Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Woofstock June 2013

Recently I attended the Woofstock shows a couple of weeks ago. I have never managed to show before as I was always off to conferences or agility trials. Boy did I miss a lot. The theme of the show is the 60s. We all grew up in that era-tie dye shirts....

   Mood lamps, colorful everything

Peace not war signs and posters everywhere

Vendors, exhibitors and judges alike all dressed up in hippie outfits. They seemed so normal then...

 Rings were huge and showed the dogs gait well, no mincing around small rings

Most of the exhibitor sets up  were decked out in decorations too

Vendors got into the spirit as well

Loud speakers were placed by every ring playing 60s music. Remember Knights in White Satin by the Moody Blues? Or Jimi Hendrix or the Doors? All and more were playing through the weekend.
At the end of Saturday was the costume competition, BBQ and dance.
It was an event, a walk down memory lane not just a dog show.
Would I go back again-YOU BET.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Two New Champions

Two weekends ago we had the Woofstock cluster dog shows. This a particularly fun show in that it is in the 60s theme-music, vendors and exhibitors all dress from the 60s. Remember mood lamps? Tie dye chothes? More on the show in the next post.
We had a huge greyhound entry-14 greys on Saturday and 17 greys(including 6 specials) on Sunday. This was one of the biggest gathering of greyhounds shown outside a specialty I have ever seen. Several greyhound kennels were represented including Suntiger, Fleetfield, Pioneer, Santana, Huzzah Cuchulain, coursing kennels( Summerwind breeding) as well as of course Aragon. Many different types of greyhounds on exhibit.
I am proud to say both Goose and Emma finished their breed championship on Sunday!

                                             Ch Aragon Golden Canyon aka "Goose"

                                             Ch Aragon Emerald Hills aka "Emma"

As they mature Costa and Janet are deciding what they want to do next-Lure coursing? Agility? Obedience? Fly Ball? Or all of them?

Maybe it will be lure coursing!

Monday, June 3, 2013

Working with Distractions

It is important for my dogs to learn to respond to cues even when in the presence of distractions. I try to carefully and deliberately add distractions in a way that ensure my dog will be successful. I don't start adding distractions until I am certain that my dog is fluent in the behavior in a particular setting.  The distraction starts out as something small and easily controlled by me (for example, a piece of cheese off to the side).  Once my dog is able to handle this small distraction, I will gradually increase the amount of distraction.  When I do change the setting and ask for the behavior in a new environment, I start with no additional distractions.  Once the behavior is fluent in the new setting, I add distraction.

The caveat is the way I use food in this video.  Sometimes Tanner finds the environment more distracting than I had anticipated. In this case, I can put a piece of food on the ground and ask him to work around it. The food is a very close distraction that he is familiar with. He will focus on this distraction (as opposed to the environment) and work willingly around it as he does in this video. You can see that he knows the food is there and he wants to eat it but chooses not to. He is not ready to take this behavior with this amount of distraction to a new setting.  

The other advantage of using food as a distraction like this is that it mimics finding food on the ground when we are out and about.  When he sees a piece of food on the ground he gives me attention as a way of asking for the food rather than just lunging after it.  

Here is a video where I add some pieces of cheese on the ground and ask Tanner to work over them.