UDX Leg #1- With optional fronts!

Today was the first time Lance and I went for that special double Q.  It was also his first time in the open ring since getting his CDX in May 2010.  My main goal for today was for Lance to hold both the sit AND down since it was such a struggle when going for that CDX.

The short post is that we qualified in both runs to get leg #1!!!  And we lost 30 points on fly by finishes...

Utility B

Lance did pretty good.  He was a tiny bit more distracted than usual, looking at the crowd several times in between exercises and when left on each stand.  But he worked well and was excited to be there.  Biggest problem was the sudden lack of fronts on the signal exercise and both directed jumping.  We lost 15pts in those fly bys alone!!!  Other issues was a no sit on heeling, a dropped dumbbell on the first article as he came back to me (but picked it up to present it at least!) and a sudden sprint off to a spot of light on the 2nd article when he suddenly thought he found what might be it.

Open B

This was our first time starting with something other than heeling!  I was actually worried since Lance tends to get forgier and forgier the longer he is in the ring, but not today!  I think this was the best heeling pattern and figure 8 he has EVER done!  But then we also had 3 fly bys and lost another 15 points.  Sigh.  The only time he didn't skip the front was on the retrieve over the high.  My first throw was too long and went out of the gate so as the judge went to pick it up I had Lance do a quick front.  Maybe the reminder helped, but it sure didn't last for the broad jump where he actually thought about fronting but then said screw it at the last moment.


Vito's Vacation

Adam and I recently got back from a 7 day vacation to Hawaii!

While Vito has slept away from home before, he has only spent 2 nights away from me.  With Vito's anxieties I was very worried about taking this trip.  I have separation anxiety too! 

The dogs were farmed out to different places with Fiona staying in one of the approved fosters for the service dog organization, Lance staying with a short-dog obsessed coworker, and Vito staying with another coworker.  Vito's place also housed twin 4yr old boys, 2 dogs, and a cat.  Vito has met all but the cat before and I took him to their house earlier that week to get familiar with the place.  He was super excited but seemed fine with the boys (whom were very respectful!).  One of the twins commented to his mother that "this one might be hyper around us" and repeated the advice "no balls in the house!"

Worry wasn't necessary.
Vito's report card was a good one.  He was completely relaxed around the kids, even gave kisses every morning.  Never had to go in the car, and while he was left alone a handful of times he at least  demolished a bully stick on one departure.  Apparently he even played with the female lab!!!  At night he was allowed to sleep in bed and she commented that he was the sweetest snuggler ever.

This week since we've gotten him back has been rough on him.  On the positive side I think it is less due to the stress and stimulation of his vacation and more due to the lifestyle of not only having to come to work with me every day this week but having to deal with a very absent mom while there (the "H" litter is at work and puppies=chaos!).  The first full day back home he slept, slept, and slept some more!  Vito decided being anxious wasn't worth it when you're just so tired so he decided to sleep the entire day at work and even a little bit in the car!

Lance and Fiona did just fine although I was worried I wasn't going to get Lance back since she loved him so much!

As for our trip, it was fantastic.  I haven't taken a vacation since living as an adult and it was everything I want a vacation to be.  Namely, doing nothing but going to the ocean every day!  We did go whale watching and while the whales weren't very playful that day, we did see many momma and baby teams, followed closely by a waiting male. Unfortunately the vacation was kinda wasted since the puppies came in to work earlier than I was expecting so now I'm stressed again from puppy care!  Oh well, you can't have anything but good thing to say about a free trip to Maui!


Kitty trick update

Kitty training is hard work! Much improvement though since I was able to successfully transition to training with his kibble instead of his wet food.  I tried in past years and failed to train with dry food but I guess the wet food was just the jump start we needed.  Although I still don't think he really gets the clicker.

1. Shake: Paw is raising high but still working on actually touching my hand.
2. Beg: We have duration!
3. Figure 8: Kitty still rubs against my leg every half 8, but at least he's getting to go through and alternate.
4. Back stall: Awesome.  Full height, no lure. But I do have to shove him back far enough or he 'll keep rubbing.
5. Stay: Working on platform stays.  He thinks me just handing him food is the way it should always be.
6. Rollover:  He "offered" it once when he was pissed I wanted him to sit and wasn't getting any food just from rubbing against my leg.  I'm now on a mission to get this trick but can't get him to even lay on his side.


USDAA Trial #2

2012 is going to be Vito's year.  Vito was signed up for 1 day of agility today at the USDAA trial.  It's our 2nd USDAA trial and I am enjoying the venue.  The exact opposite of NADAC but I guess I like opposites.

Video.  And yes, I forgot my shoes at home:

First up was Pairs and I wasn't sure how Vito would feel about needing to be put on a stay and having my attention diverted from him.  But being in the ring while the other dog was running got Vito very excited.  Some screaming occured and he didn't mind at all when I went to get the baton.  Unfortunately the other dog decided to join us on course.  Thankfully Vito did an excellent recall and didn't seem phased by the 2nd stay he had to do.  I think he actually RAN too!  So needless to say I was ecstatic over how anxious free Vito was on this run.  Video may be being sent to me soon.

Our second run was standard.  It was a little harder to get Vito focused on me during our tugging warm up but once he did focus he remained very into it.  Before going into the ring he stared at the leash runner but was able to focus nicely once we were actually in the ring.  He wasn't quite as confident on the run as I would like but it was still a very nice run.  He even tried super hard to get the weave entrance after his running dogwalk contact but since I didn't want to decelerate before he got his contact he entered at the 2nd pole. 

Last run was jumpers and probably his best jumpers run to date.  I'm not sure if a course comprising only of jumps is more stressful for him or just because it's usually the last run of the day, but we usually have slow and stressy jumper runs.  Today Vito was happy in jumpers!  I screwed up by thinking I wouldn't have time to do a front cross when I clearly did.  I know Vito doesn't like rear crosses in trials but I did one anyway and pulled him off a jump.  Luckily it didn't completely demotivate him and he started to speed up a little bit again.

I am starting to feel better about Vito's trialing.  Maybe not super confident yet but it feels like we're getting there!


Well that didn't work!

After meeting with the Veternarian Behaviorist in November, we had discussed lowering Vito's Prozac dose.  He was on 40mg once daily which was a very high dose for his body weight.  Well I finally decided to make the plunge and lower it to 30mg 3 weeks ago and then we waited to see if any changes would occur with his separation anxiety.

Nothing at first.  Then Vito started to act a little restless when left alone.  No longer sleeping but flopping around on the bed, moving positions every 2 minutes.  Because of the Holidays I was off of work and not leaving him for too long so I wasn't sure if he would relax more if left for a full 2hrs or longer.  I got my answer this past week and it wasn't one I wanted to hear.

The footage of Vito left for 2hrs and 40min was not pretty although since he left the bedroom all I had was sound to go off of..  He started howling again, and actually started at 40min.

Needless to say we upped Vito back to 40mg the next day.  The main downside is that being on such a high dosage effects what other medications Vito can be on.  Our Plan B for car anxiety was Trazodone and that is now officially ruled out.

On the positive side, the Clonidine is doing a great job at managing his car anxiety.  He was still alternating between very calm in the car and somewhat anxious on .25mg given just before car rides so we recently switched to giving it twice a day, every day, at .2mg.  Knock on wood, he hasn't had any panic attacks since the switch 6 days ago.


New Years NADAC trial

Lance had a great trial this weekend!  3 runs each day with a perfect Q rate!!!  He's especially enjoying his criteria-free managed contacts!  As of right now I'm just slowing down for the dogwalk and pausing a tiny bit for the aframe, but I'm not saying anything.  His dogwalk actually looked perfect on Saturday and one of the runs on today!  The aframe is much more iffy and Lance usually doesn't get more then 1 front foot in the yellow.  Much more prone to misses and I think he got 2 gifts today!  I'm not sure what I think of it from a safety stand point but at least he's not slamming into a stop and seems to run out of it nicely.  From a managed stand point we got a few gifts today so I know I need to do something differently :)

Happy corgi video!  Several mistakes on my end but he was a good boy and even earned his open chances title!

Vito did not have as great of a trial on Saturday's 3 runs.  I started writing this section on Saturday evening and it was not an uplifting post.  I'm not sure if his performance was due to anxiety, drugs, (I need to write an update post, we recently decreased his Prozac and of course he's still on Clomipramine), or being an idiot from loving to scratch on the astroturf too much (this is the only location he does that too!).  He wasn't doing bad, just holding back and the only real reason I can think of is stress. 

Thankfully today's 2 runs went MUCH better! Vito was still obsessed with the astro turf but once I brought out a toy he was tugging like crazy during his warm ups!  We were able to run into the ring and I had a toller asking to be let go!  The runs we still full of little mistakes but he was happy and running!   Before his 2nd run, chances, I was a little worried as he stared at the leash runner a bit too long but then decided that he really wanted to play after all.  And all running contacts this weekend were solid, even if they weren't quite full speed!  I don't know what accounted for the 180 in attitude but I desperately needed the glimmer of hope.  I'm choosing to think that Vito was tired of his 2011 version and wanted to start out the new year with a bang!

A happy NQ run in Chances:

For comparison: The better of his runs yesterday, a so so Touch n Go run, and the worst, a very sad novice jumpers run yesterday:

Thanks for reading my blog! Please Subscribe by Email!

Contact Me!

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

Email: lkwaudby (at) gmail.com

Online Private Training: laurawaudby.com

  © Blogger template Shush by Ourblogtemplates.com 2009

Back to TOP   

href="http://laurawaudby.blogspot.com"/blog/feed/" onclick="pageTracker._trackPageview('/feed/');"