Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Living With A Shy or Fearful Dog
Debbie Jacobs, the creator of the www.fearfuldogs.com
website and author of A Guide To Living &
Working With A Fearful Dog and the Fearful Dogs
Life with her own fearful dog Sunny has provided
Debbie with insights into fear based behaviors
and how to change them. This not-to-be missed
presentation is important for anyone involved
with dog care, training and rescue.
Whether your dog is timid or extremely fearful,
there are ways you can help! Learn why your dog
is afraid and what you can do about it. Begin taking steps toward creating a more
Saturday, October 10, 2009 2p-5p
At Your Barkin Call, Gray ME
$20 general public
$10 for shelter & rescue staff
Pre-registration suggested as space is limited.
Owners are asked to attend without dogs.
For more information contact Gooddogz Training 207-671-2522
Tuesday, September 29, 2009
I spent a couple hours watching World Team videos. Man those dogs are fast. Man those handlers RUN the whole length of the dog walk with their dogs, managing their contacts, being RIGHT there to be sure the dog hits the contact. I didn't watch them all - there are hundreds - but I watched a lot and only saw one handler with a papillon actually pull off the dog walk and her dog nailed the contact. Cool dog! But, watching all those World Team members managing contacts, running right with their dogs made me go.......hmmmmmm.
I came home and RAN with Spur. Ran back and forth, over and over. His speed picked up, his contacts were nailed every time. He looked happy and was driving on to it. OK, how do I teach my good weave poles? I have them weave a couple of times, twice/day. Over and over, muscle memory, practice good weaves, makes for good weaves. How did I start Spur's dog walk? He ran it several times/day, over and over, getting faster and faster. So, we are back to that. Working it twice/day, running back and forth. It's a lot of work for me!!! My legs hurt............
**Dr. Dodman wants to see Roscoe again. It's been 3 1/2 years, so that's probably a good thing. He thinks maybe he just needs a tweaking of his prescription. Appointment is the 15th.
Monday, September 28, 2009
"I want a new drug, one that won't hurt my head, one the won't make my mouth too dry, or make my eyes too red"
Do you suppose Roscoe is not getting the effects of the Buspirone any more? He was started on it back in the fall of 04 and is currently on 5mg BID. I noticed a back sliding with his behavior around the first of this year. Just a slight difference, seeing the old Roscoe showing up on occasion. More reactive to other dogs and strangers. Then this summer we started with some marking in the house.
Also, I was using Xanax to help him with his trial stress for a couple years, but didn't need it the last year or so. He does agility and can be FANTASTIC and is very close to his championship, however this past year we are back to that downed performance/stress situation and the Xanax is no longer working for him. It just seems like we are slowly going back to the way he was before. Reactive with other dogs, stressed at trials and now this new marking.
He is currently wearing a belly band inside, which does stop the marking and he will wear for the rest of his life, if needed. He is ten this year. Another new behavior that we are seeing is humping. At times he launches on us or people he knows well, or not. Good GRIEF, the crazy buggar even humped a judge after getting a perfect score in obedience and when the judge handed me the ribbon and congratulated me, damn if that little shit didn't go try to hump HER!!! :O I was HORRIFIED, but luckily the judge took it in stride. I pulled him off immediately, but GOOD GRIEF!!!
The change in my household that perhaps could explain some of this is we adopted a young male dog (neutered at the shelter at age 3 months) in Dec. 07. That dog turned two this year in August. Roscoe gets along with him OK, but gets a little over-stimulated by that youngster and they do play a chase me game in the yard, where Roscoe will SCREAM and chase the youngster. Could explain the marking, but I am not sure about the behavior slide. It just seems to me that the Buspirone is no longer working. He is back to being on edge and reacting to things that I think before the Buspar helped keep a handle on.
Do you suppose he could use a new drug?
Thanks! Amy Carlson
I'll let you know what he says. I can't believe it has been so long since our first appointment with Dodman. Boy, time flies!
Saturday, September 26, 2009
It was a show-n-go, but I tried to make it like a show. They had a running order and timer, we had 90 seconds to do whatever we wanted. You will see in this video clip that I stop to reward the table a bunch. That's the time spent at the table - lots of cookies there.
Another jumpers run with TWO back crosses!!! We don't do back crosses well!!! He looked like a champ!! Nice, tight wrap around the wing jump! Good little Monkey Pants!! -
In this standard I stop and reward his poles. These poles had different bases then he has ever seen and his first run he missed the entry. Poles are not his weak point and he does them well and nicely and missing an entry here (a very rare event, he has nice weaves) didn't concern me, but I wanted to reward a good go since he is a worry wart and these were a new look to him.
I was very proud of the little buggar and I think I feel like he really is ready for the BARK trial Columbus Day weekend. I really do! The only thing I felt a little bummed about was his trotting on the dog walk. He worries about his job on the dog walk and I have got to make that more fun. We had some great, fast running dog walks for a while there, then when I started to really get on him for making sure he was getting his contact, he started slowing down. I am going to work on that, but that is a real project for me. I can't seem to figure out a consistent and clear and easy and definite way to get him running his dogwalk. He totally understands his hit-it board. I can totally know when he has hit it. But, he worries about it and is starting to slow down some. Ugh. I am going to start running it with him really close and being RIGHT there to reward the contact and be sure he gets it. He is much more likely to launch if I pull far away or off to the side. I may have to pick my battles and stay RIGHT with him on it for a while. No independent dog walks until we get a ton of good reps of being right. I don't know what else to do.
Friday, September 25, 2009
My flower pot just gets nicer and nicer! Thanks Miracle Grow!
The marsh maples are showing some really nice color. Here is sweet Jewel enjoying a muzzle free graze! She can have about a half hour or so this time of year, a couple times/day. See how the sun makes things look half and half and really bright on one side. I am not sure why I like that so much.
California Poppies!! They are an annual and I simply tossed the seeds in the gardens this spring! They fill up my garden and add such bright color this time of year when many of my flowers have gone by. They grew up in between the shoots of Russian Sade - love that lavender and orange together!!! They just go on and on!!!
Thursday, September 24, 2009
This photo was taken last year. I don't know why I like it so much. They look like little gophers who popped their heads out of their holes when they heard us approach, or maybe little pop up toys you could bop on the head and push back into the hole only to pop out again after recharging the springs, not five dogs waiting for their Charlee Bears for being good at sit/stay.
Wednesday, September 23, 2009
Monday, September 21, 2009
My exclusive interview with Spur -
AC - We have a show-n-go coming up this weekend. It will be your first and our real life test to see if you are ready for the BARK trial. What do you think, can you handle it?
Spur - You left me with Lisa last weekend and the shihtzu's. Why didn't I get to go with you? I missed you.
AC - OK, I am trying to seriously consider your feelings and ask if you think you are ready for this weekend. I had to leave you last weekend, I am sorry.
Spur - I don't like being left home, although Lisa is really cool. I LOVE Lisa!
AC - I am NOT kidding, I am asking a serious question, what about this weekend? Are you ready?
Spur - Yeah, I am ready. Will Lisa be there? I LOVE Lisa!
AC - No, she has to work. But, lots of your friends will be there. There will be contacts to run and you need to hit the contact zone, do you think you can do that?
Spur - Yeah, I can do that. I can also do back flips and jump really high straight up in the air and scream like a circus freak!! Especially if you bring Roscoe and run him first. I can scream and go crazy and wear monkey pants and pumpkin heads. And maybe Cindy will be there? I LOVE Cindy!
AC - What about back crosses? Will you do any back crossing or sending to tunnels, then wraps around jumps and call offs from the A-Frame? Can you do those things for me?
Spur - Maybe Mary will be there. I LOVE Mary.
AC - Spur, really, now concentrate. Can you handle doing this weekend's show-n-go and not melt down and instead be all crazy and happy for me like you are now in class and at home? Is it just about the love, or do you have fun doing agility, too?
Spur - Yes, I LOVE you.
This sort of gnawing cleans his molars.
But, it does depend on how hard they gnaw and once they get the meat and grizzle off I am careful not to leave them with the bones for too long. My Jess chewed so hard she broke a molar one time, so I am very careful. That was a major bummer, it had to come out.
Thursday, September 17, 2009
She clearly hits the yellow zone with her right rear foot. I bet that was one of the many contacts the judge called on us over the weekend. I KNOW, running like that is risky, she is BARELY getting it, but she IS getting it! It's like the strike zone at the Red Sox game Wednesday night and Colby is an Angel's batter, right? Called a ball when it was really a strike. DAMNIT!!! (That would be DAMNIT for Colby's called contact, not the ball game. We liked that outcome!!!! LOL!!!) One reason I am trying like heck to teach Spur he MUST hit the contact zone with his FRONT feet. Last time I videoed him it was about 50% front feet hits and 50% back feet hits. I would like a better ratio.
I may not post much for the weekend. Busy watching the FCI World Champion Agility competition going on in Austria right now, via live video streaming. This is THE event of the year. The "Worlds"!!! And I even know some people there. OK, maybe they would not know my name, but they might know me if someone said "The chick with the black MinPins". Plus, it's my mom's 70th birthday, so we are heading up to Brooksville for a party!!!
A little hard to see in this video, but I could barely keep up on the first four jumps!! He was straining on the start line to go! Then I make a terrible back cross at the serpentine and nearly collide with him. Oops, a month ago that might have melted him down to mush, a wringing his tiny paws in worry, barely able to work after that, not trusting that I won't step on him or bonk him in the head. It happens. It used to happen a lot. My heart would sink, his tiny little pumpkin head would melt into a liquidy pumpkin mash, only good for making pie, not running agility. I am only human and these things happen. Bad handling, bad decisions mid-course, it happens. OK, maybe it doesn't happen to all my good handling friends, all champion and going to the Nationals and shaving micro-seconds off their times, but it happens - to ME! With my tiny paw wringing puppymill bust Spurminator. However..............watch this video and see what happens!! We nearly crash, I try like heck not to worry about it and make it like it is no big deal, ask for the next jump with a back cross (huh? we don't do back crosses well, so ask for ANOTHER???), which he does beautifully, my plan to then reward the heck out of him, but NO........off he goes and does his weaves. Like ALL his weaves, he goes to the end!! I snap out of my stupid, frozen, worry bubble I am stuck in and run to reward his good effort. Good man, wanted to work, wanted to be right, worried some, but un-wrapped his tiny paws from his bubble-of-worry, put on his best little monkey pants and did a nice set of poles!!!!
We then go back, start over, I do a fairly nice front cross which sets him up nicely for the next back cross to the weaves and look how fast he weaves!! Charging into the tunnel after that for a lovely finish!! This all would never have happened a month ago. The Spurminator has made a change! Bubbles-of-worry last for only seconds now. Not days. Maybe he IS ready for the BARK trial in October?
Wednesday, September 16, 2009
Did you know dragonflies can bite? Each year we get a few that trap themselves in our lean-to for the horses. One section has clear plastic along the top and they get stuck up there. I "rescue" them sometimes climbing a ladder, getting it to climb on my finger and releasing it. One time I felt a prick and looked at my finger tip and a tiny blood drop appeared??? WHAT?? Dragonflies bite??? Yep, they can!
Apparently, Colby thinks they are pretty tasty! She isn't keen on the wings and sometimes removes the wings first. I don't think they are as tasty as grasshoppers, since she eats the grasshoppers pretty much right away. Dragonflies have to be carried around for a while first.
You should see George, the border terrier, watch Colby catching and eating bugs. He is interested, but usually loses interest pretty quickly. I mean, really, what's a dragonfly when there are ground hogs to be had????
Last night at agility class Roscoe was NUTS!!! Just absolutely NUTS!!! As I put him back in the truck I asked him where was THAT Roscoe last weekend at the trial? Why does that Roscoe only come out at class? Spur was great again!! He did have one quick flinch at the teeter as it recoiled, but his second run he never looked back! He did miss one contact, but I tried to pull off. I can't do that, yet. Or maybe ever, really. I may have to manage those contacts for a good long time. I keep thinking I can teach a dog to "be a bat", but I can't teach a dog to run a 3 foot contact area? Although, when I think of how long it took me to teach Roscoe to hold a dumbbell for obedience, I guess if it takes me years to teach a solid running contact, I guess that's OK. It just seems like I should be able to get that going a little better???? I know, I know, very few people have really great running contacts, so that should make me feel better? It doesn't. I taught a dog to "be a bat" for crying out loud!!! Jess brought me a Kleenex when I sneezed! Come ON! HIT that contact, Spur! Heck, the struggles I have had with Spur make it OK that I might have to manage contacts, I guess. He is liking agility and doing his teeter and running fast, all things I wasn't so sure we would have a few months ago, so if managing contacts has to be done I should be happy.
I am happy, Spur is happy doing agility, he wants to do it. That's a really good thing!
Colby doesn't play at Light Night. Anne's field is lighted with big flood lights now that it is dark by 6:00. Class for us starts at 7:00. It's a little hard for ME to see and I have glasses that help me see. Her eyesight is weakening, so putting her in that situation could be dangerous. The last thing I want is a crash or fall or something. She just can't see well in that setting, so Roscoe now takes her spot. She's not too happy about it, but she comes out and does tricks and hangs out saying HI to her friends. That's OK with her. She can play at Tree Frog on Wednesdays at 4:00 when the light is still good!!!
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
I was getting ready for a nice photo shoot when suddenly their gaze left me. Well, except Roscoe who is only focused on the cookies in my pocket, cuz why else would they just go sit together on a rock?
Monday, September 14, 2009
Colby, however, did very well. She much prefers outdoors, although Saturday was pretty wet. Wet enough she didn't make time in her standard, not wanting to lie down on the table, having to stop and shake after the chute. Cost her enough time to put her .09 seconds over time. Ouch!!!! $15 down the drain because of a little rain. She did do the gamble, though, for her first Master's gamble!! It included weaves which I always thought she really needed me right there. Nope, she never hesitated. We do practice distance to weaves at home, but in trials I have always felt she needed me right there. Good little girlie did it like it was no big deal!! The next day she was better for a second in Grand Prix and a Master's standard leg.
Found an incredibly interesting article. Go check it out -
Friday, September 11, 2009
Ever wonder what The Spurminator looks like when he's tugging his favorite toy? A blur of fur!!!
He shakes that thing SO hard he has to close his eyes. He LOVES that toy! Now if I can only get him tugging it consistently at class or in the presence of other dogs. He is a worrier and sometimes worries too much to tug at class. It doesn't help that some big dogs have charged him at class, especially when tugging, so he has reason to worry. I am always on the look out, but sometimes it just happens and it bums him out.
Thursday, September 10, 2009
Roscoe's jumper run on Sunday. It was his 7th double-q. He is way behind Colby because I did years of preferred with him, so it was extra easy and he only had to jump 8". He has struggled with trial stress for years. Crazy man at class and at home, but we often do not get the speed and intensity at trials. It has been a big struggle, but the last two years he has run a lot better. This run was .06 seconds behind Colby's time, which is good for him at a trial. I was pretty pleased. Folks who watched it saw the difference in him from the previous three runs over the weekend.
Often it comes down to the start line. A couple years ago I figured out he TOTALLY bummed out if I left him in a start line stay. Now, I still struggle for what to do at the start. Earlier this trial I tried doing the bouncy game, but it didn't work that well. Here I just removed his leash and ran!!! Seemed to work, but that doesn't always work for us.
Wednesday, September 9, 2009
Tonight at Tree Frog agility we did a jumpers course. Two pin wheels and a box and lots of crosses. Hard for me and my wee dogs. Hard for anyone. To front cross or back cross, that is the question. I tried both ways. Remarkably, my dogs did better with a couple of back crosses, which normally we suck at. Here we are, me and Roscoe handling the pin wheel. In this one I am planning a front cross between the yellow and the orange jumps. We did it, OK. Just OK. Front crosses aren't easy, either, after pinwheels and in boxes. Timing is everything and it's just plain hard!
Then we got to do a speed circle. We like speed circles.........easy, fast, fun!!! No turns, just run!!! The whole outside of the ring, including weaves. I usually crop these photos to crop out me and crop out the junk all around, but I decided to leave all that. To show my good little dogs handling the weaves regardless of all that junk all around them, and me with my hands flapping and waggling and I am probably making Circus Freak noises. The dogs aren't the only Circus Freaks at times. They have good weaves, my dogs. Regardless of the junk and clutter and strange noises coming from me. They weave.This is Kelso, my friend's daughter's dog. He was Jen Pinder's dog. Now he is Delaney's dog and they are doing FANTASTIC!!! Jen gave Dee this dog because he was a little bit of a weenie dog. Anyone who knows Jen Pinder knows she isn't much into weenie dogs. But, Dee, she can handle it. In fact, she is handling this dog SO well no one will know he is/was a weenie dog. They are CLEANING up in trials right now and looking like World Champions! He is studying the course, finding shade under the table. He is a very cool boy!!
The light at Tree Frog is coming from the other direction, so photos just look all washed out. We are losing our light and it's sad. Outdoor class training will be coming to an end only too soon, I am afraid. Spur is just coming along and it stinks. I wish this town could handle an indoor facility, but it seems that just isn't to be. Sad, really.
Tuesday, September 8, 2009
"very sweet agile little male Pomeranian looking for a home,tho not neutered
yet,is a well behaved young 11 month old boy,gets along with people and
dogs,,learning to play and tug,,he is a good size,probably 12" or 13" tall.
we had him loose in the Motel room with no problems,,he has NO issues,,he
has lived with an 87 yr old woman who can no longer care for her self.'
he is a clean slate regarding training, and is very food motivated.
we feel he has potential in the Agility ring,he likes toys and is learning
to tug. please contact
(207) 772 1462
Adorable little fellow who will make someone a very nice buddy. Too bad I am at my limit. What a minute, isn't my limit two? But, I have THREE. Oh well, what's the big deal about limits? I am at my limit NOW, though, right???
Sunday, September 6, 2009
I am an idiot and it cost us a MACH title this weekend. Today she ran perfectly for her #19 double-Q. Sigh..........but as all my friends mentioned, the clubs MACH ribbon was SO ugly and tiny and not Colby-worthy anyway. Heck..........I would have LOVED that tiny, ugly MACH ribbon right now. Instead we need that ONE MORE DOUBLE-Q!!!! DAMN..........IT!!!
We got a pile more speed points, which we don't need, but are nice to have if we ever thought we might get a MACH-2. Hah, this weekend some stupid sheltie got a MACH-20!!! ????? HUH??? We did the math, that would be 200 trials where the stupid sheltie would have to qualify in both runs, BOTH days!! 200 weekends!!! TWO HUNDRED!!!!!...... WEEKENDS!!! DOUBLE-Q's BOTH DAYS!!! Stupid sheltie........................
Oh and Roscoe did get a double-Q today, for his 6th I think, with a really nice run in his jumpers. He was only .06 seconds slower than Colby, so that was nice. He is always slower than her, so to be so close to her time he was flying!! And the two of them were only 7 seconds behind the stupid, super fast shelties. I am always happy if they are less than 10 seconds behind those stupid shelties. And so long as we are faster than the shiba inu or the boston terrier or the glen of imaal.
Thursday, September 3, 2009
I'll get a video of it when I can grab a videographer. It's so clear and easy for me to know when he hits the contact zone. Before I might guess at times if he was going really fast and I was running, too. This way I KNOW! It squeaks regardless of where he hits it. Pretty cool, really!!!