Monday, April 30, 2012

11 Months of Age

11 weeks

11 months
at 3 months (with same bumper)

Since there is a jump (12") in Rally Advanced, Mom set up the obedience jump at 8" the other day to introduce me to the concept of "jumping in heel position." In AKC, CKC and UKC, the team heels up to the jump and resumes heeling as soon as the dog lands the jump (in CARO, the jump is a distance exercise where the handler sends the dog ahead to the jump and cannot move past the line until the dog is in mid-air). After a few jumps while in heel position, it was decided that I should be introduced to the formal UKC Novice Recall exercise. So, here I am performing the UKC Novice Recall exercise for the very first time. As you can see, this exercise requires 3 distinct actions: wait in a sit + jump + sit in front position.

(In a trial setting, this exercise would end with a formal "finish." I get lots of opportunity to practice formal "finishes" while training for rally. In this video, I have been released from the exercise to retrieve a tossed treat rather than a formal finish as it is best to learn new exercises in discrete components. Eventually, a formal finish will be added to the exercise on a random basis.)

Monday, April 23, 2012

Ticked Off !

Weird, Weird Winter that Wasn't!

End of April - "May" trees and flowers in full bloom, golf-course-green-lawns, sky-high pollen counts, temperatures in low single digits, rain, wind gusts and fresh snow (everywhere but here) AND this creepy crawly was clinging to my ear flap!!! YUK!!! Luckily, it had not attached it's mouth and came away intact. The photos are blurry because it was moving around the bottle so fast the camera couldn't focus. Tomorrow, I'll find out if I have to go to the vet and the tick will be off to the lab for investigation. 

A big THANK YOU to Gary for driving way, way out of his way to remove this parasite from my ear.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

My First Rally Title

 (United Kennel Club Rally Obedience Level 1)

with Judge Laurie Soutar
and the giant walking traffic cone
Celebrating my first 2 Qs
with Judge Isobel Hutton
Celebrating my first performance title
"Hey, giant traffic cone, that's my rosette!"

Wow!  Mom thought it was time we assessed how our Rally training was coming along. No matter how well you do in class or how many classes you attend, a class setting is relatively quiet and becomes routine after awhile. Eventually, you have to set foot in a ring and see how well you do within the hectic environment of a trial. Both Conformation shows and Obedience/Rally-Obedience trials are environments filled with lots of new dogs, new people and commotion.  

At a Conformation show, the noise level is fairly uniform with occasional bursts of humans clapping and cheering. Once in the show ring, you are expected to move around the ring in the same way every time with the only real variable being the number of other dogs (and handlers) in the ring with you and your handler.  

At an Obedience & Rally-Obedience trial, the noise level constantly fluctuates from complete silence to clapping and cheering and the commotion includes:  multiple dogs practicing off-leash in close proximity, dumbbells flying through the air and sometimes banging into walls, dogs jumping over various jumps, dogs running through tunnels and weave poles, and loud voices echoing from the obedience ring. In contrast to the show ring, the rally ring is always different – you never know what the sequence of exercises will be until you start moving through the stations. The first level of UKC Rally requires proficiency in 29 exercises. Success in the Rally ring requires you to perform the exercises (15-17 of the 29) accurately (subject to minor or major point deductions which are mostly caused by human error) as you move around the ring all the while ignoring the commotion and noises outside of the ring. 

As fun matches are few and far between, we entered the Maple Leaf Kennel Club’s UKC Rally trial this weekend to gauge how well we can work as a team in the midst of so many distractions. Supported by classmates and friends, with no expectations and no pressure, we worked our way through 3 courses and earned scores of 84, 88 and 90 (finishing in 3rd place) to complete my first performance title: URO1.  

A passing score is 70/100. Had the giant walking traffic cone not made so many errors, all of my scores would have been in the 90s. On Saturday, the majority of points lost were as a result of redoing stations that really didn’t need redoing thereby incurring otherwise unnecessary deductions. On Sunday, points were deducted mostly for “tight leash” occurrences caused by the human’s failure to take note of the distractions on the floor and pre-empt my exploration of such (namely, the “tumbleweeds” left behind by the numerous shelties and goldens (smoothcoats never leave behind tumbleweeds!)).   

A Great Big Thank You goes out to last semester's instructors at Swansea Dog Obedience Club: Jane McLaughlin, Monica Anthony & Karen Stewart and this semester's instructor at Campaign Dog Academy: Heidi Kadoke.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Monday, April 09, 2012

Hot Off the Presses 3

Best of Winners and Best of Opposite Sex
Judge: A. Bennett - Norfolk Kennel & Obedience Club - Easter Sunday

That's 2 more points toward Conformation Champion!

A big thank you to Edgar Rojas for his expert handling and for continuing to make my ring experience positive, enjoyable and rewarding.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Happy Easter

Millions and millions of baskets delivered
How's that for a bunny impersonation?!
Bionic Bodi Bunny Upward and Onward
hopping is so passé)

Safe travels everyone and no chocolate for the canines!

Friday, April 06, 2012

Monday, April 02, 2012

It's my (other) bed, and I'll tear if I want to

Alone for 5 minutes!
open zipper ... pull out bolster ... shred

A couple of weeks ago:
"What's a zipper?"
"Seriously, I have no idea how that happened!"
And people wonder why
the house is still full of x-pen barricades.
Wonder no more!