Creating a Favorite Toy

I love how Chase is a good tugger. He loves toys more than almost anything, and he loves tug. Using a game of tug as a reward is so nice, and gets him into higher drive, too.

Tatum loves to play, but she is shy about playing with toys. She will kinda grab them for a minute but not for long. I need to get her used to the treat pouch tug that we have, and encourage her to tug more. I think for her it may be a dominance type thing where she is not so sure about tugging with me. She is starting to tug more with Angel and that is good, too. Gotta get her drive up and her playing up too.

Anyway I really love these round toys made of rubber called Hol-ee Rollers, but the dogs are not too crazy about them. So I really want to create this to be a favorite toy. I have two of them, they are great for tug, they are very tough, and if they get left outside in the snow and freezing rain they still survive an don’t even have to be put through the washing machine like tugs.

The smooth blue collies are not big toy dogs. Angel is the most, but she is just our companion dog, not a sports dog. So now I have to learn how to make a toy fun and exciting, and interactive with me. For Tatum.

What I really want, too, is an Alley Oop, made by Gary Wilkes. But apparently they have been discontinued. I sent them an email seeing if maybe they will make them again, or if they have any left. What a great targeting tool it would be! And it never falls over, it’s made to stand straight up. I wish they still made them.

Training and Socializing

Well we did a lot of dog things this past weekend, kept us busy and we had a lot of fun. Saturday we had the huge snow storm and that kept us indoors. Sunday there was too much snow on the ground, about 10 inches, so no flyball for a while and that is sad. Border Collies like flyball!

Anyway Sunday I took Chase, our border collie, and Tatum, our smooth sable collie girl, up to a USDAA agility trial in Farmington. We were not entered. My ankle is still causing me problems and we are taking it easy for a while on the trialing. But anyway, Chase and Tatum did super.

Tatum got a lot of socialization and it was her first experience at an agility trial. We only stayed for about 2 or 3 hours. She walked around and got to say hi to other dogs, play her with cattle dog boyfriend Daniel, and meet lots of people. And all the people had yummy treats, go figure! 🙂

I wanted to see how Chase was doing paying attention to me in a ring with no treats. He is doing better! But still not perfect, especially in the agility barn. So on went the heel stick and the treats on the end, and he heeled great and paid me attention and did all the rally signs. A practice rally ring was set up.

There was ASCA obedience going on at the same time. They don’t have much help with obedience it seems, so I’m going to ring steward for the next UKC trial that comes along. I am really enjoying working on obedience. It is such a challenge! Different from agility and we have needed some different. And since we have the best trainer in Utah, we are having a lot of fun doing it.

Monday we went to Willow Creek and rented a training room with a couple others. I got there early and worked Tatum some. She is so afraid of traffic, we are working on that. But she knows her mat! She loves going to the mat and getting a click and a treat. She’ll go clear across a room for it. I am so glad she has learned how to learn. And Chase did great, too. We are working Open and Utility exercises in addition to Novice obedience. And he is doing really well finding the peanut butter under the spoons. 🙂 Obedience is a lot more fun than drug rehabilitation!

Well, back to work for me.

Fun on a Snow Day

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Today it is snowing. And not just a little bit. It is dumping. It’s gorgeous as you can see. I was going to go to the USDAA agility trial (I am not entered) and work with Chase and socialize Tatum, but I don’t want to make that 20 mile drive in this kind of snow. Hopefully we can go tomorrow. No flyball for a while, now, since there is too much snow on the ground. We won’t be seeing any wedding flowers for a while.

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The smooth collies have all been out playing in the snow, Tatum most of all. She has been soaking wet all day. I don’t think she ever saw snow in Texas (do they have snow in Texas?) and she was outside playing with anyone who would stay with her. Chase and Tony, mainly, though not at the same time. It was very cute to see her so wet!

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We also did some training this morning with the collies and the border collie, and things are going so well! Lucy has found her calling. She thinks Find The Peanut Butter Under the Spoon is the best game in the world. Too bad she still limps off and on, doing Utility with her would be very fun. Well, she can learn a lot of it anyway. Chase did great with his spoons. And Tatum, I have realized, needs fewer spoons. Just two for now. Later we will add more. Obedience is a lot of fun to train. It is so challenging, and in a good way. We are using spoons to start training the Utility articles exercise where they have to sniff out the right dumbbell with my scent on it. It’s quite fun to do.

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Tatum is really loving the mat work. I lay down her mat and she knows to go on it and she gets a click and a treat. Success! Something she likes to learn, and she is really starting to get the clicker training. Her sits are also good. Her spoons are okay, and we haven’t done much with wait yet. We need to work on that. We also practice targeting to a lid with a treat on it. I’ll need to get out a jump (if they thaw) and have her jump to a target.

So this is a good snow day all around. The dogs all chewed some bully sticks, and now it is rest time.

Good Seminar

I enjoyed the seminar this weekend. The days were too long, and yesterday, Saturday, was rainy, even snowy, and too cold. We moved indoors in the afternoon because it was pouring rain and even snowed. It was still cold, even with 5 layers of clothes on. I couldn’t find my winter jacket. Hrmph.

Chase did really well. He only worked today. We got some good tips on his heeling and his dumbbell. He doesn’t like to hold the dumbbell, I just have to work it some more. We also got some tips on when he won’t release his toy. He gets into high drive and does not want to let go. We’ve tried letting the toy go slack, pulling up on his collar, waiting him out… nothing has worked. So we have now resorted to the flank pinch. It’s not really a pinch, but it causes his mouth to open and he lets go of the toy. He doesn’t much like it, either. Hopefully that’ll convince him to release that toy even when he is high.

I brought Tatum today, too. She did super. It was too long of a day for her, though. We left around 4pm, and people were still there. She sat in the car most of the day, but we did some socialization with the dog people, with a dog around her because she is more comfortable with another dog. She sat with me ringside for about 20 minutes, too. She was taking and eating chicken, so that was a good sign. She just needs experiences, everything is so new to her. It was too stressful for her, she came back home and had diarrhea and then threw up. But she’s been playing her bouncy rabbit play with Bianca for a little while. Now she has settled down. She needs sleep and to rest and recover, and she’ll be fine.

So now I’m home watching Numbers and relaxing. It was a long weekend. I’m so glad I don’t work tomorrow.

Agility Pictures

Levi and Me
Levi and Me
Levi and Me Ooo a friend of mine and great agility person took some pictures of me when I was running Levi! I didn’t even know until today.

Levi has so much fun, and he is really moving well in these pictures. He is such a good boy. This must have been Sunday, as it wasn’t raining or snowing that day.

The thing I find interesting, while watching videos of myself or seeing pictures of myself, is my position. Now, those weaves, I am ahead of him. What am I doing up there? Usually I stay behind him and then he finishes all twelve. Is that why he popped the weaves? Because I was ahead and pushed him too hard? Gads I didn’t even know I was ahead of him. Very odd. Sometimes if he’s super slow in the weaves I try to pressure him a little bit, but I can’t do it very much or he’ll pop.

Yes yes I know, in theory, he should complete the weaves independently no matter where I am. But with all the weave problems we’ve had over the years, I’m usually very careful about my position. Maybe we just need to practice more at home with me at weird spots.

Hmmm….

If you click on the picture it’ll open in a bigger window. 🙂