Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Tuesday Training 26

Monday was quite a full day, with two trips to the training hall in one afternoon.

First, we went for Rally run-thrus. It was stressful. There were a lot of strange dogs and people for Marge to contend with - and for ME to contend with. I don't want to elaborate too much, but I extremely dislike being spoken down to, especially by someone who doesn't know anything about me or my dog. I extremely dislike when someone tells me that they're a "professional" and that they know what they're doing with my fearful dog when I'm obviously not interested in their methods. If I wanted advice, I would ask for it, and, if I did ask for it, I would hope to receive a helpful and polite response rather than a condescending one.

The Rally itself was alright - nothing stellar. Her heeling wasn't bad, and perhaps my biggest complaint would be crooked fronts and finishes. It's AKC Rally, so, if I dare say, it was easier than its APDT cousin. Her attentiveness wasn't bad considering the number of people around. I used treats, but sparingly.

Despite the commotion, she was able to settle in a corner and even get pets from another (very nice) club member, who happens to share her name!

We went home for a few hours and then headed back out for agility class. What an awesome class in every single respect. There were 5 other teams - all either classmates or Excellent level dogs. Not one dog or person made Marge feel scared. Not one bark or one snark out of her. It was unbelievable! She even got to run around with a Border Terrier friend of hers when we were moving equipment.

No photos or video, but here is the course map:

This course was loads of fun.
  • The opening was tough. I had to send Marge into the tunnel and then get into position for the next jump. Finding that position was tricky - the best thing to do was to stand so that Marge would come out of the tunnel and approach me, fully facing her, and then send her on to the second jump.
  • Her weaves were a little funky tonight but not terrible. She missed the entry once and then skipped a pole another time. They got better as the night went on, so I think maybe we were both rushing a bit in the beginning.
  • Her A-Frame was beautiful. I think we did it 3 or 4 times and she hit her contact every single time. I had the post-it target there for her to mark, but I think we're going to make it smaller next time we train.
  • I front crossed the A-Frame and used to wall to help me guide Marge straight to the table. No issues there.
  • Her teeter was a little slow, but she did it. She actually went off course at one point to go do it. Teeter suck, if you will.
  • After tunnel 8 it was a back cross over 9, and then another back from 11 to 12, and then a back into the tunnel.
  • No problems with 14 and 15 - I tried having her come around 15 both ways, and it seemed like pulling her through the middle was the better option.
  • I HAD to front cross after jump 17 to get her into the correct tunnel entrance. I tried pushing and it just didn't work.
It was a very quick course - a lot of twists and turns, but we managed pretty well.

At the very end, Marisa, Karen and I took out the wicket. Turns out I did set it up right last time and just didn't know how to read it. By using treats, we were able to measure Marge with no problem. She's right around 21", so she's at least an inch under the 22" cut off for agility jump heights. Marisa's only concern is that some wickets are more squeaky than this one - so I should really try to clank this one around and make sure she's solid with it. She also told me that treats can be used when she's measured. If that's the case, we're likely not going to have a big problem with measuring.

Over all, Marge and I have been doing a lot lately and having a lot of fun. At the end of the day, it's nice to have a cuddle buddy.. I can think of no one better suited to the job.

(I know I was MIA this weekend. I've begun catching up, but have a lot more blogs to read!)


kissa-bull February 16, 2010 at 12:39 AM  

you are just the cutest cuddlebug we've ever seen
keep mommish warm
pibble sugars
the houston pittie pack

Kathy Mocharnuk February 16, 2010 at 1:14 AM  

Sounds like a good practice, all except for the budinski- ;-(

Cinnamon and Mint February 16, 2010 at 4:26 AM  

Love the photo of you together!!

Cyndi and Stumpy February 16, 2010 at 7:23 AM  

Seems you handled the snark pretty well. I don't know if I would have.

Great picture of you and the cuddlebug!

Chris and Ricky February 16, 2010 at 7:25 AM  

If you are doing courses like that one from your class yesterday, you will have absolutely no problem in your AKC debut!! Except you might be bored on the Novice course! LOL! Your course looked so difficult - especially the opening! Wow!

Sorry about the incredibly rude "professional" at your rally practice. Sounds like you handled it well though.

Sara February 16, 2010 at 9:09 AM  

Ah, "professionals" there's one in every crowd. Ever watch their dogs? That's what I do. They never seem like they are doing that great, or are having that much fun.

I'm glad you had such a fun agility class, after a stressful rally.

LauraK February 16, 2010 at 11:10 AM  

Sorry you had such an annoying situation with the "professionals". I can't stand people who think they know it all and don't respect your wishes.

I'm glad the agility made up for it though, sounds like you and Marge had a great time :) Cuddling dogs are the best!!

Anna the GSD February 16, 2010 at 2:55 PM  

Mom says that the word "professionals" has one A and two S's for a reason...go figure! :)

I'm so glad Marge is still doing so super!! She's an agility STAR!

Gus, Louie and Callie February 16, 2010 at 4:58 PM  

OH the cuddling is the best part of the day...
Mom just ignore those idiot people.. What do they know?

Big Sloppy Kisses
Gus, Louie and Callie

BRUTUS February 16, 2010 at 5:34 PM  

Yep, lots of people out three with lots of opinions for you. Leave it to fellow "dog people" to be the worst! Keep up the good work, guys - you are doing great!!! Oh, and did your hear there is now a pre-novice level in obedience? All on-leash!

Michelle & Brutus

NAK and The Residents of The Khottage Now With KhattleDog! February 16, 2010 at 7:30 PM  

Oh yes!

We do that evFURRY night prior to my taking that pawtikhular night's spot on the floor -

It is where Mom tells me how pretty I am and do I know how much she loves me?

Like DUH Mom!

Enjoy YOUR khuddle times!


The Army of Four February 16, 2010 at 9:50 PM  

Ah! Woo. OK. So... I can't do agility with you - because I have a real problem listening. (No, really. It's a serious hearing condition confirmed by my vet called "seee-lec-tive hearing". It's very serious.) BUT I could handle that snuggling thing. Really. I'm VERY good at it. Call me if you need a stand-in!

AC February 16, 2010 at 10:00 PM  

It sounds like Marge is doing great handling people around her. And how cool that she found another dog to run around with!

Good work to you as well for getting through the "professional" situation. It's especially frustrating when you've put in so much time, research, and energy to help Marge to have to deal with something like that. Know that we all know what you're doing with your fearful dog and are learning from you too!

Lorenza February 16, 2010 at 11:10 PM  

A day full of action and then... cuddle time!
Kisses and hugs

Scout and Freyja February 17, 2010 at 1:06 AM  

At the end of the day or at any time during the day it's great to have someone to cuddle with and - yes - I know the tone and language when you are being talked down to and it makes me want to SCREAM!

Diana February 17, 2010 at 5:33 AM  

People always like to give advice. ( I sometimes give advice on someones blog, never at a show or class. They probably dont want it and I need to be aware of that.Lol) That person probably thought she was helping you and didnt realize how she was coming across. If someone does that to me, I usually say "yea I already treid that , it didnt work" and they kinda look shocked. LoL Im glad your agility class went well. Tough course. Wow. Diana

KB February 17, 2010 at 8:58 AM  

I actually had a home appraiser authoritatively inform me that I needed to train my dogs differently (even though they were behaving great, imho). He said that I needed to be "the boss" like the Dog Whisperer - then I wouldn't need all those treats. Later, it came out the appraiser doesn't even have a dog... I managed to turn my anger into internal laughing. Sorry that you ran into a so-called pro who talked down to you. That does stink.

But, your agility training sounds like it was a huge success and tons of fun. Way to go, Sam and Marge!

Martha February 17, 2010 at 2:31 PM  

Cuddles are the best - we loved the pic of the two of you together.
Beware 'professional' giving advice - you are wise enough to say you know your dog!
Nobody else knows her like you do so you are the 'expert' if we ever need one.
You know we are always impressed with the great work the two of you are doing.
When I was out with the two dogs today a police car with a siren blaring drove past at high speed - must have taken me a good ten minutes to get Martha to move again!
So we have some things in common and I look forward to reading your stories and how you overcame the difficulties.

Rufus and Indie February 17, 2010 at 6:05 PM  

Marge looks sleepy! So cute!
You have been very busy! But always having fun!

Kari in Alaska February 17, 2010 at 9:53 PM  

the cuddle buddy at the end makes it all worth while :)

Sue February 18, 2010 at 4:02 PM  

That's a great snuggle picture. When is your first competition? Is it agility or rally?

I've decided to start training Noah for Rally, so we're getting started this weekend.

Muttsandaklutz February 18, 2010 at 6:46 PM  

I'm sure she'll have no trouble with being measured, especially given all the practice you're doing. I practiced with mine at home by moving poles over the heads, pressing it down over their shoulders, and so on, and having friends do the same. I think it helped a lot when it came time for the actual measuring.

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