From Guppie to Squid



A few months ago my daughter decided she wanted to be on the swim team. I was actually a bit surprised-it seemed like that came from left field, but what the heck?.

All the swimmers start off in the guppies group, then eventually they are promoted to Squids group, and then the top group is the Sharks. They do a lot of swimming but they also do a crazy amount of exercising, running, and lunges. My daughter has been so cute because she can not wait to do a swim meet, and she has been in the fastest lane for quite a while-she is really fast. She was a good swimmer but had never really learned the strokes correctly, but she is really serious and works so hard to make sure she does things just right.

It knocked me over to see how much she improved and how fast. She always seems so old and independent (she just turned 13)when she gets out of the car and goes to her lessons, she has her little bag all ready -keeps her gear all organized where she can find it, and is fanatical about the exact time we leave the house and she never complains about going. It is our first real foray into organized sports, the girls used to do girl scouts, but no one has really wanted to do things like soccer or softball.

Anyway, I am just super proud of my daughter and how she has handled herself and it is funny to see this whole new side of her, my little competitive squid! LOL.

more cik/cap work, first try with TREES!

It has not been the best week, my back is still killing me, which has not made things easy and when I get all stressed out my back really starts doing these spasms, and those are killer. Agility has always been my escape and what makes me feel good. Lately I have been thinking maybe I was just not enjoying it anymore....sometimes it feels down right draining, and that really made me feel sad. I was having a particularly bad day and I took Cricket out to work at the park and guess was all there again, the joy the fun and just having a great time. I had a realization that it is not agility I am not enjoying it is the classes I am really glad I did not sign Cricket up for those classes even thought it is intimidating thinking of training her on my own... how ever it turns out we are going to have a good time-seriously that is the most important thing, after all this is my hobby.

Have I said lately how much I LOVE my little Crickster. I tell you she is so much fun to work with and the last few days she is such a cuddle bug that while I am lying with the heating pad on my back she cuddles right into the crook of my back and holds the heating pad in place, the heating pad and the pressure of her body and just feeling her soft, silky fur is the best medicine I can imagine! She is always right next to me, when I walk around she is always right next to me, she is such a fantastic friend-I just can not imagine living without her.

I taped our session at the park, the first time we transferred cik/cap to some trees. She is learning to use her body to do tight turns and power out, and I am trying to get my timing and my cues better, but I think she is doing pretty good!

If anyone wants to do the cik/cap turns I really would invest in the video, she really talks about what cik/cap is and what it isn't, the reward placement, etc... and that to me makes it worth buying if you are thinking of using it.

Sylvia Turkmans cik/cap video-we do the first steps!

All the doggies practicing the very first step for learning cik/cap.


step one of cik/cak turns from kathy Mocharnuk on Vimeo.

I had a lot of questions about how wise it would be to train the turns and did not fully understand the whole "system" so I got the video to learn what I could-so I could make an intelligent decision on if the cik/cap turns could fit into my handling system.

I am trying to train the dogs using the Awesome Paws Handling system and one of the main ideas when working with that system is not training the dogs to ignore handler body cues and your natural body language. From my understanding you have to be careful with verbal cues so that you are not relying on those as a primary cue, which could teach your dog to either not pay attention to what your body says or to wait for a verbal instead cue of listening to your body language.

I have to say that I really liked the video a lot and would recommend it. The video was like the Sylvia Turkman heeling video in that you can pay on pay pal then as the last step it gives you a link to download the video. You can then watch it on your computer or burn it to a disc and watch it anywhere you please. This Cik/Cap video was slightly more expensive then the heeling one-I think with the exchange rate it was $63.

As I understand it Cik/Cap are verbal cues that are in some ways sort of similar to a left and right in that they tell the dog you are going to go left or right....but they tell the dog to go forward and find an obstacle to turn tightly around, jump with collection and turning.. but it does NOT mean to wrap the obstacle and come back to you. You would NOT use cik/cap on all turns on course.

If cued correctly and taught to fluency the advantages of using cik/cap is that it is easier on a dogs joints...they take off knowing where to go and then land with their feet pointing the correct direction--rather then taking off, landing and then trying to crank their bodies in the correct direction with all those forward motion forces slamming into their shoulders.

It saves time by creating a tighter line.

Sylvia also says that cik/cap that creates great obstacle focus because you start off with teaching the dogs to send around an object and that helps with distance skills. The first steps seem very similar to a forward send in the AWHS I thought. Sylvia also says that by teaching the dogs cik/cap as puppies they can also start out by running full speed right away instead of having to go slow when they first start agility.

Sylvia teaches the cik/cap to her tiny puppies and she demos the first steps with her tiny puppy. You can also teach it to a dog currenty competing as long as you do not use it at trials until it is thoroughly proofed in training, she says that takes about 3-4 months. Like any good turn or collection cue you need to cue it before the dog takes or once they hit that commitment point it is too late for the dog to do anything about any cue you give.

The only thing that was disappointing is that Sylvia showed a lot of neat completed tricks that would help with body awareness that she does with her dogs, but on the cik/cap dvd she did not show how to train any of those and I LOVE watching how she trains tricks, so it would have been neat if there was some of that on the dvd. I guess I will have to wait and buy her tricks dvd that is coming out next month.

I am still not sure how this all fits into my handling system...

on one hand it seems like a forward send, so that seems to make sense, I can see where the dog should be reading our body position to cue tight turns-but on some of the European style elements that seem to be seeping into courses just recently it seems like it would be a really handy cue....and it is not used on all turns, so it seems that would make it less likely that the dog would not jump or totally disregard your cues if you do not use the cue...

I do feel that the body work and the starting elements really could help the dog with obstacle focus and using their body so we are working on the beginning steps and thinking about the rest of it ;-).

I WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM ANYONE with thoughts about why this might or might not be a good thing to teach based on the APHS

Rainy days with food dispensing toys

It only rains a few times a year here in Southern CA, and thunderstorms are really rare but for a little over 24 hours it was almost non stop thunderstorms. The yard is a mud puddle and I am frankly tired of washing Cricket who LOVES rolling in the dirt or mud, so I decided to feed breakfast in food dispensing toys to help with some of the pent up energy that was in the house! Skyler and Chloe my shelties make a rare appearance in the video!

Sylvia Turkmans heeling video-

I really have no experience with competition obedience....other then when I was a young girl and trained my Westie in obedience. It was the old fashioned training with a choke chain and I really do not remember anyone talking about motivating the dog, or looking at the dogs attitude. I had a good time, I hope my dog Bonnie did, sure was not training I would do now.

A couple of years ago at the AKC national Invitational I watched the obedience because my aunt and her cocker spaniel were entered, and I watched the winner who had a golden retriever compete. That dog looked so happy, and so engaged and like he was having the best time of his life. I have always wanted to train a dog and have them enjoy it like that.

I know Sylvia Turkman trains lots of tricks and her number one criteria is the dog having fun, a dog who enjoys working and works fast and happy. I watched the trailer for her video, and thought it looked interesting, so I bought it. It runs about $58 bucks...depending on the exchange rate for that day-you pay through pay pal then as the last step in the payment process you just click and can download the video. Once you have downloaded the video you can keep it on your computer or burn it to a disk (which did take about an hour, ughghgh) and it is yours to keep.


I would love to have my dogs be able to compete in some obedience but if they are dragging along and looking like they do not enjoy sure would not be worth it.

Sylvias method is teaching heeling like a trick. It is working with teaching the dog a lot of body awareness and a really solid understanding of the heel position. As an added bonus she shows how to use the training you do for heeling to do a back wards weave through your legs-the way she teaches it looks really neat, so I hope we get that as a side benefit, LOL.

Sylvia says the technique she uses is totally appropriate for young dogs, for tiny puppies, for old dogs and dogs that might already be heeling or competing in obedience. She also says that if you can teach heeling and get your dog happy and focused with should never have focus problems with anything like agility because if you can make that know everything you need to know t make something like agility that is naturally more

The technique she uses is actually quite simple,.....maybe not worth $60 unless you really want to learn it, EXCEPT that to watch her reward placement and how she increases the criteria-just the mechanics of a master shaper and trick trainer made the whole thing totally worth it to me. I was glad I shelled out the money, we have had a lot of fun with it. THE PART I TOTALLY APPRECIATE is that her criteria is how the dog looks, do they look like they are happy and enthusiastic, if is not a success no matter how good they heel. That is why she trains it like it is all just one big trick-hey I LIKE that attitude.

We are only on the first few steps but oooh my gosh when I am out walking with the dogs I can see how they are totally using their bodies very differently after all this body awareness work we are doing. My dogs do a lot more sideways movements and instead of circling around and coming back to my side if they get ahead I noticed them sort of pivoting back into position-using their rear ends a lot more. How cool is that?

OK NOTHING NEW...but I did video our practice last night, doing our stairs. I found a new set of stairs, and the dogs are doing well. I was very pleased that even with a ton of distractions they all did fine. Poor Liz wanted to bag the back ward stairs-she says where will we use that or be able to show that off anyway???? LOL, so she finished up with just being engaged enough to do her tricks she loves! So this was the second session on stairs after our last video, so no huge progress, but definite progress and a chance for me to play with the video editing program!


Yesterday when I blogged about missing some friends and missing people I used to do agility and dog training with one of them was a friend named Carol. For some reason I was thinking about Carol a lot during the fun match-I knew she did not have a long time left but I had no idea the end of her life was so close. After I posted on my blog yesterday about missing friends...I found out Carol had died. Carol used to be one of my training buddies that was a really fun person to go to a lot of events with, I helped out with her classes and arranging events, we had a lot of good times.

Carol and I went to her last trial, I knew she would not be running much longer but I had no idea that would be her last trial. She had begged me to run her dog for her but I had encouraged her to run her dog herself even if she did not Q-I was dying to run her dog because she is a cool dog, but I am so glad in hind sight that I did not, because it turned out to be their last run together. Carol has been sick the last year and a half and I knew her time left was going to be short and I was really missing/thinking of her yesterday at our fun match.

Carol was a HUGE character, one of those people everyone notices. I met Carol when she worked for Petsmart as a trainer...but then became friends with her when she and I both took classes at PawPrints dog club here in town. Carol had a dog that was AMAZING-a cattledog named JC. There was such a bond between Carol and JC. JC was fantastic and Carol had her trained so well that when Carol became sick JC already was trained as a service dog-she would fetch the phone if Carol fell, pick up things off the floor, open/close doors, and fetch anything Carol might need, but most of all JC never moved from her side. The bond between those two was amazing, one of those once in a lifetime things, I swear they read each others minds.

Carol was not always easy to get along with she had very strong opinions, she was not afraid to share her opinions but she had a heart of gold-I remember when she had agility classes at her house, she fed Alicia the instructor and me almost every week after classes, at trials she always brought everyone a fancy lunch, she was always up for an afternoon of sitting and just talking about dog training-not a lot of people in this world that want to talk about training for hours, LOL.

Carol's dream was always to own a boarding kennel, training facility and she had started the boarding kennel with a beautiful play yard and had just finished building this fantastic building that she was going to use for training and had outfitted with everything needed for a groomer to be there, or for classes inside an air conditioned building she set up an agility yard with great lighting so she could do classes, and she had got her APDT certification when she was diagnosed with ALS, or Lou Gehrig's disease. Why does it always seem that when people finally get everything they have dreamed of something happens? It seems so unfair at times. The diagnosis was about a year and a half ago. ALS is a progressive disease that is fatal and affects the neurons that control muscle movement and so the person loses more and more muscle function. Carol was a very proud person and I could never imagine how she handled having to have others take care of her, she HATED having to ever accept help, this had to be a particularly hard disease for a person like her.

I wish I had been a better Friend the last few months, I only saw her a few times the last few months, but it was really rough because she could not communicate and would get really frustrated and upset trying to communicate. One of the first things she lost to the disease was her ability to talk and by the time she died she could barely move her hands. Life gets busy and time slips by, so I wish I had made the time to see her more the last couple of months.

I hope today that Carol is at peace and I hope she knows how much I did care. I hope her little doggie is well cared for, I can not imagine how much JC is going to miss her person. I have missed having Carol around a lot in the last year and I am going to really miss her. When ever something like this happens it sure makes me think of how precious our health is and how fragile life is and how quickly things can change, sure puts a reality check on the small frustrations in life. Take care Carol and know you touched my life and many others....


Day 2 of the fun match here in town. I just got home and I am so EXCITED about my dogs-dog wise it was a fantastic day, more then I could have hoped for!

The day did leave me feeling a little sad on the people front. Since I started doing agility and training up until lately I have always had a few really good friends that I would do things like seminars and fun matches and trials with-they were always up for a good fun match or seminar..always ready to get together to train, we would go to get a soda after class...or go to dinner after trials or seminars or fun matches-it just always was such a neat way of connecting, we were all working on the same things and we all were into training or dogs and had the same goals.. but these is me and my dogs-everyone else has moved :-( . Don't get me wrong, I really enjoy my dogs company and there is something to be said for just paying attention to your dogs... but I do miss having like minded people to be able to really share it all with. People who understand when I come out of the ring and am so excited that Lizzie did not run off, or that Cricket did her first multi obstacle sequence, it might not have looked impressive to others but for where we are was a pretty big high...and sharing other peoples little victories was always so much fun too--anyway, it has just been hard the last few months, I miss having those types of friendships. It is nice to know my blogging friends do know how much some of these things mean.

AS far as how the fun match went...when I got there I did not purchase any tickets to run Liz because I am working on making sure she does not practice running away....ever....Plus there was a safety issue since the yard was only partially fenced. Liz could have been out of there and two miles away before I blinked if she had taken off-of course I do not want to take chances with that. I worked with Liz over a few practice jumps that had no fencing at all....things went fine so I did go and sign her up for a run in the standard ring. I had no idea I had to wait for at least ten dogs to go before it was our turn, and they kept letting other people go ahead with some weird excuses.....ughghhghg, I knew I was stretching Lizzie's attention span to the max.... the dog before us did take off-running out of the ring and ended up in a neighboring school yard where the owner could not get to him-talk about reminding me what could happen. She finally got him, thank goodness but it was a pretty scary situation. After watching the dog that had taken off and how the owner barely caught him....I was physically shaking a bit and very nervous when I walked in the ring. I knew I had to control my nerves or I would CAUSE a problem so I really worked hard on some deep breathes and trying to relax myself. I know I was still a little nervous when we walked into the ring.

I got in the ring and took Liz off leash, noticing Liz was a little spacey and looking away from me avoiding eye contact-so I was proud of myself for not being rushed-I stepped a few feet from the start line and did a few short recalls before I left her to go to my lead out position. Lizzie would not hold a stay-I wonder if that was because I had just done so much focus work before we went in the ring and so she was handling her stress by focusing on me???? If you were watching you might have thought it was a very ugly executed run, nothing pretty to look at, but Lizzie did all the obstacles correctly and stayed with me and was listening-I altered the course so she was not running right at the exit and I left the weaves out-I chose instead to not follow the course and go back for a tunnel to the table to end further away from the exit and end with her favorite obstacles. She never came close to running off, I was SOOOOOOOO PROUD OF HER, and actually proud of us as a team!

The really neat part was that I had spent the time before the run doing some shaping, and Liz was able to focus and think enough to actually offer behaviors. I think really making an effort to do shaping sessions in LOTS of places with Liz the last few weeks --which means she has to settle herself down enough to think, and working through some VERY mild frustration (having to figure out what to do next when shaping)--is really paying off.

THE PLAN-I think today was another example showing me that what Lizzie and I are doing is really working. I think now I am going to add in a lot more just building value and excitement for the obstacles, REALLY SHORT sequences so she really transfers a lot of value to doing agility and we will see what happens! The great thing is that what I think Lizzie needs is really pretty close to what I will be doing with Cricket to teach her agility-so that will make life easier.


Well, I am pretty pleased and proud of our training challenge this week. Our dog club had a fun match, so a fun match in my own town and since it is our dog club I got some cool training opportunities I might not normally have gotten.

The actual fun match is not until tomorrow....but we set up today. LUCKILY for me....if you helped set up today, you got to use the courses/field for free for the rest of the day.

Cricket went to the big girl Standard ring while there were still a lot of people running around setting up for the fun match-so there were a lot of things going on, a lot of distractions--this big, bouncy, excited Golden Retriever was running very close to Cricket, right on the other side of snow fencing (I HATE when they use one fence to separate two rings with no room in between rings!). Cricket is so motion sensitive,....she looked at the Golden..and I really thought she was going to go chase that exciting guy....but she looked at the dog, then looked at the tunnel she was going to....and she CHOSE to go to the tunnel. YIPPIE!!!! WHAT A GOOD GIRL CRICKET!

There was actually a wonderful little part of the course that was table, jump, tunnel, jump, tunnel, jump then table. We have done mostly one jump work, this was a new place she had never been, there was a lot of people and a lot going on....and yet...she did that little sequence. I picked three or four areas of the course with tunnels and tables I could send her to, wow, she did soooo good.

I am SOOOOO EXCITED thinking about what the next few months will hold for us.

The one dark cloud on the day was when I went back a second time there were some dogs that were running loose-a girl was running her dogs loose, and Cricket had resisted them for awhile and was working with me, then for the first time that I can remember, she took off after those dogs and was not listening and not coming back until she had got to the dogs and I ended up going to get her. VERY NAUGHTY CRICKET! Guess we are not done with our recall work yet!!

Lizzie got to go to the standard ring when there were not many people there...but there was her agility instructor who is one of her favorite people and a few dogs-I chose that time to set her up for success. I am working so hard so she does not rehearse behavior I do not want ;-). This was a new place, we walked out of the car, worked on focus on the way to the ring but she had no time to get to know the place or sniff around-we just went to the ring. I was able to run a full course with Lizzie.

I broke the course down into three parts so I could make sure to play and reward her, but hey she did her contacts, she listened to all my directions and she did not try to leave. I was even able to heel her from the end of the course to the entrance off leash so we could get her leash. I was smiling from ear to ear to see how much she is progressing. I did not do the jumpers ring, I felt like she had done so well in the standard ring that I wanted to end on a good note.

BREEZE was perfect because the course was a bit of a weird course with the perfect place to do the forward sends I am trying to brush up on and the backy-uppys. There were about four places to throw the dog to the back side of the jump so that would have been really hard if we had not just started brushing up those skills. The big news of the day for Breeze was that she did the weaves TWICE perfectly, we have had so many problems with the weaves especially since Breeze has sped up recently and it has messed up her striding-so I have been working trying to help her figure out a stride through the weaves, so I was excited she was able to do those, and she has been going so fast she has been coming very close to missing her contacts...well, she did them in a new place very nicely. All of a sudden Breeze's speed is increasing and we have had some growing plains-but that is why I love fun matches because I was able to give her some great rewards when she got the weaves and the contacts and it was in a new place.


Another EXCITING thing we got to do....was to review a product!
We got to review - Ewww Pawsitively Clean™ by Bissell®. We got a bottle in the mail to test out.

here is a link where there is more info on what we tested:

Soooo LUCKILY we have not had any accidents lately, so while I am pleased as punch about that....nice to not have a puppy with accidents did make it harder to find things/areas to test the product on. The bottle stats it uses enzyme action to get to deep down stains and odors, and it says it works on any water safe surface.
Sooooo I did take the Ewww Pawsitively clean over to a friends house who did have a fresh stain I was very impressed with how everything smelled after I used this to clean. I used it on an old pillow that is in the dogs crate, on the kitties litter box and on an area in the corner of the living room that has some old pet stains in addition to the fresh pee pee accident at my friends ;-).

I have to say I was impressed with how fast all the areas I tested were really nice and fresh smelling, so I was VERY HAPPY about that. I would definitely keep this on hand for accidents. The only thing that was a bit of a pain was the directions said to saturate the area and then leave it for 5-10 min, then blot and clean, repeat if needed, then you need to let the area dry and vacuum it, well, I had trouble waiting around, but it was worth it to get the stain out. So this product got a PAWS up from the Bordergirls gang!


When you have an exam or a big event coming up-ever feel like "geeze I wish I had studied or done more work on ____" LOL, well as we are getting closer to where Cricket is really putting it all together to do agility,....that is what I am feeling like!

We are doing some agility work, we have the teeter almost trained, the key pieces are coming together, she has a killer four on the board contact, she is rushing straight up to the end of the board, she runs back and forth on the teeter and is not bothered by the movement, she LOVES the bang it game....I still want to work on teaching her to find her entries and enter it straight, but the teeter is looking good.

Contacts are coming along, right now Cricket runs across the dog walk at full height and I am clicking for striding to the end of the board and not jumping. I am working on the contact for a four on the floor separately....and that is looking GOOD. Not sure what I will do on the aframe, I am considering letting her do a running contact.

As far as jumping we are doing a lot of one jump work. As far as lots of jump work or weaves.....I was reading more articles and am trying to hold off and just do lots more foundation work until Cricket is 13-15 months, I just do not want to take any chances of hurting the developing ligaments and bones, muscles...I am sure she is good to go now but .....we are working on plenty of things so guess after having a dog like Breeze that we have just dealt with soooo many injuries, I just feel like it is better safe then sorry and working on all these components should make putting everything together go pretty quickly.

Soooo back to what we feel like we should have done more work on.....
REAR END AWARENESS, gosh I was reviewing the 2x2 video because I am working on Breezes stride through the weaves...and preparing to do the weaves with Cricket. At one point SG says I would recommend this dogs owner does a lot more rear end awareness to get a better stride....then I am watching a heeling video....they are basically doing 90% rear end awareness....then I look at the jump program and the first lesson is......YOU GUESSED IT! REAR END AWARENESS.

Sooooo, for Breeze and Cricket I am feeling like this is something I wish I had done even more work then I had that is where my new found rear end awareness training focus stems from!

We have worked a lot on pivot work and shaping back up on the flat, yesterday while my daughter was swimming I decided to try backing up the stairs.

What is funny is I live in the high desert....everything is on one level, and I had to look a LONG time to find some stairs. I finally found some at a real estate office, I already scoped and they have the stairs we are using and some different size ones on the other sides of their building, so I wait until they close and then use their stairs. It is right next to the highway though so a lot of distractions-which is good!

I thought the girls did pretty good for a first try--stay tuned for the finished product!

The plan to teach basically is:
First have the dog on the top stair-with the back legs on the top, and the front legs on the first step down-C/T for moving the front leg back, or a weight shift if necessary
Second you can move down so the back legs will have to go back up a step, C/T for picking up the leg
Watch to see which leg the dog is using and hopefully they will use both legs and definitely not both legs at one time, it should be a slow movement so the dog is deliberately reaching back and you want them facing forward
as you move down the step ping pong between number of steps, do not just keep making it harder, maybe do 1 step, then 3 steps, then 1 step then 2 steps, then four steps, something like that!
If you have taught the dog to BACK UP then it goes really fast.


So I felt it was a pretty lofty goal to set a goal of Cricket walking on a loose leash.

I feel like we have done pretty good with that goal, it was pretty pie in the sky to dream of such a goal and you would know that if you saw my other dogs walk on a leash. Cricket walks really nice except when we first arrive or she is way over the top, but all I have to do is stop and stand still and she gets herself together and comes back to my side. When she first sees someone she still looks like a fish on the end of a pole...but I would say we are 90% to where I want to be, so hey, not too bad, it is a work in progress but the best border collie I have had with loose leash walking and we aren't done yet!.

In one of our training calls Susan Garrett talked a bit about how you need to see where you want to be as the first step of training something. You do not need a list of all the things you do NOT want, but a clear picture of EXACTLY THE BEHAVIORS YOU DO WANT so you know where you want to go. Then you can objectively sit and take stock of what you currently have.....and the steps between what you got....and what you want ...IS CALLED DOG TRAINING!

SO THIS IS OUR NEXT GOAL-THE PICTURE OF WHAT I WANT MY BEHAVIORS TO LOOK LIKE If you have seen what my dogs used to do when another one is training you will know this is a lofty goal (they have gotten better, but time to bump up my training)....but I am pretty determined. I can sit and think of what life would be if I had this type of behavior and I get a silly smile on my face, boy it would be like heaven.


NEXT LOOK AT WHAT I HAVE: I will fully admit my dogs can be idiots when one is working. Lizzie has chewed up several mini blinds attacking the windows, I have put a picture of the window seal Cricket chewed up in frustration when seeing another dog work, there have rarely even almost been fights between dogs watching because of the extreme amount of excitement-OVERALL PRETTY BAD BEHAVIOR. That is why this feels like a pretty pie in the sky goal, but we are going to work it!!! I love that my dogs want to work more then anyting and doing games with me is the highest value reward but they have to have enough self control to handle when it is not their turn.

THE PLAN: I have had my daughter doing the crate games with Cricket-she puts a blanket down over her crate when Cricket starts SCREAMING when other dogs work. Cricket is doing really well with this and if we are not too close working she is quiet in her crate which is a HUGE IMPROVEMENT.

I took Cricket to the agility class I was NOT enrolled in last night and worked staying on the table the same way I trained crate games when some smaller, slower dogs were running, ones that don't get her going that much.

We practiced crate games with distractions, I left the door open and worked on doing crate games while the bigger, faster, more exciting dogs were running.
Lizzie gets to go for her turn tomorrow in the other class I am not in. It is not as hard a distraction for them with me there and with dogs they don't know.

Soooooo....the plan has been put into action and we are starting, we will see what the next couple of months bring, this is going to be a REAL CHALLENGE, but boy, can you imagine how much fun it will be to reap the rewards if I can pull this off?

PS, tonight was our first agility class for Breeze, it was colder then crap-the temp has fallen almost 50 degrees in the last week... and my back hurt a LOT! So I was moving like an old lady and Breeze was so full of herself, apparently start line stays are optional,the focus of the class was FRONT crosses, not a good night for those with me.. and if Mom is not moving fast enough, hey make your own course, LOL. Whose idea was it to get a fast dog? Breeze was AMAZING, you know the old "Great Dog Shame about the Handler" story. LOL

Training Challenge???

I am hanging my head in shame....No training challenge to report for last week ;-(. I could use Wednesday night I took the dogs to a new park and found lots of football practice going on. I took Cricket and worked on walking past all the activity and still paying attention, Breeze got to work on doing tricks while some kids were kicking a ball-one of her hardest challenges, and Liz got to work on not sniffing and trying to wander off, instead staying connected and having lots of excitement for working. After that night though all training work ground to a halt in our house.

In my defense I threw my back out and had the flu. I think it was Thursday and Friday I went out to do the dog walk training with Cricket....I am just having her run across the dog walk to help her learn to stride nicely across it, my back was a little sore but not a big deal.....then a few hours later I could barely move, ahhhhh...

A few hours later I had a raging headache and muscle aches and slept for almost two days. When I woke up my back is REALLY hurting. I spent Saturday and Sunday bent over like a little old lady. I went to Costco to walk around and get a few things hoping that would help my back, well, I was with my girls and when we got out we could not find the car. LOL, it was probably a funny picture with me trying to stand up straight, shuffling through the parking lot to try to find my car.

My poor puppies are wondering what is up and don't look too happy, they look pretty bored. It does not help it rained off and on all weekend. Three border collies and two shelties that have been pent up for about five days, are not a pretty sight. The pent up energy in my house is palpable. Today my youngest daughter has swim practice and I have to take her so hopefully I can find a nice little place to let the dogs run a bit. I am sort of afraid of taking them on leash right now because they are going to be jumping, pulling monsters.

Hopefully my back straightens out for my NEW AGILITY CLASSES-yippie classes are finally starting back up this week.

Since I have had so much time, hanging out...I decided I wanted a new ipod, since I have a bigger ipod that I can not use while training very well, not to mention it is full of videos that I am trying to save that are only on that ipod so the min. I sync it I will lose all of those. I LOVE listening to music while we are training... The dogs jump up and keep getting hooked on the head phone wires. ANYWAY, so I saw the new IPOD nanos, and my daughter has the generation 5 nano and for the money I thought it was a super cool thing, very small but it does a ton of things. Well, the new nanos are tiny, square things that clip onto your clothes and come in cool colors, YIPPIE!!! Well, I went to look and Apple got rid of all the cool features, now the nano just plays music, that is it. The old one for the same price was still small, but did videos, you could put your calender, had alarms you could program, you could watch videos, or play games....the new one does not support videos at all, and all those features were dumped and the price was slightly increased. Seriously $149-$179 for a player that just plays music and has an FM radio. So I thought the little square design you could clip onto your clothes looked so neat I WANTED ONE...but guess I will be passing on that.


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