Thursday, July 30, 2009

Tracking Again

Kane and I have 4 things (plus polishing this and that) that we need to work on learning before the trial in November:

  • Get to "the end" and track with no food.
  • Articles
  • Retrieves (flat, jump and a-frame)
  • Send out
  • Need to polish up a few things such as grip, outs and escape bite.
So we have started tracking seriously again. I have to track in the mornings because it is way to hot in the afternoons/evenings. So I've been tracking with Kane on both Saturdays and Sundays and at least once during the week. It's just hard to get my butt out of bed before 6 am!
We're up to hot dogs every 7 steps and things are going well. I nee
d to get better at remembering where my track is, so I don't confuse him. In my head, I start going "where is my turn? I don't see it! Is this it? or is it over there?) and it's pretty clear that he senses my nervous in-head talking and it rubs off. There won't be any markers at the trial! :-)

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

BH - done!

Yeay - we passed!

I'd say we passed with flying colors. :-) We missed a few things, but there's a reason the BH is not a scored title - it's either pass or fail. And we passed. (I'm going to keep saying that!)

The trial was at North Beach Schutzhund Club in North Myrtle Beach, SC. Because of the heat we have down here, the trial started at 7pm. The Schutzhund dogs went first in obedience, and we had 6 of those: 2 SchH1, 1 SchH2 and 3 SchH3. From our club, Carrie was trialing Sampson for SchH1, and Andre for SchH3 and Mike was trialing Nick for SchH3.

There were eight dogs entered for the BH, and Julie and I were teamed up for the first team. We got ready as the last SchH team was finishing up. This time I was more prepared for how to prepare - I took Kane out on the prong collar and after walking him for a bit, we did a few steps of heeling with corrections if I felt I did not have his attention. Then we "doodled" - meaning correct heel position, spins, sits, downs etc. Just little things that keep his attention on me and things that I can reward him for.
So we were all ready when they announced a 15 min break..... I feel we lost a little momentum there, but oh well.... :-)
Kane and I walked on the field and checked in with judge Mark Przybylski first, we were told we were doing the obedience part. So we set up for that.
The on-leash heeling went well, although I did not have Kane's attention as I usually do, but it wasn't bad. We did the group with no problems, and then the offleash heeling. In the motion exercises he downed on the sit out of motion (which he had started doing the night before, so not a huge surprise, I think it was nerves), but he did the down and recall perfectly.
We finished the obedience exercise and heeled over to the long down position on leash.
When I stopped, Kane layed down on his own, which he is not supposed to. I was supposed to take the leash off in the sit position, then tell him down. Then walk away.
Kane was perfect during the long down, as much as I obsessed about that. :-) I will stop obsessing now!

The traffic portion went very well also. No problem with the car, jogger or bicycles. They made me put him in a sit and a down in a group of people walking around and talking while I was out of sight. No problems there either. The tie-out was done with all dogs and then a puppy and an adult dog were walked by. No problems there either. :-)

All eight of the BHs passed which was very exciting - Kudos to my friends at Metrolina Schutzhund who also passed - Jenny, Jeff and Robbie - nice job!
In fact, all of the Schutzhund trial dogs also passed, making for a perfect trial - which is rare!

Now - on to the next thing. My club has a trial in late November, and we are shooting for getting our Schutzhund 1 title done at that time. Lots to do before then!

Sorry for the fuzzy pictures - it was dark and this was the best we could do! :-)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Trialing this weekend!

Saturday is our big day! We will be trialing for the BH, finally, down at North Myrtle Beach Schutzhund Club. Because we are at the hottest time of the year, the trial starts at 8 pm, and will run as long as we need to finish all dogs in obedience and protection. Tracking will be in the morning on Sunday. Kane and I are only doing obedience though, and I found out there are 7 dogs entered for BH. Wow! We are going to be up late! That doesn't even include the SchH 1-3 that are trialing!!!! I feel like we are ready though.
Hopefully we'll be paired up with Julie and Nobi so that all goes well.
We're driving down tomorrow afternoon so that we can have one evening on the field
with lights to get used to all that.

So, last weekend seemed like an excellent time to start training something new! :-) The sendout.

Our club has a trial date now of Nov 21-22, and we will be getting ready to do our SchH1 title at that time. This will include tracking, obedience and protection, and we need to get hustling on some of these things like: the retrieves and the sendout. The sendout is done while heeling at a normal pace, the handler then stretches his/her arm out in front and says Go Out (or Voraus in German). The dog is to run in a straight line away from the handler until the handler gives (yells!) the command for down (platz in German). Then the dog must lay down immediately. It's a hard exercise to do. Many people fail even at higher levels. So we started at a distance of 15 feet with a ball on a post and sending Kane to pick up the ball. He did it beautifully all 4 times. After a few improvements on my end for giving the command more effectively, I think we're on our way. :-)

We also started back up with the retrieves, starting out with holding the dumbell.

We had an excellent protection run last Saturday as well. Kane was in fine form and we ran all six blinds. We had a few issues around blind 4, but I think we have a plan worked out on how to deal. We tracked on Sunday morning, food in every 7 steps, and apart from one so-so corner and a few almost headlifts, it could have been a 96 point track. :-) Gotta go out tracking more!

Please keep all fingers and paws crossed that we pass the BH!

Monday, July 13, 2009

A Farewell

I'd like to take a moment to leave my own online farewell for my friends Ghandi, Buoy and little Davey.
We had a memorial service for all of them last Saturday afternoon, and although it was so very sad, it felt good to be together as friends and be able to say goodbye to our four-legged friends.
My friends, their owners, could make some kind of peace, and those of us that also loved, petted, cheered, hugged and admired these dogs could be there to hug our friends. They were all such amazing, wonderful and talented dogs.
I feel so lucky to have these women as my friends, and to have known these three.

See you at the bridge you beautiful, handsome trio of boys. Love Always.



Davey Crockett