Friday, January 20, 2012

When one blanket just isn't enough...

Yup. Secret is wearing her Back on Track blanket AND her superbly awesome pink plaid blanket from Schneiders Saddlery. It is THAT cold here right now.

When I posted this photo on Facebook there was some discussion about how, due to the heat reflecting properties of the BoT products, a second layer is simply unnecessary. That may be so, but with wind chills of -25, I don't think it will hurt, either. ;o)

The BoT blanket is relatively thin and lightweight. Secret's body has become accustomed to wearing it indoors, so I thought it might still be a bit of a shock to her system to go outside with no extra protection. If anything, I feel that throwing on a second layer over the top of the BoT simply helps to insulate the warmth being generated. Mind you, when I stick my hand under the double layer it is comfortably warm, even at the very end of our walk when you would expect the most heat to be present.

So yes, I feel perfectly justified in having her wear two layers. It might be overdone, but she is comfy! Too bad it's not flattering on the waistline. lol

We've been working with the teeter the last two nights and everything is going well. As stated, I went ahead and duct-taped the book back onto the teeter on Wednesday and worked the dogs again at the low height. Secret did not seem bothered by the rebound in the least and happily tugged and played as the teeter reset itself each time.

Last night I bumped it up a few inches. Secret started out oblivious to the rebound but then did start to react to it for whatever reason. Instead of releasing straight to the toy and tugging madly, she would hold her position until released, scoot her butt off the teeter and then watch it reset before tugging. A positive note is that she would continue tugging while I moved the teeter up and down with a free hand; for whatever reason she seemed to be okay with that. I finished her teeter work using food to build up some positive reinforcement for hitting and holding her end position, but she did keep doing the "scoot-n-stare" maneuver when released.

In addition to the teeter work, I also took a jump downstairs last night to give us something to do (much too cold to do anything outside, unfortunately). We did lots of one-jump work as well as including it in drills with the table and teeter. I had the jump set to 22" for everything and Secret did great!

At the end of the night I did some foundation jumping work with Secret where I knelt on the floor next to the jump and rewarded successful efforts -- She's always been a careful jumper, so pretty much everything is successful for Secret. I moved the bar around a lot and Secret really only disapproved when it was at 26". I'm going to guess she was tired by this time, as she was actually panting (fairly uncommon for her!). Jumping higher takes more core strength than she typically uses, though, so I have to keep that in mind and not push for too much. Her jump form over the higher jumps was quite lovely, I was happy to see.

I did the same work with Luke when it was his turn (only going up to 18" for the big old fart) and it is very interesting to compare the two. Secret is definitely more agile and light on her feet than the big guy, but he still put in a pretty respectable effort for having never done that drill in the past. I did have to chuckle, though, when he would just plow through or step on the bar instead of jumping... Oh, Luke. He says, "Just give me a course to run, darn it!"

We have a trial next weekend at the Family Dog Center. I will have to talk to someone to see how we might go about getting in some practice time on the teeter this winter. I would very much like to make it a goal to attend a USDAA trial at the end of April or in May -- Considering that there aren't NADAC trials in La Crosse from the beginning of April through July, I figure that is as good a time as any to branch out and take the first step of playing in a different organization.


  1. I love Secret's matching coat and boots! Too cute! Do you have any video of your teeter training? We are training in our basement this year and I would really love to see what someone else is doing :)

  2. I have the camera at home and planned on taking video last night, but ultimately I was too lazy. ;o) I will try to get something done soon! I love video! I learn a lot from it -- maybe it would help me figure out why she is doing the scoot...

  3. She's very stylish!
    My boys have never worn a coat of any kind, and they kind of relish in the cold, rolling about the snow, or finding the single snow pile to lay in when everything else is brown... but then again, they hate the heat!

  4. I just wanted to mention I agree with all your posts on the NADAC list. I think the idea of VT Qs counting towards a NATCH is absurd and definitely lowers the value of the title.

  5. Thanks, Nicki! :o) I'm so upset by the whole thing. I already feel like I have to defend NADAC all the time. I *can't* defend something as absurd as combing Q's earned at home or in a training environment with those earned at trials. Anyone who doesn't get that they are different is completely mental. Sadly I don't think there is anything more I can say. I simply throw my hands in the air at this point.

    Chris (Nelson) is our judge next weekend. Curious if this will come up...

  6. There is definitely a lot of good and a lot of bad about NADAC but this is ridiculous. I could go on and on but I know I'm just preaching to the choir! I would consider doing USDAA with my next dog if this nonsense continues-it's getting pretty popular around here. Between that and AKC, no shortage of trials to choose from.