Toller USDAA

USDAA trial for the Toller this weekend!

Screaming was much more minimal compared to the last few trials, something I am attributing to the tighter warm up space due to it being held indoors.  But Vito still seemed very happy to play with me and as a bonus he looked like he was actually starting to RUN on course, on Saturday at least..

Saturday Vito had two runs.

Masters Gamblers was an NQ on the distance portion.  Like many of the dogs, he looked for me coming out of the tunnel and simply didn't see the farther jump he was to take.  But the opening ran pretty well.  I set him up to wrap the starting jump figuring that it would allow me to sprint away from him.  Vito wasn't a fan of that plan and knocked the bar, but it did seem to work once he realized I was set on leaving him in the dust.  Considering we did zero aframes or dogwalks and instead did the teeter twice and the wave poles once I thought he ran pretty fast.

Advanced Standard was a Q!  It looked like a really fun course so I was hoping that the Toller would be up for playing.  I think he liked my opening.  I chose against leading out so instead I ran with him on my left
to do a blind after the aframe and then an immediate front cross to the weaves.  I was a little late with the front cross so he turned wide but I still kept him out of the off course dw/tunnel area.  I also tried Vito's stopped dogwalk cue for the 2nd time in a trial.  The first time made sad Vito as he was just too new to sequencing with it.  This time Vito collected nicely and I released him as soon as he got near the yellow to flip to the tunnel.  Perhaps I shouldn't have released him before he technically stopped in either the 2o2o or 4 on the floor (either position is allowable for him) but I didn't want to risk Sad Vito.  After the table was our first backside jump in a competition but I was able to lead out and call him to me before front crossing.
1st half not filmed :(

Sunday Vito had 3 runs.

Advanced jumpers was a Q although not so fast.  Lots of pinwheel type sequences limited my ability to run and I counted doing 6 front crosses.

We moved up to masters standard and also got another Q.  The dock doors were open before the start of this run, and Vito kept looking at this suspicious change before we started.  Very slow teeter and weave poles but other than that he did pretty well.  Even had a decent running dogwalk to the table; something we never practice.

Pairs Vito was very excited as he loves going second, but we failed our half.  For some reason Vito didn't get the weave pole entrance even though he read my front cross well and it was a straight approach.  Then he weaved really slow again and had no momentum to send to the next jump so we got a refusal.  I was happy that he screamed at me as I resent him and picked up some speed for the closing.  He loved ending with the dogwalk and then a wrap.


Another held sit!

Obedience trial today for the corgi.  I took off work so that Lance could do this last AKC trial until August and Vito could still go to an USDAA agility trial this weekend.

Lance qualified in Open which means that he held his long sit!  Still obviously stressed, but he did it.  The rest of the exercises went pretty well.  Lance's heeling was pretty good and and he was back to his usual happy self that I felt was somewhat missing the last trials.  Dinged badly on our fronts but we came away with a 195.5.

In Utility Lance managed to fail on 2 exercises so once again no QQ and UDX leg.  On the glove pivot he did what is now becoming a habit of not keeping eye contact with me and not sitting.  He took the wrong glove.  On signals he didn't lie down, sat instead.  Our other habitual problem of not sitting on one of the go outs, the 2nd on this time, happened as well and I gave another verbal.

On the positive side, Lance didn't mouth the glove today as he was doing in the CDSP trial recently.  He also hasn't moved forward on the signal and moving stands in a long time. 


Hawaiian Shirt NADAC trial

The "Hawaiian Shirt" NADAC agility trial was held this past weekend.  We went on Sunday where of course it was snowing on our drive down but warmed up to a balmy 40 degrees as the day went on and blessed us with some rain.

The arena was unheated so I modeled my 3 shirts, 2 pairs of pants, 2 pairs of socks, sweatshirt, jacket and hat all day.  It was also mud city.  I almost had a boot eaten by the mud moat surrounding the port o potties.

Lance was pissed that I carried him on all outdoor trips, only setting him down when I reached snow.

As for their runs, Lance was pretty excited.  He remembered to stop in the 4on position on all contacts, but started to self release on a few.  I shrugged.  Maybe that's why the 2nd round of regular he added quick releasing the aframe to his list :)  He knocked a bar on both regular runs but overall jumped very nicely.  The first half of his jumpers course was beautiful jumping but stuttered the 2nd half.  Thankfully he manged to keep all bars up and we qualified.  In chances only one elite dog qualified and sadly it was not us!


Vito was happy to scream before his turn and blessed the other exhibitors with his wonderful singing even during our warmup playing!  He loved doing the dogwalk twice in touch n go although I was unable to turn him before the tunnel straight after the first one.  Video shows I did not try very hard.
I also didn't connect after doing a blind cross out of the last tunnel as my brain was trying to remember which hoop we were to go to.  He's such a good boy!

In Chances I really thought we qualified but I guess the judge faulted Vito for going over the line, even though he curled across it before taking the jump the line was supposed to start at.  He stalled after the 2nd jump to wait for me so I had to call him back to me and re reved him up for the rest.  On the positive side he did go back out happily and did a nice layered dogwalk.  Jumpers was clean but not terribly fast. 


Aaggh, Minnesota!!!

Primal wailing and gnashing of teeth is occurring all over Minnesota right now.  It is mid APRIL, not February!  Why do we live here????

Vito doesn't seem to care.

 Poor Corgi.
Sigh, 4 to 8 inches expected...


Training Lists

I made a training list.  I was going to write that I am not a list person.  I don't create checklists, am not much of a planner, and generally consider myself the opposite of Type A.  But then I just realized that I am that person when it comes to the dogs.  I do have a crazy obedience spreadsheet listing the results of every trial we've been to and tabs within said spreadsheet breaking down each open and utility exercise comparing points lost.  I have an upcoming events spreadsheet that goes a year out with every upcoming obedience/rally/agility trial and columns for date closing, what each dog entered, if results were submitted to the club, etc.  And don't get me started on the bullet point journal I did for Vito's anxiety issues that was almost daily for 2yrs, updated about biweekly currently, and is at 142 pages, at size 10 font.

So I guess my new training list isn't that far off the mark.  It's a tricks list actually.  On it lists a handful of tricks that I really want to train for the boys, most of which I've already started at some point but like usual faded off.  Also on the list is a handful of tricks working on core strength or balance; tricks that for the most part are fairly well known but ones that I don't make an effort do keep up on.  It's done in pretty big font so I can tape the list in my living room and remind me to do it.


UDX-C and RL3 Titles!

I took the boys to a CDSP Obedience/ APDT Rally trial this weekend.

Vito was entered in 1 round of rally.  It took him awhile to get into the run and we had some light lagging in the beginning.  But he was focused on me and didn't give any glances towards the steward table or judge.  The last half of the course he was more "on" and seemed to be having fun.  We qualified with a 210 and this finished up his level 3 title.  It wasn't quite the attitude I wanted but it was certainly better than the disaster run throughs he had a few weeks ago.

Lance has 2 runs of Utility B each day.  In CDSP, Utility B is more of a versatility class as it chooses exercises from open and utility and then has a bonus baseball glove exercise that allows the final score to be out of 220.

He qualified on the first 3 runs with scores of 212, 210.5, and 215.5 and these were the last legs he needed for his UDX-C! 

Noted issues:
- Signal exercise was only done once but Lance sat on the down signal just like the last AKC trial.  However in CDSP you can give a 2nd signal and still qualify.
- On 2 of 4 go outs he needed a 2nd cue to sit on the 2nd send outs.  However he did not have this issue on any of the 4 baseball glove go outs.
- Glove pivots sucking.  On 2 of the 6 glove sends he did not sit on the pivot; I gave a verbal.  He's also still locking in on the glove as soon as I finish moving and thus he ends up slightly crooked on the pivot.  The poor pivot plus lack of eye contact with me is the reason we failed the 4th trial as he took glove #2 instead of #3 on the first glove send.
- Mouthing the glove as he sits in front.  Exact opposite of the issue we were having a few months ago in trials where he wouldn't let go of the glove!

Noted brags:
- Heeling was slightly off in the beginning on Saturday, but he was fabulous on Sunday.  No forging or lagging :)
- Did all 4 baseball gloves!  This is an exercise that we simply don't practice very often and he sometimes struggles with going out vs heading to one of middle gloves.  Lance arched a bit right on every send but sat when told and even sent back for that #2 glove on trial3. 
- Finishes were mostly all there!


Gracie 17wks

Haven't done much new training with Gracie these past few weeks since the puppy swap.  I've been trying to re-inspire myself and have at least started a few new things this last week.

Personality wise, Gracie is really starting to shine.  She loves her toys and it's been nice to have had to do very little training with her to actually bring the toy back to me for tugging!  Gracie's also been nice to me in that I haven't really had to train alternating food and toys as a reward.  See, easiest puppy ever still!

Queen of the playground.  Zoom, Zoom, then hide and attack!

Her biggest battle though has been with her food dish.  Gracie works nicely at dinner time with her food sitting on a chair or coffee table just inches away.  When put on the floor Gracie continues to do a wonderful job of leaving the food alone and for the most part does as I ask.  However, despite the fact that she's physically leaving the food dish she certainly is not mentally.  She's practically quivering in excitement as she stares at her dish after each click and continues to stare at the dish if it is at all possible to continue doing so while still doing what I asked.  On the positive side, she is at least able to have 50% of her brain there while Bubba's obsession only left him with 10% and insane spazzing with the rest.

Gracie passed the level 2 test today and is now officially in intermediate class at the service dog organization.  Teacup Labrador is 22.5lbs.  I'm wondering if I accidentally put her in the dryer.

Since the last update:

1. Stays- Mastered walking behind her, mild distractions, and distance.  Working mainly on boring old time now, focusing on the sit since I figure once mastered the down will be a piece of cake.

2. Position work- Loves to offer heel and side position and I'm not using a perch at all anymore.  Doesn't quite know verbal only cues but will come to the correct side I'm asking for if my head is turned in the right direction.  In heel will side step one shuffle at a time, pivot 360 degrees in position, and can back up 3 steps.  Needs much more work on this in side position.

3. 2o2o- Backs up to it now.  Started raising the height of the box.  I also really need to work on distance of backing up away from me.

4. Light switches- Pretty consistent with using her nose to flip the switch up, a tube is still attached.  Will be moving to the low switch on the wall this week.

5. Stand- Loves her jump up and is also doing well with a mini stay on her land.  Biggest hurdle is the two are only combined when I click the jump and immediately reward, otherwise she goes into a sit right away.

6. Retrieves- Picks up a variety of objects and is pretty good about targeting my hand.  Have not yet started a hold but I think this will actually be pretty easy for her unlike most dogs I've trained.

7. Tug- Finally convinced her to stop automatically jumping into the basket and to grab the rope instead.  Gracie will now drag me a tiny basket to my hand, but we're still only doing 2-3ft so we really practice the putting rope into hand portion.  She's also had a few lessons on tugging open a very light cabinet but I'm limiting this practice until she's better with the previous mentioned version of tugging.

8. Shake/Paw- going back to this and making sure she understands which paw to lift is cued by which hand i'm offering.

9. Frog legs- just started.  She has no idea what I want but it's cute.

10. Visit- Generalizing her "sad" behavior (head to floor) to now be head to my lap. 

11. Touch- working the target on height now so that she has to paw the target taped to a wall.


Happy 6th Birthday Lance!

I can't believe your 6yrs old already buddy.


Lance Obedience Trial

Lance was entered one day of the obedience trial this weekend.  My main goal was for Lance to hold his out of sight sit although I certainly would have taken a UDX leg.

Jumping straight to the good news- Lance held his sit!  He was still stressed setting up but remained sitting even with the dog next to him getting up and nervously not waning to be caught.  I was so ecstatic on my return that I created quite the controversy as I leashed up Lance and thanked the judge as I walked out of the ring so I could reward the corgi.  While an exhibitor can not ask to be excused in obedience as only the judge has the power to make that call, they can not make you stay in the ring :)  My judge was highly confused, but I talked to a rep who was there about it and she assured me that I handled it properly and the judge should know to just mark the exhibitor absent.

Unfortunately, we also NQed in individual exercises.  On the drop on recall Lance stopped when I told him to lie down but then stared at the steward walking over with his dumbbell instead of actually lying down.  He apparently was so enamored with her that he kept staring, although did finally down on my 2nd cue, and needed even a 2nd cue to come to me!  The rest of the exercises went pretty well.  Lance had a no sit on his front after the broad jump and some crooked finishes.

On the positive side, because we NQed before going into the stays it gave me the confidence to pull him from the down and reward him for the sit.  It wasn't planned.  I actually didn't think of doing it until I walked back in sight and saw him still sitting there.  But I think it was a good move for him.  I'll keep in mind doing it in the future, but it sure would be an expensive way to train.

Not as focused.  Heeling was ok, but we actually had a lag on the fast time and for the corgi that is shocking.  NQ on signals as he sat instead of lying down.  Huh, 2 NQs for not downing.  No sit on our glove pivot, again.  Benefit to already NQing was I was able to give him a verbal cue.  Go outs he drifted towards the glove corner.  Big positive is that despite being in the #3 corner he went across the ring to take the correct jump!  2nd go out wasn't quite as drifty but he didn't sit so I gave a 2nd verbal. 

I decided to enter one day of another AKC trial the end of the month.  In the meantime we'll keep working on our sit stays and we have a CDSP obedience trial next weekend.


Obedience Woes

For the most part Lance's sit-stay bootcamp is still going well.  He seems to be OK with food behind him now which I suppose is a good thing although I'm a little sad that it no longer replicates some stress of the show ring for him.  I've gotten him to fail a few more times, 1 by pushing on his chest so that he has to work really hard to stay sitting or he'll slide backwards into a down.  Another by leaving him for awhile in a sit and then asking the other dogs if they want to go outside.

But then yesterday I was shocked as Lance actually lied down on his sit in the group lineup at the obedience club.  On one hand I was a little happy that I could "correct" the corgi in an environment that's a bit closer to a trial, but on the other hand I'm questioning whether all our stay work is helping at all or if it's even making it worse.  But if he was stressed in that lineup he sure was doing a great job of hiding it.

Vito is also giving me grief in obedience.  Along with the corgi, Vito just finished participating in a small study looking at the effects of a fatty or sugar supplement on obedience performance.   He was asked to do a novice run through on 2 different nights, with no treats given several hours before or during it.  It was awful; both times.  It was even done in a room where I teach classes once a week and thus Vito is crated in that room and often does a bit of training.  It was quiet outside of the room and the only person in the room was our judge whom Vito actually knows pretty well.  Yet the Toller had zero interest in doing anything.  He plodded along during the heeling, several feet behind me, gave me no sits on the halts, and just generally stared at me blankly. Operation happy obedience toller was a no go.

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