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Saturday, June 14, 2008

CKC Sanction Match

This morning we went to a CKC sanction match to work on our obedience.  I entered both dogs in Novice B (we really should be in Novice A, but if you have 2 dogs in the same trial you have to go in B).  It was a nice day, outdoors and in a new place - which was perfect - we need more practice in new places. Bosley went first and I was amazed with his heeling.  He had a couple of sniffs on the ground, but was mostly very focused on me.  I did not follow the rules strictly and I gave him some "good dog" encouragement.  He got 35/40 on his on-leash heel and 38/40 on his off-leash. His recall was also good and he scored 29/30.  On the stand for exam, he moved to follow me when I gave him the stay command, so I went back and replaced him, so we failed that exercise.  But he didn't move after that and let the judge examine him without barely looking at her.  In our long stays, he laid down during the sit-stay.  I don't think he has ever done that before.  Anyway, I was very happy overall with his performance.  I have been practicing with him by leaving cookies in his crate and then when he is doing really well he gets to run back and get them.  I did this today before we went in the ring, and I think it is really helping him focus.  He knows that he will get his cookies for doing a good job.  Maggie was next in the ring.  Wow, was she scatter brained today.  I don't think I warmed her up enough before we went out.  She was so busy looking around and sniffing that she barely paid attention to me. She did stay with me, but was not really into it.  She scored 32/40 on her on-leash heel and 31/40 on the off-leash heel.  Her stand for exam was good and she scored 30/30 and she had a good recall scoring 29/30.  Maggie often lays down on her long sits and today was no exception.  It was kinda like her and Bosley had it planned.  They were sitting next to each other in the ring and then, as if on cue, they both laid down at the same time.
I think I am going to start using the "treat in the crate" with Maggie.  I am not sure it will work as well with her because she is not as focused on the cookies as Bosley is.  She really has a tendency to "blow me off" if there is something more exciting going on.  I need to find a way to keep her focused on me and make obedience really fun for her.  For Bosley, I need to work on his stand-stay.  We do not practice this very much at all.  I think we are on the right track using the cookies-in-the-crate.  In practice I need to start varying the length of time he has to work before getting his cookies, so that he stays focused on working for a longer period of time.  There is always something to work on.

I just wanted to add one more tidbit from the day.  Early in the day, before everything got started, I left Maggie in her crate (which was in our shade tent) and I took Bosley out for a quick walk so he could get used to the new place.  Suddenly I heard someone yell "Loose Dog"!  I saw some movement behind me so I turned to take a quick look at the runaway pooch and thought to myself "Hey, someone else has a Bernese here too".  I looked again and that runaway dog was Maggie.  She pushed her way through the zipper opening of her crate and came running out to find us.  So now that she has figured out how to get out of her crate, I will need to be more careful and close the zipper all the way.

This picture of Maggie is one that Wendy took a few months ago.  Normally I can leave the zipper open and she will just stick her nose out and watch what is going on.  Yesterday, the zipper was only open a teeny bit, not near as much as in the picture.  I guess she figured if Bosley was out, she should be out too.


  1. I think both Maggie & Bosley did pretty well eventhough they broke their sit-stays. I often do that too & it makes my mommy's heart beat soooo fast when it's sit-stay time. It's becoz I'm tired & becoz of the position I sit, I sit like a sloppy dog so it's kind of uncomfortable for me. So what mommy does is that she positions me nicely till I sit properly & straight, not like a vegetable. OB & Agility trial is coming up next month. I'm practicing my OB every two days without fail & mommy is happy that I'm getting sooo much better now & I hardly lag. It's becoz she makes it fun & once all the exercises are done, my reward is soooper FUN! I get to play fetch with her!!! I've been working on my sit & down-stay out of sight. Mommy makes me stay far away from home on the opposite side of the field ALONE in the dark. Yes, we practice during night time. I was very scared & worried the 1st time & so broke about three times. But then, mommy was very firm with me & I stayed there for 5 mins straight while she went back home. I know!!! Then for down-stay, I stayed alone for 10 mins. Mommy is really proud of me & she thinks I'm sorta ready for Novice & Intermediate. Wish me & Faith good luck!

    Butt wiggles,
    Solid Gold Dancer

  2. That's great about Bosley's heeling- he really is a fabulous heeler. Maggie is too- when she's on. It is hard to figure out initially how much warm up, how soon to get her, etc. But you'll figure it out. I do think the cookies in the crate will help Maggie- but the biggest thing with her is random reinforcing- she has to never know WHEN she is going to get the goods. :o) We talked about using this at the agility field- feeding her not always at the same spot, not benching in the same spot- randomly rewarding in the middle of a sequence etc. You can apply this to obedience too. Oh- and it was a brand new place for both the dogs...

    too funny about Maggie and her escape- I figured she'd do that sooner or later :o)