Zumi Open Obedience

Well last weekend Zumi has 2 more attempts in AKC Open!!  Spoiler alert, no Q's.  But quite a different dog than December's attempt with the lovely child steward!  No scared Zumi, instead a very very high Zumi!!!

The fact that our yard is an ice skating rink these last several weeks did not help.  In the little practice she has had, she has been back to squealing on her retrieves unless it's super close.  Quite the regression from where we had been at a few months ago.  So I was not optimistic that she would be calm and quiet in a trial setting.

This was also our first attempt at Open B.  I was hoping to see whether separating out the 2 retrieves from each other would help, as well as curious on how her heeling would be if it wasn't first.  She is a sensitive girl and doing the heeling with the judge and figure 8 pressure first isn't her favorite even if she can still do it well.


But Saturday's order had the retrieve over the high first. Apparently that did not help her!!  Whee!  I was impressed that Zumi was able to come back from almost running past me on her front to actually be decently straight! 

Drop on recall was good.
Cue Discrimination had a few steps after I left her on the stand, but better than October's trial.  No problem with stand-sit-down.

Heeling I was happier with.  Still some minor looking at the figure 8 stewards, but overall with me and happy. 

Retrieve on the flat was super high.  Squealing and then even dropped her dumbbell in front although she immediately grabbed it and fronted well. 

Broad jump she couldn't hold it together. Just had to walk after I left her.  Flashback to our agility stays which are supposedly fixed!

And the stand get your leash also had walking.

I'm not entirely sure if her walking is primarily an over arousal issue or primarily judge pressure. I'm assuming both, especially since she did this walking at our first attempt at open in October when she wasn't quite so high.

Overall I was really happy with this run.  Lots of stuff to fix but so many good things.  And good to see that her finishes were fixed too!

Sunday

Sunday was back to order 1 in the B class, so not really any feedback on what will be best for her.
She was a little bit more in control of herself which was good to see. But also slightly flatter.  The biggest thing that I didn't like was she had a hard time setting up for exercises.  Zumi's always had an issue of sitting too far back and this was a bit worse than usual.

Retrieves not much better. Lots of pattering and she even left before I cued the retrieve over the high as I was trying to really pause before sending her.
The worse was the holds.  Lots of rolling the dumbbell and I tried to wait her out before taking it because she had already NQed on the cue discrimination.

So cue discrimination she wouldn't do her down on the first cue. Usually this is her strength! 

Did do her stay before the broad jump at least.
But the stay on the stand-leash was worse.


Well we're skipping the next local trial. But we do have a CDSP obedience trial coming up in 2 weeks and then I'm looking at trying the March AKC trial

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Grace 10wks

Little Grace just turned 10 weeks old!  Things have been going very well other than the one crappy issue.  Pun intended.  As Grace is one of Those puppies who doesn't mind peeing or pooping in a small crate.

Her crate training has gone very well.  Her crate is right next to me in the bedroom or right near the action and she doesn't make a peep.  Even when she clearly has to go.

And it didn't help that after the first week she started to have some diarrhea issues! Ugh.
I got so sick of cleaning up a poopy crate and giving constant baths that I decided I'm done with the crate.  On the positive side, Grace loves her baths!



Until the issue is resolved we are only using an xpen to confine her most of the time.  At least that way she can have a bed on one and then wander over and poop at a different end. Hopefully preventing her from lying down in it and painting everything.

Despite the horrors of this issue, her potty training isn't going too bad.  She's one of the few dogs I'm choosing to use cookies with to reward her for potty outside, and we just go out a lot.  I always take puppies out a lot, and Grace is definitely going out more than just "a lot" most days.  There's no safe spot for her if she doesn't actually do anything outside and that's the most frustrating piece.  But she does seem to be getting it.  A few nights without an accident at least!

Netta's been very helpful in training her house manners too!  She likes to say "Grace!!" and then "chew bone" and runs to grab a toy when she sees Grace chewing something she shouldn't be!

She's been on some hamburger and rice the last week so not much training has been happening.  We have a bit of W/D I've been giving her occasionally as well, but things are looking better so hopefully we can resume training.

Mainly we are working on 2 skills
1. Put your feet on things.  2 feet on a perch, 4 feet on a platform, 4 feet in a box...

2. Learning to wait for her food dish cue.  My goal is to get her food bowl to the floor when I'm training and have Grace ignore it as I grab handfuls to train from.  Right now I'm starting this with the food bowl high and working on picking it up and setting it down in different locations.  When Grace turns to me I reward her lots but I'm not yet having any eye contact criteria.

As it gets lower, if she goes to it I try to quickly use my food hand to stop her and reward her for stopping, then move the bowl higher if that location still seems to hard.

I'm just starting to do some occasional reps of teaching her "get it" means run for the cookie tosses, keep ignoring the dish.


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2018 Wrap Up

2018 was a busy year!  The baby became a toddler.  Adam started a new job in the spring.  And we moved, not once but twice! 

The yearly video!


Zumi
Zumi had a big year.  We traveled in agility for our first overnight trip to the midwest UKI cup in Wisconsin, and then our bigger trip just last month to Florida.  She didn't do that great on paper, but I thought she handled the exciting environments really well!  We still have a long way to go in agility for my handling to keep up with her and for continually fixing her startine!


In obedience, we continued to work hard on fixing her arousal issues with her dumbbell retrieve.  And mostly we were successful in practice.  Unfortunately, after over a year of work she *can* still squeal even in practice.  So while I didn't give up on my mission to work on it in practice, I decided that I was going to be OK with knowing she would squeal in a trial and take the points for it.

So we started trialing in AKC Open this October and Zumi has done 3 days of trials now.  I discovered that she actually doesn't always squeal in a trial on each retrieve!  And discovered some exercises that weren't as solid as I thought.  Zumi's down from a sit was broken.  And her stand stay was a bit broken when left near a judge.  While I thought she's done really well at her shows, we have just 1 Q to show for it.

Vito
Vito finally hit the big 10!!  Double digits for the Toller! 

Vito still is running in agility, just at 16in in UKI and 14in in USDAA.  He's running well and earned his UKI championship in the select class this year.  Mostly he's down to 2 runs a day and often just one day of a trial.  He could do more physically still, just a combination of money and well Vito has always been a happy couch dog vs agility dog. 

He also did some CDSP obedience again this year at handful of local shows.  Overall doing very well and happy on most exercises.  The gloves remains an issue, primarily if sent to the side that the steward is standing on.  But I'm thrilled with how happy he's being and how he's mostly nailing his signals! 

Lance
First half of the year was pretty similar to the last few years.  Some fun coming out for a small handful of WCRL rally trials and barking lots.  Very sassy.

The move from our old house to my parent's basement in April was hard on him.  Lots of stairs and while I tried to carry him often it was difficult to do consistency.  I already was carrying the child up and then another trip for any dishes/laundry and the corgi was just doing the stairs more often than I'd like.  He really seemed to feel the impact.

And then in August, shortly after our final move, he suffered what is likely another disc issue in his back, just not as severe as the original one that forced his early retirement several years ago.  While this one wasn't as bad, his recovery from it hasn't been as great either. He's still sassy and still hides any physical issues really well when out and about at work or if I bring him to visit others at a trial.  But at home he's having a harder time with finding the motivation to get up out of a dog bed to go outside.  Unfortunately, he also likes being in the basement at our new house. At least it's only a half set of stairs down and then he waits at the bottom to be carried back up.

I'm not sure if he's going to be doing any WCRL trials in 2019 or if he's officially retired.

Fosters
We started out the year with Pippa, the goldador.  We had Pippa for 6 weeks, 6 weeks longer than I wanted to!   Her goldeny personality did not mesh well with me!  She's a good dog though and will hopefully make a great service dog someday!

And this was the first year we've had a puppy in the house in awhile!  In April we picked up Splash the Boykin spaniel puppy!  Unfortunately, due to medical reasons (growth plate issues) he was career changed from the service dog program and we found him a home shortly after we moved into our new home this August.  Splash taught me a lot about management to prevent a puppy from ingesting things!  And it was interesting working with a spaniel's focus outside! 

Then we had Speckles the tiny terrier for a few months while he waited for a client to be their hearing dog. 

And now we have a puppy again!  This time little Grace is not a service dog in training, just an opportunity for me to start a puppy and see how she grows out for her breeder!


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

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