Thursday, 31 December 2009

Xmas and New Year

Love having all the time off over Xmas, dogs have had loads of really long walks and more training than they usually get. They are loving it too :)

Went to Dawn's for a lesson on Monday. I was not impressed with Scandal! The first exercise, she TROTTED into the tunnel. She (and I) improved after that (not that it'd be hard) but I was just so mortified at how slow she was. Nothing like what she has been like lately.

I have set up in the house a tall bag that is like a cone, so we can practise our wing wraps. I taught Scandal these when she was younger, then haven't done much with them since, practised the other day and they were rubbish, guess I just thought she'd remember them. She has been going wild while we've been doing them at home, so hopefully will have the same attitude when we do that at the field!

Trained her today and, back to princess Scandalina. She was brilliant. I did a low aframe for the first time and she was great, running right to the bottom which at this stage is what I want. Only thing is when she was going over it with a run up she wanted to only touch the contact on the way down, and I want her to touch at the top, and touch the contact. So we went from closer up. Have just started doing her left and rights on it too and these were good.

Did targets on the dogwalk, haven't done them for aaaages as running so much more fun, she was good, didn't think for one moment about doing a running one. Mainly did them with her going from half way along the dog walk, dont want her doing many full ones at the moment.

Introduced another set of 4 channel weaves. So she does a set of 4, then there is a gap of about 2 metres, and another 4. She did this really great and then somehow got a little confused and started missing bits out of the first or bits out of the 2nd. We then got a couple of good ones and I left it at that. Pleased with her first attempt on 8 weaves. Really cool to see her action start to come together.

Didn't do any jumping. There just seems to be soooooo much to train, and I only like doing it in small sessions, so will have to do jumping tomorrow or the day after. She was a keen bean today, just have to get her like this at other venues now!

Happy New Year everyone :)

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

Scandal video

Scandal at 12 months old.

Sunday, 20 December 2009


Seem to have had a bit of a break through with Scandal's jumping work in the last week or so. I have found myself getting much more enthusiastic about training her, and the result has been showing, she is getting more keen, and seems to be enjoying it more. Weaves are looking nice, going to add another 4 this week hopefully. Just got to dig them out of the grass at home, and transfer them to field, much easier now I have a van they can go in, rather than trying (unsuccessfully) to get them in my Fiesta. Contacts were a total disaster today. I got Laura to film them (thank you) as I wanted to see what they were like on video, yesterday Scandal did 5 - 4 perfectly and 1 a little high. Today she seemed to be rubbish on 99% on them. It's the first bad session she has had in ages so am not going to throw all toys out of the pram just yet, but it is a bit frustrating that it all went to pot.

We had a lovely walk on the Mendips for 1.5 hours, the dogs love it, it's so great for their balance work, couldn't get a more uneven place to walk them! I never seem to take many pics so took lots today. Most of it is of the scenery which is very pretty!

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Scotland and Woodside

We had a lovely weekend up in Scotland. It is very cold up there, I think it was below freezing for the entire 3 days. It didn't rain though which is much better, and the dogs stayed very clean. We drove up with 2 dogs and returned with 2 dogs - Scandal didn't run off at all which was great. Both she and Tia were very well behaved, apart from Scandal's behaviour at Woodside, which was less than good! We stayed in a lovely cottage in Alva, Clackmannashire. On the Saturday we walked around Loch Katrine in the Trossachs, which was stunning. Some piccies below! Went to friends for dinner on Saturday night and then back to watch some of the Xfactor - perfect!

Lowri had suggested keeping Tia rugged when we are at shows where it is cold - this I did. I don't know if it was this which made a difference, but she was A-mazing! Completely wild, but a lot of fun. I had her on the startline and she was whining and barking, complete fruit loop. I stopped her very briefly (ie so all 4 feet hit the floor) on her dog walk, and front feet hit the floor on the seesaw, before releasing her, and she ran her aframe beautifully. We got 4th in the grade 7 agility, her first clear at grade 7 :-) Imogen did really well with Tia in the junior jumping, especially considering the fact that Tia was REALLY pushing her luck and was refusing to wait on the startline, but Imogen held out and insisted, and so eventually Tia decided to co-operate. It was just Tia's fruitloopiness of not running in a straight line and wanting to cut up Imogen's path that got them an E, but Imogen handled like a pro and Tia looooves running with her.

Scandal... hmmm. I wanted to get her to the seating area, which meant walking through the rings, so she went completely ballistic doing this. Then we had nice calm Scandal when she sat very calmly while I treated her, she could just see the rings, so I guess this is progress. Then on the way out, she decided she was going to dive on to the orange fencing and bite/claw it, so I had to prise it out of her paws, which was a bit embarrassing, as at the same time she was doing her best screams which meant everyone turned round to look at us. I ended up carrying her out as this was a lot easier than walking with a total idiot at the end of the lead. I have no idea what will happen when we start competing but it is going to be hard work if this is what she will be like to queue with!

Trained on Monday and Scandal was great, lovely dog walks and I have just moved the dog walk up to full height now, we are going from half way along the dog walk again. 4 channel weavies were perfect... didn't do any jumping as I was bored by then :-D Tia did some training too and was great, what clever dogs I have :-)

Happyyyy :-D

Tuesday, 8 December 2009

Flying Scandal

Just a short post...

I thought Scandal had wings today... have been using food for the dog walk as have been doing lots of work on her adjusting her stride, so thought I would use her bally and see what they were like when she was going faster. As I described to Katie, I sometimes find it a little frustrating that I haven't yet worked out what the key is to really get Scandal to drive, I am sure it will come with time, but I like things NOW :-D I find it more frustrating as Scandal is sooooo super fast but saves the super fast button for when she is chasing something, ie deer. Well, on the dogwalks today, you would have thought Scandal was going after a whole herd of deer the speed she was going!! I just thought "oh my god, slow down princess" as the speed of it was quite scary. I am not sure I even like her going that fast! It all looks very reckless!

Her channel weavies were perfect today, as were her wing wraps and go rounds. I am finding there is soooo much to teach, we didn't even do seesaw or other jumping stuff today. Hopefully training on Friday before we go, and then Monday when we are back. Must start training regularly again!

Monday, 7 December 2009

Rujaff Birthday Party

Yesterday we went to Swindon for a birthday party that Jackie had organised for the 8 pups from Ruby and Jaff. I was looking forward to seeing her brothers and sisters again as have only seen a couple of them, and that was back in June/July.

They got on really well and we let them have an offlead play in the barn, was great to see them all running round with each other! We did a little sequence of 3 jumps - tunnel - 2 jumps and I was convinced Scandal was going to be slow, forgetting that it was the first time she had worked around other dogs, anyway she went like a little rocket and bounced them all, bless her.

For those not on facebook here are some piccies of her sister and brothers.

The pups from left to right
Pepper, Robbie, Rave, Scandalina, Rocky, Chilli, Che, Nell

Nell, the r+w girlie

Che (was Squiffy)

Rocky (was Fish)

Robbie and Rave


Rave Chilli and Scandal

Pepper (was Spot)

It was a lovely afternoon, Scandal was on her best behaviour, apart from one occasion when I was sat on a bench watching the pups do some training, she tried to climb onto the table to get the box of peanuts, so I caught her, and was going to have a cuddle with her on my lap, only Scandal decided against this, and wanted to get down IMMEDIATELY and then proceeded to climb on to my head, and in my mad scramble not to let her fall off my head (in hindsight, she'd probably have landed a lot better if she had jumped!) I fell off the bench backwards and we both landed in a heap. My bum is killing today! Naughty puppy! I do have some video but it will take aaaages to upload so not sure when I will get it all on.

Went jogging again with her tonight, she loves seeing the world at a faster pace!

We are off to Scotland on Friday, I can't wait, soooooooo excited!! I think Scandal will love it :-)

Saturday, 5 December 2009

Happy 1st Birthday Scandal

I cannot believe it that a) time has gone so fast, and b) Scandal has survived her first year with the amount of stupid/mad/crazy things she has done.
It has been an up and down year, Scandal contributing to both the ups and downs, but most definitely more ups!

This pic was taken of the guys on the mendips a couple of weeks ago... love it there!

Scandal celebrated her birthday by rolling in fox poo, and then having a cold hose + fairy liquid to get rid of it, gross!! I am glad my dogs don't roll in it as a habit, I think that is only the 2nd time Scan has done it, it's grim, and turns my stomach every time!

Friday, 4 December 2009

Clever Scan

Pup was awesome today, sooo much better than Monday when I gave up and put her back in the van!

She was really up for it, we did 2 half dog walks and then 2 full dog walks at running, which were perfect, and then 2 half dog walks with the target and again they were lovely.

Channel weaves (4poles) were great, I am working on saying 'poles' then running still towards them but at a different angle, to make it even harder for her as her chase drive kicks in when she sees me running, and she wants to leave the weavies to come and catch up with da mumma. She's probably 100% with me standing still from any angle, but drops to 70% when I add me moving/running too. Loving shaping them, if she gets it wrong, ie goes in 2/3 pole, I just wait for her to correct herself, and yesterday she went through so many variations before working out which way in was the right way... she was perfect after that so I think it must have sunk in as she was working it out!

Was really up for jumping too, and powering off into the tunnel, didn't herd any jumps (she was getting really bad at running round, esp the first one) and was sooooo responsive to what I was saying. Clever little cookie.

I think it's a record and hope I'm not speaking too soon, but Scandal hasn't jumped up at ANYONE this week while we've been out on a walk. Or run off. Progress :-)

Sunday, 29 November 2009

Sexy van :-)

LOVING the van!! It is wonderful. So powerful, it makes me giggle every time I tap the accelerator and off we zoom. The only problem is when I overtake, I have no idea if we have passed the car or not, so it takes me a while to cross my fingers and pull back in. I have got 2nd mirrors on each mirror (blind spot mirrors?) but not sure how they work... all seems a bit confusing really! Saying that, today I drove it in the morning in the dark, and then this evening in the dark... maybe if I drive it in daylight it will be easier?

Had a horrible encounter with two deer this morning, I was more scared because the road where I met them, I am usually going along at around 40 - 45 in my Fiesta, so wouldn't have been going slow enough to stop, however in van aka pride and joy, I was only doing about 25, as I was going around a corner (little country roads) and did not want to drive too close to the hedge and risk scratching it... anyway two deer were in the side of the road, but fairly hidden until last minute, one ran out infront of me, so I slowed down, then it's stupid friend ran out at the last minute and literally just missed my bonnet, phewf, I nearly died, would have been so mad if it had left any dents in the beautiful silver paintwork! I don't think I will ever be able to get out of 2nd gear again down that road, I have driven along it fairly regularly for the last couple of months and never seen any deer, and the one time I met them, I was driving really slowly... someone was looking down on me today!

Garth and Lee very kindly installed my 2up2down cages today (that I bought back in September :-D) and it is so fab putting the dogs straight in. They also removed the top half of the steel bulkhead as it was a bit rattly and also meant I couldn't see the babies. It is still pretty quiet and once I have the radio on I can't really hear anything else anyway :-) I just love it, I have to keep it tidy though!! Going to get some storage stuff for the middle section of the van... want to get some coat hanger type things, but the hooks which I can hang over the bulkhead, so I can just reach in and hang said coats up. Know what I mean but can't remember where I've seen them! I don't think I have ever got so excited about a car/van... I even gave it another clean/polish today, even though it was already sparkling... probably would've been better spending that time on my car - will be sad to see it go, it has been great, but unfortunately it isn't big enough for me, 3 dogs, and all my luggage that I take to shows!

Took Scandal to the ltd show at Conquest Farm today. She managed to sit through the prize giving, at the back, and only barked twice (clapping is very exciting). Then once both rings were finished I took her indoors and had her doing waits and heelwork (our version of it anyway) in the arena and she was lovely, once she'd had a very intense look round for any sign of movement of people/dogs that may be walking or running round a course. Unfortunately at the moment even people walking the course is enough to make her scream... and make me want to scream at Scandal. Once she had been in the arena for a couple of minutes you could see her visibly relax and she wasn't looking so manic, she was concentrating on what I asked her to do instead of squeaking and shuffling and looking like she's about to pop. I am hoping at the show next week we can get quite near the door to the arena, but doubt we will go in unless Scandal's behaviour is perfect... which it won't be, therefore we won't be going in (setting self up to fail?!). At home if she knows the dog who is training in the field, I can have her off lead and she won't chase - she will be excited, but not so crazed up that she's beyond taking any notice of what boring mumma is saying. Hopefully we can build on that and have two dogs training at once with her milling around - I think she'll find this uber hard, as 2x movement = 2x as exciting. Might be at this stage for a couple of months I think!

Still glad the control of dogs (ie the queue test) won't be in place by June 10!

Friday, 27 November 2009

Great week

We spent the day in Kent yesterday and I had another lesson with Dave. I soooo could not concentrate, and handled appallingly, Scandal was tired as had spent an hour chasing round with another dog beforehand (which in hindsight, was very stupid of me, but I didn't realise they were racing round the garden until they'd been out there for about 45 mins) and so she was quite sluggy, and very herdy, wanted to run round every first jump, which was really annoying, there were some bits she was soooo fast, and then other bits when she barely got into 3rd gear. Know lots I need to work on which is good.

Did some with Tia aka Mrs Keen Bean, she so funny, absolutely wild and sooooo wants to do agility, which I just think is great. We did some work on when to use the stop arm, and when I need to stop using the stop arm and teach her to come with me using my shoulders... she's so reliant on my stop arm that it slows her down too much but because she flicks off so easily I've used it too much to compensate for my poor training. She still gets tired very quickly and was knocking poles but that is partly due to lack of training and lack of jump fitness I think.

And now my most exciting news.... I have bought a van... YAHOOOO!! It is a Ford Transit Connect, LWB, SILVER :-D and I'm uber excited (apart from going down to get it and having to drive it home, major ahhhh!). I bought the cages for it about 2 months ago, so will be able to put them up (or, I will get a very kind person to put them up for me :-)) quite soon, it will be sooo great just being able to bung the dogs in the back rather than having to spread them throughout my fiesta in the footwell/back seat/boot. And hopefully the middle section will fit my bike in so we can go down on to the cycle track more often and take them (aka Scandal) out for a good run. Well chuffed, never thought I would find one. Not lookin forward to making the transition from car to van, losing use of all my windows!! And having to use my mirrors, oh and parking... hmmm it's taken 2 years for me to learn to parrallel park the fiesta so got no idea how I am going to learn to park a van!

Happy beans :-)

Sunday, 22 November 2009

Happy days

Sometimes I just have these days when everything seems so perfect and I couldn't be happier with my dogs.

Yesterday I went to the Honiton v South Devon league match, I just took Ricky and Tia as I thought as Scandal needs so much attention when we are at a show, I will instead just give more attention to T and Rix as they can be a bit overlooked when I have the naughty pup. I have to admit it was lovely to have two such well behaved and easy going dogs, they are such a breeze to have around!

They had 4 runs each, agility, jumping, tunnel fun and agility steeplechase (which had a dw and af). Tia ran at large G5-7 and Ricky ran at anysize G5-7 medium. Ricky hasn't had 4 runs at a show for about 3 years so I was excited to be doing so much with him!!

Tia: agility - trained her contacts, lovely 4offs, had a pole then I didn't cue her with my shoulders for a turn and she went round a jump and than ran off into a tunnel.
jumping - was doing a cracking round until I got LOST!!! What a prat. It was a bit of a tricky course, involving a push through (which we did perfectly - yay!) a couple of pull throughs which we also did, and then I had to send her through a box and recall her round the back of a jump - she did this wide, which put me/her out of position so instead of flicking her into a tunnel, I turned round and sent her down a line of jumps. I just can't believe I couldn't remember the course, it wasn't even like I had any excuse of lots of rings to walk! Tia loved it tho, was a mad girlie and put in two bounce jumps which I was uber pleased with.
tunnel fun - just a pole, was FLYING, loved doing big send outs to the tunnels. Came 7th even with 5f :oD
agility steeplechase - in this run, there was something about it that just made me so relieved I made (imo) the right decision to put Tia through months of rehab, she looked fantastic, even if i do say so myself :oD her confidence was awesome, she was completely bonkers, soooooooooo wild, and attacked every jump like she meant it, she did 2 bounce jumps, which considering the ground was soft, and 18months ago she couldn't bounce jump at all, is amazing. I saw so much enjoyment from my girlie in this, loved working, did everything I asked and just ran her heart out. I won't lie and say Tia is my favourite dog in the world, I do really struggle with her (as a pet) but I know that training her in obedience and agility and then doing the rehab stuff with her has totally transformed our bond, when I am training/working her she has no fears, no spazzy 'herd the cat/sheep/ferret/chickens' moments which rule her life, and we have so much fun. When she comes out the ring with her hollee rollee toy and comes out leaps at me to play with her I smile and think at how far we have come. We still have many moments of 'TIA... WHY IS IT ALWAYS YOU IN TROUBLE!!' but agility is definitely something where we can both forget all those moments that we clash and just have lots of fun. Oh dear this is turning out to be another rambly post, but I am just so chuffed by how she is running, how happy she is and the buzz I get from running her. I think it was the first time I have gone for it, since April 08, instead of running her cautiously as if she is about to break, and it was so good to really get into the courses rather than half working, half watching her!

And then good Mr Ricky, who was a great boy today. I wasn't sure whether to run all 4 classes but decided to as will probably be the last chance we ever get of doing 4 classes, he hasn't been too stiff this week and no lameness or anything like that, also the courses were all 5-7 and of course we are used to doing anysize straight up and down, so I was just a bit excited as to have something to really work!
agility - did stop-go on dogwalk and aframe and he did a lovely run, hard work getting him to turn tightly but he was fab and came 1st beating all the other 5-7s large med and small :-D
jumping - knocked a pole when I dropped my shoulder recalling him through a box but he was really tight and no hesitation from me about which frickin direction I was running in, no way was I getting lost again! Got 3rd in this with 5f.
tunnel fun - super boy did a lovely clear I think this run was his favourite, all the massive send outs to tunnels he was sooo fast! Got 2nd in this.
agility steeplechase - held his contacts, did lovely dog walk then knocked 2 poles, maybe he was tired I am not sure. Ran into 4 off on aframe, I held him there for a couple of secs before releasing. Good boy he tried sooooo hard in his runs, ran his little socks off. He is blooming hard work as when I use the cue arm for Tia she understands it and it doesn't feel like I am fighting her all the way round but with Ricky you have to almost stand in his flight path before he will put a steady stride in! Was so great being able to work him on hard courses, he was so up for it, I wish I hadn't had to retire him at the age of 8 but perhaps it's why at almost 11 (and no doubt with the help of Lowri) he is working faster than ever.

What a pair of good dogs I have, I am looking forward to two KC shows next month and then they are having a bit of a break till March/April time, when hopefully we will be doing quite a few shows, oooh the excitement :o)

Saturday, 21 November 2009

Rubbishy weather

I DONT LIKE THE RAIN!!! In fact I quite hate it. I have trained today for 2 hours and got soaked through to my pants, my coat is no longer waterproof and the waterproof trousers I was wearing evidently are not waterproof either.

The only agility training Scandal has done this week was yesterday and 5minutes today. Both times working on contacts, we did some running ones going from the middle of the middle plank of the dw, her first session yesterday of 8 reps she did 7 perfectly and was a little high on one, second session we did 7 and she did 6 perfect and one a little high. Today we just did one session of 5 reps and she was 100% perfect. We also did 1 session of targeting yesterday, and 1 session today and she was great. As I am still only doing FP with her as haven't phased out the target yet, I am making sure I just do lots of varying my position and time I click her, sometimes I ask her for 2-3 nose touches before I click. Did some work with no target and she is getting there now, she does do the "sniffy make sure my target really isn't here" and then once she realises it isn't, targets the ground really nicely. Only bad thing was where we have been doing lots of FP work over the last 2 weeks I have churned up the end of the dog walk area and she ended up with a really muddy nose and mouth poor little princess.

Took all 3 of the dogs over the Mendips yesterday and Scandal had her fluorescent coat on, she looks uber cute!! She's been strangely well behaved this week, no jumping up at people on walks, no running off, and even good in all her agility training.

I worked Tia yesterday and she was good, I can't seem to click with her and so we just do lots of straight lines and then separate work on her turns, rewarding sharp turns/pull throughs, she's very rubbish with her commands, generally because she is barking so much I am sure she cannot hear a word I am saying. I am hoping when we go to Daves this will give me lots of ideas on how/what to work on. I think realistically we are not going to be at all competitive in grade 7, I can't train her as hard as I need to, she has had a lot of damage done to her body these last 6 years, so is not going to be as agile as a 2year old who's never had an injury. Tia is working faster than before her injury, which while is great, is worse for me as now not only have I not worked her for a year, but I also have a suddenly speeded up dog who now turns like a ship and just takes her pick at which jump she's gonna do and off she goes.

Ricky also worked really well, Imogen did some work with him too and he was a good boy, infact he was really good as he held all his waits first time perfectly, which he never does for me!

We have a match tomorrow, taking Ricky and Tia, and Imogen is taking Honey, I am looking forward to it :D

Monday, 16 November 2009

4 x 4

I've started Scandal's weave training off now. I was tempted to give 2x2 a go but decided not to as I don't feel I know enough about it having only watched the DVD and spoken to a few people who have used the method. If I had my very own 2x2 instructor over here then maybe it would be different :o)

I decided not to use v weave as Scandal is very leapy and I think she will just bounce through them and I don't want to encourage her to be high in them. I got a set of channels at the beginning of this but haven't really used them on any dog let alone Bandle, however decided to give it a go this week. I brought 4 poles home with me as they are in sets of 2, they are open about a foot now. We've done 4 sessions of about 5 minutes in the last 3 days. Scandal is now finding 90 degree entrances from both sides, she has cottoned on SO quickly bless her. At the end of this week I am planning on adding another 4 and possibly another 4 after that so she is doing 12 open. Then the plan is to go back to 4 and close them up, then add another set of 4 etc. Very pleased with progress so far, she lurrrrves the weavies :o)

Oh and I am saying "poles" rather than weave. After reading another blog, I realised why after all this time Tia still doesn't understand the command "weave". Well, it sounds too much like leave, she gets told to leave a lot (leave the cat, leave the ferret, leave the chickens etc) so weave/leave sound way too similar. Scandal is therefore learning "poles" :o) xx

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Honey, Scandal and Be

Agility training in Blagdon, November 09. Starring Honey (who I was looking after), Scandal at 11mths and Be at 18mths. Be and Bandle are half sisters.
They are so much fun to train :o)

And Michèle made a video of Ruby and Ant in Holland, how loooovely is Ruby :o)
For those that want to see it:

Sunday, 8 November 2009


Todd's almost 7 months now, I had him to stay for a day last week, he was good as gold. He is Astra Layce x Astra Keyne bred by Pam Duncan and Dane Redford, he is such a scrummy puppy.

And another pic of Scandal, coz she's just so cute :o)

Friday, 6 November 2009

Scandal's first lesson

This week me and Laura with Be went all the way to Kent for a lesson with Dave Munnings. Laura drove, so I got to chill all the way there, thanks Laura :o)

The lesson was fantastic, it was the best agility lesson I have ever had, I learnt SO much, me and Laura filmed each other, and we are going to watch it all back and make notes (geeks :)) as there was so much to take in I am sure my brain has only remembered a tiny bit of it. Scandal was so good, there were only a couple of times I thought she was slow, and Dave said she isn't sluggy, so that's good too :o) I do have to work on getting her to drive forward away from me and I have done too much of running with her, so a bit like Tia she will only get into 5th gear coming down the last couple of jumps. I love training her and just find that I click with her, she doesn't have masses of drive, but it is coming, I find her very easy as she doesn't everything I say like Rix did, but she wants to do it more than Tia did. I now understand properly how to train her rights and lefts, as well as a few other things such as Scandal learning to stay on the line I am running, not cutting behind or infront/to the side. Oh and how to front cross properly so Scandal actually gets to see the jump before she jumps it, poor girl.

I think the 18 months or so I have been out of competing has done me the world of bad!! I feel absolutely hopeless handling, I have no idea where to be, my timing is out, I release Scandal from the start, and by the time she has come to me I have forgotton what I'm meant to say to her!! I could remember the (very easy) sequences Dave had set, but kept forgetting when to move across to do a front cross, etc, all things I was able to do at the age of 12 but it seems that in my old age it's gone from my brain now! Luckily Scandal is very forgiving and gets her bally anyway while her silly mum tries again to get it right in her head before giving Scandal another go!

I can't wait for our next lesson, I feel like I know where I am going with our training now, have lots to practise, and hopefully by the next time we have a lesson with Dave, we will see some improvement. It took ages to get home as some idiot (a.k.a me) booked it so it meant by the time we finished and got on the M25, we hit rush hour pm traffic, ahhhhhh! However as we were both on such a high, it didn't matter quite so much (esp for me, as I had a lie in the next day :))

Was hoping to go to Sharon's today and train with Toni, which I was so excited about, both at having a lesson with Toni as I have never trained with her before, and seeing Sharon's Diesel, however unfortunately as my car broke earlier in the week and I had to have it fixed (altho they didn't, it just cost loads and it is still broke) I couldn't justify more expense at travelling to Sharon's as she's soooo far away. Why do so many great people live in the South/South East?? Hopefully we will be able to meet up in the new year, although it makes me nervous already as it will be Scandal's first time training with another dog! 

After Helen's advice in earlier blog post re: chase drive, it got me thinking as to how I could set up more challenging areas to work in where Scandal would find it harder to concentrate. We have been working on our waits with the chickens as the 'chase'. Scandal lurrrrves the chickens, I bring her in to the field which has the chickens hen house in, it took several goes before Scandal was able to sit calmly enough to open the hen house door, she was squeaking and shuffling around JUST like she does watching agility. She gets so excited when the chickens all come out, her head bobs up and down and she is shuffling her feet around, but she isn't going into a down and even when the chickens have flapped their wings she didn't break her wait. So we are now going to work on improving her sit position, holding a nice upright sit rather than getting lower and lower. Then we will move on to practising on the cows, if I could rank in terms of excitement, the ferret is a 7/10, the chickens a 8/10 and I think the cows a 9/10. And watching anything that is running at speed is a 10/10! But I hope if we can work on Scandal's behaviour and control around chickens and cows, and I can recall her away from them, and ask her to perform her tricks when they are near, then I will be on my way to getting improved behaviour watching agility, and her recall when she is off lead on a walk. Thanks Helen :)

Sunday, 1 November 2009


Scandal has redeemed herself and has been good the last few days! We did UKA Cheltenham yesterday and while I can't say Scandal was good, she was a lot better than at Shrewsbury, did some sit and down waits, held her static heelwork position for a good few seconds, and didn't bite me (yay :D). 

Tia was WILD. Actually, Tia was great, but we just aren't clicking, she is so much more enthuastic and my brain isn't functioning in the slightest bit fast enough to do her justice. In the first steeplechase she broke her wait (Tia NEVER breaks her wait) and much as I lecture everyone I teach to put the dog back if it breaks, I broke the golden rule and put my arm out and simultaneously said "go", Tia went on my arm movement, hesistated, and then spannered the first jump, I can't remember the rest, I think she took another pole. Then the second round it was going ok and right at the end she had 3 poles, got her stride a little wrong, tried to bounce jumps that should definitely have been 1 stride. In the last round she was beautiful, just a pole at the end but was 3 secs faster than the winner, it was nice to see that :o) I think I am going to have to start doing more courses with her in training as all the poles came towards the end, maybe she is getting tired. Steve was here the last few days of this week and we got some pics of Tia on Friday, had her running around and jumping etc, maybe it was too much for her doing jumping Friday and Saturday and her legs were achy I do not know. 

We went for a lovely walk today and walked to the highest point on the Mendips. It's amazing for the dogs, bracken to run in, rocks to climb on, and in Scandal's case, cows, sheep and horses to stare at through the fences. The only thing that has got me worried is as we were walking up the track, must have only been about 100m from home, Ricky looked slightly lame on both his back legs, and then looked like he was going to collapse, I caught him and held him, but he was completely fine within seconds, perked up again and has been fine all night. I am not sure what happened but I do find it quite worrying, he is only 10 :o( poor Rix. I hope it was a one off and it doesn't happen again. x

Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Bad Behaviour

Went to Shrewsbury small/med show on Sat. Scandal was SO bad! We didn't even get past the first two metres of the first ring, as she was such a fruit loop, I couldn't get her to concentrate. Normally if Iask her to do 'watch', or a recall-present, she will be perfect, eventually I got the watch, but she completely refused to do a present, and kept coming into me side on to make sure she could keep watching the agility. And then when she did come in straight, stuck her head straight through my legs so she could still watch the agility. Flippin eck she is hard work. It took 2 attempts, and the 2nd attempt about 10 minutes, before we got a 5second wait. Built this up gradually. But was still yapping all the way through. Then snapped when I gave her food, and got my finger soooo hard, that it swelled up, and there is still a mark and bruise now, normally she takes food sooo gently but becomes an absolute monster at a show!

I'm in Blagdon now, the walks here are amazing, a little too amazing for Scandal, as yesterday I was walking her and Honey. I took them on a new walk and thought I would just take the two, as all 5 might be a bit hard to deal with. Well, that was a good choice (not to take all 5!). I let Honey off first and she was quartering the ground and getting a little far away, so I put her back on the lead as the light was going and I didn't want her running off. Little Scandal with a halo on her head was being great, I was walking along talking to Honey when I looked up and Scandal is about 200m away tearing after a hare. Called and called, nothing. Then the hare goes through the gate into another field, which is running back down towards me, so only sheep fencing between us. Thought Scandal would come back on her way past, as she would've only been about 20m away. Well, I was wrong, as Scandal had no intention of coming back, she was off straight towards the main road, which thankfully has sheep fencing round it, although I wasn't sure if this went all the way round at that time. Scandal found a gap in the hedge and went through it, back into the field I'd just been in (I by now was in the sheep field (with no sheep) and running back down to where I'd last seen her). But no Scandal in site. She must only have been gone for about 10mins but felt like an eternity particularly as I had no idea what direction she'd gone in, didn't know if she'd crossed the road back towards the house, so didn't want to call her in case she had found her way back, but had to call her incase she'd got disorientated. Oh dear the relief when I saw her again. She'll be back on a flexi/long line now but it has been pretty frustrating as her recall has been fantastic recently and I thought we were making a lot of progress. Every other time I call her, she will always come back on first call, and absolutely fly to me, she has a quicker response than the other two, but evidently no response at all when it matters most!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

Glastonbury Tor

Took the 3 dogs up Glastonbury Tor today. Despite SOMEONE saying it was miles, it wasn't that far, and not too steep, much to my relief, I had visions of climbing a mountain like the one we did in Austria! Here are some pics of Scandal. I have got some pics of the other dogs but of course Scandal got the most, particularly as I haven't taken many of her in the last month. Scandal was really great, she came back every time I called her, didn't jump up at anyone, and only went to say hello to one kid. Sooo much progress. One lady was so impressed that she offered Scandal her ham sandwich for being so good, I had to turn her down as I do not want Scandal thinking that strangers will offer ham sandwiches on a regular basis, otherwise she will be thinking they are an awful lot better to visit than me!

Thursday, 15 October 2009


I trained Scandal on Monday or Tuesday this week and she was lovely, running dog walk was great, she got a bit mixed up with the 'target' command but in the end we sorted it. Did some nice send ons into a tunnel.

Yesterday and today have been teaching her tricks, she can now reverse round the sofa and continue reversing up the first stair, which I think is real cute. Can put all her feet in a bowl (altho it's their water bowl so bigger than the food bowl) and can put her front feet on a chair and put her head below. She thinks these tricks are sooooo much fun. Crazy little girlie whirlie! Can't decide what to teach her next, I think maybe leg lifts, and will also teach her to beg. She learns so quickly, and loves freeshaping. Apart from she gets a little carried away and offers as many behaviours as possible in a short space of time, need to calm the Scandalbeans down!

She has been good with both people and dogs this week, no jumping up, and will come back whenever I call her. Infact I can't think of anything particularly naughty which she has done this week, I think that is the first in a long time, maybe she is growing up :O I can hope!

Monday, 5 October 2009


Scandal's now 10 months old, wowwww, old girl!!

We went to Dartmoor on Sunday, lovely day, Scandal was VERY naughty, and very excited, and thought the sheep were just a little bit too exciting (need I say any more?!). We had 5 dogs in the landy and on the way back they all crashed out, except Scandal, who carefully balanced over Rix so she could watch the traffic on the 2 hour journey back home! I am glad she does at least sleep at home, even if she was too excited to sleep in the car!

I have bought my van cages, and we went up and collected them last week, now I just need to buy the van :oD hopefully in the next couple of months. A Fiesta just isn't big enough to transport them all in safely, and means I tend to opt for taking 2 of them out rather than all 3 like I should.

I did no agility with any of them last week, just some nice walks, and practised Scandal walking to heel on a collar and lead without thinking the idea is to extend my arm on the way to the fields. Did a training session with Scan this evening and she was good, she still isn't driving like I'd like her to, but dog walk was lovely, we did 5 from mid point on the dog walk and only one was a bit higher than I'd like. We did some seesaw, where the end of the seesaw is a couple of inches off the ground, and she gets into 2o2o so has to move the seesaw. She LOVES this game, and just spends all her time putting her paws on trying to get a click/marker. I think this has come from a lot of the balance games we have played, like using a wobble board, where she thinks that movement is a good thing. I am pleased that she is so confident as Tia's always approached it quite gingerly, unlike Scan, who is much more gung-ho. I am going to be cutting down on the amount I do her dogwalk now, now I think she understands the behaviour, I don't see much more point in doing it (plus I'm quite bored with it now!) so will leave it for a month or two and just practise it on the occasion I feel like training it. I am pretty happy with how her training is going for everything, I would just like her to try a bit harder, but I am probably expecting too much/wanting too much myself!

I went back to Uni last week and am knackered already, dogs should be grateful they get any walks/training, the poor moma's doing way too much studying :oP (that'll be the day :))

Monday, 28 September 2009

Dashin Dogs

What a brill weekend. Gorgeous weather, lovely venue, great people.

Tia - 4 runs, 4 eliminations, but they were just the best eliminations, I was as happy as if we had won! We had sooo much fun. She was crazy, she got more mad with each run (I think there were several "cripes, I'm actually doing agility" moments for her) so by the last run, my timing just got totally fuddudled, I handled her wrong and she was just bark-bark-bark so I did let out a TIA! but then we got back on track and she was just super after that, so much fun, wild, was giving it her all, loving every minute of it, and I am so grateful to my lovely little dog for trusting me enough to come back to doing agility even though 18 months ago it was so painful for her. I have really missed running her, we have a UKA show next month and then I will give her the rest of the year off, and start building her up again in Jan/Feb time, I am hopeful she will be able to do one or two classes at a couple of shows a month, maybe even a couple of champ classes, I get such a buzz from running her, just loved this weekend, although my handling is mega ropey, timing is all out, Tia is Miss Fizzy Beans! If we are able to do a bit more practising, maybe this will improve!

Rix was uber naughty on Saturday and leapt off his aframe in anysize agility, however he made up for it Sunday by coming 1st in Veteran Jumping with Lee, they totally stormed it, probably one of the best Veterans courses Rix (and Lee!) has ever worked, he was stunning! I ran him in anysize jumping first thing in the morning and came 2nd, this was despite me almost crashing into a jump, I could see I was running straight towards this jump but just didn't get out the way until I literally had to stop, what an idiot, I blame any alcohol still in my system!! Luckily Rix was oblivious to his stupid handler pratting about and carried on doing his stuff, what a good boy.

Imogen and Honey were ssssuper, and got 1st in Gr 1-3 Agility, 1st in Gr 1-2 Agility, and two thirds and a 5th in agility and jumping. I am so proud of them, still have only been training for 9 months and have won out of grade 1 and qualified for YKC ADOTY at Crufts.

I am still amazed that I have just done Tia's first grade 7 classes, when only 6 months ago it looked as if it would stay a distant dream. I am on such a high, all the patience, endless trips to SMART, the physio exercises, and building her up to be super fit, has been worth it, the guilt I had from making Tia train and compete when she was in pain has now gone, as I realise that everyone in life makes mistakes, we had tried our best to get Tia treated, but had failed to get correct diagnosis, until going to SMART, and I have done everything in my power to get Tia's health and fitness back up to a level where I know she is strong enough to do agility. Tia will always be my "drives me nuts" dog, she is a pain to live with and is a strange little dog at the best of times, however I do feel that when she does agility, she loses all the fears that she has when she's at home or out on walks, and becomes a confident, happy dog who just loves to run.

Here is a video of 3 of our runs. Thanks Garth for filming. Not bad ;-) Tia's 4th run was juniors which I didn't get on film, but Tia and Imogen definitely had fun!

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Sleeping Scandal

This always makes me laugh. Scandal decides at about 9pm that she is going to bed, and she buries into the curtains by the patio doors, spins around several times and lies down, recently she has perfected this so she is now completely surrounded by curtain. Here is her attempt last night. Soooo cute!

Monday, 21 September 2009

Scandal - the video

Well here is the video of Scandal, training at 9 half months old!

Sunday, 20 September 2009

Ric Roc

I have done hardly any training with the dogs this week. We have walked lots, but the only training I did was on Friday when Jess brought Copper over, worked him round on the equipment while I had Scandal (off lead :)) in her crate, with the door open. We then moved on to having her sat next to the crate and being able to hold a wait, with no barking. She was a good girl :)

I took all the dogs down to Exmouth yesterday, Steve took some lovely pics of Rix, these are my favourite. I can't believe Ricky will be 11 in February, it doesn't feel like I have had him that long!