Friday, April 19, 2013

No Posts All Week? I have been busy!

I have been quiet this week!

Me and the dogs have been up to our normal frenzy of training (Monday/Molly Agility.  Wednesday/Perri Obedience. Thursday/Perri Agility.)

Last Sunday I took the girl dogs out for an 11 mile Appalachian Trail hike, to get them ready for THIS
weekend's 30-mile overnighter hike.  I dusted Molly's backpack off and let both girls take turns wearing it, empty.  Perri probably will not be doing much pack carrying this trip.  She is only 13 months old and I would like to see her get a year of trail and swimming muscle on before asking her to do something like that.

Both dogs behaved more or less as though the pack was not even on their body.  Only Molly showed any signs of annoyance, as she does with ANYTHING placed on her body.  Shake, shake, shake!

The 11 mile hike was a normal blend up flat, rocky and uphill.  Boulder fields here or there.  Normal Appalachian Trail "mischief".

Oh, the places you will go.  (this was a "Blue Blaze" side trail.)

Monday found Molly and I at a new agility club!  I wanted to drop Molly down to a more novice level in our training, with a bit more intense guidance than we are getting in our old course-running class.  I still struggle with handling, and Molly is fast and impulsive.

Molly had to have an assessment in order to jump right in to a competitive novice level class, so we arrived early for that.  We had to do a variety of obedience-type commands.  Sits, Stays, Downs, Heeling.  Molly was mostly eyes-glued to me, tail wagging and having fun.  The instructor then had us run evening's first course to see how we handled it.

The course was novice level, but still a challenge for us.  It went smooth and our instructor corrected me for handler errors.  Molly had a fun time!  Held her contacts, took jumps and tunnels.  Went through the weaves.  The instructor approved us to join and I am looking forwards to future classes.
One thing that was apparent is that Molly is SLOW through weave poles.  Since I have a set of 6 at home, the instructor told me that I should practice them a lot with Molly.

Tuesday, Perri and I went to train with our friends!  Our Obedience classmates, Luna and her
Mommy, have plenty of land to practice.  Perri and Luna love to play together, so they are both distractions to one another, and also rewards for good behavior.
We did about two hours worth of Obedience work, with plenty of breaks for playtime.
I was called out on allowing Perri to sit crooked, or lazily.  The time has come to stop rewarding for each sit, and to start insisting on straight sits.  Too true!
Perri came home soaking wet from relaxing in the horse's water trough, and smelly from rolling in something dead out in a field.  A true night of work and fun blended together!

Wednesday, Perri and Luna were in their first outdoor Obedience class!  Our club does all training outdoors once the evenings have enough light.  Rain or shine, and that is good.
Our instructor called me out on Perri's OTHER problem...lagging.  She showed me two exercises that I can do to improve the issue, and Perri worked for her very nicely.  Then she had me try it out, and told me to practice this week!
2 minute Sit-Stay, 4 minute Down-Stay.  NO BREAKS.  Since were outdoors especially, I was thrilled.

Thursday, Perri had agility class!  This girl is busy, and so am I!  Jump work, rear cross work.  Foundation agility is pretty boring, but knowing the fun that it leads to makes it all worth it!

And that brings me to Friday, today.  The backpacks are packed with trail mix, the tent, sleeping bags and all that my husband and I need for two nights and three days hiking out in the woods.  Molly and Perri will be by our sides.  Ein will be vacationing with his Aunt Glenna.  It saddens me to leave my best little trail dog behind, but at 8 years old with a leg that shakes and is time to respect his limitations.  Hiking should remain fun for him, not painful.

Just a corgi posing with his Nylabone.

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