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.