Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Some backyard practice and other goings on!

The other day Mum was whining because it was so cold. Well, we got what we wished for, it warmed up a little on Sunday, enough for us to get in a little backyard training work.

We warmed up with some mouse pad work for my contacts. Now she can send me out to the 'get it' pad very reliably. We just need more work with the pad on the dog walk. But it's progressing.

We worked on tighter turns. I've been running pretty wide lately. And when she'd try to cue me to turn tighter, she'd mistakenly pull me off the jump. So we worked on that some. Mum's getting her timing down, and learning to hold instead of move too fast and pull me off. She just needs to remember to work in those moves when she's running me through a sequence. We liked the results so far. Still needs work, but...

Mum also likes to work me on some gambles as much as she can, especially with weaves. She set up three jumps with a rear cross turn into the tunnel, then I had to come back into her with a fairly nasty weave entrance, with her layering the three jumps. Did it the first time and two times after. She was pretty proud!

After that we worked on the teeter. Mum is putting the mouse pad at the end of the teeter for my 'get it.' She wants me to go to the end of the teeter and ride it down to get it faster and get me more confident. We're progressing on that. Mum had no idea how much the teeter based moved with little 'ole me on it. She's gonna have to get some weights for it!

Then Mum wanted to work Gracie on her weaves, tight turns, and some rear crosses. Gracie missed a couple of entrances to the weaves, but made it through nicely about 85 percent of the time. But Mum found that there is something about our weaves that throws Gracie off. One of the poles just doesn't sit right and it confuses her. That's why she's been better on the weaves at Trainers and in competition (at least when she'll stop and do them), than she has been at home. So Mum made sure to check the poles this time and it really helped Gracie.

One of our pet peeves about working in the backyard is that we just can't get any speed up, like we can on a larger course area. Mum can't run full out, or we'll all run into the fence. So Mum works on her voice and takes shorter strides to get us more motivated, and works us on specific things likes weaves, teeter, and close turns.

So here's the vid of our training session:

And on the upcoming agility front...

Trainer has set up a practice session on Thanksgiving Day! How lucky can we get? Turkey, veggies, pumpkin The National Dog Show, football, a little fun chasing the rc helicopter - and now agility!

And we'll probably be able to get in a little practice tomorrow afternoon - weather forecast is looking good!

Our next agility trial is the weekend after next in Lafayette on rubber matting. Since we got to practice on the flooring a few weeks back, Mum and I are really looking forward to it. Then we have a USDAA trial the weekend after that, followed by CPE the next weekend. I'll be working on those SQ's and Gamble Q's for my ADCH. And, Gracie gets to run in both the USDAA and CPE trials. We can't wait to see how she does. Maybe she'll get her first USDAA Q? Here's hoping! Then it will be Christmas. Just can't believe it came up so quickly.

So what else has been going on with us?

We did have to take our car in for repairs the other day - we didn't get bad gas afterall, dang it! Seems the ignition coil went out and we had to have it replaced. Have to tell ya, we are soooo glad we got that extended warranty. The bill would have been over $700, and we only had to pay $50. Whew! Sometimes extended warranties are worth it.

Mum went to take a shower the other day and ran out of hot water. Oh you should have heard the noises! Not fun when it's this cold outside. She thinks the water heater elements are going out on the water heater, again. So she is going to have to drain it, replace the elements and fill 'er up again. She just hates that job! After she's done, I may have to wash her mouth out with soap. Good thing she watched the repair man the last time we had a problem with the darn heater. At least now she knows how to fix it. Oh wouldn't it be nice to have a tankless water heater and get rid of this stupid big tank that needs work all the time!

For fun here's a list of 10 things your dog will be thinking on Thanksgiving Day!

The custom agility skin for our Palm Centro shipped yesterday, so we should have it soon. Can't wait to show to all of ya!

I found out the other day that my Canine CPR lens was nominated for Best Pet Lens in the 2008 Giant Squid Awards! If you Squidoo, head on over and vote for me, K?

A word of caution: Be sure and watch out for thin ice on ponds and lakes this time of year. It can be very dangerous for us pups. Here's a sad story of a couple of pups that went after some Geese, fell through the ice and didn't make it.


  1. Hi Johann! You and Gracie and your mum look good out there in your backyard practice! I like that sequence with the layering of jumps and the weaves - it was awesome!

    Good luck to your mum with selling her flute!

    We will enter your give-away, but we need a good photo first. Maybe this weekend when we put our tree up we'll try to get one.

    Have a Happy Thanksgiving - agility on Thanksgiving Day sounds like fun!

  2. You and your mom and Gracie work so hard! But, it must be satisfying when everything goes well!

  3. Those tight turns are some work to train for sure, especially for fast dogs. I have a hard time with Chase and tight turns, and getting the calling right so he gets the jump I want him to get... so I can relate to that!

    We don't have much yard room either for training. It's good for obedience, not so good for agility. Our weather has been holding out for now... though I would like a wee bit of snow. :)

  4. wow, you guys had a good workout. Gracie looks good on her weaves, and Johann... impressive layering move!

  5. I would love a tankless water heater too. I hope things stop breaking soon. Dogs are expensive enough. Ha. Diana

  6. Yeah, it's that timing thing--I've been working on it for more than a decade and you'd think I'd have it down by now, but noooooo. I also wish I had more yard space. My dogs can cover what space I have in about 3 leaps. Maybe that's why I like practicing weave poles a lot.


Thanks for barking in!

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