Thursday, January 17, 2008

this week

This week has escaped me. Tuesday night I had class with Ike and Katrin at the barn. I was very much in bad handler mode (stress = bad handler). We worked on Switches again which are fast becoming the bane of my existence! Just kidding, but I do seem to be having a tough time with them, it would help if I practiced them more. We also did a 90 degree turn/switch into the weaves which Ike handled well once I moved him out enough to be able to get the entrance.

It is amazing to me how the little tweaks of body positioning impact performance. We practiced a “get-out” tunnel and once I stopped FACING Ike (Gods Julie!) he handled it really well.

Katrin had the A-Frame up which was exciting since we had the A-Frame sight-seeing tour on Saturday. I think I confuse Ike when I am in Katrin’s class. I have been thinking about this because he acted a little odd about the A-Frame in the barn – and I realized that-that is the only time I ask him for a “wait.” In lessons with Erin and at trials I don’t ask him to “wait.” After some thought I realized that my criteria for Ike on the A-Frame is too keep running and this is a product of the fact that in general Ike isn’t moving fast enough (nor is he bold enough) to leap off the A-Frame and miss the contact. Hmmm. I am not sure what I think of this.

Yesterday we had a lesson with Erin at Canine Mastery. Ike was really good considering the indoor is pretty loud there and people kept arriving to pick up their dogs, etc. We saw a Giant named Rex – unfortunately he was quite overweight! : (

I find the AKC-style courses to be like trying to read in a foreign language. I understand the words I am seeing but I have a hard time making the big picture comprehensible. BUT, I think I am getting better about it and I had a lot more fun with it yesterday – not so much of a head trip. Depending on the personality of my next dog this will serve me well.

Ike was able to “see” the target plates indoors – hallelujah! So, we placed target plates at various points throughout the course. He handled 12 weaves beautifully multiple times – even getting fast enough to hop during one set. Yay!

I talked to Erin a bit about Jazz and the puppy dilemma. Having Jazz stay with us the past week plus has made me so aware of how idiosyncratic Ike is. I think he is a doggie misanthrope. Just kidding, that wouldn’t be a very accurate description of Sir Ike.

Katrin has pointed out to me – I am getting a dog for me, not Ike. However, I am hoping Ike will be around for the next 10 years – I want my next dog and Ike to get-on.

I have been thinking about all of the dogs Ike “likes” and aside from Baxter (LR who Ike adores), they are mostly small. Does this mean I should rethink my Giant plans, get a smaller dog, and make sure my next small dog really digs big dogs so I won’t be limited in that future dog choice?

I have dog sat for a variety of dogs and Ike has been fine with them all. Most of them have been on the needier side, but he has still come out of his shell and played with me while they are there. Not with Jazz.

Of course I suspect it would probably be easier with a puppy versus a two yo dog that doesn’t hear warning growls, etc. (even if he surely recognizes the body language).

So, What does this mean? It means I feel as though I am back to square one in terms of puppy decisions. I think, and Erin and Katrin seem to agree, that Ike would be fine with any dog as long as they came into the house as a puppy. He does seem a bit more relaxed with females, so….gulp…a girlie it will be most likely. BUT, what type? I want to be clunked over the head by the dog gods with “this is the dog for you.”

Talking to Erin last night, she was commenting on how nice she thinks Anna’s MS bitch Bebe is (this is the dog I was hoping for a puppy out of when I was sticking with MSs). Needless to say, I haven’t a clue what I am doing.

Last night I also practiced ABC homework with Ms. Carmen. Carmen is uber-needy. Where Ike would never touch, Carmen scratches/paws REPEATEDLY when she wants attention. I wasn't able to get her to jump up or touch me when I was standing (she sat staring at me), so I tried while sitting. She was touching, although not that consistently within about 5 - 10 minutes (versus HOURS with Ike!). So I moved into a kneel. Same story. She is the polar opposite of Ike. It is going to be fun doing ABC and agility with her. She is also VERY speedy!

I have class with Carmen tonight and then Ike and I are off to Ithaca with Katrin, Monty, and Sir James to attend the Amanda Nelson seminar. I am as excited about the seminar as I am about the fact we will be stopping to see some Cardigans on the way home!


Cat and Tessie said...

"I have been thinking about all of the dogs Ike “likes” and aside from Baxter (LR who Ike adores), they are mostly small. Does this mean I should rethink my Giant plans, get a smaller dog, and make sure my next small dog really digs big dogs so I won’t be limited in that future dog choice?"

That's exactly what I did. I wanted a GSD but realized it would've made Tessie MISERABLE with a dog that sized.

He likes Tessie. Maybe aim Tessie-sized instead? What about a Standard Schnauzer? There are people who work theirs (there are SCH titled Standards too). Perhaps you could look into that.

JULES & IKE said...

Or [GULP], stick with the mini's for at least one more dog.

I heard there is still a female Stryker puppy left! ;P

Marlene said...

Ike may surprise you on what he likes. The last time he was over for a play group with Kody he was begining to approach him for play and he has always liked Sophie, but they never played. Like Katrin says, the dog is for you not Ike. They don't have to be madly in love, just get along!

JULES & IKE said...

Marlene, I think he likes sedate dogs! This weekend he met a 12 yo berner mix who he adored!!

I need to find a calm dog with a desire to work!