Always Training. Always Learning.

Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year New Goals

In the likely event that the world fails to end this year here are my goals for 2012 by dog.

UDX - Thats right it's time to get off my butt and get her working again.
High In Trial - Even if it's at the amstaff nationals.
TT - I have had a hard time finding a test in my area but I am planning on traveling this coming year and hope I will be able to find one.

Both will be easy.  I just have to make it to enough shows.

Ch - If I can improve my sorry handling we might just have a shot.
BN - I'm not in a rush to get him in the obedience ring but I would like to try out beginner novice.
Tracking - I'm not sure if we will be ready to trial but I would like to be well on my way by the fall.
BH - I would love to get his shutzhund BH title


Year end review
It has been a crazy year. Phlox certainly had his ups and downs battling Parvo and Folliculitis. He took so much time to recover that we barely met any of our training goals. He did manage to earn his STAR puppy and CGC by 5 months so what little training we did paid off.
Charlie and Violet have had to take a back seat to the new puppy and crazy schedule. Charlie did manage to earn two legs towards his CD.
Badger earned one leg towards his CD and worked through some issues that came to light at the show. He also earned his RN. I'm still very proud of his perfect score!
It's hard to believe that I only actually made it to three shows this year. Next year is a different story.  

On a non dog related note. My son turned three! It's scary how fast he is growing and how much he is learning. We also added a new member to the family a few months ago. A little parakeet named Hammie.

I hope every one out there has a safe and happy new year. I will be partying with the dogs here at Pup Scouts and hitting the sack around 10:00pm.


Friday, December 30, 2011

Totally Taco

It rarely comes up but if you know me well you know that my first love will always be parrots. This is my 11 year old rescue Timneh grey, Taco.  We have been together for nearly 10 years now.

Over the years I've trained Taco to do a few behaviors on command. Unfortunately it's not a great video. I was actually training just to get him comfortable in our new house.  The camera was making him uncomfortable. 

Taco using a "tool" to scratch his own head

Learning to "shake" with out biting
One of our outings when I still clipped his wings.

Such a sweet face on such an evil bird.
Taco doesn't compete in any sports but as we keep going with his training I'll make sure to post videos of his accomplishments.

"Bye, bye I love you" - Taco

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Trying To Update My Look + Rally Training App

For the new year I'm hoping to ad some pzazz to the blog. Unfortunately I am not very gifted at anything remotely related to computers or the internet. I can't even figure out how to use paint. Really.

Over the last month I saw a huge increase in page views but no increase in followers. I'm really hoping a fun new look will help to capture readers attention. I'm also hoping that my intensive training this coming year will produce many fun and informative videos and photos. It helps that I have finally found my camera but it would help even more if I could figure out how to use it.

So if you are reading this but not following it yet Click the little blue link on the right side you'll be glad you did.

Growling software's Rally obedience dog training app

I have yet to try any paied apps on my smart phone but this one has my interest peaked. It includes pictures of all the AKC signs with definitions. It has yet to be updated to the 2012 changes but that is one of the great things about smart phone apps, they are constantly updating and adding information.

I plan on downloading it and giving it a proper review.

For 0.99 it seems like a worth while tool for most competitors.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


The dogs didn't really get much from Santa this year. Phlox had a blast with a paper cup he found and the other dogs have chicken wings and yam chewies to keep them happy. But the only new toys were for my son.

I on the other hand I got a solid wood set of obedience jumps. I am thrilled to be able to train more often and at my home.

My son was also given a stuffed rabies virus by my brother. 

Violet found the rabies

Violet caught the rabies!

I hope every one out there in the blogging world is having a wonderful day. Now on to a large, juicy pot roast!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Rally Gets an Upgrade

The AKC is updating the Rally rules, regulations and signs. It really looks like they are trying to turn rally into a legitimate sport.

Favorite new regulation:
"Substantial Deduction (6-10 points) for each of the following:
• Incorrectly performed station** (Automatic 10 point deduction)
• Failure to complete the Sit Stay Exercise (IP)–No retries allowed
• Failure of dog to go over the jump in the proper direction (IP) – no retries allowed
Luring /pleading with the dog
• Lack of natural manner"

To me this is a big step forward. I am a "positive" trainer and use treats and a little luring in my training. However, I would never, ever consider taking a dog into the ring if they "needed" to be lured around a course. To me that is not a trained dog it's a dog being tricked into performing.

Favorite new novice sign:
#36 Slow forward from sit

Favorite new Advance sign:
#118 Halt leave dog 2 steps call to heel forwad

Favorite new Excellent sign:
#209 Stand leave dog down dog call front-finish

The only draw back is that I now have to memorize new signs. But I think it will be worth a little extra effort in order to see the sport move forward.

Check out the rest of the new rules and regulations here --> New Rally Regulations

Check out the new signs here -->  New Rally Signs

Saturday, December 17, 2011


The 2011 AKC National Obedience Invitational was this last weekend.
I have been aware of the event since I started competing in 2009 but I have never really looked into it.

This year I've had NOI fever. If it were televised I would be the nut with a giant foam finger sitting inches from the TV screaming at the screen the entire time, "how could the judge take a point of for that?" or "I can't believe they don't consider THAT legging!" etc. I even went through the catalog to see if I knew any exhibitors, combed through the rules and regulations and looked at pictures and results from past events. I was excited that the AKC would be posting updates and photos from the show.

Well the excitement was pretty short lived. The AKC did a terrible job of keeping us "fans" updated. Very few pictures, and results were posted late Sunday night. There were no gripping updates through out the weekend :(

Updates were not the only thing that were non existent. There were also no bully breeds. Just a flood of Goldens and other "traditional" obedience breeds. Thats what it seemed like any way. In reality there were breeds from all the AKC groups along with the very first all american dog to compete in the NOI. Even the toy dogs got in on the action.
I've been following one of these little dogs on for a while and recently started following their blog. Mr. Rugby did very well and placed 1st in the toy group.

The lack of Amstaffs got the competitor in me all fired up. I've decided to try for the 2013 Invitationals with Violet. I keep trying to think of a reason why I shouldn't and I can't come up with one. Violet and I are about ready to hit the Utility ring and our scores have been steadily increasing. I have learned a lot in the last few years and my handling keeps getting better. Plus it's not that hard to get to the top of the obedience amstaff list. There are just not that many competing at all let a lone at a UD, UDX level.

We may not make it and even if we did I wouldn't expect a miracle. I just think it would be a blast to show up with my 12 year old "pit bull" and do our thing in front of the top competitors in the country.

For the Invitational results and photo's click here