Saturday, 28 February 2009

8 Days To Go

I cant believe a week tommorow we'll be at Crufts!

Im competing with Snoopy on the Sunday, so he will be being pampered this week preparing for the big event. Snoopy had a Reserve Challenge Certificate which means he is qualifed for Crufts for life.

We have'nt done much showing this last year in fact Snoopy's last show was Crufts last year so we're a bit rusty!!

Snoopy is entered in Limit Dog and also the Good Citizen Scheme Class.

Im looking forwards to it and I will also be doing lots of shopping.

Tuesday, 24 February 2009

Dancing, Walking, Training and Swimming with Dogs

Well my Heelwork to Music lesson was rather interesting. The first thing we did was have 15 minutes to make a routine to 1 minute of Elvis and demo it in front of the group. Talk about being thrown in at the deep end and we don’t really have any moves as such. Anyway I did it, it wasn’t great or amazing but I got up and did it. This was I thought going to be my biggest hurdle and now really glad I have done it and wasn’t actually that bad.
Well Dinky wasn’t that bad however I think I might need to attend some dance classes!

I learnt lots about how to present your moves to the judges, using the space available and positioning, along with making sure you include time/beats to change from doing one movement to another.
So I’ve got loads to work on, I have decided to do leg weaves with Dinky and see what they look like. I’m also teaching her to go round out wide and to go round close backwards, I think the kitchen table is going to have to go in the shed so I have more training space in the kitchen, we will have to eat on our knees in front of the TV from now on so I can create my masterpiece!!

On Saturday I did some training with my dogs in Heaton Park Car Park which was busy with Dogs, Cars, People and Children, both Dinky and Snoopy worked really well with the distractions. I also did some videoing and saw I have started to turn into a serious silent clicker trainer. This just doesn’t do it for Dinky so I need to start being a bit more ‘fun’ again.

When doing heelwork I’ve found Dinky drops her head as we set off, only for a split second, I think its confidence thing to just look where she is going. I have been clicking as soon as I move, before her head drops, as she is following a hand target and she catches the treat from my hand so the click is keeping her head up to catch the treat. This seems to be working and reckon I just need to build duration. If anyone has any other ideas or tips for this, do tell.

I lost my first customer to the credit crunch this week but I have 3 new really nice dogs to walk that live in a beautiful area and the walks are just fab, I’m completely full now Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays with walking. Monday is a long day now with 6 hours of walking then 5 hours dog training. I have to say my legs are aching a bit today.
My diary is full for the next 2 weeks with walking and training, all my Training Classes are full at the moment and puppy classes are booked up till April. Let’s hope it stays like that!

Last night we spent around 15 minutes playing Gena clicker games with the advanced class, I think some of the members are not to sure about it , but it certainly helps you to become aware of the importance of timing of rewards and withholding rewards regardless of if you are using a clicker or not. I will see what my Thursday advanced class think of it!

Water Training starts again at the end of next month and I have just renewed my membership with the Lancashire Rescue Bears. Like I have nothing else to do!!! I’m not looking forward to getting in the water though after such a cold winter brrrrrrrr

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Dog Training and Wolf TV

This weekend I did my CAP1 first training day and on Sunday I did a full clicker training day. Tonight I’m off to a heelwork to music class. I would highly recommend CAP to anyone into clicker training.
Looking forwards to a weekend off!!

Dinky’s training is coming along nicely must get some video footage. I’ve also been working with Snoopy and I am free shaping him to mime, it’s really funny he can currently open and close his mouth 6 times.
I’ve been busy with dog club and walking but not much training although next week is busy. College is quiet and just planning my training plans at the moment and still deciding on what moves to do.

I have also been very busy with Project ‘Hubble’, can’t say anymore about this at the moment as I don’t like to tempt fate but all will be revealed in due course!!

I watched 2 wolf programs this week, the first was on Animal Planet and was called ‘Living with Wolves’ this was really interesting as it was a couple living close with a pack and studying them. They introduced 3 youngsters to the pack and one female was really bullied and stayed at a distance it seemed she was going to be an omega, then when they all come into season the alpha male picked her and she became the alpha. It was also interesting to see how the brother of the male omega stuck by him all the time. It was a good demonstration that their behaviour was not as black and white as we think. I like this a lot and would recommend it.

The other was Mr and Mrs Wolf, I’m not sure about this guy at all I think its more entertainment than educational. I’m not a believer in trying to behave like an animal, I respect that any animal can see we are a different species. I don’t think he is part of their pack, I think they tolerate him because he brings food. They were also very aggressive, maybe down to drama editing but the wolves I have observed did not show aggression like that.

Monday, 2 February 2009

I have the best Job in the world

Most people who work outside would not be happy with today’s weather. My only problem was getting to some of the places where I walk dogs. I just stuck to the main roads and walked the rest of the way where it was bad so my vehicle didn’t get stuck.
First this morning was Poppy and Lily who are in boarding kennels at the moment. They luuurrrved it and Poppy made lots of snow angels.

Then it was Charlie and Ollie who again had a great time and even took some time out to pose for a super photo.

Then Minnie and Ollie. Ollie the Shitz Tzu was not happy about the snow balls attached to his coat and would probably have preferred to stay at home in front of the fire.

Then there was Rosie and then finally was Kim.
So I spent most of my day playing with dogs in the snow and throwing snow balls for them to catch AND I got paid for it!!!!

Well 4 hours of training to do now.