I’m going to keep this short. I am battling a cold and feel pretty yucky.
I failed to make it to the dog show on Saturday, so Lina did not make her Rally debut. I’m pretty sad about this, but you can’t control everything. I was able to convince Keith to drive me up to the show in Nashville on Sunday. Jazz didn’t show until 10AM, so the entire family was already awake at a reasonable hour to make this event. It was far from our best performance. Jazz knew I was hopped up on meds and feeling pretty gross. Even with all that, we still managed to quality, get a 4th placement, and earn Jazz her new Companion Dog (CD) title! It was worth dragging myself out of bed for that result. I hate throwing away entry fee money and missing a chance to get a dog out in the ring when I know they are ready to show. Jazz gained her title in 3 straight shows. This is a first for me. Generally I have one day where the dog just ‘forgets’ something. With Merlot it was his first day showing and he decided to go visit with the people sitting next to the ring during off leash heeling. He didn’t leave the ring, but he totally forgot to follow me! With Major it was his glued butt on the recall. He Non-qualified twice due to recalls! He REALLY wanted to make sure I asking him to come. Probably the biggest difference is me. It has been 10 years since I have shown Obedience. I just do not stress over the results anymore. If they qualify, great. If they don’t, it doesn’t change anything. They are still my wonderful Poodles who give us joy. The one thing becoming a parent has taught me, you have to pick what you stress over and a dog show is NOT worth stress.
Jazz with her cheering section! Her new official name is UKC CH URO1 Tintlet Rhapsody in Blue CD, BN, RA, CA, CGC
Those titles mean she has her UKC conformation championship (CH) and Rally 1 (URO1) title. She also has her AKC Companion Dog (CD) title, Beginner Novice Obedience (BN) title, Rally Advanced (RA is level 2 rally), Coursing Ability (CA) title, and her Canine Good Citizen (CGC) title. She is a pretty versatile girl with a lot of interest in life.
Aiden was also dripping a stream of liquid from his little nose, but he was all about supporting mom. Kenzie and Keith, the two ‘healthy’ people of our family, were again not sick at all. I often wonder what it would be like to have a real immune system. Poor Aiden got stuck with mine.
After the show we had a quick bite to eat at a local restaurant to celebrate, then headed right back home. I’m a blessed lady to have such a great family who supports my mild insanity.
We’ve had a good weekend here at Anutta! As I stated in my previous post, I had Jazz entered in Novice Obedience this weekend down in Birmingham, AL. My good friend Darcy said the site was small but quiet and would be a nice place to start Jazz out. The first day we arrived about an hour before show time. I set up her crate and let her settle in while I picked up arm bands and checked out the site. We practiced a bit, then watched the judge call out the heeling pattern for Novice. It has been 10 years since my last foray into the formal obedience ring at the Novice level. Interestingly, I wasn’t really nervous. As I watched the first few dogs go, I realized it was like coming home to play with an old friend. I’ve never had Jazz in a formal obedience class. I’ve practiced all these moves with her in different situations, but not once have we even done a run through at a fun match. though Darcy has been letting me crash her solo training on Monday night when we both have an open schedule and can hook up. Still, I knew my girl would just go with it and do as I asked, who cares if it is something new.
As we started out she was a bit distracted, but doing well with the on leash heeling section. She ‘forgot’ one of her automatic sits, but otherwise I was very pleased. Next, the figure 8. This is an exercise you do heeling the dog around two people in a figure 8 pattern. It checks to see if the dog really knows how to heel because when they are on the inside between you and the person acting as a post, the dog must slow down. When the dog is outside going around the other post, they must speed way up to stay in heel. Jazz was sloppy here, she checked one of the post for treats as well!! Still, we made it through. At this point everything goes off leash. You hand your leash to one of the ‘post’ and the judge will ask you to stand your dog and move away from the dog about 6 feet. Then the judge goes up to pet the dog on the head, back, and rump, then you are told to return around the dog back into heel. The dog must not move. Jazz aced this, due to all her conformation training. Next you move right into the off leash heeling. The exact same pattern is called for off leash as you had to do on leash. You have your dog sitting next to you in the heel position. The judge will say “Forward” and you can say “Jazz, HEEL” then move forward with the dog walking next to you in heel until you are told to do something else. No other speaking is allowed. We moved halfway down the ring and the judge called HALT. This means you stop, the dog should automatically sit when you stop. No speaking to the dog, they must do it on their own. Then the judge calls FORWARD again, at which point you can say “Jazz, Heel” but that is it once again. As we made it close to the end of the ring, the judge called for a “LEFT TURN”, which checks to make sure the dog is paying attention and doesn’t bump you on the turn. We continue on, changing to a slow pace. With all pace changes you must make it absolutely identifiable that you are changing speed. Then the judge called “Normal” and we were able to speed back up to our normal walking speed. As we came near to the other ring edge the judge called an “about turn” meaning you turn away from your dog and go 90 degrees in the opposite direction. We moved halfway down the ring and the judge called “RIGHT TURN” which had us coming up the center of the ring. Next the judge called “Fast”, and we broke into a run followed by “normal’ and a quick “about turn”. Halfway back down the center the judge called a HALT. At no time can you talk to the dog during this event once you are moving.
As I stated, the on leash heeling was pretty good. Sadly, her off leash heeling was a sorry sight. She was lagging bad and very distracted. You are allowed one extra ‘HEEL’ command. If you use it you lose points, but are not disqualified. I had to use my extra JAZZ HEEL as she was falling way behind watching the dogs retrieving in the ring next to me. I thought I ‘probably’ salvaged the run, though it would not be a great score. Lastly, we do a recall. You set the dog up sitting in heel. You leave the dog in a stay, go to the other side of the ring and when the judge tells you to call the dog, you say “COME” and smile for all you are worth and pray the dog remembers to stop in front and sit. Jazz nailed the recall. The judge will then ask you to ‘finish’ your dog. The dog must move from the front to heel position with either a verbal or hand signal. I did a verbal and she did a great job. It was really pretty, even if she did spring up so high she kissed me on the nose as she bounced into heel. I didn’t know for sure if we would have the points to qualify after her horrible heeling, but I figured we stood a good chance.
After all the dogs were done being judged on the above solo exercises, all the dogs entered in the class must go into the ring together and do group Sits and Downs. Dogs are lined up, asked to sit next to you in heel, then the judge tells you to leave the dog. You go across the ring, stand facing the dog and pray they do not lay down. The time is 1 minute for Novice. All the dogs did GREAT! Sits and downs are often the bane of an obedience dog. We return to our dogs and the judge ask us to down our dogs. Once all the dogs are down we again leave and go across the ring, but this time we have to wait for 3 minutes. This is a very very very long 3 minutes. Jazz shifted her hip 2 twice, once when the dog in the next ring was retrieving the dumbbell, once when they were doing a recall. Thankfully she did not break the down. I can’t say the same for 3 of the other dogs who were not able to retrain themselves and all moved up into a sit, but none bothered any other dogs or ran over to their owners.
Did Jazz qualify?
Yes!!!! She managed to pull off 4th place out of 9 dogs, as the other 5 all Non-qualified due to either breaking the stays or not completing the off leash heeling during their individual work. She was awarded a nice toy as well, which has quickly become a household favorite! Let’s hear it for the correct use of the extra HEEL command!
Once we arrived back home I started to mull over what to do about our issues. I analyzed what we had done and how Jazz reacted. I had two choices. 1. Pull her from today so I don’t create a long term issue of laggy heeling. 2. Change up the game. You see, Jazz is very visually stimulated. I’ve been working for years to bring her down to a controlled level. I saw her yesterday and understood the issue. I’ve got to much control. I need to build her back up. She’s mature, she is ready and I need to give my dog more freedom and stop boring the life out of her. Oh she still had a good time yesterday. The judge said she loved her animation and happy nature. She wasn’t tail down, but she also wasn’t bouncing. I needed some bounce.
I decided to go today and switch things up. First I stopped at WalMart and bought her some Jack Links beef jerky. She has never had it and I knew it would be something she would go crazy for. Then, when we arrived at the show, I took her out to pee then showed her my new treat. The attention she gave me was incredible. We did a quick heeling pattern and I only gave her the treat once we were back at the car, but the amount I gave her was a jackpot, with lavish praise. I put her back in the car and waited the hour we had without her in the building. I wanted her keyed up, not tired. I wanted her eager to play, wondering why she wasn’t inside crated watching the other dogs. I did not want her bored and distracted. When the dog ahead of us entered the ring, I brought her inside. She was total focus, excited, and ready. I figured we had a good shot. On leash heeling was pretty, though she forgot to sit on the last HALT. Figure 8 was sloppy and she checked pockets again and forgot to sit once. Obviously this needs work. Once we moved off leash she was incredible. I made sure that after we finished one thing she and I had a good little party, lots of love and a few poodle bounces. Her stand was perfect, as always. Off leash heeling was spot on. I increased my speed and kept a smile plastered on my face. We were going to have fun, I was going to make sure she saw I was having fun. It worked. The heeling was as good as she has ever done in her life, she nailed all the halt sits, turns, and speed changes right at my side. Recall she lost her sit, but she stopped in front and finished well. The judge told me that if I had walked faster on the on leash heeling, she wouldn’t have forgotten to sit. I was to slow. I love a judge who gives feedback! Sits and downs were beautiful. All the dogs in Novice did perfect. With all of these lovely qualifying dogs, Jazz was able to pull off 2nd place! I was so very proud of my girl.
Jazz needs one more qualifying score to gain her AKC companion dog (CD) title. Maybe if her handler doesn’t do anything stupid she can get it next weekend at the Nashville shows!
It has been over a month since my last blog entry. This year is really slipping by and I apologize for letting the blog fall by the wayside. Still, there are times when a person has to cut their losses. A blog is something I can currently neglect a little and not do permanent damage. We do what we must to stay sane!
Sooooo, what have we been up to lately? The kids had ‘fall break’ a few weeks ago and we decided to take a few days and go camping in Pigeon Forge. Fall break is a new concept for us, but I reallylike it. Instead of having a ton of ‘three day weekends’ they pool all those small holidays into one week long fall break. In any case, here are a few photos from our trip. Jazz and Lina were BOTH in season during this event, so they spent the vast majority of their time crated in the car or camper. Thankfully it was cool and within the National Park they are not allowed on trails anyway.
My mother is still battling fatigue and chronic illness. She moved from a 3 bedroom home on about a half acre to a small 2 bedroom apartment to cut down on upkeep and yard work. I think it was a smart move and she seems to really like being closer to town, near her sisters and the main hospital ‘just in case’. Her two small dogs are settling into the routine of daily ‘walks’ to the park instead of their own large yard and have even figured out that when she is to sick to go right outside and come right back in. They haven’t traveled much in the last few years and the youngest dog likes to run a bit, but being that he adores my mother he would much rather go pee real fast and cuddle down with her for the day than take a long walk. This is a good reminder sometimes we all need to step back and take a deep breath, then decide how we can make our own lives easier. I’m not saying sacrifice, but simply decide what is truly important.
Around the house we seem to have most things under control. I built a small patio out of pavers in the flower bed in front of the house. I love it and it is super cute. This just what I wanted for a quiet place to read while the kids play. Also I created a fire pit in the back yard out of landscaping bricks my neighbor was trying to repurpose. They had a ton, but like my mom above they have decided to cut back on yard work and are dismantling many flower beds in the back yard and turning the space into lawn and deck. She was happy someone took a few. I was happy with the free fire pit. The weather has been outstanding, so we spend our evenings outside around the fire, often eating dinner and telling each other about our day. The kids love it.
On a dog related note, I’ve entered Jazz in Novice Obedience next weekend in Birmingham. I think she is ready. We will see!! I’ve also got Lina entered in Rally Novice up in Nashville mid November for one day. I’m going to start her out slow and take her with me next weekend to Jazz’s show just to see how she does at the show site. I think she will be fine, she is a very smart little girly.
Above are some photos of Lina I took a few days ago. I was growing coat on her to show in UKC this fall, but we missed all the shows so now I have to decide if I keep growing or cut her back for the winter. The next UKC conformation shows within a reasonable drive are about 4-6 months out. I suppose I will take it week by week.
MICA with her qualifying Ribbon.
Mica (Waypoints Anutta All the Glitters) earned her Coursing Ability title with AKC this past weekend. She was able to get 3 qualifying scores on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday in Austin, TX. Heather was really excited and thinks Mica will be wanting to do more coursing soon. I’ve found the dogs either LOVE IT or do not see the point. Mica is our silver girl from Waypoint Poodles in NJ who is fostered with Heather down in San Antonio. She lives with Quincy, one of our black Std Poodle boys.
River (Alemir River of Dreams RN, CGC) sired a litter of pups with one of Gloria’s girls at Tintlet Poodles. Those pups are about a month old and all spoken for as it was a small litter. I hope to drive out there in the next month to see the babies and evaluate their structure and temperaments.
Quincy (UKC CH Anutta Commander and Chief BN, RN, CGC, Therapy Dog) might have a hot date with a girl in Oregon… well, at least his sperm does. His real mommy, Heather, is working on getting his swimmers collected, locating a vet near San Antonio to get the job done, etc. We will see how it pans out. I should have more information in a week or so.
Anyway, that is the basic update on our life. The kids are in both Horseback riding lessons and Gymnastics. Keith wanted to do Karate as well, but I told him it just wasn’t possible at this time. We only have time for so many activities!! I have dog training once a week, but I am hoping to increase that to twice a week if I can find a day agility class.
So yes, we are still alive, just busy like so many families with young kids. I promise, if I have a litter coming this blog will be busy. But for now we will enjoy our winter without pups and see what pans out next year for litters and dog related activities.
Marlane emailed me a few days back asking how to teach Mycroft (Ziva and Jordan puppy who is about 6 months old) to come in close enough for her to put his leash on. He is one of the many dogs who is happy to come, but wants to get just out of reach. This is very typical and something easy to correct with training.
The first thing you need to do is find something the dog values. This could be a yummy treat, a toy, or both. Typically I use both. You want to work this when the dog is motivated (not sleepy and not right after a meal). You want to do this in a safe place off leash until they are reliable and understand what you are asking. You want to mark the behavior with “YES” or a click from your clicker when you just start out doing this training.
Watch this video of Jazz and Lina so you can see exactly what a “close sit” looks like.
Please note: Both Jazz and Lina have done close sits before. I wasn’t ‘marking’ their behavior right when they did it. I was asking them to get in close and then “HOLD” eye contact before a reward. This is more advanced than what you will be doing with your dog when you start. I want you to reward them as soon as their butt hits the ground when they are close. If they inch up and sit close say “YES” then drop the toy or toss a treat. Release them and let them blow off a little steam (maybe a quick retrieve) then repeat. After they are coming in close and sitting, you can build eye contact time like I was doing with Lina. Remember the rules of training. When you teach something new, decrease the time they have to hold that new behavior. Reward right when they do it and release them at the same time. You will build duration after they know what you want. Another reason to do this is to insure the dog doesn’t think when they come in close you are going to leash them up and kill their fun. Nine times out of ten you should release the dog to go back out to have fun. Call them in, have them sit, give them the treat or ball, free them up to go have more fun. When you do leash them, give them extra treats for being so grand. Walk them a bit, ask them to sit, release them again to go have fun. Lots of repetition, but broken up so they don’t get bored.
If you are doing this in an open field, let the dog drag a leash during training. Avoid picking up the leash to pull your dog into position. The leash really is just a safety measure. It is far to easy to use the leash as a ‘crutch’ in training, which is way most of my training is done without a leash in my hand. Dogs are smart, it is much easier for them to cheat when on leash than when off. They can put just a tiny bit of tension on the leash and then ignore you, because they can feel where you are. Smart dogs ALWAYS cheat and we all know Poodles are smart.
I hope to do more training video’s now that the weather is starting to cool. If anyone has a suggestion on what to demo next or if you have a specific problem, post below!!!
This brag is WAY WAY WAY overdue. Boomerang (Anutta Go Out-N-Come Back) attained his Masters Agility Championship in AKC while we were moving this summer. Elizabeth reminded me I had not shown him off on the blog. I’m a BAD breeder!! He is a special boy in so many ways, I really am sorry this wasn’t posted sooner.
Boomer suffers from Addisons and IBD. He is a ambassador for both the Standard Poodle breed and dogs with health issues. He has shown with proper veterinary support any dog with a disease can go on to do great things. We are proud of Boomer and even more proud of his mom, Elizabeth, for not letting his health problems stop them from achieving great things.
On a health related note, a few weeks ago Boomer became lethargic, not his normal perky self. Elizabeth took him in to see her vet and after a few test they found a mass on his liver. Surgery was preformed, the mass was taken out, and sent off for testing. It was indeed cancer, but there is high hopes they were able to remove it all at the time of surgery. It is a type of cancer that is localized and there is an excellent chance that he will have no more problems. Time will tell, but Elizabeth says she is already having a hard time keeping his activity level low.
Here is her update and information about his title:
Here is the MACH 1 photo – yes, we plan to get 2 and maybe 3 as well! Kind of depends on how we do in USDAA over the next year, I would REALLY like to put an ADCH on him in addition to the C-ATCH and the MACH. And then maybe even an ATCH (ASCA CH title). We can already claim to be multi-CH titled in agility, but a USDAA CH title is a personal goal for me. Super Qs are hard to come by when you compete against World Team dogs on a regular basisJ. And we are qualified for Reno!! I wasn’t going to go since it’s so far, but after the surgery, well, life is short!!
Boomerang is doing very well, full of energy and annoyance!! He is pretty restricted for the next month or so, no running and no jumping. This is hard on both of us, but thank DOG I have a treadmill. The two of us have never been great at walking on a leash together, so this works very well. We are doing lots of core work (diagonal leg lifts), and will eventually graduate back to standing on the big peanut ball. Then we can start some sprinting and then low jump chutes, quickly moving up to normal height once the rehab vet gives the go ahead (once he is fully healed internally). I am now targeting a show Sept 27 weekend. That will be 8 ½ weeks post-surgery so it’s ambitious, but if I am really diligent about his exercises, I think it is doable. ~ Elizabeth
Boomerang’s MACH was earned at the North Star Herding Group AKC Trial on Saturday June 28th, 2014 at Soccer Blast in Burnsville, MN.