Friday, April 3, 2009

No More Haltis & Rally Obedience

I recently realized how long it has been since I have posted an update. I don’t like to post anything if I don’t have anything to say, but we have been busy, I guess too busy to write a post. This may seem a little disjointed, but here it is anyway.

While we are still following the Susan Garrett Ruff Love book (see posts below), we have turned in our head halti. It is a product that I have never liked, and I have always read bad things about. There have been many reports of injuries with dogs. However, I thought that since my dog was no longer a rambunctious puppy, and I did not jerk on the head halti, then he would be fine. That was not the case, though. One day, I got Teddy out of his crate and he cried. At first I couldn’t figure out what was hurting on him because he wasn’t limping. After a trip to the vet, Teddy was diagnosed with a bad neck strain. Luckily, it wasn’t anything worse than that. He was put on crate rest for a week or so until he was better. Lesson learned- no more head haltis! I’ve been careful with him since then, but he hasn’t shown any more distress.

Since January, we’ve made a lot of progress on our teamwork. Teddy’s attention has gotten better, and we are starting to play well together. We still lack some control, but I think that will come with time. I don’t worry about what will happen when the leash comes off like I used to, and we can have a lot more fun on the agility field now. We had a small set back this week in class because Teddy was very interested in the sheep poop, but that was mainly when class was over. It was baby sheep poop, too, which evidently tastes better than adult sheep poop. I learn something new all the time.

Recently, we also filmed our freestyle routine to mail in to be judged. I wish that we had another week or so to try to video one more time, but the due date always comes too quickly. Here is our entry in the singles novice musical freestyle category. I’m crossing my fingers because we just need the one leg to finish our novice title.

And if that is not enough, we had our training club’s obedience trial a couple of weeks ago. We entered rally advanced, rally excellent, and graduate novice on both days. On Saturday, we did the best heeling that we have ever done in a trial. I was so pleased with Teddy’s attention. We got RAE leg #8, but we did not qualify in graduate novice. Teddy decided not to down on the drop on recall, which was such a shame because he did everything else so nicely. On Sunday, there was a noticeable difference in our heeling and attention. That is something I need to continue to work on. However, we did manage to get RAE leg #9, and our first graduate novice leg. I learned a valuable lesson at the trial. You had better know the rules and the exercises in the classes you enter. When I went in the graduate novice ring on Sunday, the judge had never judged that class before because it is so new. I thought he was joking with me at first. He asked me the order of the exercises, how they were supposed to go, if we were supposed to have our leash on or not, and how long the down stay was for. He was really funny and nice about the whole thing, but it was good that I had read the rulebook before the trial. Here are some of the pictures from the weekend.
Graduate Novice on Saturday:

And here are some pictures from rally on Sunday (our worse heeling day):

I swear he's laughing at me here!

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