Saturday, December 3, 2016

Recall/Circle Work/Mat Work Videos

Training video from the last couple of weeks. Most of these were taken on different days/different sessions.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Reese's First Workshop

   I guess I've been busy letting my puppy be a puppy. She's 10 months old now, and I look around at some other dogs her age and they know tunnels, and wrap jumps, lots of flatwork. Reese and I are just taking our time. She has lots of skills, and for a while, shaping games were a little frustrating to her, so we didn't do those. We did other things. I think her foundations for herding are excellent, she's really got the drive for it now, where months ago I felt she was a little "blah" on sheep, never turned off, just not super super gung ho. I think by our next Larry Painter clinic (in Feb) she'll really be ready to learn the next steps and she'll be resilient enough to take some pressure, so I'll be able to push her out some more and build on what we've done so far.

   I signed Reese up for a Recall Workshop in the Dallas area the day after Thanksgiving. I was just hoping for a fun experience and some fun games to bring home and play with, along with what we really need, working in front of other dogs/people. When I work dogs at home, its usually low distraction. It's just me, and the dog. Maybe I'll have the other dogs in the general area, or on a stay waiting their turn, but Reese is used to that now. I was super pleased with her at this workshop. I wasn't sure if she'd play in that exciting environment, but she was game! She tugged and played, and fetched each and every time I asked/offered. She waited in line for her turn with barking, lunging dogs and just kind of chilled out with me. This girl has a fabulous off-switch, and that came programmed in. All I did was reinforce it. Someone had a small mat outside the ring and she saw it, went right to it and just layed down while we waited our turn. Treats fall from the sky when you're relaxed, she knows this.

   Reese even did side by side restrained recalls (she's actually never done a restrained recall before this workshop). I really thought the dog running next to her would distract her, but she came right in to the toy I had and never took a second look at the other dog.

   I was kind of wishing I'd brought Gus, I'm again toying with trying to get him ready for agility. I've been working some foundations with Reese (circle work/circling an upright object, personal play, food play, toy play), and so I've been doing these with Gus too, and he seems game to play. So I'll just see where it leads.

   Video from the workshop. All I brought was my phone, and I didn't know anyone well enough to ask for video, but they have a camera on delay, so you can watch your runs after you're finished, so I snapped a little video from that. This was a hide and seek game, where the instructor took the dog away while the handler goes to hide, then they let the dog loose into the arena. This game told me a lot about our relationship and I fully thought my puppy wouldn't look for me, but she did! She liked this game, so I'm going to start doing this some at home. Sorry for the quality, its a video of a video.

Friday, November 4, 2016

October Update

Reese had her first official conformation shows in October, all small shows with just a few points available. Our main goal was to have fun and keep all 4 feet on the floor. I'd say Reese had a pretty good first month! She was shown 5 times and took winners bitch 3 out of 5 times. So she's up to 3 single points towards her championship.

The plan is to show in my local area on weekends that don't have either a herding trial or agility trial, so our conformation shows will be limited for a while. She's still a baby and I like to let my dogs grow up some before I really try to finish them in conformation.

Reese has her very first workshop/seminar coming up. The day after Thanksgiving we will go for a few hour workshop on recalls, hoping to solidify our skills with some fun drills and distractions.

Zen has a UKI trial coming up where our goal is to push for speed and have FUN. We are doing an online class currently. More on that later.

Both dogs will be doing a 3 day herding clinic in December which I am super excited about.

Anyway, those are the main updates that I've missed, so here are a few videos from the past few weeks.

Tuesday, October 4, 2016

Zen Skills and Drills

Taking a fun 6 week online course where we get a course to set up and then multiple options. So I set the course then move the numbers around for each different option. We get our new courses on Monday, then have all week to work through the options.

Here is Week 1 option A

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Quick Update

Yet again, I've been quite busy and haven't had much time to update. Life goes on, and training and trialing are still happening. I've hardly been home, except to go to work during the week. :)

With fall weather on it's way, I've been doing more herding. YAY! We have two upcoming herding clinics this winter/early spring and after that I hope to have Zen ready to trial. Reese may not be far behind him, but I'm not rushing anything. We all have a lot to learn. She has a bit more advantage than Zen ever has because I have more experience under my belt, so she doesn't have to be the experimental dog. Zen doesn't mind though, he's game for anything. <3 p="">

Reese is still in her Foundation Fun class, and doing well, I haven't had much time to film, or edit video, but FUN is being had.

Her first official conformation show in this weekend. A small local show. She definitely needs time to mature, but we will show in the puppy classes and just have a good time. If we take a point or two, yay, if not, we will still have fun. I don't get in a rush to finish dogs anyway.

October is FULL of trials and shows, so hopefully I'll update more frequently. Always check my YouTube channel, I uploaded video from a couple of the last agility trials. I don't usually get much video.

Wednesday, August 24, 2016

Herding Video

Video of both dogs from 8-24-16

Zen, driving, walking, flanks.

Reese, round pen, off balance flanks, moving flanks, "there", stop, walk. Yes, halfway in I was using the wrong words for flanks, but I caught myself. :)

Foundations Class Video Week 2

Videos for our foundations class, week two.

Tuesday, August 16, 2016

More Conditioning/Foundation

Just more video guys, get excited. :)

Monday, August 15, 2016

More video!

Lots of video for this foundations class. :) I'm trying to stay motivated, so far, so good. We get a new lesson on Tuesday. Yay!

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Foundations Class Video

Determined to fully participate in this class. Some of our first video of some lessons.

Monday, August 8, 2016


I love the outdoors and it seems I just don't do enough hiking. Its about a 1.5-2 hour drive for me to get to the Ouachita mountains in Arkansas, so that kind of puts me off a little. A couple weeks ago we went to let the dogs swim in the river and enjoy a trip away from home. I mentioned to Travis that I still want to do more hiking and possibly an over night hike. While on the way home we stopped into some gas stations and picked up some maps of hiking trails and stuff.

Last week I kept looking at the maps, and online and searching for a good hike, just to get back into it. I chose an equestrian trail, and figured if we came up to the trail head and saw a bunch of horse trailers I'd hike a different trail. Well, it was clear, I was the only car in the lot, I took all 4 dogs with me. We had a great time! The actual trail I think was 13 mile out and back, but we walked about 2.5-3 miles in and came back. I didn't want to push it too far, and as it was, when I got home I realized Gus had torn pads on both front feet, and one of Zen's was slightly cracked. The two girls were fine. No limping on the trail though.

It was 95 degrees outside, and I'd heard on the radio that the heat index was 112, well, it wasn't quite that bad. There was good cloud coverage, and the trail was shaded almost the entire way, with lots of creeks to stop and wade in for the dogs.

Friday, August 5, 2016

Morning Herding

This one gets to be about Zen!

A few days ago I built a new y-chute at the entrance/exit of our "front pasture". We have been keeping the lambs up there overnight and letting them out during the day to graze. When we need to corral them up for worming or inspections, weighing, etc they get super suspicious and do not want to cooperate. So, my idea was, build a semi-permanent y-chute to the entrance exit of the field, then run them in and out of it every day so they get used to it. Then, when we need to look at them or grab one of them, we just corral them in there, do the quick and dirty, and let them out, just like normal. So I built it, and they followed a grain bucket into the field, then the next day I go to let them out, and they could not figure out how to get out. By evening time when it was time for them to get put up none of them had ever figured out how to get out.... (what the heck?!?! They are normally escape artists)

I told Travis to just leave them in and lock them up and Zen and I would use it as a challenge to try to show them they could in fact, run through the y-chute in the other direction.

So yesterday morning, I go out and open the gate to give them free access to the rest of the property, and Zen and I go in with intentions of bringing them out. This field is much bigger than the two practice fields I have been working Zen in, so I knew it'd be a bit of a challenge. The sheep were in the back corner (If I was guessing, a two acre field, with lots of trees, and a creek). They were up on a hill, so I feel like Zen had a decent visual of them when I sent him, and he did fairly well, needed some initial correcting on staying out wide, but I figured he would. Staying wide in a small field is important, and staying wide in a larger field is even more important. We spent some time on that, just getting him to "out" while moving, and taking flanks while he was already moving. Also, tightened up some on his "there" commands. He's (mostly) checking up and changing pace now when I give the "there" command, instead of having to stop him every time. I'm also noticing, he doesn't always feel the need to bring the sheep to me, which is great. So I can send him, tell him "there" and have him turn in, slow up, and walk the sheep in a line from that point. We worked those sheep for probably 30 minutes. Not hard, obviously, the sheep had the advantage in that large field. They only ran if they wanted to. Every time Zen had control of the group we were walking them. He got to cover a few times, and I still want him to push out a little more on his cover, but over all I was really impressed that he seems to know his job is to get to the head and turn the whole group, no just single one out. So we would drive the sheep to the front, and my goal was to just walk them down the fence line and then push them through the chute, but that never happened. They would get to the opening of the chute and then take off, so those were the times Zen had to cover, then that would open up the other side, and they'd dart that way, and he'd cover, and we'd be in the same position again. I tried walking in front of them, like a fetch, same thing. They'd follow me for a bit, then see the chute and thought "not going through there", so while we never accomplished the goal, I still felt he did some awesome work out there. All of the elements are coming together. Since I was wanting the task done, but went out there to train, I was pretty much focused on making sure Zen was right, so if his flank was a little flat, or tight, we fixed it. Even if the sheep left and I had to send him again. I am glad for the training we got done.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Conformation and Conditioning

Reese and I attended the Longview Kennel Club dog show. Not as participators, mainly just as spectators, and spectate we did! Two days of ringside sitting, and watching, and trick dogging. Reese was happy because apparently more people want to pet her at conformation than they do at agility or the pet store. There were quite a few spectator kids and she likes kids. So every time I saw one looking at her I made sure to tell them "you can pet her", then made sure she kept all 4 feet on the ground. :)

At first Reese was a little .... worried about the building. This isn't a big show, but its a small building, so everyone is crowded inside. Then, I forgot how conformation dogs often bark and lunge at the crates, much more than we are used to seeing. So she was a little put off by that. True to personality, she warmed up quickly, and while I can't say she got over the barking/rude dogs (can't say I blame her), she wasn't nearly as weirded out by them.

Reese showed in her first fun match Saturday evening and did fabulous! She let the judge look in her mouth, no problem, and she loved every minute of it. She did a few bouncy bounces on the go-round, and needs work on gaiting behind another dog, but it'll come. No need to rush, I just want her having fun for now.

So, yet another hotel stay under Reese's belt! This time we stayed with a friend and her sheltie, so that was a little different. All good things.

At home we have been doing regular walks and conditioning, keeping me and the dogs in shape for fall agility. We have done a little herding, but it's been so hot I haven't done much. This weekend we may do a hike in some mountains nearby.

Fun Match picture of Reese and me

River trip from a couple weeks ago.

Conditioning video

Monday, July 18, 2016

UKI Agility Weekend

Yes, I keep saying it, I take summers off from agility, then I keep entering trials. Well, Reese kind of threw a wrench in our "summer off" plans. Can't stay home when puppy socialization is available!

This was an indoor UKI trial at a pretty busy business. It's a pet grooming/boarding/training business with lots of doors and halls and two large areas, one for crating, one for the ring. So lots of hustle and bustle, and plenty of noise and novel things for Reese to experience. We have been there before, but this was Reese's first time there. Also, she has another hotel stay under her belt, and her first time getting to use a travel (fabric) crate. She did great! I was a little worried, but her crate training skills are much improved, and not once did she do any chewing or attempting to escape.

Saturday we entered 4 runs and came out with one Q, in gamblers. It's kind of "our thing". Zen was fabulous and focused. Only minor bobbles kept us from Q'ing in our other runs. I think a weave pop out, and a late rear cross which caused a refusal. One error I'll let him claim, the other was totally mine. :) So proud of how he did, especially since I worried I'd pushed him too much after the neuter (3 weeks out, as of today).

Sunday We Q'ed again in gamblers. And again, minor bobbles elsewhere. One bar in an otherwise phenomenal speedstakes run (5.3+ YPS), then even with having to restart weaves after he popped out at pole 3 Zen was over 5 YPS in jumpers as well. What a dude! We used our free mulligan run to work on startline stays and weaves.

Reese got her first measurement (at 5 months it's hardly official) just for fun and practice. I'll say, that's the closest I have come to actually training her for conformation ;) She was a good girl. Stood still and wasn't weirded out by the wicket. She loved on the judge a little, and he got a measurement of 16 3/4". Awesome! I think she will mature between 17-18" , which will be perfect.

Both days she did lots of walking around, toy play, restrained sends to a toy, tugging, recalls, two toy games, some tricks, and some easy stuff, sit to stand to down to stand etc. Lots of greatness from that pup.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

Not MIA, Just Busy.

Wow, the last couple of months has been super busy!

The last time I posted was before Reese's first agility trial. I drove all the way to Belton, TX for a USDAA trial. That's kind of unheard of for me, because usually I hit trials within 2-3 hours of home, I also usually don't trial between May-September. Puppies change that a little. Belton is a covered dirt arena, two rings. This was Zen's first trial in Masters Gamblers. YAY! The first day we had a conflict and I chose to skip our gamblers run. He needs the legs to get out of advanced, we will be in masters from here on out, so plenty of time to rack up legs there. Over all he had a great trial, everything felt really connected and he had some awesome runs (sadly one with a timer malfunction, and I messed up the rerun), but regardless, he finished up his advanced jumpers title. I think he lacks one leg in adv snooker, and still needing that silly starters standard leg! haha. Reese did fabulous, she made an aussie friend and a corgi friend, and a valhund friend and got to walk around lots and do tricks and meet people. Not bothered at all by the noise or anything. I was really glad I went, even if I had to drive until 1am Friday night to get there :P

Reese also got a quick intro to sheep, which she loved, then we attended a herding clinic in Louisiana and she got to participate in the round pen. FABULOUS! I have video, I'm just really slow and neglectful with my editing.

After that herding clinic we came home, did one day of a UKI trial (that I also entered for socialization). Zen rocked it there, too, and came home with a standard Q, so he's out of beginner UKI standard. Reese also had fun and got to meet up with her corgi friend again and played in the pool and just in general got to see the sights and sounds of agility again.

The next thing was the Larry Painter herding clinic we attend in Missouri. Reese's first week long camping trip, and she stayed in the tent (crated of course). We had a great time. Someone dropped out of the clinic due to work/home issues, so another participant and I split the spot. Reese got more chances in the round pen, and we got some amazing work in. It was nice to work her on more "dog broke" sheep than what I'm used to. We worked on stop, and "there", and walk ups, flanks and off balance flanks, call offs, attitude, squaring up her flanks. We got a lot of good work in. Again, there is video, but I'm bad about editing/posting. Zen also had a great time! I just love that dog. We really fixed his walk, and worked on his out, flanking, flanking while moving. Everyone noticed a big difference in him from our clinic there last year. I'm debating on finding time to trial later this year or possibly first of next year.

Right after our herding trip I scheduled Zen for a neuter. I had no reason to get it done until now. His being intact has never been a problem, and he's run agility around bitches in season, and done herding around the same without issue. However, now that Reese is getting older I just didn't want to deal with him being intact when she cycles twice a year. He's 6, so he's fully grown, and while I'd prefer to keep him intact, it was just the easiest option. The neuter was without issue, and he was crated (and wore two cones of shame) for about 5 days post op to make sure everything healed well. Then I started testing him without the cone for a bit. He did great, and we are over two weeks post neuter so I feel confident saying NO COMPLICATIONS. The incision is well healed, and he has resumed all activity (even herding).

Next weekend we are doing another UKI trial, gotta keep that puppy out and being social, then later this month Reese will attend her first conformation show. Probably just going to do the fun match, but we will stay the whole weekend with a friend and watch her show.

Reese turns 6 months old on July 27 and she's really growing up and making lots of improvements in just the last month or so. I had taken some time off from shaping behaviors with her because she would get a little frustrated and bark/scream at me. Which I really hate. Sometimes she would work through it,  but sometimes not, so I just took a break from that. We did a shaping session last night and she moved from behavior, to behavior, then to offering without bark/screaming or getting frustrated. I even pushed her quite a bit by making the 4-in box too small for her. So I'm thinking that work ethic and desire to work, and attention span have all finally meshed together to a point we can do more shaping. Also, I think all the baby teeth have come out, so she's back to tugging well and actually playing the toy switch game, not running off with the toy to play by herself. She is also working for her food now. As a younger pup she was not super food motivated and I'd have to use hot dogs or bil-jac or something to entice her to take the treat reward. Last night she worked completely for her kibble. I love this stage! I see lots of learning in the near future.

Sunday, May 15, 2016

Reese on Sheep

First time on sheep at 14.5 weeks. (yay!)

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Camping April 2016

It's tradition. We do two big camping trips a year. The dogs go, we go with a big group of friends, its a good time. Reese was initiated! She loved camping, everyone loved her. She loved them. Fabulous.

Biggest problem, EVERYONE was calling her name trying to get her to come sit in their lap or cuddle. She was usually running back and forth, chasing Zen or Gus and in general, not in a position where I would have been using her name to get her attention. So we will be spending a lot of time building value for her name again. The socialization was great though. I wouldn't let her swim in the river because it rained, literally all day and all night Friday, and the water was WAY up. Too much current for her baby swim skills.

She gets more confident every day. Her shaping sessions are getting better/easier. She does basically whine/bark when frustrated, so I'm hoping we will work through that, too. Oddly, she has a lot of traits that remind me of Rumor, maybe it's just a girl thing ;)

No video from last week, I guess I was too busy and forgot to set it up, I took some this morning though. Going to work through lesson two of our Puppy Foundations class with Silvia Trkman.

Stacked photo from yesterday. She's getting so big! I had to readjust her harness, its no longer too big for her!

Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Girl Dogs

Girl dogs are different than boy dogs. lol

I am still learning about Reese and what motivates her, what she does to tell me she's getting something or she's confused. So far I've been hit or miss. I felt I learned a lot from editing and watching our video from the first week. She doesn't like switching from one task to another. Which can be hard... "hey, we have been backing up all session, I can't offer anything else right now". She seems to get distracted and quit working when she gets unsure or when I introduce something new.

Last night, I tried to shape laying down on a mat, we need some kind of laying down to get the frog behavior she needs for our online class. She tried for a few seconds to figure out what that mat was doing in her training area, then she lost interest and went and looked out the window, checked out the boarder dog crates, and just generally wouldn't participate. So I got Zen out. Which went differently than I wanted. I wanted to work with him a little and strike up some jealousy and have her barge into the session. Instead Zen got to practice his mat behavior with a puppy bouncing on his head. Then she lost interest in that, worked with me on a couple of reps, then kind of fizzled out again. Zen loved all of it and got to do some conditioning work and heeling also. He thought this was great fun, and "puppy, what puppy?!" he said I can't distract him with a silly puppy.

Then I did dog nails again. Which Reese didn't care for. She fought a little more this time, but all 4 feet are done, and I'll do them again in a couple of days.

Oddly enough, this morning I get out the mat, bring it into the living room and Reese was game to play. I got the down on the mat, and even some small stretches towards frog, so I ended the session. We will do another morning session before work, probably with something different. After her tiny meltdowns, the next session is usually 100% better, so I'm hoping she can work through that and learn to continue offering even when she isn't too sure.

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Friday, April 22, 2016

Settling In

Reese is really settling in and it's making it easier to get to know her personality and work with her.

She's a much more willing participant now that she's getting our routine now. She's a pretty quick learner, offering behaviors quite easily now. She's starting to get pivoting on an object.

She's been here 5 days and I have dremeled her nails twice. The first time she struggled a bit and wouldn't take treats. Last night she layed on her back in my lap and ate canned dog food after each foot was done. Success! I'll continue to do her nails weekly, or twice weekly, (or however often I need to). First of all, to keep her nails short, second, to keep her accustomed to having it done.

I have lots of video I hope to process this weekend of her training sessions.

Toy play is going well and getting more intense. She's loving the tug. Right now she likes the rubber milk inflation toys and I have a cowhide bite bar on a string that she likes a lot. She will play with just about anything, but those two are favorites.

Loves stuffed kongs and she gets a frozen recreational bone at bedtime.

Crate training is coming along and the past two nights she waited patiently for me to get her up rather than her getting us up. YAY!!!

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New Puppy!

I'd like to chronicle our training sessions and progress, so I'm coming back to the blog format. I'll publish this publicly, but this is mostly for my own use, and memory, so the thoughts may be fragmented and scattered.

ACD puppy, named Reese, DOB 1-27-16, picked her up from the breeder 4-16-16, approx. 11 weeks old.

Crate training is not her forte, she settles in eventually, but she doesn't care for it. :)
She met Zen within 30 minutes of picking her up and she did ok with that. He mostly ignored her after his initial sniff, and went off to potty and stretch his legs (we did an 11 hour drive that day). Reese mostly hung out near me, she walks on a leash, and pottied without issue.

At home she met the other dogs and was appropriate, as were they, she was submissive, but not obsessively so. She has an interest in chickens, which goes from not sure about them, when they flock out of the coop all at once, to stalking them occasionally. I'm ok with that for now. Don't want to squash any interest in livestock, but if it goes beyond stalking she will be discouraged. I can't have a chicken killer :)

There is an expen set up in the living room for her, toys and blankets. Shes pretty good about chilling in there. She loves kongs stuffed with canned dog food. She does bark and carry on occasionally, but will usually settle in the ex pen better than her crate.

Day 2, she met my friend Deidra, and two of her shelties, and was appropriate. Seemed to have no problem meeting other dogs. She took a trip to petsmart and got a harness and walks beautifully on that. Shes a leash tugger, which is ok with me. I love toy drive, and she's not obsessive about it.

Also took a trip to tractor supply and did great. She's great meeting new people and walking around.

Riding in the crate was, ok. Still barking initially, but settles in.

Field time with the other dogs, she mostly sticks by me. Rumor and Zen race and bark loudly and she's not sure about that. Plus the other dogs run so fast I can see where she'd be unsure about joining in yet. She will run after them some.

Each day she's up at 6 am.

Clicker sessions are going well. Shes doing a paw touch to an object, I have used a Frisbee, metal dog bowl, and paw pod, she will work with all of them. She does get distracted at times. I'm thinking shes just not used to focusing on a task and working through. She gets better each session. Nothing is on command yet. Working on learning her name.

Some places/times she will take treats and others she wont. She's usually always game to play with toys. I think the food motivation will come. She is already improving.

Day 3, nose touch to hand session and paw target sessions. Both went well and I switched between behaviors in one session. Still not into taking treats outside while in the field with the other dogs, she will occasionally. Tugging and retrieving has improved. Shes an independent player, likes to take her toy off and chew it and play little games by herself. Restrained retrieves to a toy were good, and I like having a long hallway to use for that. Outside time is cut short due to all of the rain.

I took her in the car to work today so I could potty her more frequently and she could have more positive time in the crate. That went well, and Travis came by and picked her up when he got off work.

Today, now I'm caught up on most everything from the last 4 days. Today she woke up at 2:30 to potty, then again at 6, and I successfully had her go back to bed until 7:45, which was awesome. She wasn't silent, but her barking fits were shorter and less intense, I think we are getting there. Travis doesn't go in to work until 2:30pm, so she will have a shorter time in the crate today. I will be home my 6:30pm. I didn't do a morning shaping session, just some tugging and retrieve games and snuggling. Then she had a stuffed kong and is currently napping in the ex-pen.

We are enrolled in Silvia Trkman's puppy class, so I need to get some video for that. Hopefully I can post that soon.