And Happy Birthday to Vito

Six years old already, wow.  And graying like an old man!




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Happy Halloween

Vito as the Riddler.  Full of questions, but sadly he doesn't share the answers with me.

Lance as Batman.  Of course.

Pyra as Harley Quinn.  Adorable sidekick.

They do have hats.


Epic battle between good and evil.

Trick for Treat?


I think Batman was defeated.

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Pyra 14wks and Video

Miss Py had a few new experiences this past week.  Most of them at the agility trial where she learned about lovely dirt floors and horses.

She's starting to lose her puppy fuzz and look like a real toller now!  Well, still a golden retriever actually.

We played with toys and leaves outside and mainly used food inside the arena.  Partly because I didn't want the toys covered in dirt and partly because she's very food focused and toy love is not quite as high yet.


Training wise the only new thing is she's starting to get the concept of biting an object for her retrieve training.  Py had a nice nose touch previously but wouldn't open her mouth until this week.  We also are building some distance on our sends around cones and trees for little puppy agility!

Our little pivots and side steps for heel work are pretty hit and miss right now.  Lovely some days and other days she is completely insistent that I must want her either between my legs or in front of me.

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Chuck It Agility Toller in NADAC

The Chuck it Launcher experiment continues for trial #2!  Results were even more screaming than the first USDAA trial and holy cow he actually RAN in all 8 runs over two days.  Many runs didn't just come close to backyard practice speed, but actually were full speed!

In the first run of the weekend he actually screamed a little bit DURING his run!  He doesn't even do that at home!  And it was jumpers, zero contacts on course!  Sadly, no video of that run.  But yes, he knocked his yards per second out of the water and the danger we can sometimes be in of not making time in jumpers wasn't there at all.

Q rate wasn't so high.  We had an off course in each regular run, a knocked bar in that jumpers run, and another knocked bar in chances.

Touch n Go was my absolute favorite run of the weekend.  Personal best of 6.78YPS and fastest time of all dogs.  Bonus of a super nice turn off the dogwalk with an off course hoop staring straight at him.  Best Vito video ever:


And he even did distance!  With a (late) rear cross! Stupid knocked bar prevented him from getting a vary rare chances Q for him.

So now I'm spoiled.  I had made peace with Trial Toller and now I'm super psyched for Chuck It Toller.  Trying hard not to have expectations for our next trial.  Next might not be until after Christmas though unless I travel.

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The Corgi back to Agility!

NADAC trial this weekend.  Lance's 4th and 5th day of trialing of the entire year so I was eager to get back to agility with him!

Sadly Lance seemed a bit off all weekend.  Slower than normal and pulling off of obstacles.  Not sure if it was due to the slightly deeper dirt surface, general aging, or what.

He did 4 run on Saturday and 5 on Sunday.  The last run of the day on Sunday was jumpers and it was just sad.  Poor Corgi was stuttering horrible and much slower than earlier :(


Sad Jumpers on Sunday

Not so sad Regular on Sunday

On the positive side we did knock out another Chances Q on Saturday on what I thought was a pretty tough course with only the 1st and last obstacle not behind the line.  4 more left for his NATCH and since the next NADAC trial isn't till end of December it doesn't look like we made our goal this year.  Hopefully next year we will get to play some more agility and whatever it is that slowed the corgi down this trial will be gone.  He's never been interested in playing agility on grass so training at home isn't really fruitful.  It involves lots and lots of rewards for baby dog efforts of speed.  Weekly class seems to be going fine.

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Pyra 13wks

Pyra at 13 weeks seemed like a really big milestone for her.  At 10 weeks I remember feeling like the lightbulb was starting to come on in her training sessions.  She was learning that she was in control of the cookie delivery.  And now at 13 weeks I feel like the light is getting brighter.  This past week Py started offering most of her behaviors and you can see the wheels just turning in her head.  Her Frog Legs trick that we were still struggling with a pillow under her hips she was able to purposefully offer for a cookie!

A few people who have watched our quick meal training sessions have commented on how I'm really not using any commands at this point.  I'm just in no rush.  Right now her training has very little to do with learning words and lots to do with  Py figuring out how to communicate with me and discovering body awareness.  If she offers a behavior other than the one we were working on I usually just go with it.  I might later regret that I'm letting her hop from one thing to another but right now it's still cute and fun.  I suppose that's how most naughty behavior start!

I'm also heavily managing Py's focus when she is out and about with me.  We still have our romps at the park where she can just sniff and explore, but pretty much everywhere else when Py is on the ground I'm in training mode.  I almost always have a toy or cookies on me to reward her for offering behaviors and for keeping focus on me.  If I'm not able to give her that feedback then I'm just scooping her up in my arms.  Or in her group class she's either in my arms or in her crate for 80% of the class so that the remaining 20% she can give me full effort.  An hour class is too long for any dog, but especially a puppy!

Still working lots on chase me games to try and cultivate a love for running.  While Py is still fairly uncoordinated she is sure gaining speed.  I can no longer out race her and I've added the words Go Go Go to her tiny vocabulary.
And Py continues to claim the highest point of the couch.  She says it has the added bonus of easily being able to see whatever food I'm eating.

Toller bonding.

The Duck continues to be slightly bigger than the Teacup Labradors of Gracie and Fiona.  She weighs 19lbs today!

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Lance Obedience- More Advanced Teamwork

Lance had a pretty busy weekend at our club's obedience trial.

Saturday we were entered in 3 things- Utility, Open, and Advanced Teamwork.

Utility:
Went amazing!  Happy AND precise corgi!  Only point lost other than fronts and finishes with a naughty mouthing of the glove on his front.  Actually I thought he was really working his fronts and finishes and was shocked to see him lose points on several.  Apparently I didn't see what she saw.  Score was still good enough for 2nd place and 3 little more OTCH points to bring us up to 49!  The run earned us his Obedience Master 2 title!

Open
Nice run but not quite as great in the precision.  A little more forging in heeling and not quite as great fronts and finishes.    Down first for stays which of course went well.  Then on the long sit he lied down at the 1 min mark.  *Sigh.  Most frustrating problem ever.

Advanced Teamwork
I was excited to see the exercises posted for the class to be the most straightforward ones.
Heeling involved lots of slow time!  Then more heeling for the glove seek back exercise.  I wasn't sure Lance knew I dropped something as I didn't even see him flinch but he ran almost straight for it!  Then on the scent object he dropped the little piggy on his return but then brought it nicely.   The moving sit went well, but I did cheat slightly by turning my shoulders into him.  The moving sit is certainly the hardest of the 3 options!  Transition changes were oddly the same 3 changes done twice: stand-sit-down-stand-sit-down.  The first down to stand I forgot to say his name before the command and he just sat until I repeated my cue.  The 2nd time around I remembered to say his name and he did if fine.  So our only O point exercise!


Sunday we only entered in 2 classes.  I hadn't entered Open as I wasn't sure how the sit stay would go on Saturday.  Turns out it was wise decision.  

Utility
Another very nice run that I thought went even better than Saturday! Until signals.  On the right turn to stand your dog Lance looked ahead and I should have delayed slightly in giving my signal.  I didn't, and Lance sat.  Told him to stand again and he did a great job.  
Sadly as the first dog in the ring we set the tone and 100% of Utility dogs failed signals. :(

Advanced Teamwork
More heeling, this time the focus was on halts out of fast time and out of slow.  Lance missed the fast time halt but did a nice job on the slow.  Then we had object placement but the cones seemed much larger than the 18-20ft described!  Lance sadly dropped the item as I told him to sit at a distance.  I then re-cued the pick up and tried to direct him out but he didn't do anything.  On the 3rd send out he did a nice job of finding the cone and dropping it in the correct spot.  And then he brought it to me when I cued him to come.   So fail on that exercise!  

We then did scent objects which Lance did a nice job of again, this time with a plastic/rubbery thing we use to help attach leash hook ups to wheelchairs at work.  Moving down was next which I found much easier than the moving sit from saturday!  Finally we had the drop on recall/baseball glove exercise and I learned from Vito and slyly pointed out the glove to Lance as we setup next to it.  Lance has done the baseball portion from CDSP so it was similar minus the go out being replaced with the drop on recall.  Ended up taking first in the class of 5 dogs, with Vito of course bringing up the rear.

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Toller Obedience- Advanced Teamwork Trial


Sat- Wildcard Open

Very happy outside of the ring!  Heeled perfectly all the way to the ring and then lost it a little bit.  Wouldn't look at me for taking of the leash and jumped on the steward coming up behind him.  Setting up in heel for the first exercise he wouldn't fix himself to line up straight and kept glancing around him.  But then we took that first step and he turned it on!  Thank God!  There was a few more glances in the heeling and I ended up giving him a 2nd command (likely unnecessary as he glanced away right at the fast time.  But mostly he was attentive and drivey in the heeling.

Jumped on me nicely at the finish of heeling and played with me on the way to the figure 8.  More looking at the stewards coming in and again he had a hard time setting up in heel.  But then he did a fantastic job of staying focused and driving for the actual figure 8!

Basically the same issues for the drop on recall, retrieves, and broad jump.  Looking around on the setup and slow to sit but great attitude on the actual exercises.  Actually I think he did less looking around at each new setup.  And for the first time in a recent trial he actually did a beautiful broad jump!

Our "Wildcard" exercise (get to skip 1 exercise) was the long sit.  We joined the group stays at the down stay where Vito did his very first out of sight stay in a trial.  He seemed confused going into the ring and setting up, and then even more confused when the judge moved us from the end into the middle (in catalog order).  But the stay itself seemed relax as far as I can tell.

During awards Vito was absolutely fixated on the stewards with the milkbone biscuits.  I could get him to do a sit stay but he would not look at me and barely move to turn away.

Sun- Advanced Teamwork
The big day!  Outlook was not high for actually passing the exercises.  I just hoped that he wouldn't lose confidence and be hesitant about not knowing what to do.  Confidently failing is what I wanted!

So yeah, we failed every single exercise other than heeling for a grand total of 30 something points out of 200!  Even the down in motion which he should have nailed, we failed the call to heel portion.  I'm not sure what he was thinking!
But awesomeness!  I am so happy with how he handled the ring and I think that is the most fun we have ever had at a trial.  There was a little glancing around in the heeling but it was even better than Saturday's Open run.  And then he got his toy in the ring!!!  And then he confidently brought me back a little plastic fire truck on our scent object.  Happy, wrong, Toller!

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Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.- Roger Caras

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

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