He’s got the whole world in his … mouth

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But he dropped it.
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Mr. Blue is visiting us for a few days to recover from his de-testiclization procedure, and then this afternoon he is off to his forever home.  His forever home contains one agility friend / classmate, and a super duper Aussie named Duffy.  One day, we will be seeing Blue on the agility course too, we hope!  I absolutely love it when a good dog and a good home come together like an awesome karmic collision.  All dogs should be so lucky!

Of course, we won’t be seeing Blue on the agility course if Dexter doesn’t get it together.  Weaves continue to be his nemesis … at home he can weave on the 20″ spaced poles like a hot damn now, but in class on the 24″ spaced poles he can’t seem to figure out his footing and after nailing awesome entries at speed, he starts to flip flop around like a dying fish.

Perhaps the same dying fish that TWooie rolled in this morning.  We had a hot scrubby shower after our morning walk.

AGH!  I had to see the Food lady NAKED!
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Our other challenge in agility is our 2o/2o contacts.  We don’t haz them.  Dex and I have been practicing 2o/2o since he was wee, in happy motivated ways, but he still won’t drive to his contacts and creeps down the obstacle.  He loves DOING a 2o2o but does not, apparently, love diving into the position.

Now, I wanted a running contact on Dexter, but the Sadist put his bossy Austrian foot down and said “no way.”  I was to have a 2o2o or nothing.  Now after all this struggle with nailing a drivey 2o2o, The Sadist tells me he thinks I should train a running contact, that it will take a YEAR and that Dex should stay off of obstacles until then.  There are times when I love the Sadist.  There are also times when I wish a big hole would open in the earth and swallow him whole, and spit out his evil-filled bones for hungry dogs to chew apart.  This is one of those times.

So just to be obstinate, I am going to stick with the 2o2o, mostly because I would like Dexter to start trialing before he is an old man dog.  But I need some ideas for teaching him to drive into those contacts.  Piper has BE-OO-TIFUL contacts which I taught her on the apartment stairs.  Dex has had access to all the training / foundation equipment a dog could dream off, and still creeps.  To that end, today my stepdad and I are going to build Dexter his very own dog walk.  Take that, Sadist.

Will this interfere with us playing Dumbball??
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Maybe I should teach him a 4 on the floor instead.  But knowing Dexter, he’ll just bypass the contact zone and drop into a crouch straight from the top of the A-Frame or something.

What are you talking about?  I don’t crouch.
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Anyway, we’re building the dog walk today because the Weather Network says this week it’s going to snow, and snow hard and a lot.  Of course, it’s been singing that same song for some time now, and it has not yet come to pass.  All we got was copious amounts of torrential rain.  But Wootie is still on Snow Watch.
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My recall improves in the snow!
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I gotta get my rear in gear here if I want to get to building, so I apologize for the short entry.  To make it up to you, I will leave you with this stellar piece of artwork, which would make a lovely airbrushing job on the side of your new boogie van.  You’re welcome :)
dex

Comments

  1. Did you know that right now DogRead on yahoogroups has Lisa Miller Selthofer who put out the “2on2off Contact Training” DVD . Maybe you can pick her brain.

    & can I mention I’m giving away a $10 amazon certificate on my blog? I hope so….’cause I just did :-)

  2. Holy crap, that last pic gave me a start! Gah!!

    Rowley the Border Collie is learning to drive on the contact obstacles, which means he has to squelch his normal behavior of turning around to look for me, his slow plodding handler — we are doing it with targets, and it’s working fab. Show him the target and he leaves me in the dust. I hope you find whatever works for Dex.

  3. Damn, now I gotta buy a van!

  4. “I saw the food lady naked!” OMG funniest pic/caption EVER!

    Sorry I don’t know anything about 2020, ect. We just started agility last week!

  5. Beep,Maxand Poppet says:

    We are working on non stalking 2o2o contacts too. So, this is what my sadist down here in Oregon has recommended. Have a mental picture of what you want the end behavior to look like. When dog gets to end behavior, dog gets toy or treat thrown at their feet with a release word… same instant. As soon as the dog gets into position they get released. Why rush if you’re not going to get to go anywhere?

    Now what if it goes goof hookie? Poppet was stopping three or four inches from the bottom in a nice four on behavior, so I gently grab her by the collar and whoop it up in a happy way… what are you doing? You can do it better and take her right back to the start of the aframe again… Ready, ready go climb! Poppet does it again… oops! You’re fired and she gets to sit on the sidelines while Beep takes a turn. If I get the wrong behavior to many times, then back to back chaining a bit so she knows where I want her. Beep had pretty stalky contacts, but is better since we started this a week or so ago:)

    As far as running contacts go… little Boss(aka Pip) has running contacts and her boy Zach, is bustin his butt to try and keep up with that little piece of greased lightening! He is young and fit and the Boss is only a smidge over 16″ tall. I can’t imagine trying to keep up with a Beep or Dexter!

  6. What great pictures! Looks like they are all having fun.

  7. Dexter sent me a text msg that said “less complaining about weaves and contacts and more dumb ball” *hee hee*

  8. Joanie-Leigh says:

    don’t you worry about flying fish scales when scrubbing neked?

  9. Gracie did the creeping thing on the A-frame and we decided it was because driving to a 2o-2o hurt her back. We switched to a running contact by lowering the A-frame a LOT and having a party when she drove down it. As we raised the A-frame bit by bit, she did some flying off it but if I was in position I could keep her on it to the bottom and eventually she did it on her own. This did not take very long.

    Love that your dogs always look so expressive and happy.

  10. Excellent, too funny, and cleverly psychedelic post! Remember, just pretend it’s someone else’s training problem and you can work out a solution :-) Your amazingly beautiful/funny/hysterically wierd pictures give me much happiness…
    Thank you!!

  11. Olivers creeping problem was solved by chucking his dumball as he was going over the contact then quick releasing onto it, after about three sessions he leaves the non-contact part of the obstacle for dust!

  12. I like the super-big photos in the new format!!!

  13. Superlicious knew blog design! Love the clean, crisp layout. Miss the crazy leaping bc in your header but I expect I’ll get over it…. :-)

  14. Love the new blog design. The unexpected VERY LARGE Mad Teeth ™ made me giggle!

  15. nickelsmum says:

    Nano creeps up to the box when we try to work up close. He does not do this with full length runs. It is funny how his BC half comes out in this situation. It does slow down training box turn repetitions (which is all he really needs in life) because we have to do them as full runs.

    I have helped a couple of people with dogs who were lollygagging over the top of the A-Frame by having them click BEFORE the peak and then reward at the bottom. They were clicking/marking at the bottom, after the creeping, and this rewarded the chain including the creeping. IMO, with BCs, this kind of creeping is pretty severe instinctive drift and it is so easy to reinforce that you have to avoid reinforcing it very, very carefully. I assume that is why the Sadist is now wanting you to switch to a running contact. Not being an agility maven I am not sure of the fix, but if the 2o2o freeze is pretty well set by now, can you click Dex when he is still running fast (on the upside, or at the peak?) and then let him slow down for the contact, then reward with a thrown toy? You are still rewarding the 2o2o position but not a full halt and it might get him to think about running instead of creeping. I would personally be terrified to teach the giraffe a running contact.

    I think teachers who have not seen this before in a BC often assume it is insecurity. I think it is not insecurity at all.

    I am in the process of fixing Mellie’s contact. I did a tiny bit of 2o2o when she was a puppy, but my current coach wanted me to teach a 4-on position before moving to the 2o2o position. This was confusing to Mellie, who was driving nicely to the 2o2o position, and now she is backing up onto the plank if she overshoots, which is BAD. I am trying to remove all that 4on training from her brain. Not the same problem, but I feel your pain in trying to change horses midstream or whatever.

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