Wednesday, April 3, 2013

National Walking Day

Today was National Walking Day.  I participated in a local event over my lunch hour.  I brought my camera and explored the area where I work.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Easter Sunday - Visit to Sugar Grove Nature Center

Hope you had a wonderful Easter!  We celebrated on Saturday with family, so Sunday was open for adventure.  We spent a part of the afternoon at the Sugar Grove Nature Center, which has several trails.  We didn't see many animals - just a few birds - but did spot several animal tracks in the mud on the trails.

We took a lot of pictures.  I have to go thru all of them, but here are a couple of quick edits:

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

31 Days of Training - Day 19

Had a late practice this evening; had a very important appointment after work. Okay, it was for my hair, but that's important ;-)

Teddy went first. We did sends from the plank to the weaves and weaves to the plank, using the ready treat.

Louie was so excited to go, I thought he was going to burst. He started with his bang it game, and he was really hitting the wobble board with enthusiasm. We may need to change the surface the wobble board hits to something louder; I'm thinking a cookie sheet. He also did sends from the plank to the weaves and weaves to plank. (Both boys will run in Open FAST at the national.). I played around with some heeling with him and a drop on recall. I don't intend to ever compete in obedience with him again, but he likes it.

We are on our "spring break" - no agility classes this week or next. We do have agility sport group practice tomorrow night so the boys will get some practice on the equipment this week.

Annie choose to take the night off, but here's a picture of her from last week doing a down/stay.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, March 18, 2013

31 Days of Training - Days 14-18

I've been lax in my blogging ... But not my training!

Here's a recap:

Days 14-15

Did pretty much the same thing each time. Louie and Teddy both worked on weaves and running along the plank. We even did plank to the weaves. Louie also worked his "bang it" and Teddy worked sends with his "ready - set - go" game.

Annie worked obedience. We had trouble with downs early last week and spent the end of last week with her offering downs to me over and over! She loves to practice and is always excited for her turn.

Days 16-17
The weekend was a light training time. I worked Anne's with Louie. I made him do sit/stays and wait while I set whatever he was wanting (water bowl, favorite toy) on the ground and released him. I thought this was going to be difficult for him, since we hadn't practiced it in a while, but he did so well.

Day 18
Today, Annie got to go first. We worked on heeling, back up, stays, and recalls.

Louie went next. We worked on sends and recalls thru the weaves. We also worked on bang it. He can now be sent to the wobble board from a distance.

Teddy worked on running along the plank and did plank to weaves. He didn't like going last!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

31 Days of Training - Day 13

We got a lot of training in today ...

First, I took Teddy to the club so I could teach my last class for the winter session.  We just had a few minutes before it was time to set up the class course, so Teddy did a couple reps of "ready - set - go" over a set of three jumps.

When we came back home, Annie and Louie were ready and eager to have their turn to play.  Louie worked on the "bang it" game again.  He is catching on quickly.  We also worked "ready - set - go" with the plank and did some weaves.

Annie worked on down/stay first, since that wasn't going very well yesterday.  Today, she did them much better.  We also worked heeling and recalls.  I was playing around yesterday and today and discovered that she knows how to back up pretty well!  We used to practice that against a wall, but now she is getting really good at doing it without the wall right next to her.  What a good girl!

Teddy got another turn to play.  He did "ready - set - go" with the plank and did some recalls and sends thru the weaves.

I was just browsing my pictures folder and found these pictures from several years ago ... just had to share:

Here's a link to a picture of Louie from this past weekend .. he really can fly:  Louie Sunday Jumpers

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

31 Days of Training - Day 12

Not sure why we are getting snow every Tuesday for the past three weeks, but I am hoping *this* will be the final snow of the season.  It's still not warm enough to practice outside, so I took all three dogs downstairs to our indoor training space.

I started with Louie.  I've been thinking of something I could do that might possibly help him with his teeter "bang" phobia.  I pulled out our old wobble board: a square piece of plywood painted with a yellow paint + sand - similar to a non-rubberized contact obstacle surface.  I used to put a toy under it and have the dogs play on it so that they would become comfortable with a surface that moves.

I took that idea one step further.  I also had a plastic pegboard (which I have used in the past to help train obedience scent articles) that I put underneath the wobble board, as my basement has carpet.  I encouraged Louie to "hit it" so that the wobble board would make a sound.  He was fine with this noise; it is not nearly as loud or sharp as the teeter board at club makes.  I will continue to work with him on the wobble board on plastic and then graduate to other surfaces: wobble board on wood and then wobble board on metal (like a cookie sheet.)  

We also worked on off-side weaves (since that was an issue on last Sunday's standard course) and played "ready - set - go" with the plank.

I had to take several breaks during Louie's training session to get Annie off of the back of the couch, which she kept jumping up on so that she could get a better view of Louie's training session.  She was so up and excited today.  We worked on heeling, stand for exam, recalls, and down/stay.  Annie enjoyed everything EXCEPT the down/stay.  She wasn't interested in doing a down or a stay.  Something to work on in different places.

Teddy went last.  We worked weaves and ready - set - go.  He is really enjoying practice.  I have him entered in a trial next month (if we get in).  It will be good to see how his training will translate to a trial situation.

Monday, March 11, 2013

31 Days of Training - Day 11

Today was our last night of Sequencing class for the winter session.  In just a couple of weeks, the SPRING session will begin.  I'm hoping the spring weather comes as well.

I had to leave the club early tonight for another commitment so I couldn't stay for both classes, but was able to run both Louie and Teddy in the early class due to a couple of students being absent.  The course was a review of all we have worked on this session.

Both boys did very well:

TEDDY ran so fast!  I think the "ready - set - go" game is making a difference.  He even started to move out ahead of me in places.  His weaves picked up as well.  I definitely see an improvement in him from the beginning of the session.

LOUIE showed improvement as well.  We had a teeter on our course and typically, he doesn't run when our club's teeter is out.  The noise bothers him.  Tonight I got him to run up until the teeter and after some effort (less effort than usual), was able to get him to do the teeter (more than once).

Overall, I'm very happy with how our training is going and will continue to work on our areas which need improvement.