Tuesday, November 22, 2011

I am thankful for Cheetah!

As we approach Thanksgiving, I am thinking of how thankful I am to have Cheetah running happily and healthy. As some of you may know, we lost Tegan in October. She was 16 1/2 and she was very healthy until the end. I am also thankful that she only was sick for about a week. I promised her I wouldn't prolong things for us, if there wasn't anything we could do. Here is a picture of Tegan at the last trial she competed in and it was the first trial that Cheetah went to at 9 1/2 weeks old.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Sponsorship....sort of

I have been wanting a sponsor for Cheetah for a while, and I think I finally found a good solution. I have been looking into a Premium Pet food Company called: Life's Abundance.

I am really impressed with the quality of the ingredients and the people that I have spoken to in the company. So I have become a independent field rep for them. I figured, all of the years I fed Canidae, told people about it, tried to get sponsorship from them, and they gave me nothing in return. I am now feeding Life's Abundance, can tell people about it, and when they order products from me, I then get some money to put back into Team Cheetah! So it's sorta like having a sponsor - right?

If you would like to check out the products for yourself - please click here and you can order directly from my website and get it shipped straight to you. You can even get it on Auto delivery!


Cheetah got her long awaited MACH 2!!!!! She got it on 7-22-11, in Westminster, MD. The funny thing is that she was having trouble getting that last QQ b/c of standard then we got a QQ the next day too. I have a new montra - "run the damn dog". I spent entirely too much time handling her contacts, and it doesn't do any good. I found that she is just as more likely to get her contacts if I just run her AS IF she would get them no matter what. Hmmmm....what a concept. The proof of this was when on Sunday, she took the wrong end of the tunnel off of the dw ( a contact she got btw) and then I decided "I would work her a-frame" since the little brat had already NQ'd. Well, THAT worked.....NOT! she came off high and to the wrong side as if to say -"why are you all up in my business - see ya!" But I can't really complain, our weekend was great. She was 7 for 9 and all Blue!! And lets not forget, she is now a MACH 2!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Still pluggin' away at run vs. touch!

I have not been posting very much lately, but we have been working on the 2o2o vs running contact criteria. I had been using a stride regulator for a while and was having success with this. I didn't really like the fact though that it wasn't really following Silvia's method. So the last few sessions, I have been using a cut down version of the add a plank that she suggested. This is simply a piece of plywood about 3 ft long and 1 ft wide ( the size of the dw contact zone.) I have glued a couple of pieces of the puzzle foam flooring on it. It sticks well to my dw because I have a rubberized dw.

Let me know what you think!

I will say that I am not happy with this performance of "touch"...her stop command.

Today, I tried it again without taping it for proof of course and she ROCKED IT!!!!

I will try to tape another session soon! Any thoughts about how long to keep the plank on, and how to fade it would be great!

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

running vs. touch....so far so good!

I am still working with Cheetah on differentiating between the cue for run and the cue for touch (stop). She is nearly 100% on making the correct decision when just training the contacts. She will sometimes still run through a "touch" in class, when put into a sequence. I will need to practice more sequencing at home with some short drills once the weather cooperates.

Here is a short video clip from today's session. The DW is not quite up to full height, so that is what I need to do once it stops raining. I will also need to start to fade the stride regulator. I know that this is not really part of Silvia Trkmans method, but I think it is making sense to Cheetah, so I am sticking with it for now. I think I will see if I can make it a little smaller in diameter first. Then I will paint it green. I think I could then move to just having the blue bendy thing, then take it away completely.

What do you think?

Saturday, March 26, 2011

so when you can't train one contact behavior...why not train 2?

I have been trying (again)to train Cheetah to do a nice running contact. I am working through Silvia Trkman's method (for the most part) and it was having sketchy results so far. I have been working on it since November...so about 5 mo. now. About a month ago, I was at a Silvia Trkman seminar and she thought it that it would just take more time since she was a retrain, and I wasn't stopping competition. The next weekend I was at a Bridget McKnight seminar and she was concerned with the lack of q'ing that we have had in the last few months basically just over contacts.

This has been complicated by the fact that we are just 1 QQ away from our MACH2. So needless to say, I am getting a little frustrated at this point. So Bridget suggested that I think about reverting back to a 2o/2o...not something I really wanted to do. But I thought I would see if I could get her to do one while we were at the seminar. So I took Cheetah inside, asked for a couple of hop-ups, and of course she nailed them. I put a target out and asked her to "touch" it. she offered several very nice nose touches. I repeated using the target over the whole aframe, saying "touch" as she came over the top. She stopped nicely and we had a little party.

When it was our turn to work outside on the course, I asked Bridget if she wanted to see her 2o/2o? She said sure...we ran the course ( targets out in place) she nailed them. So this was confirming to Bridget that if she had a 7yo dog that was doing so well on all other aspects of the course, except the contacts, she would probably go back to a 2o/2o. Hmmmm....I see the logic in that but I don't really want to. I agreed to think about it and we would talk later at a trial coming up the next weekend.

I started thinking about it and I just didn't want to throw away all of the running practice that I had been doing. Then I remembered a website I saw a while ago. It talked about training both! BOTH....that's it! I could work on the running in practice, throw in some stops, and use the stops at competitions until I liked the running better at home. That way I could take all the time I wanted to to train the running. Now to find that website. A youtube search eventually got me to the original site and other site of someone doing the same thing.




I started playing around with it. I didn't want to give up her "broken 2o/2o" movement by just doing 2o/2o stuff...plus I hate training it. So I decided that if I can teach her left and right and she can respond on the fly, then she CAN learn to respond to touch or run on the the fly too. I started by being very systematic with it, only going one way to stop and the other to go ( based on the same way I was sending her from the tunnel to run already) I also put my target out ahead of time to ask for the stop and her frisbee bowl behind the jump set up for the run.

I ask for walk-it for both, but then quickly followed by the words "run" or "touch". If I am asking for the run - I also encourage her by going go go go in a high pitched voice. BTW she Doesn't need that on the AF or else she gets a little too hyped.

this is a session from a couple of weeks ago, that shows you that she was already starting to get the distinction. I am now going in the the same direction and randomly asking for both, more runnings than stops (because they are more fun!). I think that this will actually translate to her listening better to the cue on course in competition more so than if she always assumed it would be a stop. I also think that her running is getting better ( hit wise) and I don't feel that she is slowing down or acting uncertain about anything. So I see this as a win win situation. I will work harder on the stops than I would normally. I also will be able to mark her for making the wrong choice better. I can definitively say to her that was NOT a touch vs well but she DID hit yellow?!?!

This is the next day - I thought it went better than the first.

I'll have to record another session this week and show you how we are progressing.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

The light is getting brighter...

Today I did two more sessions with Cheetah's running dogwalk using the stride regulator just above the first all yellow slat. I taped the second one, and she has been 100% using the SR. Up until now the DW has been at 29", After today's success, I raised it up a link - bringing it to 30.5". Compared to yesterday's video, this session is much better because ( well first of all you can see it!) but also because she stopped jumping from the top and landing in the yellow ( although landing in yellow IS good, JUMPING from the top of the crossplank to get there probably is NOT! She seems to be settling into the striding better and getting a little deeper in the yellow. I think that as the height goes up, and the actual horizontal distance decreases slightly, that she will go a little deeper still. Thank you Rosanne for the tiny SR idea...it is coming in handy!

Here is the video from today's second session.

Monday, January 10, 2011

getting her to see the light.....hopefully!

After another frustrating session with her earlier today, I just couldn't see how I was going to show her what I wanted her to do across the whole DW. I even tried to show her a foot target, which she avoided like the plague! That made me think, maybe I should try a stride regulator. I put a little piece of pvc pipe just above the yellow. she like to avoid things, so she avoided it very nicely. This video is really dark...that's what happens when you have a break through late in the day in Jan. I will again tomorrow in the day light!

frustrating sessions :(

On the 6th and the 7th, I had a couple of DW sessions with Cheetah and she is not seeming to completely understand what I want her do to once we move back to the end of the cross plank. I thought maybe if I just let her go over the whole thing some her striding would settle down, but she was very inconsistent doing it perfectly sometimes, but leaving high or out right jumping off much of the time. She even pulled out the old 2o/2o once????? She slowed down through the yellow a few times. How do you handle that one. On the one hand yes you did hid yellow...on the other hand, it was not really the speed we are looking for.

On the 7th, I decided NOT to have her run the whole thing, but instead really focus on continuing the back-chaining process. This was producing mixed results, until she decided that she should really just get on the table and run the board by her self...