Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Agility 5

This is our 5th week of agility and Marley is loving it, actually she seems to think I'm slowing her down.

This week we practiced the following:

Wobble board: I don't think we actually practiced this, as soon as we walked in to the field Marley jumped on it and did a little dance. Well, to be totally honest, Marley was wiggling the minute we got out of the car. Very cute.

Weave poles: I think Marley is finding these boring, she slows down and sniffs the ground while walking through them. I think she is still looking for dropped treats.

Ladder: I think this was mostly for the benefit of the large dogs in class. Marley just trotted through.

Teeter: Marley just ran through unfazed and sat on the end. Actually, she managed to run away and get an extra turn on the teeter.

Jumps: We practiced a lot going through the jumps without the bar on them. Marley found it a bit dull and wanted to run ahead, this really pleased our trainer. Once the the bar was up, Marley was in doggy heaven. After that first jump her tail slowly wagged while she grinned at me. We even got to practice without the leash, it was so cool.

This is what Marley looked like during class:

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Toofer Challenge update

In February, Marley and I accepted Johann's Toofer Challenge. We are still tooth brushing daily. Marley loves it.

We had a rocky start mostly because Marley did not like the mint flavored toothpaste or the tooth brush. I ended up purchasing poultry flavored toothpaste. Our new procedure was putting tooth paste on my finger and rubbing it over her teeth. This totally worked!

She gets so excited when she sees her tooth paste. I've currently upgraded from my finger to the rubber finger brush. She really likes this because it lets her spend time getting all of the paste off of the rubber bristles.

I wonder when we will be able to upgrade to a real tooth brush.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Agility 4

As we left the city limits today, Marley started jumping around in excitement...she knew we were going to agility today. Class was held partially indoors due to sporadic showers. As soon as she got out of the car she started pulling on the leash and whining. Why is it so embarrassing when your dog acts out of control?

As soon as Marley was close enough she jumped on the wobble board and just wiggled with excitement. She didn't want to get off the board. Besides the wobble board, we worked on the tunnel and 3 new things: Contact, away and a combination.

Tunnel: Marley was distracted during the tunnel practice, she kept looking for treats inside. Last class she had been doing so well, I have to admit I found it a bit frustrating. Hopefully, this will correct itself soon.

Contact: Our trainer had her dog ramp (on her vehicle) down and Marley went up the ramp and she had to run down and sit with her front paws on the concrete and her butt on the ramp. She quickly caught on and was excited about the activity.

Away: I started with Marley on my left side and as we approached a cone, I said "Out" and guided her away with my arm. After a while, we started directing the dogs around the cones in a similar manner as the weave poles. I ended up having to jog during this exercise, it seems otherwise Marley found it boring.

Combination: It was very simple, after working on contact, the dogs had to go through the tunnel. It was fun, except for Marley's need to stop in the middle of the tunnel.

We had a great time and I hope Marley continues enjoy this activity.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Brave and Smart

Marley and I have been working on the "NoBark" command. She listens very well while at home, outside its another story. During our walks if another dog barks insults at her, I usually distract her by asking her to heel, this usually works but she still gets agitated.

The other day during our morning walk, I stopped turned around and almost collided with my cycling neighbor. I gasped, Marley stopped her investigation of the dumpster and ran up growling (that deep angry growl). The only thing I could think of in my shock was "NoBark." I so didn't want her discovering the joy of chasing bikes and I really didn't want her barking at my neighbor.

She stopped and sat on my left side and waited. Blow me down, I was so shocked! I am amazed at how quickly she responded to my shock and how scary she sounded (considering she is only 11lbs). I am astounded at how quickly she calmed down and was ready to do something different. It took me a lot longer to calm down.

My mini dog...with the heart of a rottweiler.

Sunday, March 15, 2009


Angel is a Malamute/Siberian Husky mix. She has has a great temperament and is simply stunning.
Oh no, she seems to have something stuck to her butt!

Tuesday, March 10, 2009


We had our second agility lesson and Marley did great. I'm still not sure if she understands what we are doing; however, she is all about following the hotdog. This week we reviewed the previous equipment and we added the pause table.

The wobble board
We tried a larger more wobbly board. I was worried it may be too unsettling for her, however she just jumped up and demanded her hot dog. We tried this at the beginning and end of class and she was fine the entire time.

There were two tunnels, a straight tunnel and one with a curve. Marley just ran in and met me at the other end, demanding a hot dog. We hit a slight snag with the longer curved tunnel. There is a boxer puppy in our class who is scared and we tried tossing hot dogs inside trying to coax him into trying the tunnel (he became a tunnel wiz by the end of class). Marley discovered some of the treats and she has now slowed down while she hunts for treats. Hopefully next week she'll pick up speed again.

Weave Poles
Marley was not phased at all she just ran through looking for her treat at the end.

Pause table
Our trainer was a bit worried the table may to too tall for Marley. Marley just jumped up and preened.

Sheep walked by while we were in class and they totally distracted her, which I found kind of interesting. I'm so glad she seems to be having a great time.

Am I the only one who buys my dog's hot dogs at Trader Joe's (nitrate and sulfate free)?

Monday, March 9, 2009

Hide a squirrel

Marley got a new toy this weekend. She loves the little squirrels and she likes to stick her head in the log, however I'm not sure she's gotten the concept yet. She'll remove one squirrel and she runs around shaking the squirrel to death and them she'll bring it to me to toss. She then shakes and repeats. I decided to try adding some treats to the log to entice Marley to remove the squirrels.

Treat for me?

If I roll the log the treats should fall out...

Maybe if I shove my face into the log...

I think I have it...if only these squirrels weren't in the way

I win! I showed those squirrels who is in charge!

I won...must take nap...

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Guess who finally gave in and decided to enjoy her Christmas present?

My list of the 5 changes Marley has made in my life
  1. I've rediscovered the joy of watching dawn arrive every morning.
  2. Herding cats is so much easier with Marley's assistance.
  3. Crazy lady walking her dog in the rain, be nice its me!
  4. I've found my inner compulsive shopper. Does Marley really need more toys?
  5. I don't own Marley, I'm her roadie. I drive her around and cater to her every need/want on the road.
I've met some of the best people, who I would have never met with out Marley. ALL my neighbors stop me to talk. Well, actually they stop to talk to Marley and if she isn't with me they ask about her.