Getting Outside

I love going to parks with the dogs.  They have so much fun running, sniffing, and if you're the corgi then also peeing on all the things!  I am also extremely lucky that since moving close to the edge of the cities suburbs there are quite a few unpopulated parks around here and depending on what neighboring little town I'm in there often aren't even leash laws- just dogs under control.  Which is good as I just don't do leashed walks anymore other than the occasional neighborhood walk.  I just love watching the dogs get to run and sniff at will.  And dog parks I find terrifying plus the fact that with Vito's ball obsession it is out of the question anyway.

Now that I'm home with Netta I'm trying to make our walks more than just a weekend
thing.  Trying to master the art of babywearing.

With the weather warming up now I would love to get to daily romps with the the tollers and a few times a week with the Corgi also coming along.  He loves going to the parks to run but his legs shake once we're home and he sometimes limps.  More limited visits work for him.

There are 2 skills that are a necessity for my trail walks.  One is a recall and the second is a stay.  I realize that when I do come across people on the trails they're not usually expecting to see 3 off leash dogs.  So the instant I see a person I call the dogs and put everyone in a sit on the side of the trail.  Just as I don't want to be bothered by others, I don't think it's fair for my dogs to go up to people or other dogs even for just a quick sniff.  People who let their dogs wander up to other people and other dogs are my biggest pet peeves, no matter how polite the dog seems to be.  You're not in a dog park.  Your dogs do not have the right to "say hi" and invade others space.  I admit I've failed this on one of our park walks this week.  My dogs were gathered near me and knew not to approach the person at a distance but I wanted to get a little closer before having to stop and wait with everyone.  When the nice person shouted out in greeting to me the dog's immediately rushed to "say hi."  I learned that their impulse control on greetings isn't as strong without that stay!

Visiting dogs get the long line until they prove themselves.  I love my biothane long line! I try to give a warning or a recall before the dog hits the end of it in order for them not to become reliant on the leash tension being the cue to check in.

The other part I need to figure out is how to babywear and still use my fun camera.  I don't quite have the solution yet!


Masters Agility Dog!

Zumi had her last agility trial for awhile this past Sunday.  She needed 1 more standard Q to earn her advanced title and do the fast track option to be eligible for masters in everything.
And she did it!  Didn't quite turn tight enough off of her running dogwalk and ended up going around the jump, but since there are no refusals in advanced I was able to save it and continue on. Phew!

She also entered in Biathlon for the first time and did way better than I expected.  Not very trick by biathlon standards, but still!  Managed to qualify in Fancy Standard and listened pretty well in Fancy Jumpers.  She was able to push to the backside of a jump with a tunnel straight ahead not once but twice!  She couldn't handle the temptation of the tunnel at the UKI trial two weekends ago so I was very proud of her thoughtfulness here.

Running 2 dogs in the same class was exhausting though.  After Vito ran I sprinted outside to do his quick chuck it ball throws.  There is no way I can cheat Vito on that promise, he definitely expects it.  Then sprint back inside to get Zumi warmed up for her run just 7 dogs later.  I suppose it could be worse.  This was more than double the amount of 20in dogs I have seen run in a trial since it became a height class this year!

Vito qualified in both MC Biathlon runs.  And broke his startline each time.  Love Toller :)


Obedience Practice

More obedience this week!
Zumi is being restarted on her article training as it's been about a year since she has last done it successfully.  She seemed to have a difficult time finding my scent when I was pregnant so I just put it on the sidelines.  I'm restarting with food on the article and went back to lids as she was WAY too retrieve happy.  I was able to originally teach her with a retrieve indication from the start as while she was excited, Zumi's retrieve drive wasn't nearly as strong as it is now.  I'm sure we will get the scent work back quickly but it definitely needs retraining.

Vito I planned on using a lot more food rewards in this session as I had been focusing a lot on working with personal play and any rewards off my body.  I'm wanting to work more on precision and proofing challenges with him now which would require more rewards.

I found in this session that Vito had a difficult time doing slow heeling with a right turn.  He thought it was an invitation to do his "behind" reward cue (it does look similar!) so I did some proofing to tackle that issue.  Then later on in our session I found an issue with Vito not sitting when cued on his go out.  Going all the way to do his touch trumped the value of the sit.  Personally I would much rather have that problem than the opposite!  I did some cookie toss sits to remind him of sitting at a distance before putting it back together.


Getting Back to Obedience

I've started back teaching again for the obedience club since Netta's arrival.  Just one night a week but this also gives me time to train my dogs before class.  They haven't really done any obedience in months besides some tiny drills in the house.

Zumi has mainly been working on 3 things
1. Go outs- Still our main issue of not taking the jump on the way out.  She's great with cones and really has improved a ton with this issue over the year but it's still a real choice for her.
2. Retrieve over the high- Opposite issue of our go out :)  Zumi's super strong desire to fetch makes it hard for her think on off-centered retrieves.  She has no problem playing this game with targets and food all around the clock.  But must fetch as fast as possible!
3. Finishes.  A new problem that wasn't there before our long break.  Zumi has been cutting her left finish short and also seems to occasionally be confused on what her "around" cue means.

This is the first half of our practice session this week, focusing on the 2nd two issues.

Vito has still been working on our main goal of engagement and choosing to work.  Overall that has continued to go well.  He even seems to be sniffing less before we start work- a problem that cropped up after our experiment a year ago (with a lesson to me on how to structure it differently next time!).  So I've been adding in some more instance on precision for him, not just his free for all.  Slower heeling.  Active proofing to get him thinking on his finishes.  And still lots of reward for fast, fold back downs; a lifetime issue for Vito.



The tollers have done 2 more agility trials since I last posted.  One day of USDAA the first weekend of March and then we just got done with 2 days of UKI this past weekend.

It's just hit me that Vito has really settled into a nice, consistent agility dog.  He has come a long way since I was close to retiring him a few years ago!  Recently just his first run of the day is his slower run and then he's been deciding to run for the rest.  He's never been much of a morning dog.
I still limit his runs to 3-4 the first day and generally 2 on the 2nd day if I do one.

No video of his USDAA runs but he went 3 for 3, even getting a difficult weaving gamble!
UKI he was 4 for 6 with all very solid runs.  So close on this super fun jumpers course!

Zumi is also maturing nicely alongside just a tiny bit of "whee!" runs.  USDAA she was incredibly solid for her 4 runs.  Listening to cues!  I still have a long way to go though in really learning how to handle her.

And we still have some focus issues with people distractions.  She kinda loses her mind with her favorite people still.  Flail!!!
Grandma was nice enough to visit again for the UKI and Zumi couldn't quite handle it for her first run.  Especially when she lost track of where she was!  Second run was better so there is some improvement going on.
Run #1 where I hardly had a dog:

And her last run on saturday in the challenging masters heat class.  Sucked into 2 tunnels but I was proud of her on an advanced level course:

Final run of the weekend was the master challengers standard course which she came so close to qualifying but just had to rush to the dogwalk!  Video is pretty low quality but it was my favorite run of the weekend!:

Things are kinda coming together!

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