Saturday, 13 October 2012
And Hattie-Bear turned 12. Don't think I need to say anything about how I feel for this dog!!!?
I had an absolutley brilliant day today. Dave and Sian came over to train the dogs. And they were all great. Cody is having a month off from agility, so we took the 'non-workers' for a two hour walk.
Ditto was great. I love this time of year as I can take all the training back to basic, break everything down and build on it. I am having to do things slightly differently with Ditto, to what I did with Code, but change is not always a bad thing. I think we owe it to our dogs to treat them as individuals, as no dog is the same and therefore not every handling style/training method will work with every dog.
On Monday we were lucky to have Kamal Fernandez at D-Force presenting a practical clinic on 'propreoception and fitness for the sports dog'. These skills are basically tricks, so great homework for wet weather days.
I am going to try and blog more ... but I think I said that in my last post ;)
Saturday, 14 July 2012
So, since the last blog, a fair bit has happened. Ditto is now weaving 12 upright poles and I'm pretty happy with how they are looking. To be honest they have probably been the easiest thing to teach her so far. In training she is one pawing, driving through them and they are really independent. In the ring she is now getting them too :). I now need to do loads of work on focus as she is so environmentally aware. Throughout her life I have done lots of work on training her in new environments but I think it will just have to be something I always do with her as a reminder. She was great at Tuffley last weekend and had 3 'nearly' clears, def a sign of improvement.
I have just started doing some more contact training with Code. I really haven't gone back and worked on just shaping the end position, down planks and proofing since he started doing whole contacts years ago. It's so nice actually training him rather than just working on handling. In shows we have just been having the odd silly problem but with these few weeks off from shows and some more training hopefully we will do better.
The D-Force dogs are looking brilliant and proving it with results at shows. Love this pic of D-Force Muddle below.
Really could do with some sun now ... fingers crossed!!!!
Sunday, 29 April 2012
Lots to report, but I will let the videos do the talking. Great start to the season :D :D
Little Dittos first UKA and KC show. Need the rain to go away so we can teach some weaves :) Happy with my little monkey!
Seems like only yesterday she was a little puppy!
Code won grade 4 jumping and agility at Lincoln, taking him to grade 5 :) He is so cool :)
Saturday, 31 March 2012
Well, it has been another busy week. Last Sunday I was up in Birmingham giving a 'learning theory' talk organised by Mandy Melville-Love. Everyone was up for learning new things, which makes my job so much more fun.
On Monday and Tuesday, the long awaited 'Young Dog Days' arrived. The weather was amazing, hot and sunny, which meant we could train outside on the Tuesday. The trainers were Dave Munnings and Sian Illingworth. These two trainers compliment each other so well and everyone raved about all their training sessions.
It was great to see some dogs and handlers from my last beginners class taking part in this event. It can sometimes be a bit of a worry handing over students that have trained with you week in week out since they started their training journey. I am not sure why, I guess you just feel protective over them. However my last beginners group are really special, smart and sensible and Dave and Sian are such great trainers it was just a complete pleasure to watch them succeed and look so great! Below are some videos of them enjoying 'Young Dog Days' ...
Dappy and Olivia - Restrained Recall
Sixx and Becky
Floozie and Nicola
Thanks to all those positive, smiley people that attended 'Young Dog Days', it is great to spend time with you :)
Thursday arrives and I was presenting part 1 of 2 of a practical shaping session in Newbury. This session was great fun in which we looked at increasing the dogs 'willingness' to offer responses and improve owners shaping skills. Cant wait till part two.
On to my own dogs ..... I have spent the last two weekends at UKA shows preparing my dogs for the upcoming season. Ahhhhhh I don't think I have ever felt as great as I did after Ditto's first ever run which was a steeple chase. Don't get me wrong, this was far from a paw perfect run, but I couldn't have been happier with her. She was focused and fast :D
Little Code had four wins over the weekends, clever pup and I trained all his agility runs :)
Next weekend is the first KC show of the year for me, Easter Celebration, and I can't wait!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Monday, 5 March 2012
So, last weekend I found myself dressed as a dog. After a few drinks celebrating at Olympia I voluntered to be the OJAC mascot. What a great excuse to act like a kid high on sugar for a few days!!! The event highlighted that the sport can be both competitive and fun at the same time.
The last few days I have had Theo, one of Dobby's sons, to stay. This young puppy is a mini Dobby. So much character, attitude and natural drive. His temperment is stunning. In my opinion, he is what all breeders should be striving for. Below is a video of him doing some training in Pets at Home.
And a pic of him at his first puppy class being trained by Lucy Osborne.
Finally, I started to work through my list of things I wanted to train Cody before the season started. Tunnels under contacts - TICK! Waits - half a tick! Pull throughs and go-round's - TICK! I can't wait to start competing with code again , I have a few goals to aim for this year :)
Little Dit is steadily making progress. She is probably a little further behind in her training that I would have hoped at this stage. Mainly because I have had to put so much time in to teaching 'life skills' and I guess also due to the bad weather we had. I had entered Scunthorpe as her first show just for jumping classes to give us something to aim for. But I wont rush her and I think it is looking unlikely that will be her debut now. I really do have to thank Dave Munnings for all his help with Ditto, it has been invaluable. I was so happy with how Ditto behaved and worked at a Toni Dawkins group at Scrambles a few weeks ago. Focused, confident and drivey :)
This weekend we had Lucy Osborne at D-Force for a training day. The sessions included young dogs, weaves and super see-saw. Everyone was looking awesome, I am so proud with how the D-force dogs are looking. Everyone loved Lucy's positive training methods :)
I was how both my dogs worked in Lucy's training sessions :)
Off to cheer on my friends competing at Crufts this week, always a great motivator :)
Peace out xx
Tuesday, 31 January 2012
First things first, I have to say huge congratulations to my great friend Anna Giles on the birth of her new baby, Sebastian!
At the moment, I am really leading a 'dog filled life'. My days are completely rammed with all things dog ... and I am loving it! Inbetween the 'day job' of walking and training classes and 1-2-1's, I have had Anna's Muddle to stay whilst baby Sebby settles in, Dave's Fame to stay whilst he has been of holidaying some where (lol) and two other boarders!!! Crazyyy!
During Mud's stay we have been re-raining his weaves as he physically really struggled with the old distance. He seemed to find weaving difficult and it had made his association with the weaves a bit stressy. So, I have taken him right back to basics with the new distance weaves using Lucy Osbournes, entry and channel method. I have LOVED training Mud. He is nuts and has amazing toy drive, probably the best I have seen in a Border Collie! This intensity and desire has now been transferred into his weaves ... the dog loves them and is swimming through super fast! Anna, are you sure I can't keep him!?
Fame is just perfect, a real natural and matched with Dave's great training I am sure she will be awesome. Her toy drive is also fantastic. With a low head, she powers into toys wether dead or held. Like Mud, its makes her so easy to train.
Dare I say it, I am really happy with Ditto's attitude. There seems to be a culture in agility of being cautious of praising your own dog publicly, maybe in fear of being labeled arrogant or putting high expectations on dogs at their early shows. Speaking with Sian the other day, I said I always put myself down when it comes to training and I want to stop this. So there it goes, I have said I am happy with the direction Dit's is heading in! Her agility is looking nice but more importantly her life skills have improved so much :) she just makes me laugh all the time!
Cody came back from his break WILD! It was hilarious. After a few training sessions he is now still wild but with a bit of control. The best news, the wait training is going to plan. Must keep it up! Note to self: stop putting off obstacle discrimination training!!!!
And Hat, well of course she is still the best dog in the world!
At the end of all my 1-2-1's and classes I always ask people what they are happy with. So at the end of Jan what am i happy with? The highlight has to be Ditto working in a group in a new environment with focus and drive :D