Wednesday, 30 January 2013

More Nose Work

I did another Nose Work session with the Shelties this morning.  The nice thing about this sport is I can do it at home, and it takes very little time.  Most of my session are between 3 and 5 minutes long. 

Today we were working on several new things. For one we were in a different room in the house that I have never trained in before, second I set up some "obstacles" for them to work around.  A suitcase, a bag, and a couple of box type items.  Third I started to see if the dogs can stay committed while I circle around them.

Below is Strider's session.  In the beginning Spryte was doing better than Strider, but now the old guy has figured it out and is doing well too. He still wants to indicate to the food containers, but has realized that it won't pay off and to keep looking.  There is a great moment in this video at about 41 seconds where Strider goes to move past the correct container and then catches the scent and his head whips around to indicate the item.  I love watching those "ah ha!" moments.

Monday, 28 January 2013

AGDC for Spryte

Spryte earned her AAC Advanced Gamers Dog of Canada title on Saturday.  We finally got that last Snooker Q!  I have decided to play it safe for my snooker runs for a while. I want the Q's and snooker is a hard game for Spryte.  Having to run by equipment and not take it is practically impossible for  her.  So now my plan is to have as direct a route as possible where she is only ever looking at obstacles she is aloud to take and never gets a chance to look at an off course obstacle. I don't care if the  point values are low, as long as it's enough for a qualifying leg. 

Spryte and Strider both earned a team leg on Saturday too. I'm sure it's been at least 6 years since I have played Team in agility.  It's something you just never see anymore.  I completely agree that it shouldn't be apart of the ATCh, but it would be nice to see it a little more often at trials. It was a ton of fun and both my partners were great.  Strider was paired with a Bichon Shitzu named Tessa and Spryte was paired with Flash.  The Spryte/Flash relay video is below.  It's neat to see the two shelties together on a team, the Super Sheltie couple did great.  They even managed to not flirt with each other during the run.  I ran first with Spryte (you'll see me pause at the Aframe, expecting my dog to stop! and then rushing ahead when she didn't, bad girl) then Dave ran with Flash. Enjoy the video.

All in all we had a great time at the CAA one day trial.  The Fez Dome is my favourite barn to trial in. It's warm, very bright, clean and has a really good surface.  The trial was very small and was attended by a great group of friendly agility enthusiasts.  Fun was had by all ;)

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Catching up on my blogging

I have been terrible with my blogging lately, it's been a full month since I've posted anything.  I have been busy training my dogs, organising three trials for 2013, forming a nose work class and trying to form goals for myself for 2013.  So there hasn't been much time for this site.

So what's new with the Shelties? Well for starters we have been diving into the sport of Canine Nose Work.  I am loving it!  In fact when I should be out training agility or obedience with the dogs, I find myself placing "hides" for them instead.  The dogs think this is a great game too.  As soon as they see the containers they get straight to work searching the area.  At the moment the biggest things we are working on is finding the correct container (the shelties are going through a phase were they think nose touching any container is acceptable), and then when they find the correct container stay committed to it until I call them off it.  I am really enjoying the proofing portion of the commitment training.  Things like "can you stay committed if I walk past you?"  "What if I kick the other containers around?"  "What if I throw food on the ground?"   It's really no different than proofing for any other obedience behaviour and since my dogs have been exposed to a lot of proofing in the past, they are catching on quickly to this step.  So we will keep training in this sport eventually working up to having "hides" indoors, outdoors and on vehicles. Below is a video of Spryte during a training session. Strider is doing it too, but so far I haven't had time to upload his video (takes like an hour and half for 3 mins of video).

What else have we been up to?  Well Spryte and I continue to work on our open exercises.  I am really happy with everything except her dumbbell retrieves, she continues to mouth them despite all my efforts to teach her otherwise.  Some days she's great with very little mouthing, other days I feel like I'm back to square one.  This battle will not be won this year, in fact it could take several years.  So we will just keep training until that day comes.  I won't wait until its perfect to show her, but I won't give up on trying to fix it either.
 So lastly I'm trying to figure out what to do with the dogs this year.  I like having a goal in mind to work towards.  First Strider is only three standard Q's away from his CKC agility championship, so I have to make that a priority.  Second the AAC agility nationals are in Alberta for 2013, so I really want to qualify to go with both dogs and do well. So looks like a lot of my time will be spent training and showing in agility.  Third, Spryte only needs two more points for her CKC conformation championship, so I better hit some shows too.  Oh and I would like to breed Spryte in the summer/fall.  So it's not looking like I will have time for showing in obedience this year.  If I can make it work I will, but when I really sit down and think about it I know that it is just unrealistic to add obedience to this year's goals too.
Pictures are from a play date that Snap and Quinn had about a week ago. Puppies are now 5 months old!  All the puppies are doing really well. 3 of them are in classes with me doing pre-agility training and rally obedience. They are catching on quickly to all their new skills and having a great time while learning!