Monday, April 17, 2017

Running at the beach

Since we're about to move an hour north, this was probably our last trip to the Albany Bulb. Chimera likes to run run run on the beach.


Friday, April 7, 2017

Muzzle measurements

I've been wanting to train Chimera to wear a muzzle, in case of emergency, to help reduce the stigma and normalize muzzle training, and as good practice for me. Unfortunately I have not been able to find a mass-produced basket muzzle that is small enough for his tiny snout. I was excited to learn about the BUMAS muzzle KickStart campaign and ordered a custom-made, colorful muzzle for Cai.

They wanted a show of the dog at nose level, showing his head from the front and from the side.

Then they wanted a picture of a tape measure around the dog's snout, taken while the dog is panting, or while he's eating a treat. Here the tape measure is at 18 cm.

Finally, the length of the dog's snout, from just below his eyes to the tip of his nose. Cai is about 4 cm, so his muzzle length should be 5 cm (to add a little space in front).

 They weren't sure about the measurements I had sent them for the circumference, and asked again for me to exercise Cai until he was panting, then place the measuring tape around his snout. However Cai does not pant a lot, and he closes his mouth any time he is uncomfortable or concentrating. Putting the tape measure around his snout both made him uncomfortable, and made him concentrate on holding still while I took a picture and then gave him a treat. So I took two pictures of the tape loop next to his face while he panted, and a few more of him wearing it, mouth closed.

The final measurements the BUMAS team suggested were 16.5 cm in circumference and 5 cm in length. I can't wait to get it!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

First Rally-FrEe Advanced leg

Scored 163, which was a bit higher than I was expecting. Obviously Cai hadn't fully learned the Back Thru x3 or the Turn Back Thru yet, but I went ahead with the run because I wanted to support the video event.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Agility match

Our first agility match in a long, long time! Chimera was SO happy to be running again! He was zooming! In fact, at one point he did a quick zoom around the ring because he was so happy to be running. I stopped and held my hand out, and he ran back to me with a strong nose touch. We then continued our practice.

My focus was on getting tight turns (which has always been a weak point for us), particularly by giving Cai plenty of heads up without pulling him off a jump. I saw progress but we'll need lots more repetition on this front. I also worked on setting clear lines and using an "open" shoulder to direct Cai to jumps at a distance. This went fairly well. Our rear crosses were worse than usual.

I skipped the weaves, dog walk, and a-frame. We did the teeter once and he did okay, though he stopped at the tipping point rather than going all the way to the end. We had managed that in training at one point, but this is another area that needs plenty of review.

I'd like to get back into classes at ACE but I'm moving to a new area in mid-April. On the bright side, I'll have a giant grassy pasture in which to practice with my mini-equipment, and one of my friends will be setting up a full-size ring later this year. So for the first time, I'll be able to practice outside of class!

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Guard dog

My landlord had a plumber come down while I was away. She didn't realize that Chimera was home because he was being quiet. He came into the living room/kitchen after a minute, stopped and looked at the plumber, then retreated to the bedroom again.

Good job, dog.

Monday, February 6, 2017

Paw stand

This is an older video that I just uploaded.

Friday, February 3, 2017

Cleared for agility

Another recheck with Dr Wendy Wallace, and she has officially cleared us to start agility training again! Of course we'll ease back into it with low jumps, minimal turns, etc. We can start with jumps and tunnels, then weave poles and teeter, then dog walk, and leave the a-frame for last.

Both Cai and I are out of practice, so we'll be focusing on handling work with low jumps rather than rushing to get back on the obstacles.

On a different note, I was also happy that Cai only barked at one dog while we were at the vet's office, and it was a brachycephalic dog that was breathing very loudly. Later we went for a walk at the cemetery and he saw three dogs and stayed below threshold around all of them.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Freestyle music picked, private lesson

No one else showed up to Freestyle class last night (possibly because of the storm), so Chimera and I got a private lesson. I had just decided what song to use for our first routine: I Kissed A Girl by Jill Sobule:

I had a few ideas already for certain parts of the song. I shared them with Judy, who gave me feedback, and then we worked on developing the parts in between. We're about halfway done already!

I need to edit the song file down to between 1:30 and 2:15 in length, then divide it up into sections that I can play and practice to individually.

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mat hate

"I don't like the mat. You can't make me use the mat."

He'll get on it for a treat, but he's never been into settling on a soft mat when we're out. He chooses the floor instead. Yet at home, he would never lay on the floor, but always chooses comfy beds. Weirdo.