Black Acorn Dogs

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

Ebby Class -- Advanced Rally

First night of Rally Advanced with Ebby last night. (Well, it should have been the second week, but last week there was an, um, unpleasant mess all over the carpet that necessitated me staying home and steam cleaning the entire carpet instead)

Last night was Ebby's first time in class working off-leash, and it went really well. We didn't go while anyone else was in the ring, which helped. The other challenge was that there are not one, not two, but three Standard Poodles in class with us out of maybe 8 dogs total. Ebby is very breedist: she thinks all Shilohs and German Shepherds must be mooned over, and all Poodles must be chased. I don't think I'll be doing off-leash work around the poodles any time soon.

Her heeling and focus last night was actually the best it's been any time ever outside of training in our "backyard". We've been doing "hot dog parties" mid-course recently to keep her attention up for longer stretches of time, but I didn't even need to do it last night and still had full focus until the finish. Whoo hoo!

Things we need to practice, er, learn:

* Jumping. There were two signs Send Over Jump and it may as well have been a brick wall as far as Ebby was concerned. She did the single and broad jumps on her second run only because they were set for small dog and I jumped them with her :D

* 3 steps back -- heeling move where you pause and take 3 backward steps while dog takes backward steps with you. I didn't even try it last night, but I started teaching it this monring and would love to have it down by next class.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Ebby's first Rally match / run-through at Banshee Reeks in Leesburg on September 4. Posted by Picasa

Ebby's First Run-through

We had Ebony's first Rally run-through on Sunday at Banshee Reeks in Leesburg hosted by the Dulles Gateway Obedience Training Club. She did great! I'm not sure if she'd have Q'd if it had been a real trial, and we had a lot of focus issues in the ring, BUT, she was wonderful on the grounds, and that was more important. She crated beautifully in her Cabana Crate, even when I walked away for long periods of time (although I was never so far I couldn't see her). She stayed relaxed and well-behaved around all of the other dogs when we were in line-up for our turn to run. We were there for several hours and she was comfortable enough to rest her head during periods calm periods. Yay, Ebby!

We have another one next weekend, also local (thank goodness, with gas prices the way they are), and hopefully it'll go just as well again.

Rally ring Posted by Picasa

Saturday, September 03, 2005

The Latest

Well, I haven't written in a while. The really short update:

* Indie: We've done two rounds of Basic Obedience since I last posted, and will be starting Sub-Novice again (aka CGC Prep) in two weeks. We'd started Sub-Novice once before but dropped back down to Basic because we hit a point where he couldn't deal with being around the other dogs. He'd get barking, and focus was shot to bits. The good thing is that we've worked through a ton of it by now. Class 1, we couldn't get in the training ring at all. Class 2, we stayed in the corner. Class 3, we stayed back and forth at one end. And so on. By the end of last session, it wasn't immediate obvious to all nearby humans that we've been working through major reactivity, so it's not "cured", but it's distinctive success. We'll keep working it, and I'm sure he'll grow out of some of it too. 11-month old GSDs aren't known for their mature attitudes.

* Ebby: Ebby just completed Novice Rally class, and we have our first Run-through/Match tomorrow! We also have our first trial in Frederick, MD in October. I'd enter sooner, but that's the first available. The biggest deal with Ebony is that she's been *wonderful* with other dogs in class.

* Kate: Kate's still trucking. She's got a bum rear foot right now, which is making it tough for her, but it doesn't slow her down like it should. That dog is pure stubborn, and I give her credit for it. She's been enjoying our trips out to the lake.