Thursday, 20 August 2009


Seems like it has been mad busy this week, I took some classes for Ant at Bincknoll, which went well, and then yesterday evening I took Scandal in their indoor centre place, and just sat with her, behind the wall where the dogs were working, getting her to do lefts, rights, sit and waits. She was extremely alert and dying to get into the arena, however she was marginally calmer than she usually is, ie she wasn't screaming ALL the time. I was literally stuffing treats into her mouth all the time to start with (and she was doing an impression of a dam pirahna snapping for the treats) but then after a while she did settle a little bit. She could hear the dog and owner working round a course, but the only time she felt the need to bark was when she could hear the dog going over the dogwalk or seesaw. I was leaving her in sit waits to see if she would be better behaved when I wasn't holding the lead, I am not sure if this was the case, however she did for the most part remain in a sit, and just barked in her highest pitch (which I am sure majorly irritated all the people there!). We did about 15 minutes of this and then I took her out.

Hopefully if I can find situations like this to work her around, where she isn't actually doing anything, and is not as close to the action as she would be at a 12-ring agility show, we might eventually get there. I have enjoyed reading Nancy's posts about what she's done with Zeki for a dog with a high chase drive - Scandal is so obsessed with movement, in both agility and obedience - any dog moving, no matter how fast or slow, is a big draw to her. Yet take her out on a walk and she's not particularly fussed about any dogs that charge past her. When I was at an obedience show last week I couldn't even get her to give me a hand touch of more than 1 sec, yet at the park, she is happy working through any distraction. It feels like I have got a lot of work to do with her this winter!

The only thing I am slightly relieved about (hope she is not lulling me into a false sense of security!) is that the bits of training we have done, she loves, and is now really into her toy, so I hope that will be more exciting than leaving the ring to chase another dog!

After having been away for so much of July and August, I was expecting her running contacts to go slightly pear shaped, however they didnt, they were HORRENDOUS! I did some when I got back from Europe, and before I'd left they were about 70% good, well they were about 10% when I got back, I think (for this one occasion!) Laura was right, as she said Scandal would grow and it would screw it up, and I think she had, as we just couldn't get it right at all!

I was doing them 2-3 times a week but since I have been back on Sunday, I've done them 4 times, and I am pleased that yesterday her success rate was 80% and today it was 100%. Between coming back from Europe and leaving for Exmouth I don't think her success rate was any higher than about 40%. I did lower the plank, but eventually it was on the floor and she was still jumping, so I just put it back on to the height we have been working at, only rewarded the good ones (that is why I like having a dog who doesn't die at the thought of not being rewarded!) and finally they are starting to come good again... hope it lasts!

I've done very little training with Tia since July, I wanted to give her a bit of time off again. When we were in Exmouth we went to the beach a lot, and one time we had just got off the beach and were in the park, when we were joined by a scaredy cat Rhodesian Ridgeback. Scandal, who just wants to play ALL the time, managed to get it playing, and they were chasing each other round, and then this absolute moron of a dog (RR, not Scandal!) just completely smashes through Tia, who was minding her own business in the middle of the field... quite why this dog had to choose the particular spot Tia was at, I don't know, but of course I was mad at myself for letting Scandal play with the dog, for not getting Tia out the way etc etc. The dog really hit her side hard, and I think it winded her as although she didn't yelp, there was a bit noise. She wasn't lame after that, and although I watched her like a hawk for a few days, I'd put it to the back of my mind by the time we saw the specialist on Tuesday. Tia's neck is sore... back is really sore... grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!!!! We have got to do a stretch on the exercise ball twice a day to stretch the muscles in her back, as when I do it at the moment, the muscles go into spasm, it really isn't nice to see her so uncomfortable! She was her usual crazy self when I was at the field today, and we did a sequence (4 jumps and a tunnel) on small height and she was lovely, but I have left it at that until she is mended. Slap for Char for not thinking a bit quicker that RR was too big a dog to play with!!

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