Thursday, 26 March 2015

Another Long Thin intermediate agility course featuring the Holmberg Double

Following on from last weeks course for intermediate students here is this weeks course inspired by AgilityNerds post on the Holmberg Double. This one also includes some backside of jumps and some running past jumps and a fairly tricky weave entry.

If actually ran very well. 
Dog on RHS wrap 2 360 then push to 3 while staying on the landing side of 3. Front cross pulling dog past of course jump 2 then weave.
To 9 with dog on LHS. Flick (rear cross you staying on take off side) dog turns left over 9. Dog on RHS 360 wrap 10, push round 11 staying on landing side and front cross so dog on LHS into 12.
Run to take off side of 13. Turn dog left over 13, pick them up on your left hand to wrap round your body for nice approach to weaves. 
Dog on LHS 360 15. Push to back of 17 and race dog down to 20.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Living the reactive life

A few months ago I remember a lady commenting on a forum that she had never owned a reactive dog but she had been to enough seminars and read enough books that she was confident that in no time any dog of hers would no longer be reactive.

The science can make it sound nice and easy

But one thing that tends to be glossed over is the effect on the human of living with a reactive dog.

For a while at least its not just your dog who is reactive, your stress levels become sky high.
When you are out and about you need 6 pairs of eyes.
Gone are the happy chilled walks in the country, now you are scanning the horizon in all directions looking for 'triggers'
Is that fallen log over there actually a dog waiting to pounce?
Does that person have a dog with them or is it just a carrier bag?
and at the same time you are constantly scanning your dog and trying to see what they are spotting, trying to get your plans into motion when they spot a trigger
And freaking out that even that giant empty field you have drove out into the middle of the country to find might have a random person suddenly appear from behind a hedge with no warning - and a barky GSD on a short lead (yup it happened)

You dont just HAVE a reactive dog, you feel like a reactive dog!

And other people are so helpful!
Some people seem to assume that a dog is reactive because you are not a strong enough leader (sheesh, I wonder which telly entertainer they got that gem of behavioural (non) science from), they either give you looks of scorn or (better yet) start yelling at you!
Suddenly everyone is an expert. When I first got Mia I was inundated by people offering me help from teaching me to time my corrections properly to some kind (!) person offering to lock Mia in their garden with their dog so they could 'sort out who was the boss'!!

And there is the other wonderful well meaning advice that at the moment you just cant follow - like when you have messed up and your dog isnt coping with something and has charged to the end of the lead on their back legs screaming at something and someone tells you you should keep the lead loose

Or you turn a corner to get away from an oncoming dog and find a horse and rider - and someone tells you you shouldnt pick up a dog

Sometimes you have to break the rules to get out of a situation.

Sometimes I forget how far I have come with Mia, when we are walking in the park, playing, having fun and I realise I am not scanning the horizon. I am not horribly stressed

I try and not forget what it was like tho so I can try and not judge people who are living with it just now.
All the theory in the world is all well and good, and there are some great methods out there that can and do help dogs all the time. As you can see from the photographs, Mia is a pretty happy dog most of the time, she has canine friends and can play offlead. It is possible to improve things (she will always be reactive, but she wont always be reacting)
Nothing can actually prepare you for what it is actually like to really live it at the time.
I hope I will never judge someone or condemn them if they realise they cant cope with a reactive dog. If you can in the long run it is really rewarding, but no shame if you own up that you cannot cope.

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Intermediate Long Thin agility Course featuring the Holmberg Double

Saw this fun challenge on the AgilityNerd Blog (check him out - he really is awsome!) and decided to try out his Holmberg Double on our intermediate courses in our yard

We were running medium sized dogs so found it easiest to 'Ass pass' 2 and 3 (get to the take off side of 2 with dog on left hand, send him over jump wrapping behind you and pick him up again on the left hand to get to 3 to try that again) 
Other options that ran very nicely was to get to take off side of 2 then front cross or ass pass the dog to turn them left over 2, push round the back of 3 and pick them up on the left hand to send to weaves.
10 to 11 worked best for us with an ass pass on 10 with the dog on the right hand then run with them to the take off side of 11 and flick them right over 11 into the tunnel 

Thursday, 12 March 2015

McFuzzylugs at Crufts


Some of my wee fuzzies made it to Crufts this year :)






Tuesday, 10 March 2015

Long Thin agility course

Over the years some amazing people have been kind enough to share their agility courses and handling ideas and these things have really helped me.

So I thought I would share some of my agility courses to pay back all the help I have had.

My yard at Old Mill Dogs is long and thin which is quite a challenging space to think of courses.

This is last weeks Intermediate class course. The main handling challenge we were trying to work on here was sending away to the back of a turned away tunnel (I am sure there is a fancy word for that)
So at the start of the class we worked on Jump 6 to the tunnel

First with a stay at 6 we stood right at the tunnel entrance and recalled the dog over the jump and post turned them into the tunnel.
Then repeated several times taking steps closer to jump 6 and sending the dog further and further into the tunnel until we were able to send the dog over jump 6 and stay at the takeoff side of 6 and send into the tunnel.

Repeat for 18 to 19.


Then on to running the course. 1 - 6 fairly straightforward, running with the dog on the right then send to the tunnel. There are several ways to handle 8, 9, 10. A cross between the tunnel exit and 8 tended to show the dog the line to off course jump 3. A blind or front cross worked well between 8 and 9 or a front cross after 9. A flick on the right hand over 10 worked with dogs who could read that well.
11 to 13 with dogs who could drive out to the tunnel a good way to handle was 11 on left hand then send over 12 and to tunnel while rear crossing and passing 12 on the left hand side. For dogs with a less confident tunnel a blind cross before 12 worked nicely.
Then it was a race getting to 14, being out to the left of 12 gave a nice diagonal spring to 14 which pushed the dog out over 14. 14, 15, 16 on right hand. Front cross 16 and push the dog over 17 to 18 - if you are slightly infront then the dog dosent even notice the off course tunnel. Send to 19 then finish over 20 - simples :)

I hope you have fun running this one, if you do get the chance to film it I would love to see it. (note my spacings are not exact, adapt it to suit your space)

Wednesday, 25 February 2015

Help With Etsy SEO. Featured shop MailedIT

Here is the 3rd in my new feature (hopefully) helping people with SEO for their Etsy shop


If you are wanting to get involved then post a comment in this thread and I will try and get back to you. The interest has been amazing so it will take a while to do them all

The shop featured is MailedIT

From his shop
Handmade chainmaille creations. Accessories, Decor, Fashion, and more
I admit this is the first time I have seen this shop and I do love it very much :) I always have a bit of a love for steampunk things and chainmail is amazing. I remember years ago in a shop they had a full chainmail dress, I drooled over that for weeks and weeks
So I asked him to let me know one of his least viewed items and he sent me this one




A nice photograph of a difficult subject to capture - although as this is marketed as a dice purse for gaming a part of me would love a photograph of a group of people (decked out in steampunk gear please :) ) sitting round a table playing a game with the pouch on the table. Its not necessary to do to sell the item but I think it would look pretty amazing :) get lots of attention with people sharing the image

the title for the item is 

Chainmaille Dicebag, pouch, bag, coin purse.


and the tags are 
There are some really good tags here but they are not reflected in the title. I think pushing the gaming and geek angle of this could really work as that is the theme of the shop - but it is also possible to target it to a more mainstream market pushing the coin purse angle. Im going with Geek and Rollplayers tho as aiming this way is more likely to get items shared and commented on in blogs etc.


Trying to think like a buyer I would possibly suggest a title of
'Geek Gift For Men, Chainmaille pouch, Dungeons and dragons dicebag, gaming dice bag, steampunk coin purse '

This gives the tags
'Geek Gift For Men 'Chainmaille pouch' 'Dungeons and dragons' 'Dragons Dicebag' 'Gaming Dice Bag' 'Steampunk Coin purse' and a combination of some of the other tags already there


Now I went to Tools4Etsy  To put in some of his tags and see where his shop turns up


Geek Gift For Men  has over 8k listings, in the first 20 pages 1 come from this shop, This item is on page 1
This shop is fully optimised for this term :) 

Chainmaille Dicebag 
 has ONLY 20 listings in the first 20 pages 1 belong to this shop. This item is position 1 page one
This shop is fully optimised for this term  - I suggest if the item is not generating views then this tag is not searched by buyers enough so its not worth focusing on

Dungeons and Dragons  4.5k Listings 0 belong to this shop, 
I think this shop could do well pushing this term 

Gaming Dice Bag has 839 listings in the first 20 pages 1 belong to this shop. It is on page 14 
I think this shop could benefit pushing this term 

Steampunk coin purse  has 244 listings in the first 20 pages 1  belong to this shop. It is on page 1 and is a lovely handbag
This shop is already optimised for this term and it is a fairly small search but it wouldnt hurt to have one more item there

I think this shop has some lovely items and for a fairly new shop they are actually doing very well. It is difficult to build up inventory when items take a while to produce and they are doing the right thing re-listing when something has sold that they can make again. The whole shop including this item will benefit when they can add a few more pages worth of items. Perhaps if possible add custom variations of an item - different colours or a simple charm attached to a bag or even a different colour of chain to give more options without lots of extra work
 

My actions for this item


Research more 'geeky and gamer' tags that are popular searches 

Build a following on social media - follow people on twitter who are in your target market and set up a facebook page and link it to your shop (and send me the link as I have friends who would love it ) Join steampunk and gamers facebook groups and get to know people

In each listing include a link to other listings 'see also this coin purse' 'check out this'

Consider new photography with the gaming element more obvious

Post the item in a couple of Etsy team games or promotional threads - the type of 'post 3 items heart 5' I find the FriendsWithBenifits team very useful for some games to get some activity (activity increases relevancy)

I will run the searches for the item after the changes have been made and hopefully we can see them increase up the rankings. I will post back results


If you found this post helpful please feel free to join in, the only thanks I would like is if you could visit my shop and give an item a heart

like this one



Tuesday, 24 February 2015

Help With Etsy SEO. Featured shop Twigsimmortalized

Here is the 2nd in my new feature (hopefully) helping people with SEO for their Etsy shop


If you are wanting to get involved then post a comment in this thread and I will try and get back to you. The interest has been amazing so it will take a while to do them all

The shop featured is  Twigsimmortalized

From her shop
A collection of handmade beaded treasures and felted artwear, designed for your pleasure. ALL ITEMS ARE READY TO SHIP IMMEDIATELY!!!

So I asked her to let me know one of her least viewed items and she sent me this one



What a stunning purple colour with really nice photography against the green trees 

the title for the item is 

Nuno Felted Silk and Wool Scarf in Purple Orchid and Black. Wearable Art Scarf with Dread Ties. Pixie Wear Felt Collar. Unique Ladies Gift.


and the tags are 
Again the tags here are quite good, mainly multiple word phrases - but from the title there are only 3 tags repeated in the title 
'Silk and Wool Scarf' 'wearable Art Scarf' and 'Unique Ladies Gift' 

I had never heard of Lagenlook  - but as this shop it the top of page 1 with other items and this is a very small search I dont think these terms are needed in the title. 

Trying to think like a buyer I would possibly suggest a title of
'Nuno Felted Scarf. Purple Silk Scarf, Silk and Wool Scarf, Purple Felt Collar, Black and purple felt scarf, wearable art scarf'

I know its clunky to read but it gives some tags
'Nuno felted Scarf' 'Purple silk scarf' 'silk and wool scarf' 'purple felt collar' 'Purple felt scarf' 'Wearable Art scarf' (she could also add 'Unique Ladies Gift' to title and tags if she has been getting any traffic from it


Now I went to Tools4Etsy  To put in some of her tags and see where her shop turns up


Silk and Wool Scarf has over 5k listings, in the first 20 pages 22 come from this shop, The best is on page 1 position 1 and it is a lovely teal and brown scarf  - and this item is on page 3
This shop is fully optimised for this term :) 
Wearable Art Scarf has 12k listings in the first 20 pages 32 belong to this shop. The best is a different towel which is already on page 1 - This item is on page 16 
This shop is fully optimised for this term
Unique Ladies Gift almost 5k Listings 32 belong to this shop, the best is on page 1 position 1 and is a gold and chestnut scarf  - This item is on page 17 of the search
I think this shop is also optimised for this term 

Nuno Felted Scarf has nearly 4k listings in the first 20 pages 22 belong to this shop. The best is  the brown and teal scarf  which is already on page 1 - This item not on the first 20 pages
Although we can get this scarf onto the search I think this shop is pretty much optimised for this term 

Purple silk scarf has 6k listings in the first 20 pages NONE  belong to this shop. 
I think searches like this are where this shop could improve for this item

I think this shop has some amazing items and is really good at her SEO for the terms she is working on. To me it seems some of these less noticed items need some different more specific terms as many people might not know what a .Nuno Scarf is (I do, I tried to make one, oh the mess!! the bubbles!!) but if someone searched for a 'purple scarf' or a 'purple silk scarf' and stumbled on to this shop I am sure they would love it

My actions for this item


Tags and titles just need tweaked to more 'buyer friendly' type searches. Add tags like 'Purple silk Scarf' 'Black silk scarf' 'Wool scarf' Not just to this item but try and add it to a few other items too (the more items you have with the same tag does seem to help them all be more relevant) 


renew this item so it goes to the front page of the shop and followers get the chance to see it

In the listings for the very popular scarves   include a link in the listing back to this scarf (something like 'I also have something similar in purple')

Post a link to this item on facebook and other social media - and/or a link to this blog post :)

Post the item in a couple of Etsy team games or promotional threads - the type of 'post 3 items heart 5' I find the FriendsWithBenifits team very useful for some games to get some activity (activity increases relevancy)

I will run the searches for the item after the changes have been made and hopefully we can see them increase up the rankings. I will post back results


If you found this post helpful please feel free to join in, the only thanks I would like is if you could visit my shop and give an item a heart

like this one



Help With Etsy SEO. Featured shop SuesAkornShop

Today I am starting a new feature (hopefully) helping people with SEO for their Etsy shop

If you are wanting to get involved then post a comment in this thread and I will try and get back to you

The First shop to be featured is SuesAkornShop

From her shop
SuesAkornShop carries kitchen and bath towels, mercury glass, primitive home decor, crochet items as well as craft items. Now taking custom orders. If you are looking for something special please contact me and I will see what I can do for you.All items except for custom orders are in stock and ready to ship. You never know what you will find, so sit back, relax and shop away!

So I asked Sue to let me know one of her least viewed items and she sent me this one


It was listed in November and has had no views in the past 30 days. such a cute tea towel with really clear photographs and a fun Christmas theme. Obviously this will be harder for us as the Christmas season is past - but lets see what we can do

the title for the item is 

Kitchen Hand Towel, Santa Dish Towel, Christmas, Ready to Ship, Tea Towel, Christmas Towel, Hanging Towel, Tie on Towel, Towel with Ties


and the tags are 
 These are actually quite good tags and titles for the items. The tags are phrases and many are repeated in the title.

A few little changes I would make. 'Ready to ship' should be removed as Google search engine does not like titles that sound like you are selling something (No SALE, no ££££ off, no BUY ONE GET ONE FREE) Also the single word 'Christmas is not needed as it is covered in 'Christmas Towel' and Google does not like repetitions.I think that could be replaced with the 'Holiday Decor' or even 'holiday towel'


Overall really good titles and tags


Now I went to Tools4Etsy  To put in some of her tags and see where her shop turns up


Tea Towel has over 45k listings, in the first 20 pages 7 come from this shop, The best is on page 8 and it is a lovely Gingerbread towel  - and this item does not show up in this search 

Christmas Towel has 12k listings in the first 20 pages 32 belong to this shop. The best is a different towel which is already on page 1 - This item is on page 16 

Kitchen Hand Towel 25k Listings 130 belong to this show, the best is on page 1 and is the gingerbread towel again - I cant see this item (but might have missed it)


So in general this shop has some really good SEO and some of her other items are doing really well. She already has page 1 for 2 out of the 3 terms I picked here with different items so we would not be able to get this item to page 1 - but can hopefully improve a little

My actions for this item


Tags and titles are great - just the two small changes outlined above might help with Google, otherwise they are optimised for the important terms for this item

To improve this items position I believe we need activity and inbound links

First renew this item so it goes to the front page of the shop and followers get the chance to see it

Second in the listing for the gingerbread man towel and one or two other popular items include a link in the listing back to this towel

Third Post a link to this item on facebook and other social media

Forth Post the item in a couple of Etsy team games or promotional threads - the type of 'post 3 items heart 5' I find the FriendsWithBenifits team very useful for some games to get some activity (activity increases relevancy)

I will run the searches for the item after the changes have been made and hopefully we can see them increase up the rankings. I will post back results


If you found this post helpful please feel free to join in, the only thanks I would like is if you could visit my shop and give an item a heart

like this one

Saturday, 21 February 2015

Happy Chinese New Year - Year of the sheep / goat

A little late with this post

But I have been having fun with sheep :)

I wont lie I tried to do the teeny knitting myself but found some really cute woolly jumpers on Ebay, so so sweet
My first sheep 'I only fell asleep for a moment and someone knitted me!!' I think many people who live with knitters worry about this - once they have started eyeing up the dog/cat wondering about spinning their fur its only a matter of time before they start looking at anything hairy

Did you know a load of knitters partners are bald?? (Did you know that fact was made up on the spot?) 



And this little guy - tongue out working hard to learn her craft 



And of course I had to do a goat too

All 3 are looking for new homes in my Etsy Shop Please click on the photographs or the link if you are interested. And feel free to contact me if you would like any help or advice on needle felting 


Thursday, 22 January 2015

#BanTheShock

Great news this month was MSP's in Hollyrood were talking again about banning shock collars in Scotland
Check out the debate here, it is really good with lots of surprisingly great information


A load of Scottish, UK and worldwide Behaviourists, Trainings, owners and dog lovers are getting together behind the idea of banning these devices in Scotland and then hopefully all over the world
Search for them all under #BanTheShock. Share, like, comment and make your own videos, tweets and blog posts

HERE is the video that started all of this off

and here is my submission


Here is a link to the Defra study on shock collars and some discussion about it. There are lots of evidence to show that training with punishments, especially E collars causes dogs stress and is no more effective than other positive ways to train. Many people do not know this and think the shock collars are the only way to help their dogs with some issues, the only way to save their lives

This is simply not true, punishments (which is what e collar training is) is just the other side of behaviour modification from reinforcement - if a dog (or any other living thinking being) can learn with punishments then they can also learn with rewards/reinforcment - and punishing can have negative side effects

If you have issues with your dog please consider seeing a good positive, force free trainer or behaviourist - or even look at some of the wonderful support out there on youtube channels like Kikopup





Please join in and support #bantheshock

https://www.youtube.com/user/kikopup
http://controlunleashed.net/
http://www.suzanneclothier.com/the-articles/bones-would-rain-sky
http://www.petprofessionalguild.com/PetGuildMembers

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