Well, first things first.  Carla and I headed out to Springfield, MA over the 4th of July where we finished our RE title and earned our first 2 RAE legs.   I was particularly pleased about our performance because last year at this show, we had a lot of issues.  This venue is tough because it’s a large, busy, show; and the rally ring is set up right along the corridor where people come in and out of the building, so there are LOTS of distracting things going on.  Last year was our first attempt competing off lead and we weren’t quite ready for that level of noise and distraction.  This year, we were much better prepared, Carla even held her Sit for the honor when a big scary dumpster was pushed past us.  I was so proud of her.  So here’s the picture from Wednesday when we finished our RE title:

 Our RE!

I eventually want to transition to Novice, so we will continue to work on our RAE legs, while I continue to work on fading my cues.  After 3 days of Rally at the Springfield shows, we headed down to Enfield, CT, for the Portuguese Podengo Club of America Specialty.  The judge, Luis Gorjao Henriques, put Carla up out of 7 entries in Open.  He was also very helpful (and patient!) after the show when he discussed the merits of individual dogs.   He liked Carla’s topline, tail and coat.  He also commented on her attitude <g>.  He said she is a little small, could have a more triangular head, and a better ear set.  All in all I was pleased with the results.  Here is our picture with the judge and the show secretary:

Carla 2009 Specialty

The photographers at the show, Agile Images, were fantastic.  In addition to shooting win pictures, a video of the event, and candids, they kindly agreed to take some pictures of Carla’s spider dog trick.  To see all the pictures from the specialty, visit the Agile Images website here: http://www.agile-images.com/

Carla does her Spider Dog Trick at the 2009 Specialty

Carla does her Spider Dog Trick at the 2009 Specialty

 

In other news, our teeter performance continues to improve!  After our last teeter session, some friends pointed out that Carla was cueing off of my motion at the end of the teeter.   So we worked some more on this in my last session with Sassie.  Sassie was kind enough to videotape it for me so you can see our progress.  The teeter is slightly higher than what we worked on before,  and Sassie did a great job of directing me to run FAST past the end of the teeter. 

Here’s a clip of some of the work we did.  I was pleased with the improvement.  On the last run, there’s some yummy stuff (can’t remember the name) that’s sort of like play-doh at the end of the teeter that Carla is stopping to eat.

We’re going down to Y2K9 tomorrow to work some more.

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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.

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!