Sorry there haven’t been updates in a while – we’ve been a little busy.
Yesterday, Reed and I finally went to our first Rally trial. There were actually two trials so we had two chances to get qualifying scores – WHICH WE DID! Our first time ever we got two legs on a title and two placement ribbons :) Now we only need to get one more Q under a different judge, and we get our Rally Novice title!
The first trial we got an 84, and got second place. The second one we got an 89, and got third. Both times I was thrilled we qualified and so happy to have gotten a ribbon.
We got there at 6:30 am so we had plenty of time to set up our kennel, and watch everyone else arrive. (We weren’t quite the first ones there but close to it). I never got a picture of once everyone else was there but it was packed!
My trainer was there with her two dogs Roxie and Rue. Roxie got a leg on her Rally Excellent title so that was very exciting too! Also there and competing for her first time ever was our classmate Ellie with her seven year old Greyhound Flux Capacitor. Ellie and Flux also got qualifying scores both times and won the blue ribbon both times! It was so awesome that we got to share the excitement!
After his first run Reed was exhausted! He still is, he hardly woke up to eat breakfast today.
Reed’s been on the Sodium Bromide for a while now with no new seizures. The last time he had a seizure was after a vaccination, which apparently can be a trigger for them. Fortunately he’s now on a 3-year schedule for the required vaccinations, and we decided to forgo the optional ones (Lepto, etc).
Chillaxing in the back yard :)
I am sitting on my patio watching all three dogs play in my brand new yard, with it’s gorgeous new fence built by my husband, several friends, and a little help from me. It’s so nice to finally have a place for them to run and wrestle, and not have to mess with leashes for every potty break.
The dogs love it and of course are eating the grass, sticks, and Sadie is rolling in the dirt. We couldn’t be happier now.
Sadie had her second Agility class, this time in a more advanced class. She again amazed me. She also showed me just how much I have improved as a handler over the past year. Recently I am able to tell when *I* am doing something wrong, and figure out how to change it. We started out by doing some loose leash walking which is something Sadie is actually horrible at. We worked on start-line stays and having the dog following our hand. Then we got to do Sadie’s favorite part, obstacles! We did a few times through the tire, then did a tire, jump, tunnel, table sequence. The first time we did awful, because I wasn’t sure she was going to go through the tire. I think she could tell and she got stressed. So I had her staying at the start, I was standing by the tire and I released her and told her “tire” – I was so focused on that one that I completely forgot what was next and had no idea what to do after the tire – so Sadie got confused and stressed. Same thing with the tunnel! So after that I decided to stay farther back so I could see everything and think of the big picture, and Sadie sailed through everything. I called out the next obstacle as she was doing the one she was on, and she did amazing. After that we were on the same page. We did a jump, jump, tunnel, jump sequence where I was able to put a lot of distance between us and she did everything great. Sadie just loves jumping and running, and you can tell she is enjoying the courses.
We then worked on weaving, the only thing Sadie hasn’t done for agility. We are using the 2×2 method. Today I learned to shape her going through the first two poles on the right side, and start at about 4 o’clock and work my way to 6 o’clock. Sadie is great at shaping so she picked it up quick. We practiced at home a bit and she was going through pretty well but I think I did it too long because she eventually just started jumping around and barking, I guess she was bored :) Kyle offered to make more of the 2×2 so we could do more in a row and I said no, because I don’t know the steps to the method and this was all I was told to do. So we have two weeks to perfect this step!
Reed’s rally class is on Wednesday!
On Tuesday, Sadie went to Agility class, and on Wednesday Reed got to go to Rally class! Both of them did amazing! It’s been months since we did any formal training classes so I was super impressed with the both of them.
Sadie’s class was Agility 2, but after class the instructor suggested we move to Agility 3. The only thing we haven’t worked on yet is weaving so I’m looking forward to trying it! In class we worked on two on two off contacts on the A-frame (Sadie’s favorite obstacle), chaining the tunnel and the table, jumps and table, and the tire jump. Sadie did great on all of them. I can’t WAIT for Agility 3, I think Sadie may actually be ready to compete in something soon (whatever it is that doesn’t have weaving!) She had absolutely no problems with any other dogs, even though two of the dogs were barky German Shepherds. She wasn’t focused at first but after going over the first jumps she was super happy and was paying attention to me and having a ball. Sadie really enjoys the obstacles, I can tell that she has fun doing it. She didn’t start loosing focus until the end of the class which isn’t surprising, an hour is a long time for a dog to focus!
Reed’s Rally class went well too, he was super calm and went right into heeling. In that class first we introduced a jump which was news to me! I had no idea there was a jump in Rally, Reed’s going to have to learn to be way less clumsy :) He knocked over the 6″ high bar 50% of the time. However he had no trouble going through the uprights on a cue, he just didn’t get the idea of lifting his feet. I thought back about how did I train Sadie to jump and remembered I set up low wide boxes in the hallway and called her back and forth over them. We’ll have to try this with Reed. After the jump we worked on a swing finish by getting the dogs to put their front paws on a pie plate. It took a little while for Reed to get the idea but once he did he seemed to understand what I wanted. We stopped there, I’ll have to find something to practice that one with. We also did the sit and walk around the dog exercise – another one Reed has trouble with, he hates when he can’t see me. We finished with a course and we did ok. Mostly I was just pleased with his overall behavior, a big improvement over 6 months ago – he hardly ever pulled on the leash and he did great at ignoring the other dogs. In fact several people commented how calm he is for a vizsla. :) One reason I love the wirehaireds! We did skip the second run of the course because he was starting to act up – also I had to get back to work!
So for the next 5 Mondays and Wednesdays we’ll be going to class! Can’t wait for the next class! I really liked the instructor and it was such fun to be doing stuff with the dogs again.
It’s been a while since we had some good photos! Reed has really gained weight, he was 62 lbs this week which is HUGE. We actually are going to feed a little less now because he is perfect at this weight – his chest has really filled out, and his neck and face too. I looked at some older photos of him he looks so skinny.
Reed went about 3 months with no seizures, unfortunately he had one this week and has taken a while to recover, and has been sleepy all week.
He and Maddie had a big snuggle session on the couch this afternoon.