Always Training. Always Learning.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Ignorance is Never Bliss

I have run into so little breed discrimination since bringing home Violet that I some times forget it exists.

We started a new puppy class tonight. Phlox was there like he always is being his usual goofy self.
A family came in with two small children. We love to have children in our puppy classes to help socialize the pups.
We put my son and the two other children in a pen so that the puppies couldn't jump up. By this time I noticed the mom was uncomfortable but I thought she was worried about her children's behavior.
To make the kids happy Phlox and I got in the pen. I have never seen such a look of horror on some ones face. The mom was terrified. I asked if it was ok. She said no. I asked if it was because he was a "pit bull". She said yes.
She quickly took her kids and walked out. Her husband handled the puppy the rest of the class.

It was like some one had come into my home and slapped me across the face while insulting one of my children.  It would be one thing if Phlox were an out of control adult dog who was here for aggression. He's not. He's just a 7 month old puppy who already has his CGC and is training to be a therapy dog.  Well socialized, well behaved and very well trained.
Needless to say we will be addressing breed discrimination next week.

To ad insult to injury they have a black lab puppy.
Here is what a 9 month old black lab puppy did to me a little over two years ago. Just a daycare dog I was walking 100ft to a potty spot.

These pictures don't show all the wounds or how deep they were.
It's a little hard to see but the red spot on my cheek is where I hit when he dragged me to the ground.
 I got very lucky and people responded to my cries for help. It took 4 men to get him off of me. It makes me sick to think what could have happened if there had been no one around.

More Pictures

I came across a few more pictures from this weekend. Most of the pictures were taken by a fellow blogger, Trish. She takes great pictures and competes in rally as well.

I finally found some of Chuck. Here we are waiting for our green ribbon.
I love this picture of Badger. Although I think I've looked better.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What A Weekend

This weekend marks my 2 year anniversary in competitive obedience. It really does feel like only Yesterday I was stepping into the ring for the first time.

This year I competed with my two males Badger, who actually belongs to a client, and my dog Chuck.

Friday was a train wreck. I was out of sorts because of parking and I haven't been to a show all year so I'm out of practice and I think it rubbed off on the dogs. Badger acted like a spooked horse in the ring. I ended up cutting my loses and excusing us before he could realize there was no training allowed in the ring.
Charlie did end up qualifying but shook the entire time. I was very proud of Chuck's stays. There was Open going on in the next ring. Dumb bells and dogs kept flying past but Charlie held his stay. Good Boy!

Saturday was much better. Both Badger and Charlie qualified. They both seemed to be a little more relaxed. It also helped that I was feeling much better.

Sunday was both great and disappointing.
Charlie was feeling much better and did two beautiful heel patterns. When it came time for the recall a large group had gathered right behind me. When the command was given Charlie shot towards me like a rocket. He slid into my left knee and veared to the left. He ended up taking a few steps towards the ring opening. It was enough to NQ us.

Badger had a wonderful run. His heeling was so good that we only lost 3 points. Sadly there was a huge commotion behind him just as I gave the command to "come" and he got distracted. I had to give a second command effectively NQing us.

Next Charlie and I participated in a obedience demonstration geared towards mixed breed dogs. Charlie got into the ring and had a blast. We did some heeling, stays and a recall. Man does he love to come to me!
Afterwards we met some of the spectators and Chuck got plenty of petting and love from everyone. It's hard to believe that just a few years ago Charlie was a horrible out of control dog that was iffy around children, couldn't be trusted off leash and reactive around other dogs.

Now that I'm home I realize how unbelievably sore and tired I am. And even though more than one person came out of the ring vowing they will never compete again I know that despite it all we will all be back next year.

Here are a few pictures of me and Badger. No one was there in time to take pictures of Charlie.
Badger has a very long stride so when the judge calls "fast" I have to run. The leash looks tight but it's not. there was a good foot hanging down.

We were so pleased to see other large breeds showing.

Monday, July 4, 2011

The Amstaffs Got the Day Off

This Saturday the West Houston Obedience club put on a show and go. Neither of my Amstaffs needed to work on anything so I just took my two fluffy boys.

I didn't manage to get any video of Charlie doing his Rally Excellent run through. So, you will just have to believe me when I say he did a fantastic job! He is still having trouble with the jumps but at least I know what really needs work now.

This was Badger's first time at a show and go. He use to have a bad habit of shutting down when he got stressed in a new environment. He was very stressed Saturday but did everything I asked of him. Such improvement. His actual commands lacked gusto and focus but the fact that he did not shut down was amazing.

Here is the video of his run through.