Monday, June 24, 2013

fun is an understatement.

Success is gauged by the holes in my shirts. Fitz's first Puppy Seminar was a great success. As well, his t-shirt tug is covered in blood (mr. teething pants), holes and is missing a few pieces. We traveled 3 hours to have a session with Dante Camacho- I attended a seminar of his with Gyp last year. Another friend/student went up and she did AMAZING too! He is a great trainer, upbeat and informative. He really presents well and gives many ideas. This seminar was for puppies 6months and older. Fitz isn't quite 5 months - but the little pup held his own. He was the youngest one there. I wasn't sure what to expect as far as where he needed to be skill level, but thankfully alot of what we've been working on (thanks to the wonderful Loretta) was covered, as well as some new approaches and some new skills too! We covered so much in one day - lots of lecture and lots of small increments of work - it was very well thought out. I wasn't sure how he would be (focus wise) training in a new place with a whole new set of high drive dogs - he was VERY stimulated. But the work we've been doing payed off as his drive and focus was where it is everywhere else - we try to get out and train EVERYWHERE. He is a very adaptable little fella. The puppy I had that would sit and watch the world go by calmly now wants a part of everything he sees. And if he can't get it - he, you know, throws a FIT. I now have to work harder for this focus - oh boy. He did great though, and I was able to get him to focus on me, and sit, down, stand nose touches etc - he was able to think with it all going around. I was VERY VERY proud of my little pup. He has turned on to the noises of Agility - tunnels, teeters etc. he loses his shiznit. OMG he threw a couple FITS(Z) of epic proportions - all I can do is laugh. Soooo, Mt. Fitz got benched outside after the kibble for being quiet in the crate for the morning session no longer had an effect in the PM session. I saw a intensity I haven't seen before, and it didn't fade. He was REALLY turned on by the excitement - he knows what it means now - but the nice thing is re redirects it back to ME. He worked off leash with 4-5 other pups around and stayed with me the whole time. He did everything that was set out for him with the gusto and enthusiasm I have been striving to create. Well we are on our way. I've never had a dog quite like this little MoFo ... I am so excited for what's to come!!!

He made a few first impressions ...
"Wow he comes by his name honestly, doesn't he?"
"Be carfeul what you name your dog!"
"Well, you certainly are the right person for him." (I think I heard this 3 times...)
"Wow, that's alot of dog".

This is pup is so much fun, and I know I'm in for a WILD RIDE!!!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Monday, June 17, 2013

And so he grows

19 weeks and looking so adult already. Loving this pup oh so much. Super fun training buddy and he knows so much already. Like his mom and dad he's a powerhouse. He's standing at 13" right now. So I'm guessing he will be 14"-14.5" - there are lots of tall dogs in his lineage. 

Friday, June 14, 2013

It's official.

He's now a real terrier. Gyp had to show him the ropes, but he caught on quick.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

4th times a charm!

On the Podium!!! Gyp was also Awarded Top Rescue dog, and received a whole big basket of LOOT!
Onwards to Nationals!!!
What a weekend. Gyp is now running as a Veteran and as always had a great caliber of competition in our group. Gyp 5/6 over the weekend, she did everything I asked of her and gave me her all. She now has won her 4th Regional Championship - what a girl. I love running her, we have so much fun together. It was funny, Friday we weren't in the Warm-up trial, so we just hungout, went for walks and visited. Saturday morning, she KNEW it was game day, she came out of the vehicle onto the field, guns a blazing - barking, spinning and super excited. She was obviously picking up on my excitement. Fitz had a great time too! He met many new friends - big, small and inbetween. We working on lots of focus at the rings, tugging, heeling and LOTS of recalls. He also enjoyed running in the field with his pals.

I had only 2 people ask me how "my dogs" were running, and I had to break it to them that Kaleb had passed away. One poor woman burst into tears. I had to console her :) I got a few nice hugs and nice words about the boy. I really enjoyed every moment this weekend. Thank doG I had Fitz with me, he sure kept things light.  Go! Dog! Go! had 12 dogs qualify for Nationals - I'm not gonna lie, I had tears each day for everyone successes - big or small, there were many hugs and high fives all weekend!! We really do have the most amazing supportive group. And we kept up with tradition by being the loudest and the banquet. We are from the south - we know how to have a good time!
A quick visit to see my Nanny on the way to Edmonton. It broke up the 6 hour drive,
and she was SOOOOO surprised to see us!
Sleeping dog Totem pole.
my 2 ridiculous dogs.
Who turned out the lights?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I'm ready. Here we come.

Today has been tough. Packing for AAC Regionals. I was expecting and hoping to run kaleb. Until now I've left all his toys and agility leash in my trial bag. Today I took them out and hung them up in my garage, another step... But man that was hard. No more "slimebag" and chuckit, they've retired :) . I've cried a few times today. I've been to 2 trials now since k passed, and I've been Ok, but this just hurts, it's different - he always ran great at the big events, I loved running him at them. It's only been 6 weeks, and the heavy gut feeling is back. I just really miss the bugger - all if those firsts without him, you know. I have to think of the weekend ahead and the dogs I have, and enjoy every single moment. Gyp and I are gelling and everytime in the ring with her is something I've always cherished, we are a team, we can almost read eachothers thoughts. I'm bringing Fitz with me for some comic relief, distraction and I'm sure he will have a blast being his charming self. I do better at most things in life when I'm kept busy. I got a really nice email today from a person I hold in very high regard "you will have 2 angels on your shoulder this weekend,  no tears, just smiles as they guide you". I'm looking forward to a fun weekend with friends, great dogs (many who are running at Regionals for yhe first time!!!) and a ton of laughs ;) that's what it's all about! 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

It's like that, and that's the way it is.

It's been a busy few weeks. Fitz is 17 weeks today. And how is it that we've had him for 8 weeks already!!?? Its seems like just yesterday he joined our family, but at the same time like he's been here forever. We are so madly in love with him. We've never had such a cuddly lovey dog. As I'm writing this he's fast asleep curled up on my lap.

He is not without his challenges, we've had a few standoffs, a few don't wanna-don't-hafta moments, more blood drawn on my hands, arms and legs than a battle with a tank full of piranhas. I'm doing my best to shape his persistence, won't take no for an answer attitude, and Terrier-ness into a good work ethic. Because Mr. Fitz "It's like that, and that's the way it is." I'm very happy with him and we have SOOOOOO much fun together. Everything is his choice - and well, sometimes it takes him a little longer to figure out what reaps the rewards, by limiting his access to self-reinforce he's making MANY good choices. The door on the bathroom is now closed as the toilet paper roll is just soooo fun! This week I upped the anty in transferring value back and forth from food and toys. Until now he has picked tugging over food most of the time, even with high value food. This week I started using chicken necks as his treat for this instance (his PRECIOUS!! His fav thing right now) - and oh boy! He had to work hard. I had been videoing tons of footage, and I think it was 2 minutes of DWDH (don't wanna-don't-hafta) - screw the tug I want the chicken!!!! Then FINALLY some sincere tugging with the chicken necks in my other hand. Each time we have a breakthrough, the next time we tackle it - it takes way less time to work through, and he attacks the task with more intensity. It was the most exhausting 3 minutes of my week. But one of the most exciting moments too. I loved that he persisted for that long. Did I mention how much fun we are having together?

Here is the condensed version of what we are currently working on: TONS of recalls, running flat-out, lots of chase mama around the house, hide and seek,  being quiet in the crate (he sleeps to and from training now YAY!!!), impulse control games, learning to RUN the plank, learning to RUN the tunnel, progressing with handtouches, advancing body awareness skills, watch me, adding distance/duration/distractions to sits/downs, backing up, releasing the toy, trimming nails without a fuss, looking at teeth without throwing a FIT, shaping and building value for a jump, shaping silly things to keep us both busy in the evening, heeling, retrieving, circle work and shadowhandling ... my homework is keeping me busy :)

Here is a fun video from today ... Fitz retrieving Bumpers with Bird Wings at Blazingstar (say that three times fast) This was the first time I was able to see some the payoff with all of our recall, distraction and retrieving practice - and really put it to use. It was the first time he'd seen a person throw for him, and the first time at any distance with an actual wing (off of a string attached to me) - he retrieved them like a little pro - didn't drop them, didn't tear the wings apart, and didn't bugger off. I was cautiously optimistic as to how he'd do ....