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About Lawgirl

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    South Australia

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  1. I have only had one agility dog, and he was for sure a much better dog than I was a handler, but we learned together, and in the end the important thing to me was that he had fun. Every course we ran, he came off grinning! In fact, I have so many photos to prove he had the biggest grin on his face around every course we ever ran. No one will expect you to be perfect with your first dog (other than maybe yourself!), but if you are willing to learn from your mistakes, don't push yourself or your dog too hard, listen, watch and play agility, things will be fine. Unless you are aiming to compete on the higher levels of competition. Then you will want to be fully focussed on doing everything right from the start, and foundations, training and perfection count. But if you just want to go out, have fun, run some courses as best you can, keep learning and improving and building your bond with your dog, dig in and have a go! BTW videoing yourself and your dog is THE MOST USEFUL THING IN THE WORLD. Watch the videos. Watch them over and over. See how he responds to you, especially the things you did not know you were doing (E.G. turning shoulders, dropping arm, slowing down). See where things went right, see where things went wrong. See where surprising things happened and work out why. You can see how Aed is jumping (early, late, or in good time), is he getting good clearance, landing awkwardly, where is he looking? How much space does he need to turn? Is he focussed on you, or is he driving ahead? Do you need to work on drive, or bringing more control back to him? Videos will tell you what you need to work on for your dog especially, and for you. USE THE VIDEO!
  2. Please forgive me if I am wrong about this, but it sounds as though it is not so much that you don't think Aed can do what you need him to do, but that you do not know what to do with him. The only way you can learn is to educate yourself. Try going onto the website CleanRun, and having a look at their magazine. There are a range of free articles on various topics. This can start you learning the language of agility (which is challenging enough!) but also what is important to know about a course, handling, training, conditioning etc. There are also blogs, and agility forums etc. The next thing I would suggest is to go to a few trials just to watch. I found it strange how sitting and watching different people handle their dogs through the same course really showed me how the things I had read about worked in real life, but also gave me confidence that it was okay to stuff up, because that happens to everyone - and I mean everyone! Seeing how different people approach the course, even just how they work out what to do while walking the course, can also teach you, once you know the basics. I have also found that agility people love to talk agility, and will often be willing to educate you about what is going on in the ring. You can also learn a lot sitting and watching videos of the big competitions on Youtube, eg Crufts and Westminster etc. Watch the qualifying rounds, watch the finals, all sizes etc. Watch how each person handles the course, what works, and why or why not. Did they push their dog out too far, did they turn away too early, were they too slow to get into position to show their dog where they were to go next? How did they get from one obstacle to the next? Agility is not something I think you ever stop learning, but do not let you not knowing what you are going to be doing on a course stop you start training Aed. You won't get on a competition course for quite a while when you start training for real, and you will learn about stringing obstacles together at the same time as Aed learns. Agility is a lot about the bond between you and your dog. I would see if you can skip the intro course, given you have done it before, and go straight into beginners. He is old enough that there is no worry about joints etc, and if you have the obedience base, then lets try to move beyond. They may want you to show them he can do the basics, but I wish you luck!
  3. That is so much fun! Was I the only one who had visions of Family Guy running through my head? I guess it is where I know that song from.
  4. KevTheDog, ANZAC biscuits are a much loved tradition in Australia and New Zealand. This is a pretty good version of the recipe. I have an old family recipe which I use, but this one has a good explanation, variations etc. and is pretty close. I do add a bit of water if the mixture is dry, and I prefer a chewy biscuit. You can also reduce the sugar if you want to, a lot of people do. https://www.recipetineats.com/anzac-biscuits-golden-oatmeal-cookies/
  5. This is not desirable as a primary treat, but as an extra special, rare and top quality treat, my dogs went absolutely bonkers for homemade ANZAC biscuits - we used to call them doggie crack cocaine. If I absolutely needed to hold my dogs attention, that was what I used. They contain no meat, but are very sweet, hence why they are only occasional treats. I made mine soft, so I could tear bits off in tiny pieces, or hold a bigger bit in my hand and gradually reveal a little bit more at a time, so my dog was fixated on getting a little bit more, a little bit more, a little bit more... They are made from ground oats, golden syrup, butter, flour and sugar and last for ages. Otherwise, I suggest buying a dehydrator and trying to dehydrate your own treats - lung, tongue and hearts were favourites with my boys, along with straight out meat. There is a smell associated with this though. You can also dry things out in an oven on very low. Another option is to use deli meats - again sparingly because they contain a lot of salt. I have used what we call fritz ( I think similar to bologna?) or pressed chicken loaf. It is essentially cooked, and can be cut into tiny pieces. I will often intersperse it with cheese, so the dog will get some meat and some cheese, and is less likely to get bored with a treat during a session.
  6. Oh I absolutely love this! One of our dogs would always respond to my other half blowing into an empty bottle to make a sound by starting to howl, but I like your dog's response much more!
  7. This is a good article to see where you can donate. It includes links to the volunteer fire services in NSW, Victoria and South Australia, as well as Red Cross, wildlife organisations and a Rural Renewal charity. https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-01-01/bushfire-relief:-how-you-can-help-frontline-services/11835156 There is also an appeal being run by a female comedian on Facebook; her parents-in-law have had to be evacuated from their home in Eden in NSW. It started off looking to raise a few thousand for the NSW Fire Service, now has raised over $40 million. https://www.facebook.com/donate/1010958179269977/ I woke up this morning to a red sun and a smoky day. This smoke has come more than 600km (over 370 miles) from the fires in the Gippsland, and is bad enough to trigger my asthma (which I usually only suffer when I have a chest infection).
  8. There is a little seaside town in Victoria called Mallacoota, which has had to be evacuated by our Navy due to the bushfires. This is the most famous photo of that evacuation. Thankfully our Navy has let all the evacuees take their pets with them on the ship. This is another photo from the bushfires, although I do not know where it was taken. It has been a rough few months, although not too bad where I live (only a couple of smallish fires in the region). The traditionally worst two months are yet to come.
  9. Merry Christmas! It is Christmas Eve here in Australia, shorts and t-shirt weather. I am sitting in my backyard with a cold beer and four BCs sun baking, looking forward to home made pizzas tonight (our personal Christmas Eve tradition). I hope your Christmas is as enjoyable!
  10. I live in one of the cooler parts of South Australia, but we just experienced our hottest December day ever recorded at 45.8C (114.4F) for Friday 20 December 2019. As I write this, I have woken up to a Saturday where the forecast is for a maximum of 19C (66F). This weather change in less than 24 hours is insane, from super hot to comparatively cool but pleasant. So I am curious about the weather where you live. What sort of extremes do you get? Temperature, humidity, drastic changes, wind, storms - wild weather tales wanted!
  11. I had always sworn I would never get a tattoo. It is amazing how losing a beloved dog can change your opinion on things. Here is my permanent memorial to Oscar. It took this long to get an appointment with the tattoo artist recommended to me.
  12. I would just add that sometimes dogs learn behaviour in one situation, but as soon as you change that situation, in their dog mind, the behaviour they have learned does not apply, because the situation they learned it in does not apply. E.G. dogs who can do obedience heeling at dog club, but not on walks. It takes some time for the dog to generalise that you want this behaviour whenever they are on lead, not just in one specific circumstance. On the positive side, the dog is not learning a completely new behaviour, just that the behaviour he has already learned also applies in multiple situations, so after an adjustment, you may see a 'click' moment when Kev works it out.
  13. I don't know that I can watch them, Inertia looks too much like my Oscar as a puppy. That loss is too fresh. They sound like they would be very useful though.
  14. Dog on a log! Gorgeous! Interesting to see the side close ups of the tan on her face. I love tricolours and their infinite variety.
  15. Her ruff looks like it is starting to grow out a bit? She is still so cute. Love seeing her grow.
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