Friday, 30 January 2009

Poor Dudley

Took Dudley training last night and because I'm trying not to say a contact command to Suzi and Tom and am starting to work wider of them in the weaves I promptly forgot to tell him to 'look' for his contact and ran really wide when he was in the weaves. I think he was slightly confused as he whizzed through the weaves until he got to about 9 or 10 then suddenly realised that I wasn't standing there encouraging him and came out. His contacts were erratic to say the least BUT he was really up for it and I'm hoping that if he runs as fast as that at shows we may get some clears in the course time this year.

Wednesday, 28 January 2009

Although Tom’s visit to Julia was very positive there was a bit of doom and gloom which means making some changes to Tom’s agility career for the time being. She was really pleased with his progress as he’s more in proportion muscle wise, not Arnie at the front and Mr Muscle at the back anymore, and his patella’s clonk now and don’t grind which is apparently a good thing! He didn’t actually need much treatment, in fact Dudley had the most as after getting kicked by Fenella he was left with a bit of whiplash which is now sorted out.

After their treatment we talked about the way forward for Tom and the conclusion is that as he is he could probably get through half the season but may then be back to square one so I have made the hard decision to pull him out of Leah’s Thursday night session, which is a shame as I’ll miss Nancy moaning about all the running Leah makes us do (I’m going to finish this course running Dudley so will have to record some of it to get me through the rest of the year) I’m going to still run him once a fortnight or so on a Wednesday alternating with Suzi as this class isn’t as intensive as Thursday. I will still be doing shows with him but will stick to one or two runs a day plus we have been thinking of exercises to do to use his back legs more independently, I thought of the Elephant trick but Julia was thinking more of things like walking him sideways across slopes and trying to get him to walk sideways away from me crossing his legs rather than shuffling, not sure that made sense and to be honest I’m not having much luck with it so if anyone has any ideas I would be grateful.

Here are a few pictures of Julia working on them, they don’t usually wear collars and leads while being treated but Dudley pushed in. I love the first one of Duds and he has a really smug look on his face, the second one looks as if she’s strangling him but you can see he’s nearly asleep. The one of Tom is funny as he wanted to play with Dudley so is very wild eyed but look how shiny his nose is. Julia would only let me take photos if I promised to only have her hands in them and not her face!

I’ve started training Suzi’s dogwalk with a flannel halfway between the start of the contact and the end and have been working with her to get her to step on it on the way through rather than leaping over the whole thing plus Mac thinks I need to work wider of the dogwalk, stand more upright and slightly behind her and Wendy says not to shout ‘Yeah’ quite so deeply as she looks at me in a very shocked way plus I’m trying not to stare at her on the way down as this seems to slow her down and then launch herself off.

What with Tom’s legs and Suzi’s contacts looks like I’m going to have to rely on the ankle biting Dudley this year and after he nearly pulled me over in the woods the other day by ambushing me and grabbing the tags on my wellies I’m hoping that the rest of the club can get us into the premier division of the Agility Club league for next year.

The Dog Brick was a roaring success but I got it a bit wrong as to their reactions, Tom quickly got the idea that there were treats available and also how to open the door but lost interest very quickly, Suzi did just sit and look at me for a while but after she’d seen Dudley who was a bit like a bull in a china shop to start with but got the hand of it the quickest of all she seemed to understand that she needed to get the doors open but struggled a bit pushing them and resorted to sneaking in under Dudley’s head and pinching the treat once he’d opened the door. I know they should probably have been kept separate while playing with the brick but Dad kept two amused while I sat with the one working out the doors but Suzi has the speed of a striking snake and was there and gone before any of us realised what she was doing. I really wish I’d videoed it.

I know Leah has tagged me but I’m going to wait until I can look at my pictures at home before I reply to it.

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

I've bought the dogs a Dog Brick which has doors that slide and you can put treats underneath them and let the dogs work out how to get at them. I'm going to try it tonight and judging by reponses I got last night when I was doing some clicker training with all three (not together) I think Tom will get the idea the quickest, Suzi will eventually understand but after she's tried to get me to open the door by looking sweet and blond and Dudley will dive in like a bull in a china shop and try and pick the whole thing up.

The wobble cushion above is the same as the one I have to do Tom's exercises on, he has to stand with his back legs square on the cushion while I nudge him gently off balance we have built up to 2 minutes a day every other day now. This is to encourage him to use the muscles in his back legs and he's actually quite good now so fingers crossed as we have an appointment with Julia at Galen on Thursday so I'm hoping she's going to say things are getting better.

I make Duds and Suzi do it too, but they are so well balanced it's hard to nudge them off balance now, only last night Suzi had other ideas and promptly jumped off and dragged it into her bed.

I don't make them stand on the nobbly side but I've found that if I do I can really feel a tingly sensation up my legs.

Monday, 12 January 2009

Had to chuckle on Saturday - I took the dogs to Oldbury Woods which is our usual weekend haunt and a place Dudley knows like the back of his hand and had got two thirds of the way round when I got a phone call. A man told me that he'd found a very tired little dog who seemed upset and unable to stand up, the only dog missing was Dudley and he'd been gone 2-3 minutes so I hadn't even called him so was very suprised that he could apparently be so tired. We worked out that we were heading in the same direction but on paths about 200 yards apart so agreed to meet where the paths crossed, I got there and a couple of minutes later this couple with a Newfie came round the corner with the man carrying Dudley who when he saw me looked very sheepish and came running when he was put down. I thanked the couple profusley as I did really appreciate them calling me but laughed to myself and out loud all the way back to the car as I could just see Dudley coming across the Newfie and going into submissive mode then convincing the couple that he had been abandoned in the woods for hours and was exhausted, apparently he had 'perked up' when the woman got her treat bag out.

Tuesday, 6 January 2009

Breaking news

Both Suzi and Thomas have qualified for the SupaDARL Final in June.

This will be Suzi's third one so I'm hoping that this year I wont let her down.

I'm chuffed to bits that both of them have qualified this year.

Monday, 5 January 2009

Natasha Wise training clinic

Took Suzi to a training session with Natasha on Saturday and even though it was very cold she worked much better than I thought she would, usually she goes off the boil a bit or very clingy but not this time. Natasha is very good and talks a lot about her theory behind what she's telling us which I found really helped she also gave some good pointers as to what I should do about Suzi's flying contacts as she saw first hand what she does. We were the only small dog there which I always find a bit embarrasing as the jumps have to kepp being put up and down but I don't think we held th class up at all. I'm going to really work on Suzi's dog walk and try and be much more consistant rather than let her get away with it. I'll keep you posted.
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