Wordless Wednesday #21 – Dog and Pony show

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This is part of a blog hop. To join in and to see who else is participating visit our host, BlogPaws. Make sure to comment and say Hello when you visit other blogs.

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Agility Demo Day

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The agility club I recently joined participated in the Okotoks Agricultural Society Winterfest and put on an agility demo for the society. It was a nice little event with some great demonstrations. The cutting horse demo was with a Bison. I’ve seen demonstrations with cattle before but for some reason I think the Bison was quicker than the cows I’ve seen.

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The local fire department was there as well and who doesn’t love meeting a fireman? Doesn’t CB look like he’s ready to drive the firetruck?

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The trick riding demonstration was incredible. This young girl is only 10 years old but she was awesome on her horse and did some pretty cool tricks. I have to say she was the star of the show, what a brave girl. The lighting was poor so it was hard to get a good picture without using flash and I didn’t want to spook her horse. I do kind of like the blurry picture because you can tell she’s riding fast.

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There were goats, bunnies and toy pigs for big and little kids to meet as well as pony rides. I found the toy pig really fascinating never having seen one before. The one pictured below is nearly full grown and weighs about 20 pounds even though he’s CB’s size. They can get quite a bit bigger at 60 pounds but this guy is going to stay little. CB wasn’t so sure what to think of the pig though.

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It turned out to be so much fun and the crowd loved watching the dogs. Some of our members have very experienced dogs that just wowed everyone with their speed and skill in the weave poles. But the crowd cheered the loudest for our more novice agility dogs like CB and hooped and hollered as he went along the course we set up.

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I was too busy to get many pictures of the demo but here’s a few of our dogs. We all had a great time and CB was really tired by the end of the day. Thanks so much to the Okotoks Agricultural Society for inviting us to participate. It was a blast.

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Black & White Sunday – 8

 
His eyes, gleamed in the darkness, burned with a bright light
(Beowolf; lines 724-726)
 

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This post is part of the Black & White Sunday blog hop. To see who else has been busy or to join the linky, visit the blog hop hosts  You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years or, Dachshund Nola.

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More Winter Tracking

Just about two weeks ago CB and I had our second winter tracking seminar with Donna Brinkworth. The goal of this session was to observe our dogs body language as they tracked on each of three L tracks, one of which was a blind track to us.

The first two tracks which I set, were a struggle for CB. It was windy and tracking was challenging for him that day. He had his head up a lot and I noticed when he’s not sure where to go he shows a classic stress signal – he shakes his whole body from head to toe. Even when he got back onto the scent at the corner he didn’t seem to believe it was the right way. I also noticed that he checks in with me when he’s not sure of the track and he will also walk back to me.

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Then we did our blind track and it was CB’s first time following someone else’s scent. The tracklayer followed us just like what we would experience in a real test. When CB is confident of the track he keeps his head down, you can hear him sniffing and he doesn’t look at me at all, and that is exactly what he did. He nailed the corner and ignored the bait on the track so maybe I should start to use less. I’m pretty impressed with him and if there was any doubt in my mind that he is really tracking it is now gone.

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It’s hard to tell from the photo below because I’m in the way, but CB’s head was down taking the corner just like it is in the photo above. It was so windy the cone marking the location of the turn (but not the direction of the turn) had blown away so this was really blind to me.

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What we really do need to work on it article indication. We currently don’t have one and CB could care less about the article. Here he is going in for the bait, the article just happens to be in the way.

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Donna had a great idea for me to build up some interest in the article. Instead of bait I will be putting one of CB’s favorite chewys inside the glove, that should be a little more exciting for him when we get to the article. I’ll be giving that a try and see how it goes.

*All the photos in this post were taken by Donna Brinkworth. Check out Your Tracking Coach on Facebook for more tracking info*

WOW!

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This past weekend CB and I attended the Calgary Agility Associations February Trial and this was our most successful trial to date and our first one of 2013. I entered CB in 7 events and we received Qualifying scores in 4 events; 2 Jumpers, 1 Gamblers and 1 Standard. What a difference a couple months of training makes.

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The Calgary Agility Association holds their indoor trials at the Al Azhar Shriners Fez Dome and I just love this location. The surface is hard packed sand which is much easier for CB to run fast on than the mixed shavings/dirt of other local arena’s. It’s also bright, the club is fabulous and runs a really fun trial.

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I went into the weekend with the goal of Qualifying in one round of something. CB has been running faster in practice but I didn’t expect how fast he’d be with courses that were a little more open. He was crazy fast. His last Jumpers run was just jumps and tunnels and he was more than 20 seconds under standard course time. I calculated his speed at 4.8 yards per second which is incredible for a toy dog, especially considering that his speed was just under 2 yards per second last year on a similar Jumpers course that was only jumps and tunnels. Shocking.

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How about that, CB faster than the GSD, almost as fast as the sheltie.

Places where we can still improve our times are the teeter, the chute and weaves. CB spends between 5 and 10 seconds in the chute and it’s our biggest time suck but with how he was running this weekend we were able to make up the time on the jumps and tunnels and managed to Q in Standard. I’m just so thrilled with how CB is doing and the best thing is that he is having a great time. There was also no sniffing at this trial and we were even tracking last weekend.

The most exciting thing that happened this weekend was not the Q’s. The Calgary Agility Association gives out a trophy to the Starters Team showing Oustanding Potential at their annual spring trial and the recipient was selected by the judge, Brenda Juskow and not the Club. The award is in honor of Rumba who was owned by Graham and Lahni Thompson. I’m just stunned to say that CB and I were selected as the recipient. I think being selected for this is the biggest indication of how much we have improved as a team.

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Our next trial is in two weeks. We’re heading up to Morinville Alberta for a CKC trial. It’s a three hour drive to get there and it’s with another great club – the Fort Saskatchewan Agility Association. The Sturgeon Agriplex has a similar sand surface to the Fez dome and our last trial there went quite well. It seems CB and I are just hitting our stride so I’m really looking forward to the next one.

XOXO

It’s Valentine’s day and CB and Kona hope you have someone soft and loving to cuddle with today. I know I do.

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Our experience with Dog-Dog Greetings

I meant to do this post on our experience with Dog-Dog Greetings a few months ago. This was a smaller seminar that was part of the 10 week lifestyles training class we did with Kona last fall. It was good to do this with Kona as we had confined him for several months while recovering from the plate being removed from his leg, and he’s been really hesitant around unfamiliar dogs regardless of size. Since we do go to dog shows where there are lots of other dogs we have been working on his confidence.

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First off I would like to mention that I am sharing a part of our experience with dog-dog greetings. Please note that we had a trainer available to guide us through this, to observe and ensure that we had positive greetings. If you are reading this post and your dog is reactive please contact a trainer/behaviorist for help with your dog. Kona does lack confidence around unfamiliar dogs and we feel that it is important to build that confidence but in an appropriate way. I am not a behaviorist and there is not enough information in this post to guide someone through a proper greeting. Inappropriately matched or executed greetings can go sideways and result in hurt dogs or people.

We had learned at a prior canine communication seminar that a proper dog greeting should go from the muzzle, to the neck and then to the rear. To be able to execute this we needed to make sure we kept the dog’s leashes nice and loose and to keep the greetings as short as they needed to be so that they were positive experiences.

Not all the dogs were appropriate for Kona to greet. We looked for lower energy dogs and we had two types of positive greetings. Ones where Kona was relaxed and in neutral body position near the other dog, generally in cases where the other dog was considerably larger than him.

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And with smaller dogs we had some great greetings with good progression from the muzzle onward. The photos were good to look at afterward in that we were able to see that we had the leash too tight on more greetings that we realized. Something that we need to keep in mind for future greetings to be successful.

Even though you can’t see either dog’s faces in the photo below, both dogs have a nice curved body position and this was a really nice calm greeting that we let go on for a couple of minutes.

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CB and Kona do greet larger dogs on occasion as we don’t want them barking or reacting to larger dogs when we are on walks or at shows. We do not let them play with dogs that are inappropriately sized to them. As friendly and nice as a bigger dog may be, a larger dog even stepping on a dog CB and Kona’s size can cause an injury.

Black & White Sunday – 7

I have never properly introduced Miss Peetoo. She is a friend’s pom but she spends quite a bit of time hanging out with CB and Kona and they are great friends.

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This post is part of the Black & White Sunday blog hop. To see who else has been busy or to join the linky, visit the blog hop hosts  You Did What With Your Wiener, My Life In Blog Years or, Dachshund Nola.

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Weekly Photo Challenge – My 2012 in Pictures

Here is my 2012 in pictures. For some of the months it was hard picking just one picture and there are a few favorites that have been seen before.
thanks for looking.

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January – Butchart Gardens, it happened to snow that weekend.

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Feb 2012 from a walk in Edworthy Park – one of my all time favorites

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March – great seats at the Flames game

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April – at the Coldplay concert

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May – playing around with the telephoto lends

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June brought CB’s first agility trials.

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July – Ready for the 100th Stampede

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August – CB taking a breather at the AKC trial.

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August – a trip to Greece and some time at a Corinthian beach

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August – Nemean wine country

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September – Brettos in Athens and their colorful display

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September – on the island of Paros Greece.

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September – Kona dressed up for the walk to end breast cancer

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October – Glenmorangie and Ardbeg Scotch tasting

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November – the tallest tower in Calgary, The Bow is now open to the public

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December – Mother Mother in concert at the Jubilee

Resolutions

Have you made any resolutions for the New Year? I haven’t and I generally don’t. I was thinking that I might like to participate in a challenge and was a little tempted by a couple.

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Lexi and Daizy getting a little breather so I could take a photo for their owners.

The first challenge I considered is Jessica’s from You Did What With Your Wiener. She is doing a 30/30 challenge to walk 30 minutes a day for 30 days starting Jan 1. I thought about it but then figured it would be cheating a little since CB and Kona get a 1 hour walk nearly every day and that I also hit the gym/studio for cardio, yoga and pilates classes 4 times a week.

Today for example I did two 35 minute walks, I split the dogs up into two groups so that I could go faster with a smaller group of dogs. I generally walk a pace of 5km/hour and find it a little tricky to keep that pace up with 5 dogs by myself and keep everyone on the safe side of the street (away from traffic). Lexi and Daizy were my first victims and they did 2.88km with me. I love my walktracker app, I just wish I didn’t forget to turn it off when the walk is done most times.

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I found out from Something Wagging this way Comes that January is Dog Training month and that I could participate in a 30 day dog training challenge. Again since CB and Kona trial it would be silly to not to keep up with training, plus we do classes each week and I work on some skill each day even if it’s just for a couple of minutes.

So pretty quickly I lost my resolve to make a new resolution for something. But I do realize that there is something that I’ve not kept up as well as I should. I do a good job of doing Kona’s leg stretches and the mobility at the elbow of the leg he broke has improved over 100 degrees. But that is all that I’ve done. I haven’t kept up the other exercises and I haven’t been keeping up with CB’s conditioning exercises as I should.  So perhaps instead of making a resolution I promise that I will spend the 5mins that each of them need 3 times / week to make sure they stay safe and healthy so that I can play with them in the ring.