Chaos Crew

Chaos Crew

Monday, March 17, 2014 Treats Review

I was asked by to review one of their treat products. We selected the Nutri Source Soft & Tender Lamb treats.

I like that these are made in USA (I will not buy any treats that are made outside the USA) and they contain NO wheat, soy, artificial colors or flavors. The first ingredient is Lamb, as it should be on a Lamb treat!

My dogs have all lined up next to me when they hear the package crinkling. The treats are dogbone shaped and are soft - easy to break in half if you want. Everyone has loved them, so they get 4 paws up!!

The package is 6 ounces and has a resealable top - make sure to reseal them so they dont dry out on you.

The package very reasonably priced too, under $4.
Order yours here

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Raiders Of The Lost Q!

Rip and Skye played USDAA this past weekend. Rip was entered in Friday's DAM team day. Our team name was "Raiders of the Lost Q". There was a pretty healthy entry for team this year with 17 total teams. Our team ended up in 3rd place! Norm and his golden Race'n had a "E" in Team Jumpers, but other than that, we had no other E's and each did well in Gamblers and Snooker too.

Here we are :)

At some point on Friday, Rip hurt his paw or wrist I believe and wasn't running 100%. He wasn't limping, but I could see him favoring his front left foot. On Saturday I scratched him from half his runs, and on Sunday I left him home completely so he could rest.

Skye was not playing team, but I did enter him in 2 runs each day Saturday and Sunday. 

Rip had a good day in Team with placing 3rd in Gamblers out of the 36 dogs in the 22" group, and then placing 5th in Jumpers. In snooker we got 33 points, and ran clean in Standard, but not fast enough for a placement.

Team Gamblers is always interesting because it's not typically a distance challenge and is instead a strategy / time challenge. That was the case this time too - when you heard the buzzer for the close, you could only accumulate points by taking tunnels, with the first tunnel worth 2 points, and each one after that worth 1 more point than the previous. My plan was to get 4 tunnels in the close and we were successful.

On Saturday, Rip ran Jumpers clean first thing in the morning, though he wasn't quite as fast as he should have been. That contributed to scratching him from his next 2 runs. I later ran him in Steeplechase and he was clean, though really slow in his weaves and not driving. We missed the cutoff for a Q and round 2 by 1/2 second.
I also ran him in Grand Prix, and he ran it clean and slow (I didnt have any Grand Prix Q's yet for this qualifying year). He took 5th place of the 34 dogs. After his slow Grand Prix I decided to leave him home for Sunday.

Skye's runs on Saturday were good - he was clean in Jumpers for 3rd place, and got 28 points in Snooker as I messed him up in the close by forgetting what I had planned!

Skye's two runs on Sunday were great with a Q and 2nd place in Gamblers, which is always nice to get since Skye doesnt do distance challenges very well. He would have had first place but he missed his dogwalk contact in the opening so we didnt get those 3 points.

Skye then ran a nice smooth plan in Snooker and got through the finish for 2nd place and a Super Q!

Envy came along all three days and had a great time saying hi to people and playing with other puppies.

Here are a couple of Rip and Skye's runs:

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Giving Your Puppy a Great Start.

I am writing this as part of Blog Action Day on "Starting Your Puppy". My last post was about Envy turning 1 year old, so I have just gone through a year of getting her started.

There are so many things to address with a new puppy, it's impossible to come up with a definitive list. Add to that the extra training you want to do for puppies that are destined for agility and it seems like an overwhelming task.

Don't compare your progress to someone else's progress as no two dogs are the same, and no two trainers are going to have the same plan.

Here are a few of the training tasks I undertook with Envy in no particular order:

Crate Training - agility dogs will need to spend time in a crate, and do it without complaining. Also, unless you are planning to watch your puppy 100% of the time, having a crate will give you piece of mind when you have to leave the house, or go to bed, or just need a break from crazy puppy time. You can watch 'Crate Games' or just logically make a crate a happy place - feed them in the crate, make it a safe place, and never a punishment place.

Toys / Tug - get your puppy interested in toys and especially tugging with you early on. It will help bring a bond, and teach puppy that life is more fun when interacting with you. Make it a game of keep-away, but let them get it plenty of times too. Use their prey drive and drag it along the ground and get them to attack it. Play with plenty of different toys too - you don't want them to only want to play with just one toy.

Leave Them Wanting More - puppies' attention spans are short, so don't let them be the one to end any game you play with them. You want to be the one to end it and leave them wanting to play more. This will help build a good work ethic and focus on you.

Tricks - teaching tricks is great for both the puppy and the owner. It teaches the puppy to be more inquisitive with their environment and more adventurous. It also teaches you patience. There are 100's of tricks you can train, and endless resources out there, including youtube. As they say, it teaches your puppy how to learn.

Chase Game - its a good idea early on to get your puppy to chase you. This can be a fun game and brings out their natural drive. You want your dog to run after you when they see you run. You can introduce a 'ready.... ready... GO' with this game too.

Bond - to have a successful agility dog, you need a good bond with them. They should want to be doing whatever you are doing - be the most interesting thing in their lives. This is a lot of work! You really dont want your other dogs to be occupying the majority of your puppies' time. Some of the other tips I am giving help to build a good strong bond with your dog. I live on 40 acres and think nothing of letting my dogs out with me off-leash. None of them want to leave and go exploring - they are always within about 100 feet of me waiting to see what we might be doing next.

Hand Feeding - early on, take advantage of your dog's desire to eat and hand feed them. Its a perfect time to do a little training, and shows them that good things come from you.

Explore Places and Surfaces - take your puppy to many different places and explore! You want them to walk on sand, grass, rocks, leaves, concrete, hardwood floors, metal grates, etc. etc. Get them use to seeing new places. Climb a hill, go down into a pit, go in a forest. Whatever you can think of - expose them to it!

Noises - you want your puppy confident no matter what noises are present in their environment. It can help if your breeder exposed your puppy to a variety of noises before you got them, but definitely let them hear all the loud and weird sounds of the world. You can take treats with you when you go places, and when you hear a weird sound, give puppy a treat. For example, go to Lowes and you might hear a loud saw, a beeping forklift, moving doors, trucks, etc.

Things that move - agility dogs will need to be comfortable on the teeter. To start that, you want your puppy to be OK with things that move under their feet. Wobble boards are great for this, as are the exercise balls and 'peanuts' or a skateboard. Put them on many things that can move and let them get comfortable with it.

Other dogs - my puppy doesnt have to be friends with all the other dogs out there, but I want them confident enough that they are not afraid of other dogs. Find out from friends if they have dogs that 'love puppies' and spend some time with them. Not all dogs like puppies, and you dont want to have a bad experience at a young age, so do this with care in a controlled environment. Usually puppies of the same age and size will get along well.

Other People - my breed of choice, the Border Collie, is not a real 'people dog' and as such, I make sure to introduce my puppy to as many different people as I can. Here it's important to carry treats with you so that you can give some to strangers to feed to your puppy. You want puppy to think that all people are great. Try to get a variety of people too - men, women, big people with big hats, little screamy kids, black and white, etc. My dog Rip did not get enough socializing with people before I got him and as such he is not at all confident around strangers.

Eating Near Other Dogs - we have too many dogs to have any of them be food aggressive. Early on, puppy needs to learn that they can eat right next to another dog and that the other dog will not steal their food. There is to be no growling or guarding allowed. I can be hand feeding Envy a piece of raw chicken, and any other dog can be licking up the juices that might fall to the floor while she is eating and she does not care. This is VERY important to avoid fights within the pack!

Leash walking - unless you like to be dragged around, teach your puppy how to walk nicely on a leash while they are still tiny!

Take Tons of Pictures - they grow so fast, you need to take pictures all the time. Posed and candid. You dont want to have them reach a year old and wish you took more puppy pictures!

Introduce Water / Baths - at some point, puppy is going to need a bath. Also, as an agility dog, its nice to have them enjoy water because it can get them nice and cool during a hot outdoor trial. My Rip dog hates water - thinks its a punishment. I made sure to introduce Envy to water as something fun.

Brushing - some dogs like to be brushed and some dont. Make sure puppy gets brushed enough times so they know its OK and not something to worry about.

Nail Trimming - same thing goes for nail trimming - since this will need to happen periodically, introduce them to it early.

Picking Her Up - teach puppy that it's fun to get picked up. Again, treats will be your friend here. You want your dog comfortable with you picking them up and carrying them a bit.

I could probably go on with 20 more things very easily, but that is a good list to get a puppy started. I have the advantage of working from home, so can spend a lot more time throughout the day with them than someone who has to be away for work all day.