Teeter Progress

June 23, 2009

I finally feel like we’re making some progress on the Teeter.  The quick history is that I spent a lot of time trying to get Carla to go to the end of the Teeter, and then letting the end drop a bit, then a bit more, etc.  However, what I discovered is that Carla HATED the banging of the teeter and the feeling of it banging her butt on the way off.

So… we went back to the beginning and just started working on getting OFF of the teeter.  For weeks, and weeks, AND WEEKS!  Finally two weeks ago, I could get Carla to go over a low teeter and drive off it enough so that it wasn’t hitting her on the way up. 

This week, we raised the teeter a bit and you can see that she’s a lot less concerned going off.  She’s driving towards the Manners Minder which you can’t see in the video.  You may be able to see that she is still flicking her ears back when she hears the bang, but all in all, I’m pretty happy with our progress.

I also want to teach Carla to hold something, partly because it’s cute, and partly because I have grand aspirations of someday getting a CDX.  I’m not quite sure how to go about this, but saw Sassie Joiris do something like this with one of her dogs at a seminar.  Hopefully I’ll get to see Sassie in a couple of weeks and she can help us along.

And finally we played around with some of the other body targets we know.  No goal here, just playing around.


Two Down, One to Go

June 8, 2009

So with one thing and another going on, I’m finally making time to get back to my blog.

After all, I have important news, Carla is only 1 leg away from her Rally Excellent title. Yeah!

Perry, Carla, and I spent the weekend in Syracuse so that we could go to the Syracuse Obedience Training Club trial. I finished Carla’s RA at this club’s January trial, and everyone was so nice, we decided to go back again. Perry decided to come along as well, so the kids spent a fun weekend with my brother and SIL, and we had grown up time AND a dog show – my kind of weekend!

Carla worked well both days. The judge for this trial was very nice, and put together an interesting course, but she was tough! The first day, we scored a 75. We IP’d (failed) 2 exercises, both entirely my fault. The first IP was on the Come Front Finish Left. The come front went fine, but when Carla finished, I look down and said “good dog” at which point she popped out of the sit. If I had been really on the ball and just moved forward we would have been fine (maybe a 1 point deduction) but instead, I had her sit again, which caused us to fail the exercise, 10 points gone. The other IP was on the Moving Down, I forgot to pause after walking around Carla. I KNOW I’m supposed to pause. I’ve been told by other judges that I MUST pause. I tell my students in the class I teach, that they MUST pause, but for some reason, my brain sees the word “Moving” and off I move, no pause, minus 10 points! The other 5 points were just sloppy heeling and sits – so Carla did great but is clearly hampered by her handler of little brain.

Today was better, Carla was a little distracted, but I was a little more together so together we did fine and scored 88. We lost 4 points for repeating an exercise, the 90 Degree Pivot -Left. Carla didn’t sit after the pivot and since we don’t usually have a problem with this, I wasn’t sure if she didn’t sit, or if she sat but popped back up. I wasn’t willing to risk the 10 points if she had popped, so we just redid the exercise and took the 4 point hit. (Turns out, as you can see in the video, that she didn’t sit, but I didn’t know that at the time.) Our other deductions were just onesy-twosies. I paused a second on the Moving Stand (which you can see in the video), and then right after the stand, on the Slow heeling I was trying to keep Carla slow, but was really giving her the same hand signal for Stand so she was a little confused. She also drifted a little at the heeling around the food bowls, and again when there was a furball floating by on the floor. I also finished the course by passing the last sign on the wrong side. Ugh. We did have a great back up, although Perry was so excited to watch it live, that he forgot to capture that exercise on film :~(

The honor exercise that I was really worried about went fine both days, although she almost broke her sit today when someone’s camera flash went off.

All in all, 2 Qs, 2 4th place rosettes, and a kid free night away from home. Priceless .

So, one more leg, and we’ll have our RE! I’m not sure what we’ll do after that. I’m not much interested in going after our RAE title, so we may try and buckle down and make some progress on agility. We had a breakthrough on our teeter work last week, so I’m feeling a little better about our agility prospects.

Between kids and work and life, I don’t think I’m going to make it down to Y2K9s this weekend.  So since I won’t have any agility to blog about, I thought I’d put together the history of our spider dog trick to date.

Carla and I took a dog tricks seminar with Sassie Joiris back in January.  One of the tricks she is teaching her dogs (Norfolk Terriers and a Whippet) is a handstand.  We decided to try it with Carla.

I started off sitting down facing her and getting her to back onto a folded towel.  Carla knows a few body targets, so she picked up on this pretty quickly.  Then I moved the towel to a ramp, and then started working with just a ramp.

Here’s our first try with the ramp, my camera operator is my 7 year old.  She charges a $1 for 5 minutes of camera work.  LOL

Here’s more of the same session, you can see that I raised the incline too quickly, but once we brought it back down, I thought Carla did quite nicely.

And finally:


She’s even better at it now, I can just squat near the wall instead of sort of coralling her with my legs.  Last night at the Beginner’s Rally class I help teach,  I was trying to demonstrate backing up to a target, but Carla kept trying to put her rear end up in the air, even without a wall.  I’ll try to get a more recent video soon.

I think the total amount of time we’ve spent working on this trick is probably about an hour – spread out over a few weeks of 5 – 7 minute sessions.   It was easy and fun and made us the hit of my dog training class!