maanantai 30. elokuuta 2010

Jumping seminar

I spent the weekend at a jumping seminar with Kumma. Vappu Alatalo was teaching, based on Susan Salo's method. Kumma was the youngest participant, all the other dogs were 12 months or older. Contents of these two days were basic jumping exercises: set point, grid work, and estimating distance. There will be a third day in September, focusing on bending. Even if I heard of this method many years ago, it took some time to really study what it is about. With easy jumping IGs I thought this is not for us. I'm sure I'm not the only one thinking that way... Only now I can understand how much benefit there would have been for the IGs as well. Neeo could have gained speed, Hoppu tighter turns. I like Salo's method because it is consistent and clear, and fun. It can be taken dead seriously, but the point is to let the dog go and have fun, and he learns and improves jumping skills simultaneously. He figures out how to jump so that it feels good.

I was excited to see how Kumma would take the long weekend, lots of people and other dogs. Wow, was he great! He showed fantastic focus for his age. We had practised going to a toy target at home and it helped a lot. I'm proud of my puppy :) Now I should go to Bauhaus and buy some pipes to build (or cut) speed bumps. I'm going to introduce them to Hoppu and Neeo as well, safe fun for the veterans.

We recommend Vappu's seminars!

perjantai 27. elokuuta 2010

Kumma 5 months

My little puppy is a big boy, 5 months, 13kg and ~48cm.Cute and sweet as always. Teeth are changing, many of our games have been bloody :) Kumma got a new huge crate where he has enough room for his long legs.

sunnuntai 22. elokuuta 2010

Neeo 11 years

Happy birthday Neeo, 11 years today!

He is enjoying life every day. It's all or nothing, black or white, love or hate for him. He still behaves like if he was born a year ago. He forgot to grow up. I hope he never will, I'm sure he never will :)

These pics were taken today.

torstai 19. elokuuta 2010


There is so much to learn about dog training. You can always do better, more accurately and consistently. I'm participating in e-training course by Say Yes/Susan Garrett called Recallers. There is a new game each day, with good instructions and video clips. Timing of the course is perfect for Kumma, as we can have these new games in our toolbox right from the beginning. In addition to new games, my understanding of small but important details has improved.

With Kumma I want to use both toys and treats as a reward. I want to be able to switch from one to another during training sessions. Kumma likes tugging, but he is also very fond of food. Some weeks ago when treats were available, or especially when his food bowl was waiting on the table, he was not so interested in tugging. Now I have find ways to increase his tug drive, and can even send him to a toy target while food is close. This is an example of small but important foundation training that I want to put a lot of focus on.

I have never managed to get Neeo really excited about tugging. Hoppu is more interested in thrown toys than tugging. Playing with him does not work in all environments, only on good days in nice places. "Nice" was defined by Hoppu, I've never understood his criteria.

The Recallers course is also giving good games to play with the veteran IGs. Warm summertime has been a dream come true for us, but winter follows. I need to keep my veterans happy and in good shape, and games that can be played inside are fantastic for that purpose.

It has been fun to do same exercises with all three dogs, and to compare their differencies. It is amazing how well Kumma can focus and control himself! One challenge when training IGs is that they are really fast with their movements. It is easier with Kumma to catch and mark single movements.

Kumma will be 5 months next week. Last week he got rabies vaccination, and weighted 12kg. He is a big sweet boy, Rymy-Kumma. No elegance like in IGs :) Yesterday he run around and around in our garden with Neeo. I'm trying to tell Neeo that he will be 11 in 3 days, and will get a heart attack with that speed.

Next week we'll participate in jumping seminar... That will be quite an event for us, with its distractions.

lauantai 14. elokuuta 2010

July pics