sreda, 31. december 2008

Goals for 2009

My goals with Wi for next year are:
- build her drive for toys
- include more distance work in our training
- get to class III in Obedience
- teach her how to jump properly
- start competing in A2
- pass hunting test with 1st prize class

And for me? Finally get my drivers license.

torek, 30. december 2008

Almost gone

Hiking weekend

Last weekend we spent our days hiking with our friends in Kamniška Bistrica and on Mežakla.

I love hiking with my friends and our dogs. I love to stop and just enjoy the nature all around me, take photos of everything we encounter on our way, of our dogs or ourselves. I take the whole thing pretty easily and it's never about reaching the destination in the shortest time possible. I just don't see the point in getting somewhere as fast as possible if you have the whole day to spend outside. And neither does Wi. She loves being outside but she loves it even more when we do something together. During hikes she get's to climb trees and fallen logs, big rocks, jump over things, run around trees, tug with me (with a stick or a tug toy), catch snowballs or chase her ball. Just walking isn't fun for her and she sure knows how to make this obvious to me.
I don't care if I spend 10 hours in the mountains to get somewhere where I could get in half less time.
For me it's not about destination. Sometimes we don't even get where we're heading but we still have a nice hike.

This week and weekend I'm hoping we can "squeeze in" one more hike or two. Then it's back to school and occupied weekends for me.

torek, 23. december 2008

1st competition for Winter Cup 2008/2009

Last weekend we had our first indoor competition. It was held in a riding hall in Postojna.
This was first time on obstacles for Wi after 2 months. We didn't manage to get any trainings in before the competition.
In agility she made her last exam for A2 and was 4th overall. She wasn't fast but she also had no refusals on any obstacles, including the dreaded teeter. The contacts were all done but I hope next time she will already show more speed on the dogwalk.
In jumping we had another clean run and ended in 3rd place in A1 large.

I was happy about her attitude in the hall. I was a bit concerned she would shut down but she was far from that. She played like crazy (I made her a new toy a day before and she loves it!), tugging, even growling at times. She was relaxed and I could leave her in her crate even if it was opened. She had her crate by the ring. We also did some Crate games while other dogs ran. No problems.

Also we have a new video:

ponedeljek, 08. december 2008

Dokken's Pheasant

Wi's gift for St.Nicholas day.
She loves it...typical retriever.

We worked on some weaving today. I took 4 sticks to the woods with me and we trained some entries during the walk.
Our training grounds are still "flooded" so we can't train agility on it.
I hope we get to train soon. Our 1st winter trial is in less than 2 weeks and we haven't trained since early November.

petek, 05. december 2008

Snow & rain

Last week we got some snow but it didn't last long. And now we have rain, rain and some more rain.
Wi found her own entertainment with "talking" donkey toy.

And this is her after winning a game of tug with her sheepy octopus.

torek, 25. november 2008

Tugging freak

For the last few days Wi has started to LOVE tugging. Before she enjoyed it but now she absolutely loves it!
Now she's offering me one end of her plush tuggy when I let her win so that we can play again, she's killing her tug toy viciously after every win and she's really started to "dig in" while she tugs. Before she never gave so much of herself into tugging but now...WOW!

I decided I'll try to teach her right heel just with tugging as reward. We did some training today outside (on the snow) and she was great. She already knows she's supposed to be doing something on my right side. She can't decide between walking, barking and limping tough.
But it's a good start.

On Friday they'll take her stitches out.
And we're lengthening our walks and adding more and more activities during the walk. She's also kept busy at home with tricks and bones to chew on.

nedelja, 23. november 2008

Going Blind

No one is loosing their sight.

Today Wi started training Blind retrieves. We decided to start with visual aid of a white traffic cone (normal orange-white cone, wrapped into a white towel).
I can only say it could not have gone better.
First she retrieved 5/6 dummys from the pile around the cone, each retrieve was slightly longer. Since we just started I think it's normal that it takes her a little more time to find her "picture". She'll also have to get used to keeping her eye on the picture when I move my hand next to her head.
The biggest concern I had was "shopping". But she never shopped...not even switched. Maybe she grew out of it or maybe it was simply that that I'm not giving her "come in" whistle every time she gets a dummy in her mouth. Anyway I was really proud of her work today.
After 5 I gave her some break and then she did another 3 with a bigger distance between.
We also did double marking. Again I wasn't sure about her switching but she never switched nor showed any desire to switch in both doubles.
She seemed to be in a really really good mood today and she even played with other dogs.

ponedeljek, 17. november 2008

Back on track

Wi's recovering really fast. She's her happy old self again with the exception that she's still not allowed to jump. Sometimes during the day she forgets about this, jumps, yelps and sulks in at my feet for a while. Then she forgets about it...until next time.

Yesterday I took her to dummy training. I took some blankets with me and I wrapped her in them so that she was warm and I put a shirt on her to protect her belly. She was supposed to only watch the training (there were more dogs) and be patient. At the end I hid one dummy for her at the edge of the forest and then I let her search for it.
She was so happy.

We're doing some "boring" tricks now...they're mostly related to empty cups of dairy products. Most of the tricks we're shaping will appear in her new trick video which will hopefully be done in 2 weeks time.

Almost forgot to add that now WI has a whole bowl of homemade treats. I was in a baking mood yesterday and I made her some cheese & sesame sticks.

sobota, 15. november 2008

Waking up

Wi got through the operation OK. She had some allergic reactions that we're not completely sure what caused them. She was whimpering all day yesterday and complaining about the pain and her bandage.
Today she got her bandage off and now she's getting to her old self again. She got her apatite back and has even started drinking.

Some photos from yesterday and today:

četrtek, 13. november 2008

Sad news

We went to the vets yesterday becouse dogs were still acting as tough Wi was still in heat (for 12 weeks now) and she was (or still is). She has been in heat for 12 weeks now. And she has a bacterial infection. So now she's on antibiotics and tommorow she's getting spayed.

We shaved her belly for the UZ and she was horrified.

At home she wanted to show everyone how poor she is and how dreadful her belly now looks (ant to show she's not sleeping on it anymore).

Today she refused to go anywhere near taller grass or off the path in the woods and when at home she gets on a pillow and wraps herself around it with her tummy to keep it warm.

nedelja, 02. november 2008

Biba & dummys

I'm dogsitting Biba (PRT) for a little more than a week.
Isn't she cute?

She also started to bring me some toys.

She's loads of fun and finally I got to dogsitt a dog that actually really likes to eat. And that Wi likes to play tug with.

Dora also accepted her more that she did any other dog. Or maybe she has finally realized that her growling and protesting won't get the dog our of her house and her way...

Today we did some uphill single marking excercises, free search and single marking over moderate cover (with diffrent distance between each mark). Wi aced them all. I was so proud of her!

She found 5 dummys that we're really well hidden, she searched the area with nice style and enthusiasm, checking every bush and cover. She also found them extremly fast.
And she pinned all her markings. I tought she might have problems with uphill marks but she just ran, grabbed and came back. Good girl!
For next week I'm planning to start introducing her to Blind retrievers.

And we're having a nice sunny weather. No rain today. Just sun and nice autum colors.

nedelja, 26. oktober 2008

Time flies

Wi at 20.5 months, 15.4 kg

We haven't been to competitions in over a month now. We're planing to start competing again in December. Her jumping is better now, but still not what I strive for yet. But we're making progress and that's what's important.
She started to be more independent on dogwalks. We still need to work more on her slalom independance and start working on turning after the dogwalk again.

We attended an obedience seminar with Mia Skogster. I learned some new things and we got some compliments on our work and some advice on how to make Wi's turns better and her recall faster. So far she has improved a lot and we're probably going to start training for Class 2 excercises during winter and then go to some competitons abroad in spring.

Dummy training
Now we train with friends and their dogs every Sunday and I'm really happy with Wi's work. She's showing a lot of style, has almost completly stopped whimpering - she only does it when I release her, isn't "killing" furry dummys anymore and searches with so much enthusiasm I can't help but smile.
Today we did some sending over thick cover so that she learns to really go straight through it and not to search for entrys and exits around it (she loses her mark when she does this).

We haven't been in mountains a lot. Mainly becouse I have problems with my back but ocasionally we still managed to go with some friends.

I'll try to upload more often from now on.

'Till next time...

nedelja, 07. september 2008

Agi KD Krim

Yesterday Wi ran her 2nd clean run in agility. She only needs one more for A2.
I'm not happy with her running yesterday at all. All teeters were done really well but her dogwalks and stays weren't good at all.
In jumping and team agility she also jumped at 65 cm and not only she was really slow due to this height she also jumped even more badly as she already does at 55 cm. No way we're getting into A2 before I teach her how to jump properly. Or we'll stay in A1 forever.

And some great photos from Selce by Iztok Noč:

You can see we're getting ready for hunting stuff in autumn.
If she does well on the 20th, I'll enter her in the hunting competition too.