Monday, January 27, 2014


I'll start with one of my favorite parts of the day.  :o) I titled the above video, "How NOT to Q in Chances." Both of the boys managed to squeak out a Q in Chances yesterday (the streak is officially over!), but only by the slightest of margins (especially Luke, who was very close to the 40 second mark). Both were marvelous at their redirects, which you obviously wouldn't want under ideal circumstances.... Kaiser normally does not redirect well, or he takes bonus obstacles on the way to where you are directing him, so I was especially proud of him for listening as well as he did. He is now just two runs from NATCH 2! Luke is now 4 runs from NATCH 5. Oh.... Plus three Jumpers runs. I should probably remember that!

Those are the rest of Kaiser's runs for the day. We didn't manage to get any Jumpers Qs this weekend, which is a little out of character. This NQ was completely and totally my fault, though, as I both dropped my arm and turned my head away from him -- So, with all of the blind crosses I've started to throw at him, what else should I expect than for him to cut behind me? Yup, that was all on me.

There will be no 100 DRI runs from yesterday, as Kaiser was having some wonky issue with a hoop in both classes. I think it took like four tries to get him to go *through* the hoop in the first round. He actually had a fault called in that round and I was like, "Umm...?" I asked the judge if he could remember what he called (they had just finished running the first round of Open at this time, so some time had passed) and all he could remember was "something out there" as he indicated the center of the ring. I asked if he'd like to watch the video to see if he could be more specific and I was told they aren't supposed to do that. That is completely absurd because NADAC rewards entire Qs based off video now and he did end up appeasing me (I swear I wasn't that pushy) and agreed that he did not see any faults in the video.

Kaiser had a really screwy jump in the 2nd round for a bar and one of those god forsaken 5-point Qs. I hate those. Not sure what caused the bad jump as it wasn't the typical scenario of me being way too far ahead. It was his last run after three days of agility, though, so maybe he was just getting tired. His weaves in that round were definitely dragging more than usual, too -- I actually saw him double-stepping a couple of them instead of hopping, so I'd say he was pooped.

Kizzy was not pooped. In fact, she was just as wound up on day three as she was on day one. She wanted to play and she wanted everyone to know it. Thankfully on Sunday we start with Jumpers, so she didn't have to wait quite as long for her first turn.

In general, what you see on the video is a vast improvement upon Saturday's performance. Kizzy was much less distracted in the ring, save for her obsession with the yellow lab, Mallie, who ran before us in each class. Mallie has been to a couple of our open agility sessions and I know Kizzy is highly interested in her for some reason. For the record, Mallie apparently does not like other dogs, so Kizzy has chosen a very poor object of obsession. Every time you see Kizzy run to the ring gating in the video it is because of Mallie.

I will say, apparently we won the battle on Saturday with regard to the exit doors --- but the game changed on Sunday to the ring gates in the middle. It's a little harder to guard an 80' span than two small doorways... Kizzy decided yesterday that she would no longer cooperate in being caught after our runs. I tricked her in Jumpers by acting like I was going out the door without her, then snatched her up as she started to skitter past me.

Score one for Kizzy in Hoopers (her most distracted run by far, as Mallie must have been standing RIGHT outside the ring the entire time) when she shot under the gating and ran straight for Mallie. Bless that dog's heart, but she wasn't reacting at all while her owner held her head way up and away from Kizzy. I'm just going off what I've heard that she's bad with other dogs, but there must be some history since her owner freaks out so much... Kizzy avoided a couple of people who tried to grab her and then went and jumped in the lap of our friend, Jim.

After round 1 of Regular there was much standing still and refusing to come anywhere near me before Kizzy turned tail and scooted under the gating again. This time Mallie and her owner were by their crate and the owner stuffed her in the crate before Kizzy got over there. Here's where panic set in, as Kizzy started heading to the back of the building -- by the door -- that people were going in and out of because Novice was the last class of the day and everyone was packing up to leave. By some glorious fortune I managed to grab her up before the door opened. And of course remember that NADAC doesn't allow collars, so she would have been out and about with no ID. That would have been fun.

So after all of this Kizzy seemed to finally realize that she wasn't getting very far with these tricks, so she actually stayed with me for the ENTIRE run in Regular 2. And here's where I get to admit the unexplainable thought that went through my head and the horrible thing I did. We're going through the course and I was all like, "Holy crap, she's staying with me!" Sure we missed a hoop and I didn't correct the weaves after she slid into the first pole with her hip (ouch...). With absolutely no forethought or plan, when Kizzy was on the dog walk it popped into my head, "I need to grab her at the end of the dog walk to end this run on a good note and praise her heavily for not playing keep-away." Yes, in my head this sounded like a fantastic idea.

Sigh..... I blame delirium and lack of sleep over three days....? I made a quick snatch towards Kizzy that missed as she scooted through my hands and she ended up toppling over. It looks bad. It is bad. It's the sort of thing that if I did it to Secret she would probably never set foot on the dog walk ever again. I was instantly crushed, knowing what a moron I was. I was just SO frustrated by the end-of-run behavior we'd been dealing with all day and I did not want that run to end the same way. I will kick myself for a very long time over this.

Of course Kizzy wasn't going to come to me after that, but she did run straight into the arms of the person leash running. I could not, absolutely could not, end our day that way. Kizzy was the last dog of the day so we called it quits and I took her back, put her down, had her get on the dog walk and then asked her to stop at the very top where I picked her up again and praised her profusely. We exited the ring, ate lots of treats and then went back into the ring and did the dog walk a couple of times (on leash) to make sure that I hadn't ruined her forever.

I am so not about the Q with Kizzy right now. That is the least of my worries. I am fully aware of how much needs to be worked on, but much like I went through with Kaiser, much of this can only be worked on at trials since that's where we see it. I do need to see if I can get back in for a ring rental soon and have a good, happy, positive experience with much putting-on of the leash. I don't think there is a trial this weekend, so I should probably see if we can go down. I should also probably strongly consider trying to get her into a class -- any class -- to help with working through the distraction of other dogs (although like I said, there really was just that ONE dog at the trial this weekend).

Regardless, there is probably little point to entering Kizzy in the March trial if we aren't able to train in the next month. As it is, I find it downright miraculous that Kizzy performed as well as she did this weekend considering that aside from the fun match in Oshkosh on Jan 1, she has not been on equipment since the beginning of December. For a dog who has not been doing this very long, it's pretty darn impressive how well she has retained what she's learned -- and what she hasn't learned, because did you see that rear cross in Jumpers?! It was beautiful.  ;o)

Novice dogs.... So much "fun," especially when they're a Klee Kai. I knew what I was getting into when I signed up for this. I think part of why I'm a little more down than I'd usually be was because I was missing some of my most supportive trial buddies this weekend. We had a lot of cancellations due to weather and illness and the Kizzy support crew was pretty light. Perhaps with a few more hands on deck we could have prevented those escapes. lol  What we really need are a whole slew of fun matches. Right now I'm almost desperate enough to drive over to Oshkosh for their February Friday night fun match. It starts at 6:30 p.m. and I'd have to drive home after (the last one went what, four hours?). Yeah..... That doesn't really sound fun. Why does FDC not have fun matches?!

I have to figure out what our next trial is. I'd really like to try to do a day of AKC in February or else Secret will sit for a long time. There's a chance I'd just run Kaiser at the NADAC trial to try for those two Chances Qs. We'll see. Much thinking to do about many things.


  1. So since I've run a hound cross in agility (not saying she was as difficult or is the same) I feel your pain. My biggest suggestion, do 4 obstacles, celebrate, put leash on and reward the crap out of that behavior. Freya found running around the ring far more rewarding than working with me. So I had to reverse it. We also did lots of control unleashed excercises since she is an over-joyous dog :) She isn't mean or fearful reactive, but over-stimulated? Yep!

    1. That would be super awesome IF I could get the leash on her. That's the hardest part... Or at least it was on Sunday. Saturday she played games and it took longer than I'd like, but Sunday she decided she would just leave.

      I'm thrilled that she came back to play with me after her moments of, "Oh my god, what is that dog doing out there?" That alone is something to celebrate. ;) And I feel that she is building good behavior in those scenarios, as evidenced by her decision to stay with me in the final run.

      It's the leashing at the end of the runs that has me most concerned at this moment in time. Because even if she stuck with me and did all of the obstacles, it's still a huge issue if you can't catch your dog when it's all over. ;o)

  2. Hmm, maybe you can play the gotcha game? Lots of treats when the harness comes on, very few when it comes off? I take it this is only at trials too?

    1. Yes, this is only at trials. We have literally spent weeks playing harness games at home, as well as come to hand games when she is as high as a kite and in keep-away mode. We run a small sequence in the basement with no toys on me and run to the harness/leash to have a party.

      I honestly feel that the uptight atmosphere at NADAC trials surrounding the leash is not helping us at all. I can't make it a party at the end of the run because in addition to not playing with the leash, you get yelled at if they play games with your hands (her other favorite thing to do -- not my favorite, but it works in a pinch...).

      My next step is to switch to Kaiser's old thick fleece slip lead. Maybe she doesn't like the process of putting on the harness, who knows. I signed her up for the AKC trial we're doing in February and she can play with the leash there. If we don't have problems at AKC and we do have problems at NADAC then, well, decision made I guess.