Saturday, October 31, 2009

AAC trial Oct. 30, 2009

Happy Halloween!

We had a good trial yesterday, just did two Masters Standard. I'll write very quick descriptions:

Masters Standard
Missed the A-frame contact again, oh well -- she had more speed than usual on the whole AF, and really drove onto it. had one off-course to a tunnel (but then again, a lot of dogs had off-courses to tunnels in this course). Fun course and I used a lot of rear crosses! Nice teeter too!

Masters Standard
Mika loved the beginning of this course. Three jumps taken in a straight line, then a slight turn onto the teeter. She zoomed over the first three jumps. Missed DW contact.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Joint supplements

I've been thinking of starting Mika on a joint supplement. She's getting closer to middle-aged and her conformation isn't as good for agility as Wall-e's is. I've been considering Sashas Blend -- they say it's natural, and I've heard lots of great recommendations on it. I haven't looked into it a lot though. Right now Mika and Wall-e get a fish oil capsule once or twice a week, and digestive enzymes at one meal every day, but no kind of joint supplements.

Does anybody who's reading this use any joint supplements?


Monday, October 26, 2009

AAC trial Oct. 25, 2009

Haven't written in a while. Not much has been happening her, until our amazing trial yesterday! (I know I always say that, but this trial was pretty great!) I'll make the video later, I'll just write some quick descriptions of the runs for now.

Mika's excitement, drive, and speed at trials keeps getting better and better! -knock on wood- :) We tried a change in our warm-up routine at this trial -- instead of bringing Mika in about 15 minutes before her run so that I can warm her up, she's warmed up about half an hour before, put back in the car, and stays there until there are about 5 dogs left, which is when I get her out and bring her in. She stresses if she has to wait too long, so this warm-up routine works a lot better for her (which resulted in more exciting runs). We'll be keeping this change in our routine for future trials!

Masters Jumpers
We hadn't done any agility in over a week (I like to rest my dogs' bodies once in a while) so she was super excited, taking lots of off-courses, CRAZY!

Masters Standard
AWESOME teeter, raced right to the end. We faced a couple tunnel/A-frame discriminations but got them both right -- Mika's actually really good with contact/tunnel descriminations, she knows her verbal cues well. Ran this entire course fast and clean, and I actually thought we had her Masters Standard title (it would have been the 3rd and final Q) but turns out she missed the AF contact! Oh well, I LOVED this run and I don't mind at all that we didn't get the title this time. It was just a ton of fun!!

Masters Standard
Hahaha this dog is nuts. :D A similar run to Jumpers in that we had lots of off-courses! She actually grunted/huffed through the weaves, something she's done at home when she's super-excited, but she's at a trial before.


Sunday, October 18, 2009

A few backyard photos

Eagerly waiting for me to say the magic word to release her out of the stay

Waiting for cars to chase, as always!

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Current Tricks in progress

Mika and Wall-e have both been learning to back up onto a book. I've tried teaching this to Wall-e before without much success (he would back up until the back of his hind legs touched the book, then stop). Then I read the Clean Run article ("Tricks for Agility" I think, by Sassie Joiris) in the October 2009 issue and it helped a lot.

I tried it with Wall-e first and after 5 minutes he could back up and step onto the book about half the time (the other half he would miss and back up over it without stepping on it).

Mika actually did incredible with shaping this trick. She's not a thinker and gets "stuck" easily (when she doesn't know what to do she'll lie down or sit and stare at me). But she only got stuck ONCE in this 5-minute session! By the end of the 5 minutes she was backing up onto the book every time. She barked through the entire 5 minutes, hahaha!

Another trick I've been teaching them both is weaving between my legs while I'm walking (harder for me than the dogs, especially since Mika want to zoom as fast as she can!). At this point Mika can weave through my legs as I take two steps...if she can concentrate on the trick while still barking her head off, that is! :) This dog is crazy, but I LOVE it. Wall-e's learning this trick too. He can go through my legs when I take one step. (I started teaching Mika this trick before I got Wall-e, but never finished.)

They've also both learned how to run around a barrel. I didn't even have to teach them -- with Mika I just pointed to the barrel and said "Gogogogogo" (a general cue for just about anything that involved running) and she raced around it. Then I increased my distance from the barrel. And Wall-e? He learned by watching Mika, and I could send him around the barrel at a distance right away! They can both send to it from 20 feet now.

So much fun teaching tricks. We'll be doing a lot more in the winter during the 5 months of no agility.


Friday, October 16, 2009

Training at the field

Went to the field today for the third day in a row (although only Mika went on Wednesday and only Wall-e went yesterday -- today both dogs got to go).

With Mika I did the dog walk (with a pool noodle 30" from the edge of the DW) twice, and she had a REALLY nice hit, right at the bottom. Then we ran part of the same sequence that we ran on her birthday, as well as another very flowing sequence that I made up quickly. I should really be working on harder sequences, but I love seeing her soaring with no hesitation. She was nuts today, taking a couple off-course jumps in the new sequence I made up today (that's no surprise!) and having fun.

Wall-e's turn next! I also did the dog walk first. I haven't talked about his running DW contacts in a while...well, the pool noodle stride regulators weren't the best because he didn't hit deep enough in the yellow. Since then we've experimented with a few more methods but none of them seemed to work. Wall-e learned how to nose touch a target as part of his foundation training, and earlier this week I put his nose touch at the stairs in the basement, simulating a contact obstacle. He had this amazing nose touch -- I would start him standing at the last step, say "Touch!" and he would quickly leap forward to go in the 2on2off position and do a hard nose touch to the target. So yesterday I decided to try putting his 2o2o with a nose touch on the DW, thinking that it might help him graduate to running contacts. Even though I backchained it, he was confused and didn't know how to collect himself to get into 2o2o. And although he was having fun, he didn't have the same absolute joy that he has when he runs the contact. I put away that idea for now, although I might have to go back to it next year depending on how his running contact training is going.

Mika and Wall-e will be doing several fun matches this winter, and I'd like Wall-e to get experience on different contacts, so I want to use a PVC hoop at the fun matches. That way he can get used to the unfamiliar contacts and not practice leaping over the yellow. Today I put the hoop in front of the end of the dog walk so he could practice with it. He leaped the yellow, so I put the hoop closer, more at the end. This time he did a perfect hit, and the next rep too! I haven't seen the video yet so I can't say how much he collected his stride to hit the yellow, but it looked pretty comfortable for him. A possibility for training running contacts? Maybe. I have all winter to figure out how I want to train his contacts, and we have all season next year to train them.

Then I finished Wall-e's broad jump training (over the past several sessions I've been gradually spacing the boards apart and fading the 10" jump behind it), and then he ran one of the sequences Mika got to run.

It's been a good training day!


Thursday, October 15, 2009

Mika's 5th birthday

It was Mika's birthday yesterday, on October 14. Five years old!

Mika didn't like the hat too much :)

"There, that's much better!"

After school we went to the agility field and I set up a very fun, flowing sequence with Mika's favourite obstacles -- jumps (definitely her favourite) at 6", tunnels, and the dog walk. She LOVED it and zoomed through the sequence, very fast, and even clean. She had a blast!

Then we went to the park, Wall-e too. It was cold (and SNOWING, of all the days) so Mika had to wear a sweater. Added some nice colour to the photos though.

Later that evening it was time for Mika's homemade peanut butter "pupcake!"

There are five candles, look closely!

Staring eagerly at her pupcake. Don't want that beard to catch on fire! "Peanutbutterpeanutbutterpeanutbutter gimme that PEANUT BUTTER!" Yes both of my dogs are nuts for peanut butter!

LOL her expression is funny. After the candles are all blown out, Mika grabbed the pupcake and then jumped down off the chair to scarf it down. All that peanut butter actually stuck to the roof of her mouth and I had to reach in her mouth to get it all out! She enjoyed it nevertheless! (Not the best quality photo because it's taken from a video.)

Mika also got lots of homemade pumpkin cookies, which she also loved.

Her presents -- agility, yummy food, fun at the park...Mika couldn't have had a better day!! Happy 5th birthday, my little girl!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

CKC trial Oct. 10, 2009

Hard to believe that we've been trialing for two years already. So proud of my girl!! We've accomplished a lot and I feel like we can do anything together.

Mika had awesome contacts and weaves. I was very happy with all of the runs, she was fast!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Fun match Oct. 4, 2009

Fun match from almost a week ago...yep I'm late :) And we had a trial today too but I'll write a separate post for that later.

Mika was so absolutely FAST, very happy with how much fun she was having, and that I kept to my "rule" of never letting her know when I make a mistake (because it's always me who makes the mistakes). Her contacts were awesome!! Nice weaves too!

Wall-e's third fun match. Wall-e keeps getting faster at every fun match, he just keeps gaining speed every month as we uncover more and more of his drive! He's loving agility more and more, and thinks it's so much fun to run around a field jumping over and running through stuff.

Friday, October 9, 2009


Wall-e sometimes jumps up onto the kitchen table...but can't get back down :)

Monday, October 5, 2009


On Saturday, October 3, Mika and I got to spend a day with the brand-new Superdog apprentices!

The Superdogs show is a live event for people of all ages, all about dogs. It includes elements of agility, flyball, freestyle, disc, and more, and is a ton of fun! The Superdogs team travels around North America so everybody can experience the fun.

I'd contacted the Superdogs in September, and we were accepted to perform at this show. Mika did so awesome! She'd never seen flyball-type jumps before, or a clear tunnel, but she did both with ease. There was also an "obstacle" that isn't in agility. It was called a "corkscrew," and it was basically a clear curved tunnel that curled upward ONTO a 2 ft. wide dog walk/ramp. She went into the tunnel but as soon as the tunnel started to ascend on the ramp, she turned around (she had no idea what it was!). I don't blame her at all, out of the thousands of tunnels she's raced through none of them has ever ascended! Hahaha, must have baffled Mika. She wasn't stressed about it at all, though. Rather, she had tons of fun. At the beginning of the course, as she was being held on t he podium, she was slightly worried, but as soon as she started running and knew what to do she wasn't worried or stressed at all. GOOD GIRL!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Today's training at the field

We went to the field today, again! (Third day in a row...and before that we hadn't been in weeks.)

Mika only did a jump because she just did agility yesterday -- as I always say, I don't like training her a lot because the less I train her, the faster and more driven she runs. I train her once or twice a week. Wall-e's drive has increased a LOT and I find that now I can train him a lot more often without losing any of his speed. Actually, it seems like the more often I train him, the faster he goes...but I still only train him for about 5-10 minutes a day, max.

Wall-e got to try a triple jump for the first time. He jumped it perfectly for all 3 of the reps, good Wallaby! :) It was also his second time training the broad jump today. I started training it on Tuesday, by setting up a 10" jump and putting two of the broad jump boards in front. He jumped it with perfect ease. Today I added a third board in front, and again, no mistakes. Crazy!