Saturday, 5 April 2008

The Weekend

The weather has been pretty good today, colder but we had only a few spots of rain. Andy had to get up several times in the night as Becky wasn't well and kept crying to go out. When he got up at 6.00 am to let her out it was pouring down. By the time we got up at 8.00 am though it had stopped so I was able to do my 10.30 am lesson.

After the lesson I took Niamh out and did a bit of training. I took my clicker out and a tub of sausage so that I could work on the weaves. To start with I clicked each time she came into the second gap and gave her some sausage. After that we did lots of repetitions of full sets of weaves without fault and I clicked the finish and fed her at the end. We managed to build up to some really flat weave entries (which is what seems to have started the problem) without error. So it was a positive session with a high rate of reward and a happy dog. We also did some work on our down dog walk finished position. I have taught her to feel for the dog walk with her back legs. She loves this game and I love watching her do it. I can now lay her down about 2 yards from the dog walk and ask her to "find it" and she creeps backwards feeling with her back legs until she touches the contact, then I click and feed her. I'm doing this mainly because I want to reinforce the rear leg contact with the contact equipment. This is the part of her body I want her to focus on in terms of staying in touch with the equipment.

After lunch we all went out into the garden to do some work (well the dogs don't help much, they just play!) The plan was to give the ivy a really good trim but Andy had just started to cut it back when we found a nest with a black bird sitting on her eggs. So that meant we halted and will have to wait until later in the year to do this job. It really needs doing as the ivy is very thick and out of control but it's not the end of the world. Instead Andy tidied up the edges of the lawn and did a bit of mowing in the agility area, just around the edges really as the grass isn't growing that much yet. I did a few bits of tidying on the decking and in the alleyway at the side of the house. I got a massive splinter which really hurt but I did manage to dig it out. Ouch.

After we'd finished fiddling about in the garden we did some training with Kizzy. She had a really good little session. We worked on her left and right turns and then put them into a sequence and also did loads of weave entries. We also did some back chaining on the dog walk to speed up her drive to the finished position. I restrained her for Andy and this made her quite mad so she was really driving well to her target point. We did a couple with the perspex in place and then removed it. We did some reinforced contacts with repeat target commands and extra food and some quick releases. All the jumping sequences and weaves she did for her fleecey tug toy.

Andy did a couple of sequences with Poppy whilst the jumps were down and this made Kizzy really jealous; when he did her next sequence she went up several gears even though she was quite tired as she'd already done about 30 minutes of solid training. We had to shut Abbey in the summer house as she wouldn't stop barking when Andy was training Kizzy, she wanted the fleecey tug for herself. When Andy finished training Kizzy I did a few tunnels with Abbey and she loved it. Bless her little heart.

Here is a diagram of the sequence we were training this afternoon.Kizzy was pretty tired after her afternoon in the garden and then her training session, she is now resting and getting her strength back ready to cause maximum irritation when we sit down to watch the box this evening.

We also had a play in the garden last night when we finished in the office. The dogs had a nice long walk during the day and then at 5.00 pm we took them out in the garden for an hour. We were going off to Dan and Mac's for supper so wanted the dogs to be nice and tired. Abbey came with us but the other five stayed at home. Here are some pictures from yesterday:

Plants growing in the fish pond

A lovely pink flowering tree in the garden - you can see the out of control ivy behind it!

After her little training session last night Kizzy would like some snacks and some beer please!

She's so cute

Poppy exhausted from her busy day, asleep beside me on the bench.

Naughty Niamh waiting for somebody to please say "OK" so she can get that damn toy!

The beautiful magnolia which will probably get ruined if the weather forecast for Sunday is correct!

Abbey just keeps going under jumps, anyone got any advice please?

She still loves to play and tug!

Four of the Hudsondoglets on the back lawn

The view from the end of our agility area - things are starting to green up!

Kizzy doing a little bit of training last night. Here Andy was getting her to turn left or right over this jump without moving, just releasing her and giving her a left or right command without any physical aids. This is easy for Kizzy but hard for Andy!!

Well that's about it for now. Tomorrow we're off to Leah's sand school to meet up for a bit of training. We're going to set up some FCI type sequences mainly for Leah to practise with Herbie prior to the EO try out but Niamh and Kizzy will be joining in. Dan and Tig might come along but we haven't heard yet. Then in the afternoon I'm off to Dartford to do a training session for some of the dogs and handlers who are going to the BSD World Champs a little later in the year. I think it's going to be very cold but at least we're indoors!

Andy is very excited because the new series of Dr Who starts tonight (Torchwood finished last night). Oh joy, thankfully I've got a good book on the go at the moment!


  1. Blimey Nancy I thought weekends were for relaxing!

  2. O like those sequences must try them.
    Your garden looks lovely especially the magnolia tree.
    See you next week at the Sheltie show.