Tuesday, June 30, 2009

What is agility?

Mani and I just got back from another bike ride. I would like to go on at least one per day. This time we went a different way so we could go to this large field and I could take Mani off his leash to run around. While we were there everyone was commenting on how cute Mani is. And while we were riding the bike they were saying “Look at the cute dog running next to the bike!” or “Poor dog!” {head shake}.

Just as we were about to get on the bike and leave a lady walking a Shih Tzu asked, “Is that a Papillon?” I jumped up and replied, "Yes." I was surprised because it is rare that people guess the correct breed. They all think he is some kind of weird Chihuahua mix or something. One person even asked if he was a Butterfly Pom.

Anyway, the lady with the Shih Tzu had just come back from the groomer. While on their walk the freshly groomed Shih Tzu plopped down directly into a large mud puddle. So when the two dogs were playing, he got Mani very muddy.

We started talking about how Papillons have such high energy levels; how they can take anything or nothing. Then I mentioned that I was trying to build his muscles and stamina for agility. She then stopped and looked a little puzzled and asked, “What is agility?” I was a little stunned. Not because someone does not know what agility is, but because I did not know what to say. Ever since I started trying to get into agility, with and without a dog, I was surrounded by people who knew what it was, even a little. I have never been asked what agility is. I hate saying this because I don’t know real statistics but, I guess most of the people in the US know, even by a little, know what agility is. Whenever I mention it, people seem to know what I am talking about. I need to think of something to say in case this happens again. I don’t want to look stupid when I am training my dog in a sport and I can’t even explain it!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Bike Ride and Some More Agility Front Crosses.....

Wow! Just got back from a bike ride on a trail near where we live. And by bike ride I mean, Mani in my bag and us both riding the bike to the trail head, then only me riding the bike along the trail and ¾ of the way home, with Mani running beside, then he and I both ride the bike (Mani in my bag again) the rest of the way home. Hehe! It was cool enough to go out and get some exercise so I just got up and left. Really without thinking about it. Now I want some ice cream!

Before I left I uploaded a video to youtube. It is of me running my agility trainer's dog to practice my front crosses. Mani was doing great on the first cross, then on the second one he would avoid the jump just before I would make the cross. So in order to see if the problem was me (trying to cross too soon) or Mani (not liking the cross at all) she had me run her dog. Her dog is a highly experienced Bichon Frise. She competes with her in agility. It was so much fun. I could sort of relax and trust her to go through the tunnel all the way, and make it over all of the jumps (and go out if needed). I hope Mani gets to that point soon! I cant wait. Everyone who has seen Mani says that he will be ready to compete in no time (I think by that they mean within this year). I just hope Mani and I can prove them right!

Mani's Front Crosses and 'Zoomies'

In class Mani is doing great with his front crosses, well my front crosses. There was just one that he didn’t like, because he was avoiding the jump. The one thing that I really want to work on now is his ‘zoomies’. After each sequence he runs off, away from me, sometimes without getting his treat first. You can see it in this video here:

I am trying to figure out a way that I can stop that behavior without making anything less fun for him. I found a toy online; I think they said it was made with real Bison hair or something. Anyway that would be perfect for Mani, he loves toys that smell like animals.

Anyway, I have two ideas that might work to get Mani to stop doing his ‘zoomies’. One is to add a release cue to end all of the work we were doing. So at the end of a jump sequence I would call him to me, then try to get him to stay with me then release him to go and run and play. Eventually I would build the time between ending the jumps and the release cue. Another thought along that path would be to ask him to 'down' when we are done, then release him. He loves to ‘down’ in grass. I can get him to do it fast without him shutting down or loosing any interest. The last thought along that line would be to have him do a trick for me. Like when we are done jumping I would somehow get him to me then I would have him ‘about’. Which is his cue for backward circles left around me. Then I can release him or possible have him heel (or something resembling) with me to wherever we need to go.

The second thought that I had which I will most likely try to use first is just to have him jump into my arms. He knows how to do it, he loves to do it, but I have never asked him to do it while we are doing agility. Just tricks, when I need to either place him somewhere and I don’t want him to loose enthusiasm, or when I want him to run, I would put him down in a ‘torpedo’ motion.

The only problem with both of these ideas is that I somehow need to get Mani to come to me to be able to get him to follow my directions. That is a hard job on its own. If I can just get some treats that are super irresistible to him, I don’t think I would ever have a problem with this.

I think I am going to try it. I got this treat idea from a friend and I think I am going to try it with Mani. I am going to make them and just see if Mani likes it. He'd better!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Cik and Cap Turns

Mani and I have been working on Silvia Trkman's Cik and Cap Turn.

Mani knows how to go around object, we are working on him understanding the difference in commands (left and right around objects). We were doing really well one day then suddenly he started shutting down during training. I have been trying to get him used to turning over the jumps for agility but he keeps shutting down then getting very fearful of the situation. Today was the first real day that we got anything done without him shutting down. He knows cik (left around an object) really well. He just does not understand the difference for cap (right around an object). He can do a cik really well but then if I add a cap in there he will freak out, even though he knows what to do. Today he did it, but I was luring him the whole way. But he did not shut down and he did not freak out and become fearful. He did loose interest but he did it because I asked him to. Hehe! I think we are really progressing. But I need some more dog treats. Something irresistible. Something that even when he is full or not wanting to train he will because he cannot pass it up. Hmmmmm!

Another Agility Class

We have another agility class on Friday, in the morning. I cant wait, I just hope it isnt too hot. Mani does not do well in the heat. I tried to do some training today with him and he did really well. First time in about 2 weeks that he did not shut down when doing a certain tricks. He became very fearful of the trick then just the training. So I think he may be comming out of it finally.

We were working on front crosses, well I trained Mani to Silvia Trkmans turn jumps. So I do those while our trainer has us doing something else. I guess I will have to tell her about that. =)) Anyway, he did not shut down, but ot was so hot that he knew I just wanted him to do it for a little while. I am trying to build his tolerance of running and working in the heat. I take him out in short little burst to run, then we go back in get some water and rest. I think I will take him out bike riding again later on today. After the heat from the sun dies down just a little bit.

Our trainer says that with the way Mani is and how far advanced he is right now, he may be able to compete in August at a TDAA trial. I cant wait. But that is as long as I can be more coordinated. There is an agility trial at a park near me in a couple weeks. I would really like to go, but my parents are going to be out of town so I will not be able to get a ride there. Oh well, maybe next time :(

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Mani Agility Fun . . . I think!

I took Mani out today to do some agility practice. I just wanted to see how attentive and direction taking he would be with me. He was ok. Just ok. We have been having problems during training. He has started shutting down during training again. It was the hardest thing to get over last time during training. Now I don’t know what do. He is great sometimes then suddenly I am looking at a different dog. Well anyway, I took a jump and a tunnel outside and we did some jumping and tunnels. Here is a video of our efforts:

Mani Agility Training Log - Entry 1

Mani’s first agility class was June 23, 2009. We had a morning class scheduled, but the trainer was sick so it was cancelled. She called later, after seeing a doctor, and said that it was nothing contagious, just bad allergies. She wanted to reschedule for that night. Too hot to train during the day.

Mani did exceptionally well; she was blown away. She was so happy with what he already knew and what he could do. He surprised me by doing a tunnel completely turned around. His usual M.O. for the tunnel is to go half-way then stop in the middle, turn around and go out the entrance. As long as I run next to him by the tunnel, he will go the whole way. In agility I will be running anyway so not a huge issue.

We worked on a lot of things, front crosses, A-Frame, Dog Walk, tunnel, and some jump sequences. Mani did famously on all. He was not afraid of the height of the A-Frame or dog walk he loves to jump he just has trouble with direction. I think I had the most trouble though. I would guide and treat with the wrong hands. I am so uncoordinated. :(((

Mani and I also need to work on target training on a small plastic lid that I can send him to after an obstacle. That will be the next 21 Day video. I really need to catch up on that. I am 3 days behind so far. But it ends tomorrow! YAY!!! Did i mention this 21 Day thing is hard?!

Mani + Recall = ???

Mani has a terrible recall. I mean terrible. He knows that I want him, but sniffing around is so much better. On lead he is 100%. So there is relatively no way to train him. if he knows he is on a long lead he will come every time. If I take him off he is gone sniffing and marking and having fun, totally oblivious of me.

We are going to work on some of that today. At his agility class, he had the 'zoomies' really bad. It was so embarrassing. After we were done with one obstacle he would go off sniffing and marking. Did I mention he learned to mark from a female Pomeranian at the dog park? Not cool! Now he does it all the time outside.

Well anyway, we are going to work on recall. Or at least getting him to stay within a couple steps of my area, for agility.

Sunday, June 21, 2009


I am very late, guess you got that! Yesterday the party was great. I was hoping to get a video of Mani playing with the dogs but never got a chance. Then we did not get back home till 2:00AM! So no video yesterday. I am so far 3 days behind. This 21 Day thing is hard!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Agility and Party and Toys

Mani has his first ever agility lesson scheduled for Tuesday. I can’t wait; I just hope Mani will perform well. I am sure he will, just sometimes he gets so excited around new people, and you’d think he was the craziest most un-trainable dog in the world. I hope the trainer can understand.

We are going to a party tonight, one of Mani’s bestest friends is going to be there. His name is Kujo he is a Bichon Frise. He is so cute and fuzzy. Just like a white powder puff. They play so well together, they really love each other. We went hiking on Stone Mountain with them together, they loved it and Mani made it all the way up and down without any help. He was very tired afterwards though.

I made a makeshift teeter today and tried Mani on it. He loved it but the noise it made scared him a little. I was feeding him so many treat to trying to get him used to it that he got full very fast, I wish he was toy motivated. The only toy that motivates him is not a toy; it’s a real fox tail. All Mani wants to do is tear it up. I am looking for something, like an old long sock or another piece of fabric that I can boil in meat juice. Maybe that will work. He likes animal smells, but where can I find a toy that smells like an animal?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Saturday, June 13, 2009

New Pictures of Mani

I have updated new pictures of Mani on my picture blog

Pilot Mandolin Rain CGC

That is Mani's new name. He finally has his CGC. He passed with flying colors. He did so well. I was scared because when we first got to the site, he saw the other dogs and started getting extremely jumpy and excited. I did not think he would perform as well as he did. I thought he would be super distracted and not even think twice about the possibility that I might be in the same country as him, let alone standing right next to him.

We tested at an agility center, hosted by the Atlanta Doberman Pinscher Club.

So that is Mani’s new name. We have not sent the papers to AKC yet, but that will be done soon. Now we can focus on agility and rally. Maybe even canine freestyle and defiantly more tricks. In December I am hoping to go to Silvia Trkman’s seminars in CA. Don’t know if I will make it though. I just thought it would be great for Mani. When I get my Pyr Shep, though, I am going to every thing she has in the States. Was even considering going to Slovenia and taking her puppy classes. =)) Hehe!

To see more pictures of Mani go to my other blog.

Friday, June 12, 2009

CGC Testing!

Mani is finally getting his CGC! Tomorrow there is a testing near us and we are going, hopefully Mani will do amazingly and earn his CGC. Our biggest goal to overcome was sitting politely for strangers and recall. When Mani is approached my strangers he gets so excited that his body gets all wiggly and he cant help but jump up. He is such a puppy! We have been working on that but since Mani does not see ‘stranger’ he does not understand. He has been doing great though. With recall, he hates it. He is perfect off leash when I walk him and stuff, but if I want him to come to me and he is too far away for me to get him, the chances of him coming are about 29% or something lower. But it is so hard to train him because he knows when he has the lead on, so he is perfect when I have control. Anyway, the teat is going to be one a 20ft lead or something, so he should do well. We worked on some heeling today, we have not done any heeling for about 2 months. I take him out without a leash on, and when he was on a leash to go places he was not heeling. He did so well! Considering.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Well this and next week are finals week in school for me. Just to say that I am so overwhelmed and busy! I have not posted in a little while and posted my new videos on here either.

Mani is doing so well with everything. I think he may even like making a new video everyday. Well he does get more treats and attention that way.

Well two new videos that we made and posted here:



Monday, June 8, 2009

Total Subscribers.....

I have a total of 15 subscribers thus far. I have been getting at least 2 per day sometimes more. Like yesterday I received 5 new subscribers. Just keep them coming! Mani is just happy that people enjoy watching him and watching what he can do. Of course, the more videos he makes, the more treats he gets to have. He knows just how to get what he wants. Hehehe!

Click to enlarge!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

4 New Subscribers! WOW!

I woke up this morning and got on my computer and I have 4 new suscribers. I am soooo happy. After the first video was posted I got 2 subscribers. Now I have a total of 11 subscribers. That is sooo awsome! If you subscribed and are reading this


I have a Super Smart Dog!

Like up there ^ ^ ^, I have a super smart dog! Mani is soooo smart; and it’s not that I just realized it, but he never showed me before. We were making our video for the 21-Day Project. It was going to be video #5 of 21 where he was learning to lift his left hind leg. A trick he does not know yet. He knows to lift his right hind leg but not left. Anyway, I was training him but it wasn’t going well; he was starting to shut down on me because he was not understanding what I wanted him to do. He was lifting his right leg instead of his left.

Then we changed methods. Instead of targeting books, I started pushing on his paw pad from behind and when he held his paw up, I would click/treat. After about 10 of those I went back to the book target. I started low. AND HE DID IT! After I knew he understood that part I added another book. He did that one, too. Then I added another book. When I gave him the command, he didn’t even target the book he just lifted his leg and held it there waiting patiently for the click/treat. I was amazed!! He has never moved that fast with a trick before. And I though after I used the light physical manipulation he would completely shut down. But he didn’t and he finished the trick. He is in no way done learning this trick; we only did it for about 10min. But I was just blown away by how fast he picked it up. So even though this video was scheduled for 3 days from now, I am going to post it today, cause I am soooo proud of him!

Silvia Trkman always calls her first Border Collie, Bu, 'autistic.' It was funny because I thought Mani might be autistic from the way he acted when I first got him. If you fold his ears back, he looks exactly like a picture of Bu that I saw. So since they had those two things in common I nicknamed Mani Bu. In different ways. Well, I can’t stress enough how proud I am of my 'autistic' puppy! =))

Friday, June 5, 2009

New Video Up and Running, Video 1 of 21

Mani's first 21 Day Project video is up on youtube and live and ready for people to see and love and subscribe. This video took us quite a long time to put together, with all the technical difficulties and all. But it is finally up. Here it is:

Please Subscribe!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

New Video

I woud like to post something new at least once a day. So.....

I am putting a new video together for youtube. Since my camera is giving me trouble I have to re-record all the film that I have on my other camera. I had been planning to do this project for a long time, well since I heard about it. But I have been getting set bad due to technical difficulties and many other issues. So I finally think that I may be able to get all the preperation done and finish what I need to. So that I can be ready to start tomorrow. Yes, I said it, Tomorrow! Kinda short notice, I know and I just hope I am ready.

The project that I am going to be doing is called the 21 Day Project. You upload a video on youtube everyday for 21 days in the hopes of reaching your overall goal. I just hope to get more subscribers and people noticing how great a dog trainer I am. Here is the videro to the lady who started it all.....


Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Mani Homecoming Video

Here is a video that I made of him when I first got home with him.....

Mandolin Rain "Mani"

This is Mani's blog. His full show name is Pilot Mandolin Rain. His call name is Mani. He is a male Papillon, turned a year Febuary 16th, 2009.

He is so sweet and super well behaved. We are going to be competeing in agility, rally, obedience, and canine freestyle in the future.

Mani was to be a show dog, but he could not be. So he was given back to his breeder. Who was then selling him as a pet to a performance home. I saw him and could not say no.
When i got him he had just turned 8months old.