Always Training. Always Learning.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Tracking, Stacking and Play Time oh My!

A few days ago I took it up on myself to teach the dogs some tracking. Phlox is the first subject for my tracking experiment.

Like every other sport I do with my dogs I am starting with limited knowledge and no instructor. I started Phlox off in the part of the front yard that no one uses. I walked in a large circle and dropped a few treats in my foot prints. I brought Phlox towards the circle, stood about 2 feet away and told him to "Track" to my amazement he did. We moved on to a 6 foot straight line and a U turn next.

Yesterday I found the perfect field for our little sessions. It's about 3 acres with trees, gravel, tall and short grass and a slab of pavement.
I set up a long track with a few turns and left to get Phlox. We came back 20-30 minutes later. It was then that I realized I need flags! I had been using sticks and flowers but in such a large space the track was very hard to find.
I did eventually find it and we set to work. Phlox did ok but it was windy and I think I had spaced the treats too far apart in such a new environment and he got a little confused.
Next I set up a short track just to work on his turns. Again I could see that flags are needed before I try this again. This one he did pretty well except for a little confusion on aright turn.

After all the "work" was done we hung out and played awhile.

Today I set to work training for the conformation ring. I am not working on perfection but he does need to hold position, move when told and allow me to fix his legs with out moving.

Of course there was plenty of hanging out over the weekend too!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Phlox is a STAR

On Saturday April 9th Phlox passed his AKC STAR puppy test. It was a stressful morning so neither of us did our best but it was fun and Phlox did everything I asked of him.

My brother was nice enough to video some of the test. He didn't know how to use my camera though and most of it is unusable.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Proof Is In The Pudding.

A few years ago I was presented with a dilemma. How do I get two tiny puppies and an adult dog home when we have to walk a mile?
The answer came from a doggy backpack from Old Navy.
You could say the rest is history.

The Picture

The Proof

This picture has made Violet pretty famous and as for the pups. They both found wonderful homes a few months later.
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Another Outing.

Yesterday Phlox, Violet and I helped man the Pup Scouts booth at the Houston Pet Expo.

Phlox was a hit with the children. The kids seemed to be a hit with Phlox too.
 We ended up doing some obedience on a chair to show off some of his skills.

 He got to say Hi to some doggy buddies in the process.
 And it put him at the perfect height for some more petting.
 Violet and I participated in a game of musical chairs. The little black and white pit bull Rosie CGC is a former student and came from the same shelter as Violet. It was a very nice surprise to run into her and her owner.

 Violet and I came in second. The other team was just closer to the chair when the music stopped. Violet was such a trooper and tolerated it.
We all had a wonderful time and will be going back next year. Once again both my dogs have managed to pleasantly surprise me. Violet also participated in a costume contest and I will post pictures when I get them.