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 !

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

Saturday, April 16, 2016

R.I.P Disney 18-5-98 to 14-4-16

On Thursday we had my beloved Disney put to sleep.
I am beside myself with grief.  Although he had several issues that made his quality of life difficult and his days/weeks were numbered I still feel so guilty that I didn't wait a bit longer.
My vet felt the time was right as his condition would only deteriorate to the point where his dignity would be gone and he felt that it would be kinder to let him go whilst he still had dignity.

Disney had quite bad dementia , which meant he paced and puffed all evening, he was clearly in some degree of discomfort or pain , and he was also semi incontinent , he also struggled to defecate because of his rear leg weakness .
Worse was the fact that he had rear leg weakness and if he got onto a slippery surface his legs would splay and he would end up spread eagled on the floor and couldn't get up.  We had several times found him like this and fortunately had been in. We were all concerned that this would happen when we were out and he could lay like that for several hours in distress. This concerned us so much. We had made the room he stayed in as safe as we could but he still managed to get onto the wooden floor and that is when it happened. We tried a crate as he slept in one happily at night, but he became extremely distressed in there when he couldn't see us, so that was a no no too.
It could only get worse and I would never have forgiven myself if we had come home and found him suffering. I took him to the vet 2 days before we had planned to have him pts at home, just so my vet could check him over again, just in case there was a glimmer of hope. Sadly it was found then that Disney had lost 2.2kg in 3 months despite having a veracious appetite, he was constantly hungry. Something else was clearly going wrong.
However Disney could still manage a small walk and was quite bright and it was so hard to see all this could be wrong with him.
The saying goes...better a week too early than a day too late and the vet thought in Disney's case this is what could happen.
However I still cant forgive myself. I am tortured by guilt and the thought that maybe there was something else we could have done.

My life will never be the same. He was my soul mate and I loved him with all my heart.
He took me places I never dreamt I go. He reached the top in Agility , gaining a CC and taking me to Crufts and Olympia . He excelled at Obedience taking me to Crufts twice, He was an amazing TV star. His want to work and his will to please was immense.
I made this video about him a year ago as a tribute and wanted to put it on here again.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Pixel April 2016 and sad times.

I have a couple of weeks off from doing my contact training outside. Other things have taken priority, Some sad thoughts ( more on this later in the post ) and a small break down in Devon.

Yesterday was the first day we did the whole dog walk. I needed to find my low trestles to put my walk on and after un earthing them we started.

I started on the down plank to remind her and then gradually I took her further and further back on the dog walk.
This is where I hit a snag. She has been driving brilliantly to the Manner Minder, but once there was distance she slowed and even just turned and ran back to me at the end. I tried clicking and releasing the food just before, but then I was concerned that she would always get the reward no matter what.
So I sat down and deliberated on this for a while in the sunshine. I decided I would try her treat ball. She loves this and the velcro is very stiff and its really hard to open as its new.  I put a dull dog biscuit in it, but also had a supply of sausages in my pocket. If she missed she did still get the ball,  but I used a UH OH so she knew it was in correct, and I went and got the ball from her. Because of the stiff Velcro she couldn't open it and get the treat out.
We then  immediately tried again.  A hit meant she could get her ball, run around with it, try and open it which gave me time to get to her and then I'd help her open it and also give her mega reward of sausages and a game.
This seemed to work well and I was getting several really good hits. I ended on a positive note. Well apart from the blood trickling down my hand from where she has bitten me in excitement :-(

We then did 3 jump sequences and went indoors
Here are the latest videos :-)

Sad Thoughts 

We think the time has come for Disney to be  PTS :-(  In the last month things have become increasingly difficult for him. He is quite incontinent especially when sleeping so he has to wear a belly band and pad 24/7. That we can all cope with. However his back legs are getting weaker and weaker. If he is on any slippery surface then his back legs splay out and he ends up spread eagled on the floor and cant get up. We have found him like this on a few occasions and its very stressful for all concerned as he is crying and obviously very distressed.  Evenings are also difficult, he paces and pants all evening and I am unsure whether he is in pain ? He has Metacam in the morning and my guess is its wearing off during the evening and maybe that is the issue ?? He does however sleep all night.

My quandary is do we give him sleep now, while he still has some quality of life before he ends up maybe having some sort of crisis ? If I do we can choose the day, have the vet come to the house, carry him ourselves to the Crematorium , stay there and bring him home. Steve will be with me and everything will be calm. Or do we wait a month or two longer and risk he may take a sudden turn for the worse, maybe even during the night or away in the caravan and then everything will be panicky, stressful, maybe not even our own vet etc etc.

Its so hard. Because when he comes out for a short walk or I take him in the field he defies his age and even has a little run.
I just dont know which way to turn. He's 18 in a month and boy what a fab life he's had. Do I owe it to him to let him go with dignity ?? I have booked next week with my vet, but I just dont know what to do :-( :-(

Saturday, March 19, 2016

Obedience update

On Thursday Boo and Pixel had their monthly private Obedience lesson.
I was thrilled to bits with them both. Boo is entered in some more Obedience shows this year so we will see. Her scent still needs some work, but its hard to do this on my own.
Here is a little video of them both :-)

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Running contacts update 😀

After a few days break due to going to Crufts and not feeling too well ,I took Pixel out into the field for some more contact work. I started her on the low plank again as a refresher and then after a few hours I placed her on the full height down plank to see what happens. I couldn't have been happier. I think the next progression is to lower the whole dog walk and start doing the complete dog walk...gulp !