Bubba Wins

Well those who saw the Bubba that first weekend guessed it.  I fell for the trap and told our director of training that she would not be getting Bubba back last Monday.  We will be puppy raising the bear cub!  I didn't want to fall in love with the little guy!  I am so not a little dog person but I'm still finding myself liking the ability to easily scoop him up with one hand.  If he wasn't a service dog in training I fear I would create one of those little devil purse dogs people carry at all times!

Bubba is more of a Tasmanian Devil than a dog.  He is constantly zooming and self-entertains easily.  Our biggest challenge has been working on impulse control, surprise!  He is really fun to shape :)

Lance is done pouting and has remembered that he loves puppies, especially those smaller than him.  Vito is actually doing a really good job with him.  For the most part Vito is just completely ignoring him and even lets Bubba trample over him as he zooms around.  Way better than the pouting and constant evil faces he gave the labs!

To those wondering about what Bubba's service dog potential, he will likely be either a diabetic alert dog or hearing alert dog.  The alert jobs do not depend on a dog's size to do the job so any breed is a potential candidate.  Unless something else comes in the program that just grabs my attention(!), we will have Bubba at our house until he goes in for final training between 12-20 months of age.


Lance obedience trial

Not our best day in the ring.  2 NQs and his attitude didn't seem to be fully there either. 

Utility- NQ

Gloves- (#3) Lance takes off for the glove as soon as my hand goes down and my mouth opens.  He drops it a few feet away from me but picks it up immediately to front with it.  I feel like this has happened quite a bit recently and I'm not sure what the problem is.

Article #1- Lance goes out wide to the spread out pile with mine in the center.  Lance always takes forever to find the center one and this time was no exception.  Except after finding it Lance picked it up and walked a few steps towards me before dropping it and staring at me.  I stare at the article and Lance goes back to work the pile except stresses and wanders over to the judge so I call him to me.

Article #2- Much better.  Finds quickly and doesn't hesitate on his return.  He does take a bonus jump on the way out to the pile.

Directed Jumping- 1st go out was crooked in the direction of the glove.  He did cross the ring nicely to take the farther job when asked though!  2nd go out was worse.  Lance started to stop between the jumps so I take a step towards him and resend him.  He goes out again but doesn't seem sure.  Ignores my first sit cue and touches the gate, ignores my 2nd sit cue and stares at me.

Signals- I thought Lance did a really nice job heeling, especially on that slow!  He immediately took 2 steps after I left on the stand.  He sits on the down signal so I give a verbal.

Moving Stand- not as bad as forging as usual.  He walks a few steps as I leave him but does a nice exam.

Open- NQ
Drop on Recall- Lance travels a bit further than I like.

Heeling- Lance looks away a few times so I'm not thrilled with his performance.  Because of that, I decided to start to the left on the figure 8 instead of going to the right like I usually do with Mr. Forger.  He again gets distracted and looks away on the outer posts.

Retrieve over High- Lance goes out slower than usual but comes back nicely with a pretty good front and finish.

Broad- good, need work on front and finish

Retrieve on flat- better enthusiasm on way out.  Was coming back crooked but fixed angle at last moment to be better.

Long Sit- Lance lies down as soon as the line of people have exited the ring.

Long Down- good.

I think I'll take him in to the chiropractor for another visit, it has been awhile since our last one and it always seems to help him.


Zoe 3/1/07-4/24/12

Good bye Zoe.

Zoe was always my favorite ferret.  She was a tiny girl who loved giving out kisses to everyone she met.  Zoe loved the dogs, especially the labs who let her nibble on them and cuddle.  Remember this video, or the 2nd one?:

But she was also an extremely cunning ferret who was always finding creative ways to get into trouble.  She loved trying to jump over the baby gates if any object nearby was moved remotely closed to it.  Removing all the books on our bookshelves was another favorite hobby of hers.  Zoe was always our most active ferret.

A rare moment of the corgi letting her cuddle 5 years ago.

And an even rarer sight was captured last night


NADAC Trial- start lines and contacts

I took Lance, Vito, and Bubba to a NADAC agility trial yesterday.  Bubba did awesome in his crate and loved to prance around when freed.  He will tug anywhere, as long as he doesn't think you have food on you.  Although he did get distracted often by the wonderful smell, and taste of dirt.  

The toller had a fantastic day!  We worked on (yet another) start line routine for him that I've been playing with for the last two weeks.  Vito is finally getting my bark cue and did it at the start line today!  I also had him do his reverse chest vault before going in the ring, and in the ring on the 3rd run when there was a delay.  During his 2nd run, chances, Vito looked like he was going to fixate on a bar setter but it was short lived as he quickly turned back to me.  And on the 3rd run we almost collided with the bar setter as she went to talk to the judge during the delay but Vito still didn't pay attention to her!

We qualified in touch no go where Vito had his fastest run of all time, 6.1yps with 2 beautiful aframes and 1 dogwalk.  Chances he shot off the startline and took an off course that I've never been happier about!  He missed the dogwalk/tunnel discrimination but I'm pretty sure I sent him out to the tunnel with my motion.  Jumpers was a sad NQ in novice for a knocked bar.  He started off great the first 3 obstacles but as soon as it turned he slowed down and didn't pick up speed until the closing run.  I also floundered a bit trying to get him to move and didn't handle as great as I should have.

Video of the 2 nice runs, unfortunately minus the start line routine that i didn't think to request:

Oh corgi.  Lance was also in 3 runs: regular, touch n go, and tunnelers.  He missed 4/5 contacts.  His first aframe in regular was a launch from a good foot and half above the yellow and he somersaulted off.  He learned a tiny bit from that and only missed by 6 inches on the other aframes and last dogwalk.  Clearly our managed contacts is not being managed.  I don't really care that he missed as that's my responsibility now and not his, but I need to keep him safe.  No idea what to do with his contacts.


Bubba the bear cub

Surprise!  Less than 12hrs ago I was expecting to bring home this on Friday:
 This is Ivy, the only girl from the "I" litter at work.
But then plans had to be quickly changed; Ivy went home to a new puppy raiser and I somehow ended up with this thing:
This is Bubba.  I've dubbed him a bear cub because I didn't want to bring home a Schipperke.

But in a few hours he earned a thousand comparisons from Tasmanian Devil to a Velociraptor.
I'm only supposed to have him for a few days, but is it wrong that I'm falling in love with this continuously moving ball of fluff?!


Fiona 11 month video!

Since I turned Fiona in before I was expecting to, I didn't get a chance to compile a new video of her before she went of to prison.  (It's reported that she is doing very well there.)  But here's a quick look at some of the things we were in the process of working on before she left us:

Limping is in the early stages, but we finally got more than one step! 
She was just starting to master nudging close very low drawers.
And we made cross paws on a signal only before she went!
Hind leg lifts are better with the right leg than the left, but we were starting to get some duration on both legs.
Tugging a heavy door was something she could do for awhile, but we were just starting to work on continuing to hold it open so someone could walk through.
And of course bucking bronco has always been her favorite trick of all time!


Lance UD-C

Lance was also entered in the trial this Saturday.  He did one round of CDSP utility and another of APDT Rally level 3.  And then he scared the crap out of me.

Due to his still healing hot spot I had him wear a harness in the obedience ring:

Signals- No moving after left on the stand!
Articles- Didn't seem to know what he was doign when sent, but then spotted the pile and quickly worked it.  Dropped it twice coming back to me, near my feet.
Directed Jumping- 1st go out he went to the tape mark and then didn't sit.  2nd one he again went to the tape but did sit.
Gloves- this judge liked the glove VERY close together (about 7ft!) but Lance did both sends without an issue.
Stand- no moving again!

And that was our 3rd leg to get our UD-C title!

I thought Lance was moving weird in the harness so I put on a really thin and lightweight collar that hung low enough to not hit his hot spot when off leash.

I thought he did a nice job, especially after the first sign when I caught him off guard on the 270 left because he broke eye contact with me.  We had to redo the send to jump since Lance didn't go out to it the first time, and on the recall over jump he again needed a 2nd cue to come.  There were two backing up exercises in a row, first in heel, then in front; so Lance got to yell at me about that.

When getting ready to leave the trial I suddenly noticed that I had a FAT corgi.  Lance's belly was extended big time.  I then remembered that before going into the rally ring Lance was really wanting water badly and was acting a bit weird, but I shook it off to not having enough time to do a warm up.  After we came out of the ring I offered him water and he wanted to drink a ton but I cut him off.  Then I must not have zipped up the crate far enough as a few minutes later I noticed Lance poking out and licking the now empty water dish.  So when I took Lance out 20min after the disappearing water trick he was a giant.  Luckily there were two nice vet techs there who examined Lance and didn't think it looked like bloat since his stomach was squishy and he didn't have any other signs.  A call to my vet also suggested waiting since corgis are not known for bloating and he wasn't showing the typical signs anyway.  I took Lance home and had to block off access to our water fountain as he was still wanting more water.  While his stomach remained huge all night, Lance didn't vomit, didn't have diarrhea, wasn't restless (other than wanting water), and had a soft belly.  In the morning he seemed much better but his belly was still slightly extended.

I have no idea what the corgi did.  It also makes me think that he might not have been feeling well during both of his runs.  He certainly was showing signs right before rally although I don't think he was bloated yet.


Vito CDX-C!

Vito has his CDX-C!  But most importantly he was HAPPY!  Vito was entered in 2 runs at the CDSP trial today.

Open Run #1:

I am so proud of him!  He showed some stress as we walked into the ring and tried to get him set up, but as soon as I stepped off he forged!!!  We've been working hard on setting up and charging off so I'm very excited about his response.  I know I'll have to fix the charge later but that should be a much easier issue with him.  The rest of the set ups I had no problem with and he was an eager partner.  I loved that he had enthusiasm when he saw the judge had his dumbbell and had good speed on the retrieves.  The go out was ridiculous but cute :)  He was just certain that something was out there for him to retrieve!  I was shocked when we got called back in the ring as a qualifier, something about doing the principle part of the exercise...!

Open Run #2:
I still had some difficult getting Vito set up at the start, and this time he heeled with me instead of charging off.  Right at the halt he looked away (at the judge?) and then missed me stopping.  I gave him a cue to heel but he just stared at me.  In hind sight I should have given my left finish hand signal.  The heeling was nice but I felt like I was in the verge of him wanting to lag.  After the broad jump he didn't want to jump up on me like I asked, but did when I repeated the cue.  The rest of the exercises he performed nicely but without the attitude he seemed to have in the first run.  But the go out was much better :)

Today really gave me hope for future trialing.  I think that we will limit ourselves to only 1 run a day though, just to keep his enthusiasm as high as possible.


Running Contacts with Daisy Peel

"Running contacts = rabbit hole!!"  That quote by Shenna about sums up my knowledge quest on running dog walks.  I audited the Daisy Peel seminar on the subject in the morning and then worked Vito in the afternoon session.  So many more questions now!

Going into the seminar I knew Daisy's method had evolved since she started with Silvia's, but I still wasn't prepared for some of the huge core differences.  I find it fascinating that both methods are capable of taking the dog to the same place.  

I think Daisy's focus on location over speed in the training process would have been a huge benefit for Lance.  It would have been interesting to see if letting Lance go slow when he was unsure at certain points in our training would have resulted in that ideal image of a RDW that I was looking for.  I am almost debating trying the corgi again on the dogwalk, but then I think someone should slap me for putting the poor corgi through another retrain.  

As for Vito....no idea what to think.  He was super excited to demonstrate his running dogwalk but didn't demonstrate the best criteria according to my standards and worse according to Daisy's in the 2 attempts he did in the beginning.  Vito did hit the yellow both times, and the 2nd attempt was in even on the smaller USDAA zone, but he wasn't driving as much as usual so his hind legs weren't split.  My thoughts/excuses: 1) It was a VERY crowded space to put a dogwalk that barely squeezed the two tunnels in and Vito hasn't had much experience with all that wall pressure, especially when I had to decelerate or run into the tunnel myself.  2)Vito hasn't seen a non rubberized dogwalk in ages.  3) I was nervous, and there were a ton of people watching and while he seemed completely fixated on his tennis ball he might have also been feeling pressure from the crowd as he tends to do.

After the 2 dogwalks, Daisy had us break while they lowered the dogwalk for everyone else.  I'm not sure if she forgot to bring us back out at that point or what, but we then had to wait 2hrs for our  next turn.  On the lowered dogwalk he did fine so she had us work on turns which is what I was really curious to discuss.  I haven't worked on turns in almost 12 months, ever since we moved and access to the dogwalk became difficult.  Daisy is very anti toy in training running contacts so had us use a manners minder once the jump moved to an angle difficult for him.

Vito is not a very food motivated dog but he does love the robot.  Unfortunately I knew that Vito would never RUN to it.  I cringed during our turn training as Vito trotted down the plank to the MM although I could see where going slow would teach the dogs clearly that going to the end of the board was important.  But I almost wanted to die when during the next session she had Vito do the full dogwalk to the manners minder for turns.  Vito has NEVER trotted across a dogwalk since we started on a RDW as a puppy.  Going the opposite direction from the MM he slowly came to the tunnel and going towards it he went faster but still didn't break out into a run.

See for yourselves, 1st is Vito working on increasing angles targeting a jump with ball as reward, at 47sec it switches to increasing MM angles, and at 1:48 it switches to full height dogwalks:


Lori Michaels Seminar

This past weekend I have been auditing a Lori Michaels agility seminar at my club.  She is such a nice person and I love her philosophy of not caring at all how people handle something as long as they execute it well! 

I picked up some new ideas for teaching dogs to keep bars up and collect even when excited by their handler's motion.   Collection isn't Vito's issue, but  watching the work I realized that switching back into extension/RUNNING is a big issue for him so I asked Lori about ideas.  She directed me to Silvia Trkman's cik/cap work which I have been meaning to do for awhile but has been stuck on that "to do" list.  But just spending a little bit of time during the lunch break working on wraps and running out of them seemed like it could really help us.  I don't know if I'll systematically go through the work of increasing heights although I certainly plan on working the sprinting out portion.

On Sunday I decided to pick up a working spot on handling skills with Vito.  It was both good and bad:

Bad- Vito definitely noticed Lori and some other people standing on the edges of the course as we started walked to the start line and set up.
Good- Vito didn't bark or run up to them
Bad- Our initial start routine sucked each and every turn.  Vito stretched, yawned, did some scratching one time, and didn't want to do his tricks.  Stressed Vito who was capable of walking up and doing and looking at me but not much else.
Good- after stopping to give him his ball or to restart, Vito would very happily tug with his toy and would happily start again within each round and with good speed.  He even screamed a few times.
Good- Running Contacts.  Of course I chose to cheat on the one course where it was the far end of the tunnel and just did the straight exit to keep him happy.  But on the other course I was further behind than I usually am and he still accelerated to the next obstacle and let me rear cross.

I am not sure where to go with Vito and his start line anymore.  In practice he is mostly good but there are still some runs where he can be sluggish off the start.  I thought I found a trick he liked, reverse chest vault, but Vito wouldn't do it today when asked.  I already don't lead out with him and try to push back on his chest when waiting; he doesn't like being fully restrained.  Lori suggested I teach him to bark/scream and I actually just started doing that this past week.  It has been surprisingly difficult!

I am struggling to apply what was discussed in Vito's obedience lesson about similar issues to the agility ring where I usually want him in obstacle focus for at least that first obstacle.


Happy Birthday Lance!

Happy 5th birthday Corgi!!!

Lance is such an easy going and happy dog that he is easy to overlook especially when the Toller's issues takes precedence.  Thank you for being one of those elusive normal dogs!

Unfortunately, Lance is still recovering from his bad hot spot.  It didn't start improving with the zinc cream or antibiotics until we added prednisone to the mix.  Lance was finally able to start lying down on Thursday but is still hiding in a crate all day.  At least I know it won't be too much longer of sad corgi, but we will have to miss the obedience trial we had planned for tomorrow :(


Fiona 12 months- Bon Voyage!

Fiona has moved on with her job in life.  Today she is going to the state prison to be finish up her training.

Close It

I have to say that I have really enjoyed puppy raising her and am afraid I'm going to be disappointed with all the future dogs I puppy raise.  She is bossy, high drive, and loves to work.  She is athletically built and has all the makings to be a great sports dog.  I even taught her an awesome 2o2o on the aframe and dogwalk, although she hasn't done the full obstacle yet!
Unfortunately the drive that I love could make it difficult to place her as a service dog.  The majority of clients on our waiting list want and need a much calmer dog.  The life for most service dogs isn't an active on the go job.  Most public outings consist of the dog doing long stays under a table at a restaurant, a conference table, the pew at church...  While her love to work would be a great use as a mobility dog, most people do not keep dropping pens all day long.  Luckily for her, Fiona has a great nose and a huge love for the scent work games we play for diabetic alert work.  This broadens up her pool of potential clients, giving her the greater potential of finding someone with a more active lifestyle. 

One of the reasons she is going to prison is so she can continue diabetic alert training.  She is doing fantastic with the start I have given her, but now she is ready for the next stage of doing more random "real life" low scents rather than in the context of a training session.  With my schedule I am unable to work on that in the home and prison life can easily provide that next step of training for her.

The next stage for Fiona is not a guarantee that she will make it through the program.  Fiona still has to pass her xrays and CERF tests, as well as behavioral.  While her behavioral issues of being a submissive wuss has continued to improve  and there are no longer any episodes of self doubt occurring at home, the issue still lurks.  Currently, Fiona will only cower if she has to go to the bathroom.  At those times, any command given other than walking nicely and waiting at a door has the potential to cause her to flatten herself and then pee if pushed.  The issue is non existent if I simply potty her before any training session or just keep an eye on the clock.

Vito won't miss her.  But he does a great job of tolerating her, and if stuck in a close space with her, such as the car or cubicle, he even lets her do a tiny bit of cuddling.  Lance seems to like her but doesn't play with her much anymore.  He definitely hates how rough she plays.

I was organizing her videos and came across this one from January when she was 9 months.  What a nut!


Poor Corgi

Sad corgi is sad.

He has a gigantic hot spot on his neck and has spent the last few days playing musical kennels.  Lance's version is spending all day sitting in the kennel, not lying down, and occasionally going to sit in Fiona's.

Pre Shave
He has been giving me death stares when we have to apply ointment to it but to his credit he hasn't even tried to snap even though he must really be hurting.

Lance went to the vet today to have the area shaved and to get some antibiotics.  I had Adam take him but ended up having to drive down to hold him for the shaving.  The corgi had enough and wouldn't hold still so they were going to have to sedate him since there's not an easy way to restrain for a neck shave.  Luckily when I arrived he let me hold his head.  And then went and hid behind the potted plant.  The poor guy didn't even come out for dinner tonight until after Fiona and Vito had some training and I had to coax him out :(

After Shave


The Flying Fi Fi!

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