Saturday, April 26, 2008

Canine Freestyle

We had a great day today at the Canine Freestyle Federation Retreat and I learned a lot. We did Artistry and Presentation where we had to heel across the floor doing inside and outside circles and look good while we did it. Then we worked on the opening shape for our routine. The hardest part was the proofing class where I had to practice doing a sit stay while the teacher walked around me and tempted me with treats! If I stayed, Barbara rewarded me with pieces of cheese. It was very difficult but I really tried to do well.

The nice thing about Canine Freestyle is that any kind of dog can do it. Big or small, it doesn't matter. Your person has to pick the right kind of music that suits you. Then of course you have to practice a lot to get good at it. Here are some pictures of different dogs at the retreat.

Lucky and Jeanine are heeling to his music. He is paying attention to Jeanine very well.

I'm exhausted and I need to rest up now because tomorrow we will practice technical moves.

Friday, April 25, 2008

On the Road

Yesterday morning we got up very early and went over to Lucky's house. Lucky's person, Jeanine, and Barbara drove us to Tennessee to the Canine Freestyle Federation Retreat. I've never been to Tennessee and I enjoy learning freestyle so I was happy to go. Lucky and I had to ride in crates to stay safe.

It was a very long trip but we stopped at lots of rest stops to stretch our legs. I was certainly glad when we finally arrived as spending 7 hours in an SUV is very boring.

We are staying at a motel. The room has two beds so I spent a lot of time jumping back and forth between the beds to decide which was more comfy.

The motel room also has a little kitchen with a refrigerator for all my treats and food. I am eating my dinner here.

Today was the first day of the workshops. There was a freestyle trial and then Barbara and I went to a class on attention. I learned a lot and got many treats. Tomorrow I am going to learn all about artistry and presentation - whatever that is.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Puppy Class

I am the demo dog for the Junior Puppy class that Barbara teaches at the Animal Protection Society on Monday evenings. Barbara thinks it is so important for puppies to attend a well run, reward based puppy class and I do too. I went to puppy class when I was 12 weeks old and look how well I turned out!

This is Tank, a Mastiff puppy. He's pretty small now but he is going to be huge when he grows up so his person was very smart to enroll him in class. Tank is a very nice puppy and I even let him chew on my ear a bit.

I demoed the recall for the class as it is my best skill and then I watched the puppies practice it. Unfortunately they are all so wiggly it was hard to get photos of them doing their skills. We also did the Puppy Confidence Course and had several puppy socialization times.

Here is a photo of Bella, a nice Rottie mix puppy. She is very smart.

Here is Honeybear, the Goldendoodle. He looks a lot like my friend Riley only smaller.

This is Roxie, a West Highland White Terrier. She is very confident for such a young thing.

All these pups are less than 4 months old and already know how to pay attention, sit and down. They know that learning with their people is a fun thing to do and they are having lots of great socialization experiences. They are also a lot of fun to watch because they are so silly! If we can get them to hold still I'll post pictures of the other puppies next week.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

He's Just Not That Into You

You know, if you have read some of my earlier posts, that I have lots of boyfriends. Since a girl can never have too many admirers I thought that I would make another conquest today at the dog park. I met Lucky, a very handsome Brittany. I was quite taken with him and he was very polite but I could not get him to chase me or chew on me.

I did play bows, I sniffed him, I even rolled around on the ground but it was not to be.

Barbara thought that I was behaving like a bold hussy but Lucky didn't seem to care.

We got along fine but there just wasn't any spark. I will have to try to be even cuter and more playful the next time we meet. I hope that I am not losing my touch.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Sniff, Therefore I Am.

I am always trying to improve my mind and my computer skills. Barbara doesn't let me near her laptop but last week when I was at Furry Paws I saw Andrea's laptop on a low desk. I could not help myself and took the opportunity to surf the web.

Here I am studying Albert Camus, the author and philosopher. His writing is a bit heavy for me but one never knows when knowledge of existentialism will come in handy.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Bad Treats

I never thought that I would ever say that a treat was bad but it has happened. On Friday Barbara gave me one of the duck breast strips that we got on our treat shopping trip. I ate it fast as I like to do but I guess it cracked into a sharp piece.

I felt pretty uncomfortable on Saturday and didn't eat my breakfast. When we went to freestyle practice I was lethargic (and I am never lethargic) and just lay at Barbara's feet. She was very concerned about me especially when I didn't want to do anything during our turn and wouldn't even eat a piece of cheese. Then I did a massive throw-up (don't worry, no pictures of that!) and up came a 1 1/2 inch long piece of the duck breast strip with a point. I felt much better after I got rid of that pointy thing in my stomach and I am back to normal now.

Barbara was so upset that she sent an email to the manufacturer. If your people get you that kind of treat - Don't Eat It.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Treats, Glorious Treats

My friend Lucy and I got together at the training center yesterday. She is a lovely redhead. We are sitting so still with Lucy's person Allen because her other person, Susan, had some extra special treats - cheese tortellini!! Delicious! So delicious in fact that I got a bit overexcited and tried to jump on Susan. She is used to silly setters and just turned her back on me when I jumped. Susan would only give me tortellini when I sat politely.

Back at home I found that our treat supply was in a disgracefully poor condition. Just one stick of string cheese and a couple of stale biscuits. That was very disturbing news since one of my New Year's resolutions was to eat more treats. I can't eat treats that aren't there so Barbara took me to Furry Paws and Feathers, my favorite pet supply store, for some retail therapy.

I inspected the store thoroughly before I picked out any treats. Andrea is holding out several tasty selections for my approval.

I had to pick out many bags because I found out that Barbara gives a lot of my treats away to other dogs. I am shocked! She is a reward based trainer so she uses lots of treats in training, as she should. However I had no idea she was using some of my treats with her students' dogs. This is really going to affect how well I can keep my New Year'sresolution.

In the end I got 5 different kinds of treats - carrot, lamb, peanut butter, duck and salmon. It was a very successful shopping trip as you can see from my happy face.

Now if only I can get Barbara to make tortellini for me, the way that Lucy's people do for her, life will be perfect.