Saturday, March 31, 2012

Amazing Tibetan Terriers!

This is so AMAZING!!  These Tibetan Terriers are so smart - they are really like little people!  Not like dogs at all!  If you are looking for a few new tricks to train your dog or tricks for 2 dogs to do together - check this out!
Seriously so amazing.  Ah, it gives me hope!  If these dogs could be trained to do this then Tibby can totally learn agility.

I love how she gives them a treat every single time and how they know where their spot is.  Also when she had the 2 rings the TT was like, "Hey!  That's too high!"  They are smart dogs and they don't work for free, but WOW can they work!
I LOVED the doggie congo line at the end.  So cute!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Agility Lesson :Tibby, Klink and A Baby Lamb!

Time today has been impossible to keep track of.  I'm all behind like a duck's tail!
We had an agility lesson with Loretta today.  She gave us so much of her time, I'm really, really grateful.  I had no idea what time it was or how much time had passed.  We got there at 11am and it was almost 2pm when we left!  WHOA!  Loretta is the most patient person ever - seriously.  Tibby was being a big stinker today.  Loretta gave me tons and tons of help and ideas of things that I can do.  Without her help, I wouldn't have any idea how to figure things out.
Agility is not easy.
If someone tells you it is - they are lying!

I sometimes feel like Tibby is lost in these trees and I can't figure out how to get her to come out to play with me.  I feel like this, for example, when she won't come(so simple! just walk forward!).  She just stares at me like, "Wha, me? No, you come here."

Really though, I have to remember, that agility training (like everything) is a long road.  The goal is out there, faintly in the distance and the road is full of ups and downs.  You just have to ride the road.  When you're in a down, wait for the next up.  Hopefully with time the hills aren't quite as steep.  :)

"Don't worry I still love you."

So we got home at 4pm and I didn't think I was too tired, but Tibby was very tired, so we took a 'little' nap.  It was almost 7pm when I woke up!!!  Time is so crazy today. 

I love the drive to and from Loretta's.  It's a long drive, but I get to see so many new places.  Minnesota is really beautiful.  The landscape is so different every where.  In my area we have lakes, lakes, lakes, HUGE farms, straight roads, lakes.  I drive a little north and it's hilly with trees everywhere, winding, twisting roads and tiny farms nestled into the hillsides - no lakes.  Farther north and there are pine trees everywhere and some lakes again.  One thing I've gained from having Tibby: I've seen more of my own state in the last year than I have in my entire life!  It's fun to be a tourist in your own state.  Although, slightly dangerous when you are driving on twisty roads!

Back to what I know - Flat Lakes!

LOOK at THIS!!  Cutest thing ever!!
Loretta let me hold 2 of her new baby sheep!  Cute little lambs.  Yes, I did kiss them.  They even still have their little umbilical cords!  No I did not kiss those - yuck!  I kissed their little bitty heads.  They were so floppy and soft and relaxed.  I've only ever been around sheep that run away from humans, so this was so neat!  Loretta also showed me some sheep herding.  Amazing. 
I also got to meet the new (big) puppy Maya.  Sweetheart dog.  She looks just like Klink, but in a different color!  And she pees like a swan LOL!! Gracefully.

Some video from today's lesson.  I got to run Klink.  Can you see how scared I am?!?  LOL!!  It was fun though.  I liked it.  Then some of Tibby, before she decided to be a brat. 
Watching this video - seriously I need to get some guts!  I'm so wimpy! 

I forgot to say all the things we did today!
Tunnel to Teeter
12 channel weaves OUTSIDE - and she did really great, very focused
The super long USDAA chute - first time and she did it!  She even offered to do it once
Sequence on the video
And then lots of 'training' stuff, because Tibby decided not to play

So yes she was naughty, but she also did a lot of very good work. 
 Long road.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Daisy Peel Foundation Lesson - Standing Up Now

Another video for our foundations class with Daisy Peel.

This is what she said: "I think this is actually fine, but don’t be afraid to say good girl, or any other encouraging words :-) it’s really easy to stand there and be pretty boring, and my examples are sometimes poor, because I tend not to say very much ;-)

I think this is actually fine, you’re changing your location fairly frequently, and pretty randomly, whether you intended to or not ;-)
sometimes, you are on the side, and sometimes, you are on the take off on the side, and that’s good.

The only thing that I might do differently, would be to clearly get myself on either the takeoff side, or the landing side, since standing parallel to the plane of the bar really doesn’t do much of anything in terms of cuing your dog towards one jumping effort or another. It is beginning, when we’re sitting on the ground, we are purposefully sitting parallel to the plaintiff the obstacle, because we’re trying to be in as neutral a position as possible, so as not to cue the dog to do anything other than to offer to take the jump. But, as soon as you stand up, you have to assume you are handling :-)

I also don’t mind you are using the toy right at the end, as long as you can see that she sticks the landing, and is looking down, and as long as you don’t put the toy out there prematurely, which might encourage her to jump hyperextended, if she is looking up expecting the toy to appear. :-)

I actually think this looks good! I might have actually gone that way out even earlier in the training session :-) "

And this is what I said, "“I might have actually gone that way out even earlier in the training session”
I think this means get the toy out? I had it out in the middle of the session and it perked her up a lot. You can see me stuff it down my shirt at one point LOL!! :D
Thanks for telling me that we can talk to the dog – I wasn’t sure about that. I usually talk to her – except when we are shaping something. So I will start talkng to her more. But we are still not supposed to cue the jump yet – right?

I will pick a side of the jump and not stand at the upright any more – I think that was what felt so weird!"

And this is what she said, "Oh yes, sorry about that, stupid dictation software :)
yes, get the toy out sooner, that’s what I meant :)

I like the idea of “action cues” – cues that encourage the dog to take action of some sort without being specific about WHAT action. So while I might not say ‘jump’, I might say ‘what are you gonna do?’ or something else silly along those lines – an action cue."

Don't You Hate It

Don't you hate it when your hair sticks to your lip gloss nose??? - so annoying!

Faulty Front Cross

Another video from Tuesday's class - I did the 2nd FC because I was told to, but Tibby and I almost collided!  The 2nd time it went much better.  Tibby likes to run too!

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The Weaves! Awesome Hair! Run offs!

We had a fun night at agility class!  At the beginning of class there were only 3 of us - Tibby, Zoe and Blondie.  It was so relaxed.  Then Cort arrived late.  It was still pretty relaxed.  You'll have to scroll down a little to read the rest.  I took a few ( ok a lot!) of pictures of Tibby's hair style before we left for agility.  I think I like this style the best.

"Are we just going to take pictures of moi all day?"

"Agility?  Did you say agility?"


"Let's get this show on the road.  I have some agility to run."
Game face: on

Below you will find our best run of the night, followed by our 'worst' run, followed by a quick peek at our classmate dogs. 

This was our BEST run!  Even though it wasn't perfect or anything.  It was so much fun!  It had 14 obstacles.  That's a lot.  It also had the weaves.  Tibby did the weaves!  She did them perfectly, but in the wrong direction.  Oh, well all I wanted was an effort to do them.  We haven't worked with closed weaves yet at home, so all I wanted was to see her recognize that they were weaves.  She offered to weave a bunch of times when we were just walking around near them earlier in the class.  I finally had to stop her from trying to do them.  Someone knows what pays - hmm? 
I'm thinking she refused the tire, because I wasn't supporting it?
I have been trying to cue the next obstacle earlier.  It was harder tonight, because she was faster.

Speaking of fast.....

I discovered just how fast Tibby can go.  Waaaay faster than me!  She ran off 3 times in this run - to see Cort.  The 1st time: I had to go get her.  The 2nd time: She recalled to me.  The 3rd time:  She went wide, like she was going to run off again, but then she came right back to me.  YAY!!!!!!!
I know it's hard to see all that - ahem, videographer try to get the dog next time and not the floor.
From my angle it was beautiful LOL!

I really felt like she got it.  Running off - not fun.  Running with Mom - fun!

Here is a little peek at our classmates.  First is Blondie and then is Cort.  The commentary is Zoe's Mom trying pretending to be 'casual' - like we're not taping you at all! 
Cort actually fell off the dogwalk tonight.  And then he got yanked around so much that he peed on the floor.   He wears a choke chain and he was dragged up with all four feet off the ground when that happened.  If anyone ever touched my dog like that they would never be touching anything again. 
 Just a friendly warning.

When Cort runs - Tibby and I work on focus/attention.  She's getting very, very good.  Distracting dog running over the dogwalk behind you?  Stare at Mom!  Dog falling off the dogwalk 2 feet away from you?  Stare at Mom!

The next part is a little graphic.  If you have young puppies, you might want to take them out of the room.

"Oooo, dog.  That was a rough night of agility.  Whew!  I sure am tuckered out.  Agility is pretty tough on a young dog like me."

And then a cute picture, just so you know I didn't break her!  I just tired her out! 
It was a really fun night.  I like RUNNING with Tibby. 

Considering that we've been doing this for less than a year - I think Tibby we are doing pretty good!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Chase Game!

I thought you might like to see how we play chase.  This is Tibby's favorite game!  Just playing the video gets her excited LOL!!  It's pretty hard to run faster than Tibby :)

Sneaky, sneaky

"First she takes my big pillow in the kitchen, now she takes my crate in the living room!  Sneaky, sneaky cat.  Oh, well I have the biggest pillow all to myself!"

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Ready Or Not!

Ready or Not here we come!  They had the jumps set at the wrong height and I didn't see that they were trying to change them until Tibby was heading toward the tunnel.  I was like, "Move out of the way!  We are coming through!" 

I wasn't going to call Tibby off and start over!  She was doing such a good job :)

This is the last video from last week's Tuesday class.  I thought I should post it, since it's almost time for class again. 

Not Touching

"Don't worry Mom.  It's not touching the carpet.  I know the rule!"

Friday, March 23, 2012

Jane Killion - When Pigs Fly Seminar

This is my wrap up of the Jane Killion seminar - When Pigs Fly that we attended in February.  I can't do as through a job as Crystal over at Reactive Champion - check out her blog post here and here

One of the reasons I don't think I am able to give a very objective review of the seminar (unlike Crystal's very excellent posts):  I was experiencing it with Tibby.  I wrote about our week-end here, here and here.  It was stressful for both of us and I was very sleep deprived. 

I think Tibby did an amazing job.  Considering the whole stressful crating situation.  She worked for me almost the entire time.  A few times she went to check out the crowd, but she could have shut down or refused to eat treats or done any thing she wanted to do!  But she stuck with me. 

It was a big crowd of people.  I don't get nervous in front of large groups, so that was good :)  Make me talk to one or two people though and I have trouble!  I guess Tibby doesn't get stage fright either.

Heeling with me.

Jane showing me how to heel Tibby past a difficult spot - scary people.  Although she didn't mind going to check them out on her own!

This was one of the times that Tibby went to check out the crowd.  It could have been a lot worse.  I was happy every time she came back to me!

These people are getting closer and closer.

Look at Tibby's awesome recall here!

So here are a few notes that I thought were interesting:
  Attention is like respect. If you have to ask for it, you've already lost it.
If your dog can't perform a trained behavior in every distracting situation - then your dog doesn't know the behavior.
90% of problems with clicker training/training behavior are because the person is clicking too late.
Pleasure that does not strengthen behavior is indulgence. Punishers that do not decrease behavior are abuse.
Reinforces fail, because 1-not reinforcing in that context and 2-emotional interference (stress)
The seeking action of free shaping a behavior activates a vigorous release of dopamine in the dog's brain - like doggie crack!
The customer (dog) is always right - What does your dog want? That is the reinforcer.
Binary training - Either a 1 or zero. Reward or no reward. She doesn't use no reward markers.
To phase food out of training she uses a method called Thinning the Ratio. It's the same method used by casinos - random pattern of reward.
There isn't any special quality that makes someone a better trainer - they are just mechanically better and it is something that can be learned.
Difficult dogs are your trainer and they make you a better teacher.
Attention is 2 steps - Teach the concept and work the envelope. The envelope is the edge of where you can get the dog to perform the behavior without going over threshold/distracted.
Distractions are cues for attention.

Any one that knows Tibby, knows that this next part was Amazing!  I mean last summer I sat with her in the car for 2 hours at an agility trial.  We tried to get out of the car for 2 hours, but she was so over the top about the other dogs that being in the car far away from every one else was as close as we could get with out Tibby having a whining, screaming, lunging, pulling on the leash fit.  Not a focused, attention giving dog like she was here

The other dog actually touched her tail.  And she stayed focused on me.

So it was a great seminar.  It was a learning seminar.  Not all the things we learned were in the seminar.  I learned just how much I can trust Tibby.  How far she has gone and how far she can go. 

Here is the video from our working spots.  I know no one is going to want to watch an almost 46 min. video!  But if you do here it is!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Right Side? Left? Plus Great Attention!

Little video from class last night.  Tibby is super cute!  I love the way she watches me and follows my body language.  And how she goes over the A-frame.  It would be fun to have an A-frame at home - Tibby likes it so much :)  She's really very brave.  I'm not sure I would run up and over something like that.  Dogs are very trusting!

I'm not sure if it was from the treats last night or chewing on her bully stick, but Tibby woke up with a yucky stomach.  She threw up this morning (thankfully we made it outside first) some green bile.  Then tonight she ate a turkey neck and then threw that up too.  I thought the throw up this morning might just be a quick thing, but probably the turkey neck wasn't a good idea - since she must still feel sick.  Except that she doesn't!  She wants to play and eat!  She can't understand why we aren't DOING SOMETHING!!  She ate a couple pieces of kibble that she found at the bottom of a Kong and drank some water a couple hours ago.  So far that has stayed down, but I'm letting her have a little fast and then tomorrow she can have rice and chicken.

So anyway our video - I thought running with Tibby on my right side flowed better.  If Tibby had a send I could have pushed her to the tunnel, instead of having to rear cross.  The Teacher told us that running them on the right side was a really horrible way to run it and we could try it if we wanted, just so we could feel how awful it was.  So we could learn.  She asked us if we wanted to try running it on both sides and I was like - YES!  That's what I have been wanting from the beg.  To get to try different things with the courses.  I was the only one who tried to run differently both times.  When other classmates were going up and running it exactly the same, I kept asking Zoe's Mom, "Aren't we supposed to try the left side and then the right side?"  I was confused about what every one else was doing.   When we got done The Teacher said, "Now do you see how horrible the right side felt?  The left side is much better - right?"  All I could say was, "Well, we got to run some more."  Technically true, not a lie, but not what I was really thinking.   Minnesota Nice, anyone? 

Zoe's Mom said after this class ends she's not going to do agility any more.  I told her it can take a long time to train a dog.  That we have been working for almost a year.  That Tibby was really, really, really hard to train.  She said she doesn't want to work that hard or train that long.  She wants Zoe to know how to do everything right away.  It doesn't work that way!!!  Although I can never forget that Zoe's Mom was the one who said Tibby would never be able to weave.  Well, ha ha!  She weaved 6 closed poles on Tuesday!  At class!  And no I didn't get video proof :)  I'll try next week!

In the video you get to see our classmates - Blondie, Zoe, Maisy and Cord (or Cort, I'm not sure which).  I would LOVE to get a video of Cord the Aussie running - it's very funny.  He bites his handler the entire time.  She yells at him.  He knocks down entire jumps.  She yells at him.  He jumps over tunnels.  Did I say it was funny?  Maybe I meant sad.  But kind of funny.  Take out his owner yelling all the time and it would be super hilarious.  I'm actually waiting for the day that she kicks him into a tunnel.  She's getting really close.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Wipe Out! Almost

Class was fun tonight.  We had some simple exercises.  It was all good :)  Except for me almost wiping out on our very first time out!  I seriously almost hit the floor!  It was extremely humid in the building.  Dripping wet, nasty and gross.  I didn't realize that the floor would be so slippery, but it was.  Very slippery.  I was really careful the rest of the night.  Not the greatest for running.  Tibby didn't seem to have any trouble.  Must be those furry paws.

She was really hot though.  So was I.  I HATE humidity!  It was really nice outside, but inside the building was like 85-90F +  humid.  They had turned all the heaters on to dry it out.  It was like a rain forest.  Yuck.
I took her outside a few times just so we could cool off.  She drank more than a cup of water.  She always drinks quite a bit at class.  I suppose it's all the treats.  She had meatballs and garlic hotdogs for treats tonight.  I cut them up really small.  I'm learning! 

When I was making treats for class, I ruined two hotdogs.  They turned into tiny black cinders in the microwave.  Hmmm, less time next...time. 

I did a little video showing the way she focuses on me when the other dogs are running, but it isn't uploaded yet.  Maybe tomorrow.  I don't care if she looks at the other dogs, but I want her to look back at me.  When we were at the Pigs Fly seminar - Jane said distractions should be a cue for attention.  We're working on it.

  I had forgotten that Tibby ran off at the beginning of this exercise.  I thought we hadn't had any run off.  Oh well, it was a little distraction.

I was trying to find the song Wipeout, because I thought that would have been super funny!  But I couldn't find it.  Now I can't even remember what song I put on here!  I must be tired LOL!!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Fast and Happy Weaves

Oh my goodness!  I think Tibby figured out speed.  She is very fast.  I need to learn how to handle her now.  Not in these videos, but we tried a sequence tonight and she was really, really fast.  FUN!! 

Silvia said, "Can’t believe how fast Tibby is running now, great job!!!   Wow, that sure was fast and fun! Great entries and independence too, yay!!! Looks like you can narrow a channel a little bit again!"

Yes!  We finally got a 'great job' from Silvia!  YEAH! 

I also showed her the threadle video and she said, "Your use of arms was very good too, it’s good to use dog-side arm for pushes and serpentine. For threadles (pulling her in in between the jumps), you need the opposite arm."

Falling From Heaven

I'm trying something new with Tibby's crate training.  We've done Crate Games and that didn't give me the results that I wanted.  As Loretta and Silvia and all the smart people say, "You have to have something to control, before you can control it."  Or something like that!!

What I want - my Long Term Goal:  Tibby will relax in her crate while I walk a course.

So I want her to LOVE her crate.  So I started thinking - how can I make her love her crate?  Well, why should she love her crate?  I would need to create an amazing record of rewarding in her crate.  The crate should be a place that rains treats!  A magical place!

So this is the set up - Manners Minder on top of the crate.  Covered crate - because I don't want her to depend on me for the rewards or my location.  I want her to ignore me.  Right now when she is in the crate, she gets excited and looks to me for her reward.  Well, why wouldn't she?  That's how we have always played the game! 
The biggest problem we have is when I walk away from the crate.  Tibby gets UPSET.  I guess I would get upset if someone walked away with my paycheck and I didn't understand why.  Now if they walked away and left me with a lotto machine that was spitting out quarters, I might not be so upset.  'Cause hey! I might win big!

So anyway.  Right now I have the door open.  Tibby can choose to go in or not.  She can choose to stay in or not.  I walk around doing stuff around the house, going into another room, ect. and so far she doesn't care what I do.  She likes the Manners Minder ;) 

I have been slowly adding duration i.e. waiting longer between button pushes and random times.  The hard part now is - When to start closing the door?  AND  Now how do I get her out of the crate - to end a training session?  I don't want her to have access to THIS crate all the time, because what if she goes in and I'm not paying attention/not home and she doesn't get rewarded?  I think this would dilute the crate's reward power.   Do I just call her out of it and go play?  Or stop rewarding and wait until she comes out?

I am open to ideas and suggestions!

Waiting.  I'm giving her a mixture of cooked hotdogs and sausages with kibble mixed in.  I use the kibble so I know when a reward falls out.  It goes clink, clink, but hotdogs are silent.

"Oh magical treat maker, make treats rain on me!"

"Hey!  It worked!"