Thursday, February 24, 2011

Get Out...WAY Out

So I finally found a way to work on Abbey's distance skills right in my own backyard...literally. I have these two huge palm trees that stand right by one another...a respectable distance away...and there's a enough space where Abbey can get around them. Much like with the cones people put up when teaching puppies flatwork. So I am beginning to use the palm planters as my means to getting my dog to go "out" and away from me. Abbey is such a velcro puppy and we haven't been able to do any type of gamblers or distance game because, well, she just WON'T.

I made this discovery yesterday and started working on it. At first she did what she usually does when she's too unsure to move away from me, she looked at me and barked feverishly. After a couple repetitions, though she was in business as usual. I was very excited with how she progressed even from yesterday to today. It almost makes me want to buy a set of cones so that we can try this out in the front yard...forbidden territory. I want to go to the field and practice. That would be especially exciting. For now, though, we're kicking it in the backyard.

Abbey's teeter and DW still aren't 100% where I'd like them to be so we are going to work, work, work on that. We also need to try out more independent weaves while keeping that same speed she's got. We're in Masters now...AHHHH...and kind of have to know what we're doing. But wait, I'm still a starters level handler...shoot. Okay, we'll TRY to know what we're doing.

Anyway, right now Abbey is lying next to me completely pooped after our morning session of training. And in the next five minutes she'll want to play ball.

Oh, about those pictures...when they show up, they show up, okay? ;)

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Dog Park Mayhem and Madness

Okay, I know that in my last post I promised something along the lines of photos...yeeeaaaah, I'll get to those. I took them, I just didn't upload them. I'm SORRY! Chemistry is taking over my life. Lab reports galore and homework online. Seriously, who does homework online successfully??! I DON'T!! Alright so to the story at hand that is actually what this post is supposed to be about...

Abbey, Bella, and I went to Tropical Park Dog Park this week to spend some time with one another. Also so that I could see how well my NOT training them has been going. Seriously, all I have been working on is tricks, I haven't gotten out the front door to save my life. So, surprisingly enough, I walk out of the car (dear god, that's a real mission, the little boogers don't sit still) and the first thing we 3 run into is a rather large and blonde Golden Retriever. Me? I'm like wigging out. No clicker, no treats...yeah, I really played this one up well. The dogs? Woof, woof...pull...sniff, I like this doggie, can we be friends?! WHAAAAT!!??? Maybe I shouldn't train them, they behave better. Perplexed I just tell the owner of the golden that my dogs are super friendly they just bark at first. If you consider 2 minute woofs a bark if you know my 2. Anywho, the perfect little dearlings then went into the dog park and were the picture of perfection. Bella came when called, Abbey was nice and played with the other dogs, she even ran the agility equipment no treats or anything just for kicks. Oookay guys, like, what happened??

All in all the only off point was a Husky that, quite literally, tore into Bella's back leaving an angry scratch that caused the poor thing to scream bloody murder across the entire park attracting every dog in hearing distance...which was EVERY dog. I was blistering mad at the owner because she wasn't controlling her dog and the dog not only went to pick on Abbey it went to pick on several other dogs which it also caused to scream! Abbey on the other hand was the only tough nut of the bunch she took the bullying from the husky for about thirty seconds and then turned around and clocked him in the face open mouthed just for effect. Didn't hurt him, just gave him a good strong warning. At this point, of course, I decided I would leave. As we were leaving I thought perhaps I had put poor Abbey through too much stress, her being the victim of several dog attacks as it is, but no a pit mix walked in as we walked out and Abbey with the sweetest wagging tail ever said "hi" and calmly walked past.

Yep, that's my story. The two nutcase dogs that I lived with were an upstanding example of America's dog population. Come on, is that so totally AWESOME!!! Seriously, though, I still have things to work on. =).

That's all for today. I'll keep you posted on more miraculous mishaps.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Few and Far Between

Well, I played with Abbey a bit today with Abbey working on our cross your paws trick. That's going well and Abbey is quite the enthusiastic worker. The only problem has been that we haven't quite gotten into a groove yet. Oh yes, we're getting there I swear. Chemistry class does surprisingly take up time...aaand I have the worst time management skills of any human being. For a brief time in December Abbey got to her enjoy a few days with me where she went to the dog park and went swimming. In January we had the trial...and now we're trying to adjust our busy and hectic schedules to our linking. I know I sound like a broken record. But despite the repetativeness of my words, improvements have been made. I found out Abbey likes Shetland Sheepdogs, can be clicker trained to do anything but has a mind of her own, and loves new tricks so much that she goes through spazzed offerings just to get the clicker to sound.

GOOD NEWS: Bella learned how to give her paw. Bella, the little puppy who HATES having her paws touched learned how to give her paw. Ahh the wonders of clicker training.

I'm going to upload pictures of what Abbey and I have been doing in my next blog post including her antics with the tennis ball. Keep reading about us, we'll keep blogging.