četrtek, 18. avgust 2011

nedelja, 24. julij 2011

Summer time!

It's been a while since my last post.

Pix will be 10 months old on the 30th. Time sure flys by fast. He seems to have stopped growing a few months ago and is now living up to his name - Pixie at just 32,5 cm and 5,5 kg.
He's still my perfect little prince. He LOVES to play, LOVES to eat, LOVES to swim, LOVES to retrieve and work ALWAYS equals FUN!!! :)
He's a big dog in a tiny body and he never lets you forget it.
He starting to calm down now a bit...as in...he's now able to sit still for a few seconds so we started training holding objects (a whole project in itself for him), waiting in sit/laying down, more distance work.
He's self control is really amazing sometimes. This days he's able to lie at the side quietly while I play frisbee with Wi (a few months ago he would scream bloody murder and almost kill himself trying to get that frisbee).
With food he's now able to heel over the floor littered with his favorite treats. And he doesn't go hysterical over it.
While in the house he's quiet and spends his time sleeping on my pillow. The only time he's up is while playing with Wi or playing with a stuffed Kong toy I give him. Otherwise he just plops himself on the bed and sleeps until it's time for action.
Outside on walks he's usually a few meters ahead with a stick/acorn in his mouth, happily trotting along. He's not looking for animal tracks, doesn't chase birds (even if Wi starts towards them), doesn't even look at deer, ignores the ducks in the pond while swimming...He's also mostly ignoring other people on walks now. He'll still go to them and sniff them from time to time but that's becoming really rare these days.
Our focus right now is still mostly self-control. While he's now able to sit by my side while I throw his dummy and waits to be released he's still too fidgety and is still too prone to breaking. So we're mostly training by ourselves right now, until I'll be confident enough with his control that we'll try with someone else throwing too.
Out in public he's fine as long as I'm around. If I go away there's still barking and pulling but not as much as before and a lot less hysterical.
He has no problems playing with other people/dogs or working with them.
With this hot weather we frequently find ourselves near water and boy does he love to swim.
He goes into the water even if there's nothing in for him to retrieve. And he comes out only to bring me things or when he's so tired that he can barely stand.
We occasionally train a bit of agility. Mostly at agility trials on different equipment. He's now introduced to all the obstacles and can do cik/cak around jumps, tunnels and running contacts over a full dog-walk. We're also training teeter and slalom (4 straight poles right now, 2x2 method). He did a lowered a-frame twice and a low table once. Like everything else, he loves to play agility but we'll see if we'll have time to train it more.
In dummy trainings he can do simple marks up to about 60m. We haven't tried them further. I also introduced him to 'search' whistle and he did his first free search 2 weeks ago - very successfully. He also did a great land retrieve over water. He didn't even think about going around the pond but went straight back in with his dummy (he knows the area and knows he can get around easily).
He had a few training with game (pheasants, duck, rabbit, fox) and apart from the pheasant which he decided he would rather eat than bring back he retrieved them all (the fox skin was inside an artificial tunnel). He still has some problems with weight distribution on first pick-ups with new objects but he only needs more practice in that area. Othervise weight gives him no problem - 0,5kg or 2kg (almost 40% of his weight) he'll bring it back no problem.
He's really a joy to live and work with and is everyting I was looking for.

Wi shot a couple more commercials and made an apperarance at an animal related tv show for a few minutes. I've also seen a pre audio-editied version of the film she played in and she looks great. :) I can't wait for it to come out.
Her tracking was a bit off in winter but it seems to be as perfect as ever now. Hopefully it will stay that way for the autumn hunting trial&exam. I'm working more with her directional retrieves. She still has some difficulties going 'back'. Left and right are no problem.
Her blinds are getting better and better and overall she's calmed down quite a bit. But only if I work with her, With other people she can easily see just how far she can push them and it's usually really far.
We stopped training agility for the time being. She's just not enjoying it as she used to. Dummy/hunting trainings and obedience are just a lot more fun to her.
It's swimming season and she loves it! A few days ago we went to the seaside and in the couple of hours we spend by the sea she only went out once for a few minutes and even then I had to constantly remind her to stay there and dry herself off a bit. Otherwise this was her usual spot and pose:So far, this year she's not showing any signs of her allergies. Keep you fingers crossed that it stays that way. :)

Like previous years I had my dog workshop at children's church camp. I'm trying to learn through experience every year and make next year's workshop even better. I think this year was pretty good. :)
I mostly had Wi&Pix with me. I also bough a golden retriever once, Pix's mom and my friend's BC.
As always, Wi was the star. She's really good for dog care demonstrations since she's very patient and every kid had the opportunity to practice grooming, picking out imaginary ticks, washing her teeth with a tooth brush, putting a muzzle on her, etc. Pix was also very good. More than I expected. The kids were able to groom him while I gently held him. Some also put his muzzle on (and he stayed calm).
He was good at showing kids how their overactive behavior and actions around dogs make the dogs overactive. As soon as they calmed down, he calmed down. If they were making sudden movements, he made sudden movements too. So it normally took only a few minutes and both the kids and Pix were calm and attentive. :)We also did some clicker training demonstrations. Mostly when kids wanted to try I was the one clicking and they were the one's giving the rewards. Some were brave enough to also click by themselves.
Wi was a bit over-the-top here since she knows she can actually get rewards for doing nothing, she just has to push the right buttons. So I always had her doing things at a distance so she had less opportunities to steal treats or force them. Pix was actually a better clicker demo dog. He was really calm and focused and it was really fun watching him interact and work with very little kids.
At the end we had 'dog circus' where the dogs showed off their tricks and abilities (like searching for hidden dummies) and at the very end the kids got to play with the dogs. At the end we were all really tired but happy.
I have a few new ideas for next year so hopefully it will be even better.

petek, 18. februar 2011

Busy Bees

Me and Wi are completly swamped with filming the movie and we spend a lot of days in another city in a hotel, car or on the set.
So apart from filming and some short training sessions with Pix we don't do much.

Pix is now 20 weeks old. He looks more and more like a grown up every day. I also took him to 2 dummy trainings where he got to work with all sort of dummies and Dokken birds. :) He handled everything like a pro as long as I was throwing. He gets confused when someone else throws him the dummy though so we'll have to work a lot on that.
Some photos from almost 2 weeks ago:




četrtek, 06. januar 2011

Welcome 2011!

We're still alive. :)

Wi got a part in a movie so now we're busy training for it (we start filming sometime in February). She's going to be the lead actor's smart family dog and she'll have quite a few scenes and actions so we need to train a lot.
We also try to fit in as much hunting trainings as possible. Mostly it's with Pix's littermates.

Little Pix is now 3 months old and is looking more and more like his mom.
9 weeks
He's a really eager student and loves to learn. :) He can't stay still for 2 seconds so we're mostly doing behaviors with lots of movement. He loves to spin and walk backwards. He also loves to walk between/over/below my feet. He retrieves everything from hard palstic toys (Duplo LEGO animals), keys, plush, fake fur...if he can hold it and drag it back, he'll do it. :)
He's also really good at collage. He usually falls asleep as soon as the professors start to talk and wakes up as soon as the break starts - an average student behavior? :)
We're also workiong a lot on self-control, especially with toys and Wi. He's already showing very nice self-control with food so now I can have the kibble cup open by my side and he won't even look at it, let alone try to steal something out of it.
12 weeks

sreda, 01. december 2010

Wi's new brother

Presenting Pix!




He'll be 9 weeks old tomorrow and is almost a perfect puppy to live with. Loves to play, loves to eat, loves to learn. loves to retrieve, loves water, LOVES Wi... :D

Some of his clicker training videos:







nedelja, 10. oktober 2010

Big news!

Last Saturday Wi participated at the Slovenian Retriever Clubshow (9 Tollers enters, a record) where she got excellent and CAC in Open Class (under judge Lena Hägglund). Wi's nephew Naali (Nanaimo Arctic Naali, son of Wi's half-sister Mo) was also there.

Naali & Wi

This Saturday Wi participated at a hunting competition which also counted for titles CACT and CACIT.
She did all tasks quickly and almost without faults (she dropped both rabbits, I'm guessing the first one was out of inexperience for carrying it such a long way (we only traied at about half that distance before) and the other one was because she got stuck in thisk bushes and thorns so she dropped the rabbit, then picked it up again and jumped over the obstacle). She also moved out of down in a sit while I moved out of her sight folr a few minutes while they shoot 2 times, but I knew this will happen since we didn't train it enough (and if I left her in sit, she would stand up).
In the end she got 197/204 points which was enough for 1st reward class and 1st place among 9 dogs! So she also got her first CACT and CACIT!

Very VERY proud of my little red girl!

ponedeljek, 06. september 2010

Just a little bit more

and we're going on this year's hunting exam (September) and competition (October).
We trained everything (land, water, track, search) and did it with duck, pheasant, rabbit and even did a retrieve of a stuffed fox (little bigger than Wi). :)
She's a lot calmer while waiting by the water, but that was without any shooting during the training. She normaly gets really high and loud if there's any shooting so we'll try to get at least one traiing with shooting in before the exam.

Some photos:




We're also getting ready for the retriever specialty show that will be held with the European dog show. Hopefully her hair will grow back a little bit in the spots where her allergy is the most visible. Luckly this year we got away with no hot-spots. :) She'll go to my friends for a few days (she'll handle her at the show) while I finish stuff at the university and go to a seminar.

We did some agility last week. I'm loving her teeter, no more hasitation at all! :) She's flying on it and loves to do it. Her dogwalk contacts have gotten worse so that's our main focus through the fall (we won't go to any agility competitions since they clash with our hunting exams/uni stuff) and hopefully she'll be back in trial for the winter cup. :)

sreda, 04. avgust 2010

RIP Dora

Dora
8.10.1999 - 4.8.2010


Her last photo, taken a few weeks ago...


Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown

četrtek, 15. julij 2010

Time of the year again

Last week we had Oratorij again (church camp for children) and Wi got to help me with my dog workshop alongside Max, BammBamm and Žak.

BammBamm cuddles
On first day Wi and Max helped with general things about owning and caring for the dog. Max mostly stood at the side and occasionally came for some petting while Wi was always in the center, showing how to be the perfect demo dog. At the end we did the weaving throug childrens legs again, some walking over their backs and some funny tricks.
On second day I was late since I had an exam that day before the workshop so we didn't get to do everything I got planned. Wi and BB (and little cavalier Billy) showed kids how to start clicker training with dogs, how a session looks and what can all be tought with the use of clicker.
On third day we had "Doggy circus". Tamara and Žak came to show the children amazing frisbee tricks. BB also showed some catches and flips. Later Wi showed her array of tricks and after that Wi and Žak did some tricks together.

Wi & Žak
In the end we ended up throwing toys to the dogs and children racing the dogs back and forth.

Nova Scotia DUCKLING Tiolling Retriever
We also have a little duckling at home for 2 weeks now. Wi found 2 of them but one died last week.

Naali
We also met up with Maja and Naali (Wi's nephew) and did a bit of dummy and show ring training. Such a cool Toller boy! ;)

ponedeljek, 07. junij 2010

Agility training

Some photos from this morning:


Wi's dogwalk was better than last time. She hit the contact everytime but she's still not running over it at full speed. She slows down a bit in the middle. It could be just a temporary thing since her fall off the dogwalk so I'm going to wait and see if it gets better on it's own.
We did some jumping grids and cik-cak. We need to train cik-cak at 65 cm more because she turns a bit too much to the side (she turns AND leans to the side of the jump) and when landing she sometimes hits her mouth to the ground because of the angle she lands at.
Teeter was good. We'll need to work on her end behavior a little more but the speed was good and she didn't hesitate at all.

Last weekend we went to Netherlands to look at some FCR puppies with my friend. On this photo you can see Wi with 2 FCRs who both had litters at that time. My friend's puppy is from the black bitch.

Kisses, Wi & Ootje