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When Should you Start Trialing with a Dog?

How do you decide when is the right time to start trialing? Around here I don't see any USDAA Intro classes. There ARE fun runs. I had thought to enter Joey in some Level 1 CPE classes. Colors and Wildcard are very short courses. Even jumpers is shorter, I think. Of course you can't reward with toys or treats. Do you do more harm than good by starting too soon? I was thinking just for fun, but maybe it wouldn't be fun. Joey is still very puppy. How do I decide when the time is right?

Joey 1
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No trial tomorrow!


Tomorrow was supposed to be our first trial since the beginning of October back in Connecticut. I was so looking forward to this CPE trial! I was looking forward to judge Becky Dean, and it was going to be Joey's first trial. I'd signed him up for Jumpers. We've had drought conditions in California. Of course we need the rain, but the timing is terrible. Now we have really heavy rain with flooding and with thunder storm warnings.

Matilda fell off the dogwalk in class Wednesday. I can't remember her ever having done that before. She landed on all fours. She seemed fine right then and was fine getting on the dw right away again, but later Wednesday she was limping on her front a little. Today I haven't seen her limping, but she seems stiff. I don't want to risk wet contacts and bad footing. I've run in the rain quite a number of times before, but with Matilda's old groin injury and now whatever this front one might be, I will very reluctantly be staying home tomorrow.

Darn it!!
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Who Made These Mounds and Holes?

We have had trouble in this area of the yard with moles in the summer, but this winter we discovered these large strange mounds across the lawn. Now we've found some large holes. What animal might be doing all this work?

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Joey's Homework

We've been working on a little of a few things: crosses, and forward and lateral sends with cones; short sequences with jumps and tunnels; and the teeter bang it game. We've done box work for the Rachel Sanders A-Frame, but it's hard for him to find treats in the grass and so he isn't really getting the bounce in and out of the box very well. Once he'll independently go to the box on a "hit it" cue, we can switch to toys. We have a similar problem with 2by2 weave poles. I've done a little of that in the house. Also we've done board running to a manners minder. He seems to be doing pretty well with that.
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More Thoughts on Class

Well, it's 5:20 and I can't turn off my head. I'm thinking maybe Tilda and I need a break from class. Privates with Barbara have usually gone pretty well. Maybe we should just do a thirty minute private once a week until we can get things positive again. We just started a new set of classes. I'll ask her if she'll roll the rest of them into privates.

Relaxing Together

Well, now they're resting together sometimes. I think Joey's almost nonstop interaction gets to Matilda. She gets a little frantic and comes up to me, repeatedly bumping my arm for attention and whimpering. Finally, she'll often bark at me. But here they are relaxing together.




Travel Board

Sunday I picked up two little garden fences from Home Depot and yesterday I made my Rachel Saunders "Travel Board"This morning Matilda and I did a little 2o2o proofing. This should be helpful for both the DW and the teeter. Yesterday and today we did some "bang it" on the teeter, too.  Our class with Terri was cancelled for tonight so we can do some more work at home. It's hot here, lots of long tongues.

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Teeter Work

We're reworking the teeter for more consistency and a better 2o2o. We're working through the Jen Pinder DVD with Dinah and Stella. Yesterday we worked on running across the board with a drop to the table. Matilda does pretty well with this.

Today she worked on jumping onto the end of the board in a pounce. She did pretty well with that so tomorrow we'll ad a drop.

AKC Trial in Walnut

Matilda and I had a good day today at the AKC trial in Walnut. Saturday she broke her start line stay, took off courses and was not staying with me.  Today was much better.  We got our first T2B Q and got 9 points whatever that means. I didn't get video of that one. She didn't Q her EX JWW run, but it was my fault I sent her to an off course jump. I got her back on course and she finished fine.The Open Standard run was messy. She had a refusal and an off course. The end of the DW she didn't know what to do. She did't go into an automatic down on the table the way we have been practicing, but from the table to the end she was very fast. I need to learn how to get her moving that fast with me more often. I used her bed when we were waiting to run. That worked very well today, not so well yesterday.

My New Doodlemobile

Well, I took the plunge.  Yesterday I bought a new Prius V.    My 1998 Subaru has been a great car, but when the clutch went out last summer I decided it might be time to think about a new car. When I heard about the Prius V, a hybrid wagon, it sounded interesting. Gas here is now $4.25-$4.50 a gallon and likely to be going up. This seemed a good time to make switch. I'd have time to get used to the car before a long drive.

Here it is Prius V in Blue Ribbon Blue. I love the color and the name is just too cute.

The cargo area is a little less deep than the Subaru, 41 inches instead of 46 inches, but its a little wider 39 inches at the back and 60 inches near the hatch instead of 37 inches at the back and 54 inches near the hatch door in the Subaru.  Also you can slide   the rear seats forward and open up four more inches in the cargo area. You can also put both back seats flat to make the cargo area really big. Since Matilda rides belted in the back seat I won't be doing that for traveling.

With the the back seats in the forward position there's a trench behind them where I plan to load my weave pole bases  for

Under the cargo mat floor there's another storage area.

I'm just starting to get acquainted with my new car and all that it can do.