Training for Weight Pull

Jet Weight Pull
Jet Weight Pull
Something I’ve always wanted to try with my dogs is Weight Pull. Why, do you ask? Oh I don’t know… it’s just another fun thing to do. And I think it’s good conditioning for them for other sports… good weight training to build up their strength. I don’t want Jet to get too bulky, I just want him nice and tone.

So there is a UKC Weight Pull competition in November near by my house. And since there’s nothing else going on that weekend (rare, I know lol) I thought we’d give it a try. I also plan on putting Quinn in the UKC Conformation that weekend, if all goes well. Would be nice to get a UKC Championship on him in one weekend if possible.

Danish-Swedish Farmdog Weight Pull
Jet Weight Pull

So a local friend made Jet a Weight Pull harness and I hooked him up to my trolley in the front yard this evening to see how it’d go. She said that I’ll probably have to work starts and stops, and that is the truth. Once Jet got it going, he was okay, but getting it moving was a bit of a push for him. This cart has 3 17 pound blocks on it, and the cart weighs 25 pounds. I don’t know what weight the resistance of the grass adds, but it’s 76 pounds + maybe 20 for the grass? Jet was doing good, but he’ll need to pull 200 pounds (8x his body weight, he weighs about 25 pounds) for a Qualifying leg. And 3 legs for a Q.

Jet Weight Pull
Danish-Swedish Farmdog

So we have about 3 weeks to get him to pull 200 pounds… which, I think, maybe be a stretch! I’ll probably train every day, or every other day, for a while. some long and light loads, some shorter and heavier loads. He needs to pull 8x his body weight for 16 feet, in 60 seconds or less. No toys or treats on the lanes. So, this will be fun! Hopefully we’ll be able to do it!

Jet Weight Pull
Jet Weight Pull

My New Aquabowls Are Here!!!

A while ago I posted about my favorite dog water bowls… and I was so upset when my aquabowl was left on the stove when the oven was turned on, and a hole was melted in it! I was devastated! Okay maybe not devastated but I was pretty darn sad. I mean, it’s only a thing… but still, it was a very important thing!

Jet and the Aquabowls
Jet and the Aquabowls

So off I went to the internet to find out how to get a replacement. And I like the small size better than the big size. Well… I couldn’t find any, anywhere in the USA! How awful is that? The only ones I found were in England. And I thought oh no… shipping could be horrible from England. But I just needed to get a bowl back and so I placed the order.

Levi and the Aquabowls
Levi and the Aquabowls

I ended up ordering from Fur Feather and Fin, after a small email chat with the help department, to make sure they would ship to the USA. And they did, and they came, and it was fast!

The total cost, including shipping, for 2 aquabowls was $54.02. My credit union also charged a $0.54 foreign transaction fee. So really that’s only $27.28 each. Not too bad I think! Actually, I think I paid over $30 for the one I bought in the US at a dog show, so hey, I really can’t complain. 🙂 And even though this won’t help my skin, or give me anti wrinkle creams, that’s okay, I can grow old happy!

So I am so very excited today! I’m working from home too, so I’m going to be on a high all day. I love these bowls! And yes I bought 2, in case anything happens to one. In fact, I may buy some more…. 🙂

Left Ankle and Right Toe

Man this getting old stuff sucks. My left ankle is still sprained… yeah yeah I know, stay off it right? Well, that ain’t gonna happen unless all my dogs disappear and I have nothing better do. So it’s braced and I try to take it easy but you know how it goes.

I went jogging at lunch yesterday with Chase and Levi, and the ankle did pretty well. I was careful not to twist it. And stay on cement and roads. That is good for Chase’s pads too, gotta toughen them up for flyball on matts.

And today, for some odd reason, the big toe on my right foot hurts. No idea how or why. I’m sure I twisted it, or something, while concentrating on my ankle.

The body just keeps falling apart. Ugh.

The Missing Element in Training

Since my post about Cesar Milan a while ago, and the comments I received on it, I wanted to post again. Not about Cesar… really. But about one of the comments (maybe more than one of them).

Someone said that Cesar is more a dog psychologist than a dog trainer. I have said, for as long as I have been around dogs… okay for as long as I’ve been around dogs as an adult.. since my early 20s, that whenever I am with a dog, I am training that dog. And from what I understood, it seems a number of people believe that dog training and dog psychology are mutually exclusive.

I beg to disagree. I think that they are intertwined. So much so that you cannot have one without the other when you are dealing with dogs.

Sure you can teach a dog to sit, down, stay, heel… you can teach a dog obedience, agility, flyball, herding, tracking… and any of the other dog sports out there. And this is all training. However, if you want to really have a good working relationship with your dog, and you want a dog that performs well and likes to work, you have to understand that dog’s behavior. The dog’s psychology.

On the other hand, you can understand a dog’s behavior up the wazoo, but in order to get a well mannered dog, either a house companion or a working dog, you have to incorporate training into the interaction you have with the dog.

I have done agility for over four years now. I am just barely starting to do serious obedience training. If you have followed my training with Chase, my border collie, you’ll know all about the trials and tribulations I’ve had with him. He knows all the agility contacts. He knows his job. He knows how to jump and how to weave and how to run through a tunnel (he especially knows how to ignore me completely and head for the tunnel all the way on the other end of the course). But a very huge piece of his ‘training’ was missing. And that was the behavioral part. Knowing why he does what he does… his drive, his motivation. Knowing that he lacked drive shaping and focus, and that he has a high sex drive, these things are critical when training him.

It seems to me that many, many people in competition events nowadays don’t understand the behavioral aspect of training. Understanding your dog, your individual companion and partner, is critical to the training experience. Having a dog that can think, and listen to you, and focus on his job.. these things are so important that I cannot express it in words. Without the behavior piece with Chase, without understanding his psychology, we never would have restarted our forward progress in dog training. Even in socialization, as he tends to not be good with some other dogs.

So really, to say that Cesar is a dog psychologist and not a dog trainer is something I disagree with. I believe he is both. I still don’t like his methods, though.

I look at dogs completely differently than I did only a year ago. Instead of just looking at their training I look at what their person has done, or hasn’t done, to shape their behavior, too. It’s fascinating. I love it. I want to spend more time doing it. Maybe after I retire I will be able to.

I want my dogs to have every opportunity to succeed. And, of course, I want to succeed, too. And now I have many more tools with which I can do this. And it’s fun!

New Videos Way to Go

Making videos is fun. I have done it a number of times. As you can see from my prior post, I have lots of dog videos and agility vidoes! I even bought a video camera in order to record my agility runs, and other dog sports runs, for memories and to critique my running style.

So anyway there is a fun site called YawpBox. Not only is it a social networking site, it is also a national TV show, and a national Radio Show. The TV Show gets all their content from the social networking site. Videos, people, etc. So, after you make your video, you can uploaded it to YawpBox, and it just may end up in front of thousands, or more, of people on TV! Are you brave enough to be on TV? I’m not sure I am…

It is very entertaining to see regular every day people in their videos. Sometimes I get tired of all the perfect actresses on TV. And it’s nice to see regular people on TV instead.

I think to really understand YawpBox you have to visit their website. There are categories you can upload your video too. And you can vote for videos as well. Vote for the ones you like! And you can vote for the ones you don’t like, too.

It’s a fun site!