sunnuntai 28. marraskuuta 2010

Winter fun

A real winter is here, plenty of snow and cold. Temperature being below -5C means IGs stay inside. By throwing cookies I can get them outside for 30sec to do what is needed. Feels strange to have a dog who loves snow and doesn't mind cold. I get my daily exercise with Kumma :)

Lots of training done with Kumma, at home and at Purina and Sporttikoirahalli. Short update:

2-on-2-off: cue has been added. I started using a toy target in front to have a better position (not crooked). I'm staying in front as well in this phase to have Kumma watching ahead. Try to change my position gradually. After some trying Kumma got the new game and made two very nice 2o2os. Good speed, full stop without hesitation, and fast release to the target. I'm reinforcing the position with cookies before releasing.

Tunnel: rear cross training. Some hesitation in the beginning, but after that fluent performance. My toy throwing and timing could have been better.

Out (going around): I've teached Kumma to go around a chair, "out" is the cue. Using this I started teaching Kumma to go around wings. Target is to teach him to go both from front to back, and back to front (having another cue). With a chair I've used distance ping ponging up to 5 meters. With wings 1-2m during first training sessions.

Backing up: this is on cue and starting to use it in other locations.

Tire: nice performance with a low tire, last time I did it with a toy target. Kumma is consistently offering tire itself, even if we have used a tire with a frame.

Recall: distraction training at home by adding a bowl with cookies between me and Kumma. Excellent work from my big puppy! He is thinking and going carefully around the bowl to show how hard he is avoiding it. Such a fun to see it :)

Down: it is much better now, I've done lots of basic reinforcement, with toys and cookies. Also some distraction training with a toy, good work at home.

Crate games: daily reinforcement at home. Door bell training is continuing, there has been some break in training, my fault. I'm now taking a crate to agility trainings as well to play the games in other locations. Crate games have been a good support for agility training. I believe all staying and releasing type of behaviours benefit from crate games. Controlled positions like sit and down, table, 2o2o... And having played crate games with distractions, I have also been able to add distractions to other stay-release behaviours pretty fast. Another group of behaviours benefiting from crate games are distance related behaviours. Having done distance ping ponging with a crate enabled doing the same with a tunnel, with going around a chair/wing, and so on. Too bad I didn't know all this 11 years ago with the IGs!

Today we had a nice training day organized by Mia, Kumma's breeder. Vappu Alatalo was instructing, both motivation and jumping. I got some good advice for playing with Kumma, to get him tugging more intensively by not accepting "weak" tugging, and to get him more excited and focused on me when other dogs are around. Yes, Kumma has realized value of friends and smells... It is good to have someone checking you every now and then, it is too easy to continue same old way especially if there are not specific problems. But you can always improve :) It was great to see Kumma's siblings and other relatives, and admire how the experienced ones jumped difficult sequences. Kumma did both basic and expanding grids, both were fluent. At the end he was really tired, and we skipped a bending exercise.

sunnuntai 21. marraskuuta 2010

Little black creature growing

Found these puppy pics of Neeo :)

1 month

2 months

3 months

4 months

8 months

14 months

Aim high

I have motivation. I will aim high. List of needed skills:

Sound detection working - check
Scent discrimination working - check
Reaction time - check
Running skills - check
Jumping skills - check
Flying skills - need to work on this

Once I master all of these skills, I will reach my goal, I will go high, I will get them.

...Kumma has found squirrels...

perjantai 12. marraskuuta 2010

Little monsters

I found one fun summer picture, it was taken by my friend.

Kumma 3 months and Neeo 10 years

keskiviikko 10. marraskuuta 2010


Yesterday it was snowing, today it has been melting away. I went to a puppy class yesterday with Kumma. He was really keen to see his playmates, and his focus was not the best. On a puppy teeter he was hesitating at first, but then balanced quite nicely on it. We stayed only for 30min as I wasn't feeling too well. Today I've been in bed for the whole day, hope tomorrow is a better day.

On Sunday I went to an agility seminar. It was given by Janita Leinonen, and the topic was reading an agility course. I was surprised to notice how much new stuff there was for me. Like 90% of refusals happen after a tunnel or a chute. And all those handling techniques, I'm lost with those. Well, I have time to learn and decide which ones I want to use. One interesting point was that you shouldn't perform a back cross on a curved tunnel, so that you go to the back side of the tunnel. The reason is that a dog is automaticly turning to wrong direction when coming out and losing time. Why isn't it possible to teach a dog to turn to other direction, having back cross as a cue? I might try to find out with Kumma :)

Hoppu and Neeo do not appreciate snow and cold weather. I should buy them tickets to somewhere warm. They might like Florida, would there be full service retirement homes for doggies?

torstai 4. marraskuuta 2010

Ears and eyes

Hoppu in 2000

It is amusing how important ears are in the dog world. And this has nothing to do with hearing, the actual meaning of the ears. IG ears are supposed to be folded. Hoppu has versatile ears. In the show ring he carries them nicely folded and judges are pleased. But when there is something exciting, a toy, food, sounds, up they go, huge erect ears on top of a small elegant head. Neeo on the other hand has beautiful folded ears. But they are rather soft, and combined with Neeo's character, speed and overall hustle, his ears often end up being upside down. After one pair of too erect ears and one pair of too soft ones, Kumma places himself in the middle. He has cute floppy ears, and one of them is part time erect. Well, never mind about ear standards, all of my hurricanes are perfect just as they are.

Neeo the slim youngster in 2000

Kumma has an eye infection, and I'm trying to target eye drops into his eyes three times a day. Easier said than done. According to the vet this type of infection is a common puppy problem, first time for us though. 16.7kg at vet clinic, and 53cm measured at home.

Crate games with a doorbell is progressing very well. Today Kumma stayed in his crate when the doorbell rang and kids were playing noisily just next to him.

At puppy class we made jumping exercises, basic and acceleration grids. Lots of fun! I have something on video, but need to tackle technical problems before being able to release.

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