Archive for April, 2010

Professor gets a new toy!

April 27, 2010

Lest anyone think Professor is not spoiled out of his tiny mind, I bought him a couple of Nina Ottosson toys. The one called Casino arrived the other day. It’s a set of drawers that the dog must pull out to get a treat. To make it harder, there are pegs that hold the drawers shut, so the dog must pull out the peg, then open the drawer. Well, given that he’s just a baby, I didn’t put the pegs in for his first go. I put microwaved liverwurst bits in the drawers, and let him go to it. He loves it!

Professor plays the Casino

 

Amelia takes a turn at the tables

 

Amelia works the Casino

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Professor’s Classes and Product Review

April 21, 2010

After a great weekend at the seminar, Professor fell off a cliff Monday night. No attention, unable to sit or down or push his easy button, he was just all over the place. Oh well, he’s entitled to have an off day now and then. I think maybe, despite having the day to rest up, he was still a little tired after the seminar. Or maybe he just wasn’t in the mood. This weekend, we have no special plans, so he should have a chance to rest up.

Tuesday night’s class worked a bit better. His tummy was upset when we arrived, but after he tossed up some foam and rested a bit on his mat, he felt much better and really got into the work. We did a little work with his easy button, played a little tug, then had a great play session with his JRT friend, Mouse. We practiced calling them out of play and then releasing them to play again. Then Lori helped me do some restrained recalls with him, and he was great.

One of the other students brought one of the Nina Ottossen (sp?) toys to class. It’s basically a dish, with indentations; you put a treat in each indentation, then cover it with a plastic “bone”. The dog sniffs out the treats and has to figure out how to remove the bone to get to them. Professor loved it! So much so that today I ordered him a couple of her games from Amazon. They’re not toys to be left with the dogs unsupervised, but it’s great fun to watch the pup think and figure out how to manipulate the toy.

The Professor does a seminar

April 18, 2010

He was attending, not giving it, but for 15 weeks old he did really well. The seminar was with Jane Killion, who wrote “When Pigs Fly: Training Success With Impossible Dogs”. The basenjis and I are big fans! And it was well worth getting up at 4.

The morning was devoted to a discussion of training and then some free shaping. They set up 6 stations, with different objects in each square of ring gating, and we shaped our dogs to interact with the objects. Then we rotated to a different station, so we didn’t do any one thing very long, but got to practice shaping with lots of different stuff. Professor notes that every place he’s ever gone to where there are other dogs, there’s a tippy board! And he was very good with it. He’s also seen the ladder before. But the skateboard was new. I was really afraid he was going to take off with it! and the next thing I’d hear is that he’s living in Ventura and getting a tattoo! He really thought it was pretty neat to move the board. His little brain exploded by the fourth station, so he got to go out and take a nap in the car with Uncle Joey while Amelia filled in.

In the afternoon, Jane worked with each dog and handler individually. I brought Professor and Amelia in, figuring I’d be working with Amelia and my friend would keep Professor, but Jane called on the puppy! and we worked on attention. We discovered that he doesn’t want to work with a stranger, and he kept running back to me when Jane tried to work with him. But I was getting attention heeling for, oh, whole seconds at a time by the end. And for a baby, that’s not bad. He really was very good all day, whether crated in the other room with Amelia or working or watching or accepting the salutes of his many fans. He really is a cute boy! and good, too!

More Tracking, a Late Report, and News

April 16, 2010

I took everybody tracking tonight. Amelia had a longish track, which she was terrible on. She was hard to start, good on the straights, missed every turn, took off on a critter trail… ick. Just ick. I think next time I’ll lay her an urban track and see if that gets her back into the game. The only time she was really good tonight was crossing the parking lot; the girl really doesn’t like grass. And I got a tick on me. Double ick.

Professor did a little bitty HIT track with lots of hot dogs. He thought that was pretty special. And he did it very nicely. Maybe HE’S my tracking dog. Then I re-baited the track and ran Joey on it. He usually follows the Giant Shedding Pepperoni Monster, but we’re out of pepperoni so he had to make do with hot dogs. He survived, although he’s still got this thing about stepping over the bait then backtracking to it. He’s an odd dog.

Professor had a good class Monday night. He used his Easy button, and even did some downs in public! Whoo hoo! I also snuck in a little LAT the other puppies. I don’t think he understands it, but he’s happy to get clicked. He really enjoys the agility part of the class, especially the TUNNEL! and the tippy board, and last Monday we introduced a dog-walk plank flat on the ground. We missed our Tuesday night class, because I had a flat tire on the way home and by the time I got a new tire and got home it was too late to get to class.

And the news is, Amelia is going to be on Leslie McDevitt’s new DVD, about the games from CU! Amelia’s a star, even if she sometimes sucks at tracking.

Professor’s first agility trial

April 12, 2010

Professor got to go to the agility trial, too, even if it was all about Amelia. He spent most of his time in the car with Joey, who came along to babysit while Amelia was busy. He got to come in the building and watch agility, and meet people and dogs, and schmooze. It was an unusual trial in that there were several guys competing, so he got to meet some male persons for a change. He was charming, and has figured out that if he looks adorable and sits people think he’s brilliant and give him cookies. He thinks this is a very good thing, so was sitting at people all over the place.

Sacked out basenjis

Amelia, Joey, and Professor were definitely ready for a nap when we got home Sunday!

It’s all about Amelia

April 11, 2010

We went to a CPE agility trial this weekend. Amelia ran 10 times, and qualified 9 times. The one NQ was totally my fault; I was on the wrong side of the ring when the whistle blew and we were 2 seconds over max. time. It was Amelia’s debut in Level 3, and she was magnificent. We did have one level 2 run, the last she needed for her Level 2 Handler’s Games title, and her Level 2 title. Those are her 29th and 30th performance titles.

Amelia's a STAR!

I could not be prouder of this girl!

Back on track

April 9, 2010

I laid a track for Amelia on the way home from work today, mostly on grass then across a parking lot and island-hopping up the lot. Went home, walked the pups, took them back to the track. While I was waiting for Amelia’s track to age, I put down a scent pad for Professor. I walked and scuffed a rectangle on a patch of grass, and scattered several pieces of dehydrated beef heart in the rectangle.

The boy has the makings of a tracker, I think. It took him a minute or so to realize that heart was GROWING RIGHT OUT OF THE GROUND! but once he twigged to that, he was into the game. Beef heart is his current favorite treat. He worked the pad, even seeming to be casting at one point–a very methodical back and forth. He wandered out of the pad from time to time, and checked out fallen branches and trees and weird plants, but came back with at first a little encouragement, and then no encouragement, I just stood there holding his leash and let him figure it out. Once he got started, his head was down and he was sniffing that grass like crazy!

It started to sprinkle a bit, but not too bad, so I took Amelia out and harnessed her and took her to her track. It’s the first track since this horrible winter we just got through, so I laid a very simple track, straight out on grass, turn, into the parking lot, turn, then island-hopping up the lot. She found the start article, was slow to indicate but did when I asked. Then I found out that she’s totally forgotten starts. So I stood there with her on a short-ish line (about 10 feet) while she wandered around looking confused. Finally got her started, and she sort of said, oh, this, I remember this! and off she went. We were almost to the first turn, i.e., as far from the car as possible, when the sprinkles turned into a major downpour. The kind where you can’t see your dog, let alone your flags, articles, or landmarks. So we aborted it there and ran for cover in the car. Next time I’ll lay several starts for her and see if I can get her back into the game.

On a different subject, there’s a blog I like a lot called Three Woofs and a Woo. The author, Food Lady, takes fabulous pictures of her dogs and writes wonderfully. A few months ago, she got a puppy and she’s posted several pictures of all her dogs, including the puppy, sitting together. It’s a cool way to see the puppy grow. So I decided to try the same thing. Now, FL has a much better camera than I do, and much, MUCH more talent for photography, and I suspect she actually trains her dogs. So her photos are much better than mine.

Amelia and Joey watch in amazement

I think Amelia said something to Professor, like “you’re ugly and your mother dresses you funny” ’cause he just sort of exploded.

Hi Uncle Joey! Wanna play?

Finally,

I come up to Auntie Amelia's shoulder

Maybe by next month Professor will know how to sit. Or maybe not.

Busy, busy, busy

April 7, 2010

Last weekend Amelia and I went to an AKC rally trial. She did well, getting her 5th (out of 10) RAE leg. Since that requires qualifying in both Advanced and Excellent, it’s pretty cool when it all works. She did have one of her mat moments, where she laid down and rolled around. Fortunately, it was before we started, and I sort of let her roll a bit, hoping she’d get it out of her system. Then I kept her moving pretty smartly through the rest of the courses, and we didn’t have any more mat rolls. And I remembered to perform the signs the AKC way, not the APDT way. And I hear UKC is different again, but we haven’t done that yet.

Of course Professor came with us. After Amelia’s runs, I brought him into the building, where he met an aussie puppy, and an adult chihuahua, and a cavalier. We stayed out of the way, since he’s under 6 months and shouldn’t be at dog shows. But he got to see a show, even though it was only rally and obedience. And he was cool with the whole thing, even staying in the car with Uncle Joey while Amelia was busy.

Monday night was our S.T.A.R. puppy class. He’s still doing well, and we didn’t get snarked at by a GSD this week. He still needs a mid-class potty break, and some down time on his mat with his chewy, but he’s very good about performing even when there are other puppies! and tunnels! and a tippy board! around. This puppy just keeps getting better.

Tuesday was our other puppy class. We started Susan Garrett’s crate games. Professor has no problem with his crate, so sitting in it and having cookies rain down on top of him was pretty easy. I’ve got the DVD, must watch that and find out what comes next! And we had our play sessions with Mouse the JRT, and Sprocket the frenchie, and Tory the beardie. Professor is a little wary of Tory, she’s SOOOOO much bigger than he is! and so hairy! And he found out that if he sits at Lori and looks cute, she might give him a cookie! isn’t that exciting! I can certainly live with a dog that thinks sitting to say hi is the way to go. Of course, I need to teach him to stand to say hi, too, for all those judges I hope he’ll be meeting and greeting. But for 12 weeks, he’s doing really well.