Saturday, October 2, 2010

11 Months

Wow I've had Zap for 8 months already......feels like he's always been here though. I can't imagine life without the crazy dude. Anyway, we have been working on many new things,a nd also many old things as well.

For starters, we have started crate games again after forgetting about them for awhile. Zap is so funny because it's easy to get him excited about something, even running to his crate! He zips to his crate, lays down and just tenses up while I create tons of distractions, then when he is released *vroom* he goes straight for his toy for some serious tugging.

We have started some weave entry work just this week. Nothing serious yet, just running straight through a set of 2 poles. Also, he is getting into a 4on position on a low teeter, which he just started this week. He had a run in with a full sized teeter on accident! He ran over, hopped from the ground up to the top end, then slammed it down and got into position like everything was normal. At least we know he isn't going to have a fear issue! But still not very funny thing for a puppy to do....

We have been doing some straight line jumps, as well as left and rights from extreme distance. I still refuse to introduce the tunnel again yet. Plus, I should wait until I have my heavy duty one, because Zap is so crazy he would probably tear up my cheap nylon one the first day we start using it!

Running contacts are....on and off. He has good days and bad. I'm not worrying about it too much at this point. I'm not happy with how loose his cik/cap are so I'm still working him bar-less for that.

We just overnighted our entry for the Silvia Trkman seminar in February 2011! Zap will be 15 months and hopefully will be ready for the novice handling day. Otherwise, I'll have to sub in Li. I'm also doing the motivation seminar on Wednesday....with Li for sure! Zap has motivation coming out of his ears!

That's about all I suppose! Other than agility of course we go on lots of walks and hikes, and Zap plays with the other dogs a lot. I'm going to start biking him now that the weather is nice and he is older. Also, when we walk, he keeps his head, ears, and tail down, and pulls on his fleece harness in a straight line like he is running from fire just like the maybe he is a future ski-jor/cani-cross/bike-jor dog in the making?!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Contacts are back!

So the past 2-3 sessions, Zap's contacts fell apart! He would run past the board or jump every time! But today his contacts were awesome! I'm so relieved that it was just a phase. I worked on left and rights. He missed a few but I wasn't running next to him parallel so I suppose that is why. He is getting much better though sometimes he randomly flips to the wrong side when I call out a direction.....silly boy! Working on sequences that work loose turning like left and right but also tight turning like cik and cap. Need to work more on sends and understanding with this I think. Bars WERE at 4-8 inches but he is so focused on processing the turn cue that he often plows through them, I guess he can't multitask with the "jump + direction" right now so I removed the bars. I'm going to work on jumping skills separate from turn cues for a awhile until he has both down solid, then combine them.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Left and Rights, Cik and Cap, Go ons

^ What our training sessions mainly consist of at the moment.

In the morning I usually work on cik and cap in the garage a little bit. This evening I took our work out to the agility field and worked on getting him to drive ahead to cik and cap, so combining "gogogo" and jump wraps. He was EXCELLENT!

At first I just had jumps 1, 2, and 4 set up. [Only set at 4 inches or lower don't worry] I stood between 1 and 2 and even staying there the entire time, directed him to jump 1, jump 2, wrap 4, jump 2, then wrap 1, then jump 2 while barely moving and just using verbals and arms! Then I took out jump 1. I stood about 10-15 feet away from the tire with zap on different sides each time and did left and right with jumps 3 and 4, varying which side I was on. He got most of them! I tried not to do much with my arms, as I want left and right commands on mainly verbals since I want to be able to handle from behind as well.

Monday, July 12, 2010

We Don't Need You.....

OBEDIENCE. No we don't. Not at all.

Anyway, I've decided to stop doing obedience training with Zap. I was so worried about our state deadline that I was being too much of a perfectionist with him. I never want to put that kind of pressure on him so I decided to stop all together and scratch from the fair and state. Yes it would have been neat to have a young puppy ace the level 2 class but I'm not after glory and records, and the minute Zap stops enjoying something, is the minute we quit.

But agility updates! We are re-starting running contacts soon so hopefully I will have an update on those soon! We are really focusing on left and rights and cik and cap. Also I'm working on waits, recalls, -some- heeling, and lots and lots of sends. Mostly though we just goof off...we won a tennis ball thrower at a mock trial and Zap loves playing fetch. I have been standing at the bottom of the yard and launching the balls uphill for him to get so he can work on some hill running. But the hill isn't very steep so it won't hurt him.

I'm pleased to say that we haven't had any agility field "ooopsies". I've been successful in keeping him away from full height equipment. He did accidently take a jump a but it wasn't set very high at all. That's the only thing I can think of! We are now taking tunnels completely out of the picture for a few months, the last thing I need is a tunnel addict. ;]

Over all, Zap seems to be a very happy puppy and that's what we strive for haha

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Can you spell Perfection?

wow, so today I set up two jumps, a tire, a straight tunnel, then two more jumps all in a straight line. I had Zap run through it once and was using the words go-go-go-go. Previously, we have done only jumps in a row, so he thinks I mean only jumps. He did the first two jumps, ran around the tire and tunnel, then did the last two jumps. Too smart! So I did it again and used the words for the tire and tunnel and he ran all the way through at TOP SPEED. He faced forward the entire time even with me way behind him. Zap is so amazing! We have also been working on obedience and Zap has an excellent off lead heel, stand for exam, stays, and recall! We need to work on longer heeling patterns, longer stays, the figure 8, and the "front" position for the recall. But we should be ready for the fair in 3 weeks and my 8 month old puppy is going to PWN the adult dogs in level 2 obedience at state. haha

Thursday, April 22, 2010


Zap was great in class today! There were race cars practicing at the fairgrounds and he ignored all the people and noises! In the back during the obedience class we played and we worked on sending to the crate from a distance and stayiong in the crate while i dropped toys and treats and people walked by. Then we worked on sits, downs, and heeling. He heels sideways so he is really understanding the position. He sat in his crate quietly when I needed him to....overall, I was extremely impressed with my boy! He even tugs enthusiastically with distractions.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Running Contacts and Obedience

We have an 8 foot plank set at about 7-8 inches high currently that we are training contacts on. I have a jump set after it and Zap is running straight through the contact every time! We are doing contact sessions about once a week tops and he seems to be grasping the concept very well.

We are also working on our "waits", recalls, and heeling. His stays are getting better and we are working on sends to the table and lead outs from the table with lots of distractions. I am using the table as a variation of a crate in crate games. His recall is very solid and he is a very good retriever, haha. He is learning the heel position and he would have solid heeling right now if I wasn't so lazy/poorly motivated to train it. We also work on left and right spins and jumps wraps, though not often.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Spring Goals!

I am going to start taking Flick up to my friend's house to run in agility so I'll take Zap along since she has a ton of big kennels to hold dogs right by the field. We have been working on tricks, obedience, and foundation work for agility. We only do an agility element, whether contacts or jump wraps, once a week....he's young. We have been going for a 1+ hour walk almost everyday lately. Shadow and Libby are mainly outside most of the time and Flick sleeps in Karyn's room and goes with her wherever she is during the day. This means I just have two 2 boys around all the time so Li and Zap are becoming close friends.
In early spring, we want to work on:
-Control Games
-Left and Right
-Crosses, mainly rears

Along with a few contact and wrap sessions.

This is an interesting turn I became aware of last fall. Li does these very well. They work very well for tight turns because as soon as he sees me turned the other way, he turns. If I stay next to him with my arm out, he sometimes just keeps running straight if I don't turn fast enough. Anyway, I want to try them with Zap eventually, because they make sense to me. A lot of trainers love fronts, with some rears. I like to explore lots of different options like blinds and ketschkers.

Well, that's all.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Tricks and foundation

Zap woke me up at 8 this morning which is okay...except I took a 2 hour walk with my friend last night and went to bed at 1 am so I'm sore AND tired. But enough about me because this blog is for Zap! This morning I worked with Li and Zap and it was good. I am kinda paranoid about teaching jump wraps to Zap early because I don't want him bending his spine like that when he is going so fast....and there is no "slow" speed with him! I'm loving him so far, he is everything I love in a dog. He is confident so that when we shape, he offers stuff like crazy. He is extremely driven and tugs really well. He does everything at full speed with 100% intensity. He reminds me so much of Li, and you know how much I love that dog. Zap is following in Li's footsteps of being a very fast accurate agility dog and brings it up a notch with his amazing people skills, which Li doesn't possess...unless you consider barking up a storm and growling an appropriate greeting. =]
Anyway, we went through each of his tricks, he is funny. His favourites to offer are wave, scratching the ground with his rear leg, pushing off me with his front legs and spinning [like a baby version of a vault], attempting to sit up [he falls over after a second or two, lol], and standing on his hind legs. He is getting good at the latter, he offering it without me raising my hand up as a lure and can hold it for 4 seconds! haha
We also did some box work. He was hilarious trying to incorporate all his tricks into one thing like Li does. Li is funny when he shakes his head, waves, barks, and sits up at the same if he can't decide which trick to do so he does them all within .000001 seconds of each other! Anyway, Zap tried spinning on the box, jumping over it, jumping onto it then off again, pushing it ith his nose or paws, and he even sat on it once. It was just a game box, probably 10 by 10 inches and 3 inches high. Eventually he cooled off his insane little brain and started offering calm, collected 2o2o positions. lol
As far as jump wraps go, I am training them with the actual jump [no bar of course...!] because using a cone or one vertical bar to train them sometimes doesn't teach them to know the difference between wrapping the jump and going to the other side and taking the jump towards the handler. I want him to understand the concept of the jump in "yes, cap means right but that doesn't mean I can wrap around the left wing going around the back." xD. As I said, I don't want to over do this so I'm just luring each side 3-5 times each and ending it. Eventually, I want to be able to stand on the other side of him and lure him away from me into a wrap, then work on adding the cues and distance and reliability so he can do either direction based on my commands, not my position. This will be helpful when I want to do rear crosses and stuff.
I don't remember if I posted about this yet and I'm too lazy to check. Anyway, I've been doing running contact training with Zap. I started a few weeks ago after the snow melted just to see if he would run along the board. It took Li 6 months to not jump off the side so I started early with Zap just in case. He is great! No worries here. I have an 8ft board set at about 8-10 inches and it will stay like that for a long time. We practice no more than once a week and do 5-10 reps. He has a 100% success rate so far and hits 4-6 paws in the yellow each time, and always hits the bottom third of it. I have a pole set up on either side of the end of the board so we do one or two turns in a session and he knows to run to the end of the board before turning.
Well, very busy day ahead of me here so I'll leave it all at that!

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Tricks and Junk

Zap is getting so tall! He is as handsome as ever! We are learning more tricks. Our goals are to be stacking bowls and moving around a box with rear feet soon. He is picking up and carry bowls so we just have to work on stacking them, haha. I have a loooong list of all the tricks I wanna teach him as a pup so we are very busy.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Training and Picture Update!

Sorry it's been so long. Didn't figure anyone would want to hear about Zap's obedience and tricks training. lol

I've been thinking about agility and we are definitely not going to be doing anything [including barless jumps] for at least another month. April sounds good and he will be 5 months then. At that age I think we will do barless jumps and tunnel and stuff. Until then, we are learning obedience, tricks, body awareness stuff, and directionals for agility. I'm holding off on teaching jump wraps as well because he runs so fast and I don't want him bending so fast.

Now for the pictures I promised!

All for now!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010


I have some good pictures of Zap in his album on my facebook, thought I'd post the link here.


Monday, February 8, 2010

The Weekend

Had a good weekend! Zap got to meet new people at the superbowl party and work on focus/eye contact with tons of distractions around!

I wrote out his agility training schedule based on my trial and error method with raising poor Li. haha. No actual agility for awhile of course but we are starting to work on the stuff that will lead up to it such as tricks, body awareness, directionals, jump wraps [no bars!], table games, tunnels, etc.

All for now! Zap is going with me tomorrow to meet tons of new people so we will see how that goes!

Friday, February 5, 2010

Day 3/4

Didn't update yesterday because we didn't do much. Just shaping and manners.

Today we are taking it easy. He is being such a goof. He was fetching an empty water bottle before and now he is running around the living room in circles with it. He doesn't touch the floor though, he jumps from one couch to another, then runs along the long fireplace, then back onto the couch, haha.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Day 2

This is the first entry for day two. I'll probably end up with 4 or 5 today but I'll keep them in the same blog post.
First session. I put down a box. We are getting good at putting our front feet on the box, but it isn't solid yet. After a minute or two, I took away the box and we just free shaped. I can see the beginning of 3 separate behaviors. They all start in the "down" position. One is crawling backwards, which he offered himself spontaneously. The other is scratching the ground with a back paw, which is probably the first thing he ever offered for me. And the last one is a variation of the second, but instead of scratching the ground, he moves his back paw out really far behind him [one leg at a time]. I'm excited because hopefully that will help with rear foot targeting when we get to it.
Second session went almost the same as the first.
I had Driver's Ed 4-6 but when mom came to pick me up to take me to my grandma's house [she was having a valentine's party for the grandkids] she brought Zap! So he got to meet my grandparents, my aunt, and my 2 year old cousin. I took him for a walk around the block but he wasn't too impressed with the two vehicles that passed. us. Li was like this at first but I just kept walking and ignored him when he threw a fit and he eventually grew out of it. But I would rather have a dog that is wary of cars instead of a no-fear dog that wants to chase them. It is more safe for a dog to jump to the side of the road and respect the vehicle's space then put himself in danger by chasing it or jumping in front of it. He is not afraid of stationary vehicles so parking lots should be no problem, lol. I made the mistake of letting him sleep for 2 hours [8-10] last night while I was on the computer so the little bugger was up until midnight playing until I could get him to go to sleep in his crate without screaming. My parents have a zero tolerance whining policy so gotta keep those pups entertained and tired out!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Day 1

Yesterday his was fairly quiet on the ride home. He sat on my lap for a while then slept in his crate. Everyone loved him! When we got home he instantly took up he job of official havoc creator. Tipping over the garbage, chewing stuff, stealing food and paper and leashes and socks and blankets....haha. First thing we worked on was eye contact. I had his chew toy and held it with my arm fully extended to the side. He laid down instantly [good boy!] and stared at the toy for a second or two then looked at me! I gave him the toy. Now, when he wants food or a toy, he looks at my eyes. Today we were just free shaping with a box. He hasn't got the hang of it completely but he was putting feet on the box, even his hind feet. Watching him crawl under chairs and desks, jump unto the couch, weave through furniture to get to where he wants to, etc, he obviously knows how to use his body! Great puppy! At first I was freaked out because he would not respond to my voice and was being insane. But after I got some treats and toys out and started showing him my expectations for his behaviour in the house, he was an apt pupil. =]
I'm over all very pleased with this puppy. He will sleep within 10 minutes of being crated. He was screaming a little at first last night, but I put a towel over his crate and he stopped, haha. Flick loves him and Li is kinda miffed.....I think it is a PyreShep thing. Li is very possessive of me and isn't going to share until he and the puppy have a relationship.
Anyway, I'm very happy with this dog! Mom, Dad, Grandpa, siblings, everyone loves him!