Wednesday, 17 December 2008

Baby it's cold outside!!!!!

The weather has been very cold (-29C feeling like -38 with the windchill) , preventing Reese from flying here. Not only that, Ardi is not getting out for much exercise. We took advantage of me being off of work and went indoors to do some jump work.
Below are the 2 combinations we set up. The first is just 3 jumps, set very close together, height was fairly low. We started with the wing jump and and did the right or left jump depending which side I was on. This got Ardi bounce striding and at the same time bending to complete the next jump. We did 3 each way then moved on to the second set up.

The second set up offers a lot of combinations to practise pinwheels, turns and crosses. We had a lot of fun with this and I had a chance to practice some of my verbal cues as well.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

Reese Does Stairs - 6 weeks

Reese on the move at 6 weeks old.

Tuesday, 18 November 2008

Pups 25 Days Old




Reese ( was Tye )


Monday, 17 November 2008

KAOS Dogsports CARO Rally O Trial

Here is a picture of the KAOS club members and who participated and qualified at our 1st ever Rally O trial, with judge Renee Will.
Back Row L to R: Renee Will (Dawn), Bonnie Mountenay (Ardi missing), Monica Radwanski (Zena & Aire), Al Clow (Cyndi)
Front Row L to R: John Davies (Becky), Donna Lewis (Flash & Quest), Jennifer Oldfield (Finny), Deb Wiest (Rush), Carla Mattision ( Willow). Missing is Joyce Baker (Roper and Duncan).

Sunday, 9 November 2008

Puppy News

Hard to believe I haven't blogged anything all fall.. Yikes. The good news is a Chesapeake puppy in our future. Born on October 22, 2008 to Ch. Silvercreek's Serena Del Brave and sired by Ch. Chestnut Hill Blizzard were 5 pups, 3 males and 2 femals. One of the females will be coming to live here.

One of the girls is Bling, the biggest of the pups with white on her rear toes and a fairly large white spot on her chest. Here she is at 14 days old. She's a big un, definately a two hander
This is Tye. She is smaller, all brown and darker then Bling. She was the 1st of the pups to open her eyes at 10 days. old

This is a video of 4 of the pups when they were 18 days old. Bling is the big one on top and Tye is the little one on the bottom.

Monday, 4 August 2008

Dock Dog at Buffalo Days '08

This is a video of Ardi's practise jump before the 1st Wave. My technique needed a little work. My plan was to leave her on a sit at the 40' mark of the dock. Then walk about half way down the dock to throw the bumper. In her practice jumps she was jumping between 13 and 14 feet.

During the week we jumped in 3 waves, each dog in the wave gets 2 jumps and the best jump is the official jump. In the 5th and 8th wave I decided to throw her Doken instead of the bumper, but kept everything the same. At the end of the 8th wave, Julie from Dock Dogs told me that if I got more speed out of Ardi I would probably get some longer jumps.

With our biggest jump of the week being 15'3 we went into the Amateur playoffs seeded 3rd. In the playoff round, I thought about how to get more speed as Julie suggested and decided to change a few things. I didn't make Ardi heel to the dock, I let her pull all the way there. I had to change from my sandals to runners, as I would not be able to hold her on the wet floor or dock and stay upright. When I got to the top of the dock I took her leash off, held her by the collar walked her to the end of the dock, threw the Doken in and told her to "mark" let her look at it for a second then turned her back to the same spot I had sent from through out the week. Then in flyball release fashion I reved her up and let her go. In the playoff round Ardi jumped 16'8" then 17'2". This put her into 1st place going into the medal round.

In the medal round she jumped 19'10 inches and 19'11" to win the Amateur playoffs. It was very exciting as many people from our dog club were in the stands cheering us on and this played a big part in reving Ardi up.
Ardi's Jumps
Wave 1 - 12' 7" - 1st Place
Wave 5 - 15' 3" - 2nd Place
Wave 8 - 15' 2" - 3rd Place
Playoff- 17' 2" and 18' 3" - 1st Seed headed to the Medal Round
Medal - 19'11" - 1st Place In the Amateur Division

Monday, 28 July 2008

Dock Dogs are Coming!!!

Dock Dogs are coming to the Regina Buffalo Days Exhibition. Ardi would not rest until I signed her up. She has been waiting a long time to try her paw at this. Really what could be more fun for a Chesapeake then running, jumping, swimming and retrieving? She jumps in 3 waves (Wave #'s 1-5-8) and will also be part of the entertainment that KAOS Dogsports will provide in 3 shows a day. I'll post back later with pictures and results.
Event Schedule: Wed July 30, 2008 Onsite Registration Opens 12:00 pm Open Dock Practice - 12:00 pm Seminar - 1:00 pm Seminar - 2:30 pm Seminar - 4:00 pm Big Air Wave # 1 - 6:00 pm Thurs July 31, 2008 Onsite Registration Opens 12:00 pm Open Dock Practice - 12:00 pm Seminar - 1:00 pm Seminar - 2:30 pm Seminar - 4:00 pm Big Air Wave # 2 - 6:00 pm Fri Aug 1, 2008 Onsite Registration Opens 12:00 pm Open Dock - 12:00 pm Seminar - 1:00 pm Seminar - 2:30 pm Big Air Wave # 3 - 4:00 pm Big Air Wave # 4 - 6:00 pm Sat Aug 2, 2008 Onsite Registration Opens 12:00 pm Open Dock Practice - 12:00 pm Big Air Wave # 5 - 2:00 pm Big Air Wave # 6 - 4:00 pm Big Air Wave # 7 - 6:00 pm Sun Aug 3, 2008 Onsite Registration Opens 10:00 am Open Dock Practice - 10:00 am Big Air Wave # 8 - 11:00 am Big Air Wave # 9 - 1:00 pm Big Air Amateur Finals - 3:00 pm Big Air Semi-Pro Finals - 3:30 pm Big Air Pro Finals - 4:00 pm

Friday, 18 July 2008

Island Hopping - Ardi Style

The summer and water go hand and hand. These are pictures taken by my friend Debbie Wiest while Ardi and I were out doing a little water retrieving work.

Island Hopping with Ardi

Thursday, 3 July 2008

2008 Retriever Class Slideshow

For the last couple of years I have helped with the beginner class at our Retriever Club. It's a lot of fun, and I always feel privileged to be involved with the dogs and people. There was a good mix of dogs, with a couple of Labs, some Goldens ,1 Airedale, 1 Chesapeake and 1 Duck Toller.
Here is a slide show of the class, pictures were taken on 2 separate nights. The land pictures are from about the 3rd week and the water pictures are from the 7th week.

Wednesday, 25 June 2008

Agility Record Book

When I first started entering Agility trials, I was pretty good about keeping track of trials, Q's and runs. Now after competing in 3 different agility venues, and although I only have 1 dog, I am not so organized, and my record keeping has fallen by the wayside.

Recently I found a free down load called Agility Record Book created by David Connet. All that he asks is that you make a donation to an animal Rescue organization or animal shelter of your choice. The program supports a number of different venues, provides a training log option and has very valuable comment boxes for things like course conditions, clubs and judges. Another good thing is that it keeps track of multiple dogs and has a place to record their registration numbers. I will no longer be scrambling to the file cabinet to find registration numbers and hopefully the rest of Ardi's agility runs will be recorded.

Monday, 16 June 2008

Rainy Day Trial

The Rain couldn't dampen the spirit of agility at the Moose Jaw Band City AAC Trial on June 14, 2008. The morning started off with sun shining and a few clouds in the sky, but by mid-afternoon the skies opened up. The Starter dogs finished up the class as the rain started. Everyone headed for shelter it rained hard for a good 5 minutes, I peeked out of my shade tent to see the course builders and judges setting the course for the next class in the rain. Despite the rain people emerged from their tents to walk the course, work and run. Everyone seemed to be having fun.

An Agility trial with a little rain is more fun then a work day with good weather.

BCKOC - Rain Day

Thursday, 5 June 2008

How to remove a Tick

Spring and summer bring plenty of time to train and play outdoors with our dogs. Of course the more we are outside the greater the risk of picking up a tick.

There are many ways to remove an embedded tick, but here is one that works in those places where it's sometimes difficult to get to with tweezers: between toes, in the middle of a head full of dark hair, etc.

Apply a glob of liquid soap to a cotton ball. Cover the tick
with the soap-soaked cotton ball and swab it for a few seconds (15-20),
the tick will come out on it's own and be stuck to the cotton ball when
you lift it away. It's much less traumatic for the patient weather a person or dog.

Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Water introduction for a great swimmer!

When people first introduce a dog to water, they often throw something into water that is over the dogs head. To me this encourages the dog to enter the water with their head up looking for the object and feet straining to find the bottom. Followed by a little panic and a lot of excitement the dog never relaxes enough to level out and try a smooth paddle using both front and rear feet.

Rather then throw an object, I would
1. Walk in with the dog to a point that is not over the dogs head just walk up and down the shore, letting the dog get a feel for how the water gets deeper and the bottom seems to disappear.
2. Drag a bumper and let them catch up to it and have it. Do this a number of times. Eventually dragging to deeper water have the dog reach out and take it, once the dog has it they will likely head for shore, so if you have someone to help encourage the dog to return to shore ,then get the bumper and try again.
3. Having the dog follow another dog (with out throwing something in) into the water works well. This gets the dog concentrating on following the other dog, not looking to retrieve an object.

Butch Goodwin of Northern Flight Retrievers has a great article called Teaching puppies to swim that has some great tips for starting a puppy off on the track from the beginning.

Kitt's 1st Water Retrieve at 9 Weeks Old

Sunday, 4 May 2008

Natural Repellent-Tick Relief

Even before all the snow is gone from the prairies, the tick season begins. Every year at the first spotting of a wood tick, I bath my dogs with a natural tick shampoo (see recipe) and then use a natural repellant made from natural oils. Here is the recipe.

Witches Brew

Ingredients are full strength oils: Tea Tree Oil, Rosemary Oil, Sage Oil, Cedar wood Oil, Peppermint Oil, Sweet Orange Oil, Eucalyptus Oil, Citronella Oil and Pine Needle Oil.

Directions: Mix 2 - 3 drops each with 16oz of water in a spray bottle, shake before each application and spray lightly over entire body.

Directions for shampoo: Mix 4-6 drops each with 32oz of any natural shampoo and you now have a natural flea shampoo. Repels fleas, ticks, mosquitoes, flies and also makes the truck smell great. Spray dogs and bedding. It smells great. People can use this as well, although it has to be re-applied more frequently then normal sprays.

Saturday, 3 May 2008

First water retrieves of 2008

We got up bright and early this morning, the temperatures were hovering around 0 degrees C when we pulled out of the driveway at 7:30 am.. We were headed to the retriever grounds to do some training.
Two weeks ago I met a friend and her 5-month-old Chesapeake pup at the grounds and there was still ice on the ponds. Last week the ice was gone, but the day was cloudy, blustery and light snow was falling. Ardi took a dip in the water and had a nice leisurely swim, as if to show off for the pup.
Today we did 7 or 8 line drills back and forth across a small pond. I have been having problems with Ardi not going when she doesn’t see a splash. On the first retrieve, she ran the shore, but the last ones were all straight out and back. She had the biggest smile and her tail wagged non-stop. Welcome Spring!!!!

Thursday, 3 April 2008

Dog Speed -Calculator

I've never really been one to pay much attention to my dogs speed on course. Basically all that concerned me was getting out there and having fun, running fast seems to be fun so we try to do that. However, course time would be good to calculate every once in awhile to know how my dog is running compared to how she ran previously.
Here is a link, to a chart for calculating dog speed on the agility course. You just punch in the course yardage and your course time and it calculates the dog's speed in YPS (yards per second) and MPH (miles per hour).
Check it out.

Saturday, 22 March 2008

Life is a Highway

Fun Exercise & Great handling Monica!!!

Thursday, 6 March 2008

Training Journals

Keeping training notes is something that I have always done. It started with going to seminars and carried over to training sessions with friends, working groups, yard work done alone and classes

At this time I have 2 journals on the go. One is a larger notebook divided into 3 sections, one for agility, another for retriever training and the third for general stuff like conditioning, obedience and even stuff I want to note from the classes I teach. This journal is neatly written after the training session, and well organized. My other journal is a wire bound pocket sized notebook, dog eared and tattered. It has diagrams of set ups and mini courses that I plan before each training session. It has travelled to agility fields, duck blinds,retriever grounds, training centers, and riding arenas. I can hardly wait to sit down with it and plan each session. I've tried using a computer based method of keeping notes, but it just doesn't have the same allure. I've lost wallets, credit cards, cell phones, but never my training journals.

Keeping a journal helps me document and evaluate each session. Mostly from the dogs perspective (success, attitude, problems)and myself as a handler and trainer. It helps me to evaluate my performance, ability to read my dog, patience and consistency. It is a great way to collect thoughts and make training sessions productive.

Friday, 4 January 2008

Best Smiles of 2007

The year 2007 brought many triumphs and challenges both in dogsports and life. Here is a slideshow of many things that brought smiles to peoples and dogs faces, these are my best moments of 2007.