Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Week 51

Fifty down - just one to go!

I have no idea why I keep running behind uploading this, after being relatively reliable most of the year. Oh well, something to work on for next year.

Accomplished Last Two Weeks:

Worked mainly on Training Levels Two Step One, and created quite a few clips that are awaiting compiling in a video.

Planned for Next (this) Week:

Continue on Training Levels Two Step One, and try harder to get back on schedule! I also want to revisit Goals, Resolutions, and possible the entire Curriculum (but probably make few, if any, changes)


Released Video: n/a

(As always, click to see larger)

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Week 49

Forty-eight down (Four to go. I think. Maybe not)

Accomplished Last Week:

With sons able assistance, I was able to video the last clip from Level One Step Four and get the video out the door (see Released Videos). Yeah!

Not sure what to make of Step Five (more, more, more...) and so we are happily moving on to Level Two, keeping in the back of our minds that we need to be doing more Level One things. Perhaps I'll figure out how to video that at some point.

Been working hard on playing "show puppy" and have received at lot of good feedback, which we are working on. Finished our spin trick, puppy class, and the two Level Two Step Two stays (sit/down).

Contemplated what should happen now that puppy class is over (see Adrift below)

I really liked the Wordless Wednesday picture last week - he looks so much a like a model!

Didn't get much done on BZDogs, but I'm still thinking, so all is not lost. Did spent (way too much) time setting up Facebook. I'm not sure I "get it" yet, but I'll keep trying.


Released Videos:

Planned for This Week:

It's starting out a wet, drippy week, putting a damper (sorry) on our plans to get Henry out and about more (now that he is officially "done" with his puppy shots.) Let's hope the weekend is prettier!

Other than that, the Weekly Worksheet says it all.

Poor Zachary is now on "Weight Control" dog food, as all prior efforts to get him to shed weight have so far failed.

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Week 48

Forty-seven down (Five to go.) (Why is this 47 and the subject says 48? I'm so confused!)

Accomplished Last Week:

Finished Level One Step Four, with the exception of roping my son into videoing "Coming" with me. (No, that's not a duplicate from last week. Last week I was trying to get him to video Step THREE Come!) The video for the entire step is done, with the exception of that lone clip!

We also plowed on ahead to Level Two, working on Focus, Leash, Sit (stay), Down (stay), Go to Mat, and Handling body parts. Whew!

I like the Daily Practice section, and will probably keep it around.

I dusted off my BZDogs Website, adding in some puppy related low-hanging fruit, and then sat there feeling guilty that I had let it go for as long as I did.



Released Videos: n/a

Planned for This Week:

This week marks the final puppy class. Our main assignment was to teach a trick, so Henry has been working on "Spin". He's got the basics down, and we're just working on decreasing the cue size.

We'll continue with Level Two items, playing show dog, and doing the Daily Practice.

I also want to tie up the loose ends with "Grading Preschool", upload my final results of "Rules of 12", and decide what to tackle next on the BZDog website.

Whew - I think I'm doing more this week than Henry!

(And Zachary remains on a diet. I will try to get him over the vets for a weigh-in in this week, to see if progress is being name. I sure hope so!)

Happy Birthday, Big Dog - I miss you, so.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Week 47

Forty-six down (six to go. Hmm... now they sum to 52? )

Accomplished Last Week:

Worked on sits and downs and stays, oh my! Finally roped my son into supplying the legs needed to video "Come", and therefore was able to release the Level One Step Three video (see Videos below).

Had an unexpected visitor stop by the house. I probably get just one or two a year... and it showed.

Zachary was horrible, bounding around like a kangaroo. Henry was bouncing, too, and I'm still not sure if it was Henry setting off Zachary, or the other way around. Thankfully, it should (statistically) be at least another six months before any other unexpected visitors set foot in the house, and so I'm not going to worry about it.

On the bright side, people are so distracted by my dogs bad behavior that they don't even notice that the house is a mess! The other bright side was visitor's perplexity at the bouncy behavior, given how well Zachary is when she's seen him "outside".

Finally, I think this week's Wordless Wednesday has some of the best pictures I've ever taken. As most of my pictures are pretty mundane, "best" is obviously relative. (Ok, fine, I'll admit it, I was pretty tickled when I saw how they came out!)


Released Videos:

Planned for This Week:

Well, it's Turkey Week in my corner of the world, which means I'll either have lots of time (due to the holiday) or no time (due to the holiday.)

Holiday's are like that around here - Feast or Famine (pardon the pun) when it comes to free time.

Zachary is still on a diet, and thus still out of the training rotation. As he gained 1 (one!) pound in 10 days on the last diet I put him on, I'm not altogether hopeful, but still we must try.

Also - no puppy class this week (because of afore mentioned holiday.)

I have tweaked the sheet a little, still trying to settle on a good format for the puppy. The most notable change is probably the addition of a "Daily Practice" list on the left. This is sort of like the Weekly Quiz, the difference being these are items he is still actively learning and perfecting, not finished things ready for Quizzing. However, he does know them too well to warrant prime real estate on the main body of the sheet.

Because I'm working many different skills, it was getting hard for me to find the Do First items from the Do Last things, and so the former are now in black and the latter in gray. Since new things are still in blue, I made latter new things a pale blue. This is probably more detail than any one cares to read, assuming any one cares to read these ramblings at all!

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Week 46

Forty-five down (seven to go – yes, I know it doesn’t equal 52!)

Accomplished Last Week/Planned for Next Week:

Keeping the same sheet as Week 45. It’s not that we aren’t working on anything, as we are! The “problem” is we are working on lots of things, and so reaching completion on very few. However, since he’s sponge right now, I hate to pass up the chance to teach new things, even if the execution is, shall we say, less that stellar.

He really is done with new Training Levels 1 Step 3 – I just need to grab a willing (or at least coercible) biped and video the Come Game.

We are also working on his "show dog" skills (mostly Stand, but some gaiting on lead) and socialization.

Lots of socialization!

And taking pictures. He's getting really good at holding still, and Zachary is a rock, so I have high hopes for the future!

Plus plenty of time to run, play with Uncle Zachary,  and just be a puppy.

Big Dog Section: Poor, poor Zachary. All training has pretty much stopped until his weight drops. Later this week is the big weigh in, so we’ll see if progress is being made. If not, then we'll have to consider switching to a lower calorie food.

Released Video:



Puppy Class!!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Week 45

Forty-Four down (just seven more week to go!)

Yes, I missed last week again. I once again made up the sheet but never uploaded it. No, this isn't a intentional trend, just the side effect of having too much to do and not enough time to do it. Given time to train vs. time to computer, I choose the former!

I promise to try to get back into a weekly upload... even it means cutting out the oh-so-wonderful commentary. :)

Accomplished Since Last Time:

We are done with New Levels One Step Three, although I still need to corral my son into videoing the "Come" part with me. I know Henry can do it, and Step 4 as well, and I will probably video them at the same time.

Down is getting better, although still no where near as good as Sit.

His focus is spectacular - the sort you wish you could keep into maturity, but know you really can't. (sigh)

He's fine with cuddling, car rides, is good about the baby gate, his crate, knows how to go to HIS mat, and lets me handle all bits.

We worked a lot on Stand and his focus is very good on that as well.

He's finally got the hang of open handed Zen, once I really focused on it.

Zachary is... well... I hate to say it, but he's fat. After three months of being on a diet he managed to gain four pounds. He's now 77lb and should be 67lb. He'll go back in two weeks and if things aren't going the other direction we'll put him on pudgy dog food, however the real problem is lack of exercise. The puppy doesn't (yet) wear him out and we are too worn out with puppy to give him nice long walks he needs.

Therefore, Zachary has gotten a lot less training time, which is bad. So I decided to run him through the new levels. I figure this way it will seem to him like he's doing something, yet it won't require much work (ie: cookies) to do it.

Videos: Henry - Quick Flick: Stand

Blog Posts:

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, October 25, 2010

Week 43

Forty two down (Nine to go. Yikes!)

Sorry about missing last week. I actually did create a worksheet last week, but finding time away from puppy for uploading stuff can be challenging.

Wow - is he changing fast and learning sooooo many things. Too many to keep track of here.

Accomplished Last Week/Planned for Next Week:

Core Studies: Finished Level One Step Two. Finished all Level One Step Three except for Zen (he’s not even close!) and videoing the Come Game (need to corral my son again.) Worked on Heeling, focus, and especially Loose Leash (see Released Videos). He still needs a very exaggerated Down sign, but we’re working on it.

Citizenship: He still meeting tons of people, and we are transitioning from meeting while I hold him to meeting while his paws are on the ground (as he’s getting too heavy for me to hold for very long!) Still trying to expose him to as many kinds of things as possible, and will continue that for at least four more weeks!

Just For Fun: Ok… skipping “shake”. I think it’s screwing with Zen. Let’s try the “Easy” button. He and Zachary play well (for the most part) so now it’s time to make sure I can STOP them from playing. This was really hard with Beau and Zachary, and I think it’s because I didn’t work on it until I needed it, and by then it was too late! I’ve starting working on “Find it!” using a cookie, and he’s quite stoked. You can see him start by using his eyes, then quickly switch to nose when his eyes doing see it. Too cute.

Family Member: The two big things are “riding in the car” and honoring the baby-gate. He’s great in the car when someone is in the back seat with him. Far better than Zachary, in fact (who is very restless!) but when by himself he wants to relocate up front. Not good. The baby-gate is a problem only when someone is on the other side. We are working on self-control, but it’s race to see if we can get there before he’s heavy enough to knock it down. In the past I used a penny-can to teach respect for the gate – the only time I’ve ever used it, three tosses for Beau, two for Zachary – but Henry is so sound insensitive I haven’t even bothered to find it. I know it isn’t going to work.

Extracurricular: His Drop It! is wonderful, and the rest are well in hand (paw?)

Big Dog Section: Poor Zachary. He’s been seriously slighted in the training category, not helped by the fact I’m keeping him on the old levels while Henry goes through the new. There’s a very good chance this will be the last week for Old Levels for Zachary (at least for while) and I’ll just break down and do New Levels to keep him busy and happy and me (relatively) sane.

Released Video:



Puppy Class!!!

(As always, click to see larger)

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Week 41

Forty down (Eleven to go – yes, I know it doesn’t equal 52!)

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: Worked a ton on Sits, Downs, Comes, Zen, and Target and he can now pass all Level 1 Step 2 items except Zen, just need to video it. Worked some on moving with the leash while at the Sports Center but it’s too distracting a place to really do it well. His focus when I have food, or when he wants me to get him food is amazing. Wish I could bottle it and break it out when puberty hits!

Citizenship: Met lots of new people, both the sort that pass by with a pet and those that lingered. He’s making great progress on his Rules of Twelve, the only place where we are really falling behind is the “Eat out of twelve things” part.

Just For Fun: Worked on everything, and while “Shake” isn’t happening, all the rest is going well. “Find It!” is mostly me setting a cookie on the floor, holding him back, and releasing him with a happy “Find It!” – but it’s a start!

Family Member: Worked on every single thing, and he’s doing wonderfully! In fact, the only think that he’s struggling with at all is Zen.

Extracurricular: His is learning to Drop It! I’m really surprised, given how young he is. The only thing I didn’t work on was the Wobble Board – as I couldn’t find anything good to use.

Big Dog Section: Zachary finished Retrieve(!) and his Finish is looking pretty good as well. It’s not very straight, but I’m not it has to be for Level Four. Need to check. Worked on him picking up dropped things, but he seemed unsure. Need to find better things to drop. He’s still dropping his gaze during the About-Turn of Heel, and I need to find a better way to explain it.

Released Video:


Planned for Next Week:

Big Dog Section (Zachary): Dropping Scenting – just don’t have the time to drum up people to scent things. As it’s optional, it’s probably dropped for good. Added in TL5 Retrieve to replace it.

Henry (The Rest): Added in some Level One Step Three things, as he knows most Step Two items and I just need to video them. Dropped “Clip Nails” as the Groomer has been doing it when I take him to visit (yes, that’s probably cheating) but added in Bath as he needs one! Dropped Housetraining (he’s got it) and added Car Rides and Baby-Gate, the latter beginning to be a problem as he’s now heavy enough to push the flimsy wooden one over if he really tries.

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Week 40

Oh my, what a little sponge I have. He just seems to soak everything up!

We finished New Training Level's Level One Step One (well, as finished as nine week old puppy was going to get) and worked on many life skills. We met lots of people, saw and heard many new things, and (hopefully) had a wonderful start.

And Zachary? Well, Zachary is learning how to play with his nephew (or that cousin?) and he seems to be doing a pretty good job of it.

As I'm finding it very hard to find computer/internet time, I'll leave have to leave it at that.

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, September 27, 2010

Week 39

OK, I’ll admit it: two sheets was a bad idea.

Soooo… we are back down to one sheet, with a special “Big Dog” section for Zachary and the majority devoted to Henry (the puppy formerly known as One-of-Ten). I think that will work because the things Zachary is working on take so much more practice that there are far fewer of them.

Other differences:

  • dark blue font means “new” for this sheet, as green didn’t show up (gee, what a surprise, given that the page is green!)
  • cute little pencil “bullet” for Training Level’s things – since I list them under my curriculum headings they are scattered about. Makes it easier to find them this way.
  • No Quiz for a few weeks until he actually learns things, and Zachary will get quizzed on whatever five things I happen to be thinking about when I decide to give the quiz.

Most of the sheet looks like last weeks (keeping in mind that Henry came home on Saturday, so “last weeks” sheet was really just 2 days worth!)


Released Video:

(As always, click to see larger)

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Puppy's Rule of Twelve

Here are a pair of pages I whipped up so I could record One-of-Ten's progress on Margaret Huges' The Puppy's Rule of Twelve

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, September 20, 2010

Week 38

Accomplished last week:

Believe it or not, we worked our tails off this past week! I'm still hopefully to be able to video TL4 Front and TL5 Heel. I wanted to get TL4 Finish as well, but I seemed to have broken Finish trying to get Front. (sigh)

I will probably try testing TL4 Retrieve as well, as "Hold" is so nebulous I'm beginning to think I'm trying for too much.

The bulk of our time was spent on grooming. As I mentioned last week (or so) I have been remiss in my grooming duties, just letting the groomer take care of Zachary things while I lavished my grooming love on Beau. Now I'm missing fussing over a furry friend, so Zachary is learning to be patient.

No photographs this week - I'm out of hard disk space, so until I off load things to thumb drives, I'm stuck. Of course, I'll want to take a zillion pictures of One-of-Ten, so unstuckness needs to happen very, very soon.

Enough writing, below is the plan for next week:

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Puppy - Week 38

Ok - how's this for strange - a weekly worksheet for a puppy we don't have yet!

But if all goes well, we will have by the end of the week and if so, then this is where I'm going to start.

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, September 14, 2010


Here's my first pass at what I would like little One-of-Ten to learn in his first three months. We will be working on these Life Skills in addition to Sue Ailsby's New Training Levels - Steps to Success.

I will try to remember to update this when he turns 5 months old to more accurately reflect what should have been here, as opposed to my either over or underestimated appraisal of his capabilities!

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, September 13, 2010

Week 37

Continued to work on that "rock back" sit and getting him close for Training Levels Four - Front. He could probably pass at this point, but a few extra days would make it even better.

Zachary learned "Flat" (lie on your side) really fast, and now I'm starting to hold his front paws for a few seconds while he is so positioned in preparation of scissoring his paws. Yes, this is something he should have learned ages ago, but the groomer does a nice job and I was lazy.

Spent way too much time on Vicky's Finger Holding Contest, but we had a good time and it seemed to help, so I guess that's all that matters.

Look for a big change in the worksheet next week (if I can scrounge up the time!) as I try to figure out how to get one-of-ten and Zachary on the same sheet.

The wasn't a problem for Beau and Zachary, as they were "on the same page" (groan) educationally. Obviously, that isn't the case for Zachary and the puppy. I really don't want to have two pages, nor do I want to short change anyone, so this is obviously something that will need further planning.

I've been reading a lot of puppy books, playing a lot with Zachary, and productivity on Training Levels has slowed dramatically, although what we are working on is being well worked on.

Blog Posts:

Videos Uploaded:

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, September 6, 2010

Week 36

Spent a lot of time trying to get rid of the "rock back" sit and replace it with a tuck sit, and it seems to be helping.

Decided that Zachary's husbandry skills were somewhat lacking, as Beau was very patient, allowing me to fuss over his fur at length without comment, so I was kinda lazy and let the groomer take care of Zachary. Now I find I'm missing the fussing (big time) and so Zachary is getting lessons in how to be fussed over.

There are a variety of things that need work, and the big ones on are this week's worksheet.

I haven't created a September Worksheet. I had to miss a month, but I'm torn between coming up with that and doing puppy things, and you can probably guess what's winning.

We'll see...

Blog Posts:

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, August 30, 2010

Week 35

Accomplished Last Week:

Mostly worked on Fronts and Finishes.

Spent a fair amount of time simply playing with Zachary, who probably misses Beau's company even more than we do (as hard as that is to imagine.)

Planned for Next Week:

Pared down my list some what, and will probably do even less than is on it.

Puppy prep is high on the list, as is keeping Zachary as busy as possible. Poor snug bug misses having a canine companion, and so we are trying to take up the slack until the new puppy arrives.

I'm also going to dust off my Primary School curriculum and reassess it, in light of what I learned from Zachary.

Finally, field trips to parks and other outdoor adventures (other than sidewalks and "human" places) have been canceled until further notice, to avoid tracking anything into the house that might prove harmful for the puppy.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Week 34

While training will continue for Zachary this week, we are only going to be doing "fun stuff" and I will not be creating a Weekly Worksheet.

Rest in Peace Big Dog

Aubridge Skyrocket In Flight RN CGC 11/30/03 - 8/21/10

Monday, August 16, 2010

Week 33

Thirty-two down (twenty to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

A small miracle occurred: Zachary seems to have finally figured out what sit-stay means! (See Sit Stay post for details)

I have been faithful keeping BZ's Calendar, and updated the blog view of it yesterday (as will try to do every Sunday.)

Core Studies: Completed TL4: Sit-Stay and Watch for both Zachary and Beau. Yeah!!!

Worked on TL5-Come (their recall is lovely, but Zachary's finish is horrible) and TL5-Heel (should be testable, just need to do it)

On The Road: Arg!!! I swore to myself I was going to get Zachary out with the video camera so I could scratch these off and I never got there. Seriously, the only thing I need to do is make the video.

Weekly Quiz: Hubby's Pile O Stuff remained in the way, squishing any possibility of testing this.

Rally: Leaving this as I really wanted it to be in sync with the Weekly Quiz.

Family Member: Both boys passed TL4-Mat. Yeah!

Extracurricular: We worked on Retrieve, but without much luck. "Picture advertising product" turned into "Picture of pudgy bellies" (see Weight Loss) but at least I got good pictures of pudgy bellies as they were dutifully staring at the Clik-Stik (see Posing for Pictures)

Just For Fun: We had more fun heeling forwards and backwards and spinning. I really should video it, but then it will be done, and they seem to enjoy it so.

Videoed: TL4-Watch and TL4-Go To Mat, for both Beau and Zachary. No, I didn't video the Sit-Stay - really, two minutes of a dog sitting? Ugh.

Released Video: n/a


Planned for Next Week:

Last try for doing Rally this way. If I'm not successful, I'm going to have to come up with a better way of folding it into their eduction.

Vicky is teasing us with the possibility of a new training challenge over in Training Levels Group... hmmm...

Picture is from Carmel/Monterey - possibly Sea Lettuce?

Monday, August 9, 2010

Week 32

Thirty-one down (twenty-one to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

Very little was done, as I was gone most of the part of the week when I get most things done (well, I did warn you!)

Core Studies: n/a

On The Road: n/a

Weekly Quiz: n/a

Rally n/a

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: Worked retrieve – not pretty. Spent time with the Clik-Stik and was VERY happy (see Posing for Pictures, below)

Just For Fun: Worked duel heeling and had a great time – even added a few spins.

Videoed: An off-hand training challenge from the TrickDog Yahoo! group (see released videos)

Released Video:


Planned for Next Week:

Now that I’m back (and should be for the foreseeable future) let’s focus and get some things done!

Picture is of a jelly fish at the Monterey Bay Aquarium.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August Syllabus

July was a rather... different... month, but as I'm running behind I'll refrain from rehashing it. You can always read about it in the Weekly Worksheets:

I have high hopes for August, but of course, only time will tell.

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Week 31

Thirty down (twenty-two to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

It was a REALLY fun week, but not a very productive one - at least not for things "on the list". Early in the week the Training Levels Group kicked off Simone's Contest - how fast can you click/treat 15 treats to your dog, and the pre-, during, and post-festivities pretty much killed off three days.

Realizing the ship was lost, I spent the rest of the week having some fun with my new Clik-Stik.

Core Studies: Tried to test Beau on the Sit-Stay and he went down. Arg! He NEVER goes down. (sigh)

On The Road:n/a

Rally: n/a

Weekly Quiz: n/a

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: This one I actually worked on. Both dogs will now stare at the Clik-Stik while holding a pose, and I'm so tickled I'll probably blog about.

I'm also back to working on the Retrieve - pure shaping, and I'm just going to accept we will be at this a while. Beau is not impressed.

Just For Fun: Still working with the ladder (feet on something), had a blast working on Duel Heeling, and I've even added a spin to the "routine". They aren't so go at syncronizing the spin part, but it's fun.

Released Video:

Planned for Next Week: As last week had me distracted with Simone's Contest and this week is shaping up to be one of those rare "Real Life" weeks (ie: much time for son, little class time for the boys) we are basically going to keep everything the same. I will create a Monthly sheet for August, but probably not before the weekend. As August has five weeks, it won't be a huge loss to let this one pretend to be part of July. For the curious, the flowers below is are on a Variegated Hydrangea - a gorgeous shrub worth growing even if it never made a single flower. Since it makes lots, and they are stunning as well, this plant is real winner in my part of the world. (As always, click to see larger)

Monday, July 26, 2010

Week 30

Twenty-nine down (twenty-three to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

It was a good week.

We were able to cross a few things off, I gave myself permission to work on a few fun things not the list (like "Enrichment Activities"), I love my new "gold star and happy faces" calendar to track things, I'm reading a new book ("How Dogs Think" by Stanley Coren")...

It was a very good week.

Core Studies: Zachary finally passed his TL5 Sit-Stay, and I even caught it on video! But as he had so much trouble with it I'm holding off giving it a Gold Star on the Calendar until I've seen him do it three days in a row this week.

Rally: Rally really got short shrift this week (again), and while I have a few vague excuses about kid activities, lack of floor space (due to kid activities) it shouldn't have been that much a hindrance.

Weekly Quiz: Ugly. Just plain ugly. And when will I learn not to put BIG (time consuming) items on the Quiz????

Family Member: We are now at around the 20-30 seconds mark with Zachary. Beau could probably pass right now, but duration is rarely a Beau problem (in the house).

Extracurricular: Zachary passed TL4 Contacts. Yeah! Both dogs passed TL5 Target. Yeah! (That actually turned out to be MUCH easier than I thought it would be.) Took a picture of Zachary with his paws on the lowest rung of the ladder, which technically counts, but I have something bigger in mind...

Just For Fun: Worked the first two and had a great time. Heeling with both them at the same time is such a blast. Didn't get to the bottom two (Roll Over/Bow)

Videoed: Beau: TL4 Down-Stay and Contacts, TL5 Sit, Sit-Stay, Down, Down-Stay, and Distance. Zachary: TL5 Sit, Down, Down-Stay.

Released Video:


Planned for Next Week:

Having fun making class time (training) more fun.

Added Retrieve back in (again).

Starting Rally over (again).

Still working on my new BZ Dogs website (who knew that creating a website could be so much fun?)

For the curious, the flower below is an Agapanthus, otherwise known as "Lily of the Nile".

(As always, click to see larger.)

Monday, July 19, 2010

Week 29

Twenty-eight down (twenty-four to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

I'd think it was a Renaissance Week, where training flourished and goals fell like rain... but I'd only be fooling myself. I got a lot picked up only because I had littered the ground with fruit.

Core Studies: Tested Beau on TL4 Down-Stay (3 min, 40', 2 Distractions - food + boucing ball) and he passed. No, I didn't video it (Zzzz). Worked on Training Level's Five low-hanging fruit and they easily passed Down, Down-Stay, and Sit. Beau passed Sit-Stay but, as usually, Zachary did not (made 25 of needed 30 seconds. Arg!)

Rally: Moving on...

Weekly Quiz: Let's try that again, shall we?

Family Member: (sigh)

Extracurricular: Beau passed Contacts. Yeah! Zachary is probably ready to test but as he can still be a little amped the first few times (as in SKIDDING to halt (and sometimes sliding off the end) we'll leave it on one more time). Both passed Level Five Distance easily - a bit of surprise as they had only done it over cones and yardstick in the house, but outside for the test it was stanchions and a bar. Didn't matter, they both knew exactly what to do.

Had fun shaping the boys putting their feet on things, but no final picture yet.

Just For Fun: Worked both items - almost there!

Videoed:Beau: TL4 Down-Stay and Contacts, TL5 Sit, Sit-Stay, Down, Down-Stay, and Distance. Zachary: TL5 Sit, Down, Down-Stay.

Released Video:


Planned for Next Week:

Pulled out the On The Road things into their own "block" in hopes they will jump out at me as needing to be done. Threw Watch back in the mix (ugh), added TL5-Target, yet more Rally, and a few more re-do's on the Tricks front.

I've been working on making training "more fun" - we'll see how it goes (ie: my problem solving angst)

Still working on BZ Dogs website... perhaps I'll focus on Warm-ups this week in my quest for "fun". Or I could focus on creating an eye-catching front page so I can finally feel good enough to actually mention it more than just at the bottom of these posts where few, if any, people actually read! Or maybe not, and I'll keep it my own personal place to store bits and tidbits I come across.

(As always, click to see larger)(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, July 12, 2010

Week 28

Twenty-seven down (twenty-five to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: Thought I could test the boys with Sit-Stay (2 minutes, 2 distractions) and found out I was wrong. Both handled the distractions just fine, but slumped to a down before the time was over.

Rally: Not sure the do-over really helped, but we’re moving on anyway.

Weekly Quiz: Wow, how quickly Fronts and Finishes vanish. Will need to work on those again. Heeling was lovely.

Family Member: Seeing improvements in Collar and Leash. Finally.

Extracurricular: Seeing improvements in Contacts. Finally. Also been working on Go To Mat.

Just For Fun: Worked both items, and seeing good progress.


Released Video: n/a

Blog: Preemptive Strike, Sit Happens…, Boring Stuff, More Contacts

Planned for Next Week:

Tired of not actually getting done, so I threw in a bunch of Level Five things. I have no doubt that I’m going to later regret plucking all my low-hanging fruit at one time, but one can only take just so much discouragement.

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Week 27

Twenty-six down (twenty-six to go.)

If my math is right, that means we are now half-way through the year. Oh dear.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: n/a

Rally Ok – I officially am calling a Rally “do-over” week. Blame it on the heat, or the holidays, or the other things we worked on… but this just didn’t happen this week.

Weekly Quiz: They passed everything - even some very tempting shots at running out the front door - except that !@#$ Knock on the Door… and, actually, if Zachary wasn’t there then Beau would easily pass.

Family Member: Have finally decided to focus serious effort on “calm for collar and leash”. Really, this is ridiculous that we haven’t fixed this one by now.

Extracurricular: Did much, accomplished… hmmm… Go To Mat seems to be broken for the moment. Not sure why. Contact is a disaster, despite spending much time (and three videos) on it. Scenting and Retriever? Don’t go there. Never go to Dance – it was a hot week. Photography: did “Picture for a Greeting Card (SEE HERE) – yes, I know it wasn’t on the list. Also created a Scrapbook page illustrating “101 Things… “

Just For Fun: Worked trying to get both dogs to heel and then go backwards with me. It was a lot of fun, not much to show for it, but they enjoyed the effort.

Videoed:TL4 Contacts in progress (2 for Zachary, 1 for Beau), TL4 – Trick (Zachary), some other fun stuff that I have yet to upload.

Released Video: Zachary – Quick Flick: One Rear Toe On, Beau – Quick Flick: One Rear Toe On, Zachary – Quick Flick: One Rear Toe On (part 2), and finally Zachary – Training Levels Four (Trick) aka “101 Things to do with a box” (a fun video – or at least a video of a dog having a lot of fun!)

Blog: Drills – Examples, Unit Studies, Scrapbook – 101 Things…, 4th of July - the last one also being a Scrapbook page, and a photography “greeting card” example.

Planned for Next Week:

I have a lot of irons in the fire right now and I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. The problem is that I’m either enjoying the tasks and don’t want to stop, or hate the tasks and just want to get them over with.

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, July 5, 2010

July Syllabus

I keep forgetting how hot it is during the summer...

With Level Three behind us, and Level Four bogged down by a few stubborn items, I've decided to put some Level Five things on the list. I do this after realizing that one can only spend so much class time on "difficult" items, beyond which class will no longer seems fun.

I'm also working on "Warm-up Exercises" to keep fun in the game - but those aren't really ready for prime time yet.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Week 26

Twenty-five down (twenty-seven to go.)

Accomplished Last Week:

It’s was a week of failures and new thoughts (see blog posting: Drills)

Core Studies: n/a

Rally Still not “feeling” it when it comes to practicing. I really need more room than I have and as a result everything is feeling clunky and awkward.

Weekly Quiz: See above.

Family Member: We’ve been working on “Don’t run out open door” and they are getting very, very good (and not running out). Same for food on a low table. I left all kinds of yummy things out and left the room completely and the food was still there, undrooled on, when I returned.

Extracurricular: Ugh – trying many things, none of them working.

Just For Fun: Worked on both walking backwards while heeling, and walking backwards while facing me. Both did very well.


Released Video: Beau – Training Levels Three (part 4) – Contacts (walk the plank), Leash Manners (40’, 1 Distraction) Crate (1 minute).

Blog: Certificates of Achievement, Just a Golden, Just a Golden (update), BumpersDrills

Planned for Next Week:

The usual suspects are still there.

As I wasn’t at all happy with Contacts, Scenting, or Retrieve – and I’m not required to do them as I already the four-of-eight optional items for Level Four – I might choose to give them a rest this week and work on other things.

They were supposed to be there to put some fun in the program, and at the moment they are anything but.

The Weekly Quiz will be the official test for the items listed (mostly from Basic Manners). Five passing scores and a total of 8 of 10 possible points = a pass for that item.

... and I really need to dust off the camera and get back to snapping pictures!

(... oops, just noticed I forgot to turn TL4-Down-Stay "black", as it was there last week. My bad.)

(As always, click to see larger)

Finally, for those who made it this far, I'm still working on my new website:


... just for Canine Homeschooling. Feel free to let me know what you think: bztraining@aol.com (or you can just post a comment to this post.)

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Week 25

Twenty-four down (twenty-eight to go.) Do you realize the mid-point in the year is only a few weeks away?


Accomplished Last Week:

I cranked out two videos this week (although the ultimate fate of jumps remaining sadly unsettled) plus material for one more.

This week saw the completion of Level Three for both Zachary and Beau (Beau just squeaking by in the waning light of Sunday.)

Core Studies: At last, a breakthrough! After weeks spent dinking around with On The Road Loose Leash with Zachary, making not enough progress to warrant even a footnote here, Zachary now seems to finally get it. (See blogs: Ruts)

Canine Good Citizen:I still have yo-yo on a leash (see Week 24) but he is becoming less… extreme… about it. He’s also spending more time with me than without. At this rate, by the time he’s Beau’s age (in four years) he might actually be good at it.

Zachary’s shiny new Canine Good Citizen manners got a big workout when we went to the Boy Scout meeting in the park. Lots of adults, lots of kids, lots of motion, a few dogs in the distance, a really boring talk (from a dog’s perspective) that lasted 15-20 minutes where I required him to be lying down.

I’d give him an A- on the outing. He needs more “calm” before he gets an A. (In contrast, Beau pulls straight C’s on a good day.)

Rally Not a good week for Rally. I’m struggling finding a place to work on the larger items (serpentine’s, walking backwards…) and I didn’t get time at the Boy Scout meeting like I had hoped.

Weekly Quiz: Zachary’s left turns are a work in progress, but the rest was pretty good. Beau has no problem with this… so long as I’m in the house or yard.

Family Member: Zachary is asymptotically approaching goodness, but he’s remains really far from perfect.

Extracurricular: Finished Contacts (Beau better than Zachary), worked on Retrieve (Zachary better than Beau) – didn’t get to Dance at all.

Just For Fun: n/a

Videoed: TL4 – Crate, TL-3 Leash Manners (Beau)

Released Video: Zachary - Training Levels Three (part 4) with Contacts, Crate, and Heel. Beau - Training Levels Four (part 3) with Distance, Heel, Jump - Broad, Jump - High, and Zen.

Blog: Loose Leash (not), Homeschooling Revisited, Compare and Contrast, Homeschooling - Planning Guide, and Ruts.

Planned for Next Week:

Ok – two weeks left in June, as I’ve decided if the Monday is in the Month, then the week is in the month. So there.

Four more items have been added from my Rally Syllabus, the quiz retains the left turns from last week and adds the left turns from the new items from last week. That’s probably a bad idea, as we’ll get dizzy – we’ll see.

Looking over my plan for June, I note I’ve got some things untouched – and so they have been added (and colored a lovely shade of green.)

I’m going back and thinking again about what it means to Homeschool your Dog and how to create a Homeschooling Curriculum, as I’ve created a web site dedicated to just that. If you’ve read this far and are interested (keeping in mind this site is only a few days only and rather sparse at the moment), visit: http://sites.google.com/site/bzdogs/

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Week 24

Twenty-three down (thirty to go.) Yikes.

This is the first week in a long time (since March?) that has felt even remotely like a “normal” Canine Curriculum Week. Perhaps next year I should just treat Lacrosse Season (March-May) like Summer Vacation for the boys and plan out activities accordingly.

Accomplished Last Week:

I finally released another video this week (listed below.) Yeah! I have the equivalent video of Beau just waiting to go out, once I figure out if I did the Jumps right (standing vs. running past them.)

Core Studies: n/a

Canine Good Citizen: Worked on Loose Leash quite a bit with Zachary. Instead of a pulling dog, I now have a yo-yo dog that goes to the end, then backs up until he is beside me, then goes to the end again. Not pulling, just making it taut. Fascinating, in a train-wreck sort of way, but not really what I was looking for.


Rally I spent a fair chunk of this week in this corner of the teaching world. You can read about our first try HERE, and we’ve had additional quasi-success/quasi-failures since there. The exercises (at this point) are not the problem. Trying to set up the where’s and how’s to practice them - that's the problem.

Weekly Quiz: Zachary is now officially a cabinet-door closing fiend. It is his favorite thing to do, and every time I open a cabinet door he runs over and stands by, waiting for me to tell him when he can close it. The fact he gets a cookie for this behavior is, no doubt, a contributing factor.

I personally think it’s cute because he had a really hard time learning this trick, perhaps because he is a such a gentle soul. I’m happy to report he now pushes enthusiastically, and even looks satisfied with himself when it bangs shut. (Beau has never had a problem with it, and shuts things with the same bull-in-a-china-shop gusto that he applies to most things.)

I didn’t end up testing the tissue item – I couldn’t find the box I was using (I think it was re-purposed during allergy season) and so abandoned it, and neither dog seems capable of reliably Bowing on the first cue despite several weeks worth of effort I dumped into it. It’s possible Bow’s physical cue looks (and the oral one sounds) too much like “down” and I need to rework them. It’s not a problem bowing, it’s a problem knowing I want them to bow.

Hitting the "Easy" button is always a favorite, and both dogs are pro’s.

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: We were very busy working jumps (both high and broad) as well as contacts.

Just For Fun: Done! Yes, this was cheating, a bit, as both were already pretty good at it. I’m going to switch to Backing up while facing me to finish out the month, and call it a twofer.

Videoed: TL4 – Heel, TL4 – Jump – High, TL4 – Jump – Broad, Tl3 – Contacts

Released Video: Zachary - Training Levels Four (part 2) - Distance, Heel, Jump-Broad, Jump-High, Zen.

Blog: Rally Syllabus, Six Cone Rally – Practice #1

Planned for Next Week:

We’ll have a new outing this week – the Boy Scout meetings are moving to their summer digs, in a place where dogs are welcome. Zachary, sporting a brand new scarf just for the occasion, will hopefully put his shiny new Canine Good Citizen manners to good use.

The next set of exercises from the Rally Syllabus has been added, and last weeks were moved to the Weekly Quiz. I threw in some Dance items, since anywhere I practice Rally (other than at home) will have enough space to do them.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 23

Twenty-two weeks down (thirty-one to go.)

Wednesday was the Canine Good Citizen test - and Zachary passed (see CGC Test Results.) Yeah! Since there are many different flavors of “passing” (or not) depending on the evaluator, one has to ask the question: But did he deserve it?

And the answer is…Yes. Not with a Gold Star, mind you. I had to work way too hard on the Loose Leash/Crowd/Reaction to Another Dog parts for him to be considered an “easy” pass. But sometimes a ‘B’ is a good as an ‘A’, and Wednesday night was one of those times.

That said, I’m going to keep some Canine Good Citizen items on the Weekly Worksheet for at least a few more weeks, just to see if we can’t give those areas he had the hardest time with a bit more (or a lot more) shine.

Accomplished Last Week:

After all the cramming we’ve been doing of late, I sort of let the rest of the week slide by after the CGC test. Oh well, summer is almost here and with luck that will mean an abundance of Homeschooling time to make up for it.

Core Studies: n/a

Canine Good Citizen: (see blog posting: CGC Test Results)

Weekly Quiz: I’m embarrassed to admit we didn’t do enough Weekly Quizzes this week to reach minimum progress.

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: We worked on Scenting, with only marginal improvements. My problems are all me and not them. I just haven’t come up with a good way of presenting things yet. Then, to make matters worse, I didn’t make it back to my Icky-Stranger’s office on Friday to retrieve my “articles” before she left for the weekend. No articles = No practices.


Just For Fun: n/a

Videoed: n/a

Released Video: n/a

Blog: Last CGC Pre-Test OutingCGC Test Results, What's Next?

Planned for Next Week:

Per my blog posting this week, with the completion of the CGC Class, I’m going to give Homeschooling AKC Rally Novice a try as one of my 2010 Goals was to enter Zachary in a Match (or Show) by the end of the year. I hope to have time this week to develop some sort of Rally Homeschooling Syllabus. Right now I’m targeting a Show that is usually held in October, which is four plus months away.

This doesn’t mean I’m not going to continue on Training Levels! In fact, Rally Novice covers much of the same ground as Training Levels, so work on one is really just work/practice on the other. It also means I’ll have great On The Road testing opportunities, like Crate (since dogs must be crated for Rally Walkthru’s) and Go To Mat (since the dog needs someplace to Chill), plus all the usual Obedience things. Rally also does Fronts and Finishes, which will give me incentives to finish (pardon the pun) those icky beasties up.

Since Rally covers many of the Weekly Quiz items from last week, I’m just going to ditch that quiz altogether and move on to other things (mostly from Help Paw).

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

June Syllabus

Ah, the lovely month of June…

According to my “Master Plan”, I should be finishing up Training Levels Four this month.

(I can hear the laughter from here)

Of course, that assumed the CGC test was going to be mid-may and not tomorrow (some 3 weeks late.) Then again, if you look at what I’ve got left (included at the bottom of the June Syllabus for easy reference) you’ll quickly see I probably wouldn’t have made it anyway.

No matter – we shall press on and hope that with summer’s arrival we’ll magically find extra time that we aren’t finding now (hint: my son will be out of school, which could either be a good thing (no studying, projects, or Lacrosse) or a bad thing (depending on how the vacation, Lacrosse camps, and camping winds blow.)

There are no more classes or tests on our horizons (near or far) and so our motivation must come from within.

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, May 31, 2010

Week 22

Twenty-one down (thirty-one to go.)

Wednesday is the Canine Good Citizen test and I already find myself looking… beyond… which is probably not a good thing.

However, as I type this, it is late Monday evening and I fear there is little else I can do at this point that will significantly improve the outcome of the test. I still think Zachary will fail Supervised Separation (it won’t even be close), is iffy on Reaction to Another Dog (he’ll want to go visit), and is hit-or-miss on anything that requires moving from Point A to Point B in a coordinated fashion (those doggie smells on the tan-bark are a huge distraction.)

Am I sad? I suppose. Failure means I will need to find another time to take the test, as him receiving his CGC Certificate remains a goal for this year and I know he is capable of it.

Am I proud of him no matter what? You bet! His greeting behavior toward people is almost perfect. Yes, he can still blow it, and might do so on Wednesday. But there’s a bright and shining light at the end of that tunnel and I know it isn’t just a train.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: !@#$ Sit-Stay. The only bright side to this is that I now have dog who can go from a Down to a Sit at 40’ on a hand signal (my hands on my hips – usually accompanied by a glare on my part.)

Canine Good Citizen: (see blog posting: CGC Class #5)

Weekly Quiz: Both boys passed everything but Bow. Beau is perfect – but only so long as I am standing next to the sofa. Zachary is perfect – but only after two (or three) cues. Both will be practicing some more this week.

Family Member: News flash! I have now officially passed Zachary for “No paws on the console”. Yes, we really have been working on it for 5 months! Not very often over those 5 months, I’ll admit. In fact, exactly twice every two weeks (ie: going to the groomer and back again every other week) for the last 5 months, which were the only times he rode in the “problem” car.

Today, as a final test, I took him (alone) across town (~15 minutes) and back, and I’m pleased to say that while he wasn’t perfect (he still taps a paw on the console every so often) he never once tried coming into the front seat nor did he ever put his weight on the console – and that’s good enough for me.

Extracurricular: We did just a bit with contacts (Beau is awesome, Zachary… isn’t) but spent most of our time with Retrieve (grabbing the bumper – both dogs doing great) and Scenting (with the icky-stranger-scented lid – and again, Beau is doing better, but Zachary is coming along, too.)

Just For Fun: n/a

Videoed: n/a

Released Video: n/a

Blog: Connections, A Better Idiot, Better Idea?CGC Class #5, More Interesting than Dirt

Planned for Next Week:

With no classes after the test this week - or anytime in the near (or far) future - I’m finding myself feeling wonderfully “free” and a little bit adrift.

This week, my goal is to figure out what I want to accomplish over the summer and how I’m going to accomplish it. The most likely answer is “Rally” – but as Wendy doesn’t teach a Rally class (sigh) and I'm not feeling like going anywhere else, I’m going to have to think of how (and where) to do this solo.

The Weekly Quiz items are (mostly) taken from "Dance" and, once again, 8/10 points for the week will constitute a "pass" of the item.  Trick of the Month starts the June trick (syllabus to be posted tomorrow, but already written.)

Quote of the Month is also on this worksheet - "Do or do not. There is no try." - Yoda (and, while hard to imagine, if you actually haven't seen the movie there's a clip on YouTube HERE.)

(As always, click to see larger)

Monday, May 24, 2010

Week 21

Twenty down (thirty-two to go.) This is the last full week of May.

My goal, as stated in Week 20, was “to re-establish the previous class times and habits before something else (like gardening) sneaks in to take its place.”

And, for the most part, I think I did.

Accomplished Last Week:

The main focus last week turned out to be Extracurricular Activities – how better to merge back into regular classes than to start with fun things, right?

Core Studies: Still trying to get a solid Sit-Stay from Zachary, and we still aren’t there yet. The hardest part is walking the 40’ away from him (ie: when my back is turned.)

Canine Good Citizen: (see blog posting: CGC Class #4)

Weekly Quiz: Both boys passed staying in a car when the door is open (although Beau has a hard time with distractions)… and that’s it. Zachary did noticeably better as the week wore on Sitting after a Knock on the Door, but didn’t meet my “5 passes” criteria to check it off his Middle School checklist. Beau doesn’t have a problem and passed that one easily. I didn’t do Attention or Go To Mat (I’ve got to stop putting duration activities in Quizzes.)

When it came to Excited Family Members, it all depended on how excited the family members were and when they were excited. I could jump around until I’m blue in the face at 2pm and the dogs would probably sleep through it. If I even look like I’m going to move at 7pm, they are raring to join me. In the end, I decided they weren’t even close enough for government work, and so no check marks for either of them.

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: I decided to give TL4 - Scenting a go using Canning Rings. That was “fun” (see blog posting: Good Idea?) Beau is doing beautifully on his Contacts. He just needs to be videoed to cross of TL-3 and we are already working on TL-4. Zachary is still playing 101 Things to do with a Contact Board, and while he settles down to running the board by the end of the session, he always tries several dozen other things first and shows no sign of realizing when the click is going to occur (at the end of the board.)

Just For Fun: There’s a story as to why I haven’t been working on the Trick of the Month, and perhaps later this week I’ll put that in the blog. Until then, take it on faith that you won’t be seeing that particular trick (Circle Around Me) on any list of mine any time soon.

Videoed: n/a

Released Video: n/a

Blog: Good Idea? and CGC Class #4

Planned for Next Week:

Once again, the emphasis for the week will be on Canine Good Citizen. Assuming the weather gods are with us, this will be the fifth and final training class (although at the moment things are looking a bit iffy) with the test the week that follows. I’ve got that sinking feeling that Zachary doesn’t quite have it all together to pass all 10 test items at once, although I think on any given day he could pass any one particular item. I just don’t see him being consistent enough to pass all 10 on one particular day.

The only things that change this week were the Trick of the Month (put in for Zachary, as Beau already knows this one) and the Weekly Quiz. I decided to have it be a final test of known tricks from “Just For Fun”. Given my requirement for 8 out of 10 points, with no zeros, I believe both boys should pass all items. The only iffy one is Zachary doing Bow– I’m not sure how well he knows the cue, and I usually have to do a few warm-ups first (not allowed in Quizzes.)

Now that I have more “personal” time, I’m hoping to get back to writing Extracurricular Activity (ECA) Checklists. Alas, having picked off the low-hanging fruit long ago, I find myself facing topics I know next to nothing about so we’ll see how that goes.

The other long neglected item is the Photo of the Week. Many of the remaining items require actual thought on my part (as in: I need to pick the poem/story to illustrate before I can take the pictures to illustrate it) which is always more problematic than the actual photography itself.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Week 20

Nineteen down (thirty-two to go)

The main accomplishment this week was the successful conclusion to my son’s Lacrosse season – a season that saw the demise of scheduled canine homeschooling tuition time in favor of moments slipped in here and there as time allowed.

My goal this week is to re-establish previous tuition habits before something else (like gardening) sneaks in to fill its place.

Accomplished Last Week:

After reading a post in the Training Levels group, I decided to give Beau a try at 101 Things to do with a Box. He normally hates this game, but for some reason he was surprisingly willing. Perhaps the relative “neglect” he has been getting with regards to clicker-work made him more amenable to it that he usually is. Whatever the reason, he did so well (and I was so tickled) that I uploaded the video clip soon after.

Zachary has quite a few 101 Things… video clips at this point and I hope to compile them together and release them next week.

Weekly Quiz: No surprises here – both dogs passed the first four items without problem (including sitting while the door was opened and closed!) and Zachary totally bombed the Sit after a knock on the door (it wasn’t even close.)

Extracurricular: TL4 – 101 Things…

Videoed: TL4 – 101 Things…

Released Video: Beau – Training Levels Four (Trick)

Blog: Call Your Dogs

Planned for Next Week:

Technically, this week should still be all about Canine Good Citizen, but I’m afraid if I don’t restart scheduled homeschooling time right away something else will create a habit in its stead.

Besides, I’m coming the conclusion that Zachary will probably pass most things on the test, but fail the Supervised Separation in spectacular fashion. I hope I’m wrong, I think this week in class will be quite telling, but I’m not at all optimistic.

(As always, click to see larger)

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Week 19

(Sorry, a bit late uploading this week.)

Eighteen weeks down (thirty-four to go)

This is the LAST week of the High School Lacrosse season, and while I will miss watching my son practice and play, I have to admit I’m looking forward to getting my evenings back and returning canine homeschooling to its rightful place on the daily agenda.

Accomplished Last Week:

When last we saw our intrepid pups, I was saying something like “just about nothing is going to get done except for CGC…”

… and I was right.

In fact, other than CGC class (to read about it, CLICK HERE) the only other thing that was accomplished was the Weekly Quiz. The boys did splendidly on all items every time I quizzed them, and so each received a big checkmark for each item on their Middle School Curriculum checklist page.

Let’s hear it for the boys… Yeah!

Moving on…

Planned for Next Week:

This week is still almost all about Canine Good Citizen for Zachary - except there is no class this week (weather is lovely - this was a planned gap in the schedule) so we’ll just have to make up something.

Once again I’ve filled the Weekly Quiz with items from the Middle School Curriculum, and all but the last one (knock on the door) should be easy for the boys.

That last item isn’t technically part of the Curriculum, but greeting guests while sitting is, and guests tend to knock before they come in the house, so this is really just step one. Can Zachary sit after someone knocks on the door? I suppose I should have added can Zachary sit quietly after someone knocks on the door – but let’s start with just the sit. If that goes well, next week we’ll check to make sure he isn’t huffing while sitting.

(As always, click to make bigger)

Monday, May 3, 2010

Week 18

Seventeen weeks down (thirty-five to go) -or- Four months down (eight to go). My how time flies.

I thought it might be useful at this juncture, 1/3 the way through the year, to summarize where Zachary is on his 2010 goals:

Training Level Three – still remaining:
... Contacts (walk the plank)
... Crate (1 min)
Training Level One (On The Road) – Completed
Training Level Four – about half way done
Training Level Two (On The Road) - still remaining:
... Crate (in/out)
... Leash Manners (loose leash 1 min)
... Target (end of stick)
... Watch (10 seconds)
Training Level Five – not started
Training Level Three (On The Road) – not started

In addition to Training Levels, I was hoping to get Zachary’s Canine Good Citizen (CGC) certificate this year. With help from the weather gods, he should finish up his classes in a few weeks and take the test by the end of the month. While he is still a work in progress, he has already made much progress and I am very proud of him no matter the final outcome.

Finally, while I hope to enter Zachary in a Rally Trail before the end of the calendar year, I have yet to broach it in a serious fashion. (If only Wendy would teach a Rally class…)

Beau pretty much mirrors Zachary for non-On-The-Road things, and I’m not planning on doing On-The-Road with him past Level One, which he has completed. He earned both his Canine Good Citizen certificate and his Rally Novice title several years ago, and it appears that retirement from competition suits him well.

Moving right along…

You will recall that last week I decided to reuse the previous week’s worksheet, as that week had been filled with Really Important Things. Therefore, this report covers two weeks using the same Weekly Worksheet - #16.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: TL4 – Sit-Stay: Wow, is Zachary every persistent about going down. I had thought I could cure this with patience and time, but it looks like I might actually have to resort to serious training with chutes-and-ladders.

Canine Good Citizen: Worked all but the Supervised Separation, and Zachary did splendidly. Class was once again canceled due to rain, but we tried to make up for that at least a little by working in Pet Stores, Big-Box Hardware Stores (see Blog below) and practicing loose leash walking in various parking lots and down Garden Store isles.

Weekly Quiz: Once again failed to grab a family member – I guess those sorts of things just don’t belong in Quizzes. Lesson learned.

Family Member: n/a

Extracurricular: n/a

Videoed: n/a

Released Video: n/a

Blog: Permission Granted

Blue Box: Filled out checklists for Extracurricular Activities: Excursions and Tricks.

Planned for Next Week:

This week is almost all about Canine Good Citizen for Zachary.


I did decide to shake the Weekly Quiz up a bit by devoting it entirely to items from the Middle School Curriculum, selecting for things that I believe they should be able to pass. I will decree “passed” any item they score 80% or better when averaged over the week with no zeros (reminder: quiz items are generally scored 2 for perfection, 1 if I have to repeat a cue once, else a zero.)

Why the change?

Mostly so I can keep feeling like I’m making forward progress in a month that would otherwise seem highly repetitive.

In all honesty, the items in the right-hand column, with the exception of Trick of the Month and “101 Things…”, might not get touched at all this week.

Note: In order to keep up with the weeks of the year, this Weekly Worksheet is numbered #18. For those playing along at home, there was NO Weekly Worksheet #17.

(As always, click to make bigger)

Sunday, May 2, 2010

May Syllabus

This month promises to be The Month of Canine Good Citizen.

Let's keep fingers and paws crossed and hope the rain, rain, stays away (at least on class night!)

I tossed a few other items on the list, both undone things from last month (many to choose from on that front) plus a few others lying about, but I'll be honest and say I'm not really going to be focused on them.

On the bright side, the project that consumed my time for much of April is completed, and so if I don't get things done I have only myself, the weather, and the remains of the Lacrosse season to blame!

(As always, click to see larger)