Always Training. Always Learning.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Where No Pit Has Gone Before

George Takei( Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu ) posted Violet's picture on his facebook page. As a life long Trekkie it feels as good as winning the lottery.

So far from just this post it has gotten 36,182 "Likes", 2,053 comments and 17,497 Shares.

On a slightly less awesome note. I'm told V's pic is also a favorite on I never thought my need to get two puppies back to my apartment would turn into an internet sensation. 

Monday, January 23, 2012

Small Title and A Normal Dog

Some people are blessed with normal dogs. I have never been one of those people. My dogs have always been found or adopted because they had problems that no one else wanted to deal with. Through hard work and dedication they have all turned into wonderful loving dogs but none are what most people would call "normal".

Yesterday I put Phlox through what in my mind would prove that he is in fact one of those elusive "normal" dogs.
My sister, husband, son and I headed to the park to play some disk golf. Phlox of course tagged along.
We spent several hours throwing disks at ridiculously far targets while Phlox trotted along side us with his leash on the ground.
Other dogs passed by, balls and disks flew over head, bicycles zoomed past and there Phlox was by my side the entire time. If I chose to give a command he complied without hesitation. If I chose to ignore him he would check in every few seconds to make sure there wasn't anything I wanted him to do. An off leash border collie even ran up and stuck his nose in Phlox's butt with out so much as an annoyed glance by my little dog.
We then went and watched my son play on the playground with a number of other children. A few kids and parents came up to pet him but mostly he just sat calmly at my feet. No barking or whining he was just happy to be there.

The only downside to having a "normal" dog is that training is rather boring. No need to be creative or figure things out. The dog just learns, complies and is eager to please.

Later Phlox earned his Novice Trick Dog title (NTD). We decided to go ahead and just see what our dogs knew during our trainer class. Phlox knew almost every single one of the behaviors listed. My mom's Puglet Roxi and one of the other trainers dogs also earned theirs. It was a fun and lighthearted way to spend an hour. Violet and Charlie will get theirs next weekend.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Have Dog Can't Travel

I love titles. They keep me motivated, help me set goals, keep me focused and allow me to show off.
I also love going to dog shows. To me there is absolutely nothing I would rather be doing on any given weekend.

I keep trying to pressure my mother into attending more with her own dogs. She has 3 that could easily earn at least novice titles in Rally and Obedience and 2 that should be showing in teacup or AKC agility. My logic is if you are going to train dogs and have well trained dogs than you should have something to show for it. 

The big problem is that unlike me my mother doesn't have much time off. Owning her own business does not leave time for many hobbies. She works weekends and just can not make it to more than one or two days of dog shows a year.

So I've made it my goal to get some titles after those deserving dogs names.

Here is what I have found so far.

Trick dog titles:
Although this really does just look like an easy way for them to take your money it also looks fun.
There is still a goal to work towards and new behaviors to be taught but you don't have to travel.

Cyber Rally-o:
With preset courses and video submissions these titles look a little more legit. You still spend $20 per video submission but again it can be done in your back yard or at your local training facility so no need to travel.

So this year along with the AKC and Schutzhund titles I would like to obtain I will also be having some fun with these online programs.  

Monday, January 9, 2012

Rainy Day

No training today due to rain. But here is one of my favorite training pictures of my son.

You can never have too many rally cones.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Training Today

I took Charlie out to a very busy street with a small parking lot. We worked on heeling until we were both huffing and puffing. Unfortunately that only took 5 minutes.  We then did a handful of recalls and some sit, down and stand stays.
His attention was a lot better than it has been. I'm pleased with his progress since this summer and may try to finish his CD next month.

Phlox worked in the back yard again because he has the hardest time focusing there. We did a lot of heeling and halts. We also worked on stand for exam and sit for exam. My goal today was to teach him not to lift his head and sniff the judges(my sisters) hand. If his head started to go up I told him to "leave it" as soon as his attention was back on me he got a good boy and treat and the process started again. It didn't take him long to get the concept. In just a few minutes he had a nice solid stay from his nose to his tail.
We got out the dumbbell and worked on him picking it up the right way. He likes to just grab it where every so I want to fix that before moving on. Again it didn't take him very long to figure out what I wanted. I think this one will need a lot of work in the long run because he very much sees the retrieve as play.

I also practiced free stacking and general conformation stuff. After my last attempts at stacking I looked up pictures and videos of people doing it well and today I simply tried to emulate it. My mom was able to be my eyes and give me pointers on foot placement and movement. I think things looked much better today.

My mom's 8 year old Pug mix worked on not being so pug like. She is a fabulously but doesn't get worked with much.

My mom and I at the reliant show year before last. Roxi took 4th in a huge novice class with a 96.
Violet unfortunately didn't get a turn today. I was just too tired after I got done with the boys. I did get my hands on a practice bar jump so that we can really do directed jumping at home. I hope to work Violet tomorrow before work.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Today Phlox is 1

How did this year fly by so quickly? It seems like yesterday I was meeting this little guy for the very first time.

I most certainly did not want a boy. As soon as I saw that little black lump everything went out the window I had to have him.

6 Weeks

Can you really blame me for falling in love with him?
He has only gotten better with age. Potty training was a breeze, crate training was a snap, he is social as a lab, has the drive of a border collie and the intelligence of a rock(really theres not much going on in there)!

He spent today in daycare hanging out with some of his doggy friends.

Then we headed to the pet store for some food and treats for the big day.

My son walked around exclaiming "That's  my Phloxy" To any one who would listen.

He is currently passed out in his crate. I don't think you could find a more content dog at this moment. Belly full, ears scratched and toys played with his life is now complete.

Wish us luck on our upcoming year of training and trialing.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Training Pictures

I managed to get out of bed and actually train the dogs this today. My goal is 5 days a week. 3 days at my house or the surrounding area and 2 days at work or another facility.

I was a little disappointed to see how much Violet had forgotten. In her defense it has been a year since I asked her to do anything or taught her something new.

Phlox just didn't get why we were working in the back yard. It's like he was trying to convey "Um, mom I  play here". All in all it was pretty good though.

Some how my son ended up with the camera so a few of the pictures are his artistic interpretation.

She is always rewarded with a game of fetch with her glove.

Now for Mr. Phlox 
My sister moved so I am stuck showing him myself. I need a lot of work.

First time going over a big boy jump.
Trying to get a little focus.
A not so formal heel to warm up.