Sunday, October 24, 2010

2010 USDAA Championships

We had a good weekend last weekend at the USDAA Championships!

Splash and Edan went to the Championships with me. Both were on a team. Splash ran in the PGP quarterfinals, no bye, and PSJ Semifinals. Edan actually had a bye into the Semifinals.

Splash had an awesome PGP quarterfinal run, except I slipped and was proud of still getting there for my front cross then oops!! did not turn enough in my cross and sent her to the wrong jump!! Her running dogwalk was awesome!!
Edan was running really well and had a beautiful Semi GP run going, but missed a weave pole and I did not want to fix it, just kept going!!

Team snooker, I did the same plan for Splash and Edan, except I did 1 less red for Edan. With no lead-out for Splash I did 5-6-and 2 -7's. She was sitting in first place till the end of the day when a Sheltie did 2-6's and 2-7's to beat her by 1 point. So she ended up in second.

Splash then had a great run in Steeplechase. second in her group. waited all day to see if it would hold. Ended up going into the finals in 5th place. We were too nervous, and not in sync at the beginning of the course. after an off course at #4-5. I relaxed and we enjoyed and smoked the rest of the course!!

PVP jumpers, Splash again had a very nice run and ended up in 6th place! So we came home with 3 ribbons and a silver medal!!

Edan ran nice all weekend, but the 22" class is so competitive!! Edan however did get to go lure coursing Saturday and Sunday. He got to run with his Toller girlfriend, Quantum, on Saturday. I think it helped him speed up!!
Sunday he got to go into the final round and ended up 2nd after his other girlfriend, Snafu. so he came home with a red ribbon after all. He got to run with Snaf after their finals run. Knowing Snaf was faster, I released Edan first. He blocked Snaf the whole way to the last turn and she then squeaked by to win by a nose.
The lure course workers loved to see the run!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Copper goes home!!!! Last Copper post

I am just so excited!! I packed up Edan, Splash and Copper yesterday at 5AM to take Copper to meet his new owner, Matt.

We met at a State Park in Lake City PA, Erie Bluffs State Park. There were 2 parking lots there. One had a trail that went back to the bluffs overlooking Lake Erie. I got there early and scanned both lots, then took Splash and Edan on the trail for a 30 min hike to see the Bluffs. Kevin and I will be stopping at this place again. It was really nice. I wish I had more time to hike. But, I wanted to make sure I was ready to spend time with Matt and Copper.

We then went over to the Elk Creek Access area and I walked Copper at bit, then got Edan and Splash out to swim. I swam Splash until Matt got there. The Elk Creek access area has a boat ramp to put small craft into the creek, then short trip down to the lake. There was a trail along the creek to walk down to the lake about 1/2 mile.

So Matt met Copper and we walked Edan and Copper down to the lake with some bumpers to retrieve. They got along very well, although Copper was still looking to me for direction.

At the Lake there was an engine near shore that the water was breaking over. Copper started barking at it. So I showed Matt the touch exercise I do with Edan when he freaks out at something.
Matt took some treats from me and waded into the water and worked with Copper, till Copper touched it several times. He then was able to ignore it and started to retrieve past it with no issues.

I showed Matt a couple other useful exercises back at the car. He practiced those with Copper and by the time I left them they looked very happy and like they were bonding already.

It was a very fun trip to enjoy the park and to see Copper and Matt starting out with a good experience. It was worth the drive, rather than sending him out with someone else, to be able to see Copper transition and start to bond with Matt.
The drive home was easy with a good book and the good feeling of having been able to see Copper to his Forever home.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Copper has learned to swim!!

My other Tollers are swimming maniacs, and Copper has so wanted to participate. He tries but just too scared. Our lake drops off drastically so a bit scary. This weekend I worked with him at a different lake and he finally got it. He is now swimming out about 10-15 ft. He splashes still most of the time but is settling in and starting to swim more smoothly. He is even more excited now when the bumpers come out. He has the Toller scream!! if he is left behind.

Monday, May 17, 2010


Things have settled into a routine for Copper. He like routine, and when it changes he gets a bit stressed. His favorite things are going for walks and riding in the car. He will go with to train, I can teether him to the car and he just hangs out while the others train. He was exposed to boys 10-13 the other day and shows no fear with them. He responds better than Edan.
He has traveled to shows with me, and travels very well. We still hand feed him, if we get lazy and start to feed him in his kennel too many times in a row, he growls at the other dogs when they go near his kennel. If we hand feed out of the kennel and have him work for his food he is much better. We still work on dropping anything he picks up for food and also placing toys, food bowls etc next to him and picking them up. He is doing very well with that exercise, but need to take more time to do it in diverse areas.
He is doing better with grooming and wiping feet.
Copper is ready to find his forever home, but it is going to be a very special home, that will be willing to work with him with clicker, positive training methods, and learn to read his stress signals to not overload him. He needs a quiet environment, as he is very noise sensitive. Once he learns to trust you he can work past scary noises. He can be a very brave boy, but I think that it comes from trusting me to not let bad things happen. He has learned to trust me and needs someone patient enough to gain his trust.
The one project that I would like to accomplish with him before he goes is to get him swimming. he loves the water and loves to retrieve, but is afraid to swim yet. It has not been good weather the last couple weeks, hope to get better weather soon so I can complete that project.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Copper bit Kevin

So it has been one week since the bite. I needed time to process and get my game plan adjusted. Copper was doing well and we let up on our management. Big mistake.
Here is an excerpt from an email sent to those involved in Toller rescue and professional trainers and Behaviorist.

We had an incident today that really disheartens me.
I will tell it like I remember, there is a bit of background over the weekend to read on my Blog if you have not.
We had Copper in the house with his drag lead on, he was trying to get into things he was not supposed to and we kept distracting him from those, he finally got a Squeaky toy and was busy with it.
He was under the grooming table, about 3 feet from Kevin on his right. Kevin was sitting at the Desk working on something, I was across the room to Kevin's left. Copper squeaked the toy and Nitt jumped out of my lap.
Copper started to growl, I got up and was trying to assess the situation, at the same time trying to grab Nitt, in case it was him he was growling at. Nitt was closer to me.
Kevin turned in his chair and leaned over, put his hand down to block Copper, and said drop it (Copper did not have anything in his mouth). Copper then lunged about three feet at Kevin's hand and bit him.
We have tightened our management program and I have a printed list of Copper's core Management program.
Below is an email from Kristen in answer to my original email.


How bad was the bite? Was there bruising, swelling, punctures, or just a red mark? Dog under bed, table… and human hand reaching down is a pretty hot spot for a dog bite from a guarder. Bones that the dog has been chewing on for awhile may be more valuable than a bone that has just been given to a dog. We will need to re-create that situation in a level at which the dog is comfortable, break it down into pieces, and train for the appropriate response. Lots of work.

Regarding the Bluetooth: Interesting that Cooper is still getting into things that he shouldn’t and choosing to chew on them rather than bringing them to you so that you ask him to drop and he gets a treat. Most dogs with a strong reinforcement history for dropping still pick things up that we don’t want them to have but they just bring them to their people instead of chewing them up.

I read your blog. Please keep Cooper off of furniture. Resource guarders are more likely to bite and do damage if they’re on furniture. And he’s more likely to guard it as a location as well. Also, foster dogs are more adoptable if they don’t have furniture habits and once adopted should not be allowed on furniture for a few months anyway.

Beef up your management. There were too many variables present (Nitt, Kevin busy, toys, bones) at once while both of you were busy. Crate him when you’re not actively training and the other dogs/toys/bones are around. Have Kevin work to fix his relationship with Cooper. Force/intimidation does not work on hard wired resource guarders or anxious dogs. It only makes them more anxious.

Add up the # of bites that Cooper has had. How many bites are acceptable for your rescue to adopt him out?

It has been a week now and no major problems. He went to the show in Indy with me and did very well. First time in the building he was pretty stressed at first but settled with lots of reinforcement. Copper loves riding in the car!! He seemed to prefer staying in the car rather in my friend's house at night. Seems to be like Splash in finding the car to be a safe zone.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Copper, aha or learning opportunity

I was tired last night and did not put two and two together. I now know why Copper did what he did last night.
Yesterday when I was cleaning, Kevin was sitting in his chair, Copper stole his bluetooth off of the table. I told Kevin he had his bluetooth, and Kevin flew out of his chair and pinned Copper on the couch and took the bluetooth from him. He did growl at the time but was not able to snap.
I was getting up quickly to go to distract Copper, and he felt threatened after the situation earlier.
So Kevin has learned that no matter how precious, what ever Copper has, he needs to give the drop it signal calmly. This morning Copper got hold of my raincoat bag, I calmly gave him the signal, and he dropped it immediately. I have a container of food and rewarded him. He does want to be a good boy, just does not take pressure well.

Saturday, April 10, 2010


Well, we had a good couple of days that did not end well. Copper has been doing good with giving things up, and last night he got to lounge on the couch, cause he was being good.
Today, I actually trimmed three nails!! He then got to try to swim, well he really wants the bumper, but was afraid to swim out. I had the long line on him but did not really need it. He would give the bumper up with no problems, even with Edan around. No growling on Copper's part.
He was outdoors most of the day, as I was inside spring cleaning.
This evening I tried to let him stay out, but he was trying to find something to grab and as I went to try to distract him to go somewhere else, he growled and snapped. He now is in his kennel contemplating his loss of freedom.
I wonder if today was too much for him, a lot of activity. I thought he would crash like yesterday, but we may have over done and needed to kennel him sooner. He did not growl at me when I put him in the kennel which surprised me.
We go to class tomorrow. I will have to ask Kristen what she thinks. I still need to work up to taking him to the vet for a Thyroid test. Also, I was too tired tonight to make him work for his dinner. I just let him eat out of the bowl while I held it.