie supervises off camera.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Making Lemonade

I had planned a couple more trials since my last post and signed up for a handling seminar at the end of December.  THEN I broke my elbow at the end of November and had surgery last week.  As far as life in general goes it's a huge annoyance but I'm trying to look at it as a dog training opportunity.

When I first broke my arm the dogs were fairly freaked out - they are used to being able to come for cuddles whenever they want but sometimes they would hurt the arm. Try as I might I couldn't help grimacing or saying Oww both of which upset them - particularly Max. Then some wonderful trainers I know told me to teach them what I know like to call the "swearing game".  Essentially whenever I would wince or say Oww (or swear - which I don't often do but I thought it was a fun name) I'd make a fuss over the dogs and they would get a treat.  Of course we had to practice when I wasn't hurting so I had to warn Engineering Dad not to come running every time I said Oww.  This worked so well with my food driven dogs that Max would come running from another room for his treat when he heard me!

Once the arm was not quite so tender and I was able to train a little I noticed Max avoided being on my left (broken arm) side so i would get down on the floor and hide treats in my sling for him to find.  I did stop this game when I found out I needed to have surgery though.

I've decided to devote these next weeks to going back to foundations and working on foot targeting and directionals for running contacts,  So far tat is going pretty well.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Team Cav

Saturday we went to an agility trial at the venue we compete at most often.  I was a bit discouraged after last Friday and beginning to doubt how much Max loves the game.  I had entered him first in Steeplechase.  This is only his second steeplechase run - it's a speed event and I've never felt he was fast enough.  Well he is obviously more comfortable in this venue and LOVES steeplechase because he was smoking!  Not only did he get a qualifying score but he was 6 seconds below standard course time.    It was a good way to start the day.  Next was his standard run.  He had still been a bit slow off the start in his first run so I decided not to lead out.  That meant I had to run like heck to get to the bottom of the a-frame to send him left into the tunnel.  It was like he said "holy crap she's getting away from me" because after that I never caught up.  He's a good boy and sees lines really well and we got a Q for that run also.

Third run of the day was gamblers.  Both Max and Rylie were in this one.  For both of them it was the Q they needed to get their Advanced Games Dog title.  I don't think I was too stressed about it because we aren't good gamblers and it was a year for both of them between their first and second Q.  Rylie went first (and by that I also mean first in class because he is short).  Rylie likes to set his own course for gamblers but he stuck with me long enough to get the points we needed in the opening.  We were in good position when the gamble buzzer went and (pretty much to my surprise) he went through the gamble section like an old pro.  I had asked a more experienced friend to walk the course with me and give me handling advice for the gamble.  I followed her advice and it was bang on.  When it was Max's turn I was less concerned with his choosing his own course but I forgot how much he loves tunnels ;-).  I was late with a cue in the gamble and almost pulled him off the last obstacle but he is such a good boy he turned back and took it.

The snooker runs weren't so good for either dog.  It was the end of the day and I don't think I planned the best course but I thrilled with both dogs overall.  Rylie hasn't had any soreness that I can see since so next trial I will enter him in a full day.

Sunday we went to the CFSO heart clinic.  It was our first time going and it is a bit scary knowing the heart problems in the breed but it's better to know than not.  Both Max and Rylie were clear so that was good news.  It was also good to see other Cavalier friends that I don't get to see nearly often enough.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Lots of happenings in the nest

We've had a busty October.  We went away for Thanksgiving weekend and my guys got to be farm dogs.  They loved it.  Rylie may have loved it a bit too much because several days after we got back he decided he couldn't put any weight on his right front foot.  X-rays or physical exam didn't reveal anything.  The vet felt it might be a strained shoulder (which is what I had been thinking).  He was to be on extremely limited activity for two weeks.  That honestly wasn't hard for the two days that he was walking on three weeks.  We did daily massage, twice daily epsom salts wraps and he wore his back on track jacket.  On the second day I noticed he was putting a bit of weight on his leg at lunch time and by supper time you wouldn't have known he'd ever been hurt.  After that limiting his activity became more difficult.  I managed for a week and then called the vet back and got the go ahead to start building him up to normal activity.

Last Friday we had a trial and since he seemed sound I let him run all four runs he was entered in.  Saturday morning he was walking three legged again.  It only lasted a couple of hours but he clearly isn't 100% healed so we are being careful.

The trial was at a lovely indoor venue.  Max was quite worried about the whole thing.  He left me to sniff which he hasn't done for a very long time.  He was very slow off of his start lines all day which generally means he is stressed.  When he was running well I was late with my cues so no Q's for us.  I thought we had worked through this issue (the stress on the start line) but I guess it's still a work in progress.

Rylie was just so darned excited to do agility that he was a bit wild.  He tried his best to do what I asked but sometimes his body just had more momentum than he could handle.  I always have fun with him though and don't have to worry if he is too stressed.

During the month Max got a certificate for his Masters Agility Dog of Canada.  I hadn't realized he had earned it at the last trial we were at - cool.

Sunday, September 23, 2012


It's been a really awesome couple of weeks in the training/trialing department.  Last Saturday we went to an agility trial.  I had really tried hard to dig into the motivation issues Max had on Labour Day weekend (other than the heat).  I asked a coach/mentor how I could get Max aroused enough to focus on me instead of the environment before starting a run.  She turned the question around and asked me if I was 100% focused on Max or if I was thinking about how I was going to handle/ when I needed to go into the ring etc.  She even went so far as to bet that I was not 100% focused on Max.  I thought about it for awhile and realized that while I truly believed I was giving Max 100% attention I really was thinking about all of those other things as well.  My only goal last weekend was to stay connected with him prior to the run starting (during too but once we get started things seem to settle out).  Lo and behold he had three fabulous runs.  We missed the Q in Gamblers due to me mishandling the gamble but got Q's in both master snooker and master standard.  Max was drivey and focused for all three runs.

Rylie and I had some differences of opinion.  In the standard run he told me in no uncertain terms that if I expected him to put his Cavalier King Charles nose in the dirt at the end of the contacts I was batsh** crazy.  Regardless of that the run was really nice - an off course jump and popping the weaves meant no Q but other than the ongoing fight about contact criteria things are coming together.  In the gambler run he actually got the gamble but because he chose to run his own course in the opening rather than the one I'd planned he didn't have enough points (if he insists on doing this I'm going to have to teach him to add).  In snooker he apparently realized the error of his ways and agreed to the course I planned - we did get a Q for that one!

Last Sunday was the CFSO picnic.  Great fun with lots of Cavaliers of all sizes running around.  I won a door prize again this year - Yeah!

Saturday we had another trial.  Max was totally awesome.  It was cool and he loves to play agility in that weather.  His jumpers run was lovely other than the fact I missed jump #15.  Max did exactly what I asked.  I had run the course a few minutes earlier with Rylie and managed to get all the obstacles so why I missed it I don't know.  I made the judge very sad.  Rylie ran the jumpers pretty well.  He is just barely in master jumpers and all the handling is something he's just getting used to.  I think he only had 5 faults so I call that successful.

Next was our gamble run.  Both dogs have been over a year without a gamble Q.  Working away from me isn't something we practice a lot and while neither of them mind me being a distance.  This course was ideal for us as the distance part came after they were already going.  Both dogs got a Q.

Standard was really nice too.  Max ran beautifully and got a Q.  Rylie ran well (we are still arguing about contacts).  A late handling move on my part cost us the Q.  We had worked on weave poles during the week and his weaves were lovely though.

Today we went to a jumping seminar after our weekly lesson.  I got some good feedback from the dogs and now I have some additional things to work on.  Next trial isn't until the end of October.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Weekend Training

This was my second week training both dogs in the same class and I think I'm going to enjoy it.  Rylie barks at me when I take Max as if to say "Hey - you've got the wrong one" but he settles down and quietly waits his turn.

I had some time this week to reflect on last weekend's trial and the events that led up to Max deciding to leave the ring instead of running his final run.

1.  It was incredibly hot - Max is not a fan of running in the heat (neither am I for that matter).

2.  I had to run the dogs back to back.  It was a small trial and they told me to take my time but I allowed myself to feel self imposed pressure to get back into the ring quickly.  Rylie ran first and I immediately (after loving him up a bit) handed him off to my trainer and grabbed Max.  I left the treat/tug toy with my trainer just outside the ring so she could give Rylie treats.  Max and I ALWAYS tug before a run.  I haven't noticed it really gets him more aroused (which is what I'm hoping for)  but regardless that is what we do and he gets a few treats as we warm up.  This time nada.  We get to the line and of course there is no hope Max will be focused without our warmup so he isn't.  He looks around and sees my trainer just outside the ring feeding Rylie treats (well kibble but still).  If you were a highly food motivated dog where would you rather be?  Bingo - Max made a beeline for the treats.

3.  Did I mention it was stinking hot?

Moral of the story.  I did Max a great disservice but not giving him a proper warm up with my full attention.  I am not an experienced enough handler to run two dogs back to back.  I should have either taken all the time I needed to go through our warm up routine or been more assertive that they put at least one dog between us, or just scratched the run.

Lessons learned at class today.  Running Max makes me feel like I know what I'm doing.  Running Rylie first over the same course is humbling.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Labour Day Weekend

It's been a busy weekend here in the land of emptynest.  We (and by this I mean 90% engineering dad) are in the midst of painting (which I'm barely allowed to do) and redecorating - which I am allowed to do.  Saturday was shopping for some cupboard hardware as engineering dad is building me a pantry closet.  Sunday the boys and I had a nice long run in the woods (well they ran anyway) and in the afternoon we went down to our local wading pool for the Pooch Plunge.  Both of my guys thought this was a super fantastic idea - although Rylie may have wished that those pesky Golden's would keep away from his ball.  After a try or two neither of them had an issue with the makeshift ramp and were easily able to get themselves in and out of the pool.  It was hot and sunny and was a beautiful day for a swim.

Today we had an agility trial.  Max ran first and turned in a truly awesome performance in his master standard run for a Q.  He was very pokey in the snooker and we got whistled off when he took the wrong side of a jump.  It was a really tricky course  - or else I picked a really bad route but I doubt we would have made it as far as we did if he had been running his normal speed.  By the time jumpers came up in mid afternoon Max decided that he just wasn't playing the game and left the ring.  There might have been a couple of things preventing him from having the focus he should have but I will have to consider just not running him outside in the summer.

Rylie's standard run was really nice.  His contacts were lovely.  A pop out in the weaves cost us the Q. I think I could have restarted him but he never pops out and I just decided to carry on and be happy with the run.  His advanced snooker was lovely and we did get a Q in that one.  The master jumpers course was tricky and pretty twisty turny.  Rylie took one wrong end of a tunnel but otherwise was spot on.  I think we are starting to gel as a team and I am starting to be able to see the course a bit better from his viewpoint.
All in all I was thrilled with Max's standard run and al three of Rylie's runs.  I am mildly concerned with Max's last two runs  but we have two more trials this month so we'll see how they go.  I was much happier with my handling and decision making than I was last weekend.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Dog Class

I have taken both of my dogs to class of some sort since they were young puppies.  For some reason being at class two nights a week has been really wearing me out lately.  After talking to my trainer I decided to try taking them both to the same class and working them separately.  They aren't very different as far as their levels but they do require totally different handling skills.

One thing I was a bit hesitant about was that I knew Ryie's facade would be blown.  Everyone thinks (well thought) he is an angel dog who sits quietly in his chair waiting his turn.  This is true as long as Max isn't taking his turn!  The first time I ran Max and left Rylie sit on the chair my instructor noted "He is rather indignant isn't he" - in other words he was yelling at me!  I gave her three pieces of kibble and told her (because being a trainer it clearly wouldn't have occurred to her) to only give them to him if he settled down.  Well he did and she did.  When it was Rylie's turn he decided he'd changed his mind and would rather stay with the cookie lady.  Knowing that Rylie is pretty high drive and only having Border Collies my trainer was shocked.  I however was not.  Sadly either of my dogs would sell me for a piece of kibble.........

All in all the class went pretty well and I think I will continue taking both to the same class for the time being.

We have an agility trial on Monday.  Last weekend I handled like I'd never seen a dog or an agility course before so I'm hoping to hold up my end of the team better this weekend.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Beaches and Dog Parks

The dogs and I love swimming so finding dog friendly beaches is a priority for me when we go camping.  Some of my observations are - the dog beaches are about as far away from the camping area as possible - in our favourite campground it's about a 6 - 8 km bike ride,  the parking lot for the dog beaches is usually full to overflowing even when the human only beach parking lots are half full.  Also noticed from our early morning wanderings outside the designated dog area to the two legged only part of the beach - the dog beaches tend to be far cleaner.  Maybe why I see so many people on these beaches without dogs.  Dog people appreciate the opportunity to frolic in the water with their four legged friends so we tend to be responsible and clean up after ourselves and our dogs as we don't want to lose the privilege.  This still makes me scratch my head though - at the provincial park we were at this weekend not only was the dog beach far far away from where everyone else swam but appeared to be in one of the most ecologically sensitive areas of the park as it was a mating area for some endangered frog - dogs were to stay out of the pond area.  Now this didn't appear to be a difficult task - why frolic in a stagnant pond when there was a huge lake mere metres away - but still - The dogs can't read.  Maybe once again the park people think dog owners will be more responsible than the general public.  It was windy and threatening rain when we were there so my guys just ran on the beach - Rylie's one foray into the water resulted in him being toppled by a wave so he wisely decided the beach would do.

We have been to several dog parks in the area but our favourite bar none is the London off leash dog park.  It's always busy - probably one of the busiest parks in the city I'd guess.  It is a lovely park area but the major difference between it and other parks we've been to is that people walk through with their dogs instead of just stand at the entrance and let the dogs go off and play.  It's rare that I've been there and couldn't identify what dog is with what person.  My dogs love it there and we've always had good experiences.

Monday, July 30, 2012

Weekend Fun

Max and I did something different this weekend.  A friend told me about a CKC fun rally and agility match near us so we signed up.  Now I've never done rally before but this same friend told me it wasn't too difficult and that we could do it.  CKC's idea of a fun meet wasn't quite what I was expecting as there was no training in the ring.  Also - there is far more to rally than just sits downs and heeling.  I really had no clue what we were doing and had to get a quick lesson on the commands but Max was an awesome team mate and just went with the flow.  He listened to very unconventional commands such as "oh oh Max - now you have to blind cross me and get in close" - pretty sure that's not an official obedience command!  Regardless we managed to get a qualifying score under a very generous judge.  It was fun.  We might take some rally classes this winter during our agility hiatus.

In the afternoon was the agility.  Since we have never competed in CKC both dogs were in novice.  I had some very specific goals for both dogs in the standard.  With Max my goal was to have him blast off the start line.  He was a bit distracted walking into the ring but started well in both runs.  The rest of the runs went fine too - a couple of handling errors caused faults but I was happy.

With Rylie my goal was to be consistent with contact criteria.  His aframe contact was lovely but he didn't stop on the dog walk and I let him keep going :-(.  In our defence though the dog walk was a lot lower than what we are used to.  The rest of the run was lovely and he actually beat Max (although I'm not telling Max).

I let Engineering Dad run Rylie in the jumpers course.  It was far harder than any starters jumpers course I have ever run and now I think Engineering Dad has a lot more respect for the fact that there really is some skill involved in handling!

It was a good day and fun was had by all though.

We are still woefully behind on the contact course but I do have some nice shiny new equipment compliments of Engineering Dad and we are making progress.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Catching Up

I've been AWOL for awhile.  Since I last posted life has been hectic.  We had a family trip to Peru where we hiked the Inca Trail, Both Computer Dude and Engineering Guy graduated university.  My parents came from B.C. to attend both graduations which was really nice.  We've moved both boys out of their places and into new ones - they both have jobs - YAY!

Max and I attended our very first regional event.  We didn't qualify but that wasn't my goal and wouldn't have really been a realistic goal for us.  Max had only barely got into Masters (and we are still in Advanced Gamblers) which means I have only barely gotten into Masters.  We didn't throw up, I didn't get lost, and Max ran fast and happy (except for the one jumpers run where he decided that he'd rather sniff the barn floor - so we still have work to do).  We actually placed third in the second standard run which was the last run of the weekend so I was pretty thrilled.

Rylie got his Starters Game Dog title at the last trial.  Probably long overdue but I had been terrified to put him in Snooker.  I had told my trainer I wouldn't do it until he was 6!  He's pretty confident on course and often thinks his decision making skills are better than mine (sometimes he's right)!

Max's running contacts have been getting more consistent but Rylie and I are struggling with his stopped contacts.  We are taking Susan Garret's contact course and although we are well behind - see all the other non dog related stuff above I am confident that we will reap the benefits in both the stopped and running contacts.

I have been working  on directionals with both dogs but forgetting to test them.  This week my trainer challenged me to test them in class and be darned if Max didn't do both the "left tunnel" and the "right tunnel" - today at the beach he was swimming for a stick and he couldn't find it.  I thought I was going to have to go in after him but instead I called out "left" - he turned left and located the stick.  Very cool.

We went camping this weekend and we got in a lot of swimming, biking and the dogs had their very first canoe ride.   They are both flaked out on the couch right now.

Friday, April 20, 2012

New Titles For The twocavs

Our Q  drought is over.  To be fair we haven't run a full trial since November and it's clear that the one run a day I did in January and February didn't give my dogs a chance to get comfortable.  Last weekend I was so proud of both of them.  Rylie earned his Agility Dog of Canada with two standard Q's and Max earned his Advanced Agiility Dog of Canada also with two standard Q's.  Max and I have had to work through teeter issues, contact issues and the mama getting used to advanced courses issues.

We started both days at a really disgusting hour of the morning so we could get to the trial for Rylie and I to run steeplechase.  The idea being to give him a chance to burn some excess energy.  It was a really good strategy I just wish it didn't mean getting up so early.  Rylie ran really well - we didn't Q but I used the runs to reinforce contact criteria.  By the time his standard run came up his contacts were lovely.  He ran his first ever snooker run on Saturday and amazed me by staying with me like a champ.

The advanced gamble run was lovely for both dogs - both got the mini gamble twice and racked up a ton of points.  The main gamble was a bit too hard for their current skill level - we haven't worked a lot on distance work.  I was really pleased with both of them though.

Max had a lovely, fast, standard run to earn a Q.  He ran really nicely in his snooker but a handling error on my part caused us to get  whistled off just short of the required amount of points.

The courses Sunday seemed more difficult to me.  Again Rylie ran beautifully in his standard run - that was his title run.  The Advanced standard looked really hard but the fact that Max started very slowly actually helped because I had time to handle the tricky bits and that gave him his title.

The first master jumpers run was REALLY tricky.  Unfortunately that was the one I had entered Rylie in for his first ever Master jumpers.  The first three obstacles were great but then he got into a tunnel jump tunnel loop that I couldn't pull him out of.  Max and I fared only slightly better but he did run well and got a Q in the second jumpers class.

We have things to work on- Max is not fast off the start line so keeping his attention and having him blast off is one of my main goals for him.

For Rylie I know that maintaining contact criteria will always be a work in progress.

I want to start working a bit more distance work with both dogs - particularly with distractions.

All in all though I couldn't be happier.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Dog Park Saturday

This has been a beautiful weekend.  Saturday we took the dogs to the dog park.  We love this dog park as it is not only a lovely park but it is one of the few dog parks we have been in where people always seem to have their dogs under verbal control.  They do have a lot of sticks there.  Rylie the stick hunter was in seventh heaven finding sticks for us to throw for him.  At one point a large dog came up from behind and took the stick right from out of Rylie's mouth.  Rylie didn't give up without a struggle though.  That made me laugh because there have been a couple of incidents in class that have combined to make Rylie very cautious of other dogs (not such a bad thing really).  Since having our houseguest Turner for the weekend it seems that Rylie has gained some confidence back.  Turner is younger than Rylie and the sweetest dog you would ever want to meet.  All he wanted to do was play but although he tried everything he could think of to engage my dogs they really weren't buying.  Something about those big paws no doubt.  By the end of the weekend though he did have Rylie playing tug with him.  He'd let Rylie "drag" him around the room with the tug toy and tell him off when he thought he might get up on Neil's lap with him.

When a dog at the park came up to Rylie and tried to hump him Rylie just told him off.  Previously he would try to jump into our arms if that happened.

Today we dug out the weave poles and did a bit of weaving.  Agility classes should start up again this week.  We are looking forward to it.

Max has been  a bit out of sorts this weekend.  I think the rapid change in temperature has been a bit hard on him.    The heat always has seemed to bother him more than it does Rylie.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Joy In The Journey

I mostly post about agility because that is what we train for.  When I first started to train for agility my goal was to teach Max (at that time) everything he'd need to know (and learn myself).  The training itself wasn't a lot of fun - the fun would come once we learned enough.  I used positive methods and reward based training but I do think that sometimes Max must have felt like I was poking him in the eye with needles.  "I" needed a lot of practice so we drilled a lot (disclaimer - my instructor did warn me not to drill but she has border collies who would do something 15 million times without getting bored so I don't really think I took the advice onboard).

Somewhere along the way I discovered how to be more fun and how to make the training fun for me and the dogs.  We love to train (Rylie will yell at me if I'm on the computer too long in the mornings - a whole different issue I need to train through lol).

I have great instructors and mentors who have helped me see that it's the journey that's important - not the destination.  Also they've helped me to stop taking myself so seriously and allow myself to be silly - I can't lie though Rylie helped a lot with that too.  It's hard to be serious with Rylie around.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Training and a rant

It's cold and snowy this weekend so we decided to forgo the barn.  My main goal for both dogs at the moment is more consistent contacts.  I can do some work on this at home without equipment so that's what we have been doing.   Also playing a lot of indoor games working on our foundation skills .

I am looking for a treadmill (for me) and was browsing kijiji the other day.  Of course that led to browsing pet accessories, which obviously led me to browsing the pets for sale area.  I am not a fan of early spay/neuter for health reasons but it's clear to me why the shelters insist on it before rehoming dogs and why vets even do puppy neuters.  There are some REALLY stupid people out there.

Of course there were the bazillion ads from people with various designer breed (what we used to call mutts) pups for sale.  Sadly I even saw an add for Cavaliers in the area.  What irked me even more though were the ads by people looking for free/cheap pups.

There was the lady who was lonely but couldn't afford or justify the $300 the shelter charges for dogs - REALLY?  Just how do you think you'll afford to feed it and pay for vet bills then - not to mention training?

Then there was the guy who had a 10 week dobie pup with issues.  He thought getting another pup around the same age would solve everything.  Yeah right!

Then the family who were trying to rehome their large shedding 18 month old dog because the baby was starting to crawl.  While I understand and sympathize - you'd think they might have realized this would happen when the got a dog to begin with.

Okay - rant over - carry on with your day.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Another Agility Weekend

We went to another venue for agility last weekend.  Only one run each for both dogs.  No videos this time which is a shame because Max's standard run was one where (almost) everything came together - my handling,  his fast efficient lines, and he kept his contacts (although he is starting to jump so back to stride regulators in practice).  He did have a problem with the weaves again this weekend so that tells me we haven't trained them enough,  We have been doing a lot of handling practice involving jumps and turns so  it's obviously time for some balance.

I knew I was in trouble with Rylie when he started to vibrate as soon as we entered the building.  I spent a fair bit of time before his run playing focus and "still" games as opposed to the revving up I do with Max. I promised my trainer I'd make him hold his contacts and he did so that was the good.  That took all of his brainpower though because the rest of the run wasn't pretty.  The good - his contacts, he read my decel cue and didn't go flying over the table but stopped and downed.  The ugly - during the rest of the run we weren't connected at all - he thought to look for me when he wasn't sure what to do.  He did come back when I called when he started heading in the wrong direction though but since it was a starters course he was pretty accurate.  Ugly as it was we only had five faults which I'll take the blame for because I didn't verbally cue the turn to the chute.  He obviously needs body cues AND verbal cues when he is that high.

I learned that there is no point in taking Rylie to a trial where he only gets to run once because it takes one run for him to find his brain.  He's a ton of fun to run anyway - it's like trying to stay ahead of a speeding bullet.  Neil heard a comment about his speed and the commenter said "most Cavaliers are pokey".  I'm starting to get really offended by those comments because the Cavaliers I know most certainly aren't (and Max ran first and he wasn't - he doesn't look quite as fast because he runs in a straight line instead of doing three times the distance necessary lol).  The best way to stop them is to continue to show them I guess ;-).

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Weekend Videos

Agility videos from this weekend.  In the first one you can hear me call Max off the chute only to send him through.  For some reason I thought he was heading to the dog walk which is why I called him but he clearly isn't.

Towards the end of the second video Rylie leaves the picture.  I realized afterward that he was running towards the obstacle in his line (which was the tire jump).  I didn't cue him to turn soon enough.

Beaten by the weave poles

Monday, January 16, 2012

Agility Trial

We were at an agility trial this weekend.  I only signed up for two runs with Max and one with Rylie as it's too cold to have them sit in the car between runs.  We didn't get any Q's but I was very happy.  Max was very fast and had a great time.  His dog walk contact was spot on both runs.  The first run I messed up and on the second run he popped out of the weaves - I'm not too worried about that as it's never happened before.  We haven't practiced weaves much lately so that could be it.

Rylie ran like a wild man - he also popped the weaves in the same spot but chose to turn around and do them backwards!  He was so fast he was bounced off of the teeter.  Watching the video I saw that he wasn't naughty - my cues were just not timely enough for the streak of black lightning.  He had a great time and it shows what we need to work on.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Seminars and a gift

Yesterday's double box seminar with Rylie was awesome.  He was right in the middle of experience level of dogs and he conducted himself admirably.  I can really see how our practices concentrating on timing and positional cues have helped us.  Three hours is a long time and although he was getting tired of sitting in his chair by the end of it he really did well.

This morning Max and I went to an advanced handling workshop.  Again it was great and I was very pleased with how well he did.  I think I am learning to trust our training that he will do what he is supposed to do and I don't have to babysit him.  He was really speedy today - and has been for the last few weeks.  I think it's a combination of the recallers games we have been playing, trick training, and gaining confidence.  He was more than happy to tug with me in class but couldn't quite manage tugging with my trainer.

Imagine my surprise when one of the comments on my blog was this:

 I'm always surprised when people read my blog lol!

Thanks Debbie


Liebster means “dearest” in German, and the award is intended to help up-and-coming blogs get the attention they deserve. As with any award, there is a bit of ceremony involved. In order to accept the award, we must do the following:
1. Copy and paste the award on our blog.
2. Link back to the blogger who gave us the award
3. Pick our five favorite blogs with less than 200 followers, and leave a comment on their blog to let them know they have received the award
                     Our 5 picks in no certain order are:

Life With Riley and Stella
Bark and About
Lessons From and For Four Legs
Agile Dog Training