Monday, April 22, 2013

Foundation Training and Surgery

Zen went for surgery this morning. I dropped him off at 8 and I'll pick him up when they call me. Hoping for a smooth transition to crate rest/leash walking and an easy recovery. Here's a short video of him yesterday. He wanted to train so bad.

Gus is doing awesome! His retrieve is coming along. Probably still going to be a while before he's really into it, but he's progressing well. He's running through the fully opened channel weaves right now and doing well. I've got to start making entries harder and adding in some movement elements on my part. I want to take it slow, but not so slow that progressing becomes hard. I need to add in tunnel, go back on our cik/cap and really get that going. I think he's going to LOVE flatwork because he enjoys running with me. So yeah, more of that too, and then introducing jumps and two on/two off. Seems like a TON.

It's different adopting a grown dog vs a puppy. You aren't waiting for them to develop before starting anything, its all just... ready when you are.

Anyway, VIDEO!

And Rumor. Working open channels. Making progress. Her entries are crap. She will get there.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Video Spam!


These are from last week, or the week before. Mostly Agility Foundations videos. I'm finding out I have a lot to work on with Gus, so I've gone back and am trying to teach him a clicked retrieve to build toy drive.

Group Mat work- this is embarassing. They ALL need a ton of work with this. Add that to our list of things to brush up on.

The fact that YouTube synchs with my blog is AMAZING. Makes sharing videos so much easier.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Broken, broken dog.

About a year ago Zen came up lame while chasing a frisbee and landing in wet grass. Crate rest overnight (I was about 18hour drive from my vet), and a plane ride back home and he was mostly fine. I rested him for 3 months. I instilled a strict "no frisbee" policy. I also pretty much didn't let him do anything that involved him chasing articles at high speeds. I threw a toy and made him wait until it landed and then sent him to said toy.

He would come up with a limp every now and then after strenuous exercise etc. I'm still thinking pulled muscle at this point. Commence more rest, anti-inflammatories and leash walks. Add in some strengthening exercises and stretches and chiropractor visits. He gets better. We start competing in agility. He's doing great. Zen starts refusing weaves in trials. Never at home, just trials.

More chiropractor, more stretches, more controlled exercise (treadmill/walking/swimming), massage, extensive warm-up and cool-down routines etc. We are taking time off from trialing for the summer as it's already hitting 80 degrees and I figured we needed to go back and rehash some things anyway. I signed up for Silvia Trkman's Agility Foundations class and I'm running through it with all three dogs. (TONS of video to be posted later) So, we get to the part with weaves, and after a good weaves session I notice Zen slightly (oh, so slightly) favoring that leg again.

Vet visit. I LOVE my vet, but to tell you the truth, throughout this whole thing I was scared to find out what the problem was. I honestly though it was a soft tissue injury and was doing my best with what I had. We don't have access to MRI or laser treatment in this area and was worried my vet wouldn't be able to do much for a soft tissue injury. Vets around here aren't big advocates of rehab programs. Heck, I have probably the only agility dogs my vet has ever seen. (Aside from one friend I know of who also does agility)

So after an exam, x-rays, and a long talk with my vet we have a game plan. Zen has Luxating Patella Grade II in his left rear leg. Surgery will be done Monday and Zen will be on 6 weeks of rest. He said in most pet dogs this would never be a problem, but since Zen is so active he said the surgery would be the best route. Prognosis is good, he said since he's not a large dog (54lbs) he expects him to be able to heal and be fully functional again. His words were "I'd be disappointed if this dog didn't go back to being an athlete". He also said, looking at x-rays there was no joint effusion and no reason to believe that there was any ligament tears or anything more serious than just the luxating patella. Of course, he won't be 100% sure until Mr.Zen's knee is opened up and he can see everything.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Video Galore!

We are auditing Silvia Trkman's online Foundations Agility class. Be prepared for LOTS of video documenting our progress. I'm trying to do the class with Zen and Gus, and sometimes Rumor for fun.

Here we go.

Here is Zen's conditioning and Strengthening video as well.

Friday, January 18, 2013

More Goals and Events

Alright, alright, alright. So I figured "Operation: Calm" wouldn't last long. hehe

I DO however, have some other goals for the dogs.

Zen and I have been working out a trial routine and we are getting better. I get him out of the van, potty him, then tug a bit. Then we enter the building and start doing tricks for treats. Spins, sit up, dance, leg weaves, heeling. This all keeps him focused and moving, then we enter the ring. So far, it's been working much better. After the run he gets a couple of treats then outside to tug and fetch and walk to cool down.

Gus has been doing some clicker work at home. Also some toy play. I really want to develop his toy drive a bit more. I'm just glad he has any right now since we got him as an older (almost adult) puppy. He catches on to the clicker stuff pretty fast, but he does so many cute things I have barely any finished behaviors.

Rumor, gah, Rumor. I need to stimulate her mind and really just, *do* something with her.

I have been working all of them on the exercise ball. I finally bought a peanut and it works much better than the big round ball. I need to work them a little more often. I also want to try the Crate Games DVD again with all three dogs.

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

January 1, 2013

I bet this is the most popular day to make a blog post. What, with all the New Year's resolutions still going strong in the first few hours of the morning. I want to set a few goals for myself to work on throughout the year. Some of these are just continuations of what I already do, other will be completely new.

1. Fitness- continue with my gym habit, hopefully improve on my running, continue with yoga, make some gains in the lifting department. I tried a bulk at the end of the year, so I need to cut that weight and see what, if anything, I gained.
      1B- Dog Fitness- Oh yeah. Roadworking the dogs more needs to be top of the list. I'd really like to get a treadmill since the number of loose dogs we have around our house is ridiculous. Zen did the treadmill at Brenda's house a while back, but the last time I tried him on it he was all "ZOMG, IT'S KILLING ME!" Sp, It'd be a lot of work, training him and Rumor and Gus all to use the treadmill. Biking is SO much easier, damn those loose dogs! Also under the dog fitness category is the exercise ball work and whatnot. I want to get one of those peanut balls because I think it will be easier than the big round ball I have now. I was also thinking of building a weight pull/drag contraption and have the dogs pull small weights around in the yard. We will see.

2. Photography- My skills need help. hah. My goal is to try shooting in manual/RAW all year. This could get interesting. I feel so overwhelmed with this that I have yet to pick up my camera in the couple of weeks I made this decision.

3. Training/Trialing- I really want to set some concrete goals this year. Get a routine for our trialing, go to the ring connected and focused. This is harder than it sounds for us. Zen gets very keyed up watching dogs run. I've tried tugging with him, which at this point only his attention marginally. This is interesting to me because he is a toy NUT at home, and often at trials he is a toy nut until he sees the dog in the ring. I've tried having him lay down, which only results in him barking relentlessly (annoying to me and others). My other strategy is tricks and heeling using food. This is currently working, but my goal is to reward for that calm focused behavior in the presence of running dogs and hopefully, eventually, it will result in us being connected and focused on each other before the run.

I want to do more training at home. Motivate myself to get out there and work with the dogs. I need to improve each dog's mat behavior so I can work with all three of them in the room at the same time.

4. Hiking- DO MORE HIKING. More outdoor time is needed! :) Oh, I think I'll stop here. I have more goals, but this seems like a lot already. :)