Saturday, December 29, 2012
Its been a year of highs and lows as regards the dogs and training. The low points are that Fozzie was injured at the beginning of 2012 and then again at the end of 2012.
The weather was terrible early in the year so it took me a long time to get him fit at the start of the agility season, however once he was up and running he was jumping just fine ,but his concentration was really awful , so in September he was castrated. Its hard to say if its made a difference to his work ethic because he hurt himself again just before the castration and hasn't really worked properly since :-(
Woody also had a varied year. At the beginning of the year I thought I would be retiring him. He had started to measure and I was getting upset to see him like it. However after some sessions with Marisa my Chiropractor and also some massage work he started to compete really well and actually got to an end of show Finals in June.
However it spiralled downhill after this and by August /Sept he was measuring again. Then at the beginning of December he was clearly in some sort of pain. Xrays confirmed he has spondylitis, so at aged 10years exactly I have decided to retire him from full height competition. I may enter him in some any size classes where dogs jump at 15" or lower. I will just wait and see how he is next spring.
He is 100% fine again now thanks once again to Marisa my great Chiropractor .
Chip has had a good year. He has had some great places in Grade 6 and has been working well all year. However he too has had a couple of minor lameness issues, so this too is a worry :-(
Disney bless him is still doing great. Loving his long walks and enjoying life. However in the last 2 weeks we are having some serious issues in the pack relationship at home.
Chip has started to attack Disney( unprovoked) which is really horrible. I have today taken Disney to the vets where he has been thoroughly checked over. His sight isn't as good as it was, he's deaf or nearly totally so. however he has no arthritis and is a sound dog still, my vet continues to be amazed at how good he looks.
He's had blood tests and this may show if there is an underlying problem causing Chips sudden aggression towards him. However I think, as does my vet, thats its a hierarchy issue, If in the wild it would be survival of the fittest.
At the moment and probably for the rest of Disneys life they will be kept as separate as possible.
The high of the year was Boo's unexpected arrival. She has brightened my life immensely She makes me smile every day.
Her early training is showing potential, and as she is now almost 11 mths old serious agility training can soon start.
The weather has been atrocious so I have invested in a little indoor training dog walk contact. I can at least now do 5 minutes every other day indoors. As with everything I do with Boo's training, it has to be very upbeat.
I made the decision to do a stop and go contact on the dog walk. I was originally using a toy placed at the end with her on lead. I have now introduced the manners minder to keep her focussed ahead. I am getting distance training from Natasha Wise...lol. She is viewing my videos and giving me feedback as the weather has meant no training sessions/days for quite a while.
Here are a couple of videos. One of Boo's indoor contacts and one of all my guys out on a walk, taken before Chip started to terrorise Disney :-(
Saturday, November 17, 2012
Here is a little video of Boo in action.
And then on Saturday,(much more fun) Boo had a training morning with Natasha Wise. For people who dont know she is the 3 times World Agility Champion. How lucky am I to have 2 people right at the very top of both disciplines to teach me :-)))
Here is a little clip of that.
Monday, November 05, 2012
I was beginning to despair of ever finding anywhere to train her, and then I had a brain wave. One of the people I teach has a puppy of roughly the same age as Boo and she had already asked me about puppy classes. I have done 2 puppy foundation classes in the past and Addy came to one of them with her previous dog "Inky" . I had considered doing a class myself and training Boo in the class, but I felt that wouldn't work as I couldn't really concentrate on Boo and teach others as well.
Then another lady who I also teach got a puppy and was also wondering where to train.So I approached a friend who is a wonderful trainer and handler and asked her if she'd be prepared to do a small puppy foundation class in my field. She agreed only if she could invite someone she knew with a puppy and that we'd have no more than 4 puppies as she felt she wanted to give everyone quality time without rushing. Sorted :-))
There were a couple of other people I knew that had puppies and were also desperate for classes so I felt guilty not to be able to give them an invite, but I had to respect my friends wishes.
The 4 puppies are all roughly the same age, give or take a month, and are all small/medium breeds.
We are building on strong foundations and not taking things too quickly.
One thing we all had to have was a clear idea of what contact method we wanted, the dogs had to have knowledge of a clicker , and we are never allowed to say "no" or show negative thoughts to the pups even when things go wrong. Its totally my philosophy anyway so I was more than happy.
Before the classes started I took Boo on a training morning with Toni Dawkins, and she showed me she is certainly going to enjoy agility. That's all I want from her, I have no pre conceived expectations from her and I am just going to enjoy another training challenge.
Her height is swinging from one day being just small ,to the next going just into medium, so we will see. She's a diddy little thing, my little Bridgette the Midget :-)
Here is a little video of some of her foundation work that I took today
Fozzie went in 5 days later and had the Xray, she could find no broken bones or cruciate problems but he was clearly sore.
She said she could refer him from an MRI, but we both agreed on conservative treatment for a couple of weeks first.
So he had 2 weeks complete rest and anti inflammatories with just 4-5 mins of lead walk to toilet. It was hard work keeping him quiet and making sure the rest of my family didn't let him out accidentally so he could get up the stairs. I felt so guilty leaving him at home when I took the other dogs out :-(
Then last week Chip hurt his wrist whilst training. I was so depressed and really thought my agility days were over until Boo comes out next August. However Chip was fine the next day, I did however keep him quiet for a couple of days( just in case)
Anyway 5 days after Fozzie finished all his medications I took him to see my wonderful Chiropractor Marisa.
Originally she was quite concerned with his symptoms, but once she examined him she found a problem. His pelvis was very tilted and his lower back was in an S shape.
She cant say why it was like this, but thinks when Fozzie hurt his foot he also twisted his body, the anaesthetic for his castration would have relaxed everything ,and possibly didn't help which is why he seemed worse after the castration.
She has put him all right and I then had another 4 days of keeping him quiet. I started of just extending his lead walks and then yesterday he went off lead for the first time. I put Boo and Woody on the lead whilst he is off so they cant charge around together. Chip is very sedate on walks as is Disney so they are no problem.
Today Fozzie had about 15/20 minutes off lead. He didn't run around too much but obviously did more than he was doing on the lead. At the time of writing all seems well.
I take him back to Marisa next week, and then if everything is still ok I can start re introducing him to low jumps and start him on some massage...Fingers tightly crossed.
Here are a few of pictures I took of him today on his walk..Handsome boy :-)
Now onto dear Disney. We are becoming increasingly worried about him. He's 14.5 yrs old now and becoming quite senile. He seems to have strange moments and acts quite bizarre. He wants to be anywhere other than where he is and then when he gets there wants to come out. He is also trying to dig holes either in the carpet or in the earth outside ! He has also suddenly decided he doesn't want to sleep in our bedroom. He cries to get out and is clearly distressed. He's slept upstairs with us for over 13 yrs but something has spooked him and he just can't settle. So we are leaving all the doors open and letting him decide where he wants to go. He has also had a few accidents indoors so sadly his age is beginning to show :-((
Tuesday, October 09, 2012
She's almost 8 mths old now and hopefully will be starting some puppy agility foundation classes. I have done so little with her as regards agility foundation work. I just don't know where the time has gone. Fozzie by her age had already completed a basic foundation class, but all I've done with Boo is some ground work, waits, turns and a bit of wobble board.
I was pretty sure that she would stay small, however in the last month or so she has grown just a little and now the measure just swings a little on her, so I fear sadly she is actually going to be a very small medium.
She has started her formal obedience classes and I am delighted with her attitude. Here is a little video of her
So we have exciting times ahead I hope. I have decided this time to try a running contact with her on the Aframe and a stop on the dog walk.
She is still very naughty and very noisy. She is still having some odd accidents indoors, but she has mastered the dog door now and if she's near to it she uses it every time. However if she is in the lounge, she sometimes forgets. However her bladder control is now excellent and she can hold it for as long as 10 hrs overnight. I haven't had an accident in her crate for months.
So onto the boys.
The shows have been a mixed bag. Chip has at long last mastered his wait. Its been an uphill battle but we have got there. I have had some lovely work from him and some nice places as well. I have got some videos but I have been very lax at editing them and putting them on youtube.
Fozzie redeemed himself for the last few shows of the year and put in some lovely "if only" runs. Just a pole down on two courses , that if that had not happened he'd have won :-(
The last show of the year was Southdowns . Beautiful venue and a lovely show. Fozzie worked his little socks off and I was delighted with him. I had booked him in to be castrated on the Monday after the show so I decided to still go ahead.
After the last run , Jennie (who I'd travelled with) and I decided to take the dogs for a nice run before we left. We don't know what happened but suddenly Fozzie started to act quite weird. He started to sit down suddenly and even laid down. I checked him out and put him on the lead, and he was clearly hobbling. We got back to the van I checked him over thoroughly. His foot was very warm so I assumed he must had trod on something ?? He was very uncomfortable all the journey home as well.
When I got home I bathed his foot and could find nothing but he didn't like me touching it.
Fortunately as he was going to the vets the next day I knew Emily would be able to thoroughly examine it under anesthetic.
The castrate went well and Emily my vet could find nothing at all in his foot, but he had made it very sore licking it and it was slightly infected !!
So the thinking was he must have been bitten or stung. However 2 days later when I was checking his bits ( or lack of them) to see all was well, he yelped when I moved his leg. So now I am sure he hurt his leg ,and maybe the foot was a red herring and he was only licking it because his leg hurt ???
Its the same leg he hurt almost a year ago, so I am beside myself and have convinced myself that his agility days are over.
Anyway all was well and he seemed to be putting more weight on his foot ,and he had also stopped licking the foot everytime I took his lampshade off. He worried his foot more than his op! I have been taking him out to the agility field on his lead to do his business. He hates going to toilet on his lead so on Sunday I let him off just for a short while so he could go. Suddenly he saw something and ran off. I immediately called him but he came back on 3 legs :-(. I was in tears and feel so bad that I let him off the lead.
However within a few hrs he was fine and today he's not lame. However I still think he isn't putting full weight on it.
So now I don't know which way to turn. Is it his foot and leg, just his foot or just his leg. I think an xray would be a waste of time and money, as its clearly not broken, so my gut feeling is to leave it a week and then take him to my Chiro. Last year when he hurt his "leg" it turned out to be his pelvis and lower back. I will then possibly see if I can find a physio/massager , depending on what Marisa finds. I will welcome any suggestions.
Well Mr Woody has officially been retired from full height agility. He will be 10 in a couple of months and as I wrote back at the end of August, he had been having jumping problems and needed extensive massage etc.
Well at Southdowns he was clearly measuring, so enough is enough. I may do the odd allsorts class with him over the small jumps but I will wait and see. He's been a fab dog to work. So honest and reliable. He really is a joy and I will miss running him. He never set the world alight but he loved doing it and owes me nothing :-)
So ironically I may be going from running 4 dogs which I was doing in 2010/11 ,to maybe only running one dog ( Chip) till Boo comes out at the end of next year ( Aug/Sept maybe )
Off course people that know me, know that I am the eternal worrier and pessimist, and hopefully Fozzie will be ok to work again.
Laura & Rupert have won a jumping class. This was at Letchworth at the beginning of September. She also won a jumping class at the Poodle training club show last weekend. Ruperts weaves are still a bit hit and miss as are his contacts. But she has all winter to work on them now.
Unfortunately I no longer have an agility club to train at. I am gutted about this , so for now I am having to make do with training days and the odd one to ones that become available. I can also practice odd bits in my field, but I do need input and people telling me when somethings right or wrong, so training on my own isnt all that great for me.
However only having Chip to train this isn't so much of a problem, but it will become more of a problem for my future training with Boo.
Just a few pics for this month. Boo hasnt really changed that much, but here are some that I like.
|My Lovely Mum with all the dogs|
|Theres one missing :-(|
|Coat of many colours|
|Laura and Rupert 1st|
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Firstly I just wanted to post these pics of Boo. She's 6 mths old now and seriously cute. She just gets more adorable all the time.
Next month we hope to start some puppy foundation agility training, and she also starts her formal obedience classes, I cant believe how quickly the time is going.
The good news is Disney has now accepted her and they can be in the same room. Whilst we were away at our fortnight agility shows, they were running around in the caravan garden all day. Boo once came face to face with Disney and he just gave her a little warning. It was just enough to remind her.
The next day he tried to play with her, She was totally confused by this. He was bouncing on top of her, play bowing etc etc. She just didn't know what to do , I'm sure she though he was going to attack her at any minute, she behaved very submissively, which was good :-) I could kick myself for not having my phone with me so I could take some video.
I will be surprised if Boo makes it unharmed by her 1st birthday. What with her scare last month jumping of the wall, she has now tried to get out of the caravan garden twice and somersaulted over the fence and landed on her neck, she just got up shook and carried on as if nothing had happened. She tied herself up around my legs pulling me over on top of her. She can almost jump onto our work surfaces and obviously the only way off is to fall I guess :-((.. I certainly know I've got her , shes such a daredevil !
We went to KC Festival and DIN . Its the annual 2 week jaunt. The weather was just perfect, in fact a bit too hot. We always go to the KC Festival a couple of days early to help set up and book in. It means we have longer there to enjoy the break. They had to move the Festival right at the last minute to Rockingham Castle in Corby. Kelmarsh Hall , where it should have been, was completely unusable due to an event that had been held there the weekend before.
No one knew what to expect of Rockingham , but it turned out to be fantastic. Beautiful views, excellent walking and altogether a lovely atmosphere.
|View at Rockingham Castle|
|The exercise area|
However poor Woody wasn't running right. He had hurt himself on a tyre the week before at the Agilityclub , and he had been put right by my chiropractor, however clearly he still wasn't 100%. Fortunately Sara was at the show and parked 2 rows up. She is a canine massage therapist. She worked on Woody and also he had ultrasound treatment. We felt it best if he didn't run for the rest of the weekend :-(
Fozzie wasn't working at all well ,and he got worse over the week ( more on that later). He is just not focused at all. His mind is clearly elsewhere :-( He didn't get one clear round at KCF.
Chip was actually working really well. I got some excellent start line waits from him , but unfortunately he either had poles down or had pilot error..lol
On to Dogs in Need.
|On the day off at D.I.N|
Woody had another Massage there and he felt much better so I worked him. What a difference. His first 4 runs were clear. Sadly not quick enough for a high place, so he didn't make the final this year.
Fozzie was well... totally DIRE. On one run he actually wouldn't even look at me, he was focussed on a dog outside the ring. I almost couldn't get him into the ring. He did 3 jumps correctly and a contact and then proceeded to take his own line out of the ring to sniff....Grrrrrr !!!!
I actually went back to the caravan and immediately phoned my vets to book him in on Monday for a castration, but my lovely vet was off for a few days, so I decided to leave it. He's now booked in for the first Monday in October !!
The next day he almost did an ok run, but even then as he was actually running he put his nose to the ground, I am surprised he didn't do a head over heals !!
On the last day I used a different tactic. I tied him up away from me so he would be more focussed on me rather than the ground. I didn't get him till I was actually on the start line. Well he was actually amazing and managed to come 2nd in Grade 5 agility...Whoo Hoo.
Chip continued to do really well. There were some tricky courses, but he was focussed and listening. Sadly a fault in nearly all 8 classes :-( The best news is he has a 2-3 jump wait now. I wont be letting him lose it now I can assure you.
At D.I.N Laura joined us with Rupert. Rupert was brilliant , but struggled with the weaves all week. On the last day Laura decided that she would stop Rupert before the weaves, get him in the right position and make sure he did them. This worked and resulted in a clear round, however it cost him about 3 seconds in time. They actually came 3rd and was only 2 seconds behind the winner. However Laura was overjoyed to be bringing home Ruperts first trophy :-)
The climax of the week was once again the agility all stars entertainment. I along with 5 others did a Morris dance. It was highly amusing :-) We were indeed honoured to be performing alongside Ashleigh and Pudsey , as they had agreed to perform their semi final act. Earlier in the week Boo had had a fantastic time playing with Pudsey, he was soo gentle with her.
Friday, August 03, 2012
He was fab. He was a little hesitant in his first 2 classes , Laura put him in a wait and when she released him he stood there ( it seemed like an eternity ) before he started.
Rupert has only really been straight line weaving for 3 weeks so it was the weaves he had problems with. Laura was also extremely nervous and rather than stand back and let him get the entry she just ran towards them. She realised after what she had done, but nerves got the better of her.
I have posted a little video of him in action.
His next show is Dogs in Need in 2 weeks, so fingers crossed.
Boo is coming on beautifully. She is still a total joy and is still a really naughty noisy puppy. Her enthusiasm and happiness makes me laugh . I have started doing some "proper formal" obedience with her now and she starts competition obedience lessons next month. I could join now, but with the holidays imminent I decided to wait till September and just continue doing bits at home with her and also once a week at club.
She knows her close position now and can do a short burst of nice heelwork. She does a lovely recall, her wait is getting there, and her hold on the dumbell is really nice. She will switch from titbits to toys with no problem and will work equally well for both. My biggest problem is her offering behaviours :-) So I'll ask her for a sit and she will offer a beg or a left turn etc. I just smile..she's so damn cute.
My biggest upset with her has been her registered name. Her name Monster Inc was approved by the Kennel Club and on 1st June I got her registration certificate. I was totally shocked on Monday just gone ,when I received a letter from the kennel club saying that they had received an objection from someone about her name being similar to their dog, and so therefore I had to choose another name.
My hairy dogs names have always been connected with cartoon/kiddies tv/films and the reason I named her Boo was because of the film Monster Inc, so you can imagine how I felt.
Apparently it was because I posted her approved kennel name on here( this blog) that it was picked up. I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't mentioned it. It could have so easily not been noticed till I had maybe entered her in the future at Agility Shows and she would have been over 18mths by then !!
So I hastily had to come up with another KC name. The first 2 I asked for were also taken :-( By now I was getting really fed up. In the end I settled for second best, and its nothing to do with a film/TV :-(( I am now really reluctant to post it again, just in case once again its picked up as a similar name.
Friday, July 20, 2012
Thursday, July 12, 2012
I took some photos of Boo yesterday and I couldn't believe the similarity to Disney. Disney is an F1 first cross poodle x collie as is Boo. The picture I found of Disney was when he was just coming up to 4 months, whereas Boo is approaching 5 mths now. I did a little collage which I've put on here.
Boo's coat is going through a real funny stage, its parting in the middle and getting lots of white guard hairs. I am fairly used to this as all my collie x poodles coats have done it to a greater or lesser degree.
The only one that didnt really was Woody and he's ended up with the most poodley coat.
Here are some pics of Boo's funny coat, and as a comparison some of Chips at roughly the same age. I know from experience that by the time Boo is about 18mths the coat will have sorted itself out and be what it will be.
I continue to adore my naughty naughty little Boobalicious ( as Jennie calls her )
|Don't you just love her ?|
We had a real scare last weekend and it was one of the "omg what might have happened" It really shook me up , and all I can think of is what could have been and how lucky Boo was.
I went on a walk with my friend Jennie and another friend Lizzie. It was at Ockham common and it was lovely albeit very muddy.
We came across a monument in the middle of the woods. I have been there a few times but never really noticed how dangerous it could be.
Boo had run ahead with the other dogs and had climbed the steps. I called her back to me and rather than take the steps back down she went to the side and jumped off. It was about 4-5 ' up. She landed on the very soft muddy ground and was obviously slightly winded, but seemed fine. It wasn't till I walked to where she jumped ,that I saw that that if she had jumped just a foot to the side of her she would have landed probably 12' down onto concrete. These were concrete steps leading down under the monument to a crypt. Real vampire looking stuff.
The "what if" still haunts me. I am convinced I wouldn't have her now if that had happened :-(((
And on top of that I have convinced myself that she's done some permanent damage somehow or other to herself from the jump down.
I have put a picture of the crypt on taken back a year or so in the winter to show it. Unfortunately its a little dark & you can't see the steps leading down to the crypt on the right. You'll have excuse the funny picture of my friend Jennie and her hat !!!!
Friday, July 06, 2012
Mothecombe Beach in Devon, July 4th 2012, a set on Flickr.
I have just come back from a fabulous few days in Devon with my best friend Jane. The weather was horrid apart from the one day when we decided to go to the Beach. We were so lucky, the sun came out and we had a fabulous day.
This was Boo's first trip to the beach and like everything else she took it completely in her stride and loved every minute of it.
I took 4 of my dogs including Boo to Janes,so in total we had 14 dogs in the house. They behaved fantastically and all got on so well.
On the beach day we "only" took 9 dogs !!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
Good news is she has been clean in the house for over a week now :-) Bad news is the constant yipping/barking.:-((
She yells if we go out and leave her in her crate, even though she is in the room with the other boys. She screams and yips if one of the other dogs has something she wants be it a toy, bone...anything. In the end we have to take whatever away from them, which is a shame. We don't give it to her though.
Its hard work and causing friction in the house. We've tried almost everything. A sharp no, removing her , sound aversion, giving her something else in its place, but no she wants what they have got. So removing the object is the only thing thats works, so the poor boys have nothing to chew or play with at the moment.
Then there's the going out. I went out yesterday , she had been fed, wee'd and was sound asleep in her crate when I left. I also left one of the boys with her and took the rest out for their walk.
Laura was home upstairs not feeling too good. Apparently within 10 minutes of me going she woke up and the hysteria started . Laura left her for a while to see if she quietened, but no it got louder and louder. She came down and told her to be quiet, but no nothing worked at all. This went on for ages even when she was let out of her crate. This is pretty much what has happened every time, so I have been taking her just about everywhere with me, but its been too hot in the van lately so I haven't been able to. Strangely she can be left completely on her own in the van and she doesn't make a sound !!
Then last night I was in tears about it all:-(( I had to go out to take Fozzie for a massage, it was too hot to take her too, so I left her behind with all the other dogs. When I got in I was greeted with 2 very unhappy humans. Apparently she screamed to come in with them, so they put Disney in the other room so she could run around with them, then Disney started barking and crying, and so it went on for the whole time I was gone. Then they had the barking because she wanted something. Then she threw a temper tantrums about that.
I am at my wits end and don't know what to do. I was so upset yesterday because she is causing so much upset that I said maybe we should find her another home :-((
I love her dearly , but she has such a strong nature and I am concerned that I wont be able to get on top of it.
I now regret not getting a dog puppy. Maybe its the girl mentality( I dont know ?)
So any suggestions from anyone and I will happily take it.
During all this upset last night, Disney and her once again met, or should I say she met Disney. She is wary of him anyway, but she wandered too closely into his space and once again he flew at her. Luckily she is faster now and scooted away pretty damn quick, and he never touched her ,but it gave her a reminder.
I am away now for 8 days and everyone has the flags out at home, they will have peace and quiet for a while.
Sorry Jane if you're reading this, we probably won't have peace...lol.. I'm hoping Jane may have some great suggestions as I know she has had some poodles in the past like this.
I have also recently found out that Boo in fact has Toy Poodle ancestry rather than Min Poodle, and the toy poodles do have a more yappy nature. I don't mind the odd playful bark that we get, its the constant demanding bark thats the problem.
I have to say she is wonderful at night and we don't have a peep from the time she goes in the crate in our bedroom till she wakes up.
I did put her downstairs with the boys a few weeks back. She settled pretty quickly , however in the morning once the boys heard me moving about upstairs she started. I get up earlier than everyone else as I take the dogs out before my minded kiddies arrive . However we also have neighbours and to have her bark bark bark ( very loudly) at 6-30 am or earlier till I get downstairs also is just not on, along with soiling her crate as she gets so worked up .So reluctantly I took her back up with me again.
I feel I will have to have another go or else I guess she will never sleep downstairs.
So thats enough winging.
Hows she doing size wise...well she is 6kg in weight and is about 12-13" tall. She is quite a bit smaller than Disney at the same age. I am very anal and always record my puppies weights every 2 weeks till they are about 6 mths and then monthly till a year. I then periodically weigh all my dogs .
Disney I also kept a record of his height for the first 9 mths. He stopped growing at 7-8 mths and actually reached his adult height at 7 mths. After that he just filled out. At Boo's age he was already 15"
So it will be interesting to see what height Boo actually makes. Disney was Min poodle x Collie , whereas Boo is a Large Toy poodle x Collie. Time will tell.
I hadn't planned on taking her out walking with the older dogs just yet, but because of the separation issues I have had to on some occasions.
Here is a selection of pictures taken over the last week or so. A lot are taken on my phone so quality isn't too great
|Mud Glorious Mud|
|I want to join in|
Fozzie really hasnt been right all this season and looking at the videos, he's just not stretching out again over the jumps.
After some of his runs at Thames 2 weeks ago, someone remarked on how tight and stiff he felt.
So I have been taking him to Gemma Mitchell who does canine massage. She treated him and gave me some exercises to do about 10 days ago. I took him back last night and the improvement is amazing.
So hopefuly this weekend I should see an improvement. I shall get some video to compare.