Saturday, February 18, 2012

First title!

Rocket and I finished his RN title yesterday.  Woo hoo!  He did a much better job this time that last weekend.  His only real "faux pas" was his transformation of a "front" into a "beg."  Adorable, yes, and the judge giggled, but points go missing, even on the cute stuff! 

It makes me feel a little better that yes, I can get a title on a dog with testicles. 

Today, we are heading back out into the show site for attention work.  Trying to teach a Doberman that we don't want them to pay attention to their environment is a long process, as it goes against their natural tendencies.  We will be triumphant!  Eventually.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

2/3 BN and 2/3 RN!

Yay!  Both Kaylee and Rocket managed to get 2 legs of their BN & RN titles.

They both did ok.  They qualified, but not necessarily in the fashion I wanted them too.  The theme this weekend was distractions, and I know for sure that we need to start training outside and in busy places.

If you know how my normal trial weekends go, there has to be some kind of drama involved.

The trial was in our club building.  We specifically chose a corner that was close to our ring and the exits, so we wouldn't be constantly dodging dogs.  Oh, how we were so, so wrong.....

Our interesting neighbors this time were fellow Dobe owners.  As they aren't a dog you commonly see in trials around here, I'm always interested in finding out where the dog comes from.  At first glimpse, based on crop and body style, Leah and I assumed the dog in question was a rescue, probably 5-6 years old.  We didn't introduce ourselves, and neither did our neighbors.  Leah and I had our usual dog related discussions, but the one we had on Saturday was mostly based on how a commercial Doberman/Rottweiler breeder manages to sell dogs to people.  He sells them in "packages," each one with an increasing price and "pre-work" that has gone into the puppy.  So, for example, your Super Puppy will come with the puppy basics, anywhere from $2500-$3500 dollars.  Your puppy's parents most likely have little to no health testing, and were dogs that weren't good enough to make it in a European breeding program.  They have few actual titles - meaning ones that weren't "bought."  (For comparison, a puppy from a reputable breeder will cost you $1500-$2500, from tested, titled parents.)  If you choose to go with a "Grand Victor" puppy, by goly, not only do you pay out the *ss, but your puppy already had obedience work started.  SOOO easy! and convenient! 

I managed to snag a catalog for a check to see who our neighbors were.  Low and behold.....the commercial breeder strikes again.

Today our neighbors were very outgoing.  I was stopped on my way back into the building by the wife for a brief conversation.  Apparently, her and her husband had visited Rocket and Kaylee's breeder back in the day, but chose, again, to get their 3rd dog from the commercial breeder.  She described their almost 2 year old girl as "very dominant at the dog park" and that she felt a little bad that she hadn't stuck with posting her ears that much when she was a puppy. 

I'm not going to critique the dog or her performance.  I will say, however, that I've never actually seen double handling before, but now I know exactly what to look for.  (Sorry, lady, you can't actually stand outside the ring, immediately to the left of your husband, to help keep your dog down on the group down stay.)  I saw a few other behaviors that spoke volumes about the training methods used on the still very puppy-ish girl.

I learned a lot this weekend, and I'm excited to get to work!  Both dogs have so much potential, and I can't wait to see improvement!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

2 days and counting.....Trial time!

I'm one of those people that gets super nervous when I know someone is going to be judging what I'm doing.  So knowing that in two days I'm going to have Rocket and Kaylee in a ring with a judge is a little nerve wracking, to say the least!

We went to a fun match a week or two ago.  The building was full, dogs were everywhere, so it was as close to a real trial environment as I could get it.  I wanted to see what they would give me, and I'm glad I did it - I got to see what I needed to work on a little more before this weekend and next Friday.

Kaylee was first.  She was thrown off by the signs on the beginner novice course ("WTF are these things?? I have to check them out...make sure they aren't covering WMDs) and the fact that her figure 8 was made up of people - actual, real people that smelled awesome.  Oh, and the judge, too.  So, to help make her comfortable, we've been heeling through and around rally signs, having a dog show CD play in the background, and suckering everyone we know into being a post for a figure 8.  She did good on the sit stay, the exam, and the recall.

Rocket's runs were similar to Kaylee's.  He was more distracted during the figure 8 by the crowd on the outside, though.  Silly boy.  I've been doing the same things with him to help condition him to a trial environment.  I saw very quick improvement on all areas that we needed work on, so I'm going to hope that they bring it on Saturday and Sunday.

Cross your fingers for Qs this weekend!!

On another note...I joined Twitter.  I follow a bunch of people, but I myself don't have many followers.  I got an email alert that I had a new follower, and low and behold, it's my TV man crush - Josh Gates!

I'm not ashamed to admit I love that man.  Is it the constantly ripped pants, or the endless sarcasm?  Whatever it is, I can't wait for the next season of Destination Truth.  Come on, Syfy!