Well we tried free timing again - this time with a pillow instead of with a box. We had a little better success this way. I offered several behaviors - putting my paw on it, then my other paw, then digging, then both feet and elephant, and finally nudging at the pillow with my nose. You can tell when I get stressed out and you can tell that mom and I really don't know what we are doing. She doesn't have very good criteria and she doesn't treat me for small enough behaviors and she tries to get me to move to the next behavior too fast! But it was fun and pretty interesting. We were inspired by Ludo, Oreo, and Honey to give this another try. So here is our video (by the way, you have to have a lot of free time yourself to watch this long video - I won't be offended if you skip around!):
Now to tell you about our not-so-exciting week! On Monday mom took me to the schoolyard (an elementary school near our house where we walk sometimes) to try my new chute. It went well and I didn't have any problems doing the chute there.
Tuesday was supposed to be our handling class. We arrived at the class time (9:30AM) and the instructor told us class had been changed to 11:00 - lack of communication - since we live 40 minutes away, we couldn't just go home and come back later. So she said we could just practice on our own. It was fun to have the agility field to ourselves, but mom was sorry we missed the class. She likes structure and everything! We did some dogwalks - nothing spectacular there - and the chute - but I refused to do it the first time and mom was majorly bummed out. She got out our target and then I started doing the chute for the target. I did do it a few times without and then mom tried one last time and I refused it again. This chute problem is just crazy!!! We only stayed about 30 minutes because we both got worn out and hot.
On Wednesday and Thursday it rained almost non-stop! We tried some more free timing for Ludo's tricky t-day but had no luck. All I ever offer to mom is scratching at or licking the box. Like I said before, I am not clicker trained or used to shaping. I like to be shown or told what to do! So any way, we didn't make a trick video this week either. But we did practice weave entries with our plungers in the house and that was pretty fun!
On Friday we went to my favorite park and tried the chute there. Mom even took one of my jumps and so we did jump, chute or vice a versa. It went really well (except for when I ran off to greet a dog that was walking by - mom was not happy and I got in trouble for that!). I flew through the chute like I never have a problem. Now mom says she'll have to get creative and take me and my chute to places I have never been before.
Yesterday it rained most of the day again! The flowers and the grass really need the rain but staying inside all day is boring to me!
Have I told you that I have two domestic ducks as neighbors? The college kids who rent the house diagonally in back of us raised 6 ducks this spring. They kept two of them (we try not too think to much about where the other 4 went) and while we're pretty sure it is illegal to have ducks living in your backyard in the city, we have enjoyed having them around. They like people and dogs and if we go out into the backyard or if our neighbor and her dogs go out, the ducks start quacking and quacking and come to see us! Mom thinks it sounds like they are laughing. The sad part is - what's going to happen to them? You're not allowed to release domestic ducks into the wild and there aren't many people who want ducks. So we don't have much hope for them having a long and happy life. Poor ducks!
Well, guess that's about it for now! Today's weather is nice - no rain so far - so we had better get outside and enjoy it!
Grandma made me my very own chute today! We had a nylon laundry hamper and cut out the ends and then attached about 10ft of nylon material to it. Grandma did all the cutting and sewing and everything! She and mom had me try it out right away at Grandma's house and I did it. Then we came home and dad video-ed me trying it out in my backyard!
Looks like fun, doesn't it? Now mom is going to take me and my chute all over so I can get used to doing it in new environments. Hopefully I will be cured of all chute paranoia!
Our handling class on Tuesday was lots of fun! We got to run a course! First we practiced it in sections and talked about handling options - and we thought about what would work best for each dog. Every time we run, mom tries to think of ways to get in movement to speed me up but she still ends up standing around a lot instead of moving faster. You can see it in the video. Then when it was time to run the entire course we started out jump, chute. I balked at the chute of course and mom told me to get in there and go through. I did and then we were fairly fast to the table. I had to do a down on the table and I SLOWLY did it (we practice downs on the table at home and I am good at them there). As I got released from the table, I smelled something really, really good! I think a treat had been dropped on the ground. Apparently time outs are not legal in agility and mom came over and redirected me and then I remembered why I was out there! I took off! Mom was running faster than ever (I know it looks slow in the video but believe me, I could barely keep up with her)! It was a great feeling to run so fast on a course - mom collapsed on to the ground when it was over - she really is a wimp when it comes to running! Now if we can have the confidence to run like that in a trial!
In other news, today is Thursday, our tRicky T-Day and yesterday we did try some free timing. As predicted, it did not go very well. So we are sticking with agility as our trick today and we'll try some free timing again for next week. Or if that doesn't work out, we will post a regular trick video. Sorry Ludo but hopefully you'll enjoy my agility tricks in the videos from class! (I think the best part is me hopping nose-first off the table and ignoring mom so that I can find that tasty treat - BOL!)
So on Wednesday we practiced the front cross drill from our Tuesday handling class. It was fun and went well (although I was not as fast as mom would have wanted)! I had a major barking fit between the 3rd and 4th exercise, so mom had to spend some time editing this video. Sorry mom but something was out front of the house and I wanted you to know!
We're going to try this again some time and see if we can speed it up a little!
When we first got involved in blogging and YouTubing, one of the first YouTube channels we subscribed to was HannahB539 - Hannah has great agility and trick-training videos! Well, we knew that she lived in the central Ohio area, just like us. So one day at a trial we met her and her family (all really nice people). And so we have become agility friends! Hannah's sister Emily (who also has an agility training YouTube channel - AgilityAddict56) is taking our handling class. A couple of weeks ago, Hannah took some candid shots of me at class and she shared them with us and gave us permission to post them here! Thanks Hannah! We think you take great pictures!
Happy tRicky T-Day everybody! We love watching kikopup's tutorial videos on YouTube. We got the idea for this trick from her video "How to train your dog to jump over your arms" - it's not a difficult trick for us agility pups! So give it a try!
PS. Thanks Ludo for the new spelling idea of tRicky - I love that!
Yesterday we set up our "dogwalk" - it's the up plank and middle part to a very mini-dogwalk and then our 8' teeter board with a hoop-type thing at the end to make me stay on the plank instead of jumping off. First we ran the DW with a target about 3' from the end. Then we did it without a target. Then we added a jump before and after the DW but keeping a straight line off the DW. We took video (9 minutes of it) and mom tried to edit it in WMM. The WMM froze and she lost all the editing work she had done so NO VIDEO!! Here are some snapshots we took from the video so you can see the set up. Does anyone think this "dogwalk" bares enough resemblance to the real thing to be helpful to us? I ran it quite fast.
Today we went to our 5th handling class. I haven't been posting much about this class. It is good and mom learns something every time we go, but for me the sequences or drills are mostly too short and I don't get going enough. However today we worked on front crosses (always good at motivating me) so the jumping part of class went well. Below is a photo of the set up for the drill:
I wish you could see the colors of the jumps so that I could explain the drill more easily to you. (maybe if you bigify?) I'll try any way. Start with the orange jump in the bottom left-hand corner of the photo then do the yellow jump right above it then take the 180 to the right and front cross in front of the red jump between the two people and then back to the orange (first jump). All of the drills start with the same three jumps - orange, yellow, 180 to red and then always front cross after red but then second time take the purple jump (to the right of the orange) and third time take the blue jump (closest to the right side of the photo) and last time take the teal jump (farthest away in the photo to the right of the instructor). So the point is to place your front crosses where it is best to get the tightest turn to lead your dog to the next jump. It was pretty fun and we set it up in our backyard to try tomorrow. If we can we'll post a video.
The rest of the class wasn't too great. My DW was still so slow (even with the work we have been doing), and much to mom's dismay, I wouldn't go through the chute at all. There was no wind blowing it open today and I just didn't want to run through that shiny, hot nylon material. Now mom is saying she may have to buy me a real chute. Has anyone bought one?
PS. Ok, that's good - at least you can bigify these photos and kind of make out the jump colors. I wasn't sure how it would work because we used Flip video and made snapshots from the video. Seems to work pretty well!
Another Tricky Thursday already - summer is flying by. July 4th is this weekend - where is the time going?
These are easy tricks but mom thought I looked cute doing them.
Yesterday we went to agility practice at the club - haven't been there in a very long time. It was fun to see everybody and fun to practice on real equipment. We set up the dogwalk and ran it a few times. Then mom decided to try a target - she put some chicken at the one end and showed me that it was there and then led me away to the opposite end and said "walk it!" - Well, I RAN it! My fastest dogwalk ever. (Still not Miley or Sizzle fast). We tried it several times and it worked really well. (Mom had her Flip camera with her but forgot to ask someone to tape us! Silly mom!) So now mom is all excited and can't wait to try again. Next time we'll start putting a jump after the dogwalk with the chicken on the other side of the jump. Guess that's the way to progress? We know that I have to get faster or we'll never make it through an excellent course within the time allowed. We rigged up a "dogwalk" in the backyard and we're trying a hoop at the end to get me to understand that I need to run all the way to the end of the board. Today we'll try it with a target too.
My name is Ricky (Covewind Little Ricky, AX,AXJ,CGC) and I am a six year old tri-color Shetland Sheepdog. I do agility and I like to learn tricks too! This blog is about all that and some other stuff as well!