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 !

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


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 :-)

Friday, June 17, 2016

Turn around

After my last post saying that I may give up on Pixels running contacts, my friend then came to my field and we put the Dog walk down to 2/3 of its height.
I can just about manage to move this up and down on my own at this height, as I don't have to use different trestles.
Well Pixel was amazing with about an 85% success rate.

I then did a little more work on her weaves. She seems to be understanding it quite well, although her herding instinct is strong so she tends to herd the poles a bit. I am sure over time she will understand she has to always go to the end through the channel weaves and not circle the entire weaves first, or circle the first weave pole :-) I am certainly having different training problems with her that I've never had before :-(

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Bad Blogger

Sorry for the big gap in blogging. I guess since losing Disney I havent wanted to write about much, but they say time is a healer and although I still miss him with all my heart and never a day passes without me thinking about him, I can now look at all my photos and videos without getting so upset.

So whats been happening. Well Pixel has been with us a whole year now. What a year !!!! She is still very much a handful and her training is very stressful as she is so hyper. Everyone tells me she will be worth it in the end and all will come right, but there are times when I just feel like crying :-( In the house she has calmed quite a bit and will at last settle during the evening after her initial wall of death and silliness.

So with regards to training here goes

Well as I anticipated its been very hard to continue regularly with Pixels running contacts.  I need to set the dog walk low for her, but with classes every week and no one to help me put the dog walk down and back up I am struggling. I have a very heavy dog walk and its really a 2 person job each time. I am beginning to think I may have to admit defeat and do a stopped contact for her as I can train this on a full height dog walk. But I am putting this on the back burner for now as I am going to spend the next month training her weaves. As she wont be 18mths till October and with not many ( if any ) shows going on she wont be competing seriously till next Spring, so I have plenty of time :-)  so her dog walk training can be put on hold for a short while . I will still take the end plank off my dogwalk from time to time and keep it in her mind what she has to do, but I am not going to stress about it.

So yesterday weave training started properly. She has been through channel weaves on odd occasions already, but this was primarily just to get her used to going through the channel. This had worked in as much as yesterday when i took her into the field she knew instantly what she had to do :-)
Because of this I was able to set the weaves in a narrower channel than I normally would start at. I would generally set them at about 15/16" to start. But because Pixel knew what to do I was able to set this first session at about 12". Once we had done several reps successfully I moved the weaves in one 1" for the last 3 repetitions. This is will be the start of todays session and hopefully today I will be able to take them down to 10" at the end. As soon as Pixel starts to move her body I will stop bringing the weaves in and concentrate on entries from both sides and all angles. Once she's doing this happily I will then move the weaves in inch by inch over the course of a week. I am hoping the whole process will take 3-4 weeks,( weather dependant ) but we will see  :-)
Here is the first weave training video :-)

As regards her Obedience..well there has been very little sadly . For one reason and another we haven't had any training for over a month, and although I do bits at home its not the same as one to one training and club night. Hopefully over winter this will resume again.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Pixels contacts and Monika Training day.

I have now added a tunnel before and after Pixels low dog walk. I am so pleased with her enthusiasm and speed and I would say she is getting about a 75/80% success rate. She has some HUGE misses and some not so good hits, but on the whole her feet placement is great.
She also had her first big girl training day with Monika from Poland last week. She coped really well and Monika gave me some great advice as to her start line wait ( or lack of them ) and also how to calm her before an exercise so she isn't quite as manic.
Here are a couple of videos ( as is the norm )

Happy 1st Birthday Pixel

With all the upset and tragedy over Disney I completely forgot to wish Pixel a Happy First Birthday.
Hard to believe she is a year old now. Her proper training can now start in earnest.
She is 9.1kg in weight and 15.5" tall and has been these measurements for 2 months now, so I feel she has done all her growing. I am very pleased with her final size :-)

Over the coming couple of months I will start her channel weaves and like I did with Boo try and achieve the complete the finished article in 3-4 weeks.

This is the one and only time I wish I didn't hold classes in my field. I have to move and alter the dog walk and lower it for her training after the classes and then the following week move and set it at normal height again. The same with the channel weaves :-( It makes it a bit of a chore and with only me moving the equipment around it isnt helping my back issues. But hey ho, hopefully she will be on the full height dog walk within the next month or so and it will also spur me on to do the weave training fairly quickly.

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Pixels contacts

After Disneys passing last week I didn't feel much like doing anything, especially training,  but I decided to try and get motivated and do some bits with Pixel. Luckily Pixel was a good girl and helped cheer me up. Here is her latest contact video session