Training Tip Tuesday – Back to the Stays!

Well we had a Training Tip Tuesday post planned. And it was going to be a fun one… more trick… less of this agility stuff…. and then mum got thinking and chatting to people about my agility start line stays again. Guess it is a nice change from her pre-occupation with my bum strength.

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Training Tip Tuesday – Jumping Foundations Take-Off Side of Jump

So after a break last week from Training Tip Tuesday because, oh did I mention… It was my birthday, we are back.

Mum is still has me working hard on my jumping foundations. Think she is feeling a bit inspired after all the bars stayed up in the RQH Jumping run last Saturday night. We also had a moment yesterday morning when we were doing some jumping grids in the front yard and mum thinks I actually thought about how I was going to jump… I thought mum was going to cry with excitement. Silly mum.

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It doesn’t always need to be a walk

Some mornings toddler wakes earlier or for whatever reason we can’t get out for a morning walk. Thankfully mum has an array of exercises for me to do rather than our walk. Check out some of them like Backwards Heel in Training Tip Tuesday.

Only need some treats and then a bit of creativity to come up with some games.

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Training Tip Tuesday – Basic Bum Strength with the Bar

Wow what a huge day it was yesterday! Our Marketing Monday post which was a bit of a marketing case study from our perspective on One Mind Dogs went ballistic. The guys over at One Mind Dogs were interested in what we wrote and shared it. Now feeling the pressure to back up on the Training Tip Tuesday. Continue reading

It isn’t just about my bum

A good thing about playing with the One Mind Dogs agility stuff recently has been mum’s renewed focus on her own fitness. The philosophy of cue where I need to go and then get moving to the next cue obstacle, plus a lot more blind crosses (which means mum needs to be in front of me) has meant mum has been doing a lot of sprinting around the course. Go mum!
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Training Tip Tuesday – Bum Strength

Mum’s per-occupation with my rear end continues and we have spent a bit of time over the holidays working on rear end strength.¬† Mum borrowed a book from our training club’s library written by a lady called Linda Mecklenberg who is pretty good at this agility stuff. She has written a book and does some online courses and stuff specifically about jumping skills.

140107 ReadingSo what we have learnt is that us dogs tend to jump in one of two styles:

Inverted: this is what I more a lot of (at the moment). I use my front legs more to push myself up and lift myself over bars. My head is normally up higher than my shoulders (withers). It means I have less awareness of what my bum is doing and while I am ok on flats (except when I am flattening out to chase mum) it can be a real problem with me dropping bars on tight corners (or what is known as jumping in collection). Here is a little YouTube clip of another dog jumping in an inverted style.

Rounded: this is where us dogs use our rear end to lift ourselves over the bar. The head is typically lower than the withers, the spine arched over the bar and front feet are often tucked in until they clear the bar. Here is some pictures from an article about this Linda Mecklenberg training that show the way this dog is jumping versus the one in the video.

So how to train this rounded style and back end strength? We have been doing a lot of this really simple exercise with one bar and plenty of treats. A note about this is that it is physically hard work so if you do some of these than just do a few and then lots of pats and play (have that ball or toy ready).

What we do is get me to sit about one stride out from the bar. It isn’t very far so it doesn’t give me space to take off with my front legs. Mum then holds the treat low (ie on the ground) about one stride out on the other side. On release I jump the bar. If I don’t knock the bar I get a “yes”, the treat and lots of praise. If I do knock the bar I get a “oh no” but still in a nice voice and we try again.

Once I understood the concept of what mum was wanting me to do at a low height we moved to in increments to my normal jumping height. Working on a low height doesn’t really do too much as I don’t have to fully use those bum muscles. If I do drop the bar a few times mum gives me a break and play or drops the bar just a little lower so I get success before putting it up again. Remember it is hard work and it needs to be fun for me to be motivated.

There are plenty of other exercises like this we have been working on that we will write up in coming weeks but in the meantime happy training.

Rockin’ the Double Lap

A VERY warm day here in Sydney town today. But mum and some of the doggy (that’s doggy not dodgy) friends had organised a little training session a couple of weeks back so with an early start to try and beat the heat we headed off.

We have been learning some new stuff through the One Mind Dogs style. Mum is still figuring it out but it is lots of fun when she does. It means she gives me plenty of notice what jump I am doing and then gets out of my way. One of the moves we were working on today was called the Double Lap. Mum called it “The Dance Move” as she had to do a funny kinda spin thing back towards me. But you know what she seemed to be getting it and that meant I could figure out where she wanted to me to be. Here is a little video of us.

It was warm so thankful that mum took up the little pool. We only did little bits at a time and then we would go over for me to have a little rest. Think mum liked it when I shook afterwards and she got wet.

140102 Bit warm at training (2)

Even think she liked when I curled up for a few zzzzz on my leg with my coat still wet. Not something she would normally be pleased about.

140102 Bit warm at training (1)
But I really liked when my friends Piper went and sat in the tunnel while all our mum’s were out talking about something. He is a smart kid that Piper.

140102 Piper sheltering from the heat (1)

Not that I’m old… but always fun learning new stuff.

It is fun, as well as physically and mentally tiring to learn new stuff. It is a great thing!

Well in the agility sphere here in Australia there is a bit of buzz about at the moment about the way the Europeans are doing agility and there are some folks from Finland called One Mind Dogs that are doing some pretty cool stuff. They are coming out to Sydney in April next year to hold a seminar. Mum is going along… will be the 1st time she has done a seminar like this so should be interesting. You can check out some of their runs and their philosophies on my Agility Videos page we have set up so we can find these, mainly YouTube clips, again.

So over the last few weeks we have been starting to try some of their stuff. Lovin’ it. The thinking is a lot about giving me advance notice as to where you want me to go (works for me) and then get out of my running line (again works for me). We are far from good at this yet but having heaps of fun learning new stuff (come home absolutely shattered!).

Thought we would share a couple of clips of some of this stuff with mum and I learning… so here is Learning Windmills and Learning the German Turn. Will be a little while before we probably use these in a trial as we get used to them but hope you enjoy watching us practice.

And now back to zzzzzz


Training Tip Tuesday – Twists & Turns

It’s coming up to Christmas time and have been busy with parties so always good for a few dancing moves with twists & turns. Actually Dances with Dogs is one of the many dog activities where the twists and turns get used. Even with our limited knowledge of the huge amount of dog sports and activities that are about, we use the twist and turn in so many places. In Rally we use them for the 90 and 180 pivots. For agility we use them for turning me away from mum towards a jump or obstacle. We use them as stretches and just for fun playing around the house.

So what is a twist or turn. Well simply just doing a circle beside mum. We just call it “twist” on the left hand side turning away from mum and “turn” on the right hand side turning away from mum as they are the terms mum started using in Rally O training. Others that we train with use “back” for both.

How mum taught it to me was simply using food to lure me around. She put the food down at my nose height or just below (so I don’t jump up) and just to the outside. Then it was simply a matter of luring me around. Our “yes” word at the end and very importantly a treat.

Here is some video of me doing the “Twist” and me doing the “Turn“. Really need to talk someone else into helping us with videos rather than mum trying to video and do the trick at the same time but hopefully it gives you an idea. A trick that has practical uses but also just a fun easy trick. As you get better at it the human can just use the word or a hand sign (or both) rather than luring around… it is a great party trick. Oh yeah that is right…. Christmas Party time!

131130 Xmas Party










What a weekend and only half way through!

It’s Saturday night and I’m one tired puppy dog.

It all started before lunchtime Friday. I know there is something going on when mum starts putting stuff into large bags. I hang around close by to ensure I don’t get forgotten. Car got packed and so did I (phew) but must discuss seating arrangements for future trips as toddler yelling out ‘wake up Bodhi’ for the majority of the trip does not make for a good nap in the car.


So it turns out all this packing stuff into the car was because we were going to Nana & Poppy’s house and after the afternoon there we were off to our 1st ever obedience trial.

Now we have been doing plenty of training for this. If mum didn’t mess up the hand signals and could tell her left from her right we were in with a chance and getting a qualie…. And well we went close….
– Heeling Pattern:
– mum struggled a couple of times with left and rights. Think she got them right in the end but slight delays in the turns and her brain was working it out.
– she couldn’t understand the judge when she said ‘halt’ and in asking ‘pardon’ I got a little distracted.
– ok I got distracted when we came around to do a right about and Nana and one of our instructors were standing on the edge of the ring taking photos.
– mum did the figure of 8 a bit slowly… Or something like that according to the judge.
– Stand for Examination:
– was just slightly off centre when I stood so we just lost the one point but otherwise I did an awesome job.
– Recall:
– one of my best! Full points!!!


Yeah we got through the first part! So then being 2nd in the ring we had to wait for another 10 dogs to go through and thankfully 5 of them made it through to the next stage… Our Group Stays.

So I lined up with the 5 other dogs. Went with mum and took my place in the line. Sat. Mum said stay and then walked with the other owners to the otherside of the ring where they then turned around and stood there. Now normally I just sit there. Might look around a bit but normally sit pretty happily (it is the down I tended to wiggle around) but last night.. Nope decided to have a scratch. Good scratch too. Oh did ignore when toddler called out from the side… Mum saw that as a big plus and very happy with that… But less happy when in a 1min stay I stood up at about 57seconds… Just as mum was coming back too me. Normally don’t do that. Normally sit until she tells me to move but was just so excited last night. But turns out that wasn’t a good idea… Had to leave the ring after that and didn’t get to do the 2min drop.
But mum was really really happy with what we did do, looking forward to the next one and got to spend the rest of ths night hanging out with my mates Mawson and Jaxon and trying to snaffle sausage rolls.


Saturday morning we went to meet up with some new friends with Tsuey from Game On Dogs helping me with some jumping stuff and showing us some other cool moves. We went down to Centennial Park, which is where Ruby normally hangs out, but unfortunately Ruby had an earlier walk today so maybe next time.

And then finally it was back to home turf for our dog training club’s Christmas Party. Lots of fun playing games with my friends. We even came 3rd place in some ball dribbling competition. But my favourite part was seeing my mate Darcy dressed up for the fancy dress parade.


So I am now…Zzzzzzz.
Night folks!