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Two members of the AKC/USA Agility World Team won Individual Gold Medals in
their respective jump heights at the 2008 FCI Agility World Championships.
Marcus Topps of
triumphed in the Large Dog Individual competition while Marcy Mantell of
And Far Between, CDX PT MXF (Wave) came away with the top prize in the Small
Dog Individual competition.
from over 30 countries attended. The AKC/USA Team sent 13 competitors to
Large Dog teams. Over the three days, AKC/USA team members completed two team
runs and two individual runs.
Topps and Juice completed
four clear rounds over the competition period and had the fastest time, vaulting
from fourth to first place after their last run. Mantell and Wave moved from
eighth to first place in their final run.
Here is a link to a video of Juice’s winning run. Yes, I’m a total novice, but how Marcus gets Juice into the correct end of the white tunnel is beyond me:
Here is a link to a video of Wave’s winning run. This is a crazy, crowded start sequence:
Thanks to the AKC press release and video links sent by friends for the info and clips.
In the grand history of the Relaxation Protocol,there are tales of dogs melting into the ground. Heads down, faces relaxed, they settle in no matter what. Well, with Lilly, that never happened. I had to reward the tip of the hip and ask for it. I had to specifically shape putting her head down. We call this training tool slash trick CHIN! Here’s a video of the finished product.
Last Friday, I worked outside on the front patio while Tom began installing new windows in my office. I don’t typically work on Fridays during the summer (a tiny bonus of being self-employed), but since he was busy, and I was in NO mood to clean house, I worked. After spending hours and hours and hours transcribing interviews, I got camera happy. Here are some tricks I thought you might enjoy seeing.
Now, I posted a photo of this eons ago, with instructions on how I taught it, but seeing it in motion is much funnier. (use the link, if the embed doesn’t show up for you, please.)
OK. So, I know this isn’t as impressive, but Lilly is the first dog I’ve ever taught to roll over, so it still counts as a brag. Roll over link.
A Full Balance Beg
Lilly’s original beg requires putting her front paws on my knee for balance. She was just too cagey and nervous when I tried to up the ante and get her to balance without help. In recent weeks, however, we figured out that if she had something to focus upon, then she could balance. So far, I cannot get her to pop into this position on her own. I have to hold a stick or toy above her head in one hand, then pick up her feet with the other until she’s in position. Then, I say BALANCE, and she’ll usually hold it … for quite a long time, actually.
The key is that it doesn’t work with food, only toys … a stick is even better. Look at that tiny waist!
(The original photo has gone missing. I’m sorry. Rotten technology, sometimes.)
The same day that Lilly played with Pitsch, our Borzoi friend Katie graduated from her first obedience class. She came in third overall with a score of 183 out of 200, which is tremendous (not to be breed prejudiced) for a sight hound. She came over with her parents (Pat and Bear) so celebrate and to show off her cool new trick (jumping through a hoop). As I’ve said before, there is something about Katie that Lilly really likes. She treats Katie in a different way than she even treats Ginko. Compare these videos I shot to those I posted of Lilly and Pitsch and of Lilly and Ginko. Seriously, what other dog can do *this* without getting a rise out of Lilly?
They kept up the fun for quite a while.
Then, they did this hilarious wrestling thing. Notice how Katie handicaps herself so that Lilly will play with her and not be intimidated by her size.
Of course, there is this — border collie pestering. Katie stole the ball and is perfectly happy to weather the storm.
Those of you with more experience in dog-dog relationships …. I’d be curious what differences you see in these interactions that I can capitalize upon.
We haven’t worked with Pitsch, Lilly’s “Control Unleashed” training buddy for a couple months because he and his mom Betsy were busy trialing. Gotta say, he’s been on FIRE. We’re waiting for the official list, but it looks like Pitsch cracked the list of top 25 Aussies. We’re hoping to see his name in the top 10. How neat is that? … said the girl with the dog who won’t get up off the ground.
So, it only makes me feel like crying a little over my failure. Maybe a lot, but I’m still SO happy for them. They work very hard, and it’s fantastic to see them hitting their stride. He’ll turn four later this summer, so they have several years to do some serious running (and winning).
Last Saturday, we worked on both dogs reorienting (Lilly while hopping out of her car crate) and Pitsch on the ground outside his car. Pitsch did great, even when he could see Lilly. Lilly did it twice, then refused to come out of her crate. It’s sad to see her shutdown at home.
We worked on relaxation and passive attention. Both dogs did great. Lilly was quite relaxed. She just didn’t seem to want to do any actual “work.”
Next, we did some basic box work, where they had to work inside the box, while the other dog & handler were outside. Pitsch did great. Lilly shut down. It’s quite possible that the use of weave poles as part of our junkyard box fence caused that.
I went ahead and crated Lilly so that she wouldn’t feel pressure, then Betsy and I tried the 2 handler heeling exercise from page 78 in Leslie McDevitt’s book, “Control Unleashed.” I was clicking. Betsy was giving Pitsch treats. We went in a straight line rather than a square, but it was still hard. I’m pretty sure my timing was throwing him off.
Then, since Pitsch had earned it by working hard, we let him play with Lilly. She didn’t want to work anyway. So, as usual, she chased him and growled for about 30 seconds. She really does like him, so I’m not sure why she insists on the initial display time after time. She is leaning away from him a bit, but otherwise, her body seems pretty relaxed.
After the early display, she slipped into the mode where she pretty much treats him like she treats Ginko.
See how similar the video below is to the one I shot of Ginko.
Lilly Playing With Pitsch (video link, if the embed below doesn’t show up).
Here’s another video showing my summertime efforts to tire Lilly out, using our little pond and the hill above it. Once again, I shot this with my right hand while trying to throw with my left. She often “cheats” by walking out the shallow side, rather than swimming, but a couple times you can see her water style-ings.
The pond is quite shallow on the far side and deeper closer to the camera (about 3 feet deep). The water is quite cold even in the summer, but she loves it.
Just before I started filming, she flushed out two ducks that were paddling around near the bushes to the right.
Lilly and I skipped class this week for several reasons. We’ve had a
rough few Sundays lately. Class was at a dog park that Lilly doesn’t
particularly like and is a LONG drive from our house. With gas prices
as they are, I chose to stay home. And, I promised to attend my
7-year-old niece’s dance recital in the afternoon, and I didn’t feel
like going up and down the canyon twice. So, this week’s training
update is all one-on-one work. In particular, a new trick!
As part of my quest to teach Lilly the joys of the Frisbee, I decided to teach her to jump over my knee. Eventually, I’ll add the Frisbee toss too, but the first step is getting her to see my knee as an obstacle, like in agility. Lilly already jumps over all manner of things — agility jumps, agility tires, the creek, the sofa, etc. So, it’s not like this is a brand new thing.
I used a clicker, of course, so I had her hopping over my knee pretty consistently in about 2 minutes. We’re still working on transferring the behavior to other rooms in the house or outside since I had to place myself near a wall to make the path more clear to her.
But, she’s getting it. Here’s a video Tom shot for me.
I wrote last year about Lilly’s Tug-a-Jug. Here’s a companion video I shot last week.
This toy is quieter than the Buster Cube, which makes a ton of noise when in use on our tile floors. But, until your dog figures out the jug, I’d keep playtime outdoors and away from anything breakable. When Lilly was first figuring it out, she swung it around wildly by the rope, and that plastic jug is HARD.
At that pet expo a few weeks ago, I chatted with a behaviorist friend of a friend. I mentioned that it took Lilly about 2 hours to figure out how the toy worked, which I thought was a LONG time since she usually figures out new things fast. But, this behaviorist said, “You must have a smart dog.” Apparently, it takes some dogs 2 days or even 2 weeks to figure out how to get the food out.
Sorry that you have to tip your head a little to watch the video. Just in case it doesn’t embed, here’s a link.
As promised for our second year of blogging, I’m trying very hard to shoot more videos to share. So, for future comparison’s sake. Here are some baseline videos of Lilly at play — both alone and with Ginko.
I did these with my regular Kodak digital camera, rather than our fancy Sony video camera. It’s faster and easier. I’m shooting the video with my right hand and throwing with my left. Since I’m right-handed, my tosses aren’t of their usual distance and vigor. Apologies in advance for the annoying wind noise. Sorry too for some of the camera movement. It’s hard to hold it still while picking up the ball. I taught them to DROP IT, rather than hand it to me.
Since I’m still having video insert issues, I made the subheads click-able links … just in case the HTML embeds don’t work below.
Lilly Playing Fetch
Notice how quiet she is, how focused she is. Clearly, she loves this,
but notice the difference from Ginko in the video below. Lilly gets
that throw-the-ball-or-die look. She will bark if she gets frustrated, or sometimes when she runs after the ball, but I’m not convinced she knows she’s doing it. I LOVE the way she bounces back and
forth between throws.