Friday, February 5, 2010

Ok... I have been slacking a bit on reporting in. Things are going well. I think it's really good for Vinnie to have the two classes both going on. He actually seems to do better in Melinda's class on Wednesday nights. He is more focused. Although, I can't blame him for not doing as well on Thursday nights. Logan and Dee Dee are both there and I guess he and Logan are having a "Bro-mance". I think the Dee Dee thing is just plain lust - she's a hot ticket, but rumor has it she has been through quite a few guys (aka - trampy!!). I am afraid Vinnie is going to get his heart broken! LOL.

Both classes have been essentially working on the same thing, just in different ways. Handler focus/attention, recalls, some heeling (that he really seems to enjoy!) and stays. His attention is getting MUCH better and believe it or not, we have been doing recalls in Michele's class and has not had any "zoomies". He does usually wear his gentle leader in Michele's class and I think it makes a huge difference in his attitude. He will not tug very well with it on, but he is working VERY well while wearing it. While he is distractable, he is improving so much and I am very proud of the little punk!

I took this shot last weekend (after grooming him, of course!). Lisa (at work) thought he looked like a wood tick (little head and big fluffy body) and she was right. I put him in a "Sporting Clip" so his body is only 3/4 of an inch long. His legs/shoulders/hips are still long and blend into his torso - I love this shot - it's my new favorite and my new background on my monitor:

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Week One... round two!

Michele's Novice Obedience class was great - lots of good ideas. Poor Vinnie... Logan is in this class and I think that is going to be one of his biggest challenges. He loves Logan more than life itself. Lots of good ideas and tons of things to work on... it's 10pm... I have to be up at 5am...

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

And So It Begins...

Vinnie and I began our class tonight with Melinda (tomorrow night it's Michele's turn!). We will have two classes per week for several weeks - I think this will be good for Vinnie (and me!). We BOTH need to get out of the house and work our little brains and bodies.

Melinda's class is in Iowa City, so Vin and I left straight from work and headed south. We found the building and then headed for Micky D's for dinner (mine, not Vinnie's).

In class, we worked on handler focus (yeah! we are making some progress!), bouncing (which came a little TOO naturally :-), recalls (ok... we only had one VERY SMALL incident of puppy rips), stays (hmmm... I have been slacking in this department, but we rebounded quickly) and downs (ugh... this gets Vinnie's nose even closer to the ground - must work on sniffing). Class went very well - I think his head only spun a few times!

Once home, Brian's best quote: "I thought class was supposed to wear him out?". Hmmm... maybe I shouldn't tell him we are probably just building endurance. I'm worn out - does that count? As I type this, he is chewing on my slippers (I'm wearing them) and all I can think is "at least I know where he is and what he's doing".


Monday, January 11, 2010


Jealousy - it can work wonders!!

I started taking Frank down to the basement with Vinnie for training. Vinnie goes in a box (he is starting to just go in the box on his own now. LOL) and Frank gets to play with the tippy board and balance disk for breakfast/dinner. Then Vinnie gets to play while Frank stays in the box. I think it has really started to help Vinnie. If he gets too "butterfly", Frank comes out and gets all the attention.

Michele has given us homework for class: We are to have our dog run between our legs (toss a treat). I didn't think giving Vinnie's raw a toss would be such a good idea, so out came the marshmallows - yummy!! Vinnie likes this game (and it's good for his recall)!

From the other day - I love this shot - sometimes ya just gotta hold it by the rope:

Saturday, January 2, 2010

I read something today...

Yep... not only do I know HOW to read, but choose to read! LOL. But, seriously, I read something that Helen King posted today on the agilitypoodle list and it really hit home. It was just part of her post...

"There is more to training than just rewarding! There is NOT using
NRMs or slumping shoulders to show disappointment in the dog or oneself or
any other negativity in training. Lack of fun on the trainer's part will
suck the drive right out of a dog!!!"

If I am not having fun, I should not be training my dog. If I am just not that into it, I should not be doing it. He needs 100% from me and it's not fair to him if I just dole out the cookies. I have found myself doing this a few times lately and it really shows.

So there you have it... this will be my 2010 goal: I will make training as fun as I possibly can. It will not be something I do just because I have to get it done and check it off the list. It will be something that we can BOTH go out and enjoy.

Now let's just hope I don't drop the ball!
(note the spit line!! Eeeewwwwww!!!)

Saturday, December 26, 2009

We're Getting Balanced...

We have been working on our balance disk - trying for all four feet on. Vinnie doesn't seem to be scared of it at all - which is good. We're getting pretty darn close. I think the little balance pod thingies may go back to Clean Run - they are pretty little. I think I would rather get another one of the balance disks and try for two feet on each... but in the meantime... this was fun:

Monday, December 14, 2009

Countdown to balance

How can you look into this face and not want to SQUEEZE him???

Two more days until we are balanced! (or not!! LOL). The big brown truck is bringing Vinnie's package from Clean Run on Wednesday. I love the big brown truck!!

I have been working with Vinnie on the four foot board (with 1" PVC under it). I have to keep one foot on the PVC so it doesn't roll and I put my other foot under the up side so it doesn't bang (seriously... Vinnie's probably pretty lucky I have not fallen on him yet!). He is really not liking any movement under his feet at all. I think for the next session, I'll get out a blanket or towel to deaden the sound and sit on the floor with him instead of standing. He was pretty good today - he's putting a foot on the up side and staying there for his treat. Next time, we'll try for two feet on the board!!