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HeartForAgility Positive Training

September 14th, 2008

Lucy's First AKC Rally Trial, September 13 & 14! @ 10:34 pm

Wow! It's been a really long time since I have posted any training blogs with Lucy! We have been really busy latey, I have just started school and we have also started taking more formal classes for obedience. Lucy has really been excelling throughout her rally work so I decided it was time to try a trial! We just trialed this past weekend, September 13th &14th. It was held in Lebanon, Indiana and hosted by the Greater Lafayette Kennel Club out of Lafayette, Indiana. Saturday was the first day and of course, as you could guess, I started getting pretty nervous as the Advanced class finished up. Lucy had kept a great attention span with me all day, but she was lacking on her "come front" command; sitting sideways facing to the right of me. It wasn't a big deal for her first trial, only 1 or 2 points docked, but as she fell into that position she lost attention and focus on me so I really wanted to fix it before entering the ring. I took her outside, working her on the exercise, but still I saw no improvement, so I just dropped it for the day. After waiting around the show grounds for about 3 hours we had the Novice A walk through and up until that point I was still a little edgy, but after that walk through I settled down a bit, I was a bit more confident. I knew I had to "get myself together" before I went out with Lucy, because she can sense anything with me and would lack in the ring. When we got in the ring everything came together and I just started enjoying myself and had fun with it. Lucy did excellent, especially with it being her first! We ended up Q-ing and place 2nd out of 14 in the class with 95 points out of 100! I was so thrilled with her performance! I was just hoping that we would Q and get a leg towards her RN title but she really pulled through and enjoyed herself all the while. We stayed in a near by hotel overnight and headed back towards the show grounds around 9:30 am and hung around till 3pm, when we were scheduled to show. We had another spectacular run, Q-ing again, while also placing...1st! We received yet again a 95 out of 100 and placed 1st out of 7 dogs! I was so happy with Lucy, even if she wouldn't have succeeded this weekend, she defiantly gave her all when she stepped into the ring!

2/3 legs for her RN title!

August 12th, 2008

More Fair results! @ 12:58 am

Current Mood: tired tired

Hey guys, just a quick post here. I recently found out that me and Lucy placed 33rd out of 86 competitors at the fair in 1B obedience! we got  171/200 points possible! I am so thrilled with our outcome, with Lucy just being a baby dog I consider that a very fair score. Can't wait until next year, you just wait and see!


August 8th, 2008

Serpentine Handling @ 12:03 am

I worked Lucy on serpentines tonight for the first time.  She did really well with all the handling techniques I threw in there. I first tried staying on one side and directing her through the set up with the reverse flow pivot/push. She took really well to this method right away and stayed very consistent with it through the whole session. Next I got into some of the more tricky techniques with switching sides and adding front crosses. This was our most difficult method tried all night. It was hard for me, being the handler, to complete a front cross before Lucy came into the middle jump. After a couple tries I figured out, if I first came in the sequence more to the right, by the middle jump, I could make the transition into a front cross with more ease. Even with discovering that, the front crosses did not flow as well as I'd like, so were going to be working on those. We finished up, still switching sides, with blind crosses. Throughout the whole session, the blind cross runs were our best, with more speed and accuracy. Sure, blind crosses normally have the reputation of being more difficult, but they just seemed to flow with Lucy and I from the beginning. We haven't had a more enjoyable session than tonight's in a long time. Lucy and I both had a great time with this exercise!

August 2nd, 2008

Indiana State Fair @ 10:39 pm

Current Mood: sleepy sleepy

On Friday Lucy and I headed down to compete at the 2008 State Fair! We only entered in obedience, for THIS year, next year will be agility as well... watch out! I got up around 3am Friday morning and then we left the house around 5:30am and made it down there by 9am. There was a huge line for the vet checks, we then waited in that for about an hour before being seen by a vet  assistant to get passed into the building in order to show. We finally got entered into the building a little after 10am. We got our crate set up in the crating area within our club "Waggin' Tails" before we checked on our show time. They were calling in groups of 10 or so to line up in number order in the hole. I was clear at the end of my group of 10 and we were to start showing around 1:45, so I had a ton of time to kill. I took Lucy out about 5 times before showing to work her on some obedience. I worked her on her heeling for the most part, she has really come a long way from frantically tugging and pulling me in the ring. I also had her complete some sit and down stays, which she did great on! 1:45 quickly came around the corner and we started heading towards the line to enter the ring. There were 3 rings for 1B obedience, Lucy's class. We entered into the first ring were the heeling and figure eights took place. Lucy's heeling was outstanding! I was so proud of her! She didn't tug even once, while completing normal, slow, and fast speeds. Her figure eights defiantly could have been cleaner, she never does well with them, but over the fall I am going to be working her on some exercises including those. The next ring consisted of the stand for exam and the off-lead recall. I could not have been more happy with her stand for exam. She did perfect, in the beginning of the 4-H year I could not get her to complete it for anything! Next, her recall... ohh boy. She has never had much of a problem with the recall, only the finishing task at the end. I left her with the stay command walking to my desired place. Then called her, she came but didn't sit in front of me as planned. So I placed her in front of me sitting then bent down and placed my hand to my side for her finnish command... she thought I wanted to play. She got all excited starting barking at me and running all over the ring, hahaha. I couldn't even catch her, a ring steward finally got her. So that ruled out most the points on her recall. The final ring was sit and down stays... 1 minute sit stay and 3 minute down stay. We got through those with ease not missing a point. So over all we had a great day, she did excellent for a 11 month old pup and next year we are defiantly going back down again. We wouldn't miss it! 

July 30th, 2008

More Obedience @ 10:20 pm

Tonight's session was cut short with only about 10 minutes to work Lucy. We extended all of the training from last night to tonight and it worked out very well. Her sits are getting very clean, not quite polished yet, but getting there. I didn't work her against the fence at all tonight and her sitting was directly beside me, square, as it should be. I was so proud! I decided to touch on some about turns, sharp ones and more rounded as well. About turns are not Lucy's best, she had a hard time with them when we first started her basic obedience, but has grown into them more. I talk to her, make sure she is always looking at me, always focusing on me as we complete the turn, then click and reward with a treat. Again, she is catching on to this exercise quite fast too. I added some stays into the mix again tonight, same as last night. She did break one of her sit stays tonight though, the neighbors dog was quite tempting! But I corrected her... put her into the sit position and gave  the stay command, which she followed through with. Friday is state fair day, so we are going to get in 1 more session before we head down to compete. I am not expecting for us to place at fair, even though Lucy has a good knowledgeable obedience foundation, she is still a puppy, she is we are just going down to get some experience in and have some fun!  

July 29th, 2008

Obedience Work @ 09:39 pm

Tonight I worked Lucy on some basic obedience skills, getting ready for our state fair apperence. She has been having a horrible time with her sitting. It has become very messy and "cocked" to the side of me, her chest facing me. So we did some healing against the fence and I started seeing a improvement right away! Now of course it isn't perfected yet, but we've got a good start on it for future references. Along with that we worked on her stays, sits and downs. We did this exersice by the neighbors fence, allowing for distractions, such as their dog to factor in. I allow Lucy a 1 minute sit stay and 3 minute down stay. She has the whole "stay" concept down really well, but her focus on me needs to improve, so I have been rewarding her with a click from the clicker when she looks at me through the process. She is catching on to that quite fast and I'm hoping I can see some more improvements by friday (show day)! All around I have seen a rising maturity level in Lucy this past week. No video from tonight, but I will have some coming shortly.


HeartForAgility Positive Training