Saturday, December 29, 2012

OB4 coming together!

New years is getting closer and weather can be very chilly in Finland. So we must train every time it's not too cold. In Mikkeli we don't have warm agility arena. This Friday we head to do some OB. Pixie trained guided retrieve. She done basic work with mark. She has gone round the mark and I have rewarded her, while the dumbbells where on their place.  Then I put her on the marker and send for retrieves to 3 m from maker line. After that I did some with sending to marker. Here is little figure I made how we train. It's made with CLCD3 so jumps are dumbbells and table is marker. 

We also did some heal work with sit, down and standing. Pixie had little lost with standing, but she figure it out after some reminding with clicker work. Mirror was a huge help. With it I can better concentrate on the dogs behavior without looking at it and so on. Pixie did all the moves fast and straight. So that's coming together and so is distance control. We made some from 15 m and it went so well!!!!

Louise did some heal work with sit down and standing. Her problem was speed in standing. Yet again mirror was my best friend! We got some nice repeats with ball reward. Louise also did some distance control. First I really had some trouble to make her start from one command. After few tries Louise made to perfect sets. All together this evening training was just amazing!!

This morning we went to do some agility training and we did some course activity. I had really bad. One of those I shouldn't be training at all. Dogs were just perfect. I lost my temper unnecessary few time ( I have hard time to except failure). I hate to do bad at handling... Dogs were just perfect!! :D So shame on me...
But here's the exercise we did:

Our goal was to train handling after high speed sequence and also do some work with A-frame with Pixie. The surprise was the hard time in long jump. I have tough both dogs do long jump from behind... But I find out that we had new issues to train. Louise had also problem with wave pole entry. We did 10 and 11 to wave pole with rear crosses that might have been little issues for my perro. Pixie had most difficulty with 7-8-9. She kept going to tunnel. I had handle this area pretty " rough" to make Pixie stay in my handling.

In the end both dogs did it pretty well. Pixie also made some nice running A-frames. In the end Louise did nice entries to wave pole and got the idea in the long jump 17-18-19. I had admit that in the end of year my physical training has not that good and it really showed today. I really need to get back to my training program. I can't fail my dogs on agility course.

That's for now...

All the best to you all and happy new year 2013!!!!
Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmass training

Finland had shown its best features, -27 C for almost a week. In Mikkeli we don't have warm agility arena so winter really sucks. Oh well we got nice little brake. But on Tuesday before Christmass we had ob training even though it was -19C outside. Pixie and Louise did some heal work with some distractions. Louise was just perfect but Pixie got fooled few times. I had friend yelling commands and luring the dogs with toys. We also did some ob game where other gave missions. We had the hole arena full retrieve objects, "square", jump and mark objects. It was just a big blast even though it didn't always go as planned.

On Christmass eve I did agility work. Pixie worked on running A-frame and Louise worked on with wavepole enteries. Pixie pretty wild so did some very basic repeats. I only changed positions and rewarded nice A-frames. Louise had some trouble taking the right enterance in when was on the otherside of the wave poles. She just kept coming towards me and didn't think about the obstacle. After few changes Louise got a hang of it.   need some work on that area.

On Christmass day we did some contact training. Louise was just perfect! Pixie did some A-frame work with wall and wavepoles. Pixie was so good that I got some training with blind crosses with A-frame. I rewarded her on the ground after blind crosses to prevent her starting to fly again from A-frame. So we had really nice agilitytraining!

We also did some OB4 level "square" work and guided retrieve. Louise and Pixie were just brilliant. Both needed some rewarding on mark object but sending to distance and stop was just perfect. Pixie did some direction work on guided retrieve. I had her standing on mark object and send her to retrieve object that were on the same level as sign. She got it really fast so I could do last repeat that retrieve objects where 3 m from mark object line. Some work before it's ready for competition but we are getting closer!!

That's all for now!
Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Sunday, December 16, 2012

A-frame work and tik-cap turning

Last day of vacation so had to do some agility. In the morning I went to do some running A-frame work. Pixie has started to make pretty flying A-frames so I had to do some adjusting to her foot work. I started to be more specific about 4 paws hitting the contact zone and I stopped to use speed pumps. After few tries Pixie got the idea. Today I trained A-frame between two jumps and got some speed to the work. She did really nice repeats so had very shorts training. 100 % success!! 

With Louise I did some obedience work with recall and sit-down-stand. Recall work was just amazing! I used toy change as drive builder. Louise did the best stop she has ever done!! With going down during recall she was bit slow so I did some repeats from standing. Working with one piece at the time makes it more efficient and I get to reward her from a specific part of the recall.

In the evening we made some course work with A-frame. Yet again Pixie started to fly but with unrewarded rounds she got the idea of doing it properly. In the end she made very nice runs on the course and we also worked on with tik-cap turnings. I'm still too slow to use them correctly but we are getting there!

Louise was just a perfect on the course!! She so nice agility dog. So sad to give up her one day to retirement days. 

Here's our training sequence:

Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Can there be more fascinating than watch dogs do tracking job? Tail waiving and all the focus on the ground. Just something that our dogs where built to do. Pixie and Louise have both made forest and field tracking. It was very interesting to learn about ID-tracking. Major difference is that dog must follow a specific scent. Scent discrimination is also used for example finding bombs and solving crimes.

So we went to get some basic skills from Saara. Pixie started task by learning how smell from a glass jar. Idea is to give scent example for dog to smell from glass jar and she must find the pair from jar line. First the dog has to learn a mechanical skills of smelling from glass jar and then to work on scent jar line. Basic skills are teach with empty jars just learn environment.

Then we introduced neutral smell (steril cloth piece) to Pixie and she had to mark it from the one jar. Idea was teach her work with jars that had something in them. Next phase was to put neutral scet jar on the line with empty jar, so Pixie had to first time find the pair. First rewards where given to her from the good smell of the right one. From this on I just have make task harder and introduce more scents on the line.

It was just brilliant to see how much Pixie's brain just burned from the work. It was really fun to do. Now I just keep making it harder and use scented samples. So don't worry if collect cloth pieces to glass jar from you... I'm teaching Pixie find especial you if needed :D I hope to make this scent discrimination work during winter so that I can teach to tracking part in the spring. So cool to learn something new!! I think both my dogs will just love this job! :D :D

Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Training idea

I have thought always how to make perfect training session. I just read from new Canis-magazine article about it and I have really similar thought. The major problem is really to keep the plan and make a plan to every training session. This is basic structure I plan my trainings:

  • Set goal to training session
    • in agility for example handling sequence or obstacle training
    • in obedience I set goals to each movement I train
    • Also I might train just drive 
  • I plan every step of training
    • I might even make some trouble shooting before hand to make plan if some training errors occur
    • I want to make why reward and what I want to gain by rewarding certain behavior
    • I check how our training have been going before and plan the exercises according to that
    • I vision my training session in my head and try to get picture how it should look
  • after training I make summary of the training session
    • how did it go
    • what we have to improve
    • most importantly I write what things went super good!!
In total I plan before and plan after. Training dairy is my best friend. There I find answer more than often to my questions and remember good training exercises. Sometimes I write thought about training and overall what we have done. I also set some long term goals from time to time. I also might analyse some other training methods and make pros and cons list.

After writing this, it feels like I do a lot. Reality is I do this much as I can but sometimes I just train what ever comes to my mind. I have seen, that planing and taking time to really think what I want from my dogs, makes  big difference. I can save time. Make better training results and also give better training to others. Best way to be better trainer for my dog and other handlers is to understand why we do things to way we do. It's never ending story.. And every must write their own!

Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Obedience competition

On Finland's independence we went to obedience competition in Varkaus. Pixie did super well. She got her first 1st prize result from winnerclass (=OB3) and got permission to compete in OB4. It was just perfect although Pixie didn't work as well as she does in training. I have planned to keep long brake before entering OB4. We need work on drive and accuracy on every aspect. I need to get her work in competition as well as she does in training.

Here's the video of our competition:

Louise competed in OB4 and got 2nd prize. Louise froze again in distance control. We have been doing lots on rewarding in that, but still need to do some work to make it work in competition. But healwork was so good!!! Only mistake was when I started running. I was too fast and it didn't look good. Louise has yet again shown some excellent competition head. She just works so nicely. Sometimes I think I can't ever have Spanish waterdog  as good as she is. My perfect perro <3 <3

Here video of Louise's OB4:

That's for now! I have to go to do some training... Then writing about our training.

Marianne, Louise and Pixie

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Agility Season ending

25.11.2012 was our last agility competitions for this year. It went pretty well and got back tough to better runs. Louise was 4th/65. which is pretty good for perro that is only 3 mm from medium class. Pixie did four nice runs, but I did some handling errors. I have some times mix the dogs in handling and it really gets in to trouble. But I'm learning...Louise is very handler focused and Pixie is very obstacle focused. When I realized this difference, it really changed my way of choosing handling maneuvers to each dog. Janita had to tell me it. I had seen the difference in my mind but just couldn't but finger on the real problem. This learning curve is still on going progress.. But here are videos from our last competition for season 2012:

We have lots things to do on agility brake. Need work on faster contacts, handling techniques, my work on course, how to make better handling choices and so on. This is why love this sport. You can't never be ready. Agility is a life long journey of learning and wonderful times!!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Obedience training and competition

We have training and training obedience. My is to get OB Champion titles to both dogs. Since the last competition we have working with Pixie with eikka problem (changing handler during OB training). She has done pretty well have some disturbance training. She has done recall from different angels so that there are people between Pixie and I. After few time of training she finally started to come to me. With square recall I ran after recall and that worked like charm to get Pixie come to me.

Louise has been on brake for 6 months in obedience. She hasn't done any retrieving trials even though makes ten point retrieves at practice. So started to train Louise few weeks before the trial. Every time I used someone elses retrieve object. Louise worked really well every time so I decided to enter her trial.

Here is the high light from the ob-trial in 10.11.2012:

Some work to do... But both dogs worked really well! So new trial comming up!! Hopefully we will get nice 1st prize results!!!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Direction and obedience

Yet again I find myself training more OB than agility. Oh well, both dogs are going to compete on Saturday  Louise in OB4 and Pixie OB3. It's going to very exiting!

Last Saturday I did do some running dogwalk work with Pixie. She has wonderful in blank work. I need start doing it on raised dog walk again. My goal is to have 2on2off and running dog with word discrimination.   We will see in the future how still will end up.

We also did some cik/cap work. I changes cip command to tik. Cip was just too close to our contact work kii. Yet again Pixie got he repeat mode on and really trouble of getting anything right... She just jumped jumped... I did fine solution to use leas for while in the woods, just to get her concentrate. It took just few right and calm repeats and we had nice turning in correct directions. Still we have lot to do, but she has done nice job going round object with directions commands.

On Saturday we also did some work in OB. Pixie did winner class parts. Recall had new troubles. Pixie didn't want come on first call. I had do it again few times to get her going. She also got up on the first round. In the end we got nice recall with stops and extra person standing near the line. Pixie didn't do eikkas... :D

In square Pixie did some early starts, so I had took her back once. But most importantly she came to me! Not to other person standing on the way. Both retrieves where nice. Metal object is still really nasty thing. I have tried to make her more keen to it by giving speed retrieves with only metal object. Hopefully it will pay back some day!!

On Monday Pixie did the whole winner class. She did it pretty well. Yet again we had some problems in staying recall and square. With one correction she did both of them wonderfully. I did reward her on both times on staying in place. My smart little girl starts to be too smart and thinks she knows best.

That's for all for know.... Louise did some training too... I just don't have the energy to write about it.

Marianne, Pixie and Louise

Friday, November 2, 2012

Rear crosses

We got homework to work on our rear crosses so went did some work. On Thursday I built really simple training to work on handling from behind. Pixie has tendency to run away from my handling when the distance become too long from me. My goal was to keep the exercise as simple as possible to get lot of rewarding changes. It was really easy training with Pixie. Next time we shall do tighter turns and going round the jumps.

 We also did some cik/cap work from Silvia Trkman ideology. We started with going round a tree and  a light post. I used clikker and Pixie love to run. I have used running aroung trees and light post for obedience training so going round was all ready build in. Now I just had to catch the directions. Pixie got it pretty quickly. Sometimes she got repeat going on we had to take brake to make thinking again. On thrusday I also did some cik/cap work with wings. It went pretty well. Still some work to make directions clear to her.

I so love teach some new tools to agility! I hope to have lots of new stuff when spring comes!

Marianne, Pixie and Louise

Monday, October 29, 2012

Video analysis

WIt can be really rewarding see new things while watching videos. Today have spend sometime going through AWC videos. My goal was get new tool in training and coach my eyes to see dogs movement and it's affect on speed.

Question is what make dog team better than other? Who has tools that gives advandages compared to others? What key factors to make fast run? There are many routes to get to goal. I hope to learn from others to make my dog and I better team. One day we might find something unique to make us winners. Work ahead...

Flow runs in agility are just mind blowing... Enjoy the feeling of becoming as one!

Marianne, Pixie and Louise

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Fast and funny times

It has been really nice week behind. On Sunday 21.10.2012 we went to Vantaa to agility competition. Pixie took nice win with fastest time of all. We are finally starting to get things together. Here's video from the winnning run and also some pics from jumping course:

I was pretty high from this run and win. But still some work to do so we went to Turku to Kelpokoira to get some training. On Wednesday in Jaakkos training we made some job with our early take off problems. I know have let Pixie start early. Well there's only just answer- WORK! So since then we have practice some nice and control start line work.

Also we have been really missing rear cross training. Pixie is can be really forceful when she runs on the courses. Rear cross has been my scary point. In A1 and A2 classes she used to just fly away when I handled her from behind. Yet again.... We must work on rear crosses  Pixie is technically really good at them. We just need get the control after rear crosses.

On Thursday we work with Janita. Pixie was really cool and work really well. I, on the other hand, was again like scarecrow in the wind. When I get too exited I easily make more movement with hand to anyone dizzy. I can only thank my wonder dogs to keep up with that. :D We also made test to Pixie does she jump par or wings. On first try she flied from 4 m to only par on the line and crashed. On second run she waited to get to the par and cleared it. Nice learning curve from Pixie!

We got yet again lots of homework. I need to improve course reading skills and line handling. Pixie is starting to be pretty good in basic skills. Also I need to really learn to use human arrow in new situation to make our turns even better. I can only say that I love this sports even more everyday. There is so much learn and understand but the feeling when you get something is just overwhelming.

On Saturday 27.10.2012 Pixie entered to her first competition in Winner Class in Obedience. We had almost week brake from OB training because of agility training. Pixie had really good in training and I had no doubt that she couldn't do it. Everything went just fine..... Until Pixie change handlers in call out and  "square". It was too much points to lose to get 1 price. All together Pixie did really good job and I have entered her to new competition. Video from the OB competition:

That all for now....

Marianne, Pixie and Louise

Saturday, October 20, 2012

New start, new blog

Our old blog didn't really work for months, so I planned to change it to new server. Also I'm planing to start writing in English to keep my languages skills but also make more intresting to read to all.

So lot has happend during the summer of 2012. Pixie was attacked by another dog on our walk in a forest. She had 3 month brake from training and competition. Right now she's starting to be pretty much like she used to be. Totally it has taken over 6 months to recover.

Louise competied third time Finnish Champion Ships. On friday she took 14./100 (something), which was pretty cool!!! In championship courses my handling broke on two front crosses.... So we didn't get in the finals. In Finnish National Team qualification Louise made two suberb runs but got 1 fault from each round. I was very pleased to her work. Here's video of her in Natiotal Team QF:

Pixie has been back in competitions since July. She has got nice run and Agility- and Jumping-sert. She almost all of qualification result to next years Champions Ships. Here video from our last competition from Helsinki ( I need work with my handling):

In obedience Pixie has training for winner class. She has been just a perfect girl! She will be competing in winner class in a few weeks... I even trying to national team.... But yes it's too early.... Maybe next year.