June 03, 2011

End of May was BUSY!!

It started on the 18th with dock diving practice at Crosscreek farm.  Dazzle enjoyed jumping multiple times (no photos of that though) and then he enjoyed racing around with some of the other dogs there.

14 hours later, we loaded up for a 7 hour drive to Dog Scout camp for the Leadership Retreat.  Dazzle was a busy boy there as well.

He spent a bit of time laying by the fire when I asked him to (but not much before he was wanting to play again)

Comparison between a standard marshmellow and the super jumbo sized ones they are now selling.  The Jumbo ones are GREAT for S'mores because only the tasty, toasted outside crust remains when you pinch it between the graham crackers and pull the middle out (to be toasted for another one.)

While the humans were picking up stray sticks and branches to help clean-up camp, Dazzle found the stick he wanted and trotted off to chew on it.

Charlie checks on Dazzle's progress with their self-initiated digging contest.

Charlie concedes and goes to play while Dazzle continues to excavate and fill in Charlie's hole :-)

Lots of time was spent during breaks in the play yard (between the lecture sessions of the retreat) to let the dogs do some running before they needed to be still for another hour during the presentations.

Why you don't hold a ball out with a Malinois around- Such a bad, bad dog!  But he WAS nice enough to leave her hand unscathed and only bop the ball loose so he could grab it.

Dazzle takes a break and let's Charlie do some work

One of my new favorite photos!

Unique Dock Diving view

Failed attempt to catch the above photo :-) Darn digital delay!

Dazzle found several friends willing to tug with him at camp.  This person was determined to win, but in the end Dazzle prevailed.
 He is VERY good at playing "tease the human"- he only holds a little bit of the ball and lets most of it stick out, making the human think they might be able to get it from him.  Silly humans!

Cooling off in the pond

On the 22nd, from MI, we drove directly to Columbus Ohio for a week (+ weekend) seminar with reward-based trainers Axel Van der Borght and Guy Penning from Belgium. I learned several new things and got some very helpful tips for everything from obedience to scentwork to bite work.  It was a LOT of fun and I look forward to their next visit to the states!

Here we were working on platforms that will later be positioned on either side of the hurdle for Ring sports (or on the far side for the Schutzhund hurdle). Guy is working with Dazzle.

Dazzle's previous 2 on/ 2 off training for Agility was confusing him now that I wanted all 4 feet on the platform :-)  Axel and Guy shared SO many ways platforms can be used!

Some of the ways they use platforms:
Sit, Stand and Down out of motion
Jumping for ring sports/Sch
Go outs
Teaching the dog to move from front to heel
Hold and bark (then back to perfect heel position)
Position changes at a distance

The weather during the seminar was a bit scary at times.  We had a tornado touch down near our house while I was at the seminar and the wind, rain and hail made outside work impossible at times. 

But we did manage to get some work done outside and Dazzle had a BLAST! 

The main thing I wanted to work on was getting Dazzle to let go of the sleeve (his most favorite tug toy). We tried several methods.

Here, Axel is trying to keep the toy immobilized while I hold Dazzle so he can't rebite if he lets go.  

Here, we're just waiting him out.  It took several minutes, but he did eventually drop it. Axel and Chad talk about decoy work while we wait.

Here I'm trying to offer him food.  At one point, I slipped food into his mouth while he was still holding the sleeve but he didn't care.

We did make significant progress as you can see in this "raw" (unedited) video taken near the end of the seminar:
VIDEO- Dazzle lets go of the sleeve!

He also had big fun getting the sleeve into his mouth...

Not sure who's having more fun- Dazzle or Chad :-)

In the end he got to leave with his prize

The seminar drew people from as far as California, Louisiana and even Venezuela!  The folks from LA brought Dazzle's sister Jazmine and his father Polo.  Dazzle had a lot of fun playing with his sister Jaz.

Here's the family photo:  (L to R)
Like A Hurricane Aiolos Apollon (Polo) with Ken 
Loup Noir Jazmine (Jaz) with Debbie 
Loup Noir Jasper (Dazzle) with me 
Loup Noir Jolie (Bean) with Elissa

Dazzle also had fun with some of the other dogs before the seminar got started in the mornings and with other dogs into the wee hours of the mornings after we all went out to dinner then came back to the center to hang out, train and socialize. Often, we were up around 8 am and didn't get to bed till 1 or 2am the next morning (all WEEK!) on the weekend, we got up earlier and stayed up later :-)

Hot dog Belgian grin (Panting after a hard play session)

Being wiggly to Bohdi

Me with the seminar presenters Guy Penning and Axel Van der Borght.  We're all wearing the T-shirt I designed that says "Warning, low flying Malinois"

Dazzle on Sunday, the last day.  All he wanted to do was lay in the cool grass in the shade :-) I think he was nearly as sleep deprived and brain overloaded as I was!

More weather photos by Emily. Me and Renee not wanting to go outside.

A very cool training device called the "Cannonball". It's a remote activated ball launcher and has as many uses as platforms!

Jolie, Dazzle's sister, doing bite work

Jolie's new brother Habbit (a.k.a. Honey Badger)- too cute for words! 

Erin also had a puppy at the seminar that was adorable

Polo (Dazzle's dad) next to Jazmine (Dazzle's sister) showing the big size difference. When Dazzle was a pup, I was hoping he would be as big as his dad, but I'm very happy with his size now (24" / 60 lbs.)

Polo got to practice too!

Overall, it was exhausting and brain filling, but SO worth it!!  I'm already working on some of the things we learned and soon I'll be learning more from Denise Fenzi, then we'll visit a friend at the KY horse Park then we'll be off to a week at camp... No wonder my summers fly by!!