2012 In Review

Well, it’s 2013… wow. Where has all the time gone to?

Jet and I had an awesome time at Invitationals in Orlando, Florida, last month. Actually, Jet had an awesome year in 2012. Jet ran 3 clean runs out of 4 at Invitationals and ended up ranking #57 in the 16″ height class. Out of about 140ish dogs. Not too shabby for our first time! He also qualified in the T2B run we had at the pre-trial the Friday before. He is such an amazing boy. If you’d like to watch the videos.. they are on YouTube:
YouTube Invitationals Videos

Jet Invitationals
Jet Invitationals

In 2012 We went to a couple of seminars, including Denise Fenzi and Chris Zink. We are going to repeat the Denise Fenzi Seminar this March, too, though this year it’ll be in Idaho, instead of Colorado. So a much closer drive for us.

In AKC Agility, Jet gathered up 19 Double Q’s in 2012, and 509 speed points. Not too shabby. 🙂 He has all his Double Qs towards his MACH, and he only needs 171 speed points, hopefully we’ll gather the rest of those points by sometime this May. He got his MX and MXJ in 2012, and his first T2B title as well. He also got one leg toward his CD. And hopefully we’ll be able to pick the other 2 legs up in 2013.

In UKC Jet got his UWP (United Weight Pull) title, and a Total Dog award, since he placed 3rd place in conformation in the Terrier Group on the same day that he qualified in Weight Pull (though I still don’t like the Danish-Swedish Farmdogs being in the Terrier Group.) He also got 2 legs towards his UKC CD, hopefully we’ll get that last leg in 2013.

We didn’t do any Flyball in 2012, but maybe we’ll do a bit more in the future, I haven’t decided yet.

Jet, Tatum and Quinn and I spent a week at Camp Winnaribbun in August, and had a blast!

As for the other dogs…
Tatum got one leg in Open Standard in May of 2012 in AKC agility, which thrilled me! She’s a good girl, and has come a long way from where she started. She may never get another leg, but that’s okay, as long as we have fun. She pushes the boys around in the house quite well!

Quinn came to join our family in June of 2012. He’s a very sweet, loving, pushy smooth collie boy! I adore him, and it’s good to have a boy smooth blue collie in the house. Since we lost Levi in February of 2012… and I still miss him so very much.

Quinn Park
Quinn at the Park

All in all, 2012 was a very fun year. And I hope 2013 will be just as fun. I hope Jet gets his AKC, ASCA and UKC CD’s in 2013, as well as his MACH. I plan on retiring in August of 2013.. and then, well, the skies the limit! (Well, the money is the limit, actually. LOL).

Chase is probably actually retired from dog sports.. though I haven’t totally decided yet. He is becoming my husband’s walking dog, which is good. As is Muffit, our other Border Collie. They are about 9.5 years old now, so may just have some leisurely retirement years themselves.

Got this picture at Christmas, we have a very nice pack!

The Pack
The pack
Levi's Ramp

Leaving the Ramp

Levi's Ramp
Levi's Ramp
Well I was going to do some more training with Jet this weekend but then I got sick. My stomach really hurts. It’s not like I’m nauseous, but my stomach just aches. But then I do tend to seem to get sick after a few hard weeks of dog sports. After I retire it’ll be nice when I can rest during the week instead of having to pack work into the week.

Oh well. it’s supposed to snow today anyway, and it’s a good thing to take it easy. I might actually lay low on the obedience with Jet for a while and just be at home and rest and take care of myself. I think I took a break from mourning Levi, too, and last night it crashed back on me again. I really miss him so much. The house is not the same. The house will never be the same again.

So we’ve decided to leave the ramp in the back yard. Mainly because Jet and Chase have this new not-so-fun game where they stare at each other and get all excited and then go flying out the dog door at top speed. And if the ramp wasn’t there, they’d probably crash hard onto the cement. Maybe it’d only take them one or two times to figure it out, but we don’t want them to get hurt. So the ramp is going to stay for a while. Maybe we need something like an elo touch to get them to stop but I’m not sure how that would quite work.

So life goes on, slowly, taking it easy, loving the four dogs that we still have.

Chase

Changing Pack Dynamics

Chase
Chase
It’s been a month since Levi died, I still miss him terribly, and it’s interesting to watch how our pack dynamics have changed. We only have four dogs now, down from our high of seven. Four dogs is like having hardly any dogs at all.

The biggest change I think has been Chase. He’s the oldest now (8.5 years), and he has space issues with dogs he doesn’t know. He will attack without warning when we go out and he’s too close to other dogs. He will still do this. He always hated having foster dogs in our house. So he’s the happiest one of them all that we no longer foster. He’s very relaxed at home now and, strangely enough, he’s becoming our mediator dog. Chase and Levi never got along. Levi would grump at Chase on a regular basis.

But now Chase loves to play with Jet (he did before, but he’s more relaxed about it now). Chase plays with Tatum too, and kinda tolerates Muffit. Muffit barks at Chase when he (Muffit) wants to play, which annoys Chase to no end. But after years, Chase is showing lip and teeth when he gets annoyed. We think that Chase’s warning system was punished out of him before we got him. So he’d just explode without warning. At home he gives warning now (he was giving warning before Levi died too). Chase hasn’t started a fight at home in probably over a year. It’s quite nice.

Jet has been having issues with being unable to stop when he starts fighting. I believe he learned it from Levi. Jet didn’t learn a good way to tell another dog that he’s been hurt or he wants something or needs another dog to stop something. I blame Levi, and myself, of course. Hopefully we’ll work this out. But anyway, a couple weeks ago Jet was going off on Chase, and Chase just stood there in the back yard with Jet latched onto his cheek. This is HUGE for Chase. Before, Chase would have fought back and not have stopped. But now, Chase is like our medium dog that has taken on the role of smoothing everything over. It’s really cool.

Anyone in a multi-dog household understands that dogs fight. It’s what they do. Our dogs have good bite inhibition and don’t break skin. But they sure sound mean. And they don’t fight without reason. People yell at each other, dogs growl and snarl and fight. And our house is kinda small, so the dogs are close together a lot. Maybe we need some wood pergolas to lighten things up, but we can’t afford anything now!

My husband and I aren’t sure who is highest ranking dog anymore. It’s probably Tatum, our only girl. But it could be Muffit, he doesn’t put up with anyone’s crap. It’s not Chase, he’s just the middle ground dog. And I don’t think it’s Jet either, even though he’s intact. Though we think Jet wants to be. It’s one of those flowing easy going packs that just get along. It’s quiet and nice. It’ll be interesting to see how a puppy throws them all for a loop again. Chase will probably have the hardest adjustment, he always does, but hopefully he’ll adjust quickly.

Chase and Grad Open

Well it was my first time ever in any type of Utility type ring last weekend. Chase was in Graduate Open, one of the new non-regular AKC obedience classes. It was really fun, even though I messed him up a bit on Saturday. He still took the wrong jump on the directed jumping so would have NQ even without me. 🙂 He’s a dork, and he does that every now and then. Leftover from agility when he’d just blow me off, I’m sure. Here’s Saturday’s Video. I don’t have Sunday.

He was a good boy. He actually performed about what I expected. We are super close to getting a Grad Open Q I think. Maybe I’ll buy myself some netbook computers when he gets a title… or even a leg, for that matter. I don’t do as much obedience as I do agility. And I hesitate putting him into an obedience trial when there is agility at the same place, he may lose his silly mind. 🙂

Jet and Dare

Denise Fenzi’s Awesome Obedience Seminar

Jet and Dare
Jet and Dare
I’m back from Colorado Springs and the Denise Fenzi Seminar. Wow. I got a ton of information and was able to video some of Jet working, too. Jet was a good boy. Silly goof that he is, he’s a clown, and people can’t help just loving him. I just adore him too.

Denise is one of the very few purely positive, motivational competition obedience trainers in the entire country. As a few of us sat around at dinner, we came up with a couple of other names but now I don’t even remember who they are. And I’m talking about Competition Obedience… not just dog trainers or clicker trainers etc. Most competition obedience people still use correction methods thrown in here and there. I have too, but I really want to do what Denise does instead. She is amazing at how well she can come up with ideas to solve problems in training.

One of the biggest things that is sticking with me from the seminar is how so many people are not ring ready for obedience. They train with toys and treats then one day decide to compete and they haven’t done any training without toys or treats or corrections and they expect the dogs to perform well in the ring. Well, that’s not my experience. LOL. She said she even has had a class that is for being Ring Ready. Six weeks of setting up a ring, and all you do is enter the ring, play play play, then leave. So the dogs know that going into the ring is a good happy thing. What to do when you walk into the ring. Have an idea and a plan. Make it happy. I got some good ideas of what to do with Jet.

Basically Jet gets stressed in the ring, so I want to change that. So my plan will be to walk him into the ring, then whip out his new toy and play. Then leave. Do that a couple of times. Then go into the ring, maybe do a dumbbell retrieve, play play, then leave. Then add another exercise that he likes, play play, then leave. So every time we go into the ring it’s a really good experience. Add some “ready… ready… ready…” during and after heeling, to get his excitement up. Do push backs and run. Lots of play and having a good time.

I can even do portions of these things in competition. Like at the end of a heeling pattern, after the judge says Exercise Finished, I can say “ready… ready…” then burst into a run and run to the next exercise. Or do a push back and a touch high. Things to keep him up and happy. It’ll be fun to try. I am probably going to try a couple of these things this coming weekend, as for some weird reason I entered him in Beginner Novice, even though I don’t think we are quite ready. But it’ll be a challenge to me to see what I can do to keep his mood up and keep him happy.

I hope I took good notes, I haven’t looked at all of them yet. Maybe I need a clevis pin to keep them clipped together. I did get some video but I won’t share it. Denise asked us not to, and so that’s okay with me. I’m just glad I have it for my own benefit as I train in the future.

I also entered Chase in Grad Open and that should be fun. Chase is naturally higher in drive so hopefully he’ll be okay through all the exercises. I don’t know if he’ll Q, but it’ll be fun to be in Grad Open and see how he does.

I’m still thinking of a collie puppy, too, and running through my mind the things I can do for foundation work on a new puppy.

On a sad note, tomorrow, March 23rd, will be one month since Levi died. Ugh. time flies. I’m still not used to him being gone at home. I still miss him very much.