Sunday, December 30, 2012

So our Sunday Hike today turned into a Doggy Play Date, due to the MASSIVE amounts of snow. Seriously, Connecticut, is all of this snow necessary? We are supposed to receive more snow on Tuesday too, I can't even imagine haha.

Here's some photos of today, we had a LOT of fun, but by the end all of our toes were freezing off.







After, I went grocery shopping and some healthy stuff, and a little unhealthy stuff. But then I came home, cooked bacon, eggs, and hash browns, and I got glowing reviews from hubby.

I'm ready to spend the rest of the day relaxing, and then head in to work refreshed tomorrow (only working 8a-1p, hoorah. And I've got New Years Day off... double hoorah.) Going to go hiking on new years day. 
(: It's my perfect way to ring in the new year!




Let's hike!

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Here are some videos of the agility practice I did with Baer yesterday... tomorrow is our next class so to practice I just did stuff we had already learned.

Here we do tunnels and jumps,



And here we practice our targeting (which might I add, is pretty mint.)


Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


We went on a lovely hike this morning. 2+ hours of climbing up and down rocky hills, some beautiful cliff views, and the dogs all got along and played nicely for the most part. 

 I originally thought this picture was of Baer jumping for joy.
Now I see it's because Yuna the Aussie is in front of her and Baer is trying to play. Lmao

Hiking is such a good work out (:

Baer found a stick to chew on. Even though it was still attached to the ground.

Tank (I think he may be mid-pee) but he has his sexy taco collar.

Find the boxer! And the shepherd!

Now find the Aussie!

Baer and Ruckus proving how obsessed a dog can be with a stick.

Oh, and Tank too.


My hubby, the dog whisperer!

6 dogs total :D

This hike was the perfect thing to help me feel refreshed. I work tomorrow and Christmas day (helping walk the dogs), and since I love my work, I'm stoked! 

I need to get back on the training wheel with Baer... I kind of fell off once the weekend hit. But that's alright, I have plenty of time the next two days.

Cheers!

Friday, December 21, 2012

I'm staying up late tonight! I feel like a rebel (normally I'm curled up in my heated blanket, passed out by now). My house needs a good scrubbing tomorrow, and the dog is going to get my version of a "spa works". Bathed (in a new fancy shmancy black-coat enhancing shampoo a friend at work gave me for Christmas. Coolest gift ever!), nails grinded, ears cleaned, teeth brushed. See, I do it for free at home and it's fun to me. I am a groomer at heart, after all. I also think when something looks good, they feel good. So maybe give Baer a little pick me up (:

I skipped Flyball practice tonight. My shoulders been messing with me for a few days, and I really cannot bring myself to risk actually hurting it. That'd be dumb. So I'm relaxing tonight (See, I can take care of myself too! haha)

Sunday I'm meeting with friends to practice some agility and play in the field. We also have our weekly hike that morning. I'm going to try and take more photos with hubby's camera. I'd love to have a professional camera. I think dog hiking photographs would turn out wonderfully.

Tonight's dinner? Ground turkey, chicken gizzards, and organic egg pooped out by a chicken at my work. 
Nom.

And Nougat is as photogenic as ever. 




Thursday, December 20, 2012

White's Woods, Litchfield

Things to focus on-




Things to focus on- 

  1. Do a training session each day reinforcing targeting somewhere new.
  2. Practice rewarding correct behaviors on equipment while at work.
  3. Hiking group each Sunday! Dogs and people enjoying nature. Make it a traditional thing.

I want to do something for a new years resolution that will be something I do for the rest of my life-size a positive change I can live with.  Losing weight or getting in shape sounds too generic.
I want to do something involving keeping my family active and healthy so we all share the stress relief from it.
I'm going to give it more thought (:


Agility class 3 notes
I haven't done well at taking notes on how we are doing. I've been letting the stress of the holidays get to me. But that stops now!
  • Baer does well with touch to the item when it is far away, and if she has to touch coming off equipment she misses it at first but goes back. 
  • She does the chute no problem, I just point to it and she goes through. 
  • And when I say tunnel, baer runs through the nearest tunnel.  
Flyball practice tomorrow night. I'm exhausted but nothing will stop me from going to flyball. Except my shoulder still killing me. :/
Happy training!

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Hiking again tomorrow. Lots of dogs, lots of people. It's supposed to be mucky but we got Byron some hiking boots today. Waterproof, too. This is going to be good (:

Apart from running some errands today, we've just been relaxing. Baer is acting very restless, I think it's from being put back on raw, her stomach feels empty. Bah. A treat run is in order tonight (lol I'm a sucker for her.)

Our flyball Christmas party is tomorrow. I'm so excited to see everyone again- last night's practice was fun, I can't wait for the party. I really do like everyone on my team.

So a little journal of how last night's practice went:

-During line jumping, Baer was being held by the same person who was holding a height dog on our team who is notorious for disliking other dogs. Baer was first in the run and she only focused on me- didn't even look at the other dog that was less than a foot away from her. I kept calling her name and swinging the tug and she didn't take her eyes off me once. Very good.

-Her box turns looked good- not as tight as I'd like them but we'll live for now. All four feet were on the box, and she pushed off well.

-She ran against a dog in a line up, she doesn't seem as fast at practice as she is at tournaments but I guess that's to be expected. But she was still quick, no doubt about it. A very successful practice in all.


Now off to practice some stuff for agility. Ciao! 



Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Books I am reading right now-




Books I am reading right now-

"I'll Be Home Soon! How to Prevent and Treat Separation Anxiety" Patricia B. McConnell

"Jumping From A-Z" M. Christine Zink & Julie Daniels
"K9 Kitchen: Your Dog's Diet: The Truth Behind the Hype" Segal


I'm so grateful my work has all of these wonderful books for me to borrow and read. And read I do! The Jumping book seems like a really good conditioning book, perfect for agility and flyball. 

Since there's such a huge break for us for flyball (no tournaments until March!), learning agility seems like something fun for us to do in the meantime. I'm positive we will move onto the next level class once we finish this beginner class as well. I wouldn't mind competing in Agility trials. But nothing can take away my love (ie obsession) of flyball ;)





Monday, December 10, 2012

Went on an absolutely wonderful hike Sunday with 6 dogs and 8 humans.

Nepaug forest was beautiful, and the only people we ran into were Jeep people who were headed off to go off-roading.

Work has absolutely exhausted me! So here's just a pic for now (:

Off to do dishes and then relax!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

My Horrible Life with Training Collars

While laying in my sick (re: death) bed, I've been finding some interesting dog articles (of course....)

First up, http://flyingdogpress.com/content/view/54/97/ which explains what I've been seeing with dogs and typical head halters for years. Yes, they're good, no, they're not a replacement for just training your dog to walk on a leash.

With my own dog, this topic is near and dear to my heart. My dog IS the escapee from Iditarod. She believes her sole purpose in life, is to get somewhere, anywhere, 10 seconds faster than me. Very annoying, with the added bonus of years upon years of trying to work on this to no avail. We've tried the Gentle Leader. We trained with it first (she did associate the GL with positive, happy things, at first.) which was fantastic- then came the part where she actually had to walk with it on.

Not only did she still pull me (gee, that has to be great for her neck), she also began digging into her face. I would just continue walking, but many times she would just allow me to drag her, while her elbows scuffed the ground and she would relentlessly claw at the loop on her nose.

I finally stopped using the GL when she dug so hard on her face that she left two deep scratches on her muzzle. I had a few trainers tell me that you had to just keep going through the temper tantrum- that eventually, one day they would get the point that the tantrum doesn't stop the GL from being on your face. But this wasn't worth it. That's my final sign to quit.

So we switched to the Easy Walk Harness (still using positive reinforcement training while the training collars are on, mind you!) and it seemed better than the GL- she still pulled (......) but at least she wasn't stopping every five minutes to throw a temper tantrum.

Then a few weeks later, while she was on her back, getting her "Daddy loving" (all my husband has to do is approach Baer, going "woooo" or some cutesy noise, and Baer flops on her back and begins rolling around), we noticed there was absolutely no hair under her armpits, and that the skin was red and looked ....rash-y.

It had been properly fitted, but Baer's constant pulling made the straps continuously loosen. Which allowed it to rub her raw. Fun times.

So now, I just have been working on the Stop-go, stop-go training method. You pull me, I stop. You give slack, we go.

It takes about ten minutes just to get from the parking lot to work.

I think I am going to try this now: http://boldleaddesigns.com/shop/infinity-lead/

It has a different structure than the GL, with the clip being behind the neck. For the sake of not re-typing something that's already been well taken care of, visit this wonderful blog to read more: http://notesfromadogwalker.com/2012/12/03/a-head-harness-you-wont-hate/

Good luck to us!

And now...for my dog's big peanut head!

Monday, December 3, 2012

My friend visited Baer and I on my lunch break, and she brought her boxer. It was fun, we got to run in the field and the dogs played for a while.

Not too much happened today. Now I'm home, and going to catch up on some shows I missed. (:

Stay strong dog lovers!




Sunday, December 2, 2012

We just had a wonderful hike with 7 dogs and over 10 people (:

Oakley and Baer both listened great to me, my friend's dogs were perfect, and everyone just got along really well. Plus, I needed a hike badly! I couldn't get a good photo of our hike (had to keep dodging dogs lol!) but it was a lot of fun, you'll have to take my word for it.

Here's to next Sundays hike! And the week after that, and the week after that.... ;)


Getting ready to go on a hike today with lots of people, and lots of dogs. It'll be interesting to say the least! I'll take as many pictures as I can, it's cold and wet today so I'll probably be a little preoccupied with that haha.



I got to work in a grooming salon yesterday helping my best friend, which was a lot of fun. I was just bathing and drying but still, I loved it. I do miss grooming, but I don't miss the anxious dogs and the rough time limits. It's a hard job, and I really am glad I have my current job! No fighting with nail trims and getting bit for me (: (at least, in a grooming salon!)

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Preparing for our agility class, we practiced lots of sit/stays, down/stays on my lunch break today (who has time to eat lunch?! Certainly not me!) Baer is getting a lot better with it, I think we're going to be just fine for Agility class (which starts next week.)

And now for some good reading: http://animalfarmfoundation.wordpress.com/2012/11/29/all-dogs-are-individuals/

My work is ordering some Flirt Poles (http://squishyfacestudio.com/index.php/dog-toys/flirt-pole/flirt-pole-dog-exercise-toy.html) and I can't wait to try it out.

I won't be surprised when it whiplashes me in the face though!


Wednesday, November 28, 2012

SO BUSY!

After work I hung around til our Nosework class at 7p, it was definitely fun.

Baer gets so motivated that she's almost wreckless- comes with her personality though, I suppose. I haven't quite figured out the trick to teaching her to slow herself down. But it will come with time. (:

In class, we were putting the reward inside a cone that was laying on its side, Baer was the ONLY dog that shoved her face in the cone so hard that it got stuck. She's probably the most entertaining dog in class. Oh, and she also got her head stuck in a box while getting her reward, and then ran into a wall. She's not hurt or anything but she definitely is fun to watch. And this is one reason why I love her :D

So something funny happened to me today...

First, let me start by saying that weeks ago, there was a nice, long chuck it! at work for the retreat dogs. I have this dinky little one personally, so I enjoyed playing fetch with the longer one. Make the dog work harder. So it's cool.

One day after a particularly long session of fetch with Baer on my lunch break, I finished up and went to leave with the chuck it! over my shoulder with the ball in it. I don't know why I acted surprised when a big black thing came hurtling at me, grabbed the ball in the chuck it!, and landed.

I was still holding the chuck it! stick, and Baer was holding the ball and the scoop-part of the Chuck it!. So she broke one of the cooler things at work. Oops.

So we replaced the chuck it! one of those long scoop shaped throwing toys. It's like a chuck-it only, it requires a little more coordination sometimes than I've got.

Today, we're fetching with it and out of no where, Baer leaps into the air and grabs the ball which is sadly in the scoop. So I drop it instinctively, not wanting to break another toy, and have to start paying for them to get new ones. (My life...) So Baer does this for a while:

(Sorry it's sideways, I'm dumb in the ways of cameras sometimes.)


Was cute (:

Shameless plug, check out my hubby's new song:
http://soundcloud.com/b23m

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

The more you know!


  • "Unconsciously unskilled At this stage, the learner (the dog, in this case), doesn’t even know that they don’t know anything.  They’re blissfully ignorant, if you will.As their coach, at this stage, you need to show them what to do, and make sure that you make the learning fun enough that the dog wants more.  Just like with a young human athlete, if the sport is fun at this stage, they’re going to want to do it more. It’s not necessarily important that the finer details of form are perfect at this point, as long as they’re not forgotten about by you the coach, for later refinement. Juno is moving through this stage at the moment (as of the completion of her very first agility trial).  She doesn’t even know that she’s unskilled, and there’s no reason for me to point that out to her.  While she’s busy checking out the ring crew, the obstacles, the spectators, the judge, and ME, I’m busy guiding her through that experience, showing her what to do, and making sure she feels great about herself while she’s attempting to do it.
  • Consciously unskilled At some point, Juno will move in to this stage, and since we can’t directly communicate verbally, it may be that she’s already there to some extent.  This would be the stage that a young athlete might be having a lot of fun and now they want to be better. They’re aware that they’re fairly unskilled, either because they feel it internally, because you’ve pointed it out to them, or, in the case of most of us people, we see others doing better and measure ourselves up against that. I would never push a person or a dog who is consciously (or unconsciously) unskilled to do anything fast; in the case of the dog, if they’re not going fast, it’s highly likely that it’s because they know there is a lot to learn and they don’t know a lot of what there is to learn, and they’re trying to take everything in and process it…and that takes brainpower….which takes time…and so any reasonable creature will do the safe and logical thing….SLOW DOWN!As my dog’s coach, at this stage, it’s my job to make sure that I continue to support their efforts to figure out what to do, but as they are ready for it, to also show them how to do those certain things. I need to be observant enough to see when my dog is asking for help, or asking me a question about how to do something, and I need to be prepared to respond in a way that will help their growth as a teammate.
  • Consciously skilled As the dog gains experiences that they can put in to their own personal playbook of how the game of agility is played, they’re going to gain skill. At this stage, though, employing those skills in the right places and at the right times is going to take conscious effort. At this stage, they’re probably learning (or ready to learn) when to use the particular mechanical skills they’ve previously learned.  Developing your agility dog in to a good team player means you, as coach, need to be ready to spot when they’ve slipped in to this particular stage of their development.  It may be that they suddenly make more mistakes than they made previously, and as coach, it’s important to recognize whether that should be attributed to a deficiency in mechanical skill, or perhaps, the mistakes are due to the dog trying to sort out when to do something, and not quite making the right decision, or making the right decision but not being able to execute it at the right time.At this stage, getting on your dog’s case for mechanical errors (a dropped bar or missed contact) when the reason the dog made the mistake was because she was really making an effort to anticipate correctly what she thought was going to happen is not likely to improve the situation.  In fact, it may make it worse.  Imagine, you’re on a sports team, and you finally think you’ve got it, and so you take some initiative to be proactive and show your coach that you’re getting it.  And then, despite your best efforts, you just don’t quite get it right, because things weren’t quite as they seemed to be.  How would you respond if your coach yelled at you for taking that initiative? Would you try harder the next time, or would you tend to hold off from taking initiative again in the future? What if, on the other hand, your coach congratulated you for your efforts, and then provided meaningful instruction and feedback on why things didn’t quite work out this time around? My guess is that you’d be a LOT more likely to try even harder in the future!
  • Unconsciously skilled Finally, after perhaps several years, you and your dog together are unconsciously skilled.  You’ve gone through the motions enough times, and you’ve been consistent enough, that your dog can read your cues without much conscious effort, leaving more of his brain free to process things like that divot in the dirt that’s right where he’d like to take off, or that splinter in the contact that’s right where he’d like to put his foot.  He can deal with contingencies that arise, because the skills that he has come naturally to him, and he can use his subconscious brain to deal with whatever comes his way. Also, because you’ve been such a supportive coach, moving from the what, to the how and then to the when appropriately, building your dog’s self-image all the way, your dog is a confident and happy teammate.  Although mistakes happen, when they do, the both of you know that they are just honest mistakes, and not due to a lack of effort or understanding on either party’s part."

I love what I read from Daisy Peel. She always seems to understand WHAT is going on in the mind of a dog when it's performing. 

If you like agility, I suggest you check her out (:


For anyone who enjoys Electro/House/Techno

My husband, Byron, has begun making music. And he is quite good (this has been MY genre for years. I can tell when someone's good, I promise.)

http://soundcloud.com/b23m

Give his song a listen and if you enjoy it, give his profile a little love.

When he is an amazing, famous DJ, I can sit here and go "See, I helped!" haha

And now, for a photo of the wonderful snow day we had today!


I also did some CGC work with Baer and my friend Lea and her dog on my lunch break today. And... well.... it's going to take work. I'll say that much. But we can do it (:

"The only purpose in life, is to enjoy it."

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Oh, forgot to say, Hardwell at the Shrine @ MGM Foxwoods was SO GOOD.

Hardwell KILLED it. He absolutely murked everything.

And I may have a teeny tiny celeb crush? I can't help it, Hardwell smiles at his fans and it's pretty cute. Anyone with a genuine smile is cool by me (:


Do you ever get that feeling that you're not doing enough in life? But it's evident that you ARE, you just don't really feel like you're living up to your potential?

My search for a part time job on the weekends is on. I just haven't decided if I want to carry on with grooming, or try and get an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop (or at least WORK in the tattoo shop). I also am starting my agility classes in a week. Even with 900 things going on in my life, I still feel like I'm not doing enough.

About to take Baer to the field and train some with the ball. It's my last day off before another work week, at least I know at work I can get her the exercise she needs.


She's been relaxing a little TOO much, as evidenced by this photo. :P






Thursday, November 22, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Had a FANTASTIC tournament this weekend.

Our team won first in its division. We were all very focused, and all the dogs did great. 

Baer got her fastest time yet, 4.082 seconds. She got a lot of 4.1's too, she was flying!

One of our teammate's old dogs came to race with us this weekend too (: And he got his Flyball Master Excellent title at the last heat on Sunday. We also had one of the border collie's get his FM title, and our newest team member competed for the first time and did great.

Great tournament (:




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