Pushing over Boxes, Cart, and Jet too!

Today I worked on a few little things with Maze. The first thing was having him push over some plastic containers in order to make some noise. Yesterday I had him push over some pieces of wood, but they made too much noise for him. While he didn’t flinch when they clanked, he moved away after he ate the treats, telling me that was too much. Here is yesterday’s video:

So I backed it down and made it easier for him. I want to build up his sound confidence slowly so he masters it and is eager to make the noise. Today was much better! You can see how he willingly pushed over the plastic to make some noise. Good boy, much more confidence!

I was very pleased with the plastic!

Then I asked Maze to get onto the cart again. Well, I want him to ask ME to get on the cart! And although he liked the treats in the prior exercise today (Red Barn Log), he wanted something different for the cart. Yes, he is very picky with food, and not super food motivated. So I gave him Real Meat instead, which was more acceptable for the cart. Silly guy.

I’m having him eat a pile of treats while I gently move the cart, which he is fine with. He doesn’t jump off, he doesn’t look nervous at all at the movement. So that’s great, yay Maze!

I also am training Jet to put things in a container. I’ve never trained this before, but many dogs learn it and do great. So I’m using a glove and a plastic basket I got from the dollar store. He’s doing pretty good! I am trying to put the basket at a distance from myself so he understands to take the glove to the basket. He has an awesome retrieve, so he’ll naturally bring me the glove (which he should, for obedience). So for this trick, he needs to take it to the basket instead. Jet is such a joy to train, so enthusiastic! He’s a Danish-Swedish Farmdog. 🙂

Such fun to train! Indoors today, ’cause it’s raining outside. I’m so ready for the weather to warm up so we can be outside on a regular basis.

Don’t Work Too Long!

Ahhh the mistake of training too long. It’s so easy to do. At least for us humans. The dogs can tell us, though, when they are done. Maze is super good at letting me know!

I worked him too long today. This is the good parts of his game today of pushing stuff around in the pan. At the end (the part I’m not showing) he left me and wandered off, he was done!

Since I want him to like things that move and bang, I thought maybe it would be a good idea to pile up some boxes and have them push them over. Eventually I can change it up to pieces of wood and metal, so he makes more noise. So this video shows him pushing the box out of the way to get to his cookies. I think he did a good job!

I also worked Maze’s cart a little bit… but, because yesterday it moved in a scary way, he didn’t want to get on the cart today. Oh no… so I have some fixing to do. I want to build him up, not take a step back! However, I’m human, and unfortunately will probably make mistakes along the way.


And here are some short videos of training Jet and Quinn to close the door. 🙂 I want to build on this game and make it fun!

Training Maze

My main focus for a while is going to be training Maze. I took a class at the Fenzi Dog Sports Academy which helped me so much, I don’t know if I really would have been able to figure out Maze without that class. The class was called Empowerment. I highly recommend FDSA for dog training courses!

While I can’t describe the class (you have to take it!) I am working through things that I learned from the class. So you may or may not see things in my posts that I learned in class. Suffice it to say, I’m incorporating them into Maze’s training and things are working great.

The two things Maze doesn’t like most of all are Noise and Movement. So, the teeter could be a challenge for him. What I did learn in class, though, was that I really don’t want to work through fear and into tolerance with Maze. I want to work through confidence and into him demanding to work. So for him, it means starting very, very slowly with super easy things. While I probably will mess up occasionally, I am now certain that Maze and I will master the teeter as well as the other training challenges we will find.

Maze is Kromfohrlander and a very smart boy! From talking to other people who have trained Kromis for agility, they do not all have the same training issues as Maze does. So Maze is unique in and of himself. And while he does have a certain Kromi cautiousness and flair, I’m finding him so much fun to train!

So on to training videos. 🙂

One of Maze’s favorite games now it pushing weird things out of the way to get his treats. I’m increasing the noise and difficulty level slowly at this game, and he’s doing really well!

Another game we are working on is for him to put his nose into a cone. I want him pushing his nose into that cone and demanding to do it! We are not at the demanding phase yet… but he’s getting better. He likes to have the cone on the ground. In this video, I was trying some various other things he could put his nose in too, but I ended up liking the cone the best. 🙂

Since Maze doesn’t like movement much, I’m using my red cart to get him to be used to being on it. I’m not moving it much at this point. The mistake here, unfortunately, is that the ramp and the cart moved, and it scared him. Unfortunately I’m going to have to back up again and reestablish the fun of the cart.

Maze is super sweet and I just adore him!

Lucy Would Have Been 13 Today

My sweet Lucy girl didn’t make it to 13. She died last August, 2011, when she was just twelve and a half years old. I still miss her every day. She was one of those dogs who I swear was going to be around forever, so losing her was really hard on me.

Lucy was a good girl and had a great attitude. She was stubborn and knew she wanted things her way. She loved food and would do anything for a treat. Though when the treats were gone, she didn’t have much interest in working. But I was able to get an ASCA-CD on her and an AKC Rally Advanced Titles. She didn’t much like agility. She wasn’t built very well and had a hard time jumping. And she developed a strange limp when she was about seven years old. None of the vets we took her to could figure it out.

When she was nine she developed megaesophagus and we had to feed her upright in her chair. But she didn’t seem to mind as long as she got to eat. And she ate three of four times a day, which she really liked!

I have collie things all over the house, smooth collie things, to remind me of the collies. I love them so very much. I even have a switchplate cover of smooth collies, and I do think those kids switchplate covers are fun too. I wonder if I can make up customized ones… I’m going to have to look into that, because I love pictures of the dogs all over the house.

I adored Lucy and will always miss her. I wish our dogs could live so much longer and stay with us. The house is much quieter without our lovely Lucy.

Music for Agility

Agility Trial
Agility Trial
Some people like to listen to music on their headphones when they are walking the agility course. I haven’t done this, but sometimes I think it might be a good idea. I may feel kinda rude walking around with ear phones in and forcing people to ignore me… but then again, if someone else has them in, I never feel like they are rude. I’m just a dork that way. 🙂

I haven’t seen anyone yet with a fender american special telecaster guitar at an agility trial, though. 🙂 But you never know. Actually some people get picky about having music play at trials. Some people don’t really like it. And I guess it’s probably most polite to let people have their own personal music in their ears, then making everyone listen to music they may not like. But either way is fine with me, really.

I have an ASCA agility trial this weekend. Jet is entered both days in everything. Tatum is entered just on Sunday in a couple of runs. And Chase… strangely enough, is entered on Saturday. I’ve been feeling guilty that he hasn’t been doing anything other than obedience lately. So we are going just for fun. He doesn’t understand a Q anyway, he just understands fun.