Thursday, 30 January 2014

not movin'

No minions! I will not move and go on my bed so you can setup the house to leave...
Means you can't leave right? Such a shame, sure you had something important to do, like drink coffee... *sigh*... life's tough, isn't it?

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Retrieve for clumsy mummy :)

Mum's dropped the toy again, weeeee going to get that, be back in a tick!
Yup got it, I'm coming back...
All right coming, coming, gosh mum's impatient!
Et voila! Here it is mum, so don't lose it or drop it again. You're a bit clumsy, aren't you?
ummmm, sorry but that was a lovely retrieve.... Where is my treat?

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

I'm hungry

Sorry peeps but mum's been too busy playing with the chicks to write a decent trick training post, oops sorry "working", she's been working... so I'll have to save the blog from her laziness! I've been trying all day to go and see the nuggets, ahem the chicks... but the minions have put plenty of obstacles on my way: doors, chairs, etc... It's like a marine's special ops training course!
That's really tough cause I would like to give them a hug, I'm a bit softy like that mwahaha. At least I have found a little video of them, however, the chirping is driving me nuts!!! I want some NUGGETS!!!

Update: I've seen them!!! Oh gosh, I was so close, they are chirping in a weird box, different to the one mum was playing with when I was there. They looked little but so juicy... apparently they are growing up so maybe I should wait a bit...

Monday, 27 January 2014

Red alert!!

Emergency!! Sound the sirens, all minions to battle station. Daddy came back from his trip to see my grandpa Frank in Townsville. Mum thought it would be a good idea to do some prep work of the house and for once mow the lawn for dad. It's usually dad's obsession, but for some reason mum felt like mowing (mad... right!?). The lawn mower had had some issues previously, well it's a second-second-second hand one, but still pretty good. She just started and bam! The front suspension went and did this on dad's nice green grass. I will pass the whole episode following that problem, as it might be too much for poor innocent ears, in summary there was a lot of swearing coming out of mum's mouth!

So when dad came back home and saw the uncut grass and a broken mower, obviously he had to get up early and jump in the car to go look at mower. Yes peeps, it's non-working day today in Oz due to the long weekend, but he still found some shops and came back with a new fancy noisy grass killer. Well done dad for the "I'm just going to see what that shop's got to start getting an idea" speech told to mum... 
Anyway they brought the demonic object in the backyard, which was instantly put in its place by yours truly. The thing was moving! I had to bark at it, it could have been some dangerous aliens coming to kill us all... Did you see Transformer?!

After inspection and verification that it wasn't a transformer, I left them to it. Now dad's uncut-grass trembles have subsided and he is a bit more relaxed. Phew, crisis averted...

On other news, the nasty spiky thingy that keeps getting me every time I run around the little greeneries around the pool has started flowering! The minions are all amazed and it's status has transformed from "nasty spiky thing" to "pretty flowering plant"... Are they fickle or what? Still a pain in my butt...literally!

Sunday, 26 January 2014


After a few false start, I think mum finally brought home some little nuggets for my dinner.
What mum, oh sorry that's not my dinner? But I've invited my mate Bodhi!

I've seen that pic on her phone...

I'm sure I heard some suspicious chirping around. And there is a door that is closed. Doors should not be closed!! That is outrageous! I'll try to sneak in the room a bit later. For now I am distracting mum by pretending to snooze.

She was preparing plenty of things yesterday, I was trying to help but she didn't seem to be grateful!
I'm sorry mum but if you think that looks like a mummy chicken... Well more to the point if the chicks take that as their mom, maybe that would be kindest for me to use them as nuggets cause they wouldn't be very bright...

See what I mean, seriously!

And where is the rest of their house?? There's only some cut paper here! Oh I see you're not finished... well you spent enough time on it already... somebody is slow as a wet sunday...

Look there's another suspicious pic that appeared on her phone! Definitely looks like the same box and head mop mommy chicken!

Woohoo *dancing* going to get some nuggets for dinner

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Still got it!

I think puppies got it easy... When you're a pup you just sit on your bum and everybody swoons. It's hard when you grow up. You don't get any less cute but somehow a lot of people stop swooning... And worse the minions seem to expect things that we've previously learnt to be done! Boring!! I need to work hard for treats and all, nowadays. I think it's unfair! So in my spare time when the minions are away at work, I've been working on my puppy eyes. I go in front of the mirror and try different looks.
I'm pretty sure I'm getting quite good at this. This should get me some big juicy treats from mum...

Muuuuummmm, I got something I want to ask you... muuummmm....

Friday, 24 January 2014


Mum called me a little pervert this morning!! I am so shocked at this accusation... Just because I snuck in the corner of the bathroom door and was staring at her in the shower...
I know better than to go in there when she is having her ablutions. When I was a tiny pup, a few times I succeeded to wriggle my way in the bathroom and I scared mum when she was washing her hair and reopened her eyes to see me standing at a meter from her outside of the shower and staring.

I think I finally went too far when I came a bit too close and started licking her leg. She looked like she just had a heart attack... It's not my fault if the door doesn't close well.... And I was thirsty. But since then I have been placed on strict notice and got a restraining order. I cannot even cross the bathroom door with half a toe nail length or she is going nuts, so I lie outside of the door looking all miserable. But sometimes the door doesn't close properly, mwahaha, and I just pass my nose through (I'm not going in there, I'm wise now but just the nose does it, gnehehe).

One thing that is not fair is that they are well happy to drag me in there when they want to torture me by giving me a bath. For my own good they say... yeah right. As if I cared about smelling all flowery. I'm a DOG, not a fancy pretty bitch. And personally I prefer to smell of slightly rotten possum, thank you very much!
I know you're in there!!!

Thursday, 23 January 2014


Uh oh... See what I told you yesterday? Dad's just got a new fancy timer. Apparently he wants to improve our speed on our agility training. The idea goes like: the smoother we run the courses, the faster we should get around...
Well that's not going to be able to measure MY speed, they won't have time to press the start button before I'm already finished (mum calls me the little bullet!). But maybe that's for dad's training? I'll send both minions running around the block and time them. Don't worry that's not too exhausting for me, I'll have time for a nap before they get back!!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Oh dear...

Its all kicking off with agility training around here! The minions are making arrangements to train with my mates even when it's off days, and all our blogs are filling up with agility/training chats. My buddies Jaxon and Bodhi are becoming international superstars and pawing some crackers posts.

Slowly, the minions are accumulating all sorts of agility equipment that can't even all fit in the garden anymore. And everybody is buzzing about different styles and techniques to better the team work between handler and pups (well got a tip for you dad: staying on your feet would help...!!).

Now even mum has gone to the crazies' side (no offence intended!!). She has so far been a bit more of a spectator and freestyled her runs with me for the main part (also known as messing up most of the time...). Now she's saying she needs to get her act together and decided to go to the upcoming One Mind Dogs seminar (here), she's not even doing any agility trials yet... But apparently I heard rumours it might change in a bit, but don't know why she is doing all that cause even if mum is the one named on the trial catalogue next to my name, I'm running with dad. That's it, mum can stress her way through the Obedience and Rally-O trials...

So if mum wants to run agility courses, well she needs to find somebody else.... ohhhh, now that's a thought! *wink, wink*

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

Trick and Treat Tuesday: the reverse gear

Martin was looking at some dance with dog freestyle heeling to music last time and I got looking at the same time.

Why do they look at that, hey? I'm not putting on a tutu so moving on, nothing to see there. I only do dogly things like running and agility to show my muscles, NOT DANCING!!!

Whatever Mawson... Anyway, Martin always joked he wants to do some dancing with Mawson, but obviously that means that I need to do some basic training on movements, so they can go and bust some moves on the dance floor... One thing that is very useful for a lot of things, and not only dancing..., is getting your pup to reverse. It can be quite hard for some pups to do this, and some look downright awkward doing it. But it is useful for a wide range of activities, from Rally-Obedience, to agility and building bum strength (for the dog...)!

Oh, here it comes, she is going to become obsessed with my bum as well!! My mate Bodhi's mum has got a thing with bums! (and that's only one of the few reports of bums in his blog!!)

It is also a good groundwork for freestyle heel dancing. You can get a lot of moves out of this reversing by combining some regular heel work and turns around or away from the handler.

So how do you do it? Well as always there are numerous ways... If your pup offers the behaviour regularly then you can think to shape it "by chance". Always be ready with your reward, either clicker or your best "YES" and btw treats help! Do not say anything else as yet, let the pup try and work out why he/she is getting rewarded, when the cogs are turning and pup realises which behaviour gets the treats then add cues and continue building the reverse. That is the easiest way, but obviously, that is a pretty slim chance for most pups. Usually you have to work at it!! So the luring method can work wonders.

Teaching the backward motion can be divided into small workable portions, first just the starting backward motion, second several backwards steps, and then reinforcing straight reversing.

As I said earlier this can be quite demanding for some dogs, so take it easy and just do little bursts of training, just a couple of minutes everyday.

The backward step initiation is just a question of getting your pup standing, place your hand with food just under his nose and slowly go backwards into him with an horizontal motion. Be careful not to go above his head or he will sit, or too low in which case he will down (unless you want to teach sit and down, but let's stay focussed here peeps!!).

Yes focus, treats, gimme the treats!!

At the beginning, as soon as the pup starts to backup acknowledge and reward. Repeat a few times. When the backup is regular, then try to get an extension of the backward movement. There is something to consider for this step, the fact you want to get the extension in a straight line and not in the shape of a corkscrew. So the best is to use walls or corridors in the house, or anywhere you want that has house and corridors!
If you do the reverse at the heel position (like for Rally-O), sandwich pup with you on the right of pup and the wall on the left of pup. Then, as previously get the backup going and extend from just the start of the backward movement to one, then two steps back with luring. Remember, go slowly that is quite demanding for dogs, train just one step for a bit, then move on to two steps. Rally-O will demand 3 steps back, not more.
When you seem to be getting a straight reverse heeling against a wall, try to move out of the wall, if possible start at 0.5-1metre space and so on until there is no wall around. If it goes all awry, take a few steps back (in the training, not the heeling, it's getting all confusing!!). Don't forget to reward and keep it short.

As always, when the trick is getting pretty smooth with the lure try to phase the lure out slowly, think about which cues you want to use (both hand signal and/or word) an slowly integrate them in the teaching. It can get a bit tricky after a while to find different hand signal cues when you pile up behaviours, so make sure your cues are not confusing for pup.

Now you have the monster reversing next to you in heeling position (i.e. on your left), that is the start for reversing all over the place, so have fun :)

Well never mind that reverse walking, look at my reverse jumping!! ;P

Monday, 20 January 2014


Seriously, do you find that funny?!! I am sooooo disappointed in you, minion!


Sunday, 19 January 2014

The chicken coop construction, part I

Oky-doky, here is the place in the front garden that the minions want to use to put the chicken living quarters. It has been a bit messy, but grandad Frank did a lot of work digging it up when he came round last time. The minions removed a lot of the clay that came out and re-levelled a few parts to be able to place the whole thing approximately stably.

So tadaaaa, it's all ready for the construction to begin. I went to check obviously! And decided that it was fine and granted them with my approval to go on. 

The grand idea of mum and dad's plans is to have a safe run for the ladies and a comfy house/coop. My fresh chicken nuggets on legs, oops sorry mum, the "ladies", will be able to run around freely in the garden when the minions are around and when they are big wise ladies, but while they are growing up, as I am not allowed to go "protect" them against the cats roaming around the neighbourhood (I'd do that real well, humph...), they will play in their run when mum and dad abandon us.

So here it is!! The start of the building stage: the run! The minions started doing some construction and painting in the backyard previously on New Year's day (I had to help, of course!) but as it is a bit big, they have decided to finish the full thing "in situ". For once they think rationally.....

dad trying to look like he knows how to use a drill...

Bit wonky still, but getting there. I had to come and check the progress to give my paw of approval, they said it was a run so proposed to run in there but they didn't like the idea... For some reason I was only left to supervise from afar! They said it was going to be good training for a settle in the boot of the car! How rude, I can't even tell them the right positioning for every screw... I'm sure that it's going to be dodgy workmanship... But I'll let it pass because it's them.

It's now nearly finished, doors and all. Dad is particularly proud of the doors cause he made them with some mortise and tenon joints-y-mathingy (?!).  Still need to add the top wire, but they looked pretty smug....

Came over to check again. That's pretty slow progress, if you ask me. But hey, the pair of them are pretty lazy! 

Still haven't seen any fresh chicken nuggets running around, but I heard the minions make some noise about some arrivals soon. They should get a move on with that building thing because I don't think the chicks will like to sleep under the stars. Hopefully, next time I'll be able to help with the coop construction step, to hurry things along. As long as they don't tie me up in the boot again...

Saturday, 18 January 2014

Agility fun

It's another hot day today, but we still went to agility training this morning. And today mum even arrived at the start, so I had both my minions!
The course was tough, lots of fine work and turns, but we had a lot of good fun and dad and I did a pretty good job! Ok we are not peeeerfect but hey, I'm a pup! And if dad was stopping to roll around on the floor at every chance, that would help. He put up the excuse that he fell, yeah right, he just wanted to do a back roll to impress the ladies at training!

I thought I'd show you some bits and pieces of my training, cause I'm AWESOME :P , so here is a bit of the middle part and bits of the end. It's not polished but you can see we're having fun!

Mum also ran a course with Monty, who's just been back after a stop cause his dad had to take a health break. It was great to see them coming back to training. I was giggling at mum! She didn't really walk the course well earlier cause she hadn't planned to run (and it showed!!), she even got lost at several points... She'd better get her training hat on...

Now I am on my traditional snooze after a good hour swim in the pool and a stretching walk zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Friday, 17 January 2014

No manners!

The minions and I were quietly doing some agility training this afternoon, just a few crazy jumps and turns in the backyard...

When suddenly, a very noisy rude bird decided to come into MY garden, and eat MY tree nuts! I pointed at him for a while, then had to go and check him. I'm sure that will have taught him a lesson! Why is mum laughing?? My point is really scary! Don't you know I'm a bird dog?


And look at what the fruit bats left on the pool door!! *sigh*

And just now I went to pick up my pressed rawhide chew bone I had left in the backyard earlier, and there was a slug attacking it! Will nobody recognise my authority over here!! I am the master of this place, all of youse intruder get off this property!!!

At least mum cooked some treats for me, but she didn't give me any under the false pretence that it was "too hot", tssss, I'm off to sulk!

Thursday, 16 January 2014

I'm a little angel me!

Just because I have been a bit naughty lately, look at what daddy did! I've been such a good boy though, I have to express my GSP-iness. I also want to point out (ahah "point", see what I did there, aha, I'm so funny...) that I am a big teenage boy! Mum might say I am a wimp but gotta do what a pup gotta do... And anyway that's their fault for abandoning me to go have fun at work aaallllll day! Grump!
By the way, anybody got an ice cube? It's a bit hot, need to get the minions to make me some puppy ice blocks like my mate's mum does for him. Not that the minions are going to even bother with my well-being, mind you! My mate Bodhi is soooo lucky!

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

Forced cuddles!

Call the RSPGSP, I am being held captive against my will! And tortured!! Bleh I'm a big dog me, I don't do cuddles, my street creds are going to be ruined again if my mates see that picture... That was all against my will, I swear!!

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Trick and Treat Tuesday: the silly sausage roll

This week is another bit of fun in the same line as last week's dramatic Western shoot-out Hollywood style! It is the silly sausage roll. The "silly sausage" being Mawson...

Oy! I've read that!! How rude, those minions have got no manners...

You can start teaching the roll in the same way as for the "dead dog" trick. The main thing is to continue getting the pup to roll the entire way round instead of stopping at the moment when he rolls on his shoulder. This trick is a bit easier for small dogs or more flexible larger dogs such as border collies. But any dog can do it with more or less ease and/or grace...

Oy! Again... I'm very graceful, like a beautiful butterfly, or a graceful dolphin but out of the water...

One (or several!) words of caution though, when teaching this trick, make sure you go slowly and do a bit of a warm up first. Also, do not repeat it over and over. The roll can put quite a bit of strain on the pup's back and requires a good set of "core" muscle strength, so you do not want to risk any injuries mostly on the "less flexible" dogs.

So, all this considered, as previously with the shoot-out start in the down position with a lure in your hand, roll pup on his shoulder by performing a circular movement down and slowly back round the original place of his shoulder. Then continue to lure to get pup to roll on his back and just a bit longer to get him on the other side. If the pup doesn't follow the lure all the way, just take it slowly and only just do as far as he goes. The next time try a bit further and so on until you complete the roll. Remember, patience and use as many treats/rewards as possible.
And tadaaa, that's the start of the roll. Mawson demonstrate the lured roll in this video.

Very nice demonstration if I may say so, and the treat wasn't that good either. I really work for not much, poor little me...

Then when the monster reliably rolls nicely while following the lure, start phasing out the treats and putting distance between your hand and the pup's nose. Make sure you advance with small steps, if pup gets a bit lost along the way, take a few steps back. It is a bit of a half lure stage.

Then it is more or less straight ahead to getting a rolling pup. Continue phasing the treats out and adding cue signals. And when the movement is getting smooth start adding your cue word.

That was a nice roll hey! I did it all alone :)

Now keep on rollin' :)

Bet he would do a good roll! (from the t'internet!)

Monday, 13 January 2014

Ma pig!

And now I present you (again and still in one piece, to mum's amazement) my BFF: blue pig. We are still having a lot of fun together. But he does sleep a lot and hides in a place where I can't find him, don't know how he does that?!?! He goes off and one of the minions disappear at the same time for a bit and comes back without pig... But when my BFF is here, we have a lot of fun. He does squeal rather a lot, the minions love it, mostly during the news, or when daddy concentrates on something. Pig helps him focus, you see...

*oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink, oink*


Sometimes, I'm not sure why, but pig seems to run away and hide under the seats! We're having so much fun playing!

See, he is over there, laughing his little blue head off! Come back pig, so we can play some more. You run, I bite you and you squeak, yay BFF!!

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Rally-O trials summary

Yesterday was the last one of our first stretch of Rally-Obedience trials. And it was the trial from our  training club NSDTC. I didn't really want to get in the ring this time, but I got convinced to take the monster in just for experience... The course was great with a few tricky bits. Got Mawson ready, and this time tried the very calm with low tone approach. We were 6th in the ring on this round, and I think a couple of people were not there, so it came fairly quickly. He was ok-ish when we were preparing for the start, with an all right concentration on me. Then we went in and just about half a metre in, he stopped... and had a wee, ah well that's it then, thanks for coming... automatic disqualification...
the course of doooooom!
The lovely judge was very nice and still asked me if I wanted to go on. I thought why not anyway! And this time we did a full line, well that was a bit of heeling and a fast pace back to normal pace and started getting unstuck at the turn, but still that's more than ever!!!
The best is that we got some great tips and training ideas from a lot of people. That's what is great in these events. There are so many lovely people who have had all kinds of experiences with dogs and share ideas and tips.

Overall I think that the obedience types trials haven't been as stellar as Mawson's agility trial experiences. To say the least... And I think I will need to work quite a bit to get him back to pre-trial level amusements and abilities.

We're going to put all those training ideas into work, do a fair bit more preparation and training in Obedience/Rally-O and concentrate on fun agility trials for a while. Not giving up just reorganising and letting Mawson the time to grow up a tad!
Sooo, over and out for the Obedience/Rally-O team, communication will resume... sometimes in the future! ;)
I'm looking mum, now don't you dare
getting me in another one of those things!

Saturday, 11 January 2014

My beautiful cool coat

So hot today, I'm melting! Dad took me to agility training this morning (mum was lazying at home as per usual...), but I wasn't really in the mood. A bit all over the place, but still did some good things... except the weaves, not in a weaving mood today... Then I demanded to have a bit of fun in the pool to cool down and now a snooze to pass the worst of the heat. However, I've heard the minion in chief talking about some more Rally-O trial this evening... I'm not sure I'll even get up for that one, she'll have to drag me, mwahaha.

Or maybe if I can take my nice new cool coat with me (that they forgot this morning... useless minions that they are!!) maybe that could be better. We'll see, anyway if we get close to that ring I'll start scratching my neck again and sniff the signs, liver fudge treats or not! I'm a rebel you see...

strike a pose

Oh yeah and some of my mates (at least Jaxon!) are at an agility training camp in the West of Sydney since yesterday, for a few days. Apparently, it's up to 34˚C already today! Hope they'll be careful in the heat and find some shade. I don't think a roasted Papillon would be good!

Friday, 10 January 2014

Commitment point (agility madness)

We have started trying to record our training runs for agility. For the moment we have been so badly organised that we have relied on other people to take the videos! But that actually showed some interesting things so far. 
There is one thing that is hard in agility (if only one!), that is finding the best time to indicate/cue for the next obstacle. You do not want to cue too early because the pup will mess up the obstacle he has to do first. But if you indicate too late, you run the risk to either waste a lot of time or get the pup to go the other way or take a wrong obstacle. 
So you need to know the point where your pup is going to the obstacle and committed to it, niftily called the commitment point, at which you can indicate for the following direction. It depends of stride/obstacle/placement and a whole lot of other things. Mawson, being the big horse that he is, has got very big strides. Which results in him barely even taking a step between two obstacle where the other dogs would take 4 or 6, if not more. And we got an interesting point of view of those crazy strides with a couple of stills that Martin isolated. You can see at the front the two jumps, one on the righ that he just took and one on the left that he is going for. Mawson basically landed and took off about 3 metres away from the jump. The worse is, he actually made it clear! That pup is really a monster!! And another thing we got to learn is that the jumps need to be at least 4 metres apart or the flying bullet will try to get the two jumps at once...

Now, let's try to work with that new knowledge at the agility training tomorrow!

Mean blog!

Quite a few of my pals have been trying to leave comments on my posts, and they have told me it was buggy or down right impossible with their comments disappearing :(

The minion in chief said she has been playing with settings to try and help the process but I am sad that it doesn't work well! Maybe the minion in chief should have used wordpress to do my blog...

Well let's see if the changes help anything and if it's annoying we might have to get drastic! All that social network is tiring my "little" paws out!

Sorry mates but  have to leave now, I hear that dad is playing with kibble! What is going to be the topping today: tuna, sardines or PIZZA!!!!

Thursday, 9 January 2014

Deserted playground

Well if the scary little kids are not using their playground, I might as well! I'm very good and never messing anything to the contrary of other humans who seem to like using their painty things everywhere... If I was naughty mum wouldn't let me in there ever again! And I'm not very good with my paws and those spray painty cans anyway!!!! 
Those playgrounds are great to do a bit of agility and butt awareness. There are walls, tables, high little bench thingies. But I draw the line at the slides! I'm not crazy... I tried last time but I keep going backwards... What's happening!?? 
Now next thing: sitting on that little swing chair and get mum to push me...

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The issues with growing up...

I told the minions my bed was too small for me! How do you want me to sleep on there? I'm hanging off all sides *sigh*

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Trick and Treat Tuesday: Hollywood Western shoot-out

I have been a bit slack on the trick training posts over the past few weeks, but Mawson and I have got some funny ones coming! And today is my first try at adding videos!!!

Fun, fun, that's not her exerting herself to exhaustion!

So, as per usual you need to get your reward system at the ready, clicker and treats, and a good mood!
We have worked on this trick for a long time, and for a long time Mawson was following the lure fine but could not get passed that stage. He was not connecting the whole movement and action. And one day, without any difference in the training, it suddenly clicked. Since then Mister pup has done beautiful dramatic shot dog, sometimes even adding a bit of drama to the whole scene with a staggering dying scene to my feet and the paws up in the air.

You want to train this in little bite steps. For some dogs it is very hard to roll or get on the side as they might not like to expose their belly. It's not the case for Mawson who has a bit of an exhibitionist streak in him!

Who wouldn't want to see my 6-pack? The ladies, they like it! And how will I get belly rubs if I don't show my belly, hey?

Also to note is that any dog usually has a preferred side, a bit like the hand you use for writing, some people can switch but let's be honest you are writing either with your left or right hand only! Well for dogs it's the same. Mawson will always dramatically fall on his left shoulder after a good ol' shootout with mum. You can train both sides but it can be tricky, well again try to write with your left hand if you're a righty... Can be done, but not always pretty at first hey?

Who said pretty? Yes I'm here, any treat? Gosh, she's still writing that thing, better run away or she'll ask me to do something! Now where is Mister pig?

So, to start training, it is easier to get your pup in a down/drop position in front of you. Then, gently lure him on his side with some treat on his nose. How to do that is relatively easy. When pup is down place the food in your hand in front of his nose without letting him get it, then make a circle with your hand going slowly closer to his chest down and backwards and at the original spot of his shoulder when he was down, making sure that the nose is glued onto your hand following the treat. Normally, pup should slowly roll on his side. Here is a dodgy demonstration video of the lure to get pup on his side (mostly because I used the wrong hand! But you get the idea I hope).

Repeat this a few times, releasing the treat when pup is on his side with a big reward/"yes"/click. You will need to work on this trick for a bit of time so you might want to get this action going over a few days just repeating the rolling slowly on the shoulder. You can then get the whole action going with the pup from a stand position. Exactly the same way to lure, except that now you extend the movement lured from a stand, all the way down and get pup to roll (always reward and treat). And remember for all these early steps, no verbal cues or hand signals. Just lure pup into position and then reward. When the movement is getting quite smooth, then start adding your verbal cue when the action is done, for example instead of just a "yes" and treat, say instead "bang"-"yes" and treat (my cue is the very shot resembling "bang". Well why not hey?). Hand signals will come way later!

Work on the action/verbal cue association for a while always keeping the treats going. Then start luring with just your same hand movement without a treat in front of his nose. Slowly phase out the treat luring and reinforce the verbal cue. However, always acknowledge the performed trick with a bit juicy reward at the end!

Like a whole chicken (raw or roasted, I'm not fussy!) or a leg of lamb...

Mawson! Go to bed...

Gnegnegnegnegne *blows raspberry*

When that is going good you can introduce a hand signal, I use my hand folded as a revolver in a fist with two fingers (major and index) out, but that's because I've always wanted a six-shot... We even do the whole taking the revolver hand out of the belt case, pull the hammer back and then pull the trigger with a bang... Adds a bit of Hollywood drama to it all.

Don't worry I am looking for treatment for mum, she's a bit simple but she's harmless really...

And then, after a bit of practise and repeats, you can get to do the full western shootout "a la John Wayne"! Like this Oscar performance or this dramatic scene :).
Sometimes, you might need to make sure you have really got the pup as he may get up so make sure he is really dead as a dodo!
Have fun training the next big thing in Hollywood ;P

That's what I think of all this training and mum's explanations!!

Monday, 6 January 2014

Can you hear my stomach?

They are eating their lunch and not even giving me any :( I am slowly wasting away. There will very soon only be skin and bones. Not even sure I'll have enough energy to do any Obedience or Rally-O. Yep, will have to stay at home on my bed for those trainings and trials. I might just have enough energy for agility, barely, I should be fine for that, and the pool, and walks, and jogs, and playing at the park... 


Sunday, 5 January 2014

Saturday night fever

So, yesterday evening was Mawson and I's second Rally-O trial. Given our mock trial's preparations and previous attempts, let's say that I wasn't expecting much, but hoping that the advantage of home ground would help us a tad as it was held at our usual training club. We were number 37 in the Novice ring, so a fair wait before our turn. We did a bit of everything to get into the spirit from waiting calmly with a settle, a bit of a walk, a bit of warm up training with some of the Rally-O moves out of the course.
The course had some tricky tight bits, but mostly some turns and fun things. Definitely a bit harder than our first trial however, nothing that Mawson cannot do when nobody looks at him (or even just a few metres outside of the ring...). As our number was high, I got to walk the course a second time half way, not that it was going to be very necessary, wasn't it Mawson? Ahem...

And then it was time for our turn. Tried the very upbeat and encouraging tone, happy happy coaxing... Weeellllll! Let's start by the positive and say that we did the first station fine!!... Look at the score sheet below, station number 1 didn't get us any deduction, yayy!! The other 2.5 that we attempted out of the total 15 were a little bit more problematic, however, we got awarded an E for effort from the line steward, even after I withdrew at the 4th station.... Just wish they would add some new moves in Novice Rally-O like "dog halts and scratches neck vigorously" or "dogs halts and thoroughly sniffs ground".

Martin did take a video, but I am not sure that the world of Rally-O, or the entire world for that matter, is ready for that yet! Mostly because Martin also took the run before me and that was from Karin Bridge and Gracie, and they got the nearly perfect score! One day... We'll get there, one day... Maybe in 5 years or that might still be a bit short... For now, I keep looking back at that video and crying of laughter!

In great contrast to our little "clown team" The others from the NSDTC crew did great with a lot of qualifications! Well done to Mel and Bodhi, Jacky and Fergus, and Karin did great with Gracie too, and a whole lot of other NSDTC members! Just not us!

Now let's start again next week for the NSDTC Rally-O trial... Think that will be our last one before a bit of a break in that type of trials!