Wednesday, March 31, 2010

April Syllabus

As mentioned in the post for this week's Weekly Worksheet (lucky #13) this promises to be a very busy month.

To make the most of the time I have, I'm going to focus on On The Road things (weekends being slightly less busy)  and Canine Good Citizen items as Zachary is now in class.

Well, he will be in class... starting next week... as a ugly green rain blob filled the radar, temperatures plunged, and class was pushed out by a week.

(I hear next week should be lovely)

And so, without further ado...

(As always, click to see larger)

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Week 13

Twelve weeks down (Forty to go)

I have been trying for 10-15 minutes of "class time" per dog, five days a week, but kid-stuff is now consuming a full two days and will likely continue to do so until some time in May.

Zachary starts Canine Good Citizen class this week, so there goes another day. And if that isn't enough, I have a rush job I'm working on throughout April.

Oh dear.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies: Continued work on down-stays during Find The Duck.

Canine Good Citizen: Did a Meet 'n Greet at the library. Failed to meet many people (see Blog below) but was able to work on many other things (noises, dogs, patience...) so all was not lost - although it appears Zachary's sit-stay was.

Dance: Tried Change Of Pace On The Road - not pretty.

Blog: Meet 'n Greet-less

Videoed: TL 4 - Down Stay (On The Road!),  TL2 OTR - Distance 2', TL2 OTR - Target.

Released Videos: Zachary Training Levels Four (Down-Stay)

Planned for Next Week:

In light of the severe time restraints during the week, I'm going to focus on weekend outings and On The Road activities. I'm also going to make as much use of lunchtime Find The Duck as I can by working to rebuild Zachary's duration sit-stay (both distance and out of sight).

We'll also work on Canine Good Citizen items during the weekly Quiz.

(As always, click to make bigger)

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Week: 12

Eleven down (forty-one to go)

We had a Real Life week this week – full of kid activities that sucked away pretty much every available moment.

What time I had was not great for instruction (being too close to meals, walks, or too late in the day) so I focused on other things.

Accomplished Last Week:

Curriculum: Wrote up Elective – Assisting.

Videoed: TL 2 On The Road – Sit/Down (no aids), 40’ Loose Leash (again), plus played with Synchronized Movement ON GRASS (what a good boy for trying to focus!)

Released Videos: Zachary – Training Levels Three (part 3) and Beau - Training Levels Four (part 1)

Blog: Created BZ’s Video Guide, containing tables (row = behaviors, columns = level) with cells linked the appropriate video on YouTube. There's one for Beau and two for Zachary (as Zachary is also working On The Road.)

Planned for Next Week:

Only five items left to video for On The Road (Level Two) - Come, Crate, Distance, Go To Mat, and Watch. The Come is doubtful, as I’ll need to find someplace he hasn’t been before that’s “safe” for off-leash work, and at the moment I can’t think of anyplace.

This will be another Real Life filled week, and I do not expect to get to most of these things. But having a lot to choose from might make it easier to pick something if I do end up with spare time.

(As always, click to make bigger)

Monday, March 15, 2010

Elective - Assisting

This is the first Elective in the Partner group.

My thought with Assisting was to come up with ways my boys could lend a paw, keeping in mind the things they enjoy doing.

I have no grand schemes for them. They are not service, assistance, working, teaching, demo, or therapy dogs. But even plain old pet dogs can help out every now and then.

(As always, click to see larger)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Week: 11

Ten down (forty-two to go) – this week marks 25% of the year gone. Weren’t we just celebrating the New Year, oh, like yesterday?

This week I shook things up by setting aside the “work” parts of the curriculum and focusing on the “fun” parts. Then as the week went on, I came to realize that while I have Goals, I have no reason for wanting to complete them.

This is obviously something I will have work on this coming week,

Then Sunday came – a stunningly beautiful day - so Zachary and I took Flip to foreign sidewalks and knocked off videoing a whole bunch of Training Level "On The Road" things (all listed under Core Studies below for simplicity, although technically some fit better in Family Member and Extracurricular Activities)

What a great end to the week!

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies (from Week 9) – Videoed Zachary TL3 – Loose Leash, his OTR items for TL 1, plus OTR TL 2: Down Stay, Sit Stay, Handling, Stand, Stand Stay, Target, Tick, and Zen!

Photography – took pictures of the dogs from a dogs-eye-view for a new scrapbook page ("Share?"), as well as wearing something on their heads, and in a scarf. (see here.)

Tricks – videoed an assortment of their tricks, and filled in their Elective-Tricks pages to show where they currently stand.

Family Member – No problem with “thuds” for the past few weeks, and so I am officially calling this item done. Beau had one barky day before “Find the Duck!” (out of 5) – not bad at all.

Dance – Videoed Training Levels Four – Heel and Finish. (Yes, those are Dance things, if you think about it.)

Just For Fun – Videoed Beau shutting the cabinet door. Videoed Zachary learning to shut the cabinet door using shaping.

Released VideoZachary: Quick Flick – Push a Door

Planned for This Week:

This is the third week in March.

This week I will attempt to uncover why I want my Goals. Let’s hope there’s a good reason! I also have much video to sift through, compile, and release.

As for the boys, I left in some of last week’s “fun stuff”, included some Training Levels things can be done indoors, and brought back the Weekly Quiz.

(As always, click to see something larger.)

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Week: 10

Nine down (forty-three to go).

The theme for this week could be “Derailed”.

School, Lacrosse, and Life in general all conspired against me.

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies – nothing.

Quiz results: Beau still not happy with the trash. Zachary still struggling with letting me put a cookie on his nose.

Citizenship – Still working those out-of-sight stays using the Find it! as a reward

Family Member – Beau improving fast on his Duck manners. Worked on TL-4 Zen with both dogs.

Extracurricular – nothing.

Just For Fun – Videoed Beau pushing the cabinet closed, but the camera was too close and it came out poorly. Will try again.

Blue Bar – Videoed TL4 Zen.

Posted a Duck Zen update. Posted how I Track what I’ve Videoed.

Released Video – Zachary Grooming –and- Beau Grooming

Planned for This Week:

This is the second week in March.

Decided to take a Training Levels break. I haven’t had time to work on the duration exercises (not to mention the fact I find them dull) and things are “backing up” behind them.

Sooo… using my prerogative as Dean of Zachary’s Canine Curriculum, I’m declaring a break in the “core classes” and decreeing this week to be Extracurricular Activity week.

Woo Hoo!

Perhaps it will put spark back into our studies.

If things are going well, I can always look back at last week’s sheet and sneak in some things I find there.

(As always, click to see something larger.)

Monday, March 1, 2010

Week: 9

Eight down (forty-four to go). I’m pleased to report that EVERYONE was healthy this week. Yeah!

My son’s Lacrosse season has officially started. He made Varsity this year, and so that is eating a big chunk out of week nights (watching games, taking him to/from practice, etc.)

Accomplished Last Week:

Core Studies – Worked on Down-Stay’s in the context of Find the Duck! Zachary sits well enough now for basic grooming that I trotted out the video camera and captured his (simple) grooming and Beau’s more slightly more involved session. Not very interesting viewing, but I might upload anyway as a “Quick Flick” (no music).

Quiz results: Beau still not happy with the trash, but the rest was a snap.

Citizenship – Still working those out-of-sight stays using the Find it! as a reward

Family Member – Had to work on “Duck Zen” this week, as Beau was getting rather… vocal.

Extracurricular – Finished TL4 Broad Jump.

Just For Fun – Zachary is still a bit shy about me putting the cookie on his nose, but once there he holds still just fine and his flip is getting better at the end.

Blue Bar – Videoed TL4 Broad Jump for both boys. Worked on writing up ECA – Assisting, but it’s not quite done yet.

Posted a new Scrapbook page containing shots of Beau (closeup's mostly). Wrote up the boy's March Syllabus.

Released Video – n/a

Planned for This Week:

This is the first week in March.

Yet more rain plus Lacrosse in the forecast – and it’s Final’s week.

I liked the green color for "things not on the list last week", and so that is probably going to be a permanent feature.

Core Studies – Same as last week.

Quiz: First item is for ECA – Dance, the next two are refreshers before I re-video Zachary’s Level One On The Road, and the forth one is to finish off the trick. Long Down is there because they have to do it anyway, so they might as well get "credit" for it!

Citizenship – Same as last week.

Family Member – Much is new – including working on Beau’s “Duck Zen”.

Extracurricular – self-explanatory

Just For Fun – New beginnings…

Field Trip – Rainy weather + Lacrosse = little free time.

Blue Bar – Need to finish ECA - Assisting and pick something new. Falling behind on videoing Level Three things. Might release the grooming clips. Need to release Beau’s Level Four clips (filmed the week before)

(As always, click to see something larger.)