Friday, April 11, 2014

Come on Sun!

We've had several days of great weather here in Oregon, I've been trying to take advantage of it and work the dogs.

On the 19th I am taking Seppel out to Rose City Working Dog Assoc. to train with their IPO club. I was going to  go tomorrow but their training director won't be there. I'm not going to say anything about his hip surgery, just to see if anyone says anything.

I'm anxious to get the dogs back into their summer shape and am absolutely loving these beautiful dry days. Here are some pictures I took of Seth and Seppel today!

I know he's not placing full weight but you can see there is only a small different in muscle mass.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

IPO Training and 10mos Post FHO Surgery

Well I got pictures from last weeks IPO training, my friend Stephanie came out, too bad my dog was being a tool.

Actually, Sepp did pretty well, but he started doing this weird thing where he would shift to Ryan's left side, he also jumped on him a few times which is out of character, and when I would walk up he would jump away from me because he thought he was in trouble. I think it was a combination of things. I think he was too amped [for whatever reason], causing him to be a bit 'dirty' and I also think he was getting weird about the stick. I think he would move when I got up there because he KNEW he was in trouble. I am not one to give dogs human emotions but he does know what he supposed to be doing now. The few times he shied away from me was after he had tried to jump on Ryan or tried to re-bite the sleeve after I outed him.

We ended up doing a lot of bites to try to correct this behavior, I would praise him for sitting calmly in front of Ryan. Towards the end of the session he was doing better, but was still be a stinker.

Ryan hasn't put a ton of pressure on Seppel. He has been using the stick more in training, last week Seppel did just fine with it - but I think the pictures speak for themselves in that he really seems to be avoiding the stick:

 The way he was acting was very out of character for him, but he's shown me in the past that he likes to switch it up and be 'naughty' every now and then. We aren't going to training next week but will go the week after. Hopefully with a break he will calm down a little and be back on his game next week.

Here are a few more pictures from training:

I have sent an email to Rose City Working Dog Association to see about joining their club because I think we are getting closer to being able to trial. At the very least I want this dog to get his BH. I also looked at some IPO I protection videos on youtube and there are dogs out there getting scores of 96-98 and they won't sit in front of the decoy or they forge fairly bad when they heel, so I don't think we have to be perfect. We have the side transport down and I saw several videos where the dogs did not have the intensity that Seppel has in the side transport. We did get a little bit of video, I don't have movie maker on my new laptop yet but I'll try to get a video up soon. 

Anyway, there's a little pictoral update of our IPO training.

Off topic Seppel is  10mos post FHO surgery! I need to get updated measurements but his legs are only different by a few centimeters. You can tell it is different if I point it out, once in a while he sits funny or doesn't place full weight on it, but he uses it all the time and I feel it is hard to notice he's had surgery. I'm still very happy with the results, at 12mos POST SX, I will re-xray and see what it looks like in there.

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Collar Review: Cali Girl Collars

Disclaimer:**I am in no way affiliated with this collar maker and I have not been asked to write this review.

I am typically a Collar Mania/Ella's Lead buyer. I found Cali Girl Collars on Etsy, they had several good reviews and their prices seemed really reasonable.

I bought this collar: Fuchsia Single Layer Collar

The Good:
-Collar is really well made, the leather feels nice and supple - not cheap.
-I told them LiLo's neck was 16", there are  holes for easy adjustment but it doesn't leave a lot of 'tail' sticking out - which I like.
-Hardware feels sturdy.
-Price was super competitive. Other collar makers would be charging $60+ base price for something with this much bling.

The Bad:
-Wait time is 6 weeks. Most collar companies take 10-14 business days. I ordered this collar on 2/12 and the collar arrived 3/29.

While I feel that 6 weeks is a long time to wait for a collar, it IS handmade, and the price was really good. I am an impatient person by nature, but kind of forgot that I purchased it - so in the big scheme of things it wasn't a huge deal. I feel like the quality really over-shadows the wait time because I really wasn't expecting as nice of a collar for the price. I would highly recommend Cali Girl Collars and would likely order from them again!

Here is LiLo and her new collar!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

My Pit Bull...

...has made me a better dog owner.

I've been thinking about this for a couple of days now, having Seppel has made me be a much more active and involved dog owner.

Before Seppel it was just Seth and LiLo, and even before then my third dog was an old lady. While Seth and LiLo have energy to do things, they can 'live' without exercise and not exhibit any serious behavioral signs of being pent up. Seppel on the other hand will get restless if he doesn't get adequate exercise.

Since Seppel requires daily exercise it has made me exercise my other two dogs more. If Seppel wasn't here I never would have discovered both Seth and Lilo's drive to fetch the ball and I also never would have constructed my own flirt pole.

I always knew Seth liked to play ball, but I never knew that he would fetch for extended periods of time. It also wasn't until last year that LiLo showed me her love of the ball, and then also the flirt pole.

I don't think I was a bad owner by any means, but I definitely spent a lot less time exercising my dogs. The truth is although they don't get restless without it, my dogs are definitely happier being worked regularly. I can see it in daily life. When Seth is good and tired he isn't sitting in front of me or my parents begging, he's not standing in the kitchen begging, he's flat out on the floor sleeping. When he's pent up he has a tendency to be more annoying and do things he shouldn't do - like begging.

I feel like it's fair to say that owning a Pit Bull has made me a better, more involved owner. I guess if I had acquired any other higher energy breed dog the response would be the same, but today I choose to say 'Because Pit Bull' :)

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Hello Spring!

I am so excited spring is here! I am so ready for good weather to be a regular thing, I'm ready to get back into the routine of working my dogs daily and getting everyone back into shape for summer.

Today I took Seppel and Seth for a 4.5 mile walk. I didn't bring Lilo because her hips have been giving her some trouble. Me & the boys had a really good, uneventful walk. We did get passed by two joggers and someone on a bike. It was kind of a cool test because I've heard of dogs biting joggers and felt like my dogs were pretty unlikely to go after a jogger, even if they surprised us, but I wasn't sure. The first jogger I was aware of, but the dogs were not. She passed by just in the road next to us, the dogs startled a little but kept on their way. Probably not 3mins later a bicyclist passed us, I was not prepared for that, and the dogs responded the same way.

Recently in my town a woman was walking her legitimate lab mix, a jogger came upon them and her dog bit the jogger. The jogger apologized but in the big scheme she ended up having to report to her insurance and they are threatening to drop her if she doesn't rehome the dog. On the one hand, I feel that if she had the cash, it would be worth suing the jogger because you should never just run up on someone, dog or not, without announcing your presence. It's pretty easy to say "Passing on the___" or "Excuse me!" instead of just running up on someone.

However, all of that being said, I don't think it's very normal for a dog to react to a non-threat like someone jogging, by biting them. LiLo is my most 'sketchy' dog. She has never bitten anyone, but she is wary of strangers and will bark and growl at people she doesn't know. She wasn't with me today, but I'm pretty sure she would have reacted the same way.

It's very dangerous, in my opinion to have a dog who reacts first and thinks later. Seppel can show that kind of impulse on occasion, but it is rare and more geared towards getting the ball or toy. I've known a few apbt people to brag about their dogs who would 'drown' to get the ball, or climb through black berries to get the ball - I'm not all sure I'd really brag about that, because dogs like that are not actually thinking, they are just doing. I'd much rather have a dog who thinks a little about things before they do them, I'd much prefer my dog think before hauling off and biting someone.

I guess this post has gone a little off track. I am really pleased that my dogs reacted the way they did today, all I need is for Seppel to eat someone and the headline will not only say 'Pit Bull', it will say "and this dog was a TRAINED protection dog!" It's walks like today that make me feel good taking them out because I know they are well behaved [within reason haha], and that going on walks are no big deal.

I'd like to end this post with some of my favorite shots of the day!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

It's been a while.

Oh nos, I fell of the blogging wagon!

Actually, all it seems I have to talk about is IPO training, and I feel like that is terribly boring without photos or video to prove that what I am saying really happened. Hoping when we go out next we will be able to get some photographic evidence!

Today is actually supposed to be a training day...


My house has the plague!

In the last several weeks at work we have been seeing several dogs with kennel cough. I don't know if people are boarding more or what, but we've been treating quite a few dogs for it. Last friday Seppel was chewing up a box at work when he coughed up a piece of paper. Saturday he was full blown coughing. With the timing I thought it could be box/paper induced but we put him on antibiotics just incase and I haven't brought him to work since. He's still been coughing, but not as bad as he was before. Saturday he was actually coughing so hard it was bloody :( Poor dude. His cough seems to have subsided and he started to see better. I was going to bring him back to work and that is when Seth this morning started to cough. We cancelled training and I have now started Seth on antibiotics also. I have them on minocycline, it is cheaper than doxycycline. All of this is great timing because Sunday I woke up with a cold myself! SO - Kennel cough, it's going around.

It's more of an inconvenient thing more than anything. I'm sure my dogs will be fine but it means no training and that they can't come to work with me.

Since I'm updating I will say that Seppel has been doing really well at training. We did everything off-leash last week and he was an absolutely super-star. Ryan is SUPER excited about his side-transport because he says it's absolutely perfect and something that can be hard to train. I'm personally excited over a few things. One thing is his heeling - he actually knows where he belongs! When he wants something, like the decoy he is super fast and spot on about positioning. I mean, don't get me wrong, I may have to give the command more than once, but he moves with motivation! Another thing is that it is absolutely awesome to send him for a bite, out him, and have him sit there in front of Ryan barking with conviction. Like, OMG, I have a Schutzhund dog! Like I just feel like all of the pieces are officially coming together. We are still working on obedience daily and still working on the retrieve that we may or may not get someday haha.

Also, I sent Seppel's info in to be registered with UKC so we can start doing Rally and maybe some other things. There is a weight pull in WA in April that I think I would like to go to, it sounds like they are encouraging newbie participation so I think I may take him to that if I get his info by then. I registered him as "Christine's Seppel Puppy" in honor of his former owner Christine.

Anyway there's a quick boring update, I hope to post some dog related posts soon, as well as IPO pictures. In 3mos it will also be Seppel's FHO year anniversary!