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Everything posted by mickif

  1. A real simple, easy book to get started on raw is "Raw Dog Food, make it easy for you and your dog", by Carina MacDonald. It's short, sweet, entertaining and informative. Also nice to have some Honest Kitchen or Sojos on hand for those days when one doesn't want to think about it all . If you supplement with kibble, just make sure you don't feed kibble at the same meal with the raw... different digestion rates.
  2. I started my, sometimes over the top, boy on Shen Calmer about 6 weeks ago. After a couple of weeks I really saw a difference in his focus without losing his zest for life, and even his breathing slowed when resting (he can be a real nut bag and reactive ). We started on 2 2x a day but it appeared to be a bit too much, dropped him to 1 2x a day and am watching to see if this is a good dose. I have tried everything, and this is the first time I have seen an improvement. He seems much more at ease with life in general without effecting his drive and fun way of being. Thumbs up for Shen Calmer!
  3. Oh funny, i was away from my computer, watched it on my phone, couldn't see commentary, was wondering if I was going to have to defend myself . Cute pup tho
  4. I'm at a loss for words also, just jumbled contradictions and huh?
  5. What are the reasons the dog keeps knocking bars? Handler motion? Poor jump skills? Blasting thru to get to the next obstacle? Has anyone pinpointed to what it might be? Just curious
  6. Regina, a very important thing to remember is that agility is suppose to be fun! For you and your dog! If Willow is stressed, she's not having fun. Since you do not have the option to pick and choose where you take classes, remembering this is even more important. Personally, if my dog showed fear, over uneasiness or stress, I would kindly say no, my dog is not ready for this/that obstacle. It is very probable/possible, that every time you drag/force her over a piece of equipment that she is worried about, it is one more reinforcement, that in her mind, it really is not a good thing.
  7. Yeah, it's true, and it can be hard on the senses to just hold classes so folks can "get their dogs on equipment". Regina, for the short term or long term, if you have a 12" or so wide board, a piece of shelving or such, about 3' to 4' long, you can put a piece of 2"x2" wood under it in the middle so that the ends tip and use this for a tippy board. If it is motion/movement that is worrying her, you can make a fun game of it. You can shape the behavior... look at it, one foot on, jumping on it, playing on it, etc. I do this with baby dogs and older dogs with teeter issues. If it is the bang that is worrying her, start with it on the grass, then once she is fine with the motion there, move it to a harder surface. I eventually move it to concrete for the biggest bang for the buck. I also use this board with and without the 2" x 2" piece under the middle for contact end behavior training (2on 2off) or whatever, prior to introducing the actual dogwalk or teeter. I find it easy to take to go practice in other environments.
  8. Oh, I didn't mean it to sound like Regina is doing anything wrong , but, Regina, if there are other agility training facilities in your area, it might be to your and Willow's benefit to find out if foundation classes are available. She is still pretty young isn't she?
  9. Am I the only one wondering why a dog is even seeing a teeter or full height dogwalk within 2 months of agility training?
  10. not just LIKE but LOVE... perfect!
  11. I do not think that there is one way to train agility, and your puppies must be darling as they learn your verbals while you sit in a chair , I love it! My belief about possible degradation of body cues and verbals is based on what I see often in our area... handler's body is doing one thing while yelling a verbal command that says do something else. For example, dog takes off for a jump thinking, based on handler's body, that he/she is going straight in extension, only to have the handler yell "left", or "right" or whatever verbals are used..., as the dog is taking off to jump (or worse, as the dog is over the jump), over time something has to give. But, I am not just talking distance, which this thread is actually about. Personally, I "attempt" to use the same handling for all, distance or not. I believe the first rule is to be consistent in however one trains and runs, and I prefer to see body language and verbals support one another. That's all .
  12. Ok, that makes more sense, I was reading it literally to mean rear crosses in general... and just for the sake of conversation, if training "switch" or right or left or, I am not getting why this would apply only to rear crosses, when it could apply to any handling cue... basically meaning change direction, or away from me or? Am I missing something? It is Monday after all . I agree, I actually think that NADAC chances does no real favors to handling for anything else... but it's fun!
  13. As I think that verbals can be important, at the same time, if your verbal is not supporting your body language, you are then asking your dog to ignore one or the other, and then there's a good chance one or the other will degrade over time. Yes, for distance, a verbal can really help reinforce your body cue, or can help if your dog is in a tunnel in distance and needs to come out going away from you, but I am not sure a verbal is necessary to direct on a rear cross in general. I believe it much better to train you (most important ) and your partner what body language your rear cross cue is. I agree, when teaching distance skills, throw the reward away, along the line that that dog is traveling. If one uses only treats, I have found string cheese to be an excellent reward... easy to throw and easy for the dog to see.
  14. I have to laugh about your comment: "I must admit that I was a little disappointed in the RC workshop as far as being able to work my dog (too many dogs and one person somehow monopolized Silvia's time disproportionately)." Sadly, this is sooo common! Have you ever used the rubber udder protectors that are used for milking? Dairies can only use them for so long and then they are replaced. We are able to get them by the box. If your dog is a heavy tugger you will go through them, but they have nice weight for throwing, good give for tugging and are very popular with many dogs over here. Also, be careful if you decide to try the box method on the AF with his ball, really make sure his head doesn't turn as you throw. It won't work well, I know this one from experience! I decided to retrain with a 2o2o until he got his striding correct, which he has, but now I am afraid I will lose the great 2o2o if I go to a true running, so, as mentioned above, I quick release often and this works well. Good luck!
  15. I have read ST instructions a few times. In your description you say that the ball is the reward for both running and the correct striding into the CZ. How does the dog know which he is being rewarded for, especially if his ball means more than the tug. You might be better off using the tug for throwing as well as for the super reward. I understand well about the ball creating the ultimate drive, I have a ball crazed boy who can forget all else but wondering if it might be better for him to understand he's a very good boy for proper striding first, before introducing such a strong motivator as his ball. Then after a high success rate bring back the ball but maybe instead of throwing it, you lightly toss it underhand, and then as he continues to have a high success rate you can increase the intensity of your throw. Have you checked out Daisy Peel's site? She is a big time Manner's Minder fan. Just food for thought. Every dog and every way of training is so different .
  16. ball... does he look straight ahead for the ball(anticipating where the ball will end up) as you throw it, or does he look at you or is he turning his head at all towards you?
  17. Oh and for humor, when I introduced my baby dog to the broad jump she went over fine but stopped and put herself in her 2o2o on the last board, it was very cute and not what I was looking for
  18. Nothing like degrading a venue a bit more... Good lord. I think the VT program is a great idea BUT no way do I see where it has any place combining Q's done on video with Q's done in trial. Tell me, truthfully, how many will set up a course, run it once, not Q and not try it again, or again, or again. Everything about running for video versus running in a trial environment is different. I have a full set of equipment in my field, I have a video, it would be an easy way to supplement my Q ratio. I feel this change has cheapened nadac. Oh great, I just spent 220 on entry fees for this weekend's nadac trial... I am embarrassed.
  19. If you only trial in one venue, I would use whatever is used in that. I originally did the slats on one side, none on the other, as I do venues that use both. I didn't see it interfering with the AFs for whatever venue at trials or elsewhere at practice. I recently added contactacoat and am using slats (wood), what I find is that the rubber chips end up building up the "space" between the slats so that the slats are less defined, even with the chips sprinkled on the slats. Just make sure you round down the slat edges prior to adding. I have yet noticed stubbed toes and many dogs use it. If you have been dependent on listening to your dog's striding in the past, you will have a harder time as mine is now super quiet! Neither of my dogs seem to have issues transferring their AF behavior to other AFs, whether slatted or not, rubber coated or not, and my youngest pup never was on my original with each side different.
  20. Ok everyone, please correct me if I am wrong. Recently I took my pup to sheep, just to see what she would do. We have been back a few times since. For all of the "prep work" I did, researching, reading books, watching videos, etc., once we got out there I didn't have time to think about anything other than watching my dog's body language (and her natural instinct kick in), watching the sheep's body language and keeping from getting run over. Anything else I thought I might "know" no longer existed! The whole experience is humbling and amazing.
  21. Do you always lead out? Maybe breaking it up, sometimes lead out, sometimes run with. Slingshot starts worked well for my easily stressed n worried pup. By doing slingshot starts she gained confidence n then leads outs no longer worried her. I prefer my dogs to look straight ahead no matter which start line we do. Making it a game makes it fun!
  22. I have written and rewritten several replies and thoughts throughout these many posts, many scratched because I end up getting downright pissy . Just spent another bit if time editing... Serena, There is tons of info on agility all over the place. I would suggest that you do more research on dog agility other than coming up with assumptions and beliefs based on your (limited?) AKC experience. Many of your posts and thoughts are very narrow (possibly naive?) and are creating reactions from some within this topic, that are a little scary for the majority of agility folks... those who have placed their relationship with their dog(s) as the main focus to choose agility as a sport to play in. You are wrong to believe that those who Many believe it is a game. They train, teach and compete, making it a game for their dogs! This is not to say that being good at games does not take hard work, dedication, commitment and relationship building within teams. Yes, I love the challenges and I strive to be the very best in agility that I can. My very best teacher (and I have been privileged to work with many fine human teachers) was my dog who taught me the meaning of success in agility...to run connected with my dog(s), to play as a team, to laugh at both of our silly mistakes, exchange smiles at a job well done. She taught me patience with humor, not an easy thing for me. She didn't care what venue we ran in. I think it might be good for you to go and review the history of agility and study the various organizations/venues. Meet other agility lovers/handlers/supporters besides just the "MACH handlers" that you hold in such high esteem, you may be pleasantly surprised and maybe humbled. You support and condone AKC puppy mills, conformation dogs, etc. every time you enter an AKC trial (pay AKC), period. You wrote, ... This is just weird, wanna be, thinking. Who gets to decide who these agility-god-like-chosen-ones are??? Get over yourself and go play with your dog, without the need to worry about never being good enough to be one of your "MACH handlers". And I am not amused by this reference. Here I go getting pissy again .
  23. When my 7 year old was your pups age he got demodex around his eye, though not as bad as yours is. I mixed a few drops of neem oil with some almond oil and applied it about 3 times a day. It cleared and never came back. This might help you.
  24. Yep would get the manners minded working or use a closed container of treats out in front. My biggest mistake was inadvertently training my young dog to look at me ( very much lile your dog in your video) as he "strided" into the box. Came back to bite me and ended up causing him to do the same once on the AF, thus not driving through looking forward, thus watching me, thus hitting higher, thus more often then I was comfortable with, missing the contact if i was not out in front of him. Very hard to rime a throw correctly in the initial box work, making sure all 4 feet hit, for me anyway.
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