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 !

Monday, February 22, 2010

On the up :-)

I am feeling so much more positive about Fozzie now, lets hope this is an upward trend now.

Within the last 2-3 weeks I have done 3 separate training mornings with him.
The first was with David Munnings. Fozzie was brill, David had set some quite hard sequences and Fozzie did them with confidence and speed.

The next session was last Friday with Nancy Hudson, I love Nancy's training & once again Fozzie was confident and worked really well, Nancy gave me lots to think about with my handling of him ,and I came away feeling very good & positive about things. I was extremely pleased with Fozzies A-Frame contact. I didn't use his manners minder, but he hit his contact position first time and was fast over it.

The last session was on the Saturday just gone and what a beautiful day we had for it ,the sun shone all morning and it was quite warm. This training was with Lauren Langman. I haven't trained with her before. I found her very motivational. Fozzie was a little star and once again I got some great help with my handling of him. I sometimes wonder how I ever managed to get a dog to Grade 7 and even win a CC when it comes to my handling !! I think its all about wearing comfy slippers(as Nancy said) With a new dog you have to learn all over again because every dog is so different. What I can do with with Disney & Chip ,I struggle with with Fozzie. I am sure once we have been a partnership for a year or so, he too will become my comfy slippers.

We only covered the seesaw with Lauren, but once the class was finished Sue said I could run Fozzie over her contacts. I took her up on this once everyone had gone home, because I want Fozzie to experience as many different contacts in different environments as possible. His first dog walk was very slow and cautious, however once he had done it once the next 3 or 4 he flew over. He likes me to be a fair distance from him, if I stand too close to the contact anywhere along it that also slows him down. That suits me as I not fast enough to be right up with him all the time anyway.
Because I have had these great positive training sessions with him, I have made the decision not to return to the indoor classes with Fozzie ! This is where I was having all the problems with dogs running up to him and once again concentration.

In my field I am now just concentrating on the weaves ...Hmmmmm not so great.

Teaching weaves is my favourite thing and I am very methodical, however because of the weather/dark evenings/work etc etc I haven't been able to train them as often as I normally do. I think its going to be a long time before he's a confident straight line weaver !!

Here is a video of his training session at Laurens. Unfortunately I didn't get video at Nancy's or Davids

Fozzies Obedience has taken a slight downward turn since he has became a little spooky. His concentration isn't so good now so he's not holding his heelwork position as well.
Here is a video also taken this week at Obedience training. We focused more on keeping him happy & motivated rather than precision. He did a bit of slow pace nr the end which I was quite pleased with because he was concentrating quite well.

He has now been on the Zylkene for about 10 days and I do think there is a slight improvement. He is still spooking at funny things but comes out of it quicker.

Woody.....well fingers crossed things here are also going in the right direction with his shoulder injury. He is now swimming weekly and has also started on a course of Cartrophen. The Cartrophen is really just to help his mild arthritis.
Last Sunday Sara came and gave him some Galen massage which Woody loved. I have continued massaging him and also using the pulsed magnetic unit as well.
As my vet says, at the end of the day we won't really know what has done the job, but to be honest I don't care as long as he becomes sound again. Unfortunately though I have made the decision to pull him out from Crufts. Even if he was 100% sound, he'd be physically unfit as he's had so little off lead exercise & no jumping since way before Xmas. On top of that,I just wouldn't want to run a dog who's just recovered from a shoulder injury on thin astroturf placed over concrete !! In my opinion just not worth it for 30 seconds in the ring. Beth (my niece) was obviously very disappointed but she was very grown up about it and fully understood. Hopefully Woody will be fit again by April to do agility again, but only if the ground conditions are perfect. However he only has to limp once after agility and he will be retired. I will possibly only run him in one class a day, but we will have to now wait and see.

I went down to see my best friend Jane last week in Devon. I only took Woody as she had 5 dogs in season, so taking Fozzie & Chip would have been impossible. Woody was fantastic, even when all the girlies kept flirting with him. The look on his face was priceless !!!! It was lovely for Woody to have some one to one individual attention with just me. Because of all the girls being in season long walks were out of the question , so we just did a couple of very short lead walks.

Chip also had a lovely training session with Nancy . I do so enjoy running him, he's fast,keen and honest.

Disney is doing great and I have decided to run him again this year. I took him into the field and he was as mad as ever. Once again I will cut his runs down & I'm not sure whether I will enter him in champ classes or not. I will see how he is at his first show and go from there. Its hard to believe he will be 12 yrs old in 3 months time. So I guess I should really start doing some training with him, if only it would STOP RAINING !!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Chip Obedience and other stuff.

Last weekend it was my inter club obedience competition. I dusted Chip off for this !! I haven't done much training with him since I started Fozzie. So since Xmas we have had a couple of training sessions but not much. Its like riding a bike, he hadn't forgotten just got a bit rusty.

Chip was wonderful. His round was beautiful, he had a crooked sit half way through, but apart from that a pretty faultless round until.......THE STAYS !!!

Chip has NEVER broken a stay..EVER. However he chose on this day to lay down on his sit stay. It cost him 2nd place !! In fact he would have been in first place going into stays, apart from that crooked sit. As it was he ended 5th !!
Here is a video of his round..Just lovely..I am so very proud of him.

Fozzie is doing well in the field with his spooky training. I have continued with the flower remedies, and actually someone commented last weekend how chilled he seemed, so maybe they are working. Unfortunately the Zylkene got lost in the post !!!!! I should however have a replacement order tomorrow. I am going to start it as planned, because this evening we went into the field and he saw a man with a cap on and spooked and barked at him !! So still work in progress.

I decided tonight that I ought to try him over a full height dog walk. He's 16 months now and I feel he should be doing it full height more often. I shouldn't have worried, He was fine and confident over it, and got all his contacts. He is fairly fast over most of it, but is slightly slower going to the end, but I am not going to stress over that at all at the moment. He's independent , looking forward & happy on it so that's more important. I put the manners minder which (3rd time lucky) seems to be working a treat now, past the weaves after the Dog walk. He got his contact beautifully and then went into the V weaves and got his reward at the end of them. I am still doing an incredibly fast release on the dog walk. He's such a funny chappie that I think if I make a big deal of his stop(when he's actually going across the dogwalk) he may start to worry. However if I just ask for his position on the end, I expect a wait of varying times. He certainly knows his position without a shadow of doubt. If he runs off the end, I don't reward, but then again I don't say much either. I let him work out for himself what went wrong and he seems to know.

I also thought that I had better start working him over some full height jumps. On Saturday when I first tried, he was terrible and kept going underneath them. I walked away from it, and today I put up just 2 jumps and Woo Hoo he went over them both several times. At the moment he has the most funny jump style, he sort of bunny hops over them. I hope that will change when he starts to get his pacing.

Weave training well...... He is still on V weaves, and occasionally channel. I am not happy with my channel weaves now they are fairly close. They have a lot of metal work all bunched up and I am concerned this is putting him off. When I trained Chip and my other dogs I used push in weave poles(hence no metal work) and I felt they were much happier. I am going to visit my friend in Devon next week and she has a set of different channel weaves to sell that hinge from the centre. I am going to take a look and if I like them I will buy them off her.
( Jane if you're reading this GET THEM WEAVES OUT !!!!)
His entries into the weaves on the whole are good from whatever angle.

Seesaw is still being held, so no progress there. Fozzie is due out at Wallingford in the middle of April. I have entered him but I am not sure he'll actually go in the ring. We'll see.

I am reading a fantastic book at the moment called " Control Unleashed" I'm hoping this will help with my training with Fozzie. It tells how to get total focus from your dog, especially the Fozzie type of dog.

Woody.. well he has had another slight relapse with his shoulder injury. On his 2nd off lead day(after wks of on lead walking) he became slightly lame again.
So its back on the anti inflammatories and lead walks.
He starts his weekly hydrotherapy swims this wk, plus he is also going to have some Galen massage treatment. I have also ordered a Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) gadget. Its made by Medicur
I have had such positive feedback about these machines for animal use. Apparently not only do they accelerate the healing , they also help with pain etc. So I am hoping it will help me as well !! My vet raved about magnetic therapy when I spoke with her, so I hope its money well spent. This site tells all about its human use ,but many horse and dog people use them as well. I am sure it will be a very useful item for me to have. Have a Google, its well worth taking a look.

So Woody is costing me a fortune at the moment. Hopefully I will get all the alternative treatments paid by the insurance company. I don't think they will be prepared to pay for my new machine though !!!!!!

So lots to report. I'll keep you updated over the progress of Fozzie and Woody in the coming weeks.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Woo Hoo

It may not seem like much, but to me its one step in the right direction. Fozzie played with 3 all black dogs today on our walk!!:clap:.
First a black Lab, then a Flat coat retriever & lastly a black Cocker spaniel.

He was hesitant at first but once he knew they were fine, he couldn't wait to have fun, and we haven't even started on the Zyklene yet.:bounce:.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Where do I begin....

Sounds a bit like the love story song doesn't it !!!!

So Where do I begin....
Well the New Year hasn't started too well. Firstly losing dear Fella was the hardest thing. I am still struggling with the loss of him. I intend to do a tribute video soon, but I have to download some old photos and videos first onto my laptop, and I don't feel quite ready.

Woody has been lame on and off for about 3 wks. He was playing with Fozzie in the garden and came in limping. Rest and lead walks didn't resolve the problem so I decided the time had come for some Xrays, just to rule out any other underlying problem. Well he has fantastic shoulder and elbow joints, but his wrists are showing some arthritic changes. My vet is positive this isn't causing the lameness . However when Woody was under anaesthetic she couldn't extent his left leg, so she is as sure that she can be that its a shoulder injury.
So he came home with some anti-inflammatories and some very expensive Glucosamine/Chondrotin supplement. She wants him to be seen by a Physio or Osteo and do swimming as many times a week I can manage.

As regards to the arthritis in the wrists, she's happy for him to continue competitive agility , because as she said to me, if she xrayed most of the agility dogs over 6 years old,most would almost certainly be showing some form of arthritis because of the stresses put on theirs joints,so she thinks Woody's would be in the realms of normality.

I am not sure at this moment in time if I am going to continue working him, Its one thing jumping a dog that you don't know has a problem, totally different once you know.:( !!! I want to get his shoulder right, and then when I go back to the vets in 10 days time I will talk with her again. If, and its a big IF, he is sound in 2 wks I may let my niece run him at Crufts as she qualified him for the YKC. Beth has worked so hard with Woody for the last 2 years, doing all his training that I feel so sad for her.
Then possibly I may run him in the odd show, but only if the weather & ground conditions are just right, if not it may be allsorts classes..I really just don't know at this stage !!!!!!!

Then there's Fozzie !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

He has become sooooo spooky/windy and anxious. I am sure its his hormones coupled with the second fear stage, but training is becoming a nightmare which I am no longer enjoying at the moment. In my field where he was most confident, he is spooking and barking at the horses and so isn't concentrating on the job. At the indoor venue where I train him , he is constantly looking over his shoulders at the other dogs. Its a small indoor venue with 2 classes running side by side & the distractions are immense. He's had several dogs run up to him when he's working, which upsets me (probably more than him if truth be told) I am now looking for a new class somewhere where there is only one class running at a time, with nice friendly dogs.( more difficult than you can imagine !!)

Then on Thursday I went to Obedience training..He was dire!! Once again I couldn't get anything out of him..he was totally distracted and worried. I actually burst into tears:tears: !!!.... everything is going so wrong.

Last year I was running 3 dogs and running around like a mad woman at shows. I joked with people that this year I'd be like a headless chicken running 4 dogs..how things can change so suddenly !!!

Disney will probably be retired by the end of this year , he'll be 12 in May !!!!!
Woody may have to be retired, Fozzie possibly won't be in the ring this year like planned..which may possibly leaves me just one dog to run at shows.....Chip.
At least I may have more time to enjoy my new caravan !

Anyway I have put Fozzie onto some flower remedies to help his anxiety.And I'm also going to put him onto Zylkene This product has apparently seen some great results using it with dogs that have similar problems to Fozzie. I'm hoping it may take the edge off his nerves and I'll be able to get him to relax & concentrate , certainly there's no harm in trying.

Not a very Cheery post I know...sorry