Saturday, June 23, 2007

Progress....

Another week of training under our belts (collars). I'll start with Teller because I think he's made the most progress...

Teller is so different from Murphy - which is good and it's bad. He's such a quick study that sometimes I forget that he's still a baby and is just learning all of this stuff. So while it's great that he's really coming along on so many fronts. His training for the breed ring is really coming along nicely - he's figuring out he's supposed to trot, he's looking ahead and he's not charging ahead like a bull in a china shop. I'm pleased. His free-stack is amazing and will be our saving grace. He's got this presence about him and it's contagious - everyone who sees him falls in love with him and in true golden form he falls in love equally as quickly. Any lap is a good lap and there's never too many pats. I do love that when it's time to not have attention he's good about that too, passing out on the floor or couch until he's called.

We've been doing a lot of puppy obedience stuff - little things - intro to scent articles, go outs. I've started him over little jumps (4") and he's enjoying himself. I've heard of a few puppies getting put up recently by various judges - not that I think Woo is going to take points - but it's theoretically possible and that's enough to justify flipping some entries into the pot.

Murphy - my little goober. He had a couple of really great working sessions this week. He's working nicely for pretty frequent reinforcement. My next step is to try to lengthen the time between reinforcement and get the food off me for moments. So we're done with babysitting every few strides - lets up the ante. It'll either fall apart or it won't - ahhh....life with dogs.

We went out to agility today and Murph was equally good at waggles on the agility field. This is after hitting his dog-walk contact at Ruths and grazing (sigh) while sitting on the contact.

So net positive. And the Essex cluster doesn't seem so far away anymore...

Erica

Friday, June 15, 2007

Regrouping and taking a break

We've been going out flat for a few weeks - where to start?

Memorial day weekend was a bust. I went off to a three day show by myself (suck suck suck) and Murphy's work ethic went down the tubes, yeah OK maybe it was my work ethic too. Too much trialing and not enough training - it's hard to trial Saturday and Sunday, give Murphy a day off, then train two or three days and then start trialing all over again. Add in the demands of work, being oncall and the other things I'm obligated to do every week and the net result was burning both ends of the candle pretty quickly. I just never felt like I was catching up on so many levels.

Last weekend was the So Berk golden trial - three days. Murph was distracted and gave me varying levels of attention on Friday and Saturday...Friday was hotter than heck (90 and humid) and Saturday we were rained on. On Sunday he blew me off to roll and I left the ring without him - let Kara catch him and put him away - no attention, no cookies...just back into his crate. When I took him out for his jumpers run he was fantastic! He worked with me, didn't sniff and if it hadn't been for sending him to the wrong tunnel entrance he would have Q'ed. Oh well - we've got time and for what it's worth I really like the fact that I got to make the mistake for once!

So we're looking forward to some obedience work - working towards another CDX leg. Murphy has a month off before the Essex Cluster. Plenty of time to really polish our heelwork. He is capable of the most gorgeous heeling - and he's sucked, been distracted, sniffy, etc. Let's get it right. I'm trying a few things - one of them is basically shaping foundation work - I'll detail the progress as we make some...

As for the Teller-woo, we're getting ready for his AKC debut at the Essex Cluster. Kara might take him the weekend before to Springfield - but, we'll see what happens. Some shots of Woo from the weekend...