Archive for July, 2010


July 29, 2010

I hope. There was a for-real photographer at the agility trial we went to over July 4, and he got some great pix of Amelia doing agility (slowly, but hey, it was HOT) and of Professor playing with a poodle and a cattle dog. Hope this works:

Blasting out of the tunnel.

She’s so cute when she jumps!

Amelia negotiates the teeter.

Amelia hops onto the table to stop the clock.

Meanwhile, Professor was outside playing with his new best buds:

Professor and his poodle buddy

Professor makes new friends

Happy Professor!

Runs with poodles!


Professor gets leveled

July 23, 2010

Sue Ailsby has very graciously put a complete training program on her website, for FREE! It’s called Training Levels. Her website is www DOT dragonflyllama DOT com. The levels are a detailed training program that provide the basis for whatever competition sports or service or even household behaviors you want your dog to have.

So Professor started level 1 tonight. To pass level 1, he has to come, sit, down, touch my hand, and do doggy zen, all to specifications in the level. When he’s completed that, we start on level 2. From his S.T.A.R. puppy classes, he already knows sit, down, touch, and we’ve started doggy zen. He had a fabulous recall, but is now in adolescence and all his brains have fallen out his left ear. So we’ll be working on that.

I’ve also signed up for an online recall class Susan Garrett is running, starting Aug. 1. Her website is http:// susangarrettdogagility DOT com. Hopefully that will help with his recalls. We did a bit of practice at Ruth’s last weekend, calling him back and forth between us, and then doing some restrained recalls. I’ve also been doing collar grabs with him. He’s fine with having his collar grabbed for a treat when he’s loose, either in the house or at our dog run, but not when he’s on-leash and we’re on a walk. I need to start carrying better treats.

We’ll hope for a short adolesence and a quick return of his brain cells.

Tiiiirrred basenjis

July 18, 2010

Professor had another handling lesson yesterday. We did a lot of work on the table. He tends to be very resistant to having his various body parts moved, so my homework is to get him to relax and “give” to light pressure. Just in the lesson, he started letting go, so by next week he should be fairly “stackable”. We also worked on his down-and-backs, and having him go ahead of me to the judge. That’s coming along nicely, too. And he gaited very well. Bless his little heart.

Today we went over to Ruth’s for another swimming session. The life vest almost fits Professor, and (she found out, to her dismay) fits Amelia perfectly. Professor had three short swimming sessions, with me holding the vest, and it was a real workout for him. Amelia was so interested in the canned cheese he was getting that we gave her a couple of turns as well. No pix, since Ruth and I were in the pool with the dogs. Of course, they both had to run and roll in the dirt to get that nasty water off themselves, but they were both perfectly clean by the time we got home. Love those wash-and-wear dogs! Now they’re sound asleep. Swimming is HARD WORK, say the basenjis.

And a third point

July 12, 2010

So, on Saturday Professor again went WD and BOW, for his third point. Felt good, and he handled nicely. We need a lot of work on the table; he wants to lean against me. And until today, I didn’t realize that you’re allowed to stand in front of the dog! So maybe that will work better for Professor. He is a handsome boy.

And he was still handsome on Sunday, when he went second of two in puppies. Oh well, it wasn’t as good an outing, and he didn’t show as well. He was totally distracted on the table. He wanted to turn around and watch a handler who was breaking down his set-up behind us, and I couldn’t get him to stand straight at all.

But I got more than I was expecting. I just wanted this outing to tell us what we needed to work on, and to get both of us a little ring experience. The three points are just gravy.

And Again

July 9, 2010

Professor went back to the dog show today. And again, he was WD and BOW. So that’s another point, yay Professor!

And the judge advised me on how to gait him, and it went much better. I was doing the same thing I do in obedience, slowing down lest the dog get too ramped up and take off. But Professor needs to move out more, and when I let him, he gaited much better. It felt better, too. So maybe I’m getting a little less clueless. Professor was very good about the exam, and he just naturally stands pretty square. And he was a little less obsessed with looking at the other puppy. Not entirely over it, but better.

And I have his leash around the chair leg, and am practicing reeling it in and folding it up while I read email. Maybe in a few years I’ll actually be able to do it as gracefully as the other handlers….

Professor does dog show

July 8, 2010

Professor went to his first conformation show today. He is 6 months and 5 days old. There were two 6-9 month puppies entered, and the other was about 8 months. He also had a handler who’d been in the ring before. Well, so had I, but it was 10 years ago when I showed Amelia a couple of times, to no avail. Professor and I have had one handling lesson.

He’s got the stand part of stand still down pretty well, but the still part…. not so much. He really wanted to turn around and play with the other puppy. As soon as he wakes up, he’s going to write to AKC and suggest that free playtime should be part of all puppy classes. He gaited much better than I expected, with only one incident where he tried to go 90 miles an hour in three different directions. But I got him back and he went around pretty well. He was good on the table, and the judge was very nice, and patient, and kind to a youngster on his first time out.

Oh, and we won the class, and winners’ dog, and best of winners, for Professor’s first-ever point. Bless his brindle little heart!

Road Trip!

July 6, 2010

We went on a road trip this weekend. Amelia was entered in a 3-day CPE agility trial, which was just far enough away that I decided to stay near the site rather than drive about 2 hours each way for three straight days.

So off we went, Amelia, Professor,  Joey, and I,  to a Holiday Inn near Harrisburg, PA. We had a great time. Professor was very good, and Amelia and Joey are old hands at traveling. Friday night, I had Professor sleep in his crate, but Saturday and Sunday nights he slept on the bed with the rest of us. It was pretty hot, and got hotter as the weekend went on, so everybody was very tired and ready to settle down and sleep hard all night.  Since they were crated all day at the trial, I didn’t want to leave them crated while I ate, so it was Room Service time! Professor was fascinated that people will come and knock on your door and bring food! What a concept! And he loved rearranging the pillows.

Professor with pillows

Professor and Joey, snuggled in

Her Majesty claimed the armchair

The trial site had an outdoor agility area, fully fenced with chain link, that we were allowed to use to run the dogs off-leash. Professor got to play with his buddy Twist, and also with a bc, a corgi, a poodle, and a cattle dog. He really enjoyed running around with his new buds, even when the poodle told him off for being an obnoxious puppy. The poodle was perfectly right, and Professor accepted being told off with no ill effects, and they went on to play happily together.

Saturday was Professor’s 6-month birthday, and he celebrated by being introduced to wickets. He was totally unimpressed, which is a good thing.

Amelia, on the other hand, is starting to show her age. She’ll be 11 in August, and she just can’t run like she used to. We had some very nice runs, but NQ’d because of time faults. I pulled her from a lot of classes because of the heat, and because it seemed kind of pointless. When she had a perfectly beautiful colors run, not making a single mistake, not putting a foot wrong, and ended up 6 seconds over time, it was very disappointing. But she got lots of treats, regardless, and got to play with me without the obnoxious puppy butting in, so it was all good for her.

Walking the three dogs together was a real adventure. Usually, I walk Professor and Amelia, then Professor and Joey. But I didn’t want to leave anyone alone in the hotel, so we sallied out together. Professor’s hobby is macrame with leashes, and he made some interesting patterns. Joey, of course, is blind, so he sort of bumbles around, and Amelia lunges at possible bunny holes. By the end of the weekend, though, it was getting better. Joey had figured out how high the curbs were, and was having fewer problems. There was a nice big grassy area right outside the door for the dogs to use.

Professor got to see a lot of new things. He has his doubts about ice machines, but was unfazed by the automatic doors. He met lots of people, and dogs, practiced stacking and being wicketed, and learned that sometimes he just has to sit in the car while Auntie Amelia gets to go do things. There was a photographer at the trial on Saturday, and I’ll try to import some of his (good) photos when he posts them.