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Archive for February, 2008

Helper Certification Weekend

My Schutzhund club had James Laney come up from Kentucky for the weekend for a helper seminar and certification over the weekend.  Saturday we did club training and had James help out our helpers on different techniques to work on different issues.  Sunday was the semianar and certification.  7 guys did the certification.  James did an excellent job of explaning things very clearly.  All of the helpers really enjoyed it and learned alot.  Vada and Narc got to work alot over the 2 days.  We worked mostly on grip work with both of them.  With Vada we started teaching her to power into the grip when she is presented with a threat instead of thinking about it.  James thought it was a hole in our foundation.  He showed Tom exercises to work on that.  Narc’s grips are a bit chewy.  We started on a pillow and I think we’re just trying to move too fast with him and show him too much new equipment.  So we used a leather rag and gave him (we did this with Vada too) a shallow grip on just the single sheet of leather (not bunched up) and the helper pulled and snapped and tried to get them to lose it.  Then we allowed them some slack to regrip.  At one point when James was working with Narc he picked him up and had him hanging on his (James’) back.  Narc held on great.  He had done the leg over his head and stuff too.  Narc had no problems.  I was really proud of him since I wasn’t sure he had the confidence to do bitework.  We’re still in the baby stages and he’ll need lots of work on grips but he’s doing great.  James did some body stuff with Vada too and she was fine.  We did a bit of obedience on Saturday.  Narc is making progress on heeling.  Vada did well on her motion exercises.  I need to work both of them more often though.  Copper came in at the end of the day on Saturday and socialized and did some obedience and played with me.  I thought dogs and helpers and handlers made alot of progress over the weekend.  Vada was the working dog for one of the helpers.  She knocked him down on the escape bite.  She was crazy for all of it.  I felt bad.  Everyone else picked safe dogs but he didn’t have a dog so he got stuck with the crazy fighter girl.  But I think that it was a more accurate reflection of what you would see in a trial.  It’s not always your clubs dogs and safe dogs.  You might get dogs from outside of the club that you have never seen before.  Saturday night we all went out to dinner at Joe Sensors.  Karl joined us.  It was fun.  Good food!  Greasy burger.  I think both days the highs were below 0!

Sunday I got home a bit early.  Karl and I were able to spend some time together.  We made dinner together and ate dinner together.  Then we finished watching Greg Derrett’s first DVD.  Then we brought each dog down in the basement one at a time to work contacts – or start line stays in Vada’s case.  It was nice!

I was very proud of my dogs this weekend!

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Dogs, Dogs and More Dogs

This week has been a great one for the dogs.  Monday we took Seven, Vada, Fringe and Rally to TCOTC for the last night of Monday night Open Ring time.  We signed up 2 dogs each for every Monday in January.  It was perfect.  It got us out and training.  Got the dogs around other dogs and in a different building and on different equipment.  Each dog got 2 or 3 turns that were 2 minutes each depending on how busy it was.  Karl and I kept very busy running dogs and going out to the van to swap dogs.  Vada wasn’t allowed in the building for the first 2 sessions since she was in season.  Monday night all 4 of the dogs rocked!  We were very happy with all of them.  They had all made progress.

Tuesday night I took Vada and Narc to Schutzhund.  I had to work late so we didn’t get there in time to do any obedience but they both got to do bitework.  They did well and enjoyed it.  We’re working on grips with Vada.

Wednesday night I started a new agility class with Vada.  I was nervous about new instructors.  The class we were in before was Level 6/7.  This one is Level 6.  It is easier and I totally appreciate that.  We were able to be more successful.  I feel like the handling stuff is starting to click for both of us.  Both of the instructors were great and gave me great feedback.  I was really happy with the class and how it went.

 Last night I was able to be home all night.  Last week I taught my last agility class.  Now Connie is teaching Level 1 and Lisa is teaching Level 2.  I spent days putting all my notes together for them.  Not sure if they’ll get used but I hope they find some value in them.  But it’s not my problem anymore.  I really enjoyed teaching but the long drives and late nights and my poor dogs sitting at home in their kennels was too much.  I would have had last night off from class anyways since I always took a week off between sessions.  So next week will be my first real non-working night.  And it gives me 2 nights at home in a row!!!!

Tonight I will be home watching the newest Greg Derrett DVD that should be sitting on my porch in a Clean Run box as I write. 

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