Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Welcome KADE

Well my new addition is here......... MEET KADE!!!!

I love her already!! Born June 5, 2012 she is 9 weeks now.She is already learning TONS each day! Nikki loves her already. They play a fair bit. Cal is still warming up to her. Not loving her quite as much as Nikki but he will get used to her! She is tons of fun so far and I am having tons of fun training her as well as working on stuff with Nikki and Caliber. Getting a new dog has seemed to get me excited about working with the dogs again. I'm feeling more excited about agility and working with Cal on obedience and such.

Enjoy some pictures.......

Playing with Nikki and trying to play with Cal..........

Cal and Nikki pics as well ...........

I really dislike you right now!!!!!Stupid camera

Call getting brushed - he is so happy when he is being brushed!

Waiting so patiently.

I love my dogs!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

New Day, New Collars!!!

I decided with this new coming addition that it was time for new collars for Nikki and Cal. This was a tough decision for me only because  we picked their collars out when we adopted them and that's the collar they should wear forever!! I know WEIRD!! But I find sentimental value in them. I found a real awesome collar for the puppy so I decided that it was time for Nikki and Caliber too!!! Change is good. I ordered them from sliver foot and they came today.

Top one is Caliber's , the 2nd one is Nikki's and the last one is hopefully for our new addition!!!

Caliber and Nikki showing off their new fancy neck wear!!!!!!

The blue makes my boy look so handsome!!!!

Much girlier collar for my Nikkers - she is so pretty!

They are even Canadian made!!!!!!!!!!!

Tell next time!!!!

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Seminars, Time Off and a Change in Attitude

Well I know I haven't blogged in a while. It's been tough with sharing a computer and Steve working away! I have done a few seminars this is past 6 weeks since regional's. They have both been very different. With very different take home messages.

I started with Kim Collins in June. She had some good points for me to work on. Stuff I knew needed some work. The courses were hard so there was a lot to be fixed. A lot of people told me that I would probably feel like I wanted to quit after a weekend with her and they were right, I did! My contacts need work and Nikki's drive when she's coming into me. Her tug drive needed work as well. All stuff a knew about but maybe let go to work on other things.

Since the seminar I have Nikki tugging like crazy and driving better into me. I quit trialing for a while to work on a few things like contacts and drive. Also because I truly felt like quiting. All and all it was a pretty negative weekend. The group I was running with was very negative and had some choice words to say about my trainer and her students, so the weekend started off on the wrong foot to begin with!!

My second seminar was with Kathy Keats. She was PHENOMENAL!!! Funny and had great information for everybody despite the type of dog we were running! The 1st run I did for her she pointed out a very KEY issue to some major problems. My crosses are too LATE! ALL OF THEM!!!! Not by much but enough to not be giving the right information soon enough. I was floored! No one has pointed that out to me before.Nikki has become faster especially over the past year and I have not changed much in my handling style. I have noticed Nikki has been falling after jumps sometimes and was really wondering why this was happening. Well I got my answer. This is also why Nikki doesn't run to her full speed. Cautiously trying to navigate around me !!! Kathy is so positive with her teaching!!!! Loved the seminar!!!!

So since the last seminar I have finally been able to connect with my dog better as well as my trainer. It's been really frustrating for me since the move. It's been really tough distinguishing between the Derret system and the differences that my trainer is teaching. I was also able to discuss the information Kathy gave to me with my trainer and she was able to help me understand it better. It finally felt smooth for me out there on course at class on thursday and I am so thankful!!!!

My Rant on Negativity.....

So I don't understand how going to a seminar that makes you want to QUIT is worth anything. I HATE the negativity that surrounds agility and going to someone for help that makes you feel like quitting makes no sense to me! It my work for other people to pick themselves up off the floor but not for me. If I'm going to get through it, it's going to have to be the positive way!!!! She gave gave me some important stuff to work on and I thank her for that. I also have no time for people in agility with "better then you " attitudes with there noses stuck up in the air! Needless to say I will not go back to Kim. It's just not for me!!!

I may be a nobody in the agility world, But I'm in this to have fun and work hard for myself and my dog and if I keep a positive attitude maybe I will get noticed someday!

Anyway enough with the ranting, here are a few pictures from my week off. We went to Jasper.

                                         Such a happy family!!!!!!!

We decided to take a dip in this very beautiful and clear lake on our hike!

I love waterfalls!!! So beautiful!!!!!!!!

Sneak peek of whats to come!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Regionals 2012

Wow, what a weekend!!! Nikki and I were in medicine hat for regionals this past weekend. It was the 1st time either of us had attended and what an experiance it was. Nikki did really well considering she has been a little stiff and occasionally sore lately. Saturday she missed the main gamble only by the last jump. She had issues with her weave entry in standards and one knocked bar. Her jumpers was not so great with her running into the wrong end of the tunnel and missing the tire. We were a little bit of a gong show in that run. After saturday I was pretty conviced we were not going to qualify for nationals especially after our standard run where she knocked a bar again and missed her weave entry. BUT...... she ran her jumpers round clear and then shocked the crap out of me when she finshed her main gamble which quallified us for nationals. Both gamble runs were the best runs I have had all year. I'm so proud of her !!!! She really pulled it together for me at the end. Such a great dog!!! I'm pretty sure we will not be attending nationals this year. I would like her to be running a little better and to figure out how to fix her stiffness and soreness.  I cannot wait to start working hard again for next years regionals.!

It was a great experience even though stressful at times. Everyone was really on edge especially on sunday. I wouldn't have been able to pull through without Steve being there! He can always calm me down in stressful situations. I love that man so much!!!!!

I was also very awesome to see the Go Dog Go group this weekend! There were a few injurys this weekend which I was sad to see but some great victories as well. Congrats to all the Go Dog Go people! I also send a congrats to the edmonton people I know. Most of them quallified for nationals!!!

Not such bad pictures for a dog afraid of camera!!!!!
I will post my jumpers run as soon as I buy a new computer which should be in a few weeks. I will start posting more then too!!!!

Saturday, February 25, 2012

New Experiences, New Challenges, New Title!!!!!

I am so proud of my Nikker's for bringing home her 2nd title on the weekend! We are now at the master's level for all our games and I am finding it a little challenging from time to time. We will get better as we gain more experience. I'm always looking forward to learning more about how to handle and what my Nikki's needs are from me on course as well as the before and after. We are starting to become quiet a team and I love that feeling. It's very interesting to me to finally start to see what Sarah and Amanda meant when they said " know your dog and handle for your dog!" I hear it a lot among my new group as well.

I am in the middle of re-training a few things right now. We have started with weaves. Nikki has had a few issues with running the weaves at a faster place now that her speed has increased. So I decided to train in Susan Garretts 2x2. We have been working on it for about a week and it is going well so far. Are next project will be running contacts and I hear that one can be quiet challenging but I am looking forward to seeing the out come.

Nikki's Title Snooker run


Thursday, December 15, 2011


So I had a great opportunity to watch Silvia Trkman's video Ready-Steady-Go the other day and have to say I did learn some valuable tips on how to make my nikkers run faster! So I know that Nikki's drive has been a little bit of issue for us for well always, so after watching this video I decided that its "Now or Never time" and since it has been on my mind and on my list of "To Do's" this video could not have come at a better time. Time to stop being lazy Ashley! I also decided to include caliber in my drive training because well why not. He needs something more to do these days and I believe some tricks and more fun will make him a little happier! 

Whenever I take on something new I'm always amazed at how much I learn. The dogs always seem to get it but I'm always surprised when I see the outcomes.

So lesson 1 (for me of course!): This has to be done SEPARATELY. Nikki is such a.....well lets just say it....a jealous B****. Even though I love her she can not handle not having all of the attention all the time. If anyone has some insight on this matter please feel free to comment.

I've also been thinking about my contacts with Nikki lately. They have always been weak which we all know is defiantly my fault but something that Silvia said that caught my attention was that she always trains running contacts and that a under confident dog should as well to keep up there speed. Now at this point I'm defiantly not looking for Nikki to become the fasted dog in the class, I'm just wondering if this will help her confidence out on course? Less to worry about for her and for me. Please feel free to comment on this matter as well!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Next 3 Assignments.....

So recently, well since the move I should say, Nikki has regressed a bit back to her stressed out self. I defiantly do not blame her as this move has been very stressful. There is so much that has changed in her little world. She is in a new place with downstairs neighbours that make noise of course, we are  training in a new place with new people and new dogs and Stephen is working full time now so he's home a little less throughout the day which both dogs have defiantly noticed. My poor Nikki always reads a lot into how I'm feeling and even though I'm very glad to be back it is a little stressful at times. I put a lot of effort into my relationships with people and now that I've returned not all of them are same. Some are strained and some I'm starting again scratch due to events before I left.

But enough with all the ME crap! Nikki's agility demeanour had changed slightly so I have come up with a plan to A. make it more fun and B. bring us back up the level she was at before the move. Don't get me wrong we are not way behind or anything we are just having a few issues with a few things.

So the plan is .........

A.It has been brought to my attention time and time again that Nikki's toy drive is defiantly lacking at times. So I've been shown a few ways on how it increase that drive and so far it looks like it is going to take a little work but I'm up for the challenge. This time I'm making sure I follow this one all the way through as I have a bad habit of quiting half way because its easier that way.

B. Weaves - Nikki has been seriously lacking in her weaves. Missing poles all over the place. So I'm back to weave training again. If I learn to love the weaves, Nikki will learn to love the weaves or so I've been told.

and C. the Table- Nikki was spooked off the table in the spring due to having her picture taking. Damn those camera's stealing her soul!!!! So now we are playing every table game under the sun!

Of course there are a few more things we should be working on but 3 is enough for now as far as I'm concerned.  I'll keep our progress posted! I really want to see my Nikki come back from her regression and move even farther a head then before!!!! :)