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About mobcmom

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  1. I'm getting started in agility myself. Check your local library for books and DVDs. I like "Switching Sides-Making the Transition from Obedience to Agility" by Kay Guetzloff. She has included a range of exercises from very simple foundations to more advanced. As you gain some skill you might want to look for Australian Shepard Club (ASCA) trial in your area. The entry fees are cheaper than other venues and you can train in the ring, though you will not Q at that point. You also have to register with ASCA, but the fee are very reasonable. Hope that helps.
  2. Pro Plan Performance. Works well and three bcs chow down.
  3. Purina Pro Plan performance. Three dogs love it and have done well.
  4. I also have a four month old bc puppy. She gets Purina Pro Plan Selects Salmon and Rice puppy. She weights 22 pounds and is doing great. The vet is very happy with her progress.
  5. My bcs have been on Purina Pro Plan Selects salmon and rice and doing very well; healthy, happy, and shiny coats. My new puppy is on Pro Plan Selects puppy food. She loves is and is also doing well. Purina has a good track record. I feel good that they do a lot of research into nutrition and have not had recalls where other brands have.
  6. On the exercise side of the equation, consider strength training. Cardio (i.e chasing the ball) can burn calories, but strength training can turn the chub into muscle. I'm going to suggest a tip I read from a Frisbee trainer. Find a nice slope or uphill. Throw the ball up hill so the dog has to work against gravity. This will be a good work out and help make the muscles work harder. Always make sure your dog is not overheated or overworked. Strength training should help with agility and other activities. You could also try taking a walk with the dog wearing a doggie backpack with light weights. This will also add another dimension to strength training. Make sure this a part of the overall training plan. Maybe work in strength training 1 or two days out of the week. Also make sure to allow down days for the body to rest and recover. Check with your vet and get their input. Hope this helps. mobcmom
  7. As a very good trainer one told me "control the toy, control the dog". The dog should be actively looking and listening to you before they ever have access to the toy. It's about changing their focus. One of my dogs get very focused on her ball or Frisbee. After a while of me standing there not doing anything, she looked at me like "What?!". She had to do a short successful obedience session, then I threw the ball. Control the toy, control the dog. Good luck. mobcmom
  8. I’m not a jumping expert but perhaps it is something else. 1) Could it be a takeoff and landing problem? How far away does your dog start the takeoff and are they leaving on the correct foot? If the dog takes off to soon, they might not have enough momentum to carry them over the jump and hit the bar or board. Same thing with the stride. Is it a smooth take off or does the dog take shorter strides going into the jump. They may be losing momentum if this is the case. 2) Does your dog arc when they jump or are they a flat jumper? It a dog arcs its body during the jump it carries they higher over the jump. A flat jumper can hit the bar or board and does not have the height an arced jump can provide. My trainer recommended people sting a piece of elastic, about 2-3 inches above bar/board, across a jump. It provides a little bit of resistance while encouraging the dog to lift its paws(tight tucked jump), and arc the body to avoid the elastic. Good luck. mobcmom
  9. Check out a book called "Building Blocks for Performance" by Bobbi Anderson and Tracy Libby. The book talks about activities to train, build drive, and lay a good positive foundation for puppies, but most if not all of the information and exercises can be applies to adult dogs. These are play based activities that help build the dog’s interest and focus. There is a chapter and section on how to increase drive. I think you and your dog will find it interesting and fun. I’m not sure if you plan on doing any performance activities with your dog, but be carful with food and clicker training. These are great tools for the teaching stage of learning, but you need to understand how to progress beyond these tools to continue your dog’s learning and understand the training. It is about learning what the end result/goals is, what you need to do as a handler, and being able to communicate that to your dog. I use “yes” as a marking tool for correct behavior. For me, the clicker turned into an extra piece of stuff to manage when I’m trying to teach my dog’s what I want them to know. You can’t take a clicker into the ring but you can take a smile. Good luck. mobcmom
  10. I think the one of the main reasons for a dog looking at the handler during heeling is attention. Active, focused, engaged attention and teamwork between the dog and handler. That concept has applications to many different activities. Not all dogs look up at the handler during heeling. Small dogs, such as a pug, may watch the handler’s leg and queue off that. As you move up in the obedience classes, engaged focused attention and team work becomes more important. By the time you get to Utility, don’t say never, everything in the signal exercises are non-verbal. If the dog is not watching the handler and they will miss the commands (i.e drop, sit, come) and it is an NQ. So take a look at your training from the standpoint of teamwork, communication, and the relationship with your dog. If you can develop those foundation skills in novice they will serve you well as you progress. We are reworking many of these foundation skills (i.e. attention, heeling, fronts, finished) for Utility, because I never realized how much impact they have at the higher levels. Good luck. mobcmom
  11. Welcome to the world of puppy training! All our dogs have been tethered to me until we felt comfortable they have some idea of rules and boundaries. From here they got to drag a six foot leash and were in the same room as a family member. Nylon is cheap and easily washable leash. If you have an old leash clip, you can make a drag line out of any kind of roping from a hardware store. The tethering will also help with bonding and training. Tie a six fool leash to a belt or belt loop. Make lots of right turns, as the puppy moves with you. When making a left turn, push back on the leash with your left hand. This will move the puppy out of the way. When you sit down, the puppy can lay down or stand next to you. He will start paying a lot of attention to how you are moving. Set a timer and take him outside every one to two hours. You want him to get used to going on grass and feel that texture. You want him to associate outside as the place to do his business, not your floors and carpet. Since he is in a new environment, you can set and establish new habits. Don't give the dog a chance to go in the house. Picking up pee and poop and clearing floors and carpets is much more frustrating than take a dog outside for 5-10 min every hour or two. Puppies can often be like little kids. If you can't see or hear them, worry about what they are doing. As with kids, don't leave them attended. The good news is they are only puppies for a short time. The bad news is they are only puppies for a short time. Remember few months time investment in basic training now will have payback for a lifetime. It is worth the effort. mobcmom
  12. Etiderm Shampoo. My dogs have seasonal allergies. It gets the junk out of their fur without stripping out the natural oils or monthly preventatives. It has a pleasant smell without being over powering. mobcmom
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