Thursday, 28 May 2009

Border collies and a border terrier

My latest orders.
A border terrier - a breed I have never seen in the flesh yet so I had to guess a bit but I think it came out OK - they seem to be going a bit Disney at the moment :D

and a pack of Border collies. Usualy I do one dog at a time and have many fotos from many angles - this time I had 3 dogs to do from one foto
To try and keep the sizes similar this time I used pipe cleaner frames as my sizes can be a little random sometimes

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Mia, agility and focus

Thought I better give another Mia update.

Today she seemed v unfocused and just wanted to run about.
As her recal isnt v good I only have her offlead in safe areas with fairly few distractions.
So as this evening was agility - outside!! I though I better get some focus on her

I did this in a couple of ways
1st - I sent her and Ben away to play and run around a bit - just to calm down.
But then I called Ben back and started working him, anytime Mia showed any focus to me I just gave her treats and kept on playing with Ben.
After about 20 min of this she started to really pay attention to me so now I asked for a trick or 2 and then released her to play before she got bored and wondered off herself.
After a short time of this the dogs didnt really want to be released and on their 'free time' they were following me around - I actually had some great heeling around the field with great eye contact without even asking for it.
So now I did some stays and played with the toys and then we headed home.

So did it work??
Really well, at agility Mia got her 'were here to work' head on really quickly, she only ran off once the whole time and only wasnt staying well once - much better than last week where 50% of the time I had to go and fetch her.
The next class started coming in early and the GSD Mia hates was actually at one point about 10m away from us when we were about to do a run - she barked a couple of times but calmed down and did her job without running off

Really great progress! One step closer to a happy dog - and who knows mibby even one who can compeate at agility one day!

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Stan the rottie

Heres my latest little guy up in my Etsy shop

Stan the rottie

He was lots of fun to make, I wanted to show how Rottweilers are not big nasy dogs but they also have a v fun playfuls side

I hope I captured that in this guy.

Please, all you peeps who can do great fotos, any way I can improve my shots of the fuzzies, I know that is one area that is really letting me down!

Tuesday, 19 May 2009

What did your dog learn today??

I try and do a little with my dogs every day, sometimes just going over things they know quite well making it a bit better and sometimes working on a specific trick.

A training sesh is usualy about 5-10 min per dog and I tend to structure it like this

a couple of mins doing stuff they know quite well

a couple of mins working on a new trick

a couple of mins working on stuff they already know

We also have a great 'Do something' where I ask them to do something and every different trick they do gets a treat - like the lazy mans free shaping :D

Sometimes I get a bit lazy and we dont focus on anything new for a while, but then I have a wee nozy at some blogs or you tube and I get inspired to do something again.

The latest trick I found that I have been working on for a wee while came from here

So whats your latest trick??

Friday, 15 May 2009

Mia again

Just a quickie - realised I havent really updated Mia for a while.

On Wed there her agility class moved, we were now OUTSIDE in a public park with 6 dogs she does not know.

and she did waaaay better than I expected.

She barked a little as the new dogs came to class but settled quickly and once class started she was pretty well focused and only showed her teeth to a dog who came up to her when I was giving her a treat for being good - Ben would have done the same, and agian it wasnt totaly reactive and she calmed down.

She even dod some offlead work quite well - 2 zoomies but didnt go more than about 15m away - so really no worse than in the barn!

What a wee star!!

Of course its not all perfect, Mia and Ben had a little fight today - think Ben actually started it - but anyway thats the first fight this year - I have to focus on that and the fact we used to have fights several times a week. Gave them both a time out and they were kissing again - no grudges

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Featured shop, BeaulyBen

Just thought I would big up this Etsy shop BeaulyBen

She is my mum :D
She has been on Etsy for a wee while now but still waiting for that elusive first sale.

She has just started making dressy hair clips, fascinators and bobbles at totaly bargain prices, I think they look fab!

Also (she is very crafty) Fabby knitwear and lovely original encaustic art

Encaustic art is the process of heating vividly coloured wax blocks and applying them to the surface with an iron, heated stylus or an air gun. It is a really fun way to create totaly original works of art.
The process involves taking vividly coloured blocks of wax and heating them and applying them to the surface with either an iron, heated stylus or an air gun. The striking images produced really let the imagination run riot as the more you look the more you will see - like looking for images in clouds.
And the beauty of it is if you dont like what you have made just run the iron over again and something different appears.
We have both also been working on our website, thankyou all for your kind words so far. Any suggestions as to how we can improve this are welcome.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

Practise makes perfect

Interesting that I am posting very similar things in my driving instructor blog and this blog.

I really do see similarities in teaching people to drive and training dogs.

One really important thing to remember is

Practise makes perfect

That is true on practising something you want your dog to do, practise in as many different locations and build up the distraction level and over time the behaviour will become perfect.

But it is more important to consider when your dog is doing something you dont want it to do.

For example - jumping up at people

Every time your dog jumps up at someone it is practising the behavior that that is how it greets people.

Yes you have to think of the different behaviour that you would like to train - but at the same time you must stop the dog practising the behaviour you dont like, so while you are retraining you might have to keep your dog on a lead or send to another room or a crate so they do not get the opportunity to practise the unwanted behaviour

and remember the longer the dog has been practising the undesired behaviour then the longer it will take to retrain, no matter what the TV shows seem to tell you dog training takes time - if it didnt everyone would have a champion obedience dog


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