Saturday, November 22, 2008

Are we agility dogs, or not?

Ok, I have to tell ya, I really don't like this time of year. It's been unseasonably cold. Agility season has wound down a bit, we haven't trialed in three weeks, it's two more weeks before our next trial. And we're not getting in enough practice or exercise.

We're bored, we're edgy, we're testy, we're grumpy, and as much as Mum works with us to work out our brains with games and tricks, and get us exercise on the treadmill, ball work, and doing what we can outside when it's not freezing cold, it just isn't enough. And I have to say, that Mum's even starting to get a little soft around the edges.

We were so desperate for practice this past week, that we went to class in 35 degrees with a wind chill of (oh, gonna have to guess, cause I didn't write it down), maybe 20 degrees. We found out that this is something we don't think we'll be doing again any time soon. It turned so cold, so fast that I haven't even had a chance to get my winter coat in yet.

I ran like the wind at practice, mainly to get warm. When I was done running, I'd sit and look at Mum and shift my front paws back and forth. Mum couldn't focus, because she was too cold, and consequently, handled me poorly. So we didn't feel like the practice was very valuable at all for me.

After running an hour, Mum was a little warmer and worked with Gracie. Gracie did great this week, was super speedy, and made really good decisions, as well as her weave entrance every single time.

After trialing six weeks in a row, with practice during the week, this 'down time' isn't working for us. So Mum is putting thought into what we're going to be doing this winter to keep in shape, keep us working out and keeping us happy.

We'll probably be moving to the barn to train at our weekly time with Trainer, hopefully soon. Luckily we have three trials in December, so that will help. But come January, we only have one or two trials so Mum thinks she's going to find someone to pair up with and rent a ring either on the southside of Indy, or in Lafayette, or somewhere. Or take in open practice at the training center.

At any rate, she has a plan.

So what else have we been up to?

Mum's been working a lot again, which is great. Business is really, really picking up, with sales from the website, and from new marketing clients. She is making hay while the sun shines!

Gracie and I have been working on our Kong technique. The key is to hold it firm with your paw, and really dig in. Gracie's got it down pat, but I still need work, 'cause I end up chasing the thing around the room :)

In between work, Mum has been working us both out on the treadmill, and we've been doing some exercise ball work. We've also been playing games and working on some tricks. My new trick is "are you shy?," with a paw over the nose. And we've been working on my "sneeze on command" trick.

Gracie is rolling over now. For some reason she just wasn't into rolling over. But she's loving it now.

We've also been playing box games, they're fun. Mum lets us offer behaviors with the box and we get good treats for doing new stuff with it. Yesterday, I got completely in the box, that was fun!

We've also been helping Mum with a big surprise we have for all of our friends! We'll be announcing it either tomorrow, or on Monday. Stop on back and read all about it. We think it's gonna be fun for everyone!


  1. I love that picture of you in the box, Johann. You look sweet.

    I had forgotten the box idea. We have the opposite problem to yours - its is getting too HOT here to exercise. (Though we've had wild storms and snow this weekend - weird...)

    We'll get our box out and have fun.

  2. Hi Johann! We've been wondering what you have been up too! You haven't been blogging enough! We're really bored with the cold weather too. Mom tries to entertain me in the house but it's not as much fun as being outside all day. If we lived closer to you, we would pair up with you to train - that would be so much fun!

  3. Yep, the ole reliable box...the most inexpensive toy ever! We were lucky this year, it didn't get too hot for too long, but you're right, it's the same situation :(

    Oh, Wow, Ricky, that would be pawsome! We would love it, here's wishing....

  4. Love your post, Johann. I know what you mean about off time from agility. We get to trial next week in someplace called Rancho Muritea, CA and we're doin' AKC. We haven't been anywhere in two weeks and I'm bored. Mom keeps me busy on with my agility stuff at home, but you can only watch a baby toddle around for so long. A treadmill sounds like a real good idea. I think I'll put one on my Hannukah list. You look very handsome sitting in your box. Keep warm.

  5. Those look like fun things to do! I like going to trials too but the Mum says she needs a break as she was too busy over the summer. And she's liking it! Though weekend after next we get to go again.

    Our weather has been super nice and cold and I like it!


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