Thursday, December 16, 2010

Ella at the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational

Since Ella didn't get much of a mention in the previous post.....and a friend took some wonderful pictures of her......She shined and showed really well under all the excitement.

Ella at the Long Beach Kennel Club show (Friday)













Ella at the AKC/Eukanuba Invitational












~Melissa & Pretty Little Ella ;-) - who had a blast in Long Beach !

Friday, December 10, 2010

AKC/Eukanuba National Championship

Josie, Ella, Mary Getman and I flew out to Long Beach, CA Last Thursday evening (12/2) for the AKC/Eukanuba National Championship. The dogs were excellent travelers, Josie is an old pro but this was Ella’s first plane trip, she was awesome. I did do my homework, played crate games with the Sherpa bag, Ella Loves her Sherpa. Checking into the hotel about 2am MN time, Melissa and Mary ready for lights out – Josie not so much ;-) Thankfully we did not have to be to the show site until late AM.
Arrived for agility check in about 11:30am, crating space are pre-assigned in the agility area, most of the MN exhibitors elected to crate together – made for a great team atmosphere.

small section of the agility crating area;


Josie was first dog in for the warm up FAST class at 2pm……I am pretty sure no one actually ran it as a FAST class, just a chance to get out and familiar with the equipment and footing. My goal was to get Josie through the weaves and on the teeter twice, she gave a very nice run.
After Josie’s warm up, it was off to change for the conformation ring. Ella was due in the ring at 2:50 after 15 dog so about 3:15-3:30. She was fabulous, went into the ring and showed like the special she is…..received Select Bitch, but only beat the class dog….
The afternoon seemed to fly by…….

Saturday, Josie’s first run was scheduled about 10am, with my walk through at 9:35am
1st course;


It was a fun course with a couple of tricky spots, the one that got the most teams was 9-11, you had to pull enough so the dog wouldn’t take #4 backwards but not so much you pulled them to the wrong end of the tunnel – Josie ran it like a pro, the serpentine at the end (16-19) was really fun and Josie ran it great with nice and tight lines.

Once again it was off to the conformation ring, change and groom Ella. Ella was really good, showed wonderfully- didn’t get anything but it was worth the trip.

And back to the Agility ring for round 2; the most tricky spot was weaves to 15, 16, 17, had to make sure the front cross after the weaves was not to soon as to pull her out and make sure as you headed to 17 you had her attention, for some reason lots of dogs missed jump 18.
Done for the day - Josie stood in 12th place Whoohoo, top 12 make it to the finals.

Saturday evening, Mary went and watched groups, I went to the agility banquet -good food, fun people (sat at the MN table). In bed relatively early - needed to be at the show by 7 am.


Sunday; Ella's day off. First course walk about 8:30, will run about 10:30am, course walked better than it looked on paper, trickiest spot; getting the front cross in between 12 & 13 and making sure to support the broad jump, then getting slightly ahead for 14-16, ft cross send to 17 and RUN. Josie handled it perfectly!



Still in the top 12.......Josie relaxed in her crate while I wandered around, shopped, watched dock dogs and some conformation.




Course walk for round 4 about 2pm, Josie to run about 3pm;




2 tricky spots on this course; 4 to 5, the A-frame/tunnel discrimination, now Josie prefers the A-frame, but the tunnel was right next to it, no space, I made sure to call her name after jump 4, angle my shoulders slightly away from the tunnel and tell her "up" (A-Frame command) there was no hesitation up she went ;-)... the other spot was the front cross weaves 18 to jump 17, the timing had to be just right..... once again Josie was spot on, good girl.....



AND we made it to the FINALS – WOW !!!!!!
I did not like the start....very demotivating, but the rest was pretty straight forward. Our only mistake was the weave entrance......bummer....I should have supported it a little more, I think I was to far ahead of her....


Great Dane Photos took lots of photos of Josie, see them here;

http://greatdanephotos.com/store/index.php?vp=1&do=photocart&viewGallery=19749



Stay tuned for the videos of all of Josie runs..... not her best run, but not to bad- the finals can be found on AKC's website..It has all the final runs.


http://www.akc.org/events/agility/invitational/2010/video.cfm


To say Josie had a successful trip would be putting it mildly;-) The little Pooh has come along way. Not only did Josie run in the finals and place 10th in the 8” class, but over all heights, she was also 9th in the Non-Sporting group (the only 8” dog in the top 20) after all 4 rounds 10th in High Conformation Dog (1 of only 2 dogs from the 8” class to make it into the top 20), and won the Medallion for high in breed.
She was a SUPERSTAR !!

~Melissa & Josie the Superstar ;-)




Sunday, November 28, 2010

Awesome Agility Weekend

The gang and I had and Awesome Agility weekend. It started Friday when Josie and I went to TCOTC for and AKC agility trail, first run was standard.....she ran great, hit a really difficult weave entry - to bad it wasn't the obstacle she was suppose to take ;-) One of her best runs.....Next was Jumpers and she was just as good, this time we came away with the Blue ribbon ;-)

Saturday the entire gang and I headed up to On The Run for a CPE trial.....Myth's very first trial. We had to be there early to get Myth measured. No one was entered in the first class, first up was Suds in Level 2 standard and he aced it ;-) Josie was watching and didn't want to be outdone - beat him by......10 seconds, they ended up 1st & 2nd.

AND......... Myth ran for the very first time in competition and it was a smashing success. It was Level 1 standard and she was all for it. I had someone record her very first run, here it is;



She ran faster than she does at class, but I think it is because there are half the amount of obstacles in the ring at a real trial, so she is more confident as to where she is going.

Here is her second run CPE Level 1 Jumpers


Josie also ran Snooker Level 3, she was a rock star and won the class. Suds ran Jumpers Level 2 Q'd and was 2nd, here is his run;


Sunday had Josie and I back at TCOTC for AKC. First run was Jumpers, she started out a little pokey, did Q but to slow for a placing. Next up was standard, I really pushed her for speed on this one, very tough course, she was absolutely awesome, to bad she dropped a pole, I called her name for a turn just as she was jumping the jump, it was just a split second to soon. BUT her time was awesome, it was faster than the dog that won the class.

Thursday Josie, Ella and I head for Long Beach and the AKC Invitational --- Stay tuned.!

~M
"It's all about the journey"

Friday, November 5, 2010

Pleasantly surprised

A local training facility, that none of my dogs have been to, had open gym last Sunday. Since I didn’t have any big plans, other than the mundane household chores, I packed up Suds, Josie & Myth and headed out.


The training area was divided into two spaces with courses in both.

Suds was first and WOW, was he super, ran fast and had fun.

Myth went next. I had no goals, at the very least I though we would hang out in the middle of the ring and Myth would get treats…..SURPRISE, she was all for it, with speed, one little moment of trepidation when she went up the teeter – it was close to a wall where there were several rolls of black matting stacked – scary Lhasa eating rolls, but she still did a really nice teeter and did it several more times. Her weaves were not so great but we did those later after she was a little tired.

The main reason we went to open gym was for Josie, she has a trial at this location in a couple of weeks and we have never been there before….and no worries, teeter was a little slow, as it always is especially on an unfamiliar one. Weaves were not to bad, not as good as at home but not to bad. I think she really liked the matting – she was running nice and fast, worked some courses at 12” and some at 8”.

Each dog got at least one session (about 15 minutes each) on each section, Josie did a couple more……….It was a good day…ended with one tired handler.

~M
“If you're not making mistakes, you're not taking risks, and that means you're not going anywhere. The key is to make mistakes faster than the competition, so you have more chances to learn and win.” John W. Holt, Jr.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

She Weaves !!

With the weather so nice, I have been diligently working Myth on the 2x2 and by golly I think she has got it! It is amazing how fast they pick it up, we started working on the 2x2s and progressed from one set, to two, to three and gradually brought them close so they end up as a set of six weave poles. They are far from perfect, but look at her go !!!!


2 – 6 repetitions are about all I do, she tends to lose her enthusiasm and gets slow – very similar to Josie.

Speaking of Josie, here is a little clip of Josie’s weaves at home-how I wish she would do them like this at the trials..



~M

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

AKC Eukanuba Invitational

Hotel is booked, flight is booked.......and Josie will not be going alone !!


It's official Little miss Ella will be going to the Invitational also.


She has been unofficially on the list but, I received her official invite !!!
Must go shopping for a new outfit ;-)
~M
“You will never win if you never begin.” Helen Rowland

Monday, October 11, 2010

On going

Myth continues to oscillate between awesome teeter performance and being freaked by it…..sigh. Other than the teeter she is coming along beautifully, running sequences with drive and going out to jumps even better than Suds. In last weeks class she even went through the chute-several times!! She has been going through the chute at home, but the one at class is heavier (regulation) material so takes a little more to push through. She also seem to like the outdoors better than inside, I suspect it is because she is very space sensitive and the walls and others around are a little more pressure that she would like - as always, something to work on.

I had a little surprise last week….when Josie received her MACH I placed a notice in the American Lhasa Apso Club Bulletin, and when I received my copy there were 2 more pages with Little JO on them, seems I know some people who can keep a secret. The first on is mine ;-)…….lookee





This past weekend was our last outdoor trial of the year. Josie was entered Fri, Sat & Sun, Suds was entered Fri & Sun. I entered Suds at this trial because it is always cool and sometimes rainy – Go figure Friday it was 91 degrees !!!!!! NOT Suds weather, sign, he did manage to get a Q and 1st place in his Jumpers class – although I think he was the only one in it…It was just to Hot during his standard run and he missed his weaves, but he did to the whole course. Josie QQ (double Q’d) and earned 60 points, she won the Jumpers class- the only dog out of about 13 that Q’s, but was noticeably slower in her standard run, ended up 3rd. Saturday was Suds’ recovery day, Josie ran OK, Q’d in Jumpers with a 2nd place, but she had a little off course (the first in a VERY long time) in her standard run, the rest of the run was really nice, oh well…Sunday the duo ran in the morning (thank you) and is was a very nice temp for Suds, unfortunately as he was headed to the tunnel of which the entrance was places about a foot away from the ring fence a little girl and her papillon puppy were right there and Suds being the social boy he is had to stop and say Hi…..BUT he did come back to me and finished the course quite beautifully. Josie had a very good day, her Standard run was on of her best runs, AWESOME weaves !!! if only she would give me those weaves all the time….she only missed 1st place by less than 2 seconds and it was due to her oh so slow teeeeeeeter….her Jumpers run was really nice also, slower weaves but she was rockin; & rollin’ for 2nd place again. Ended the weekend with 2 QQs and 125 pts.
Josie's photos from the weekend can be found here;
Suds;
~M

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

TCLAC 2010 Specialty

Whew, what a busy couple of weeks. Another successful specialty has come and gone. It was a nice specialty, missed a few people and entries were lower than usual but the MeLou dogs did well.
First off the BIG news, little Miss Ella can add BISS to her name !!!
Thursday, August 26 she went Best in Specialty Show, she showed just beautifully.


BISS CH FFT MELOU “WELL SAID”
ELLA


Myth and Moka both showed, nothing of note to mention but both were very good.

Moka waiting her turn – grandpa Connor watching in the background.












Myth













Moka, Myth & Audrey
I split my time between the conformation ring and the agility field (quite a hike btw), Josie ran Friday, Saturday and Sunday, still very slow, had a little trouble in the standard ring, but Q’d in jumpers all three days, QQ and a 3rd place on Sunday. VERY interesting Jumpers course on Sunday, 3 jump serpentine to 3 tunnel serpentine to a 3 jump serpentine–very fun !! although it did take a lot of dogs out ;-) Great Dane Photography was at this show, check out Josie's photos;
http://greatdanephotos.com/store/index.php?do=photocart&viewGallery=17333 as always Josie has a great weave photo and check out her expression on the teeter ;-)
Suds was awesome, he only ran on Saturday – I try to limit his runs and run him only in the mornings, he Q’d in both Jumpers and Standard, and 2 first places. Here are Suds' photos;
I really like the one of Suds coming out of the tunnel -to bad he is in my shadow.

I think everyone had a good time and the weather could not have been better, no rain, warm but breezy and the humidity stayed low.

We had a parade of Champions with nine Champions -so fun to see and the Club presented Josie and I with a special MACH bar- how cool is that !?!!!





Next weekend Josie has a USDAA trial and then on 9/9 we head for Colorado and the Lhasa Apso Club of Central Colorado’s specialty, and some fun with friends and good wine.

~M
Oh, and check out the special mention on the American Lhasa Apso Club's website; http://www.lhasaapso.org/agility/spec_award.html

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Wednesday class highs and lows

Wednesday class was a huge roller coaster, started with a bang, Myth was fantastic, did a course that the Small & Mighty class had done on Monday and did it very well, serpentines and wraps, wow girl, go !!

We then moved to the other course and Myth toppled the sense of euphoria I was feeling….Teeter avoidance was the name of the game…..where this came from is anyone’s guess but Myth has decided the teeter is the enemy. Yes, it was amusing watching the little *&@* hide in the tunnel, I really wanted to cry…doesn’t she know we have done EVERYTHING right from DAY 1 for her to have fabulous teeter……..ugh. Since she was hiding in the tunnel Jacque had me leave, now for a majority of dogs other than the Lhasa, and even for Suds, this makes the dog want to find and interact with their handler…..this never worked with Josie so not sure how or why I thought it would work with Myth. I peeked back in and she was just standing with everyone else watching the dog on course, not terribly concerned I was not there, sigh.…….ended the class by putting her on lead and doing the teeter, not great, but got it done…. and looks like Myth will be working for her dinner on the teeter.

Josie on the other hand may have had a teeter break through (please, please let it not be a fluke). Jacque broke out the doggie crack (bruansweiger). Josie’s normal teeter performance it to drive up to the fulcrum, stop, wait for the tip, couple of steps, jump, with the crack on the end of the teeter we actually got a drive to the bottom! Yeah!! and more than once. I also had some in my hand when I sent her to the weaves, wow! speedy weaves. The plan is to reward for speedy weaves only and the teeter performance we want.

~M

Monday, August 16, 2010

Breakfast of Champions !

Kathy R is most awesome! Look what she sent Josie. She also sent me some fun earings and a cute Photo necklace with Josie on it (sorry did not get a picture of it).

Josie and her breakfast of Champions !



This past weekend, Myth, Moka & Ella were at the Albert Lea show….Myth won her first point, Moka was reserve. Both girls were very good, except when I had to hand Myth to someone else to take Ella into the ring, poor Myth had a little panic attack…… Ella won breed, did not do anything in the group ring but showed pretty well. Sunday Val’s puppy Audrey won the point. Ella won Breed again but showed just awful in the group ring – she has a little ear infection brewing so that may be why……I had picked up Moka on Friday to spend the night….she was in a crate with her dinner and apparently Josie wanted Moka's dinner, she figured out how to open it, let Moka out and ate her dinner…........

~M

Monday, August 9, 2010

MACH = Master Agility Champion

Maybe later I can find the words to explain what those four letters mean to me but for now;
Enjoy QQ #20 from St. Paul Dog Training Club’s Agility trial, Saturday, August 7, 2010.
First was Jumpers, this was one of the better runs we have had – her weaves, while not as fast as she can do them are an improvement over what she has been doing in competition, she ended up about ½ a second out of first place.



Standard on the other hand was a little dicey, let me just say it looks waaaaaay better on video than it felt. The teeter cause me a little anxiety, not only did she take forever, but she almost jumped off without touching the yellow contact zone. Unfortunately my videographer did not get our victory lap ;-(



And Sunday she double Q’d again, a little slower but I think we both were recovering from Saturday ;-)
Jumpers


Standard


~Melissa & MACH Josie

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Sooooooo Close

And yet so far, Josie and I had a trial this past weekend, going for QQ #19 & #20 for her MACH title, here is a nice essay written by a junior explaining the MACH; http://www.akc.org/enewsletter/jrnews/2008/december/mason.cfm . I was more intense on Saturday than I had expected –it was only for QQ #18, and Josie was super, still very slow weaves (faster weaves are the upcoming project), but she the most stellar sit EVER in her standard run.
The little stinker did break her start line in Jumpers...
Jumpers run;


Standard run;
Notice the Stellar table !! We've worked really hard for a table perfomance like that.


Sunday was run small dogs first so we were in the first 10 to start. First class was Standard; Jacque (our trainer) was the judge and her courses are usually very technical and require not just speed but actual handling and teamwork between dog and handler. At the start line I picked her up to situate her (not something I normally do) and she yelped…wtf?....this kind of freaked me out, she started the course really slow, this of course made me more concerned…we did a couple more obstacles and I stopped her, Jacque came over and said that was very strange for Josie and suggested I have her checked over by Kristin (canine sports message therapist) who was at the trial. I also had a friend trialing who is a vet and she checked her over…the message therapist found sore hamstring and glute….everything else checked out OK. I probably overreacted to her yelp and she though something was up…I did pull her from her jumpers run just to be cautious.
I did really want to finish her MACH this past weekend with Jacque being the judge but It will come ;-)

~M
"You were born to win, but to be a winner, you must plan to win, prepare to win, and expect to win. " Zig Ziglar

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Time....

Where does it go? Been busy getting ready for the Twin Cities Lhasa Apso Club Agility "A" match this Friday. The match will help us get licensed to hold AKC agility trials, which has the potential to generate significant revenue for the club. Suds will be running, Marsha is coming and running one of her Lhasas, not sure if Roman is running. Josie does not get to run –she is just coming out of season so is not allowed to run in trials per the rules. Myth will be coming along just to hang out.

Myth has been working part of out Tuesday class and is doing super…..I have temporarily put a hold on her weave training until I can dedicate time each day for 3 weeks straight. I am also trying to get her to play more with toys at class – not much luck, but at least she is food motivated little chow hound ;-).

TCLAC Specialty is only 5 weeks away Yikes!! Entries close in 3 weeks. I have a site meeting with the other specialty clubs and SCVKC next Tuesday. Next weekend (7/31 & 8/1) Josie has an agility trial. She only needs 2 QQ for her MACH – it’s possible, she has had a perfect weekend before, but if it doesn’t happen there is always the next trial or the next ;-) .

~M

Pippin's Agility Trial Rules
-During your run, the dog is always right.
-Keep moving. If you are lost on course, make something up.
-Don't stint on the treats, praise and other rewards.
-Have fun with your dog.
-Make sure your DOG is having fun with you.
-Give the dog one more potty break than you think it needs.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

July 4th weekend

Yes, I spent the July 4th weekend at an AKC Agility trail, most likely Josie's last for a few weeks since I have entered her in several in July and she is due to come into season ; -) The trial was indoor at Soccerblast and it was a steamy one outside Thank you AC ! Suds was not entered and crating space was tight so it was a solo Josie. Saturday we QQ, no placings - I really need to speed up her weaves, but an awesome sit on the table...I was really impressed she hopped on and sat immediately AND didn't move ! Good Girl!!! QQ #17!

here is her standard run - kind of hard to follow...



and Jumpers


Sunday was Just a good QQ #18 whoohoo!! 2 more to go.. no video, dead battery.

Monday, Fun courses. In our Standard run I goofed, she beat me out of the tunnel at the end and we did a little dance, she then decided I couldn't be trusted to know the course and picked a jump herself....unfortunately the wrong last jump. Jumpers was a Q though, the beginning of the course was really nice. Josie had great lead outs the whole trial, and is fast off the start.
Standard - I wish the camera could have caught her expression at the end...


Jumpers



~M

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Couldn't do it....


Cut Suds down, I had him on the table, clippers and shears ready to go, even had a section banded and braided for me to keep and I just couldn’t do it…..He did get his head trimmed, since he cannot keep bands in for nothin’. Turned out pretty cute…

And our sweet, sweet Ella…now officially Champion FFT MeLou “Well Said”

~Melissa

Pedigree indicates what the animal should be.
Conformation indicates what the animal appears to be.
But performance indicates what the animal actually is.
~ Author Unknown

Monday, June 28, 2010

Weave training


I have started Myth on her weave training. On The Run started a 2x2 weaves class, just a short 3 week session, we have had 2 classes, I don’t have 2x2’s yet so with no training in between classes can I just say WOW! It is absolutely amazing to watch their little minds work it out. Myth has caught on really quick. I am hoping she will have better, more independent weaves than Josie. The 2x2 method actually teaches them to think and to find the correct entrance. It is based on shaped behavior.

I looked at purchasing 2x2 weaves, yikes, the going price for 1 2x2 weave (2poles) is $45. Down to the basement shop I go……for about $30 in materials I was able to make 4 sets of 2x2’s, very easily. They are not metal bases, but they will work just fine.

We'll see how it goes, I may end up re-training Josie’s weaves using the 2x2 method..

~M

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

St Cloud AKC

This past weekend Suds & Josie had an AKC trial in St. Cloud. Saturday was just Josie, she had 3 classes, FAST, Standard and Jumpers. FAST went pretty well, the send bonus was out 15’ to the A-frame which she did awesome, then tunnel to tunnel, unfortunately she went past the entrance of one of the tunnels and incurred a refusal, but the rest was really nice…..Next came Jumpers, a very nice course to bad she missed her weave entrance, once she missed it I pulled her off course. Standard, she did it again! Now the first missed weave entrance OK, she just didn’t want to slow down to weave, but the second ? Oh well, I guess it was just not her day for weave.

Sunday both Suds and Josie were entered. In Standard Josie missed the tire jump WTF!?, not sure why, it was right in front of her, I wish I would have had someone get it on video. She did nail her weave thought and had a really nice rear cross, she is getting better and better at rear crosses. Suds Q’d in Standard Yeah!! His first Excellent Standard Q. Josie did manage to Q in Jumpers…almost went into the wrong end of the tunnel but we saved it. Suds missed the first jump..not the first time, I need to figure out where I need to be and where he needs to be at the first jump, time to experiment.

It was a really fun weekend despite Josie’s weaves and no QQ, a bunch of the Small & Mighty crew all tented together and had a great time. Myth discovered digging…..I had an expen set up for the dogs, I didn’t have any toys in there Saturday morning so Myth occupied herself…sigh….to bad I didn’t have a camera, she was quite a sight, my little show dog ;-)

I once again did a little with Myth at Josie’s Tues evening class, we did a short jump, dog walk, tire, teeter, jump sequence while other dogs were working the class sequence. I am very impressed, Myth was very enthusiastic and had good drive toward obstacles even the teeter which was right next to the fence where other handlers and dogs were waiting. That is a lot of pressure for a young/green dog. We didn’t do very much as it was very warm and muggy. Hopefully she will be as good at tonight’s class.

~M

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Myth Runs....

After a couple of lessons where Myth didn’t feel the need to work….she has once again decided it’s FUN!! I thought I would try running her after Josie’s Wednesday class….and did she deliver, I do think she likes running outside. The collect and wrap after #3 is a little beyond her level but she did super !!! Lovely dog walk and teeter ;-)




I now have to decide which method she will learn weaves, channel, guides or 2x2…….I am leaning towards 2x2. Josie learned with the channel method and she has OK weaves, she does slow down towards the end but I am not sure if the method she learned is a contributing factor or if it is because we were learning agility together…

~Melissa

“Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and it may be necessary from time to time to give a stupid or misinformed beholder a black eye.” Miss Piggy

Friday, June 11, 2010

Fargo-Moorhead Kennel Club Dog Show

Early Friday 6/4 morning, the crew + 1 headed up to Fargo for 3 days of conformation showing. There was a major in boys so the hope was for Ella to pick up some points, Cary to get a major to finish his Championship and for our friend Mary’s Ruby to get one of the majors to finish her Championship. Friday, one of Marsha Susag’s boy puppies won the major, and Ella won Best of Winners and breed for the cross over major (Yeah!). This entailed us to participate in the Non-Sporting Group, where we went on to make the cut for a placing, alas no group placing. Now, Ella has in the past been known to get “spooked” and not show her best, but she was “ON” and showed like a little rock star ;-).

Saturday we had a leisure morning as our ring time was not until 2pm, headed off to the show grounds around 10am, 3 dogs to groom. Myth & Fonda were pretty quick for grooming, I did spend extra time with Ella to get her looking good. Once again, one of Marsha’s boy puppies won the major and Ella won Best of Winners and breed for the crossover major with gets her………….her Championship !! very nice! And we went to the group ring again, she showed really well and had fun. Marsha came by the motel to celebrate….produced something she called the uffda drink, lemonade and wild plum something, it was yummy ;-)

Sunday we had to load the van as check out at the motel would be after our ring time. AND to complete the weekend Cary (a Suds son) won winner’s dog, the major and his CHAMPIONSHIP !! YAHOOOOOooooo!! Nothing like waiting ‘til the end. Ruby went Best of Winners for the crossover major and her Championship. Ella won Best of Breed and we did wait around all afternoon for groups, no placing put even after two days of showing and living in a motel she still showed great !! Good girl !

Myth also was entered for the weekend and was very good, still needs work on the table though.

Miss Ella in the group ring.


~Melissa

Tuesday, June 8, 2010



Wow, a little behind….so catch up…

First, Memorial weekend, I hope everyone remembered and paid tribute to our fallen service men and women .

I spent the weekend playing agility, Josie and I had an AKC trial on Saturday and Sunday, then on to a USDAA trial on Monday.

Saturday Suds and Myth came along to the Bloomington Obedience Training Club agility trial. Josie’s first run was Ex B Jumpers, unfortunately she dropped a pole, not sure why, after a little distraction between jump 7 & 8 she ran really well, maybe a little slow because the grass was about 5 inches tall and thick. It was the first pole she has ever dropped in an AKC competition.

Her Standard run started well, got called for a missed contact on the dog walk….hmmmm, and then missed her weave entrance, I had decided in the past if she misses her weaves I pull her off course, so that was the end of that run. We had one class left, after about 3 hours we ran Open FAST. FAST is an optional class that is not offered at many trials, you make up your own course, each obstacle is work a set amount of points, you also have to complete a send bonus. In the send bonus, the handler stays behind a line and sends the dog to a set of obstacles. Not sure if being pulled off course earlier inspired her or what but it was her fastest run of the day, went out on the send bonus just awesome and finished with a first place and her Open Fast (OF) title.

We also Met Mary, Roman, Taz and Moka at the trial. Roman ran with a friend as Mary is still recovering from foot surgery. Got some cute pictures of M & M;

Moka
M & M




Monday we ran in a USDAA trial on a DAM (Dog Agility Master) Team Tournament. Josie was on The Small & Mighty team, consisting of Josie and two Papillions, Sky and Mellie. We each run 4 classes and our scores are combined for a team score, we then run a relay. We competed against about 26-30 teams over all jump heights - and ended up 12 overall, we were quite excited, and showed Small Dogs ROCK! One think I must point out, as a handler, when at the start line, make sure you check each jump before starting you run…..I failed to do that in the relay, Josie and I were the first to run and the 3rd jump was set incorrectly at 16” eek, she did try to jump it but really knocked it hard, the Judge said to go on and it wouldn’t count against us, it did shake her a little and she ran the rest of the course very hesitant.

Thursday 6/3, we had a seminar with Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Stacy has numerous national and international championships, just recently coached the US team at the 2010 IFCS World Agility Championships, presents seminars worldwide and hosts agility camps, workshops, classes, and private lessons through her agility training school C Spot Win located in LaPorte, CO. Josie and I have taken several seminars with her in the past and it is always a fun learning experience. Josie was in the Small & Mighty group, it was a fun group and we worked on some very technical sequences. Suds did his first seminar, he did the afternoon intermediate session and was super! Worked all the way through, although he did slow down in the last run. Really showed me I need to have more confidence in him finding the jumps, I still need to support, but he is seeking out the jumps better. After the seminar I pulled Myth out and ran her on a couple of the sequences Suds did….WOW, she was super even did the tunnel – had been having a little hesitation with the tunnel away from home.

Friday we headed up to Fargo for a conformation show -------BIG update in the next post ;-)

~Melissa

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

AKC passes new Regulations

AKC has passed new agility regulation, not all will go into effect right away but,

Effective September 1, 2010

A-frame only 5 feet for 4 & 8 inch dogs!

and, drum rolllllllllllllll....

Table: "The dog shall pause on the table for 5 cumulative seconds. The judge's count shall start once all 4 paws have touched the table (and the dog remains on the table top). Neither a sit or down position is required. "

This will save lots of time at trials and Josie will be soooo happy, although we will still train for an automatic down as in USDAA it is always a down on the table.

Dogwalk up contacts are no longer judged!!

This way judges will not be racing from one end of the dog walk to the other to watch both the up contact and the down contact – this has made Josie and to a lesser degree Suds to slow down and give the judges dirty looks for being so close, gotta love “chary of strangers” ;-)

Teeters must be calibrated prior to the start of every trial - clubs are responsible for having calibration materials.

This I love – hopefully it will make the teeter more consistent for the dogs.

Effective July 1, 2011· No more MACH point multipliers for 1st and 2nd placements

Bummer, Josie most always gets multipliers for MACH points, but oh well…..


Lots more, for all new regulations see Attachment B, page 9- 53
http://www.akc.org/pdfs/about/board_minutes/0510.pdf

~Melissa

"An off-course is just the right behavior for the wrong obstacle." Rick DeAmelio

Friday, May 7, 2010

DON'T YOU DARE STEAL MY JOY

Just a friendly reminder;

*Permisssion to cross post* a great read for all dog competitors

Connie Cleveland is a well known Obedience Trainer, but this could apply to other venues beyond Obedience Dog Competitions. ..in any venue in life...

DON'T YOU DARE STEAL MY JOY
by Connie Cleveland

On the occasion of my tenth anniversary, my husband asked me how I wanted to celebrate. I asked that we take a very dear friend, my adopted grandmother and one of the greatest of all the great southern ladies, out to dinner with us.
At dinner, my husband, Brian, presented me with a diamond ring. It wasgorgeous and I was speechless, but even as I thanked him, I worried about the expense and extravagance of such a gift. As if he knew that the next line belonged to my grandmother, my husband excused himself from the table.
He was barely out of sight when she reached across the table and grabbed me by the shoulder, "I know what you're thinking, I know you think he couldn't afford it and it's too extravagant. I don't care if he had to put a second mortgage on the house to buy it, don't you steal his joy! It's beautiful. Accept it as the token of his love that it is and say nothing about how he shouldn't have bought it for you." Then she repeated, "Don't you dare steal his joy!"
That was the end of the conversation. She sat back in her seat, smiled at my returning husband, and we had a lovely dinner. I took her advice and put my reservations out of my mind. The ring has never come off my finger, but most importantly, I learned a wonderfully important lesson, never to steal another man's joy.

Are you a joy stealer?

"You know if my dog hadn't gone down on the sit, I would have won theclass", said, unfeelingly, to the winner.

"I sure didn't think your dog worked that high a score."

"I can't believe you placed, I thought Jane Oneup and her dog would beat you."

"I thought I had that class won! My dog had a great performance, " said to the winner.

"Isn't that judge an idiot? I can't believe the dogs he put up!" said to the winner.

"Boy, aren't you glad Mrs Winallthetime wasn't here today or you might not have won."

"You passed that Master test because the water blind was so easy."
"That was the stupidest set of water marks I've ever seen. No trial should end that easily," said to the winner.

Do you discourage or encourage fellow competitors? Do you tell them their goals are too lofty and their dreams too big? Are you trying to be helpful or trying to keep them from accomplishing something that you never had the ability or perseverance to do yourself? It is equally as harmful to steal joy by destroying the dream.

"No Basset Hounds get UD's," said to the owner of the Bassett in Utility class.
"I've never seen a Rottweiler that could do fronts and finishes", said to the owner of the Rottweiler practicing fronts and finishes.
"Do you have any idea how hard it is to get a UD and a Master Hunter? Do you know how few people have ever done it?" said to the first time dog owner setting out to do both.

When FC AFC OTCH Law Abiding Ezra had both his field championships and 65 OTCH points including all the necessary first places, someone had the guts to come up to me, his owner, trainer and handler and say, "No dog will ever be a field champion and an obedience champion." My jaw drops when I think about it. Isn't it unfortunate that I remember this attempt at stealing my joy much more than I remember all the cards and letters and congratulations I received when those last 35 points were earned?

If you are willing to destroy someone's dream, perhaps you don't realize that it is the JOY of pursuing the dream that keeps the dreamer motivated, not just reaching the accomplishment.

My husband and I travel and compete together. I remember an event, early in our relationship when I watched his Doberman fail articles. "Darn it," I said, as he came out of the ring," she didn't even try to find the right one!" "Oh", he replied, "but, weren't her heeling and signals wonderful?"

Unknowingly, I had almost stolen his joy. He was celebrating the improvement on the exercise that had been giving him trouble, and I was focused on the failure. Since that experience, Brian and I have learned that the best response to a questionable performance, "What did you think?" That way, if the handler is excited about some aspect of the performance, you can share that excitement. If the handler is disappointed in another aspect, you can share the disappointment. You are safely removed from being a joy stealer.

I hope you have a lot of dreams and goals for your dogs in (the coming year). Undoubtedly there will be moments of disappointment as you venture through the landmines of injury, failures and other setbacks. Remember that the joy of the journey is worth the difficulties along the way and don't let anyone steal that joy. Guard it well and at the end of the road you can own it and revel in it with all the other memories of the trip.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

ETS

Clean Run magazine ran an article in their May issue about a jumping problem called Early Takeoff Syndrome. A very interesting article about dogs that jump early or take a stutter step and what could be causes, etc. This article was was of special interest for me as Suds shows classic symptoms, he will take off early at jumps, sometimes add a stride or all together skip the jump. This is one of the reasons I do not jump him at his regular height. There are some videos on Clean Run’s site, scroll below the center picture;
http://www.cleanrun.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=category.display&category_id=447
If anyone is interested in the article, let me know…

There is a lot of speculation that eye sight is a contributing factor to ETS. This research on the canine eye speculates that eye sight could be breed/size based.
http://www.abc.net.au/catalyst/stories/s953902.htm

~Melissa

“A word to the wise ain't necessary -- it's the stupid ones that need the advice.” Bill Cosby

Monday, May 3, 2010

SSA, SG, AD, AJ, AR, AS

These are the new letter Josie gets to add after her name. These are the USDAA titles Josie earned over the weekend.
SSA = Starters Standard
SG = Starters Gamblers
AD = Agility Dog
AJ = Advanced Jumpers
AS = Advanced Snooker
AR = Advanced Relay

It was Josie’s first outdoor trial of the season and VERY windy. With 2 rings running our first class was Starters Gamblers – you make up you own course for the first 30 seconds and when the whistle blows you need to complete the gamble within 16 seconds. The gamble is a set of obstacles that need to be taken in a specific order with the handler remaining behind the gamble line. She rocked! Very nice and smooth no hesitation whatsoever. Q & 1st place & Starters Gamblers (SG) title. Below is our gamblers course;

We then ran over to the other ring and ran our Advanced Jumpers. Jumpers is Josie’s favorite class, once again she was soooo good, nice, nice, nice run. Q & 1st & Advance Jumpers (AJ).

We then had a short break until standard. Myth got to come out and socialize. There are usually quite a few puppies at USDAA trials, they do not restrict unentered dogs at trials, the only requirement is they need to be 8 weeks old.

Josie’s Standard run was OK, she trotted her dog walk, hmmm, and when she was tipping the teeter the wind blew it back up, did I mention is was windy? she did complete it but I could tell she was not at all happy. Then we had a little issue on the table, unfortunately about 4 dogs before her a dog peed on the table, ugh, they did clean it up, but Josie found the spot and proceeded to sniff it for a good 5 seconds before she would down. Q & 1st & Starter Standard (SSA) with her standard title she also earned the Agility Dog (AD) title for an AD you need 3 starter standard legs, 1 starter gamble, 1 starter jumpers, 1 starter snooker and 1 starter relay.

Next up was our Advanced Relay. Relay is done with a partner; each team member runs a segment of the course with an exchange of the baton in a designated location, generally scored based on time + faults (faults are converted to seconds) Our partner was a little Jack named ParTay. ParTay ran first, Josie seemed a little hesitant from our previous teeter so started a little slow, thankfully I asked our partner to do the portion of the course with the teeter. She did end well. Q & 2nd & Advanced Relay (AR) title.

We headed for home about 2pm……. When we got home Josie and I went out in the back yard and did a few teeters, no problem.

Sunday had a lighter breeze ;-) Josie had 3 classes; starters gamblers and standard – fun runs as she finished titles yesterday and didn’t need these legs, good thing. In Gamblers she bailed on the teeter, pretty sure this was reluctance carried over from yesterday. In standard she did to the teeter but it was painfully slow, she also sniffed the table again….she missed her entrance on the weaves, I didn’t make her restart them and just ran for the end jump.

Last class for the day was Advanced Snooker. Snooker is fun, fun, fun class, one of my favorites, it can be a bit confusing until you run it.
Class description can be found here;
http://www.usdaa.com/rulesReg_ClassDescs.cfm
I like to try for all 7 point obstacles in our opening but, the 7 pointer for this course was the weaves and she is not the fastest in the weaves and repeating them 4 times just irritates her I elected to do the 5 point and two 6 point obstacles. She was back to her old self and had a very nice run – great way to end the weekend, even had fairly fast weaves. Q & 1st & Advanced Snooker (AS) title.
Here is our Snooker course;



So, the weekend has some ups and downs but over all was very productive, and thankfully we ended on a good note. We now have a four week break before another agility trial. I get to go watch the World Team Tryouts this weekend at the U of M Leatherdale arena.

~Melissa

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Wednesday Classes

Wednesday evening starts with me flying home from work (Eagan to Stillwater -26 miles), tossing the dogs out to potty, quick change, loading appropriate dogs and zooming (as much as one can zoom in rush hour with construction) up to On The Run (Stillwater to Ham Lake – 30 miles). Myth’s Turbo puppy class is first, last night was a small class (3 were absent) so the puppies got lots of work. We started with a jump circle, a little to boring to start with for Myth, she kept wanting to go visit her friends. Next up was teeter work, I have worked very hard to make sure she likes this obstacle unlike her mom. Working her on things that move and working my teeter at home very low and it is definitely paying off, she runs right up it. We are still at the stage where it is not full height and it is a controlled descent, but so far she really likes it. YES ! Then we moved to on to the Dog Walk, one of her favorites….and she did it full height for the first time..Wheee. Next was a short sequence, starting with the Chute (not her favorite), tire, jump, tunnel. Had to make a couple of attempts at the Chute but ran the rest really well. We ended the evening with a couple of recalls. Puppies were all very tired.

Josie’s master class was next, again it was a small class only 5 of us. I experimented on how far I can send her to jumps – need to work on it some more. She was very good, driving to the jumps and several really good teeters. Jacque had a tunnel, tunnel discrimination set up at the beginning of a course and Josie took the tunnel closest to me (wrong one) and then got stuck on that tunnel (repeated it several times). Awesome on the table, OK dog walk, we put her hoop on the end to make sure she drives to the bottom of the contact zone. Earlier this week at home Josie gave me a glimmer of how fast she can weave…….WOW, it was amazing, I wish I would have had a video of it. I just have to figure out how to get that speed all the time….

~Melissa
“It’s all about the journey”

Monday, April 26, 2010

Just another Monday......

This past Sunday the Lhasa Club sponsored a canine massage seminar at Pet Junction. Jacque was our presenter. There was a very nice turn out, about 15 people. Very useful information. I think everyone enjoyed it and I received positive feedback.



Myth is coming along in her agility training. She is doing well on all the contacts, loves the A-frame and is enjoying the teeter, especially when there is braunsweiger waiting at the end. She does have a little trouble focusing in class when we do one jump exercises, I have decided to only do each exercise a couple of time – the same as we do at home, otherwise she just gets bored and tends to wander off and try to visit Terry and Katie. Last week we put together a 5 jump sequence with two front crosses – she did great! At home we have been working on short sequences and tunnels and keeping it fun! We have had to step back a little on the tunnel, when I add to much of a bend she will go in a few feet turn around and come back out, baby steps. She will be a year old the beginning of June and I am trying to decide by which method she will learn the weaves….Channel or 2x2, or a combination……of course either will require an equipment purchase.

A week ago Sunday, we went over to Mary’s for a feet trimming lesson. It was an absolutely gorgeous day, Josie and Myth got to play with Moka and Roman, well, mostly Myth & Moka played. Here are a few clips of the girls;














This coming weekend Josie has a USDAA agility trial, we are hoping for a standard and gamblers Qs so we can move up to the advanced level. As long as she hits the down contact on the dog walk, which is shorter than AKC she should get the standard Q, gambers...well working from a distance is not our strong suit but it is something we have been working on so just maybe. She has been weaving like a fool at home, it helps so much when we can get out there everyday and I can send her through the weaves once or twice, she really picks up speed.

~M
"It's not the will to win, but the will to prepare to win that makes a difference." Bear Bryant

Monday, April 12, 2010

SPDTC Agility Trial

This past Friday - Sunday was the St. Paul Dog Training Club's April Agility Trial.

It was definitely Josie’s weekend. She started off Friday with a bang, 2nd place in Standard, could have been first but a little slow with the sit on the table, but good weaves. She then came back and won the Jumpers class, started a little slow, the weaves were #2 so didn’t get going very fast before them. Judge Steve Shelt has great courses, tough but fun, I will definitely look for him to judge any trial I go to.
Here are Josie’s runs from Friday;
Standard;


Jumpers;


Saturday she was just a good, seemed a little slower in her Jumpers run, and went wide on a couple of turns (this is a work in progress, getting her to tighten up turns without loosing impulsion) ended up 3rd (didn’t get this one on video). Her standard run was really good, although she was slow to down on the table, which is unusual as her down is normally very fast, she ended up 2nd by .01 seconds, first place had a time of 50.28 and Josie was 50.29, so the table did cost her, although her dog walk was also very slow for her….Here is her Standard run;


Sunday Josie was just as good. She just blew away the competition in her Jumpers run, nailed a VERY tough weave entry ! yeah ! was just blazin’ took first place by over 2 seconds. Unfortunately we had a handler error in her standard, she ran pretty well, although she spent a long time on the teeter.

Ended the weekend with QQ number 14 & 15, which means only 5 left to go and picked up 123 points to put us over on MACH points for a total of 795. And she is now qualified for the 2011 AKC Agility Nationals. Cool !!

Suds’ weekend was not as good, seems we had a little regression, he just stressed and was not with me. On Friday he took the first two obstacles and then avoided the tunnel hmmmm. In his second class I knew I was in trouble when he left me at the start to visit a bar setter. Oh, well…..


~Melissa
"I like the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play." Brois Becker

Monday, March 29, 2010

Fargo-Moorhead Agility Trial

You win some you lose some…..our Fargo trip started out with a bank, Josie won both Ex B standard and Jumpers, she was 10 seconds faster than 2nd place in Standard. She was running really well. Here are her runs from Friday;
Standard;

Jumpers;


Suds did really well also, would have Q’s in both his classes except for the weaves. But the fact that he did not get stressed and actually ran in a new unfamiliar location is huge, what a good boy. Here are his runs from Friday;
Standard;

Jumpers;


Saturday was not Josie’s day, in Jumpers she was just running to fast and didn’t feel the need to slow down for the weaves so missed the entrance, other than that is was a nice run. Her standard round had a handler miss queue, I pushed a little to hard to send her out to the tunnel and she went out to the A-frame – good girl ;-) Haven’t had a chance to upload those runs yet. Saturday WAS Suds’ day, he didn’t Q in Jumpers, but was really good for his Standard run, he Q’d with a first place and his Open Standard Preferred title !! Saturday evening he was exhausted and curled up in Myth’s crate.







Sunday a whole new day……In Josie’s standard run I tried to do a rear cross and ummm, got a little anxious and turned my shoulders a fraction of a second to soon and pushed her off of the jump, bummer, but the rest of the run was awesome, good weaves, GREAT sit on the table. We did make up for it in Jumpers, 9 seconds under course time and the only 8” dog that qualified. Suds just ran jumpers and was a bit distracted, so we have a few missed jumps, but he did finish strong. The Fargo-Moorhead Kennel Club puts on a really nice trial, their new location/building is very nice, great food and the weather wasn’t to bad….

Monday, March 22, 2010

Weekend Summary

The trial this past weekend started kind of off…. Josie’s first run we just weren’t connected, she ran really well but missed the weave entry and our timing just wasn’t there. Suds had a really good first run in Excellent A jumpers, he did miss a jump but the jump and I were on separate sides of a support pole and that was just to far away for him, but he nailed his off side weaves YEAH !! Good boy. Josie’s second class was a bit better, except for the sit on the table, shake, sit, stand, shake…did finally manage a full count but that put here in 3rd place. Suds’ second run was not to bad, he was a little more distracted, missed the weaves and had a refusal at the double after the weaves but overall did really well.

Sunday was a blue day --- a blue ribbon day. Josie’s first run (jumpers) was Awesome, I think she had the fastest weaves in competition yet and ended up in 1st place. Suds’ first run was really good and if there would have been 1 less weave pole it would have been a qualifying run, but he had fun! If Josie’s first run was Awesome, her second run (standard) was Spectacular, WOW except for slightly slower weaves it may have been our best run ever. Her sit on the table was spot on, hmmm what did we do different? Well the handler stayed up, no bending and hovering and asked for the sit the same way as in practice and voila –perfect, guess all this time it may have been a handler issue after all, sigh. She ended up in first place a full 5 seconds faster than 2nd place ! Suds’ Open standard run was excellent, he did get a little distracted in the weaves (they were positioned right by the in gate with all the people) but he had fun and finished with no faults and first place.

Myth came along, hung out in her crate, watched the dogs on course and got lots of treats from everyone. When we got home Sunday I pulled my teeter, tunnel, weaves and tire jump out into the yard and Myth had a little training. We worked on tunnel to the table, I think I will be naming the table something else for Myth….so far we have not named it. We did a little work with the teeter, set at the lowest it will go and I put my table under the up side, so it only drops about 10”, she had a great time.

~Melissa
“I love the winning, I can take the losing, but most of all I love to play.” Boris Becker

Friday, March 19, 2010

Upcoming

Event though it is only officially Spring, this weekend marks the beginning of a busy summer;
AKC Agility trail this weekend
AKC Agility trial in Fargo, ND next Fri-Sun
AKC Agility Fun match followed by pizza party ;-) 4/2
TCLAC meeting/Awards 4/3
AKC Agility trail 4/9-4/11
UKI-new Agility org match 4/17
TCLAC massage seminar 4/25
Seward, NE conformation or USDAA Agility trial in St. Cloud 5/1 & 5/2
World team try outs –worker 5/8 & 5/9
TCLAC meeting 5/11
AKC or CPE Agility trail 5/15 & 5/16
USDAA or AKC Agility trial or Conformation in St. Peter 5/29 & 5/30
Stacy Peardot Goudy Seminar 6/3
Whew and that is just the beginning…..and it doesn’t include our regular Monday and Wednesday classes or private lessons…


Both Suds and Josie are ready for this weekend’s trial. Suds had his class on Monday and he was sooooo good, nailed the weaves at speed, on the off side, TWICE - this is huge for him since he has a very hard time working on the off side. Goes to show you really need to work the dog on both sides when you first start working them (I didn’t get Suds until he was just over a year old and he had some “issues”). Suds was really driving and seeking out obstacles – our goal this weekend is for him to keep moving and have FUN !! It will be his first trial running Excellent A Jumpers, and the best part is Jacque is the judge, so Suds is used to her being on the course with us. Josie had her class Wednesday and did not disappoint. Her class is at On The Run, which has THE BEST mats, so she jumps 12” there (this is her USDAA jump height) and she really ran great, awesome turns, great teeter, weaves could have been faster but I’ll take ‘em, and she looked great. I really think her conditioning work has paid off, she is really rocking back on her rear for turns and they have gotten much tighter.

Myth had the week off from class, her next session will start March 31st. She has been doing some Ball work and working her contact trainer. I have to say looking at her trot across the yard, she is one pretty little Lhasa ;-) I really need to take her and Ella to a conformation class before to long. Ella just needs a refresher but Myth needs more table work.

~Melissa

"A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth th e effort." Herm Albright

Friday, March 12, 2010

FC & RC

or Front Cross and Rear Cross.

A front cross is where you cross your dogs path (side change) in front of them. I prefer a front cross, as do both Suds and Josie, but this requires the handler to be in front of the dog so it means lots more running. A rear cross is where you cross your dogs path (side change) behind the dog.



With Suds I need to be very close as he gets nervous if I am to far away. When he gets nervous he will skip the jumps in a rush to get to my side. He also needs to see me which is why rear crosses do not work with him.

Josie will slow down if I rear cross. I will use a rear cross with Josie when I need to cue deceleration for a tight turn. Rear crosses are not our forte. BUT, she is very comfortable with rear crosses at the weaves.

I have started teaching Myth rear crosses on the flat (no jumps) as I want her to be as comfortable with rear crosses as front crosses. ;-) To teach the front cross on the flat I have her at my side(on the left for this turn)-treats in both hands, walk forward, do a slight step away (right) from my dog and turn into her bringing her nose into me with a treat in my right hand while walking forward. repeat starting with the dog on your right side....everything needs to be taught with the dog on both sides.
Myth working front crosses on the flat;


Teaching rear crosses on the flat. start with dog at my side (left)-treats in both hands, walk forward, with the hand closest to the dog lure her ahead of you and her head slightly away from you, do a small step behind, switch hands and lure the dog into position at your side. repeat with the dog on the other side.
Myth working rear crosses on the flat;


There is also the dreaded blind cross......some handling systems use the blind cross. In a blind cross the dog crosses behing you so you take your eye off your dog. I think running small dogs blind crosses can present more of a challenge, small dogs can dissapear fast and are easier to lose track of. As a general rule I do not use blind crosses, now having said that, yes I have done blind crosses ONLY at a tunnel or the down side of the A frame, at these places I know exactly where my dog is.

and here is one of Myth working the contact board, she thinks this is great fun!


~Melissa



The time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time. Bertrand Russell

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Wednesday Classes


In last nights Turbo puppy class Myth did her first sequence (wish I would have had someone get it on video), it was tunnel, plank, tire, pinwheel of 3 jump standards (no jumps for the small puppies), tippy board…..WAY FUN!! No hesitation went right around. She is really working well and having fun. After everyone had a couple of turns the puppies got to do a very low A-frame and Dog Walk. Myth is just like her mom, she loves the A-Frame – must the be the mountain dog in them ;-). A great A-frame is where the dog actually “floats” over the apex in a natural stride, Josie has a great A-frame, Suds not so much, he kind of pulls himself over, Myth is going to have a great A-frame. The puppies also did a low Dog Walk, Myth likes it also, not as much as the A-frame, but I think she may have been getting tired.

Josie’s Master class is after Myth’s class. I believe class is for trying things you normally would not try in a trial….this class was full of opportunities. The diagram below is one of the courses we did. I was able to get quite a bit of distance from some of the obstacles, especially the send from jump 5 to 6, I was able to stay on the other side of jump 7 and send her to 6 without hesitation, it was awesome. I was able to rear cross (my path crossed Josie’s behind her, more on rear and front crosses in another post). We still need to work on her teeter speed but the weaves have improved.


It was a very good evening for all………

~Melissa

“When you reach for the stars you may not quite get one, but you won't come up with a handful of mud either”. Leo Burnett

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Projects

Last weekend, I had no trial, no show, no activities planned….what to do with myself, yeah, right. Errands, chores out of the way, I had a couple of projects I had wanted to start. I had recently gotten on sale, a very nice outfit for conformation shows (finding outfits for conformation is a whole blog or two) but it really needed some accessories ;-) so off to the bead store I went, and this is what I created………really turned out pretty.


















The other project was for Suds, he has always had trouble with the triple jump. The issue is because triple jumps are made to fit all heights, with the spread increasing as the height increases, when you get to the lower heights the front rail is set back from the front edge of the standards. Suds thinks he needs to take off from the front edge of the standard, which makes the spread for him much wider than he needs to jump and sometimes causes him to come down on the back rail. So, I needed a triple jump for us to experiment and practice on………holy cow, expensive. I would have liked to buy a regulation one, but they run over $200, yikes! So, I made one. To buy one just like the one I made, it would have run about $140, materials from Menards less than $20, a couple hours and voila…..turned out pretty good. The most expesive part was the tape to color the rails ;-)

















Here are a couple of Josie trying it out;















~Melissa

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

You Make Me Feel Like Dancin'

A while ago, I read a blog and comments on what music best captures your own dogs’ personality? At the time, nothing really came to me, sure both Suds and Myth have songs for their registered names, neither really “fits”, and I never could come up with anything for Josie or Ella. Recently each one has acquired their Theme Song;

Suds' registered name Suds-in-the-Bucket is a country song by Sara Evans, an OK song and while Suds’ name fits him the song not so much….but “Don’t Worry Be Happy” IS Suds.

Josie, well, truly what else could she be but “Born to be Wild” ;-)

Ella, sweet little Ella, who just wants everyone to be happy and get along, “I’d like to Teach the World to Sing”.

Myth = MeLou Shambhala, Shambhala by Three Dog Night, and a “Myth”ical kingdom in the Himalayas, geographical region where the Lhasa originated. Myth has been tough. When I leave for work in the morning I leave the radio on for the dogs, they get a variety; some days big band, some days classic rock, talk, etc, this morning I flipped on KOOL 108, oldies, and playing was You Make Me Feel Like Dancin’…….yeah, so it’s a campy 70s song, but I think it may be Myth’s theme….
Here is a very entertaining version, ;


~Melissa

“Never be afraid to try something new. Remember, amateurs built the ark. Professionals built the Titanic.” unknown

Monday, February 15, 2010

Canine Faces


SUDS






























JOSIE
























ELLA
























































MYTH