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.


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. 

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, 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:

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:

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!)