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.