Soft Puppy Warm House

Happy Birthday, Nova!

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Wow, I can’t believe it’s been three years already! Happy birthday, Nova! We can’t wait for what 2015 will bring.

Happy New Year, 2015!

I hope everybody had a good 2014. Ours was filled with new adventures, projects, and of course, puppies. Here are the highlights from what we did this past year.

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In January, we ran a beta of a dog training website, Clicker Tracker. I learned a lot and have started planning for the next big release. February was Nova’s 2nd birthday celebration and we started playing some easy agility after a much needed training break. Then in May, we began our big cabinet refacing project, which didn’t actually get finished until June! We also built a new media center and by the end of August, had an all new patio. We also brought in our first foster dog, Apollo, had an epic failure with flooring, and got some new windows. Nova continued to excel in her agility classes through the end of the year.

This year, we’ve already finished up insulating the attic and basement, began built-in bookshelves, scheduled an electrician, and began receiving all new appliances! 2014 may have been busy, but 2015 is shaping up to be just as productive.

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Agility Class, Dec. 12, 2014

Sorry it’s been a while since we’ve posted. So here’s a video from Nova’s class last week. She’s been doing super in this class even the face of huge distractions like other dogs playing agility at the same time! I’m still working on my timing of course, but I think it’s getting better. More practice with collection jumps and approaching the tire from different angles will help.

Eye Contact in Agility

Here’s a quick video that shows the importance of maintaining eye contact, not with your dog, but with the path and obstacles your dog should be taking. The course diagram and a second video are after the break.

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Nova Meets Lily

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Nova had a friend over for playtime today! Her name is Lily and she is about 6 years old and is a Sheltie / BC mix. They took a little bit of time to get used to each other and didn’t play as much as we were hoping, but they got a couple of games of chase in.

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Nova had some EXCELLENT recalls in the yard though, so much that we decided to let her go off lead. Highlights include recalling off of a low-energy chase and recalling off of chewing a stick.

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  • Lily also got to try out our teeter (set up at the lowest difficulty) for the first time. She quickly decided that the scary plank wasn’t so scary if it meant yummy treats! Overall it was a nice meet and greet and we think both pups enjoyed a little fun in the sun before the snow hits.

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Agility Class: Obstacle Discrimination

This past Friday, we took Nova to a new agility class and had a great time! Since it was at a new location, we didn’t have very high hopes for Nova so we set the bar low for what we would consider a success. Nova did better than we could ever expect. She only ran away once, but she was very confused about what was being asked and she was caught quickly by another trainer.

The class was kind of large so it was split into two groups: a “beginner” intermediate section and “advanced” intermediate section. I was all ready to move over to the beginner section, but the instructor told us to stay on the advanced section since Nova already knew most of the obstacles.

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Our focus this week was on “obstacle discrimination” and specifically when the obstacles are very close together. The course diagram above shows the first three obstacles and then the three “options” a dog might have for the fourth obstacle. Descriptions of how we tackled each option as well as video from the course after the break!

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Video: Nova at Agility Class

It’s been a while since I posted a video of our agility practice, so here’s some footage from tonight’s class. I’m really proud of her weaves and she stayed pretty focused even when I messed up the handling!