Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Single Stepping the Weave Poles

I have been practicing the weaves a few times each day and Ryddick is single stepping them. He finds some really hard entries and doesn't give up if he won't get rewarded for a mistake. Operant dogs are really great.

Monday, July 28, 2008


My dogs love to play with the sprinklers. Rylie however really gets soaked from head do toe. She bites at the water and then turns her body into the sprinkler. She does this dance in front of the sprinkler. She seems to enjoy it very much.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Amazing Ryddick

It has been so nice in the evenings that we sit outside in the big yard and throw the balls for the dogs. I was amazed at how calm Ryddick is around Ryker in the yard. I have him in a down stay next to my chair while Ryker runs around. He has been very calm and waits his turn. When it was his turn to play, I ask him to find the weaves. We were sitting about 25 feet away from them. He took a sharp turn away from me and even though the angle was at about 190 degree, he still found the entry and went through all six. Needless to say my jaw dropped open. I threw the ball and when he came back I thought that it might have been a fluke and I again said weaves. He did the same thing just a bit faster. I am amazed at how quick he learned with the 2x2's. He is so amazing. By far the smartest dog I have ever met.


Ryker loves to jump on the trampoline. He looks like a bucking Bronco. It is very funny to watch . I was going to get a trampoline, unfortunately he also gets so excited that he barks and our neighbors would not like that very much.


Raygen and I are team members of the Utah Tail Blazers. We practice two times a week and we are having a blast. Raygen really has come out of his shell. He doesn't play with the ball much, except when we are at Flyball. He barks his head off and he gets so exited that only a few can hold him. His box turn has improved so much. It is very important to do a nice swimmers turn at the box or the dogs will have some major issues with the carpal. The pictures are of dogs getting a ball from box. One has a very nice swimmers turn, the other is really bad and at risk of injury. Our team knows how to correctly teach the turn.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Chicken Herding

My stepson came over the other day and dropped off 5 of his chickens that kept jumping the fence in his yard. Well, they jump our fence to and come into the big yard. So I did a bit of herding with Ryddick. It was so cool. He goes into this herding mode and helps me with bringing them back to the pond. Chicken herding is different then sheep herding. I don't have to watch out for getting run over by sheep.

Agility pics by C. Heyman

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Weave Poles

Yeah! My baby is doing weave poles. He is very cautious about it at this time, seems like he doesn't want to make a mistake. I am going to do some of the exercises that I learned at camp to proof the weaves. Now I have to do some more handling exercises so I can enter him in AKC sometime early next year.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Herding Downs "Play Ball"

Previous post I have been talking about expecting more downs while playing ball, to help Ryddick build muscle and be more biddable during our herding lesson. Saturday morning we went to beautyful Kelley Creek Farm. Keeping a long line on him kept him from getting away with charging the sheep. I like to keep him from going over threshold as much as possible. He did very nice and only started to go in twice, but we were able to stop it before he went into full "crazy" mode. I was very happy with the lesson.


Raygen seems to get the hang of the herding rules. He is very responsive to verbal corrections when he tries to take some wool. His challenge is to not come in so far to make them move. These are sheep not cattle and he can't nip at them. I was very happy with his lesson and am looking forward going again this weekend.Our goats in the back are his favorite right now. He will run all the way tot he back and sit at the fence and stare at them. New chickens are also very exciting for him to look at. What is next? Maybe I should get a horse after all?


Saturday we went to Huntsville to have a herding lesson with Ryddick and Raygen and I took the opportunity to take Ryker and Rylie to let them go swimming. She won't go swimming on her own, but is eager to fetch the ball out of the water no matter how far I throw it. In CA we went to the a very secluded beach twice a week and I really miss going with the doggies.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

One Jump Training/Call to Heel

Karen Holik did some one jump work with us and had me try a call to heel serpentine. Ryker read my cues and got them the first time. Running them at Gerry's class was a different story. Adding a fast sequence ahead of the jumps were very challenging. His speed is phenomenal and I really have to be on top of it. We practice short sessions often and he is getting better in collecting.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

GSDOC Agility Trial July 11th and 12th

This weekend I entered 2 days of Agility in Farmington, Utah. Our Judge was Sally Gichner. I really like her course, especially her weave pole entries. It was Rykers debut in Exc, JWW. He stayed at the start line and after releasing him, I don't remember much. Well actually, I do remember quite a bit. I supported him as much as I could. Some call it over-handling, but there is no such a thing if the dog is still in the learning stages. Right now this is what he needs and it works. I will fade some of the cues as we get better later. He was the only dog in his class to qualify. We are in Open Standard and he did great. Start line stay was fantastic. His contacts are to die for. He did knock a bar and that was the end of it. Today the jumpers course was a bit more challenging and I took my eyes off him and did not support him to come in to me. He then went into default mode and started to come up with his own course. A purple wing jump that was in front of him, but not part of the course was a very good choice. What a good boy. All that one jump work paid off. >VBG<

GSDOC Agility Trial July 11th and 12th

We entered in AKC Agility this weekend. I was hoping for at least some points. Raygen has been unpredictable in his runs the last few trials. His speed has been improving and he is becoming more comfortable with the environment. His weaves are fantastic and his is getting more comfortable with the teeter. I have him run the contacts and it seems to pay off for us. He isn't that fast where I have to worry not being able to catch up on the dog walk and to give him direction afterwards. he knocked a bar on Friday and one on Saturday. I am hoping that it is only a fluke. I will do some jump training when we get back form Camp. He is young and healthy and I don;t think it is a health issue.His JWW run was amazing. With almost 30 dogs in class he placed 4th and earned 10 speed points. Last year he was barely making time.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Play Ball

Ryddick loves to play ball. He also gets to go to herding lessons. One of the exercises I do with him is, send him out and have him lay-down. Then call him and lay-down and call and lay-down. Then I release him and he gets to fetch the ball. He is getting the hang of the game. This also helps him built his muscles in his rear. He used to pull himself up with his when he was going through the PANO phase.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Considering Trialing

Rylie got to go to Huntsville with me and the boys. She usually stays home with Michael, but I thought I'll give her a break from the heat and let her go swimming in the pond, which she loves to do.I decided to run her a bit on the Agility course, too. First she barked at me, but then ran the course real nice. She is and has always been a Velcro dog. She never goes further away then 4 feet. But she did good. Her weaves are great, she runs the contacts and she only has to jump 12 inches in AKC preferred. ASCA does not have a lower jump height option unless the dog or handler are seniors or the handler is a junior. USDAA she would have to jump 16" in preformance. In DOCNA she could be entered on Select at 12". I really like DOCNA.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Seal Ears

Rylie has the biggest ears. However when she sees someone she knows, her ears go back and look like seal ears. Itty bitty and close to her head.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Teeter Trouble

Ryddick has been having difficulty with the teeter. While he is going forward on it he will go into attack mode. This weekend I have had the opportunity to do some Teeter work in Huntsville. He did really good and by the end of day 2 he was not showing any sings of attacking the teeter. At first I would work on some low "slam it" exercises. Gradually leave the teeter higher. Once I felt he could get on the full teeter I would click as soon as he stepped on it. That way he was looking forward to a rewards instead of thinking about attacking the teeter. It worked great. I was watching for sings of stress and always stopped before he would have a raging fit. I hope to be able t do more teeter work in different places. I can't trial him unless he is "healed" ;-)


We were up in Huntsville the past two days and Ryker got to swim a lot. He is a swimming fool. Our pond has not have any water supply for the past 3 weeks and is down to a yucky green mess. I won't let the dogs go in it. Not even sure if it is deep enough to swim in it. I am seriously thinking of investing some money for a building and a pool. I could give doggy swimming lessons.