maanantai 17. tammikuuta 2011

Hoppu 12 years

Our lovely grey superfast cute beautiful elegant fun serious small but huge personality Hoppu has his 12th birthday today!!!

We celebrated by having a nice walk in zero degree weather. It was raining, but never mind, we enjoyed.



2002: half brothers Hoppu and Musti. They have a strong relationship...

2002: same guys (gays?)

2002: half brothers and soulmates at SIC Open Show





perjantai 14. tammikuuta 2011

Training videos

keskiviikko 12. tammikuuta 2011

Old and new tricks

Hoppu will be 12 years next week. I bought a present for him in advance: a dog finder toy. Both IGs have tried it and have learned to find the treats under the bones. It can be made more difficult by adding bones. Good and easy activity for cold winter days. Kumma might use too much power with this toy, so he hasn't tried it yet :)

Today I had a lovely evening walk with all three dogs. Air was still, and temperature was just below zero. Hoppu and Neeo enjoyed exercise, Kumma would have enjoyed faster pace. We met some retriever dog friends, and Kumma had short energy burning playing session with them.

Yesterday there was our weekly puppy class at our agility club. Some basic handling training with Kumma: front and rear crosses. Front crosses were really good, even though my timing needs practise. Rear crosses were done with a toy hidden behind a second jump. We did only a couple of repetions, and I noticed Kumma didn't have his usual drive. I decided not to train him anymore, he was clearly not focused. I think he was still tired from Sunday jumping seminar, and no wonder, he worked a lot there and experienced many new things like resting in his crate next to other dogs. We ended the puppy class evening by having a nice walk, Kumma playing with an aussie friend, and me chatting (about dog training, of course) with her owner.

sunnuntai 9. tammikuuta 2011

Jumping seminar

I spent today at a jumping seminar with Kumma. Instructor was again Vappu Alatalo, and the seminar was organized by our agility club HAU. There were three groups of dogs, depending on experience. Here is what Kumma did (everything with jump bumps), and some notes of each exercise.

Basic grid (equally spaced 6ft): there was some lack of motivation, and as a result not enough speed and energy. Leaving a toy as a target, and getting Kumma to play with another one was something we haven't done before. One more thing to practice :) I've been rewarding a sit too much. If I'm increasing Kumma's drive by playing with him, rewarding with treats can decrease the drive. Jumping itself was good, Kumma managed all grids. I kept changing my position, left and right, close to Kumma and close to the target.

Expanding grid (6-7-8-9ft): at first Kumma was distracted by the audience. It worked best to place Kumma in a sit position, run to the target, and release fast. Nice jumping!

Basic grid with zigzag jump bumps: since Kumma was affected by the audience, all participants came very close. I left Kumma in the sit position, run to the target, and released him. Wow what a great pup! No hesitation at all even if he has never seen this exercise in front of him. He was not distracted by a group of people around him. Good jumping! Third time I sent him to the target, and this was fast and good as well.

Bending, five jump bumps as an arch (180 degrees) and a U shaped tunnel: two repetitions, first to the tunnel then jumping. Again, no hesitation, off he went to the jumping part so fluently I almost couldn't believe my eyes. Same to the other direction. According to Vappu clockwise direction was slightly better.

We got plenty of advice what to practice with jump bumps before even introducing a jump bar:
  • Basic grid with jump bumps in different directions or slightly offset
  • Handler distractions, starting with static positions, adding movement gradually, lateral distance up to 15m
  • Bending
  • Set point with a special puppy setup
This was an excellent day offering a lot of new learning opportunities and great performances. The more I know about this method, the more I like it. It just makes sense.