Total Assimilation

nearing completion:
sun-1-15

There’s no question that the longer the WooTWoo hang around with one another, the more alike they become. For example; Wootie has definitely become more ill behaved with each passing week.  Neither of them have any use for me or the other dogs.  When I’m pulling on boots and a winter jacket to take them out, they wrestle with one another in gleeful anticipation, and summarily reject the playful advances of their siblings.  I frequently find them curled up side by side on the big displaced dog bed that lives wherever I kick it out of my path in the living room.

They are very rapidly becoming OneDogSameDog.
sun-1-16

They have their own “recall” whistle even, which is different from the border collies’ recall whistle.  I say “recall” in quotes like that because, of course, it’s not like either of them pay it much mind.  They hunt together, play together, sleep together, and ignore me together.

It’s enough to warm the cockles of your heart(-shaped tableau)
sun-1-17

But today Mr. Woo took his OneDogSameDog duties just too damn far!

When we went out this morning in the frosty sunshine for our first really good romp in days and days, Mr. Woo’s Flamboyance™ looked like this:
sun-1

Two hours later and it resembles, rather remarkably, the  much more diminished Flambe™.

I smell victory.
sun-1-19

I noticed Wootie was walking around the house all hunched over and refused to wag his tail for me.  That’s because it was stuck to his back legs and he couldn’t wag it, or take a full stride.  It seems that he got it caught up in the mother of all sticker bushes and despite my best efforts with a comb, the only solution was to cut most of it off :(  I can’t even show you a photo of the damage, as I don’t want to embarrass the poor wee tyke, who ever since has been laying in a little dog ball with the pathetic remnants of his once glorious appendage tucked woefully under his rump.

RIP, Flamboyance™
sun-1-22

*I* still have a glorious tail.
sun-1-21

Indeed you do, Tweed, as well as a magnificent winter coat!  It makes you look like you’re 10lbs heavier than you really are.

Did you just call me ‘fat?’
sun-1-23

Piper too has a most curious amount of winter coat, but alas, she chose to grow it only on the lower half of her body, so she looks like she is wearing a matching dust ruffle.  Her back and head are still in the Summer and then somewhere around her ribs she has this kicky little coat that flounces straight out to the sides.

You know how they say a cat’s whiskers grow as wide as the cat is itself?  I think Piper’s winter coat has grown as wide as her bulldog elbows. And it makes her angry.
sun-1-11

That’s an expression I’ve been seeing a lot of lately.  Piper’s turning into a right, rip-roarin’ bitch of a dog in her old age.  She has given me a laundry list of things I am not allowed to do to her on pain of getting chomped with her hillybilly teeth, and these things include brushing her anywhere, being goofy with TWooie (I got hit in the lip with her Mad Teeth™ for that one – I don’t mean she bit me, I mean she punched me in the face with her teeth!) and telling her she’s a bad dog.

YOU’RE A BAD DOG, PIPER!

What the f*ck did you just say to me?  That’s right, beeyotch, you better run!
sun-1-10

Fortunately, everyone else’s personality has remained more or less the same.

Tweed’s still totally high.
sun-1-13

And Dexter’s still, ummm … !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
sun-1-12

I moved Piper and Tweed into a shared class with the Sadist, and Dexter gets a whole hour on his own.  He continues to excel at a phenomenal rate … last night we were doing Gamble exercise and our first one was a rather difficult sequence.  The Sadist said “Don’t worry about getting distance with Dexter yet, just run with him to get him used to the exercise” and before he had finished these instructions, Dexter had done the entire sequences on his own.  Scary smart little guy!

Although we’re having some difficulties with the weave poles – I really like the 2X2 method, but I’m not sure it teaches the dogs about where to put their feet or how to collect themselves, because while Dexter can nail his entry from just about anywhere, if he goes into the poles with any speed he starts to do them 2 at a time, or starts bouncing off the poles themselves.  He’s trying very hard, and he’s getting very frustrated … I’m thinking of switching to channel weaves just for a different approach.  Any suggestions?

And speaking of weaves, they’ve made Piper develop Autism.  I think I documented her progress on retraining the weaves with the 2X2s all the beginning of last year – and she did really well and got very consistent in the weave poles.  Then the AAC switched to the 24″ spaced poles and Piper’s weaves fell apart … she was skipping poles, and popping out and just generally I could not get her to complete a set of 12 for love nor money.  We thought the new spacing was throwing her off, but then it just went on for way, way too long and her weaves had deteriorated to the point where she wouldn’t even go in them.

I lost my mind.
sun-1-9

Last night The Sadist showed up with 12 new poles – same spacing, different poles.  Piper aced her weaves every single run, including at a distance in the gambles.  WTF?

Well, the new poles are striped.  The other poles are all white.  My poles at home are striped.  Therefore, it seems that Piper can only weave in striped poles, because obviously all-white poles are not, in fact, weave poles at all.  More WTF?

And now she’s gotten even weirder / more obsessive.  For example – there is grass, and there are puddles.  They are, in Piper’s world, separate entities.  Grass does not belong in puddles.  Therefore:
sun-1-5

(The “Cleaner” at work)
sun-1-4

She’s starting to scare me a little bit.

As scary as the WooTWoo?
sun-1-2

Well … no …

And not nearly as scary as the amount of editing that was involved in last weekend’s Santa Photos Fundraiser!  I don’t know why I thought it would be a good idea to offer everyone a choice of Photoshopped backgrounds.  But man, did they turn out great.  What a fun idea :)

TDBCR foster dog Twist says Merry Christmas to ya’ll!
twist2web

Comments

  1. Stick with the 2×2. The collection thing will come. I found that when I arrived at the 2 sets of 2,4,or 6 poles that the collection really started to build. Are you using Mary Ellen Barry’s revised 2×2 method? It was in the April 2009 CR and is up on her website for download (kineticdog.com). It has the best explanation of all the steps.

  2. Love, love, love the expression on Dexter’s face!! Gave me a good chuckle!! Thank-you Dexter!

  3. I also had trouble with 2×2. She learned them wonderfully, could enter from any where, it was great. Then we started on regular sets of poles and she was skipping. Finally figured out she was weaving the bases, not the poles. If there was a foot on the base, she changed sides; if not (sets of 3) she didn’t. I’m certainly not an expert trainer or agility competitor, but it seems to me that training weaves with at least 2 different methods really makes the dog aware of what the exercise actually is. But 2×2 rock for getting entrances!

  4. Tweed, you handsome devil! Such a lovely coat!

    Are WooTWoo going feral on you??? Bad WooTWoo!

    Love the Ilostmymind photo! Could Piper be getting doggie dementia?

    Dexter rocks. You know, a lot of times gifted kids get frustrated with the one thing that doesn’t come to them as easily…

  5. Gorgeous photos! Love the first one of WooTWoo. I was surprised to see their eyes as my Border Collie has the same brown/blue eyes…and she’s white! Seeing that photo made me think that she’s a long lost relative!!
    Love reading of your adventures, thanks.

  6. The Food Lady says:

    “Stick with the 2×2. The collection thing will come. I found that when I arrived at the 2 sets of 2,4,or 6 poles that the collection really started to build. ”

    Well that’s the thing – were quite past the first set, and he can weave the 2X2s in multiples. He just can’t seem to transfer it to full poles.

    “Finally figured out she was weaving the bases, not the poles. If there was a foot on the base, she changed sides; if not (sets of 3) she didn’t. ”

    This is very interesting, thanks! I wonder if that’s what I’m seeing too … the Sadist thought it might be the action of the poles swaying (he hits them hard) that throws him off, but he hits the 2X2s just as hard, and they move too, so I wonder if he’s weaving the bases as well. I’m going to look into further!

  7. If you go through the entire 2×2 training method, they are eventually set as a channel (SG just doesn’t call them channel) so that the dog can learn collection, speed and stepping. It’s all the same in my book. So yeah, I use 2×2 for entrance training, but also channel for footing, speed, etc.. Then I try to mix things up as much as possible (different pole lenght, striping, etc). I learned (of course in trials) that my papillon was confused by two sets of 6 poles, because there was a dirt space between the sets, and she was trained on one set of 12 — turns out little dogs sometimes track the center metal piece. oops.

    btw – wtf w/ the amazing twist not yet adopted. Geez, that little dog is fantastic and beautiful and super sweet.

  8. I know it’s too late for this time, but a trick we horse folk use for even the worst of tangled manes and tails is either “ShowSheen” detangler (silicone based) or any number of other products (I LOVE Cowboy Magic) or plain old WD-40…

  9. Strange things is happenin’ at Casa del Food Lady!

    Piper baby! How old is she anyways? I was going to ask if she had a back issue. Emma pops poles when her back is acting up. But if she can weave stripey poles but not solids (ha) then maybe it’s a vision thing.

    The WooTWoo sound like they really have each other’s backs. Too bad they exclude you. This would make me very sad.

    Love the photos. And I agree !!!!!!!!!!!!! really describes Dexter!

  10. My border collie is also a ‘cleaner’ of all puddles and streams. Be careful with Piper, Tucker started with grass, then onto sticks and now rocks. When I let him, he will actually clean stream of rocks and put them in various piles of appropriate sizes. It’s disturbing. He also has a strange fascination with ornamental water globes, and I seem to remember a post long ago of Piper at your sister’s with the same obsession.

  11. As much as you like to make jokes about Dexter, I think he’s the most awesome dog of them all, followed closely by Tweed. :) And I must add that in his honour I have started watching Dexter and I loved it. :D So I’m thrilled learning about his progress in agility and I hope he becomes as good as Tweed or even better.

    Hopefully Pipper will overcome her difficulties with the poles, I’m sorry I can’t even suggest anything to help you with that.

    Best wishes for you and everyone else in the gang. :)

  12. I think Adrienne has a good point. Maybe it is a vision thing and Piper can see the striped poles better.

  13. I trained my young speed demon on 2×2 at first. Once she got to weaving full-on (6days) I noticed she was weaving them with a “2-&-2-&” (hard to describe via text!) sort of odd-looking rhythm. Treating each 2 as a separate obstacle. I put her on open channels and they went from fully open and her never having seen them before to fully closed in 5 days. She’s now a super-speedy little weaver with awesome entries.

    I think a combination of the two is actually better for most dogs than 2×2′s alone. I’ve trained several of my students with super fast little BCs that way, and the results have been pretty awesome every time.

    The most important thing of all is forward focus in the poles, as with most obstacles.

    Have fun — can’t wait to see Dex and his finished product :)

    Here are a couple examples of my girl’s “combo” finished product in action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgPl7EMfyeM&hd=1
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJcjS7hM4I8&hd=1

  14. We are WooTwo. We will assimilate you.

  15. My 5mo BC/McNab mix has taken to cleaning puddles, too. Unfortunately, I live in a part time swamp, it’s a wet year, and she barks while she does it.
    **sigh**

  16. We started with channels and after not long I realized that (for my own non-drivey dog at least, that) was a half-baked way of teaching weaves. So we started retraining with the 2x2s and it has made all the difference at least as far as the entry. I also was having a period of “pop outs” but we have been training pretty steadily and that problem seems to be receding. I bet if you just keep at it, she’ll work through it.

  17. I love the “I smell victory” photo…what a perfect caption :)

  18. I trained my young speed demon on 2×2 at first. Once she got to weaving full-on (6days) I noticed she was weaving them with a “2-&-2-&” (hard to describe via text!) sort of odd-looking rhythm. Treating each 2 as a separate obstacle. I put her on open channels and they went from fully open and her never having seen them before to fully closed in 5 days. She’s now a super-speedy little weaver with awesome entries. I think a combination of the two is actually better for most dogs than 2×2′s alone. I’ve trained several of my students with super fast little BCs that way, and the results have been pretty awesome every time. The most important thing of all is forward focus in the poles, as with most obstacles. Have fun — can’t wait to see Dex and his finished product :) Here are a couple examples of my girl’s “combo” finished product in action: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lgPl7EMfyeM&hd=1 http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TJcjS7hM4I8&hd=1

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  1. [...] I’m pretty sure she will eventually, though, because Philip does, and yet another thing we learned on this walk is that she and Philip are OneDogSameDog: [...]

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