Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Skye's AKC runs from last weekend

Here are the 3 runs I got on tape from this trial. The 4th run was nice but didn't get recorded.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 8, or is it 9?

After our setback the other day with our 2x2 weaves, I gave Rip a day off from weave training. As it turns out though, Monday night is his class night, so he still got to play agility, which he does love to do, and visit with his girl friends Cricket and Vega.

So tonight I brought him out for another 2x2 session and fortunately he did a good job. I put both sets back, about 6 feet apart, and they were rotated at about 1&7. For the most part he hit them fine. A couple times he just ran into the 2nd set, then looked around like "hey, where is the ball" but I told him "oops" and brought him back again and he would get it.

I'm happy that he has a good attitude about the training and he hasn't shut down when he's made mistakes - that makes it easier for me.

He love's the new squeeky tennis ball that Vega's mom Jackie gave him in class last night!

January USDAA video

Here are the runs from the USDAA trial discussed below in This Post. This first video are the PVP runs - our team got 4th place.

These are the regular class runs:

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Skye at the PPOC AKC trial at Latigo

Skye and I played AKC this weekend at cold Latigo Trails. I do hate signing up for this annual icebox trial at unheated Latigo only because it always seems to be freezing. This weekend was no exception, and today's high temp was about 20 degrees with snow flurries and a wind of 15 - 20mph.

Now as much as I hate sitting around in the cold, Skye really likes it.

The weekend summary is, 3/4 Q's with our 4th Double Q!

The one run we missed was the first run of the weekend - Saturday's Standard. It wasn't really bad, but I couldn't call Skye off the offcourse tunnel at the end of the dogwalk. He was giving me the "speak to the paw, not listening" that I sometimes get with offcourse tunnels. In the same run he missed the weave entry as it followed a straight fast line of jumps and I didnt collect him for the weaves.

We had a nice JWW run on Saturday with a 6th place. On Sunday, we got the Q to start the day in Standard. We lost probably 1 - 2 seconds with a delayed sit on the table, and I didnt like how I handled a front cross after the AFrame before the weaves, which probably cost me another second, but we still ended up with 6th place.

Then we finished Sunday's JWW course with a nice run, and I did everything as planned - not sure I would have changed anything at all - yet again ended up in 6th place, about 1 second out of the placements.

I think I have 3 of the 4 runs on tape - need to pull them from the camera. I will post the video when I have it.

Ok, that sucked.

Otherwise known as "I should have listened".

Rip's short training session today on his 2x2 weaves really sucked! Katrina said, before I went out there, aren't you supposed to give the dog a break and not train it every day? Well yes, that is what the video said, once they were at a point where they actually weave, give them a break to let their body recover. He's not actually weaving yet, so no recovery needed right?

Apparently not.

Anyway, I setup the 2 sets of poles like the previous day, and it was as though he hadn't ever seen them before. No video proof fortunately. He was just running around the first set of poles and sometimes into the second set. Sometimes he'd just go in the second set. After a number of failed attempts I decide to step things back a bit, opened the two sets up and put them further apart. Still same run around stuff going on. Ok, step even further back and put the second set of poles away and leave only the 1 set at 2&8. Still running around it every time. What the hell? So got him to finally go through once, rewarded and ended there.

The whole session was less than 10 minutes with some intermediate ball playing but just amazing to me that we can make such steady progress and then we have this.

Maybe I was moving things too fast for him - more foundation and understanding is needed apparently so I will rewind a bit and make sure its good to move on. I was concerned about him becoming "bored" with the low level of challenge in the early on sessions as the video mentioned. I dont want to "drill" any of it so need to be careful there.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 6 and 7

Here is a video of Rip's day 6 progress on 2x2 weaves. I only got one short session in on Friday (day 6). I have moved the two sets of poles to about 4' apart and they are now rotated to about 1 and 7 o'clock. You can see at one point where I try to rear cross him into the poles and he gets confused. Obviously I will need to resolve this, but I think I can work that in as we continue.

Day 7 - I was at an AKC trial with Skye today (that will come in a separate post), so not much time for 2x2 training. I did take Rip out today to reinforce what we had done yesterday, and I tried moving the poles closer together but had only limited success, so I went back to 4'. I have to watch the "keep value to the 1st set of poles" work as he went to the second set a couple times. No video of this today.

Friday, January 23, 2009

While you wait...

It's late, and I have a trial in the morning so I should already be asleep. I did film some of Rip's 2x2 weaves today but havent edited the video yet, so here is something to entertain while you wait.
It's a Rip looking dog from Britain's Got Talent show doing some amazing freestyle

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 5

Today was full of meetings for work which limited my time for much training.
I did sneak out during a break to do 1 session with Rip today. I went back inside the training building this time, hoping for some focus as I planned on introducing the second set of 2 poles.
After a couple warm-up entries on the first two poles, I did add the second set. It's like he just knew he was supposed to run through those after going through the first set of two. Good boy Rippers! I only had him do a few repetitions and had to go back to work though. I did make sure to reward a couple times between the two sets of 2 just to reinforce that the first set still has value. The sets are still about 15' apart - that is where I left them today.
Tomorrow I will have him do the two sets again at 15', and then I will cut that distance in half for a few more reps. Hopefully there will be more time available and I can film my session. I also plan on moving my location back outside if the weather cooperates.

The weather this week has been really amazing - sunny and highs in the 60's, approaching 70. Not your typical January in Colorado. Friday is suppose to start us back in the normal direction and by this weekend we will have highs in the 40's again. We have a chance of showers tomorrow.
I have a 2 day AKC trial at Latigo with Skye this coming weekend, and they have decided to run the Excellent classes back-to-back, so it should be pretty short days. It helps that Latigo is less than 10 minutes from home too!

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 4

I filmed our training session today:

He seems to be getting the hang of this, so I am going to add the second set of 2poles in the next session. He is driving well through the poles, and I see my timing on throwing the toy could be just a little better. I am happy with our progress so far, and hope that adding the next poles will be a natural progression for Rip.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Rip 2x2 weaves, day 3

Today I did two brief (probably 3 or 4 minute) sessions - yeah its a great benefit working from home! In keeping with the "DASH" theme, I have changed up the environment and moved the 2 poles outside to the training field (we were in the building the first couple sessions). Outdoors is more distracting, and Rip wasnt as focused.
Also, rather than food, I have switched to his favorite bunny squeeky toy for motivation. I really dont want him picking up treats off the dirt.

I worked the arc around the poles and am seeing that Rip isnt seeking out the proper entry consistently, so I am going to stay at this stage until we are at least 80% successful from all locations.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Rip's 12 day program has started..

We having joined the many folks who have decided to try training weaves using Susan Garrett's 2x2 method.
I watched the video (most of it anyway) and thought that I could do this with Rip. We had started on Weave-a-matics as some of my previous posts chronicled, but after having been out of town for two weeks and Rip not doing any training during that time, I felt that this would be a good time to start this method.

So... I started on Sunday (1/18) with reward building for the first 2-pole set. I am keeping sessions short as Susan recommends, just a few minutes each. Today (Monday) I did two brief sessions further building value into the two poles set at the 2/8 o'clock position, and working around the "arc" so that he will hopefully have great weave entry skill going forward.
I havent taken any video of our training yet, but plan to going in coming sessions. I think tomorrow I will move the 2 pole set outside (we started in the training building on carpet). If he can continue to hit the entry from most positions, then I will probably be adding the second set of 2 poles.
I will try to update my progress daily or at least after each session.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009


Nothing going on as I near the completion of my almost 2 weeks away in California for work. I am hoping my dogs haven't given up on me and started their search for a new handler. Two weeks is too long to be gone.
I usually only have to travel once a year out to headquarters in California, and nearly every other time, its been only for one week. Living in a hotel and eating every meal out has gotten beyond old. Can't wait to be back home. Ugh!

Sunday, January 4, 2009

USDAA, part deux

We finished our USDAA trial today. Its cold days like this that I'm sooo happy trialing at heated Castle Rock instead of the Snow Meisters' Latigo with no heat. It was 9 degrees when we left the house today and never got warmer than about 19 all day, which is a far cry from the 60 we had just two days ago on Friday.

So today was a most excellent day for Skye and I. We went 4 for 4, with three 2nd places and a 1st place. This was our first trial at the P3 level for all events - the last USDAA trial a couple months ago we did one run at P3 for Snooker, but now we are P3 for everything. We did P3 Standard and managed a nice 2nd place performance. Then we did P3 Pairs, where I ran with my wife & Baby for the first time (her first trial trying out Performance) and we had a blazing run, but a 5pt jumped dogwalk contact pushed us to 2nd place. On our pairs run, there were only 2 other teams in Masters that had faster times than us, by not more than 1 second, and those teams were made up of a couple of the notoriously fast dogs. I'm still not sure how we did it.

Then we ran Snooker, and the 7pt obstacle was a combo of tunnel/jump and seemed verry doable. We got all the 7's and finished the closing for a 1st place and our first Super Q (on just our 2nd try in P3 snooker).

The day ended with P3 Jumpers, and we had a nice run, just 3/10ths out of first, so Yeah Skyeboy, good day!!!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

USDAA update for Skye and two weeks away

We are 2/3 the way through our 3 day USDAA trial this weekend. Its one of only two Colorado USDAA shows that offer DAM team competition, so I signed up for it with Skye and was to be partnered with Ana and Meg as we did last summer at our Regionals. It turned out that Ana had to pull from the trial with Meg and her other dog Gracie who was also running PVP team, so.... Ana's two partners got partnered up, which is very cool since her other partner is Lorrie, our very own agility 1-3 instructor and the person I call "Wife 2" since we see each other all the time. We named our team "Rescues Rock" as they are both rescue dogs.

The team competition was split between Friday and Saturday, and I'm happy to say that we managed a 4th place finish (there were 14 teams I believe) and now we are qualified for team at Nationals. If not for me blowing our team standard run with a stinking offcourse, we would have had 1st.

We have also done a P3 Gamblers run, which Skye took 1st in, and a P3 Standard that we missed with a jumped DW contact.

Our tournament runs of Performance Grand Prix and Performance Steeplechase were both NQ'd. We had a weird weave miss in Steeplechase, where he went from pole 9 to pole 11, and I didnt take him back to fix it as I don't want to put any stress on the weaves - which is working as Skye has hit ALL his other weaves this weekend, including 3 times in P3 Gamblers and twice today in Team Gamblers. Our Grand Prix run also had a jumped DW contact (Grrrr, wazzzzzup with the contacts!!) and I mishandled a piece causing Skye to go around a jump, so that was $$ not so well spent!

Tomorrow we will have 4 runs, in Std, Pairs, Snooker and Jumpers.

On a side note, I have to be in California for work for the next two weeks, so no agility or training.