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 !

Saturday, November 12, 2016


For the last week I have been pondering how the next 6 months are going to pan out for Pixels training.
Sadly due to my work commitments her day time class has had to be dropped , so that has only left me a class on a Saturday morning where I am more or less doing my own thing..which isn't ideal at all.

So I was seriously considering doing the online H360 course by Susan Garrett. I was so near pressing the buy button, but I had niggling doubts about committing, so never quite did.
To do this course properly and get the absolute best out of it, you have to go right back to Zero with your dog. So that means restarting foundations etc. However I just know me, and know I may not be committed enough or have the time to put in. It was also recommended you give up any hope of competing for a complete year while you do this course.

I was watching every video Susan Garret put on Facebook and I have watched countless youtube videos about the system over the past 10 days. The good things would be that I could train on my own, fill in the missing gaps and hopefully get Pixel to a stage where she was really listening. But I also just wasn't sure about going alone and the price was quite steep too.

Someone contacted me via Facebook and asked me to ring her , which I did.
She said she was involved wth some people that train the H360 and she felt that knowing me as well as she did it may not be my cup of tea ???

So right up until the last few hours of registration I was still deliberating.  My decision in the end based on what I knew , what I'd read and been told , and this was not to do it.
But I then needed a trainer that would commit to me at least twice a month to give me intensive input and planning so that I can do things on my own when ever I can .

I approached a few excellent trainers, but either they didn't train during the winter, didn't have space for me, or needed me to commit both in time and money to regular sessions on set days, which sadly due to my work I just couldn't do :-(

But my friend Laura who trains with Sian Illingsworth, Dan Shaw and Dave Munnings was prepared to step in  to give me training fortnightly as and when I can . Laura has already up till now given me massive help with Pixel. She lives a fair way, but its very worth the distance as every time I come away from Laura I am on a big high as she so understands my problems/mobility and understands fully Pixels issues.

We have plans in place so I am now looking forward to the next 6 months .
I have learnt a lot as well from watching Susan Garretts videos and I am going to put some of those things into place even though I am not doing the complete H360 course, I am going to use more verbals, change the tone of my verbals ,and also go back to some basics. the main thing is to do little and often and make every training session count .

I had a private lesson with Laura last week and we worked on jump commitments with me further away and sending into tunnels and going on after the tunnel too.
Once again we achieved it all.
My homework is to practice rear crosses :-) And to continue to get Pixel to focus towards the first jump even if I am not in line with it.  At the moment she will be so busy looking at me she wont look at the jump thats straight in front of her.

I am also so pleased with how her Stopped 2 on and 2 off dog walk is coming on too :-)

Wednesday, November 02, 2016

Progress ??

Well 2 weeks have past and November has arrived along with the clocks going back and the dark evenings.. So unless I can train Pixel during the day on my days off, I cant do any.

I am no longer Mrs Nice guy and I've had to firm up with her. I did a training day with Dan Shaw and Pixel did some fabulous stuff, but he also saw exactly her bad behaviour of barking and her naughtiness . After the 2 hour session he took me to one side and advised me on a way forward for her. He thinks a lot of her behaviour has been self rewarded. The one thing she is bad about and that is if I hold her collar to tell her to go on into the tunnel, she just runs off ,turns round and comes back to me jumping up and barking. However on the 3rd attempt she always does it perfectly. He thinks that this is now her default behaviour ,and the fact she gets the reward in the end anyway isn't helping. He suggested that she gets one go and then gets time out if she doesn't do it  !!!! So I send her into the tunnel or over a jump and if she does all her rubbish stuff she is either put into a crate for 30 seconds or so, or else I down her, walk off and ignore her. I am choosing to do the latter.
So far I do think its working but it will be very hard to do in a class environment..however I have decided that even if we have a whole month of not actually doing anything in the classes bar time out, it will be worth it in the end...I hope !!!!

So how have things been going for the last 2 weeks :-

Her 2 on and 2 off contact re train is going well, Her seesaw is pretty perfect :-) and her A Frame is 80% there.
I have been doing some switching behind the weaves and increasing distance and speed into them :-)
And waits , waits and more start line waits
I have also started teaching pull throughs and she has the concept but needs much more practice. Her turns need to be tightened  up a lot !!! , but as I have been concentrating on forward focus I have sacrificed tightness a bit.

She did another little fun show at Scrambles and there were some little bits I was really pleased with , but a lot I wasn't so keen on :-(

So things are progressing slowly and steadily.
As usual below are a selection of videos..One from Scrambles, One doing sequences, One of her Dog walk and a quick snippet of her Aframe :-)

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Thing progressing nicely

So since my last post I have been out daily doing Pixels seesaw.  Yesterday saw her doing the completed Seesaw beautifully with speed. I think we have also got the Aframe sorted too.

I had been quite lax with her weaves since she mastered straight line and she took a slight backward step, so I have been doing these daily too. I have opened the first 2 so she gets her entries consistently.

Today I bought the Dog walk trainer back downstairs and am going to spend each evening really getting the end position solid before taking her training back onto the full size dog walk outside.

We only have about 10 days now till the clocks go back and my early evening training opportunities diminish. Luckily my new job has given me plenty of spare time over the last 2 weeks. I don't ever normally train any dog on a daily basis, but I have had to make hay while I can as next week I haven't a spare day at all . I am working ALL week from very early till late, so no training next week at all sadly :-(

So here a couple of updates videos ( as is the norm )

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Pixels First Show and Seesaw Training

Well last Sunday saw Pixels debut. It was a Kelluki unaffiliated show and I am using the winter to go to some of these small shows to get her used to the environment etc

Well I shouldn't have worried about the environment because Pixel was not fazed by this at all.
As I expected she was totally OTT .
She definitely isn't ready for the dizzy heights of KC shows, and she didnt have a clue what weaves and contacts were. But in fairness I haven't ever put any contacts into a course, as they have all been done separately. The weaves were just because of excitement, and also since she learnt to straight line weave I have been lax about doing them daily( smack hands)  But having said all this she did some really good bits which you will see on the video, particularly her going on and start line waits.  Her next little show is Scrambles ( just round the corner from me ) weather permitting

I thought it about time I started to really work on her SeeSaw. Ive been delaying it as its so difficult to teach on your own. When we did it in class the instructor stands at the end and gets her to run to the end whilst she holds the seesaw up and then gently lowers it. The one time Pixel went up the seesaw without her being there ( by mistake ) Pixel flew it with great gusto and although didn't scare herself scared the hell out of me :-(

So over the last few days I have been putting a jump wing under the end to stop it tipping , and then sending her round a jump so I can be at the end. She was actually quite hesitant to start with so maybe her fly did worry her.  By the  end of yesterday I had lowered the seesaw so it was landing on a low trestle ( see video )
I have also started the stopped dog walk. This is definitely going to be a little harder as she is going at such a speed. I did some dogwalks outside yesterday, but I intend to get my plank out again indoors and do some foundation end of contact work. I shall mix and match. I am using a different command because I would still like her to be able to do a running contact if I ever wanted to.
We shall see !!!!

Tuesday, October 04, 2016

Things are looking up :-)

October has arrived and I suddenly feel quite positive about Pixel :-)

We had a training session with Leah Gardner last week and Pixel total surprised and amazed me by putting a sequence of 15 jumps together. It was at the end of the session when she was tiring, and the beginning part of the session wasn't amazing , but I ended on a real high note.

I then did a small sequence in my field and once again she was pretty good. I still have fights with her, she still has moments where she turns round to bark and try to bite me, but these are getting less. Our big fight at the moment is over her start line wait...she just doesn't seem to get it :-( There is no way I can work her without a wait, so this is really work in progress,

I have started to train her A-Frame properly now and I am very pleased with the results( see video )
I am now doing a stop on her dog walk , and this is going to take a while for to understand. I plan to do lots of work indoors on my training plank when time allows.

I have ( for my sins) entered some fun independent local shows with her over Autumn/winter. I shall use them as training. The first one is this Sunday...wish me luck...lol
Here are a couple of videos :-)

Monday, September 12, 2016

Pixel Can Weave

As predicted last week Pixel can now officially straight line weave :-)
I did a couple of weave runs with my new channel weaves just to remind her of the entrance and exit and then I put my proper competition weaves out. She ran past the middle few poles just a couple of times, primarily as she was trying to do them so fast again.  I slowed her entry down and she did them brilliantly. The one thing I have noted though is that she has lost the swim action and is using 2 feet :-( I am hoping this is temporary

I now feel we have to go back to the contacts and get them secure.  Last week was the first time she ever did an Aframe. She thought she had to just jump the Apex , miss the down part and literally land on the grass   .Today she was  much better  :-) I am at present rewarding almost everything apart from a high jump just to get her confidence. Once I know she isn't going to do a Kamikaze jump over the top again I will only reward split feet ( like I did with the dog walk and with Boo )

Wednesday, September 07, 2016

Pixel weave update and Boos last show of the year

My new channel weaves have arrived and they are FAB.  So easy to adjust and alter. So starting Monday I have been out every day for literally 5 minutes. 3 repetitions on both sides and then we come in. Monday I did that twice ,yesterday just the once and also today just the once.

Well she is amazing. By the end of the second session on Monday she was weaving 3 straight weaves in the middle of the 12. Today she was weaving 6 in the middle. She is totally focused to the end. Over the next couple of days or so I will continue these short session and I am really hopeful by next Monday she will be weaving properly with maybe just the first and last pole out slightly. I want her to understand her entries 100%
Here is a video from her second session Monday .


Well after our horrendous KC festival and Adams I didn't hold much hope for our last camping show of the year at Letchworth.
How wrong I was. Boo picked up a 4th place ( just a fraction of a second out of the places) in grade 6-7 agility. She also did some stunning runs in combined classes up against mega fast collies ( just out of the places ) She worked with enthusiasm so I finished feeling very happy.

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 :-)