Always Training. Always Learning.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Red Alert...

All hands to battle, training stations!

I sat down and entered several shows today. Phlox is entered in the Houston Kennel Club and Galveston County Kennel Club shows on March 17th and 18th. I entered him in 12-18months and I'm really hoping that it's the right class. This will be my very first time in the conformation ring. I am incredibly nervous for a few reasons
1) I can't see past my now gigantic pregnant belly
2) I can't really bend over because of my gigantic pregnant belly and
3) Every time I set out to train for the conformation ring I get bored and end up doing obedience instead.
I need to spend the next couple of weeks figuring out what exactly it is that we both need to do in order to at least not make fools out of ourselves.

I also signed Violet up for the Brazos Valley Kennel Club shows on March 31st and April 1st...In Utility!
I have been so bad about procrastinating that I know we will not be ready by then. However, I find that having a goal really gives me the push I need.
We have made a lot of progress over the last two months so maybe if we kick it into high gear we could pull off a Q, maybe.

Even a 3 year old can stack a dog better than I can.

Monday, February 27, 2012


I rarely if ever win contests but once in a while my luck changes.

I won a Lapper from in their Friday contest on I chose the orange squares and think it will look great at trials.

I really like a lot of their products and prints. I particularly like their treat bags. I had one for a while but lost it when I lent it to a client and never got it back. 

Sunday, February 12, 2012


I had a frustrating class with Phlox this afternoon. From the outside Phlox looked great but to me he was slow and unfocused, even if he did look up at me the entire time. Every little thing he did bugged me. To me he even played tug wrong today.

I know I shouldn't be so hard on him. I think at times like this I am actually getting frustrated at myself. I can see all the tiny holes in my training, in my ability to train. There in that little black dog all my short comings are set out for every one to see. To judge.

Rather than brush the day off as a failure I decided to really dissect it.
What today showed me is that my training has been slow and unfocused. I have been doing too much of the same thing and not pushing forward, becoming bored with the whole process.

My plan of action
Move on to more advanced exercises- I'm brunt out on heel, stand, stay, come, sit and down.
Train more often- it's hard to make changes and improvements when you only work once a week.
Train in new places- new environments are challenging and stimulating.
Keep the big picture in mind- Everything we are doing is leading up to our final goal.

Phlox will be doing his first match this month and I'm hoping for a very positive reaction to his training. Because I train mostly on my own shows and matches are the only time I get feedback from other exhibitors and judges. If there are any gaping holes in my training they are sure to be pointed out.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Superbowl Sunday

I took the dogs for a little training this afternoon. This time I managed to get a few video clips of Phlox and Violet. Not too many because the card was running out of space but enough to get a good idea of how the dogs are moving.

Miss Violet.

Mr. Phlox.

Also you may have noticed that I am, shall we say, expanding. This isn't due to a few too many bowls of ice cream. I am 6 months pregnant at the moment. My baby girl is due on May 16th 2012!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Training In the Rain

For some reason it has been raining a lot lately. I have been using it as a convenient excuse not to train.
Today I got my butt off the sofa and headed to the park with Violet and the rest of the human family. Things started off really well.

Go outs were great. Non of that pit bull crooked, zig zag crap. She knew where she was headed and she got her little furry behind there.

Heel, signals and moving stand were all good. She didn't even get confused between returning to heel and coming front.

Then things went a little down hill.

Directed jumping was a mess. She does not want to go out of her way to the jumps. She knows exactly what I want but it takes too long in her mind. We spent some time and worked through it and it was looking good before we moved on.

Directed retrieve was once again a disaster. I need to take a few steps back and work on her marking the right glove. In my enthusiasm I skipped this step and am regretting it. It's hard to focus on fundamentals when everything else looks like so much fun. We took some time and she was at 100% before we left.

I skipped the scent articles today because I was a little tired after keeping Violet upbeat for an hour. I wish I could have gotten video but I didn't want the camera out in the rain.

 The rain let up a little while we were headed to the car so we did manage to snap this shot of Violet and my son enjoying the playground.