Sunday, March 28, 2010

Weekend Wrap Up!

I'm taking a brief break from my little stories about the danes that have come through our house to do a little weekend wrap up. My wrap up will actually start on Thursday evening. I decided to take Heffner out to a Rally run through way out in Gresham. The facility was great and there was plenty of room for a nice large course. There were nested courses that everyone sort of ran the same course, the stations were just different depending on what level you were doing.

Everything went pretty well. Heffner had a little outburst when he saw a siberian come into the facility. So that kind of sucked. Otherwise, he did quite well. He listened well for the most part. Our second run was better because he was warmed up. I wasn't really sure how things were going to be run, so I neglected to actually warm him up and get him ready prior to our first run. The only thing that I wasn't terribly comfortable with was the fact that the start position had us sitting literally a foot from a couple of the dogs. I'm used to our obedience practices where people either have their dogs crated when they're not getting run or they make sure that the dog is focused on them the entire time when they're outside of the crate. I'm not used to people sitting so incredibly close with their dogs out of a crate and letting them play and greet other dogs. A couple of the dogs decided to say hi to some of the other dogs while they were starting the course. I was incredibly apprehensive that one of those dogs would try this with Heffner and it wouldn't go well. So I was understandably tense at the beginning until we got away from the area where people were sitting with their dogs. Otherwise it went well.

Unfortunately this facility is really too long of a drive for me to do on a regular basis. By the time I got home, got the dogs fed, and dremmelled their nails, it was 10:00pm. It pretty much ate up my entire night to do two run of Rally with one dog. Oh well!

Friday night was our obedience practice. And it went really well! I'm really happy with how Heffner is coming along. He was really comfortable in the ring and was totally not disturbed by the other things going on outside of the ring. His heeling was tighter than it was today, but I'll get to that.;o) And guess what else??? We did an entire off leash heeling pattern!!! OMG! He was doing so well and focusing on me that I decided to go for it. I had good treats that he was definitely interested in to make sure that if he started to mentally wander, I could get him back. But I was soooooooooo pleased with how he did!!

Our sits and downs were so-so. I think we're really going to struggle with the long sits. He now wants to slide into a down pretty quickly. So I'm going to have to really work on getting him to maintain that. Otherwise, they were better than last week.:)

Saturday morning I got up early to take the dogs for a hike so that we could both get some exercise. I had a packed day with a friend's wedding and some other non-dog activities, so I wanted to make sure that they really got to stretch their legs. The weather was great, the trail was great (lots of climbing), and there were even some deer for the dogs to chase for a brief bit to really get them running.;) Naturally, I brought the camera along and snapped some pictures!

This is the picture that I used for my 52 Weeks for Dogs submission this week!

And this morning Heffner and I went to an obedience match in Salem!! My plan was originally to do one run of obedience and one run of rally. However, I ended up doing two runs of obedience and skipping out on rally because I wasn't really feeling up to spending the whole day there. The facility that we went to was My Dogs Gym and I LOVE this place!! The matting is wonderful, the facility is great, and there's plenty of room for everything! Our first run was Novice A obedience. Again, I didn't really warm Heffner up enough prior and our first run was a bit rough. He was having a harder time focusing on me than he has before. Additionally, this was the first time that he's been in an obedience ring while another ring is running exercises right next to it. While this happens all the time in agility, this is a totally new thing to him with regards to obedience and it took him a little bit to adjust to that. Pretty much all of the exercises were rough (and yes, we did all the off leash stuff too!). Not where they had been on Friday night. I was a little disappointed there, but he was otherwise a happy dog.

The sit stay the first time around was just awful though. Ouch! The boy did not want to hold his sit stay. I kept him on leash and didn't go far because I had a feeling it was going to be a problem. We had slide to a down after slide to a down. Oy! His long down stay was actually pretty good. I still kept him on leash for that one, but I feel pretty confident now that I could have unhooked him and he would have been fine.

After the first two rounds of dogs, they asked if anyone wanted to do any additional novice runs. I figured what the heck, it would be nice to end that one on a good note, so we might as well try again. By this time, my parents had shown up to watch. They live in Silverton, which isn't too far away. They came in at the end of the down stays. Heffner was very excited to see them. Especially my dad. Both my dogs LOVE my dad. Probably because he encourages them to be naughty dogs! Since they didn't get to see us do our first set of exercises (thankfully!), that was another reason why I wanted to do a second novice run. My dad also was nice enough to video for me.:) The video is a little long because it's completely unedited. You'll notice a few times that Heffner definitely knew that grampa was ring side.;) While we did have some lagging and I wasn't wanting to attempt to test his automatic sits on the halts in an environment where he most likely would fail, I was much happier with our second time around.:) So here's the video of our novice exercises. Just keep in mind that we're still very much a work in progress, but slowly getting there!

My dad also videoed our group sits and downs. You can see that Heffner was still being a bit of a pill, but better than the first time around. I will warn you that this part of the video is especially boring so I don't blame you if you don't watch it!

By the time we left it was right around noon and they were just starting to run Open. Rally wasn't really slated to start until 2pm and I had planned on heading out to my parents' house to relax and just visit that day. If I decided to stick around for rally, then it would have really ended up eating up the rest of my day. So I voted for just sticking with my two novice runs and heading off to my parents'. Heffner and I had a great time just hanging out. He loves going to their house because not only do they leave all sorts of food on the counter that's RIGHT at his height, but they also leave their garbage can out on the floor!! My parents' have an aging golden retriever, but he has a hard time getting around now, so there's a lot that they don't have to worry about with him. Heffner however, is all about getting up into their business!

Tomorrow is our very first private obedience lesson!! I had originally planned on only taking Heffner since Bess is in season, but our instructor said it was fine for her to come as long as I had some panties for her. I think I'm going to bring her after all! And after that very packed weekend, I'm heading off to do some vegging out!


My Sons Mum said...

That was such a great photo, a rainbow would make it perfect...photoshop?

Jennifer H. said...

Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I LOVED the video of you and Heff. He is SO cute and I love his waggy tail. :) Keep up the good work!!

Urban canines said...

Wow that is a busy weekend!!!! Sounds like you had a lot of fun though!