Saturday, 21 February 2009

Weekly catch up

Firstly a video, of Ricky and Copper at UKA last week.

Scandal's now 11 weeks old, we visited Horseworld today, with Laura and Be. It's got horses, donkies, goats, a pig, birds, rabbits, and chickens, plus loads of screaming kids, so it was great socialisation for the pup. She has been a bit spooky this week with people, if there's loads of people she's fine, but she's not happy if there's just the odd person walking down the road, she has a good bark. However today was great for her as we met soooo many people, esp children. We haven't done much in the way of training, just lots of play.

We've been to Asda, Co-Op and Tesco car parks this week! I take Tia and Scandal, we do some socialisation with Scandal and get her used to the trolleys etc, then do some heelwork clicker stuff with Tia, then when Tia has a "duff moment" she is tied up and I do some basic stuff with the pup.

Seem to have had a break through with Tia now, after a few hard days last week, when she seemed to spend most of the session tied up, as she was more concerned with cars/noises around and couldn't concentrate. However now she's realised that by not giving attention, she gets tied up on her own, seems to have made her realise she can't pick and choose when she gives me the focus. We've had 2 fab sessions the last two days, 100% concentration, lovely flicky feet, and doing everything I ask. Hope this continues!

I am reading a very good book at the moment called Excel-erated learning - it's about how dogs learn, basically a psychology book about dogs. So far (I'm only on page 40) it's talked about classical and operant conditioning, positive and negative reinforcement and positive and negative punishment. It's great, I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in that kinda stuff. Also has stuff on types of reward, and how dogs can get accustomed to them and how it leads to an increase/decrease in performance. Totally great, very interesting as well. Although I generally can't manage more than a couple of pages per night, as it's pretty intense.

Okies thats all for now as its gone midnight and need some sleep!

Saturday, 14 February 2009

Scandal 10 weeks

Here's piccie of crazy pupper at 10 weeks old. She is one cooool puppy!

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

New trainer

Still on a hiiiiigh...

Had a lesson with my new obedience trainer on Sunday... I have been waiting for a space since July, we had a session booked in for last Thursday, then of course came the snow, so we put it off until Saturday, and then that became Sunday.

It was AMAZING! One of the best things I have ever done. She saw Tia in a totally different light to what I have ever seen her in, of a dog that has me completely wrapped round her paw, I bend over backwards to make sure she doesn't get upset, pander to her every need, and Tia picks and chooses as to how much effort she feels appropriate to contribute.

We also had a long chat over how I approach things in training and competing, and how this has affected what Tia works like. Also about Tia's understanding and how she thinks.

Ahhhh it was just so brilliant. When I trained Tia today I tried out a few of the things that we worked on, and I gave Tia a 'time out', then untied her from the tree and she was a different dog, totally wanting to please and doing anything to get a click, rather than having a quick gawp as and when she felt like it.

I'm getting some books on the theory of clicker training, which should help, as at the moment I don't fully understand how to use a clicker to its best. Ahh dog trainings gone all technical all of a sudden lol.

As to Stroppy Scandal, well she is just wonderful. She is not guarding her food as much now, and doesn't growl when I stroke the other dogs after stroking her. In the last couple of days her and Tia have started 'playing', I say playing, however it's more the puppy running round and round Tia, and Tia swiping her paw at her every now and then.

Scandal's been to lots of new places, however the last two days she has been car sick, grrr bad puppy I hate sick! We went to Jolleys superstore today, I carry her for bits and put her down occasionally. When she is at home on our driveway, she will growl and bark if someone walks past, however once we are past the driveway she is fine and wants to approach everyone. I think she has taken over the role of guard dog as Rix and Tia are so useless at it. We have been to Asda and have worked on focussing on me around the car park - she's still a bit scared of traffic if they whizz past, and at Asda they seem to use it as a racetrack, so twas a bit scary. I am determined that she won't be scared of traffic like Tia, as it gets a bit tiresome when Tia has to stop and turn round every time she hears a car behind her.

She has her 2nd jab on Friday, I can't wait, as I am still being careful about how much I expose her to the outside world, we have been on a couple of walks, and I carry her on bits and let her walk on bits. She sticks very close to me, so much so that I have managed to stand on her a couple of times as she walks under my feet, Rix and Tia know this is a danger zone so stay well clear, lol.

Anyway thats a very long post so think it is enough for one day...

Ok one more bit... we did hill training today, that is, getting Tia to really use her back leg muscles running up vertical hills. No lameness afterwards, yayyy. She is getting better, slowly. :o)

Thursday, 5 February 2009

Snow dogs

Took the camera out on a walk today, havent taken photos of the dogs for ages now, the photos didnt come out too great (had it on the wrong setting... again) but never mind.

Ricky will be 10 in a weeks time, and Tia will be 7 in May! Can't believe how old they are getting... Tia still acts like a 2 year old, big fat donut.

Tia - as the snow was melting it was falling off the trees and she thought it was squirrels running about (she's obsessed with them) so kept stopping to stare... weirdooo.

Tia looking gormless and sticking her tongue out!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009


Thanks to Itty for these fab pics of Scandal at 8 weeks old!

Well, the monster has really found her feet. We somewhat struggled the last 3 days as she was being very dominant with both Rix and Tia, but especially Rix, she was being growly and dominant if I stroked him, or if there was food around. However today so far no growls or tantrums, she has been very good!
She has been quiet every night so far, bed time at 10.30 and get up at 5.30 on a week day and 7 on weekends, she sleeps until I wake her up, what a sweetie! She is toy mad, and loves the puppy training we are doing. Can't wait to take her to some socialisation classes, I am sure she will love meeting all the different dogs.