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

Decisions

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 .


BOO 

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 :-)







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 :-)

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 !

Sunday, March 06, 2016

Straight Lines

Pixel is so hyper when we do agility that any movement from me sends her into a frenzy so she then spins round , jumps up and bites me. Most of our foundation work to date has involved me being pretty static. Either sending her to a toy or me holding the toy or me standing still sending her round cones or jump wings. Last week in class we started doing straight lines in out of tunnels with me moving...well she ran past the jumps, jumped up at me barking and biting. I realised there and then that this is the next lot of work we needed to do ASAP. I need her to drive on and looking forward regardless of where I am or my position.
Here is the result from one 5 minute session :-)

Thursday, March 03, 2016

Contact update

Well today we went back outside again for contact training in the lovely March sunshine.
I have put a tunnel before and a jump wing after. Overall I was pleased. She did turn back towards me a couple of times rather than focussing forward. I am considering trying a toy now and see whether that drives her forward more as she is very toy driven. Over the coming days I will put my dog walk on low and start putting a little more length on the run. If it goes wrong I will just go back a stage until it goes well. Its still early days and she is still young so I don't want to push her too fast on the whole dogwalk. :-)
Here is an updated video :-)
Pixel Running Contacts Day 14 from Rosie Ison on Vimeo.

At the end I just a little jumping tunnel exercise with her. I was very pleased with this :-)


If anyone is wondering why some videos are Youtube and some are Vimeo, its to do with the music and Youtubes copyright on certain music.


Saturday, February 27, 2016

Pixels Turns

I have started to introduce turns now from the end of the plank whilst we are still indoors on the short plank. Really pleased with her understanding that even if a cone isn't there she must go to the end and do the turn on a direction command. Here is a video update :-)

Pixels contacts Day 12. Starting to introduce  turns from Rosie Ison on Vimeo.

Wednesday, February 24, 2016

Contact training update

Not much to say really. Following on from Pixels great first sequence that I posted a video of a few days ago, here is the latest Contact video. I would say from the 5 minute session she did 3 dodgy ones, not actually jumps but the stride not quite perfect. So a success rate of at least 96/97% :-) :-)
Pixels running contact Day 10 from Rosie Ison on Vimeo.

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Updates

Today Pixel did her first proper sequence and I was so pleased. Apart from the constant barking which I hate :-(  she was fab :-)
Here is a small video


Pixel is now almost 10.5 months old and although she still the same height she is now 9.2kg, so she is filling out and her coat is growing too :-)

Friday, February 19, 2016

Day 7

Latest video update.
Pixel, day 7 of her running contacts.
I have bought them back inside onto the small plank. I want a little more consistency. I think she was hitting 80/85% outside??
She is soooo enthusiastic,  that this takes over a little bit. After the initial whoo hoo, she settles and we are getting more consistency inside :-)  I am keeping each session very short.

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Pixels training Days 5 and 6

Well the contact training is coming on in leaps and bounds, however I decided to take it outside for the first time today and although generally happy with what she did for me, I feel I need to do more on the plank indoors for a few more sessions.
Anyway here are the latest 2 videos :-) She certainly is enjoying the training which I love :-)  but its very very early days  :-)

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Pixels Contact Training

Pixel is almost 10 months old now and I have been contemplating for months about what method I am going to use for her contacts. I was successful in training Boo a running Aframe contact and love  it,  so I knew I was going to do a running Aframe with Pixel, but I just couldn't decide on the Dogwalk. My last 7 dogs have all been taught a 2 on and 2 off, but they have aways ended up with slightly creepy down planks :-( So I really want to do a running dog walk contact with Pixel, but worry that I am neither young nor fast and recent injuries mean I am very guarded when I run. I was worried that she would just be too fast for me over the dog walk.
However I have been speaking with loads of people and they feel that as I will be training Pixel to be more independent and wanting her to do more distance work a running dog walk rather than be a hindrance may actually work in my favour. With a 2 on and 2 off the dogs are often looking back at their handler and waiting for them to catch up before going onto the next obstacle which means I would actually have to be more with her, like I am with Boo.

So bearing all this in mind I decided to would give a running dogwalk a go. So I started to search in earnest for the method that would suit me and Pixel best. I knew I didn't want the manic very fast running contacts that I have seen by some handlers. They look totally amazing, but I wanted a more controlled contact. Knowing how manic Pixel is I have no doubt she will build speed anyway.
I decided I wanted to use my Manners Minder ( food reward dispenser ) as opposed to a toy in the first instance. So once again I searched Youtube for inspiration, and then suddenly I had a video link sent to me by someone , who knew what I wanted to do , and this video was JUST what I wanted and used the method I wanted to use.
The lady in question used the method I want to use with her young collie and her name is Mona Grefenstein , She has a controlled method of training at the beginning but has ended up with the most reliable and superb contacts.

So having watched her video numerous times I started 4 days ago with Pixel .  I am using a rubber granuled plank indoors in my lounge. At first Pixel was frightened of the manners minder so I had to get her used to this which didn't take long, and then I had to get her used to the dog walk plank.  This was very trial and error, but after about 6 false starts moving her further and further back on the plank she mastered it.
I am looking for a split paw pattern with no jumping off the plank at the end..the dog has to stride through the plank. I have taken one excellent piece of info from Laura Chudleigh and that is 2 mistakes and then simplify so they get it right the next time.
By Day 3 I had raised the plank by 2" and she picked up a little bit of speed and got a 95% success rate with her striding. :-)
I am doing a maximum of 5 minutes each session. Today I put another 2 small books under, so raised the plank again by about half an inch I guess. Today she was even more enthusiastic and sadly I got a few jump offs. So i just took her back a step and encouraged her to slow down a little and she got it 100%. I then encouraged a little speed again and she did 3 great repetitions and I finished on a good note.
Tomorrow I will film again. I intend to video every other day, which not only is nice for me to look back on, but also gives me a good insight into her strides and progress :-)
Below are 2 videos. One from the first day and the next from Day 3 :-)





Sunday, January 31, 2016

Foundations

I mentioned in my last post about Pixels out of control behaviour during training. Someone commented about me doing Susan Garrett "its yer choice" training and I mentioned I had been doing this amongst other things. I have done a little video of what Pixel is doing so far.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

9 months old

Well Pixel is now 9 months old. She is 8.6kg and 15.5 " tall. She hasn't grown in the last month, so i think this is how tall she will be.
She is still a monster of a puppy, so so naughty and hyperactive, never sleeps ( apart from at night ) but she is ultra cute, very bright and I can now smile when I look at her :-)
She has personality plus :-)

Her foundation agility continues and she is very hard work ( well would we expect any different ? )
Boo was hard work motivating. Pixel is hard work because she is the other way. She is very driven, hyper, manic, barks and bites :-( Her toy drive is immense and very strong.
Yesterday during training her attempts to bite succeeded and she got me on my boob :-( Its not deliberate, its just total frustration and hype.
So after lots of consideration and thought it has been decided to withdraw her toys mostly from agility training until I can get her focussed more and calm her down.
I will find this strange as I have always played tuggy and used toys with my dogs. I have come to a compromise by using treat balls. these are little balls that have a velcro fastening that you can put food in. So she can still have the joy of running out after a toy, but hopefully the calm will come with the reward of a treat from the ball. I do have both balls on their own or ones with a short tug, so I will see how things go over the next month or so.
Below is a little video of some of her foundation work last weekend. You can see clearly in it the issues I have with the barking and jumping up etc.
I am hoping I will look back on this blog in a years time and these issues will all be a distant memory :-) If they aren't then I think I will have given up agility by then with her.



I had to finish this blog with a very appropriate poster ..lol lol :-)

Saturday, January 09, 2016

Happy New Year

Happy New Year to all my viewers. Sadly no one seems to comment on my blog anymore :-( Now I don't know if this is because no one reads this, or they cant comment for some reason or just don't want to. So if anyone reads this please can they put just a simple comment every now and again, so I know if people can actually comment or not :-) Its also so I know if people do actually read it, or am I just writing this for myself ( which isn't a problem because I like having the blog to look back on anyway  )

Anyway.. News update.

I had huge plans to start Pixel on channel weaves and some plank work for her contacts over Xmas. Rain and bad weather put paid to any outside training, and the spare room that has the plank in was full to bursting with Xmas decoration boxes so couldn't be used.
So I've concentrated on control games with her. I have been working hard on her wait in all situations. Even on walks any opportunity I get to do a wait with exciting things going on I do. It seems to be paying off and she has more self control in this situation.
She also has to sit and stay on her mat while I prepare food ..this she finds hard but we are getting there. She also has to sit and control herself when we have visitors. She is so "me, me me " and throws herself at visitors, jumping about 10ft in the air often landing on one of the other dogs, and growling in the process. It was totally insane and out of control..so now she is made to sit and invited for the attention...very much work in progress :-)

I have also been doing more Obedience bits with her. I find I have to keep her busy active mind and body occupied all the time, if not she just gets into mischief constantly .
Its almost impossible to have her in the lounge with us while we have a quiet evening. All the other dogs are beautifully settled, but she just doesn't settle at all.  She bounces from one sofa to the other, annoys the other dogs and is just constantly on the go. We had her in the lounge a couple of days ago. We tried hard to watch the film and occasionally she settled with a bone or Antler. Steve was sitting on the floor and suddenly he heard a chewing noise, in a flash she had started to gnaw our brand new expensive coffee table :-(Steve was sitting literally next to her !!! Steve went slightly ballistic, as did I. At that point I think I would have cheerfully given her away to anyone who had knocked on the door !! However I actually think she knew this time she had done wrong because we actually had an hour with her quietly laying next to me on the sofa after that :-)
She has completely destroyed ALL the kitchen chairs and we are now down to 2 !! They wont have long to go either. I have bought 4 new ones to take their place when and if she stops chewing !!

Walks have also become more of a trial. She has now found that chasing birds is a great pastime !!! And she now herds us constantly. She is still very into other dogs and wants to rush up to greet any dog big or small. I have taken to putting her on lead if I see an unknown dog approach as she has no manners with them and will jump on them as she does with her own pack, and I don't want her hurt. Once she's calmly said her hello, I let her off and she can play if the other dog wants. I don't want to discourage her friendliness with other dogs at all, but equally I don't want her launching at them

Life with Miss Pixel is VERY hard and VERY stressful and I often think about her brothers and sisters and how their owners must be coping. However I do think if she had been an only dog or maybe with a singular older dog, things would have been different. We have had her in with us on her own and she is much calmer and less excitable. My other dogs have always played with her and encouraged her lunacy really.

I actually want her to come into season soon. I am hoping she will then start to mature and settle ? Who knows ?? Is that just wishful thinking ?

Here is a video of her at Obedience class last Thursday. I am thrilled with her style and as she has become stronger so has style :-) Still loads to work on. I have also uploaded a little video of her on our wet and soggy walk yesterday with the birds.



BOO

I have made the decision to stop training Boo at Agility classes for the next few months. She doesn't enjoy the indoor venue, its filthy dirty and she gets so clogged up in wet sand and mud , and although she is so much better than she was last year after her fright, she still isnt quite there !! If she was loving it I would put up with the sand, mud etc etc..but for a dog that isnt that bothered I don't see the point in spending money on classes, travelling to training and then the clear up after :-(

I will possibly return when training restarts outside in late Spring, but I will just see how we are going. In the meantime , once my field is useable again, I will just train her on my own in my field. 
She is never going to set the world alight and she is such a contrast to Pixel. Obedience is definitely where she excels and what she enjoys. Obedience is not my first love though :-( 

This year I am just going to do small local agility shows and the odd weekend show. I will definitely do a couple of week long shows up north as I so enjoy them as a holiday as much as anything. They are so nice and chilled and relaxed too :-) 
I will also enter a few more localish Obedience shows for Boo -)

DISNEY

Disney is still doing so well. He now has some new medication from the vets and I think this is definitely helping him as he seems more relaxed generally :-) He is now 5 months off his 18th Birthday. I would so love him to celebrate it if possible.
I have also started him and Woody on Cannabis Oil..yes thats right Cannabis...lol.
This was on advice from someone and after reading all about it I felt I had nothing to lose.  It is rich in CBD, a substance known for a multitude of medical benefits including relief from stress , anxiety inflammation and pain and is particularly good for ageing dogs. There are many studies using this on the internet, so have a google . They have been on it 2 days and are on the starting dose at the moment gently leading up to the full amount. I will report back in a month and let you know how things are :-)

So please place a comment if you are reading this :-)