Welcome to the Blog of Rosie Ison & her Scruffy Hairy Mutts.

I do hope you enjoy reading about all the various exploits of the Hairy Gang !

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Latent learning !

In my post yesterday I posted a video of Pixels weaves. I said yesterday that we have done absolutely no weave training for over a month and the session yesterday was a quick 5 minute session.

Today I went out for another quick session. I narrowed the weaves and she was 100%, so I thought what the heck lets try my proper straight weaves.
Below is the result !! However she can only do it on the right :-(
So now I know she understands the concept I am going to go back to slight channels to solidify her learning and get 100% on both sides.
Latent learning at its best :-)


Saturday, August 27, 2016

Maybe ...just Maybe :-)

Well after the sadness of the last 2 weeks I thought I'd update Pixels progress.
Mum passed away during my agility holiday, I was actually up at Rockingham Castle for the KC Festival, but when I got the phone call I had to rush home leaving everything there. I didn't really feel like returning but I had to go back for my caravan anyway, and my family persuaded me to continue with my agility holiday as thats what my Mum would have wanted. I was also judging at Adams on the second week so I would have had to return for this.
It was nice to have a distraction but Boo was dire and I was being totally rubbish at handling. I didnt have one clear round in 10 days :-( My mind wasn't in the right place, I was just going through the motions really.

On the day off on our second week at Adams we hired a ring again and all the youngsters who train together had a little play in the ring doing bits and pieces.
Pixel actually was quite good ( in between the barking )
Then once I had set up my course for judging I also tried Pixel on sections of this too. Laura also tried to run her and she now realises the struggle I am having. She really is HARD work. Mega fast and keen but still spends far too much time arguing :-(

When we got home I decided as she is almost 17 months old and plenty old enough I would start to jump her over medium height jumps.
She was officially measured whilst we were away and as expected she is definitely medium :-)

So on her last 2 sessions she's jumped medium and I think she is much better. The fact she has to actually "think" rather than just run as fast as she can is definitely helping :-)

So below are 4 videos of her. In the hired ring. Doing parts of my jumping course and then today in my field over medium jumps and some weaving .
I have also made the decision to re train a stopped contact on her dog walk. I now fully realise she is just going to be tooooo fast for me to control a running dog walk :-( I have loved the thrill of training the running, and I will still do a running A-Frame. But I am just not young or fit enough to do the run on the Dog Walk. I will probably regret it , but I have to make the decision now as the opportunities for training are getting less with nights drawing in. I can do parts of the re train in my lounge again as I did with the running. She's a bright cookie so I know she will cotton on quickly.

I have resumed some training on her weaves and I am doing a mixture of 2 x 2 and Channels. Hoping to order some new weaves soon to help with this process :-)
So I am beginning to think that Maybe...just maybe we are getting there slowly :-)







Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Sad times

I know this blog is about my dogs but I had to do a little tribute to my wonderful Mum who passed away 2 weeks ago on the 12th August. Without her love of dogs, and always having a house full of dogs whist I grew up ,my love of dogs may never have happened ?

Mum was 94 years of age and a truly remarkable woman who up till 2 years ago was still walking her own dog for 2-3 miles a day. At the tender age of 80 she took up dog agility with her Border Collie. They never competed but she enjoyed the challenge of training  Frazer.

My heart is broken but I have such wonderful memories.





Saturday, August 06, 2016

New Spacing

Well the recommendation is in for the new spacing for equipment in courses. Its been proposed to be a "minimum" 5m between all obstacles. Its yet has to be finalised and passed but I think that is just a formality.
At first I held my hands up in horror and thought this would be the end for me. It looked a vast distance when I measured my lounge !! I just couldn't imagine being being able to run between those sort of distances especially with Pixel.  I have to admit to being a bit doom and gloom initially.
But today I went out with the tape measure and measured a little exercise exactly with 5 m distance and 7 m to the tunnels. After a few attempts I was pleasantly surprised that I could actually manage it ok. I am under no illusion though that some courses will be set bigger and harder, but it will mean I will just have to train harder too
Here is a little video. I dont know why the quality is a bit poor as I took it with the same camera and uploaded it exactly the same ...hey ho it still shows what was achieved :-)

Monday, August 01, 2016

Little Steps :-)

I am cautiously optimistic at Pixels progress. I set up and exercise today that once again I am going to do in my classes tomorrow which needed her to really focus forward all the time. I put in more movement and below is the result :-)

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Just a Video

Well I've not done much training for the last week as I have been down in Devon. However I went out on Monday and did a little session on what I had set up for my class the following day. I am stil fairly stationary as any fast movement just caused her to turn on me :-(

Quite pleased :-)


Saturday, July 16, 2016

All Change AGAIN :-)

Soooooo ...all Pixels weave training and contact training has been put on hold !!!
Why ?? Well I really need to get Pixel focussing forward and driving on without looking at me. Without this all the best contacts and weaves in the world wont help her in the ring if she cant put more than 3 jumps together without spinning round and looking at me.  Lets face it she needs to know how to jump forward first and foremost.

So this week once again with the help of a lovely friend we had a one to one session. She was great with Laura as she had some reepect for her, but once again took a while to get the point when working with me.

It was a hot morning so we had to do it in little chunks, not because Pixel wouldnt work in the heat , no on the contrary, she will just continue to work and work and work regardless of the fact she is on her knees.

I left that session with a good success.

Heres a little video


QUICK UPDATE EDIT.

We went to a little fete today. Boo was in the agility demo. After we had finished the first demo they said we could bring our other dogs in for a play. I thought what the heck and went and got Pixel for a laugh. Well watch the video..I was gobsmacked !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 05, 2016

4 days later !

So following on from my last post.

I tried with the manners minder with some success, but she still wasnt "getting" it . I still had the turn to look at me and I wasnt happy with the result.

So I decided to mix the 2 x 2 training with the channel training. So I did a few repetitions with the 2 x 2 set wider so she was successful every time on her entries and I then set the 2 x 2 weaves up as a channel. This certainly had the desired effect. She was very focussed and happy. The channel was about 2-3 " apart and not only did she pick up the entries she ran through them fast and started to show a lovely swimming weave action.

The 2 x 2 weaves are extremely light so they didnt work too well as channels as they easily wobbled ( as can be seen on the video )
So I shall set my push in the ground ones up as a channel and then have the 2 x 2 weaves set up before.
We can then dip in and out of the different methods.
I now have a goal in sight and this is to have her straight line weaving by the end of the month. I am also going to train the 12 poles slightly differently as well. In the past I have trained the channels always on 12 poles. This time I am going to just train on 6 poles. The reason for this is its easier for her to get the criteria right and be more successful, easier for me to reward quickly and needs less verbal encouragement .

Only once she has mastered 6 straight uprights and is doing them consistently from all angles with a jump before and after will I add the second set of 6. I will then do exactly what they do in the 2 x 2 training. She will do 6 upright poles then a big 8-10' gap in between and then another 6 weaves. After a few repetitions the second set is bought closer and closer till eventually she is doing 12.

Friday, July 01, 2016

2 X 2 weave training update



Well one week later and things are going pretty well. I'm enjoying the new challenge of training 2 x 2 weaves and Pixel already has some awesome entries which she wouldn't have at this stage in her training using channels, however as is the norm with Pixel nothing is straightforward. She is still so focused on me that as the weaves have moved in and closer the harder it is for her as she isn't looking for the second weave poles and is still actually glancing at me. This has caused all sorts of frustrations ( mainly from me 😢)
People have said not to use the Manners Minder as its a lure , but I think sometimes in training we have to adapt methods to suit individual dogs and handlers, and yes although a big container full of food is a BIG lure it will focus her forward away from me whilst she learns her job. I will occasionally throw her toy as well to keep her thinking. I think people get caught up in methods and forget that each dog is an individual and what may work for most dogs may not work for some, particularly the Pixels of this world !! I am going to try with the Manners Minder and see what I get, there is no harm in this .
She is so bright I know once she has the concept I can faze the MM out, and at this moment in time I just can't see another way of doing this on my own.
I am going to play with the positioning of the MM so that maybe it's not in direct line of her sight . So we will see.

It's been a bad week generally with her training and I have been in tears several times. She has so much potential but her speed , manic behaviour, herding , no forward focus and her biting and barking is wearing me down.
Everyone says she will be so worth all upset and hard work in the end but I just don't know I have the stamina and patience to do it :-(  !

So here are several videos of her 2x2 sessions to see her progress up to this stage ! A lot of the in between manic rubbish is edited out, but you can hear and see some of my trials









Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Another New Unchartered Journey

Well after session 3 of Pixels weaves I knew I'd have to think outside the box for her  ( once again )
As the excitement grew so did her manic behaviour and although I got several good weaves attempts there were many more unsuccessful tries where she herded the weaves, me , or just about anything, and the biting increased. Her forward focus was deteriorating as the excitement peaked. I found it very frustrating so I was thinking of what I could do and where I could go with it. At this point I posted a little 15 second video on Facebook and several people replied saying I should maybe try 2 x 2 weaves with Pixel. This method means that she has to use her brain more, helps with forward focus and is a little less exciting to begin with...maybe ?? because Pixel finds just breathing exciting !!!
Well I have borrowed some 2 x 2 weave bases and today I started the journey. In the first session its just about shaping her to go through the 2 weaves , always with her shoulder entering on the left weave. Well as I expected she picked that up immediately. I then felt I could progress a little and try seeing if she could go through the 2 poles from different angles. She did it perfectly with very few mistakes.
The next session with her will involve a toy being thrown.  Once she is doing this I introduce another 2 poles etc etc etc . I will as usual video most , if not all, sessions :-)
Here is her first attempt.


To see how this method works I have also attached an excellent video done by someone else. She explains the method simply and beautifully :-) I did have a Susan Garret DVD ( the creator of 2 x 2 weaves )  from years ago when I was going to attempt this with Boo, but I cannot find it so I am relying solely on Youtube videos to help me on my journey :-)