Training update 2/27/09

I haven’t written much about our training lately, partly because I’m still trying to find that next big project for Miles now that he’s past the teeter stuff, but mostly because I haven’t been doing much training…oops. 

The super great news is that the Snooker flag/teeter incident has done nothing to ruffle Miles’ feathers about the obstacle–yeah!  He’s still just as confident in class and in practice as he was before, so clearly it was just a flag problem.  Last night in our Advanced Sequences class after two successful teeter performances my instructor secretly placed a plastic chair with her jacket on it right next to the pivot.  As soon as Miles saw that he was like “oh no way can I do that momma”.  We tried a few times without success so she removed the jacket but left the chair and he did it 🙂  She then put the jacket back and he did it again!  She moved the chair and jacket to the other side and once again, no go.  After another attempt he was fine.  She then experimented with hanging her jacket on some of the jump wings which at first bothered him, but he then didn’t seem to care.  So my next step with him is to just do a lot of proofing…mostly with the teeter, but with other obstacles as well.  I can’t wait to put all sorts of weird stuff out there for him!

With Rue I’m still working on our handling as well as continuing her teeter games and Linda Mecklenburg’s one jump work (with the bar extremely low).  I’m also working on her driving onto the table ( just the top on the ground), driving off the table and also getting quickly into the down position.  I’m also working on her stays as well as her lying down while I’m still moving (proofing for the table, etc.).  I’ve also decided that I’m going to train running contacts with Silvia Trkman’s method (  This should be enough of a project for me for a while!! 

That’s about it.  I’ll try to get some of our sessions on tape soon.  Both dogs can now put all four feet into a very small (4.5″ container) and they’re doing great with their perch work and other shaping/body awareness games.

Off to Fayetteville for an AKC trial this weekend…..


PBH USDAA details

I honestly don’t know how I’m going to do this with two dogs once Rue is old enough!  My friend/instructor runs 3 dogs and had 18 runs on Saturday and 21 yesterday and I’m tired out from 4 both days–ha!  I guess I’ll get used to it….

Overall, Miles was awesome this weekend.  I’m kicking myself today still because of our Jumpers run yesterday (which I’ll explain later), but I should be focusing on all the amazing things we did over the weekend.  Miles did his teeter twice in two different runs on Saturday!  That in and of itself is a miracle 🙂  So onto the play by play….


First run of the day was Performance Speed Jumping/Steeplechase, a tournament class where you can actually win money if you place in round 2.  I was excited for this run because it was in the big field where he’s most comfortable and it’s basically just a Jumpers course with an a-frame and 12 weave poles.  It’s designed for speed which we both like!  The course had some tricky areas, but we held it together.  I pushed him off the broad in the start so we lost some time, but I was super impressed with getting that rear in at the weaves and also with how he read the ending so well!

Next was Gamblers and our chance to do the teeter for the first time in competition.  I must say I was more than a little nervous!  I planned a flowing course with the teeter being the last obstacle before the gamble.   I wanted it to be as close to the reward as possible and I also tried to get the best approach angle for the teeter that I could.  He did great 🙂  I notice him licking his lips before going up the teeter and I’m not sure if this is a calming signal or a “oooh the teeter, I’m gonna eat now” signal!  I was so amazed that he did it that I forgot about the gamble line and put my left toe on it, darn it all!  NQ because the handler was dumb.

Our third run was Jumpers and it was quite the course for Advanced!  I really don’t like doing lead-outs, but it really was the best way to run it.  Miles did great and his enthusiasm stayed high despite me leaving him at the startline.  We had a great run and came in second by .5 seconds.  This was our first Q at this level….

Last was the dreaded Snooker which had in it a teeter at the number 4.   I saved it to do only in the closing again so it could be closer to the reward.  Miles has always been a little hesitant about the snooker flags and I have been thinking about ways to proof jumps, etc. by hanging stuff on them and such to help with his concern.  Anyway, the #4 flag was litterally pressed up against the right side of the teeter at the pivot.  I stupidly didn’t notice this when I walked the course and since I was the second dog on the line after the walk through, I really didn’t take much extra time.  Anyway, he approached the teeter happily and got his front feet on it when he noticed the flag and immediately hopped off.  I brought him back and got him revved and tried again…he went around.  The judge then tried to bend the flag away, so I tried again and then again…he went around it both times.  So I brought him back (my time had buzzed by this point darn it) and put him in a sit.  The judge removed the flag and I revved him up and he flew up it just like he has been 🙂  Since I was out of time I just partied big time and he was very excited…jumping on me and wagging his tail off.  We ran out of the ring and had our party.  The judge was super nice and gave us points for the teeter and the number 5 tunnel!  I didn’t have enough points to Q though since I had planned on completing the closing and only got 28 points.    I’m assuming he’s fine with the teeter still and that it truly was just a flag issue.


Back at it again and starting with Round 2 of Performance Speed Jumping.  Miles did amazingly well again.  A little slow to start, but after the second set of weave poles we were off to the races turning in a respectable 40 second time.  We ended up winning $8.71 🙂

Next was Snooker and this time it was nice and open and just jumps and tunnels, yay!  Miles rocked it and we got 2nd place by one point 🙂

Our next run, Jumpers, was not so hot.  It has become apparent that Miles is still not comfortable with starting when there are lots of people behind him.  He also really dislikes the automatic “GO” and “READY” buttons.  Unfortunately I had planned a lead-out in this course too, but should have changed my plan (nearly impossible for me to do…must work on this) when I realized he was so stressed.  He also had gotten spooked by a major wind gust that flapped the plastic on the arena really loudly.  All those things combined (the plastic, the lead-out, the people close behind him, and the automatic “GO”) led him to break his start line and sheepishly go around the first jump towards me.  I tried to quickly get him back to take the first jump, but I was now on the wrong side and we were really out of sync until about half way through the course.  He gets major props for hanging in there with me and trying so hard to do what I wanted.  We missed the Q by .71 seconds since were were penalized 5 seconds when he went around the first jump and then just couldn’t get it together quick enough.

Fortunately we redeamed ourselves with a fabulous pairs run with our friends Michelle and her rotti “Molly”.   Both dogs are nicknamed “monster” so we were “Team Monster” and went on to get a very nice Q.  That makes two pairs Q’s for us now!  The video is wonky (must figure out why this happens), but hopefully it’s partially visable….

Well, that’s a wrap!  Next weekend we travel for AKC, yay!

PBH USDAA trial 2/21-22/09

I’m whiped out, so just a quick general synopsis for now.  We did four runs each day and came home with five Q’s, several placements, some Steeplechase money, and a few teeters thrown in for good measure!  Miles did great, he only had one somewhat stressy run today in Jumpers and I’m still kicking myself for trying to do a lead-out with him already concerned.  Oh well, live and learn.  All in all I’m super impressed with all of our runs and the few that we didn’t Q on were because of me.  I’ll try to put up a more detailed post tomorrow with videos when I have a little more energy 🙂

Wiggle Butts CPE trial play-by-play


First run was Jumpers.  Pretty straight forward course of jumps and tunnels, no tricks.  I pushed for speed and unfortunately couldn’t slow myself down before the tire and he jumped extended and had a rather wide turn back to the tunnel.  We still came in first and at 5.25yps 🙂

Next was Snooker, perhaps my new favorite game!  Just jumps and tunnels for this course too.  I picked a nice flowing course and MADE myself slow down for him out of the second tunnel to cue the front cross.  He picked up on this nicely and rocked out the rest of the course!  Q and a 4th place because of points (really I tied for third place and only 2 points behind the first place dog).

Third run was Wildcard where you have to pick between two obstacles at three different spots on the course.  In level 2 I needed two “a” obstacles and one “b” obstacle.  I chose to do my “b” obstacle at the tunnel because I need to work on deceleration cues.  I figured if it worked then we’d be set for a fun and fast finish, but if it didn’t then I’d have to get him on the dogwalk at the end instead.  He read my cue and took the correct entrance and then we rocked the rest.  1st place at 5.1yps!

The last class of the day was Jackpot which is like a USDAA Gamblers course.  We had never done one and I was a little concerned about how I’d figure out a course in the allotted time, but I walked a course like I’d run it with Miles and timed it to see if it would work for time which it did and also gave us more than enough points.  Of course I forgot that I should slow down and wrap the last jump and go straight into the gamble since the buzzer hadn’t gone off yet I thought well I’ll put him back in the tunnel.  Miles started up the dogwalk instead and I had to pull him off when the buzzer went off–oops!  He did the gamble very well though!  We got a Q and 3rd place because of points.


First run was Standard.  We needed this Q to complete our Level 1 title.  Luckily it was very straight forward, fast and fun.  We took 1st by 13 seconds at 4.5yps even with his less than blazing dogwalk 😉

Second run was Colors where there are two nested courses and you have to choose one of them.  I picked the course with just jumps and tunnels since his dogwalk is not very fast (I’m amazed he’s doing it at all actually).  I’m seeing a theme here as I didn’t cue the turn soon enough and mister extended stride jumped wide.  I’m trying to get used to his new found speed I suppose.  Anyway that cost us the 1st place by .5 seconds…grrrr!  He still finished in 6.3yps though-ha!  Oh and I also tested a lead out here…didn’t seem to bother him at all!

Next was Fullhouse, a timed point gathering game that also requires you to get “3 of a kind”, “a pair”, and “a joker”.  Big dogs had 30 seconds to gather points and the 5 seconds after the buzzer to get on the table to stop the clock.  The judge was tricky and stuffed the table into the nook of a macaroni tunnel.  I figured either Miles wouldn’t get on the table because it was too weird of a place for it or he’d take the tunnel instead.  I timed it so that I would purposely send him into the tunnel and then get him on the table.  Unfortunately a wide turn before the triple (there’s that theme) cost us a few seconds so we were actually 2 seconds over time and lost a point per each second.  We still Q’d, but took 4th place due to points.  The video is a bit wonky, but you can still see it okay.

I actually only signed up for those three runs, but the day was going fast so I did a day of entry for the next class, Jackpot.  We moved up from level 1 yesterday, so I just needed to get more points today.  The course was a “non-traditional gamble” so we were able to take the gamble at any time.  There were also 3 gambles to take of which you had to do one, but could do all of them.  I planned a flowing course incorporating two gambles.  Unfortunately silly me went over the second gamble line.  Thankfully we had already done the first one, so I got points for the obstacles in the second gamble but not the gamble bonus.  I still had enough points to Q and being the first dog on the line, he made it look too easy!  Shame his handler was such an nim-wit!

I noticed that he was a little spazzy at the start line all day on Sunday and I’m not totally sure why.  I think it’s just the proximity of the startline to the timer/scribe, but I’ll have to see what happens this coming weekend.  All in all, he was totally comfortable waiting in line at the gate and celebrating right outside of the exit, so I’m not overly concerned.  I just don’t like having to set him up so many times.

Wiggle Butts CPE Trial APS 2/14-15/09: Miles goes 8 for 8 and gets his Level 1 title!

Whew, I’m exhausted.  The quick synopsis is that Miles is amazing and had 4 happy and fast runs each day.  We did a gamblers type course for the first and second time this weekend and he handled the distance challenges with ease.  I’m realizing that with his new found speed and extended stride that I need to cue turns a lot earlier!  We had a few hairy wide turns and two almost off courses because I didn’t cue him to turn soon enough, oops!  Even more amazing was his brilliance while waiting to go in the ring and also his comfort with partying right outside the ring.  He even hung out with me while I videotaped my friend’s run a couple of times!  He never would have done this before.  As an added bonus Miles, Rue and I found a nice walking path in the woods that led to a swimmin’ hole….what more could a Golden ask for??  I’ll be back later for more of a play-by-play with videos.

Miles’ public teeter debut.

We went to runthroughs at PBH Friday night to test out our new teetering skills.  I had worked it into sequence Thursday evening by ourselves and he did great, so I was extremely excited to see how he did with an audience.  He did GREAT!  I was a little nervous, but he flew right up it like it was the most fun thing in the world 🙂  Here he is doing the official course (little blurry at first, but the video works trust me):

and then doing a little made up one…

Alright, I’m excited!

I did a few reps with me leading out a little ways and then I did several with me running with him and then several adding in a jump before the teeter with and without a lead out.  I only got the ones of just the teeter on tape.  It appears that he’s still missing the up contact on about 50%, but he’s actually sliding to the end!   Only time will tell if this performance sticks once I start more sequencing, but I’m totally psyched!

Of course, then he had to go steal and  eat a whole bag of pepperoni that was in my bag in the car while I took Rue out to practice.  Grrrrrr…..