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Sunday, March 27, 2011

The Circle Of Life

*** Warning - This Post Contains Graphic Wild Kingdom Type Content ***

Maggie and I went for a walk in the coulees behind our house this afternoon, in hopes of getting a good picture for her 52 weeks project.   Maggie was out sniffing around . . . 

... Then something caught her attention.  "Hey, I think there is something interesting up here".

I caught up to her and found this:

And a little further on . . . this:

And not much further past that . . . there was this:

A very fresh coyote kill.  I would guess this kill would have been from last night or early this morning.

The fur and hide, the intestinal content, part of the skeleton and the deer jaw were all that were left behind.  The coyotes do not waste anything.

It is sad that a cute deer had to die such a horrible death, but that is the way of the food chain.  The coyotes will eat what they can catch to survive - a rabbit, a deer or whatever else will make a quick meal.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Ready To Race

We have our first Scent Hurdle race coming up very soon.  Here is Bosley in his racing gear.  Doesn't he look cute in his little racing jacket.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Obedience Fun Match

We spent the day today at an obedience fun match.  I brought Maggie along to hang out and at the last minute I decided to enter her in Novice.  I was glad I did.  She has not done any real obedience training forever, but she was so good today, and even took the first place prize!  She is such a good, fun heeling dog, and I love doing obedience with her.  Too bad she has such bad ring nerves at real trials - she could easily finish her CD if she didn't get so stressed in the ring.  I am not going to push it, as that's not really fair to her - she doesn't care anything about a silly title.

I entered Bosley in Open and he was a bit off today.  Lagging on the heeling and was really, really interested in one of the posts on our figure 8.  He never stops to sniff the post people.  The rest was OK.  I needed to give a second command on the retrieve on flat, which was weird.  His drop was slow so I gave a second command on that as well.  I don't know why our DOR is falling apart lately - he was so fast at it before.  I guess a step back in training is in order.

After all the obedience was done, we had a mock Scent Hurdle trial and raced against another team.  Bosley was awesome!  He didn't make one mistake in any of the heats and we did many more heats in a row than we had ever done before.  He was starting to run out of steam at the end, and was going slower, but he went out every time and always brought back the right dumbbell.  He was a very good boy.  Our whole team did so well today and I am really looking forward to our first "real" race in a couple weeks.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Drive/Motivation Seminar

Today I was out of town at a seminar presented by Schutzhund trainer Carolyn Herle.  Carolyn is an awesome trainer and has tons of good ideas for building drive, attention, and motivation.  I was very excited to get a working spot in her seminar because she is really good at finding things that work for your particular dog and handling style.

She talked lots about motivators and the correct use of markers and rewards.  Also the importance of having a good bond with your dog, which is so important if you are doing competitive obedience.

During the working portion, she gave me lots of good suggestions and pointed out some things that I was doing wrong.  Good thing dogs are so forgiving in our training of them!  She also suggested that I backchain my CDX routine so that Bosley's excitement will build as we go along, as he will know that he is getting closer to his reward.  That is important in dogs like Bosley who do not necessarily have tons of drive and need to know that the reward is coming.

It is also very interesting to watch all the other teams.  Lots of good suggestions for everyone and with some dogs you could see the difference in attitude within minutes of Carolyn making some changes to how the handler engaged with their dog.  Very cool to see!

Bosley says he is sad when he has to be in his crate.  He would rather be out working and having fun.
                                                    (Picture by Amanda)

Monday, March 14, 2011

In The Ring

We had another try at Open Obedience this weekend.  I really debated entering this particular show because it was a part of a big conformation show and there was no separate area for the obedience rings.  So,  I went saying that if he was too distracted Friday, I wouldn't go back Saturday.  
Bosley was a bit distracted Friday (lagged on the heeling, ran out to take the high jump during heeling and went to visit the stewards table instead of fetching his dumbbell), but still worked with me and we got through the routine.

Saturday we had 2 runs and he got better each run.  The first run of the day was very nice, but I had a really bad throw over the high jump and Bosley went around the jump on the way back to me.  Other than that, very nice marks for everything else. 

His second run Saturday was the best of the weekend,  Totally up and focused heeling.  Happy, happy in the ring.  That is what I want.  He did decide to step through the broad jump though.  But I was very happy with the rest of it.

His out of sight stays were perfect all weekend and his dumbbell work was good.  We just need to get a routine where everything comes together and I am sure it will soon.  

Thanks to Julia, I have some pictures to share.  (Thanks again Julia)!

Our heeling pattern - love that big face looking up at me :)

Figure 8 - nice focus!

Setting up for the drop on recall.

Bringing the dumbbell.

I love this picture.  Bosley presenting me with the dumbbell.  

We have another trial coming up soon, so hopefully we can get it all together.  I really like obedience, and being in the ring is good experience for both of us, but I do want to qualify one of these trials :)

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Small City Living

Sometimes when you live somewhere for a while, it is easy to take what you have in your own backyard for granted.  
I live in the city (a small city) and although it doesn't have all the glitz, glamour and opportunity that a large city has, it does have many advantages.  We can walk 1/2 block from our house to find this: