Yearly Archives: 2011
Proof of Slayte’s nuttiness when we first met him. This picture was from the first time that we met the puppies when they were 6 weeks old. Slayte pulled so hard on my pants that he put a hole in them. We had a hard time decided between Slayte and another puppy. The other one was the breeders pick for us and the one in the litter that was the first to do everything. Slayte just seemed to have a little more intensity when we saw him. We left the first time thinking we would take the other one but by the time we went back again we were leaning towards Slayte. The second time we met the puppies we decided on Slayte and this is how I knew it was the right decision. When we were going to take the other I felt bad about not taking Slayte to the point where we were considering taking two. When we decided on Slayte I didn’t feel bad at all. When I asked Jeff he said he felt the same so then I knew it was right.
Right now Slayte is passed out after a day at the agility trial which is why I have some time to type. He had tons of fun visting with old friends and making new friends, people and dogs. He’s such the social little guy especially when you compare him to Enzo! He gets all wiggly and cute. Enzo crashed a jump in JWW today which was a little strange and scary but he was fine. He ran clean in standard, good running dogwalk course today.
Slayte is doing really well in his puppy agility class. He’s been in the foundation class since he was 3.5 months old. He was and still is the youngest in the class but is keeping up just fine. He now knows 180’s and 270’s with no bars on the jumps. He also does a two jump leadout pretty well. It’s not 100% but he’s pretty good. Starting to do around the clock jumps and me standing a little lateral from the jump. We’ve been working the end of the teeter. Trying to get him to hop on from the side drive into a down at the end with his head facing forward. The teeter drops about 6 inches right now. I’ve also just started having him run on a flat board to a Manners Minder. I’m just using a 2’x4′ piece of plywood right now because that’s what I had lying around. I also figure it doesn’t look quite like any piece of equipment so if I screw something up right now it won’t matter too much. I am also working on the PVC box with him. I’ve only done a couple of sessions just shaping him to get in the box. He did the tire for the first time on Thursday. At first he was a little confused and was actually trying to push off of the tire but after several tries he was sending to the tire and wrapping back to me. Oh and the table, we started working table in class and we are walking past the table and just having them stop. We’ve been working downs on the flat a lot but I haven’t really asked for it on the table but he started offering downs when I went past the table! really cool!
oh well, he’s awake and barking at me again so no more blogging!
A couple of weeks ago Jenn came home from puppy agility class with Slayte and started making the dogs dinner. She asked where Mindy (our 13 year old forgotten dog) was and I didn’t know but said she was fine earlier. Mindy is deaf and doesn’t really like us so she’s sort of just a resident at the house. It’s like if you put an ad out to rent a room to somebody and some random person responds. The only difference is Mindy doesn’t pay us and we have to feed her because if we didn’t, it would be inhumane. Anyways, she was nowhere to be found. Jenn goes outside and I left the side gate wide open. DOH! I felt really bad and stupid. I cut the grass in the back yard and I didn’t close the gate. I can’t believe I did that…
The search was on, but it was almost dark out. I jumped on my bike and started biking around the neighborhood. Jenn took a walk around the block and came back and jumped in the car. We both got reports that people saw her, but we found no trace of her. Since she was half deaf, calling “Miiinnnnddddy” was probably a total waste of time, but what else can you do? I rode the bike for about an hour or two, I forget now. My ass and arms and everything were hurting and I was totally exhausted so I came back, dropped the bike off and got in our other car. Continued driving around for about another 15 minutes or so. At this time it was around 10PM and we decided to come back and print out flyers, assuming she was probably already “gone”. Of course the printer won’t work. We fought with it a while then gave up after getting 2 test sheets printed, figuring 2 is better than 0. We put 1 up then went to the other side of the neighborhood and put the other up. As we were walking back, I saw people standing around with some dogs. One of them was Mindy! We found her. People were holding her and were going to walk her around the neighborhood to see if she recognized her home. After we put a leash on her, she led the way home. We really don’t think she was lost. We think when we got her she said “ok, you got me… the fun is over”. We had reports of people seeing her on every road but ours. It’s pretty clear she knew where home was and just didn’t want to go back.
Yes, she just takes up space here, but I’m glad we found her. I would have felt bad if we found a pile of brown fur the next day on the road somewhere. It would have been sad.
Slayte (ie LG/little guy) is nuts. That is really my only point to this post. I think that is why Jenn has abandoned this blog – Slayte has destroyed what has made us human. OK, it’s not that bad, but you get the idea.
We got what we asked for I guess. When we went to check out the puppies, this one particular puppy was pretty much insane. Non-stop bonkers. Biting everything, untying our shoes by pulling on the laces, tripping us by grabbing our pant leg as we walked by, chewing on Jenn’s hair, overall just being a nightmare. This 1 puppy had red lights flashing, signs saying “keep away” and horns blaring “danger, danger”. Well, that turned out to be the one we chose, Slayte.
Fast forward 4 months. Slayte now decides to harass us at 1AM-4AM by standing on us in bed, barking at us, barking at Tooney, destroying our laundry baskets (which have been moved to the hallway), destroying the bed, squeaking toys, etc. Hours of play time before bed is clearly not enough for him. Jenn and I have a lot of energy and really can pour a lot of time into the puppy (we have no lives outside the dogs, so the dogs is what we do), but he’s wearing us out. Jenn says her arms and legs feel rubbery all the time now. I hurt all over. We tug, play Frisbee, teach tricks, obedience, agility fundamentals, etc from about 5PM until 10 or 11PM. I’m not even including the play time he gets during the day chasing Tooney and driving me nuts while I try to work. 5-6 hours straight before bed!!! When I say straight I mean it. It is non-stop playing. Jenn plays with him, I play with him, he chases Tooney around. We try to take a break – he won’t let us – he stares at us and barks non-stop and we give in to it and tug or play Frisbee or whatever for another 30-45 minutes. It’s just a non-stop cycle. Our only short breaks are when he chases Tooney around for a bit. It probably only lasts 5 minutes.
He also destroys anything cardboard or paper related in the house. It makes our house a total mess with tiny shreds of the stuff all over the place.
He has learned so much because of his endless energy. I’m running out of things I can teach him because he’s not old enough to do the more physically demanding stuff. He knows pretty much all the basic Frisbee moves that there are: left, right, through, on, scoot, over, around, circle, dog catch, blah blah blah.
Would I change anything??? NOOOOOOOO! I would take a puppy like this any day. He’s a total blast and is everything we really wanted. I wouldn’t even want a dog with slightly less energy or slightly less drive. Heck I’d even be happy if he were even more bonkers (not sure that is even possible). We love him and are so happy he is this way, even though he acts as if he’s taking crack with a speed chaser constantly! It’s just difficult on us physically.
Jenn put together Slayte’s videos from USDDN. He had a good time. He kept trying to get away from the sun. In 1 round you can see him actually run to the shade. In another round, he keeps trying to veer off to the side, but I manged to bring him back in. Thanks to Jenn for cutting out the part where I threw from the wrong line.
He’s a cute little guy, isn’t he? How great for a puppy only 6 months old. So impressive. Tracking skills are awesome so far. He just need to get a bit better at timing the catches. When we do short throws, he tends to catch the disc deep in his mouth (a good thing), but on longer throws, it tends to be caught barely by the rim of the disc. He will get better with time I’m sure.
Our regional USDDN competition was this past weekend. The weather was almost perfect. around 80 for a high with moderate wind. The divisions are Super Open (freestyle + toss and catch) and Super Pro (toss/fetch). It’s a qualifier for the International finals in Georgia. The top 5 in each division qualifies.
Super Open (freestyle + toss/fetch):
Every year Enzo has competed in the Super Open division, he has qualified and this year was no different. He earned a 4th place finish. The first round for us was pretty rough, having a bad routine per Enzo’s standards. We had the highest toss/fetch score in the division at 19.5. Enzo’s second freestyle round was awesome and we finished 4th overall!
On Enzo’s next to last T/F throw, he caught a disc at 40 yards and was under 10 seconds left. That’s nearly impossible to get the disc back and get another throw off. I was calling him back as best as I could and he sprinted to me. He dropped the disc right in front of me and I picked it up with 1 second left and threw another 40 yard bomb for a beautiful catch. The disc wasn’t in my hand for even a half second. That was exciting! Although certainly not the highest score I’ve had with Enzo , I told Jenn after the round it was the best communication and flow I’ve ever had with him in T/F. It was a thing of beauty.
Tooney didn’t compete in Super Open this year because it was too much for her to do with all the rounds that would have been required. Enzo had 5 rounds. I felt she’d be better suited to just do the Super Pro division, figuring she had a chance to win it.
Super Pro (toss/fetch only):
Enzo had 2 solid rounds, but I wasn’t throwing my best for him.
Tooney, as usual, was great in her 2.5 rounds of t/f. She had a .5 round because there was a timer malfunction so we had to redo our round. It turned out good because I ended up with a better score the 2nd time, although Tooney was more tired and I only got 5 throws for the redo. She caught all of them, though, for 19 points. It put her in 3rd place after the 1st round. The 2nd real round was really good because I got 6 throws off for 20 points. Tooney was running really fast and looked beautiful out there. We have some videos that will be put up some time. Freestyle may be more exciting to watch, but when you see a toss/fetch round with a dog like Tooney it’s really worth watching. Tooney scored 39 points in her 2 rounds and finished 2nd place with another qualifier!
Enzo got his 6th Double Q for AKC Nationals last Friday! I got some videos from the weekend too. The JWW course was kind of tricky and he jumped big on my double front cross but that was not exactly unexpected. I felt like that was the safer handling strategy though. He Q’d so it worked out.
I decided that the best way to ensure that I got the correct end of the tunnel after the dogwalk was to do a front cross. I had to leave the weaves and then run like crazy! I got there but just barely. Poor Enzo did a face plant but he didn’t seem to care. Got first place on this run 🙂
Then Saturday we did frisbee which Jeff already talked about and Sunday Enzo and I went back to agility. Enzo got first place in JWW on another twisty sort of course. He kind of launched over jump 3 but the rest was pretty tight.
Sunday’s standard was a nice flowy course. Enzo had a really good run except for the part where he thought he should do a running table! That’s the second time he’s done that in the past two weeks so we worked it some in class on Monday.
Slayte is doing really well. He’s a really fun pup and follows me around everywhere. He was 26 lbs and around 17.5″ at last measurement. All of his baby teeth are out and he is tugging like a maniac now. Hopefully we can use that to improve his speed on retrieves. Pulls like a sled dog on leash so had to use the Easy Walk Harness on him. He did go through a little fear period but seems to be coming out of it now. He was acting a little shy with people for a week or two but now he seems to be all over people again. He still wants to bark at dogs that he sees at a distance but he is ok when they are close. Definitely much better than Enzo at this age. Not even a comparison really. He’s also incredibly smart and figures out things that we really don’t want him to (like stepping on the garbage can pedal to open it!).
Tooney won another disc dog competition this weekend. The competition had 3 games: hopscotch, pie plate and speed disc. Hopscotch is set up just like the kid’s game, but with squares 10’x10′ starting at 10 yards away. You get 3 attempts per square and need to hit them in order from 1-8 and there is no time limit. After 3 misses at a given square, you are done and the highest # you got is your score. This is the hardest game for sure. Pie plate was a circular shaped set of targets at about 20 yards. A bit confusing to describe, but you basically try to hit the target zones in order, 1-7. In speed disc, you hit a square target at 15 yards and then get 1 throw at 20 yards and 1 throw at 30 yards. Once you finish the 3 targets, that is your time. Maximum of 60 seconds.
The turnout for this competition seemed to be really huge. It felt like 100 teams showed up, but probably more like 50. I will see when the results are posted exactly how many there were. We had 2 fields running at the same time and it took several hours to finish.
Last year, I told somebody it was impossible to hit all 8 targest in hopscotch. He said he could do it. I offered him $100 bet and he turned it down. He was the only person that hit all 8 targets last year (wishes he took the bet). This year, 2 people hit all 8 targets and the tie breaker is the one with the fewest throws. That was Tooney! We did it in 14 throws. The other team did it in 20 throws. Out of 50+ teams, only 2 finished it. It’s not easy! I only got to 3 squares with Enzo and Jenn got 0 with him!
Tooney had solid numbers in pie plate and speed disc and ended up winning the competition!
Enzo had a blast, but this is not his sort of thing. He launches himself over the targets in every direction imaginable. I have given up trying to come up with a strategy with him for these types of events because I just get frustrated and it’s not worth it. Every strategy I try fails for one reason or another. I just throw the discs and let him have fun flinging his body all over the place, making super easy catches look extremely, incredibly difficult. It’s OK. He enjoys it and we enjoy watching him have fun. These same discs Enzo misses by a mile or launches himself 10′ past the target, Tooney catches in the center of the target without any effort it seems.
Slayte earned his first points in a competition with points in every event! He even caught a disc at 29 yards on speed disc. We got a lot of compliments about him. His catching and tracking ability is phenomenal for a 5 1/2 month puppy.
Jenn got to play with Enzo in all the events and played hopscotch with Tooney. She had a really good round in hopscotch with Tooney, finishing half of the course (very few people got that far). She had similar experiences with Enzo as I did. Everything seemed to not work for every reason imaginable. These games are not ideal for dogs that do not understand the idea of slowing down or exercising a bit of restraint.