Saturday, November 26, 2011

Where I've been and what I've been doing

I haven't posted much lately because of several factors:
  • I borrowed Flat-Coated Retriever Little from her co-owner Helen back in June when she was 9 months old (I wrote a brief paragraph about her in the post about the Maiden Voyage of T3) and trained her for several months, mostly for field, doing e-collar conditioning with her and force fetch. It was a win-win-win: good for me to practice my basics skills, as well as to have an unpolished dog with whom to demo in classes, good for Little because she got lots of training and learned to swim, and good for Helen, because she got a much more trained dog when I returned her in early October.
  • Gryffin bloated not once but twice on July 27, requiring emergency gastroplexy to have his stomach tacked. A silver lining to that terrifying episode is that his internal organs looked to be in good shape - no signs of any tumors, stomach showed no signs of damage from the torsion. I'd never seen a dog bloat before, but had little doubt once it started what it was. I have since seen this difficult to watch video of a dog bloating on YouTube. The dog survives, so please watch it so you can recognize the signs. Time is critical - many, many dogs die because their owners don't know to get them to a vet in time.
  • I went on a 9-day field training trip to Ohio in the travel trailer in late September/early October. Gryff was entered in two back-to-back weekends of Master tests, and Little was entered in her 1st Junior test. Gryff failed the 1st series in the 1st test, but got his 7th MH pass the next weekend in completely miserable conditions, and Little earned her 1st JH pass. My friend Corinne came and stayed with me in the trailer and we had an excellent time training during the in-between week. 
  • I have a new puppy!!! Coastalight Prime Time, AKA Sonic, was born August 14, bred by Wendy Tisdall, who is from Nanaimo, BC in Canada. Training Little right up until I left to pick up Sonic helped me keep my excitement to a dull roar. I haven't had a baby puppy since Gryffin 8 years ago in 2003, nor an 8 week old puppy since Treasure in 1993. Sonic is a complete gem of a puppy, loving training and mostly not too naughty. She's 15 weeks old tomorrow. Sonic and I flew home on the day she turned 8 weeks, and we haven't missed any days of training except when I was away in Lakeland, Florida to do a seminar when she was 10 weeks old. Fortunately, I discovered Pat Nolan's Retriever Training for Puppies website before getting Sonic, and I've done a bunch of little exercises from his videos. This also got me started videoing Sonic's training, and there are now a couple dozen short training videos on YouTube. Look for them on my channel AdeleYunck or search for 'Sonic the FCR'. You can subscribe to the channel, which means you get a notification via email any time I post a new video. I have quite a bit of footage not yet edited and released. I'm trying hard to video her when we start something new, to show the rough edges that usually exist at the beginning. I also just started reading Denise Fenzi's blog about training her new Tervuren puppy Lyra, who looks to be about 2 weeks older than Sonic. It is interesting to see what she is focusing on vs. what I'm focusing on with Sonic.
So that's where I've been and what I've been doing. Training a LOT and loving it like crazy. I really do love puppies and training them.

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